Wisconsin Weekend: Holiday Happenings – and lots of Santa appearances!

Santa’s a busy guy this weekend and holiday lights are all over the place! It’s a great weekend to embrace winter and road trip around Wisconsin. Keep track of conditions (just look to the right on this page) and check your local radio stations as you drive around. There are plenty of good events to check out, here are a few picks:

West Allis: Ice Fishing & Winter Sports Show

Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show logoThe Ice Fishing and Winter Sports Show hits Wisconsin State Fair Park, where you can shop row upon row of exhibits with products and services dedicated to the die-hard ice fishing and winter sports enthusiast! Explore new ice fishing products, including fish houses, augers, underwater cameras, digital fish finders, rods and reels, tackle, accessories, apparel and much more. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there Saturday from noon to 3pm for photos – they’re all over the place! It’s right at the corner of Highway 59/Greenfield Avenue & Highway 181/84th Street. I-94, I-41, U.S. 45, and Highway 100 all bring you close!

Manitowoc: A Pinecrest Christmas

A Pinecrest ChristmasThe charming Pinecrest Historical Village brings holiday cheer Saturday with A Pinecrest Christmas. The Village itself is a 19th century village featuring actual historic – and generally relocated – original Manitowoc County buildings. This year’s theme is a World War 1 Christmas, so along with traditional Christmas merriment there will be war-themed activities throughout the village. Kids can enlist in the American Junior Red Cross, print their own postcard, view the latest camera technology, and more. Pinecrest is about 6 miles west of I-43 along County JJ, just north of U.S. 151 in Manitowoc County.

Chippewa Falls: Christmas at Cook-Rutledge Mansion & Christmas Village in Irvine Park

Christmas Village at Irvine Park, Chippewa FallsIt’s a two-fer this weekend in beautiful Chippewa Falls. The historic Cook-Rutledge Mansion will be decked for the holidays and offer special tours. Meanwhile, Irvine Park – already awesome for its zoo, Wobbly Bridge and more – offers its Christmas Village with more than 100,000 Christmas lights and life-size scenes replicating the Victorian era as well as Chippewa Falls’ early history. U.S. 53 and Highways 29 and 124 bring you there!

East Troy: Electric Railroad Christmas Trains

Christmas Trains on the East Troy Electric RailroadThe East Troy Electric Railroad’s 2017 Christmas Train takes you on a magical ride from the East Troy depot – which has a cool little museum, too – to Santa’s Workshop at The Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago. Children can visit Santa, enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, plus take home a special gift. The railroad cars are heated and bathrooms are available at the East Troy depot. Advance Reservations Required, 262-642-3263. You’ll find the East Troy Depot right off Highway 20 on Church Street, just north of Highway 120 & I-43.

Sheboygan: Making Spirits Bright

Making Spirits Bright in SheboyganTalk about a gorgeous drive… the Sheboygan County Rotary Club creates this amazing light show that can drive through to music! Just tune your FM radio to their signal and enjoy the sync-up with over 325,000 holiday lights on this 1.1-mile forested route. I-43 and Highways 23, 28, and 42 bring you there.

La Crosse: Rotary Holiday Lights

La Crosse Rotary Holiday LightsTWO MILLION LIGHTS?? Yup! Riverside Park in La Crosse becomes an amazing splendorous wonderland featuring a 140-foot Christmas tree, live nativity presentations, and animated light displays with over 2,000,000 lights total. You have to see it to believe it, and I-90, U.S. 14/61, U.S. 53, and Highways 16, 33, and 35 all bring you to La Crosse so you can see it!




More for your Wisconsin Weekend

There are MANY more events to check out, including the Old World Christmas Market at the Osthoff in Elkhart Lake (Highway 67), Olbrich’s Holiday Express at the lovely Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, Downtown Reedsburg’s Living Windows along Main Street on Highways 23/33, and SO much more. Run around during your Wisconsin weekend, explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, trails, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!




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The State Trunk Tour Logo for Wisconsin highways and great trips

Wisconsin highways, road trips, attractions, quirks… just what IS the State Trunk Tour?

The State Trunk Tour is all about Wisconsin highways, drives, road trips and celebrating the fun of the Badger State by selecting state highways and riding them end to end, reporting everything along the way.

Wisconsin’s state highways – the first system of numbered highways in the world (first done in 1917 – which means 2017 marks its 100th anniversary!) – connect all sorts of points of interest, attractions, cities, towns, recreation trails, scenic byways, lakes, rivers, bridges, historical sites, geographic markers, taverns, antique shops… you get the idea.

Wisconsin is one of the most fun and unique states in the country. We’re in the smack dab in the middle of the northern and western hemispheres. We have plenty of “world’s largest” entries: the musky, the corkscrew, a talking cow, an indoor water park, a six-pack, and a can of chili are just some of them. Wisconsin also claims a number of “world’s firsts” and inventions including the snowmobile, malted milk, the hamburger, hydroelectric power, outboard motor, rail-to-trail, and a bunch more.

We have two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and beautiful drives along all of them. Dynamic cities like Milwaukee and Madison offer incredible options for things to do. Vacation hot spots like Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Door County, Minocqua, Eagle River, and Hayward draw people from all over the country. Quaint, relaxing towns like Ephraim, Shullsburg, Hudson, Bayfield, Princeton, Green Lake, Oconomowoc and more offer great boutique shopping and plenty of charm.

Follow one of our Wisconsin highways end-to-end – or in sections – and enjoy everything along the way. Sample Featured Routes below or pick your own from the State Trunk Tours menu. We’ll help guide you, provide fun history, insight, and trivia, and welcome your feedback and additions as we continue to build our web and mobile sites. We’re on a new platform, adding and updating more routes, attractions, photos, points of interest and more constantly, so check back often. Updates will be sent out via Facebook and Twitter, of course!




"Wind around from a Genoa lock through the Driftless Area"

State "Trunk" Highway 56 runs through the beautiful Driftless Area from the Mississippi River to the middle of Richland County, near Richland Center. The hilly landscape makes for beautiful vistas and it's very pleasant drive through farmlands and small towns like Viola and Viroqua - and even some places that don't start with the "v."...

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"Coast to Coast covering Circuses, Canoes, and Coulees (and more)"

State “Trunk” Highway 33 is a "coast-to-coast" state highway, connecting La Crosse on the Mississippi with Port Washington's scenic harbor on Lake Michigan. From the big blue waters of the Great Lake to the beautiful coulees framing La Crosse, you encounter hairpin turns in what seems like a mountain range, Baraboo's famous Circus Museum, ski slopes of Cascade Mountain, the natural wetlands of Horicon Marsh, and some of the best canoeing in the nation along the Kickapoo. It's a great cross-section of southern Wisconsin....

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Historic Mindoro Cut on the original route of Highway 108

"'Cutting' between West Salem and Melrose"

State “Trunk” Highway 108 is a short but very scenic ride through Wisconsin's "Driftless Area". A popular motorcycle ride as well as drive or bike ride, Highway 108 is best known for the "Mindoro Cut", which cuts through a particularly beautiful area where the highway twists, turns and zigzags. Highway 108 has essentially been the same route since 1919...why mess with such a great drive?...

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LaCrosse Brewery

La Crosse To Lake Country

A former U.S. highway, State “Trunk” Highway 16 comes in from Minnesota at La Crosse and works its way toward Milwaukee through routes so popular they were supplanted by Interstates in most areas. Paralleling I-90 and/or I-94 much of the way, Highway 16 goes through many of the towns the interstate highways bypass. Highway 16 used to continue into downtown Milwaukee and across Lake Michigan on a ferry to Muskegon, where it then ran all the way to downtown Detroit just short of the Canadian border, hey. Today, though, it ends at I-94 in Milwaukee's western suburbs, but not before passing by a ton of interesting things along its almost 200-mile journey....

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Wisconsin Snow Report

Real Racine Events
GO Chippewa Falls
Visit Marshfield via State Trunk Tour
Oconto County.org and Highway 64