Wisconsin Weekend: La Crosse Rotary Lights

Wisconsin Weekend: Dazzling Lights, Holiday Happenings and more!

We’re heading into December this Wisconsin Weekend and holiday events are happening all over the state. After one of the safest deer gun hunting seasons on record (awesome!!) we’re ready to fully enjoy the Christmas spirit. This weekend features a little something for everybody, from First Fridays in Racine and Cedarburg to Christmas parades and shopping celebrations all across the state. Check out skiing or snowboarding at Little Switzerland in Slinger (their 77th birthday is Friday!), Granite Peak at Rib Mountain over Wausau, Devil’s Head near Merrimac, Tyrol Basin outside Mount Horeb, and elsewhere around the state. You could enjoy some comfort food at a supper club or get in the Christmas spirit with plenty of holiday happenings. There’s always a LOT to do during your Wisconsin weekend… and don’t forget the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is rolling through Wisconsin! Here are some State Trunk Tour event picks as you explore this weekend… Pick Some Roads and GO!!:

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train: Sturtevant to La Crosse

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

The annual Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is once again rumbling through Wisconsin on part of its journey through the northern U.S. and Canada! Check out fun stops with beautiful lights and entertainment from The Trews & Willy Porter along its CP route – also the Amtrak Empire Builder route – now through Saturday! Stops Friday include Wauwatosa, Hartland, Oconomowoc, Watertown, and Columbus; Saturday features stops at Portage, Wisconsin Dells, Mauston, Tomah, Sparta, and La Crosse. Highway 16, one of our favorite State Trunk Tour routes, pretty much follows this line all the way! Click HERE for a specific schedule of the stops. It’s definitely a fun way to get into the holiday spirit! More…

Racine First FridaysRacine: First Fridays (final one of the year!)

Enjoy some Friday night fun during Racine First Fridays in Downtown Racine from 4-9pm Friday evening for the final time in 2018! Centered on Monument Square where Highways 20 and 38 cap the ends of a main thoroughfare that is Highway 32, enjoy shopping, drinks and take a horse drawn carriage ride or stroll through the historic city streets. Over 50 independent downtown business owners welcome you to shop and dine, enjoy live music and holiday fun!  Art galleries offer artist’s demonstrations, restaurants offer specials and boutiques highlight new or favorite product lines. The sidewalks are filled with people and downtown is alive and vibrant. You can also get FREE admission to the Racine Art MuseumMore…

 

Manitowoc: A Pinecrest Christmas

A Pinecrest Christmas at Pinecrest Historical VillageA Pinecrest Christmas brings holiday cheer to Pinecrest Historical Village, a beautiful and attractive 19th century village featuring actual historic – and generally relocated – original Manitowoc County buildings. A Pinecrest Christmas takes place Saturday, December 8th with a ton of events. Help decorate the tree with the Sorenson family and participate in their holiday traditions. Head on over to the Print Shop to learn the art of printing while making your own holiday cards! In the Two Creeks Town Hall, enjoy decorating Christmas cookies and sipping hot cider during breaks from dancing to live music. While the kids visit Santa in the decorated Visitor Center, adults can shop for unique gifts in the Museum Store. Wood-fired stoves will beckon with the promise of warmth and good cheer. Be sure to meet their 20th-century Santa and his reindeer for your one-of-a-kind holiday photo from noon to 2 p.m. To get to Pinecrest Historical Village, follow County JJ west from I-43 and U.S. 10/Highway 42 (Waldo Drive) about six miles. Or follow County S to JJ north from US 151 just east of Valders. It’s a great Wisconsin Weekend trip! More…

 

La Crosse: Rotary Lights

FOUR MILLION LIGHTS! Seriously, that’s nuts! And bright. And festive. Check out the La Crosse Rotary Lights, now in its 24th year, at Riverside Park! Displays of lights you can walk through, drive through, or even commission a horse and buggy through. Ice skating, visits with Santa, and more await through December 31st. Among the splendor is a 140- foot Christmas tree and plenty of animated light displays. Live nativity presentation on weekends until Christmas. Admission to this amazing and gorgeous event is free, but monetary donations or non-perishable food items are definitely appreciated. You’ll find Riverside Park just off U.S. 53 south of its Highwat 35 and I-90 junctions, north of downtown La Crosse. U.S. 14/61, Highway 16, and Highway 33 also bring you to La Crosse, where there’s plenty more to check out once you’re there! More…

La Crosse Rotary Lights from the water

Part of the display at La Crosse Rotary Lights, on now through December 31st.



A Very Merry Holiday FairBaraboo: A Very Merry Holiday Fair

Baraboo’s Very Merry Holiday Fair brings together over sixty artisans, authors and purveyors of good things to eat. This festive holiday show celebrates its 10th year in the historic Baraboo Arts Banquet and Convention Center. The Artisan’s making the goods will tell you how each piece is created. Consider joining them for this Very Merry Event and other holiday happenings in downtown Baraboo, the seat of Sauk County. U.S. 12 and Highways 33 and 113 bring you there. Check out the Ochsner Park Zoo, Man Mound National Historic Landmark, nearby Devil’s Lake State Park and Devil’s Head Ski Resort, and plenty more sights and activities in the area for your Wisconsin Weekend! More…

 

WPS Garden of Lights, Holiday Lights WisconsinGreen Bay: WPS Garden of Lights at Green Bay Botanical Gardens

The WPS Garden of Lights brings the magic to the Green Bay Botanical Garden for the 22nd year on weekends through Christmas Day and daily from there through December 29th. Check out more than 300,000 twinkling lights. Discover a spectacular array of botanical-themed light displays featuring an enchanted icicle forest, glistening flowers, a dazzling 60-foot walk-through caterpillar, and much more. The show is topped off with northeastern Wisconsin’s tallest and brightest shining tree. Enjoy this stunning winter landscape by foot or take a horse-drawn wagon ride. Whisper your holiday wishes in Santa’s ear (it’s really okay), indulge in a tasty treat or beverage from the Winterberry Café, enjoy a model train exhibit set up by the G-Gagers Train Club, and check out holiday gifts in the WPS Trellis Gift Shop. Parking is free in nearby lots, with a shuttle provided! You’ll find the WPS Garden of Lights inside Green Bay Botanical Garden along Larsen Road, just off Packerland Drive. It’s about a mile west of I-41, between Highway 54 and Highways 29/32. I-43, U.S. 141, and Highways 57 and 172 all bring you to Green Bay, too. More…

 

Janesville: Holiday Lights at Rotary Botanical Gardens

Janesville Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens, JanesvilleThe Janesville Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens is an annual holiday highlight in the “City of Parks.” Follow the illuminated garden pathways on an evening stroll through the 20-acre botanical gardens, where the wintry garden paths are brought to life with 425,000 twinkling lights, 100 beautifully decorated trees, over 2,500 luminaries, 500 dangling icicle lights hung from the tallest trees in the Garden and more. Santa makes periodic stops (get the dates HERE), and they have other events like Silly Scarf Night, Holiday Sweater Night, and more. Back by popular demand are the Selfie Stops & Photo Ops, with fun props and amazing backdrops that offer holiday photo opportunities both indoor and out. Step inside to enjoy a warm beverage as you watch the 200′ electric model train display, hand-sewn quilts, festive local musicians and holiday shopping. I-39/90, U.S. 14, U.S. 51, and Highways 11 and 26 all bring you to Janesville! More…

Caledonia: Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights

Christmas Carnival of LightsCaledonia, right between Milwaukee and Racine, features the Wisconsin Christmas Carnival of Lights now through December 31st at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Camp Resort along Highway 38. Every display at the Christmas Carnival of Lights is one-of-a-kind; all in all, it takes five weeks to set it all up. Each year you’ll find something new to see – and as it keeps growing, there are now over 1.5 million lights in the trees! Check out one-of-a-kind hand-crafted displays featuring elves, reindeer, forest friends, beloved children’s characters, Santa himself and more – it’s like stepping into one of your favorite Christmas movies. Check out their “one horse open sleigh,” too… well, more than one horse. This one seats 43 guests in tiered and comfortable seating. Some nights you can even ride with the big jolly guy, Santa! More…

More for your Wisconsin Weekend

There are MANY more events to check out on this Wisconsin Weekend. Explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!