Tis’ the season to spend time with the people you love, and in the places you love, too. Here’s a list of enjoyable and affordable events going on throughout the city where you can celebrate the holiday seasons with the community.
Lights in the Miller Valley: Dec. 13, 14, 20 and 21
Witnessing the Miller Valley lit up for the holidays is always a treat. Now in its 16th year, this free, family-friendly brewery tradition will continue in the two weekends leading up to Christmas.
The Holiday Lites tours start at the Miller Visitor Center, 4251 W. State St., and will run every 20 minutes from 4:40 p.m. to 9 p.m. Children of all ages are welcome, but strollers are not permitted on tour.
Click here for more information.
“Black Nativity”: Dec. 13-15
Milwaukee’s newest annual holiday musical is back. “Black Nativity,” Langston Hughes’ song play, is “a testament to the power of gospel music, telling the classic story of the Nativity through a combination of African American scripture, poetry, dance, and song,”
Directed by Antoine Reynolds, “Black Nativity” features a talented, all-local cast and crew.
Be sure to catch the final week of performances, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14 and at 3 p.m. Dec. 15. Click here for more information.
Caroling on North Avenue: Dec. 13
The Business Improvement District (BID) 32 will sponsor a free and fun caroling event 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 13 to bring good cheer to the business corridor. The event begins with hot chocolate and cookies at 11 a.m. at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, 2450 W. North Ave.
Carolers will begin their voyage at 11:15 a.m., walking east on North Avenue past Fond du Lac Avenue to 17th Street and stopping to sing at businesses along the way. Song sheets and jingle bells will be provided. For more information, see here.
The Holiday LITuation: Dec. 13
Young businesspeople of Milwaukee, this one is for you. Social X MKE, a young professional diversity and inclusion consulting group, is hosting a night of dancing and mingling at Walkers Lounge MKE, 626 S. 5th St., on Friday, Dec. 13. Toys or monetary donations for a local charity are encouraged. To RSVP and for toy donation suggestions, click here.
Christmas at the Basilica: Dec. 13, 14 and 15
The Bel Canto chorus is back for its Christmas in the Basilica concert, a favorite holiday tradition for many in Milwaukee. The concert will take place in the Basilica of St. Josaphat, 601 W. Lincoln Ave., on the following days:
Friday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14, at noon and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15 at 4 p.m.
Click here for more information and to buy your tickets.
The Longest Night service: Dec. 21
“If the holidays are a difficult time for you… if joy is hard to locate this year… if you heart bears the burden of grief” at Christmastime, this event welcomes you, reads the event details of this winter solstice service.
All members of the community are invited to “come as you are” and join in this service, which will occur on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 4 to 5 p.m. Individuals will gather at All Peoples Church, 2600 N. 2nd St., on this longest night of darkness for a quiet, reflective service.
Las Posadas: Dec. 20
The Farmhouse Paint Bar & Banquet Hall, 4511 S. 6th St., will celebrate the centuries-old holiday tradition of Las Posadas on Friday, Dec. 20, from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Las Posadas, meaning “The Inns,” was brought to Mexico from Spain by Catholic missionaries in the 1500s. It commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey in search of a room on the night baby Jesus was born and is celebrated throughout Mexico and some parts of the United States from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24.
Join in The Farmhouse’s celebration for dancing, singing, ponche, bolsitas, pinata and most importantly a nacimiento (nativity scene).
Honoring the winter solstice: Dec 21
Alice’s Garden, 2136 N. 21st St., will host an evening to honor the winter solstice on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Take a walk through the labyrinth or sit by the fire with provided refreshments to celebrate light and darkness of the solstice.
For more information, call Executive Director Venus Williams at (414) 687-0122.
Kwanzaa at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society: Dec. 26
The Wisconsin Black Historical Society, 2620 W. Center St., hosts the city’s largest Kwanzaa celebration. For 2019, the society’s celebration will focus on the 400th anniversary of African people’s arrival to this country, founding director Clayborn Benson III said.
Kwanzaa is a spiritual and cultural tradition rooted in seven principles, and “all of these principles are addressed to how and where I live, how I treat my brothers and sisters,” Benson said. “It’s a re-evaluation of who you are and how you can be the best person.”
Drumming, dancing, spoken word are just a few of the many celebrations community members will share from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 26.
Look for more details on the Society website in the weeks to come.
Bonus: Santa Claus is coming to town . . . and he’s making a couple of stops in our neighborhoods!
Santa in Silver City: Dec. 14
The big man himself will be at Velobahn Coffee & Cycle, 3618 W. Pierce St., on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bring the whole family for a free photo with Santa and enjoy holiday crafts, cookies and hot chocolate. For more information on this event, which the coffee shop will co-host with Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, see here.
Santa at Pete’s Fruit Market in Bronzeville: Dec. 14
Later that Saturday, Santa is off to the North Side to visit Pete’s Fruit Market, 2775 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. Stop in from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14 to say hello as you grab some groceries.
Think we missed your favorite holiday event happening this month? Comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.