The coronavirus pandemic may have stopped a lot of things, but it can’t stop the holidays. This year, although there may not be any large gatherings and social interactions are reserved for Zoom, there are still some things you can do to get into the holiday spirit.
While some organizations have canceled their annual events, others have shifted to a virtual format or are requiring masks and social distancing.
From candlelight hikes to meal kits, below is a list of holiday-related events and information to make sure your holiday season remains joyful.
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The City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County have teamed up once again to host the 13th annual holiday drive. This year, donations will be made to Hope House of Milwaukee and the Guest House of Milwaukee. Items needed include household necessities, essential clothing items, baby supplies, nonperishable food items and more. Each group has made an Amazon Wish List. Click here for Hope House and here for Guest House. Monetary donations can be made to the drive’s GoFundMe page or checks can be addressed to the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation and mailed to: Attn: Nick Ramos, City Hall, 200 E. Wells St., Room 201, Milwaukee, WI 53202.
Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival: Ongoing
Milwaukee’s annual Holiday Lights Festival has returned for another year. As usual, Cathedral Square, 520 E. Wells St., Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. and Zeidler Union Square, 301 W. Michigan Ave., will be decorated in colorful lights through Friday, Jan. 1. The spacious parks allow for visitors to practice social distancing while still enjoying the festivities.
Candlelight walk: Urban Ecology Center: Saturday, Dec. 5 and Friday, Dec. 18
The Urban Ecology Center’s Riverside location, 1500 E. Park Place, is celebrating the winter solstice with a candlelight walk through Riverside Park. There is a walk scheduled for children from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5 and a walk scheduled for adults from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18. Walks are scheduled for every 30 minutes with the first beginning at 4 p.m. and the last at 8:30 p.m. To register, click here.
Winter Wonder Woods: Milwaukee Recreation: Friday, Dec. 11, Saturday, Dec. 12, Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19
Milwaukee Recreation and the Hawthorn Glen Outdoor Education Center, 1130 N. 60th St., are inviting you to walk through its Winter Wonder Woods. The Winter Wonder Woods are open for exploration from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, Saturday, Dec. 12, Friday, Dec. 18 and Saturday, Dec. 19. Admission is $3 per person and registration is required.
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin and its partners will be distributing food at the Isaac Coggs Health Center, 8200 W. Silver Spring Drive, from noon to 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18. Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first- served basis. The event is open to the public. There is a limit of one box per vehicle. People must remain in their vehicles and have room in the car to accommodate a box of food.
Milwaukee Health Services holiday dinner giveaway: Friday, Dec. 18
The Milwaukee Health Services is hosting a holiday dinner and COVID-19 safety kit giveaway. The giveaway is drive-thru service only and will take place at the Isaac Coggs Heritage Health center, 8200 W. Silver Spring Dr., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or until supplies lasts on Friday, Dec. 18. For additional information, contact Pamela Clark at 414-267-2655.
Winter coats and gear drive and giveaway: Thursday, Dec. 17 and Sunday, Dec. 20
Dream Team United MKE is collecting winter coats and gear from now until Thursday, Dec. 17. The group is looking for donations of new coats in all sizes and winter gear items such as hats, scarves and gloves. The donation locations are Parklawn Assembly of God, 3725 N. Sherman Blvd.; Rise & Grind , 3536 W. Fond du Lac Ave.; Gentle Hands, 6815 W. Capitol Dr., and KGSCTC, 1862 W. Fond du Lac Ave. Check the flyer for when you can drop off donations, times vary depending on location. Donations will be distributed at KGSCTC, 1862 W. Fond du Lac Ave., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20.
Salvation Army Christmas Family Feast: Friday, Dec. 25
As is tradition, the Salvation Army is continuing its annual Christmas Family Feast. Instead of a large gathering, people can come and pick up take-out meals. It is a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free and open to the public and people do not need to sign up in advance. The meals will be available to pick up at the Wisconsin Center District, 555 W. Wells St., from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 25.