Welcome Winter with Trail Community Fun

Cross Plains 2019 Winter Solstice Hike. Photo by Cameron Gillie
Cross Plains 2019 Winter Solstice Hike. Photo by Cameron Gillie

As the air grows chilly and snow begins to appear in the forecast, it can be tempting to huddle indoors.

But don’t close the shutters till spring just yet!

Our Trail Communities are proving there are many opportunities to get out and into the festive spirit throughout the month. Venture out and enjoy the lights, the snacks, and the community at any of these upcoming events!

St. Croix Falls

Saturday, December 4

River Town Holiday

11 am – 6 pm

Get festive in downtown St. Croix Falls! Visit with Santa, Anna, Elsa & Olaf, watch the dog Christmas costume contest, shop unique local stores, snap some holiday photos in front of the giant Christmas tree, enjoy caroling, snacks and warm beverages. At 5 pm gather round the fire at the Overlook to watch the sky light up with a winter fireworks display!


Saturday, December 11

Kids Community Christmas Event

11 am – 1 pm

Bring the family for lunch, games, prizes, cookie decorating, face-painting, story-time with Mrs. Claus, pictures with Santa, and a toy to take home!

Take a stroll or drive through a winter wonderland display of life size holiday cards.


Sunday, December 12 – Saturday, January 1

Winter Wonderland Life Size Holiday Card Display

Take a stroll or drive through a winter wonderland display of life size holiday cards.


Saturday, December 11

Lodi Holiday Parade

6 pm

Watch the procession of festive holiday floats, then enjoy s’mores and caroling as you warm up next to the fire.

Saturday, December 18

Full Moon Hike with Santa

7 pm – 8:30 pm

Bring the family for a moonlit stroll with Santa, hosted by the Lodi Valley Chapter of the Ice Age Trail Alliance! Bring your sweet tooth as well, as there will be hot cocoa and candy canes.

Cross Plains

Saturday, December 4

Light Up Cross Plains

2:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Celebrate your way. Enjoy cookie decorating and/or a winter hike led by the Ice Age Trail Alliance. Then, witness the tree lighting, either in town snuggled around a cozy fire, or up on high at the Hickory Hill lookout after your hike.


Friday, December 3

Hometown Holidays Tree Lighting & Chili-Supper

4 pm – 7 pm

Stay warm with a hardy drive-thru chili supper, and kick-off the holiday season with a festive tree-lighting ceremony.

Saturday, December 4

Saturday Morning with Santa

9:30 am – 11:30 am

Come visit Santa! Enjoy face painting and a balloon artist as you wait to visit with Santa.

Saturday, December 11

Reindeer Live!

2 pm – 5 pm

Bring the family out for an afternoon of live music, crafts, a bake sale, a strolling Santa & Mrs.Claus, and the headliner of this event – reindeer! Take a pic with these harbingers of the holiday season.


Friday, December 3 – Sunday, December 5

Janesville’s Jolly Jingle

Exclusively on Friday: Tree Lighting and Holiday Fireworks!

Other festive events throughout the weekend: holiday art show & sale, s’mores and cocoa, jingle bell hunt, build your own winter wonderland, take & make crafts, holiday light show & parade, trolley rides, stories with Santa & Mrs. Claus, story walk, public skating, ice show, screening of Scrooge, and MORE!


Sunday, December 5

Wreaths on Parade

1 pm – 3 pm

Enjoy a glass of wine and appetizers while viewing over 20 wreaths. Bid on your favorite during the live auction for a chance to take your favorite wreath home with you!

Show of Lights

4 pm – 8 pm

Take a driving tour through Milton and marvel at the city decked out with lights and holiday decorations. Homes and businesses will be lit up with cheery displays.

Milton Community Tree Lighting

6 pm

Stay warm with hot cocoa while watching the annual tree lighting. Visit with Santa, and personalize an ornament to add to the tree.

Find even more holiday events in Milton


Friday, December 3

Parade of Lights “Storybook Christmas”

4 pm – 7 pm

Visit with Santa, add an ornament to the Positivi-Tree, and enjoy s’mores and cocoa ahead of the parade. Prepare to take in the Parade of Lights at 6 pm. Warm up afterwards with a free chili dinner.


December 3, 10 & 17

Frosty Friday Night Shopping

1 pm – 8 pm

Enjoy shopping on Friday evenings amongst lights and holiday cheer in Delafield! Some stores will have holiday specials.


Friday, December 3

Hartland Lights

6 pm – 9 pm

Kick things off with a tree lighting and caroling, then stick around for fun activities around town the whole family can enjoy, including: photos with Santa, live theatrical production of A Christmas Carol, take & make crafts, discounts at local stores, hor d’oeuvres, refreshments, and drinking and dining specials.


Friday, December 3

Community Park Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

5:45 pm

Sip hot cocoa or apple cider while listening to live music and watching the tree lighting ceremony.

West Bend

Thursday, December 2 – Friday, December 24

Enchantment in the Park

5 pm – 9 pm

Walk or drive through the light display, wonder at the 60′ Christmas Tree -the tallest in Wisconsin, enjoy s’mores, cocoa and snacks around the fire, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, and visit with Santa.

Manitowoc – Two Rivers

Saturday, December 18

City-to-City Candy Cane Hunt

9 am – 3 pm

Explore the parks of Manitowoc and Two Rivers (some of which are right along the Ice Age Trail) as you hunt for candy canes!

Sturgeon Bay

Saturday, November 13 – Sunday, January 2

Merry-Time Festival of Trees

10 am – 5 pm

Visit the Door County Maritime Museum decked out in holiday splendor. Purchase raffle tickets for a chance to take home one of the magnificent decorations scattered throughout the museum. Winning raffle tickets will be drawn at the Jingle Mixer Gala on December 14. Trees will be on display through the end of the festival.

The Ice Age Trail Community program is a symbiotic relationship between the Ice Age Trail Alliance and local Wisconsin communities. It aims to enhance awareness of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, and promote the natural and cultural heritage of Wisconsin along the Ice Age Trail.