Holiday highlights

November, 2017


     The Pabst Mansion’s hours are 10am-4pm Monday through Saturday and noon-4pm Sunday. Special hours are 10am-1:15pm (last entry) on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Holiday admission is $12.50 adults. Children 16 and under tour for free during the holiday season, sponsored by BMO Financial Group.

 Tours during the holiday season are self-guided, with last entry at 3:15pm daily. The mansion is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

     The season kicks off at the Pabst Mansion with a Christmas Preview Gala Nov. 16 from 6-7:30pm with champagne, hors d’oeuvres and silent auction. Tickets are $25 members and $40 non-members.

     Twilight Tours are Nov. 24 and Dec. 22, 6-8pm. Self-guided tours conclude with light refreshments and a live performance by zitherist, Kurt Eckroth, and vocalist, Megan Eckroth. Tickets are $15 adults and $8 children (6-17). Children under 6 are free.

 For special events reservations or more information, phone

(414) 931-0808 or visit


91st Annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade

Nov. 18

The 91st annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade on Nov. 18 steps off at 9:30am.

 This year, the parade features approximately 100 units, including bands, floats, 40-foot helium balloons, live animals, local TV and radio personalities, costumed characters and specialty vehicles like the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

 The parade route begins at 9:30am on Kilbourn Avenue and Astor Street, continues west to Old World 3rd Street, turns left and continues south to Wisconsin Avenue. The parade officially ends in front of The Shops of Grand Avenue, Old World 3rd Street and Wisconsin Avenue.

 Johnson Controls is the presenting sponsor of the parade.  Along the parade route, Johnson Controls employees will collect non-perishable food donations and monetary gifts to benefit Hunger Task Force’s Food for Families.

 This year, Fox6 will televise the parade with live coverage from 9:30-11am. The parade also will be rebroadcast on Fox6 on Christmas morning.

  For more information, including parking suggestions, visit


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Join the fun at Holiday Lights Festival

Kick-off Nov. 16

The six-week annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival, Nov. 16-Jan. 1, kicks off with a spectacular opening celebration on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 pm in Pere Marquette Park, 900 N. Plankinton Ave. Pre-show entertainment starts at 6pm.

     The kick-off event features live music, dance performances, a visit from Santa and a stunning fireworks show. Scheduled performers include Charles Walker Band (house band), Art Below Zero (Ice Carving Performance), Ocean Rush (Hawaiian themed song and dance), Jenny Thiel (Jazz Singer), Lex Allen (Soul Pop Singer), Anita’s Dance Center and more.

     Free cookies and cocoa will be available throughout the show, while supplies last. Fireworks synchronized to holiday songs top off the program and free Jingle Bus rides presented by Meijer operate from Pere Marquette Park, taking guests past all of downtown’s newly lit decorations.

     Don’t miss the dramatic chandeliers suspended above Wisconsin Avenue, as well as the festive décor in Santa’s Polar Palace (Pere Marquette Park), Community Spirit Park (Cathedral Square Park) and Downtown’s Yule Lounge (Zeidler Union Square).

 After opening night, the Jingle Bus presented by Meijer operates from 6pm to 8:20pm, Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 17-Dec. 30.

     The 40-minute tour is narrated by Milwaukee Downtown’s Public Service Ambassadors.

    Rides are $2 per person and depart from The Shops of Grand Avenue, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave. Discounted parking is available in the attached structure. The Jingle Bus will not operate on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve.

     Between Nov. 17 and Dec. 10, children can place their letter to Santa in Santa’s Mailbox located at Cathedral Square Park.

     With each letter including a return address, Santa and his special helpers will send a personalized reply in the mail. The letters program is presented by Interfaith Older Adult Programs, Inc.

     For information, phone (414) 220-4700 or visit


Holiday Display at Pabst Mansion

Nov. 17 - Jan. 7

The Captain Frederick Pabst Mansion, 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave., presents A Grand Avenue Christmas Nov. 17-Jan. 7.

Three floors of the mansion are elegantly transformed during this annual holiday tradition.