Free things to do in Milwaukee in December

December brings holidays, family fun and lots of travel. This can create stress, and who needs more stress! Here is a list of fun and free things to do in Milwaukee to help us all through the month:

Holiday Lights Downtown Milwaukee​

  •  The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival starts in November and runs through the whole month of December. Downtown Milwaukee will be covered in more than 500,000 lights, creating a beautiful winter wonderland you won’t want to miss. If you have little ones excited to see Santa, bring them to Cocoa with the Clauses! Head to Cathedral Square Park at 520 E. Wells St. On Saturday, December 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free hot cocoa, cookies, face painting and, of course, Santa & Mrs. Claus.
  • You’ll find music, cocoa cocktails, carriage rides, fireworks, and more at Christmas in the Ward. It all kicks off in the 3rd Ward on Friday, December 1 at 5:30 p.m with a performance by the Milwaukee Police Band.

Candy Cane Lane.png​

  • If you’ve never driven through Candy Cane Lane in West Allis, now is the time! From 96th Street to 92nd, Montana Ave to Oklahoma Ave, you will see the streets lit up and covered with holiday joy. There are special appearances throughout the month, and although it is free, they do collect donations for MACC (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer).
  • Aren’t in the holiday spirit? Like video games? Have we got an idea for you! Hamburger Mary’s Beercade is filled with arcade games and you can play them for free! You can find the Beercade on the corner of S. 5th Street and W. National Ave.
  • If you’re on the lookout for great live music, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is the place to be! There are multiple free shows every week with amazing acts covering all music genres from classic rock to country to jazz and soul. You can see amazing performers like John King, Christopher’s Project, and 3D. Check out the full list of upcoming acts at

We can all use a little free fun! We hope this lists gives you a few ideas to avoid the stress that December can bring.