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'Tis the season. Celebrate the entire holiday season in the Fox Cities at these community events and more.
From the largest nighttime parade in the Midwest to carriage rides through historic downtowns, Fox Cities holiday events will help you celebrate the season, now through Christmas and beyond.
Kick off the holiday season in downtown Appleton at Light Up Night on Friday, November 23 from 4-8 p.m. Join the Trout Museum of Art and Appleton Downtown Inc. for a fun-filled, family-oriented Christmas celebration taking place in Houdini Plaza.
Don’t miss the largest Holiday nighttime parade in the Midwest! Head downtown Appleton on Tuesday, November 26; parade start time is about 7 p.m., but get there early if you want a good spot. The Santa Scamper 1-mile fun run will kick off the event at 6:40 p.m. with parade to follow.
Start off your Thanksgiving Day in downtown Appleton at the Turkey Trot. The 12th Annual Festival Foods Turkey Trot will start promptly at 8 a.m. with a wave start. Choose from a variety of run/walk distances at this event.
Shop local on Saturday, November 30. Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. Shop unique clothing boutiques, great gourmet coffee shops, a variety of places to eat, and fun entertainment options, all while enjoying lots of special offers, refreshments, and the opportunity to win gift certificates!
Get in the Christmas spirit Tuesday, December 3, in Downtown Kaukauna with holiday-themed floats by community organizations and businesses. Stop by the Community Room at the Old City Hall after the parade for cookies and hot chocolate with Santa.
Celebrate the season in Neenah on Friday, December 6. Storefronts transform into live mannequin displays featuring holiday and winter scenes. Enjoy family activities, carriage rides, caroling, a visit from Santa, and more in this picturesque downtown.
Tour the historic Grignon Mansion in Kaukauna December 7-8 and December 14-15. Visit the mansion for a traditional Christmas celebration, tour the mansion by candlelight, enjoy live music, cookie decorating, carriage rides, wassail (hot cider), and milk punch (eggnog).
Enjoy tours of the mansion every Friday in December from 6-8 p.m. Every room of Hearthstone is filled with old-fashion holiday cheer and decorations. This year’s theme is “Sugar Plums,” but Santa was not forgotten. Santa and the many other Christmas traditions that we embrace today, which started in Victorian America and England, will be on display.
Bring your kids out to Heckrodt Wetland Reserve on Saturday, December 7 for their Children’s Gift Workshop. Kids can make up to six gifts; volunteers will wrap for them. Enjoy cookies and hot cocoa while creating the gifts! Registration is required, and cost is $10/child.
Enjoy games & activities, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus, visit with Santa, and let your kids shop at the One Stop Elf Shop. Stop at the Holiday Handcrafted Gift Market inside City Center as a special feature of the Farm Market 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.! Don't miss the horse-drawn wagon rides happening throughout the day behind City Center.
Walk the illuminated Memorial Park Trail at Sunset Park in Kimberly on Sunday, December 1 from 6-7:30 p.m. for their Christmas at the Pond celebration. Purchase a red bag luminary to add your holiday spirit to the trail. Enjoy activities, s’mores stations along the trail, holiday caroling, light displays, and holiday treats.
A spectacular Broadway-style, holiday-themed extravaganza featuring singers, dancers, and actors across all age ranges. Over one thousand gorgeous costumes, beautiful sets, lighting, and staging make Christmas Stars one of the Midwest’s premier holiday performances! Shows will be held at Xavier Fine Arts Theater December 5-8 and 12-15.
Enjoy a hayride through the beautifully decorated streets of Menasha December 7 from 5-9 p.m. Visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the reindeer, and sample hot beverages and cookies. Cost is $2 per ticket. Ages two and under are free, and no ticket is required. Hayrides will depart from the Memorial Building.
Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with Christmas at the Chapel on Saturday, December 21 at Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Listen to Christmas carols, hymns, and songs performed by the newVoice’s Choir featuring Lawrence Academy of Music’s Young Men’s Choir. Show times are 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
With all of this great holiday and Christmas fun, make night, weekend, or whole week of exploring the Fox Cities this season. Visit our accommodations pages to find a "home away from home" in the Fox Cities for a night, weekend, or week.
For a full list of Fox Cities events, click here.