(Madison, WI): We’ve rounded up the tree lighting ceremonies and events in and around Madison, WI this holiday season! If there is something we missed – please let us know in the comments below or by emailing [email protected]. The events are listed in order by date.

Tis the season!


November 18, 2023 – January 8, 2024

During the November Night Market, downtown Madison will shine bright. Enjoy live music, and shop a variety of market vendors and downtown stores. 

DETAILS: Website

North Pole Party at Hilldale

November 19 | 3pm-6pm

  • 3:00 – 5:30 PM: Pose for a photo with the reindeer pulling their sleigh on the Green near L.L. Bean
  • Bring joy to the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County during their toy drive. Please consider donating new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages; click here to learn more about their holiday drives. Drop your donation with their team in the atrium in front of Macy’s.
  • From 3-5 PM, kids can stop by Creando Exploratorium‘s creation station featuring a balloon artist, arts and crafts and goodie bags.
  • In the atrium in front of Macy’s, kids of all ages can get crafty creating festive ornaments adorned with jingle bells to welcome Santa and take home a piece of holiday magic.
  • Visit Paper Source to write a letter to Santa and create crafts. Don’t forget to drop your letter in the mailbox in the atrium in front of Macy’s for delivery to the North Pole!
  • Keep an eye out for Santa from 4-6 PM as he strolls through Hilldale.
  • Sing along to classic songs with the Capitol City Theatre carolers from 3-5:30 PM.
  • Meet Nutcracker dancers from the Monona Academy of Dance at Kendra Scott. 20% of sales during the event will be donated to the Academy.
  • Find the Selfie Stand near the 30-foot tree by Café Hollander and capture your perfect holiday selfie.
  • Follow the serenade of saxophonist Jonathan Hoel from 5:30-6 PM as he leads Santa to The Plaza. Then, gather ’round just before 6 PM as Josh Spreiter from “In The 608” welcomes Santa to count down to the magical lighting of our 30-foot tree to officially kick off the holiday season!


8th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting at The Edgewater

November 24 | 4pm-10pm

Join us for our 9th annual Holiday Tree Lighting, Friday, November 24. This special tradition will feature fun for the entire family.

Event is free and open to the public, food and beverage will be available for purchase.


Light the Ice in Monona

November 24, 5:30-7:30pm

Monona’s RiverRink transforms into a winter wonderland with 10,000 lights strung on a 20-foot-tall tree. Join for the tree lighting, plus light displays, hot chocolate and ice skating.

5:30 – 7:30 pm Carolers
5:30 – 7:00 pm Stilt Walkers
6:00 pm Lighting Ceremony
6:00 – 7:00 pm Aerial Yogis


Downtown Sun Prairie Fire & Lights Holiday Parade

November 25 | 5:30pm-7pm

Firetrucks dress in their holiday best as they lead the parade to a tree-lighting celebration with Santa.

More Details

Downtown Middleton

November 25

The City of Middleton is planning a “Light the Green” event at Stone Horse Green in downtown Middleton (just off Hubbard Avenue).


November 29

Celebrate the Third Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 29th in Fireman’s Park. The event will run from 5:00pm to 7:00pm with a special visitor from the North Pole and more!


Victorian Holiday Weekend in Stoughton

November 30- December 3

Stoughton’s weekend-long holiday celebration is overflowing with old-world charm. The annual lighting of the Love light Tree kicks off a weekend of music, artisanal shopping, local food and more.


Holiday Tree Lighting in New Glarus 

December 1 | 6:30pm

Kick off the season of delights in downtown New Glarus at our Holiday Tree Lighting. Enjoy the enchanting sights ­— historic Swiss architecture, shops aglow, old fashioned street lights, the majestic Depot pine festively trimmed for the season ­­— as well as festive alphorns!

More Details


Tree Lighting Community Night in Oregon

December 1 | 6:00-7:30pm

Santa rides into town on a firetruck to light Oregon’s holiday tree. Afterward, head to the local fire station for a chili dinner and photos with Santa.


Waunakee Light the Night 

December 1 | 6:30-8pm

The light parade and Santa will come down Main Street at 6:30pm. Rotary lights, downtown shopping and more!


Wisconsin Capitol Holiday Tree Lighting

December 2, Noon-1pm

Join inside the Capitol Rotunda for an hour-long presentation with remarks from the Governor and music from a youth choir. Learn where this year’s giant tree is from, and see the ornaments created by kids from across Wisconsin.

Cottage Grove | Christmas in the Grove

December 1-3 | 3:30pm-6pm


Janesville Jolly Jingle

December 1-3

Ring in the holiday season with this fun family weekend in Janesville, Wisconsin, featuring a wide variety of activities for all ages including ice skating, a lighted parade, live theater, fireworks, a tree lighting, fun run, family entertainment, kids activities and more.  Most activities are free or low cost.

Consider making it a getaway weekend
by staying over at one of our comfortable lodging options.

Janesville’s Jolly Jingle is held annually the first weekend in December.


Hometown Holidays in Verona

December 2


December 2


Best Places to Cruise for Christmas Lights

Fantasy In Lights

Olin Park, 1156 Olin-Turville Court, Madison
November 11 – the New Year; Dawn to Dusk | FREE

Over 50 light displays, including many new items will be brought out to the park and set up for all to enjoy. Booths are open (think candy canes!) from 4:30 – 10:00 pm each evening!

More details.

Hickory Hill Academy

Open to the public through the end of the year – cars are welcome to pull into the parking lot and view from there.

3276 S. High Point Road | Madison, WI


Zoo Lights | Henry Vilas Zoo

Zoo Lights is open from 5:30pm – 8:30pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between November 24 – December 30. It takes approximately one hour to walk through the whole Zoo and see all the lights.

More details.

University Avenue at University Bay Drive, Madison

Photo Credit: Jon Pfeiffer Photography | University Avenue

Rotary Botanical Gardens Holiday Light Show

1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville

More details.

Photo by Tom Rife Photography | Rotary Botanical Gardens, Janesville

Rotary Lights, Waunakee

500 E. Main Street, Waunakee 

Waunakee’s Village Park transforms into a winter wonderland with light-lined streets and holiday displays. Enjoy the lights either on foot or from your car.

Madison Family
Madison is such a cool city. We love it around here. We live here too and our vision is to create a platform where real parents share real stories and we can all learn from one another. You will get to know real moms doing life right here in our neighborhoods and find information on a wealth of topics – local summer camps, preschools, swim lessons, shops and boutiques, events and experiences as so much more.


    • Tracy, your address didn’t come up for me in Google. I’d love to check out your house, maybe your street name was autocorrected?

  1. If you get to the East Side of Madison. Our display is pretty nice. It’s the biggest it’s been so far and we have a steady flow of people every night. 2926 Sachs Street just off N Marquette St

  2. We have a large blow mold display. 3766 Sunburst Rd. Madison. About a mile from American Family Insurance. American Parkway turns into Rattman Rd at 4 way stop. Then 2nd development on the left at top of hill. There is another large display farther down on Rattman Rd.


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