Thanks to Madison Mom's Blog, here's a compiled list of some of Madison Area's Holiday Events! Bundle up and get out there to enjoy this fun time of year!

Holiday Fantasy in Lights & Hayrides– Madison
November 18th – January 2nd
Olin Park

The lights go on each evening at 4 pm through January 2nd at Olin Park. Free Admission.

Holiday Tree LightingMiddleton
November 18th

Join us in downtown Middleton for the annual City of Middleton Holiday Tree Lighting event! This is a FREE event for the whole family! See website for a listing of events and times.

Madison Moms Blog Meet Us at Hilldale: A Special Holiday Event featuring The GrinchHilldale
November 18th

We are so excited to continue our playdate series with a special event in November! In collaboration with The Overture Center, this month’s special event will feature the sneaky, conniving, holiday-hater himself: The Grinch! Join us for a playdate you won’t want to miss featuring many grinch-ly activities, treats and photo opportunities! 

Zoo LightsMadison
November 24th – December 31st
Henry Vilas Zoo

See the zoo in a whole new light! This holiday season, your Henry Vilas Zoo will shine brighter than ever as we bring Zoo Lights to Madison! Enjoy a warm beverage as you take a stroll down candy cane lane and enjoy the festive sights and sounds. Thousands of lights will transform the zoo into a winter wonderland that’s not to be missed.


Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: 5:30 – 9pm

*closed Dec. 24-25
**open every night of Winter Break (Dec. 26- Dec. 31)

Santa & Carousel: 5:30 – 8pm nightly

Admission: $7 per person (children under 3 are admitted for free)

Family 4-packs will be available (2 Adults, 2 Kids) for $24/night
Season passes will be available (2 Adults, 2 Kids)for  $44
All tickets, except season passes, will be sold on-site at the gates the night-of.

Holiday Tree Lighting and Fire Truck ParadeSun Prairie
November 24th
Parade at 6PM

Fire trucks from area communities decorate their vehicles in holiday splendor and take a trip down Main Street. They will park on Main Street so that you can get up close and personal with the firemen. It’s quite a sight!

4th Annual Tree Lighting CelebrationMadison
November 24th
2pm – 8pm
The Edgewater 

Take in the sights and sounds of the holidays as we kick off the holiday season with a joyous afternoon and evening full of free, family-friendly events. The Grand Plaza at The Edgewater plays host to the Fourth Annual Holiday Tree Lighting.

Holiday Open House Downtown Madison
November 24th – 26th
State Street & Capitol Square

Holiday Fun! Great Shopping! Family Shows and Activities, Trolley Rides & Welcome Bags, plus Special Offers and Refreshments from Participating Merchants.

Pictures with SantaDreamBank Madison
November 24th, 25th
December 2nd, 9th, 16th
10 AM – 1PM 

Hop the Downtown Holiday Trolley and head to DreamBank with the family for free hot cocoa, a holiday crafting workshop and photos with Santa! Crafting and cocoa are available all day and photos with Santa will be on a first-come first-serve basis. Here’s a holiday tip: Don’t forget to grab your welcome bag of shopping coupons on the Holiday Trolley – courtesy of DreamBank!

Holiday CraftingDreamBank
November 25th
December 2nd, 9th, 16th

Hop the Downtown Holiday Trolley and head to DreamBank with the family for free hot cocoa, a holiday crafting workshop and photos with Santa! Crafting and cocoa are available all day, but be sure to check out our event times for pictures with Santa! Here’s a holiday tip: Don’t forget to grab your welcome bag of shopping coupons on the Holiday Trolley – courtesy of DreamBank!

Wollersheim Winery’s “A Vintage Christmas”Sauk City
November 25th

Experience old-world charm as you prepare for Christmas! We welcome you to enjoy the spirit of the holiday.

The Polar Express Storytime Barnes & Noble East & West Towne
December 1st

All aboard! Come in your PJs and join us for a magical evening as we host our annual Storytime of the beloved classic The Polar Express. Coloring and activities to follow.

A Madison Symphony ChristmasOverture Lobby
December 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Times Vary

This family-friendly celebration is a perfect way to start the holiday season—a beloved community tradition that will send your spirits soaring. Come 45 minutes early and enjoy Christmas carols sung by the Madison Symphony Chorus in the magically lit Overture lobby!

Holiday Tours at Governor’s MansionMadison
December 2nd, 6th, 7th, 9th, 13th, 14th
Times vary

Visit and tour the beautiful executive residence while it is decked out for Christmas. They offer holiday open house tours, free of admission, featuring views of the main rooms on the first floor.

PJ’s + Pancakes with SantaThe Edgewater
December 2nd
9AM – 11AM

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas here at The Edgewater. Put on your favorite PJs and enjoy breakfast with Santa! (Tickets needed)

Classic Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Cambridge
December 2nd

Gather family and friends for the annual tree lighting ceremony at Veteran’s Park on SATURDAY, December 2 at 5 p.m. Come early for carols, hot cocoa and fun! See Mr. and Mrs. Claus before they head off to the North Pole until Christmas. Letters for Santa can be dropped at the mail box on the corner by Plow Restaurant.

Olbrich’s Holiday ExpressMadison
December 2nd – 31st
Closes at 2 p.m. December 24th & Closed all day December 25th

Olbrich’s atrium is transformed into a winter wonderland, with large-scale model trains winding through colorful candy theme display and hundreds of bright poinsettias.

Breakfast with SantaCambridge
December 3rd
8-11 AM

Breakfast With Santa will be served at Cambridge Elementary School from 8 to 11 am on Sunday, December 3rd. Bring the kids, but who are we kidding? It’s Santa! It’s breakfast! It’s perfect for the kid in all of us!

Waffles with the Santa & The GrinchMadison
December 9th & 16th
8AM, 9:30AM
Dream House | Dream Kitchens

Admission includes a waffle breakfast (gluten-free waffles available), refreshments, professional photos with Santa & the Grinch (digital photos will be available for purchase), themed glitter tattoo, and craft projects. (Tickets needed)

Breakfast with SantaMonona
December 9th
8AM, 9AM, 10AM
Monona Community Center

Join Monona Parks & Recreation’s annual Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 9 and see the Monona Community Center transformed into a winter wonderland. Reserved seating is available for 8:00, 9:00, and 10:00 am with pre-purchased tickets. Santa and Mrs. Clause will be available for photos throughout the morning. The Friends of the Monona Senior Center have a special arts and crafts present-making workshop, and there will be horse drawn carriage rides (weather permitting). (Tickets needed)

Bucky’s Breakfast with SantaThe Edgewater
December 9th

You won’t want to miss this uniquely Madison tradition. Enjoy breakfast with Bucky Badger & Santa on December 9th complete with holiday fun for the whole family. (Tickets needed)