Destination Kenosha: Holiday Fun Ahead

11/14/2019 - Denise Bernacki

Holiday events in Kenosha, WI

It’s Christmas time in the city!  Well, almost. First comes Thanksgiving, but it's never too soon to start planning! This is my favorite time of year and Kenosha is overflowing with Christmas activities for the whole family.  Add your favorites to your calendar because soon it will be Christmas Day! The Visit Kenosha Calendar of Events is a great place to start planning your holiday fun.

The shoppers will be rushing home with their treasures from the UW-Parkside’s Winter Arts and Crafts Fair on November 23 from 10am to 4pm.  The area’s premier winter arts & crafts fair featuring 150+ vendors and attracting over 3,500 guests for holiday-time shopping!  It is SE Wisconsin/N Illinois shopper's extravaganza featuring talented artisans and crafters, music, an artisan raffle and silent auction, coat/package check, dining facilities, and free shuttle service from parking lots to the complex. Admission is free.

With children laughing and people passing, the Kenosha Public Library is having a Snow Dough Workshop for grade K-2 with registration required on November 25 from 4 to 5pm.  Get excited for winter by making and playing with cool sensory snow dough.

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, fight the crowd at the Artistry Giftable Art Show and Sale being held between November 27 and December 24 at the Lemon Street Gallery and Artspace: open Wednesdays 11am to 6pm, Thursdays 11am to 8pm, Fridays through Saturdays 11am to 6pm and Sundays 11am to 4pm. This month-long show and sale features locally made, one-of-a-kind art, that’s perfect for gift giving. Items could include jewelry, glass, ceramics, candles, handbags & accessories, needlework/textiles, pet items, and much more.

Dressed in holiday style, Lightin’ Up! Downtown is being held on November 29; the schedule is coming out soon.  Join in this holiday tradition as Downtown Kenosha lights up the town for the season! Festivities include our City’s Christmas Tree Lighting, shopping local, and more. Downtown businesses will stay open late and welcome you in for special sales and promotions, live entertainment, family-friendly activities and good old-fashioned holiday cheer!

In the air there will be a feeling of Christmas while you shop the Museums Gift Shop Sale going on from November 29 through December 1.  Enjoy 20% off purchase in the gift shops at the Kenosha Public Museum, Civil War Museum and Dinosaur Discovery Museum.

Meet smile after smile at Christmas at Kemper between November 30 and December 15.  Christmas at Kemper is a series of holiday events at the historic Kemper Center, which includes Durkee Mansion. Note: due to renovations at Anderson Arts Center, all of the events will be held at Kemper Center’s main campus (north of Anderson Arts Center) this year.  Specifically, the 23rd Annual Opening Night Gala will be held on November 30 at 6pm, the Gallery of Trees is from December 1 through 8, the Durkee Mansion Victorian Christmas Open House is from December 1 through 15, the Snowflake Jazz Free Concert will be on December 7 at 6pm and the Christmas Wonderland Ball is on December 14 at 7pm.

This is Santa’s big day at the Boy Scouts of America Troop 570 Breakfast with Santa on December 1 from 8am until Noon at the VFW.  Each ticket includes all you can eat pancakes, 2 sausages and a drink. Eggs to order and extras available. Bring a friend and come take pictures with Santa Claus!!  Tickets available at the door. $8 for ages 11 years & up / $5 for ages 5-10 years / Kids under 5 free.

You’ll hear silver bells at The Carthage Christmas Festival being held from December 6 through 8: Friday through Saturday at 7:30pm and on Sundays at 4pm.  Featuring the majestic sounds of the Fritsch Memorial Organ, the Carthage Christmas Festival follows the age-old tradition of retelling the Christmas story through lessons and carols. This year’s theme, “Light and Life to All,” comes from the third verse of the traditional carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Highlights include the world premiere of “Gaudete! Christus est natus,” an a cappella choral work by Slovenian composer Andrej Makor that Carthage commissioned for the occasion. The program also features the regional premiere of “Christus natus est,” a work for choir and orchestra by Rosephanye Powell with text from a poem by African-American poet Countee Cullen, a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Carthage Music Department ensembles participating in the Christmas Festival include the Chorale, Treble Choir, Lincoln Chamber Singers, Wind Orchestra, Philharmonic, and Choir, winner of the 2019 Spittal (Austria) International Choir Competition in June. The program concludes with the Service of Light, when the chapel fills with candlelight. The Christmas Festival is held in A. F. Siebert Chapel on the Carthage campus. Seating for the program is general admission, and the cost is $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased beginning at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 1 online, in person between noon and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the Fine Arts box office, or by calling 262-551-6661. A holiday buffet is offered before the Friday and Saturday evening concerts, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Cost for the buffet is $35 per person, which includes a ticket to that night’s performance.  Free parking will be available on campus, and a shuttle service will operate before and after each performance to transport guests between the visitor lots and the concert venue.  In addition, the H. F. Johnson Gallery of Art will be open one hour before each Christmas Festival performance.

You will be saying “I believe” just like little Susan Walker when you see the Lakeside Players: Miracle on 34th St. - A Live Musical Radio Play on December 6-8 or December 13-15: Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and on Sunday at 2pm.  When a department store Santa claims he's the real Kris Kringle, his case gets taken all the way to the Supreme Court and a little girl's belief makes the difference in the 'miracle.' With live Foley effects and a score of Holiday Carols, Miracle on 34th Street is a beloved musical that will melt even the most cynical of hearts.  A Mainstage Series production. Tickets $11-$14.

“It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas” at the Trees on Parade and Holiday Shopping event on December 6 from 4-8pm and December 7 from 10am-5pm at St. John’s Community Center. featuring crafters, retail vendors, Tree Decorating Contest, Gingerbread Contest, Ugly Sweater Contest, and more family activities.

Hear the snow crunch (maybe) and see the kids bunch at the Kenosha HarborHoliday - International Market and Festival on December 7 and 8 from 10am until 4pm.  Join us for an expanded two-day event that showcases the celebrations and flavors of the holiday season across cultures. Enjoy a special edition of Kenosha HarborMarket in two outdoor heated tents east of the museums, the Kenosha Public Museum's annual International Holiday Faire, The Civil War Museum's Victorian Christmas celebration, and family activities provided by the Kenosha Public Library, free rides with storytellers aboard the electric streetcars, art activities, and much more.

Celebrate the Holidays at the Jelly Belly Visitor Center on December 7 from 1 to 3pm for family fun!

Blinkin’ bright red and green, shop the Holiday Boutique Sale on December 7 from 9am until 3pm.  Find unique, hand-crafted holiday gifts, wreaths & sprays made from natural materials gathered on the grounds of Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary & Arboretum. Plus, fresh greens and pinecones, etc. will be available for your own crafting. Stock up on homemade cookies, cakes and candies packaged and perfect for gifts, or for your own holiday table.

Adults and teens can be In The Making at the Kenosha Public Library and create Book Page Wreaths on December 11 from 2 to 4pm.  Make ALL the things!  Come on out to DIY, chat, and reap the many benefits of crafting - stress relief, dexterity, and a sense of accomplishment, not to mention having something to take home with you. Supplies are limited. Spaces are first come, first serve.

Families head to the Kenosha Public Library on December 14 from 10am to Noon for the Battle Gingerbread: Storybook event.  Put your building skills to the test and register your team to build a gingerbread creation with our supplies. Limit of 12 teams with no more than 6 people per team. Registration required. Registration opens 2 weeks before the event. Please call Youth Services at (262) 564-6150 to register.

It’s the Jingle Bell Bounce at the Kenosha Public Library on December 14 from 1-2pm.  Bounce along to classic holiday tunes and make a keepsake craft to give as a gift. For ages 0-3 with a caregiver.

And above all this bustle you hear the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra Concert: Celebrating the Holidays on December 14 at 3pm at the Ralph J. Houghton Performance Center at Reuther High School.  Featured in this concert are guest performers from the Kenosha Academy of Performing Arts, dancing Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite No. 1, and the Kenosha Chamber Choir. This concert showcases classic holiday favorites that audience members of all ages will enjoy!

A Kenosha Pops Christmas is on December 14 at 7pm at Carthage College.  The Kenosha Pops Concert Band returns to beautiful Siebert Chapel to bring you the sounds of the season in our 17th Christmas Concert. Free.

No need to head for Pennsylvania for some homemade pie!  Elsie Mae’s Bakery & Cannery’s Holiday Pie Tasting is on December14 from 10am until 6pm.  Try all the flavors so you're prepared to pick your favorites for the Holidays. 3" cutie pies of all flavors are available - 4 for $10.

The 15th Annual Messiah Sing-Along at the First United Methodist Church of Kenosha is on December 15 at 6pm.  Join your voice with director Gregory Berg, soloists, and the Festival Arts Chamber Orchestra for our 15th Annual Community Messiah Sing-Along. Enjoy the glittering lights, candles, and Handel’s glorious music. Bring your own score, or we’ll provide one. This will be a highlight of your holiday season!

What’s better than snow?  Snow Slime of course!  On December 18 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm at the Kenosha Public Library, kids in grades 3-5 can whip up a batch in this ooey gooey class. Registration required. Registration opens 2 weeks before class.

Swans, geese, calling birds, french hens, turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree…count them all at the Kenosha County Christmas Bird Count at the Pringle Nature Center on December 21 all day.  Join birders on foot and by vehicle (or even looking out your window at your feeders!) for part of or the whole day as we count all birds we find in various habitats in eastern Kenosha county. Every effort will be made to pair new field observers with more experienced birders within designated count areas. Please register so we can assign you an area. Free.

I hope that we can plan on you calling Kenosha “home” sometime this holiday season.  We will have snow and mistletoe and there’s definitely lots of unique shopping opportunities for you to bring presents home to place under the tree.  Visit Kenosha this Christmas and discover where your love light gleams - make a long weekend of it, we're your home away from home for the holidays.

Community Blog Team 2018

Denise Bernacki

Community Blogger

Brand new Kenosha resident – just relocated here Fall 2017 from NW Indiana. Touring Kenosha for the first time along with my husband and 3-year-old son.