Hang on to your tinsel and grab your mittens, because the season of holiday entertainment is about to kick into high gear.
Thanksgiving weekend brings with it the start of some of the Green Bay area’s biggest, brightest and most festive events, indoors and out. Here’s a guide to get you started on all the Christmas merriment in the weeks ahead.
Winter Jubilee Light Show
When/where: Debuts at 6 p.m. Friday and plays every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 26-27, Dec. 3-4, Dec. 10, Dec. 17-18, Dec. 22-24, Dec. 26-30 and 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11 on the west facade of Lambeau Field.
Details: The free 7-minute projection show features holiday-themed lights, music, animation, lasers and fireworks. Best spots to watch are from the Titletown District Plaza on Ridge Road or Lots 5 and 6 at Lambeau Field. While you’re there, stroll through the wonderland of white lights strung on the many trees around Titletown’s ice rink and throughout the grounds. The Winter Jubilee Warm Up from 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday features music, fire pits, reindeer photo ops, fireside drinks, holiday crafts and other fun at Titletown. Full schedule at titletown.com.
WPS Garden of Lights
When/where: Opens Friday and runs 4:30 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23 as well as Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 1 at Green Bay Botanical Garden, 2600 Larsen Road.
Details: More than 325,000 lights in nature-themed displays throughout the gardens can be viewed by walking 1.5 miles of trails or taking a horse-drawn wagon ride. Visitors are required to buy tickets in advance for a specific date and entry time at gbbg.org to limit capacity and spread out crowds during the 4½ hours the lights are on. Entry times are every 30 minutes beginning at 4:30 p.m. and ending at 8:30 p.m. (7 p.m. for wagon rides).
Prices vary by night and whether walking or taking a wagon ride. Value-night walking tickets are $12 for ages 13 and older and $5 for ages 3-12. Value-night wagon ride tickets are $17 for ages 13 and older and $10 for ages 3-12. All tickets are $3 more on designated peak nights. Ages 2 and younger enter free with advance reservations.
Family Night is 4:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday. Children 12 and younger get in free with one paid adult ticket and get a free take-home craft kit. All reservations must be made in advance. Wagon rides are not part of Family Night pricing.
CityDeck and Downtown Lights
When/where: Nightly on CityDeck along the Fox River, north and south Washington Street and the Broadway District, all in downtown Green Bay.
Details: No matter how you like your lights, you’re sure to find them downtown this year. The CityDeck display that made its debut last year with trees and sculptures in blue is back with several additions, including a mosaic tree. On North Washington Street, near Packers Heritage Trail Plaza, the trees get green and gold lights year-round. You’ll find more blue and white trees on South Washington Street across from the Meyer Theatre.
The 80 decorated wreaths of Ribbon of Hope Foundation’s Christmas Wreath Jubilee are lighted from dusk until 1 a.m. nightly through Dec. 1 in the windows at 301 N. Washington St. Don’t forget to admire the Peace Tree on the Brown County Courthouse lawn and all the white lights of the Broadway District.
Beginning Dec. 1, Downtown Green Bay Inc. will publish a list of clues for its Downtown Ornament Hunt. Families can check out the clues at downtowngreenbay.com and then go on a scavenger hunt to find ornaments created by local artist Carolyn Paplham for a shot at winning prizes.
Santa’s Rock N Lights
When/where: Open nightly through Jan. 2 at Brown County Fairgrounds, 1500 Fort Howard Ave., De Pere.
Details: The 1-mile drive-thru display features hundreds of thousands of lights, including polar bears, dinosaurs and light tunnels, all set to music. Expect about a 20-minute ride at 3 mph. Reservations are required for a specific day and time in advance at santasrocknlights.com; no ticket sales on site. Cost is $19.99-$29.99 per car (six people each) depending on nights; $5 per additional passenger. Peak hours are 6 to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Holiday Lights Experience
When/where: 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 10-11, Dec. 17-18 and Dec.23-26 at Voyageur Park, De Pere.
Details: Twenty to 25 trees will be decked out with 500 to 750 lights each for the first year of a new drive-thru experience from the De Pere Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. There will be ground displays as well. Free.
Simon Santa Photo Experience
When/where: By appointment Dec. 2-24 at Bay Park Square mall, 303 Bay Park Square, Ashwaubenon.
Details: Santa is scheduled to arrive at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 2 on an Ashwaubenon Public Safety fire truck at the food court entrance off Oneida Street. Children can walk with him as he makes his way to Santa’s Wonderland in the south wing, where there will be crafts and family activities until 12:30 p.m. Advance reservations online are encouraged for visits with Santa. Sign up at simon.com/mall/bay-park-square. Hours and photo package prices vary ($39.99-$49.99).
Howard-Suamico Optimist Christmas Parade
When/where: 1 p.m. Dec. 4, stepping off from Bay View Middle School at 1217 Cardinal Lane in Howard. The route goes down Cardinal Lane to Glendale Avenue, east on Harwood to Woodale Avenue and finishes back at the school.
Details: Floats will be decorated for this year’s theme of “A Hometown Christmas,” and Santa and bands will be part of the parade, too.
When/where: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 4 at NEW Zoo, 4378 Reforestation Road, Suamico.
Details: Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be available for photos and will accept letters to Santa. Guests can play holiday bingo to find “Monkey Elves” hidden around the zoo and choose a prize if they complete their card. All attendees receive a bag of candy (while supplies last). Free with regular zoo admission; newzoo.org.
De Pere Holly Day
When/where: Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 4 in downtown De Pere.
Details: Stroll festive window displays, mail your letter to Santa at White Pillars Museum (the special mailbox to the North Pole accepts letters until Dec. 15), listen to carolers, watch “Frozen” at Broadway Theatre and get some holiday shopping done. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be riding in a horse-drawn carriage from 3 to 6 p.m. Free.
Festival of Trees
When/where: Open daily during museum hours through Jan. 2 at National Railroad Museum, 2285 S. Broadway, Ashwaubenon.
Details: View 40 decorated Christmas trees sponsored by area organizations, groups and businesses for $6 per person. Admission includes the museum’s exhibits and historic trains. More info at nationalrrmuseum.org.
Bruce the Spruce and “Holiday Memories of Green Bay”
When/where: Exhibit runs through Jan. 9 at Neville Public Museum, 210 Museum Place, Green Bay.
Details: The animated figures that once adorned the H.C. Prange’s department store windows, along with the Enchanted Forest, Snow Babies and forest animal collections, return for the 11th annual holiday exhibit. Bruce the Spruce, the talking Christmas tree beloved for chatting with Prange’s shoppers, will be awake and talking 10 a.m.-noon Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11, 18 and Jan. 8; and 5-7 p.m. Dec. 1 and Jan. 5. The Children Only Shop, where kids ages 4-12 can shop from from holiday gifts for $3 each and have them wrapped before adults see, is open noon-3 p.m. Nov. 26-27, Dec. 4, 11, 18; and 4-7 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 1 and 7. All are included with regular museum admission; nevillepublicmuseum.org.
Story Time with Mrs. Claus
When/where: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Dec. 17 at Bay Park Square mall, Ashwaubenon.
Details: Mrs. Claus reads a story in the Children’s Play Area. Kids can take part in holiday-themed activities and have their photo taken with her. Event is free; no charge for photos. simon.com/mall/bay-park-square
A Fort Howard Christmas
When/where: 5-9 p.m. Dec. 17-18 at Heritage Hill State Historical Park, 2640 S. Webster Ave., Allouez.
Details: It’s a step back in time with costumed interpreters, music, a warming fire, lanterns throughout the park and a visit by Old World Santa. Food and drinks available for purchase. $8 adults, free ages 6 and younger; available at heritagehillgb.org or at the door.
“Christmas With the Chorale”
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4; 2 p.m. Dec. 5 at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, 2270 S. Oneida St., Ashwaubenon.
Details: The 150-voice Dudley Birder Chorale has been making spirits bright since 1974. This year it adds a new concert featuring sacred Christmas music with accompaniment by piano, organ and other instruments. In lieu of tickets, donations will be accepted at the door and online at snc.edu/birderchorale.
“Mannheim Steamroller Christmas”
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at Weidner Center, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Details: After being sidelined from touring in 2020 for the first time in its 35-year history, composer and founder Chip Davis’ musical juggernaut is back on the road with a show celebrating its first holiday album, 1984’s “Christmas.” $93, $73, $53 at ticketaronline.com and 800-895-0071. Masks required for everyone age 2 and older for all Weidner Center performances.
A Carpenters Christmas
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Ashwaubenon Performing Arts Center, 2391 S. Ridge Road.
Details: Singer and playwright Lisa Rock and her six-piece band perform dreamy renditions of Christmas songs in the spirit of Karen and Richard Carpenter, drawing inspiration from the vocal duo’s two holiday albums, “Christmas Portrait” and “An Old-Fashioned Christmas,” and their 1970s TV Christmas specials. Audiences get “Merry Christmas Darling” and a jazzy “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” $39, $35, $29 at ticketaronline.com and 800-895-0071.
When/where: 2:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Weidner Center, UWGB.
Details: It will be a full stage at the Weidner Center as the Dudley Birder Chorale, Holiday Pops Orchestra, Birder Studio of Performing Arts youth choir and Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization ballet combine forces for a community holiday tradition. Tickets start at $17.50 adults, $16 seniors, $8 ages 2-18 at ticketstaronline.com and 800-895-0071. Masks required for everyone age 2 and older for all Weidner Center performances.
“Daddy D’s Christmas”
When/where: 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. show Dec. 9-11 at Stadium View Sports Bar, Grill & Banquet Hall, 1963 Holmgren Way, Green Bay; 6 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. show Dec. 15-18, and a noon meal, 1 p.m. show Dec. 18 at Riverside Ballroom, 1560 Main St., Green Bay; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 at Ashwaubenon PAC.
Details: Daddy D Production celebrates 15 years of its Christmas revue filled with traditional holiday music and sprinkled with skits and banter. Dec. 16 is sold out. $49 dinner and show, $33 show only for Stadium View (four-person minimum per group) and Riverside shows at 920-544-4244 or daddyds.com; $30 adults, $27 seniors and students for PAC show at ticketstaronline.com and 800-895-0071.
Swing for the Holidays
When/where: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Weidner Center, UWGB.
Details: Green Bay Jazz Orchestra performs swinging renditions of holiday classics from Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and others. Lobby doors open at 5 p.m. for preshow holiday crafts, photo booth and a photo op with Santa. Holiday-themed cocktails and kiddie cocktails available for purchase. $18.50; all seating is general admission; ticketaronline.com and 800-895-0071. Masks required for ages 2 and older for all Weidner Center performances.
“A Christmas of Fire & Ice”
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 at Ashwaubenon PAC.
Details: John Kelley & The Fusion Xpress Orchestra mix classical, jazz, rock, musical theater and holiday favorites. $30 at ticketstaronline.com and 800-895-0071.
“Christmas With the Knights”
When/where: 7 p.m. Dec. 16-17; 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Walter Theatre, 315 Grant St., St. Norbert College, De Pere; 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Ashwaubenon PAC.
Details: St. Norbert’s Knights on Broadway perform upbeat versions of holiday favorites in a cabaret-style show with this year’s theme of “Someday at Christmas.” $23.75 adults, $10.25 children at snc.edu/knightsonbroadway or 920-403-3950 for St. Norbert shows (livestream tickets also available); $25 for Ashwaubenon PAC show at ticketstaronline.com and 800-895-0071. Masks required indoors at St. Norbert College if community level spread is high or substantial at the time of the performances.
“Christmas With Our Friends: A Weidner Wonderland”
When/where: Doors at 6 p.m., concert at 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Weidner Center, UWGB.
Details: AVB Community Band, the 75-member group formerly known as the Allouez Village Band, celebrates its 40th anniversary season with a festive performance featuring vocalists Corrie Beula Kovacs and Ben Cahall. Free; donations accepted after. AVB will collect canned and dry goods for Paul’s Pantry in the Weidner lobby before the show. Masks are required for ages 2 and older for all Weidner Center performances. avbcommunityband.org
THEATER AND DANCE
“The Nutcracker Ballet”
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Weidner Center, UWGB.
Details: It’s the 16th consecutive year that Northeastern Wisconsin Dance Organization will perform the classic holiday ballet, but it’s the first time with live accompaniment from the Weidner Philharmonic Orchestra. Guest artists from the Carolina Ballet are Taylor Ayotte, McKenzie Van Oss, Yevgeny Shlapko and Kiefer Curtis. Ayotte and Van Oss are alumni of NEWDO. $35, $21, $17.50 at ticketstaronline.com or 800-895-0071. Masks required for everyone age 2 and older for all Weidner Center performances.
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Dec. 1-3; 4 p.m. Nov. 28 and Dec. 4-5 at Robert Lee Brault Playhouse, 122 N. Chestnut Ave., Green Bay.
Details: Green Bay Community Theater presents Tom Dudzick’s story of family, the holidays and what happens when you mix the two. A man brings his Jewish atheist girlfriend home to meet his Polish Catholic family on Christmas Eve. $19 at gbcommunitytheater.com. Masks are required for all performances.
“A Frank’s Christmas”
When/where: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, 8-11, 15-23; 1 p.m. Dec. 11 and 16 at Meyer Theatre, 117 S. Washington St., Green Bay.
Details: For its 22nd annual Christmas show, Let Me Be Frank Productions sets its new comedy musical in the year 1 A.D. with Pharaoh and Queen Cleo, their two princess daughters and a contest to commemorate the first anniversary of the birth of Jesus. $36 at ticketstaronline.com and 800-895-0071.
“A Christmas Carol, The Musical”
When/where: 7 p.m. Dec. 2-3, 8, 10, 14-17; 4 pm. Dec. 4; 2 p.m. Dec. 5, 12 18 at Broadway Theatre, 123 S. Broadway, De Pere.
Details: What’s the holiday season without a spirited “Bah! Humbug!” and a “God bless us, everyone”? Birder Players bring Charles Dickens’ curmudgeonly and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge to life as he faces his selfish ways through encounters with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. $32 at birderonbroadway.org.
“Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus”
When/where: 7 p.m. Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 16-18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 5, 12 and 19 at Webb Theatre, St. Norbert College, De Pere.
Details: Evergreen Theatre presents the play inspired by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to the New York Sun in 1897 and the timeless front-page response from Frank Church. $18 at evergreentheater.org. Masks required indoors at St. Norbert College if community level spread is high or substantial at the time of the performances.
“Spirit of the Holidays: A Celebration of Dance”
When/where: 1 and 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at Ashwaubenon PAC.
Details: The 22nd annual event from Barb’s Centre for Dance fills the stage with young dancers in costume performing original tap, jazz, lyrical and ballet works to traditional and contemporary holiday music. A portion of “The Nutcracker” will be performed by the Ballet 360 Academy in the second half. All profits from the shows and a silent auction are donated to local charities. $12-$15 at ticketstaronline.com and 800-895-0071.
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