It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and there’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than an evening enjoying glistening lights.
You’ll find dazzling displays in every corner of Wisconsin, and while many already started around Thanksgiving, you still have plenty of time to visit. Whether you visit one or them all, we rounded up seven festive light displays that definitely won’t disappoint!
Christmas Carnival of Lights, Caledonia
Location: 8425 Hwy 38, Jellystone Park
Hours: Sun. – Thurs. 5 to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 5 to 11 p.m. until Jan. 1, Closed on Christmas Day
Cost: $30 – $55 per vehicle, depending on the size
Caledonia’s Jellystone Park is a popular summer camping destination in Wisconsin, but don’t forget to visit in December. The park’s Christmas Carnival of Lights is one of the largest drive-thru holiday light displays in the Midwest! Visitors will see more than 2,000,000 lights as they follow the 1.6-mile path through the park. If you don’t want to take your own vehicle, hop in the open-air golf cart train to take in 360-degrees of sparkles.
Country Christmas, Pewaukee
Location: 2810 Golf Rd., Ingleside Hotel
Hours: Sun. – Thurs. 5 to 9 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 5 to 10 p.m. until Jan. 1
Cost: $25 – $35 per vehicle, depending on the day/size
The Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee transforms into a winter wonderland every December for Country Christmas. A major part of the massive light display is the mile-long Country Christmas Trail. However, your admission also includes a trip to Village Park, Christmas Village, and The Streets of Bethlehem.
WPS Garden of Lights, Green Bay
Location: 2600 Larsen Rd., Green Bay Botanical Garden
Hours: Daily 4:30 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30, Closed Dec. 24, 25, and 31
Cost: Adults $12 – $20, Children $5 – $13, Kids under 2 are free. You MUST buy tickets in advance.
This time of year, the Green Bay Botanical Garden plants 37 botanically-themed holiday light displays on its grounds, including a caterpillar, butterfly house, and the Lake of Lights. More than 325,000 twinkling bulbs mesmerize visitors at the WPS Garden of Lights. If you don’t want to walk through the gardens, hop on the wagon!
Rotary Botanical Gardens Holiday Light Show, Janesville
Location: 1455 Palmer Dr.
Hours: Daily 4:30 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30, Closed Dec. 24 and 25
Cost: Adults $12, Children $5, Kids under 2 are free. You MUST order tickets online.
Janesville’s Rotary Botanical Gardens Holiday Light Show is among Wisconsin’s largest– with more than 1.2 million lights decorating dozens of glittery displays, including luminous tunnels, arches, pine trees, and more. The dazzling walk through the gardens is about two-thirds of a mile.
Rotary Lights, La Crosse
Location: 410 Veteran Memorial Dr., Riverside Park
Hours: Daily 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 3, 5 to 9 on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 5 to 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve
Cost: Free, Donations (cash and/or food) appreciated
La Crosse’s Rotary Lights tops the list of can’t-miss Wisconsin light displays! More than 3,000 volunteers from local Rotary Clubs use more than three million lights to illuminate La Crosse’s Riverside Park. Visitors can drive through the park or take a carriage ride on select nights to enjoy the picturesque Mississippi River views.
Christmas Village, Chippewa Falls
Location: 125 Bridgewater Ave., Irvine Park
Hours: Open daily until 9:30 p.m. through Jan. 1
Cost: Free, Donations appreciated
Chippewa Falls puts a different spin on the typical holiday light display. Although it’s not as big as some of the others on this list, the Christmas Village theme sets it apart. Each year, the town creates Victorian-era scenes and replicas that showcase local history throughout Irvine Park.
Holiday Fantasy in Lights, Madison
Photo credit Holiday Fantasy in Lights Facebook Page
Location: 1156 Olin Ct., Olin Park
Hours: Daily, dusk until dawn through Jan. 1
Cost: Free, Donations appreciated
The Holiday Fantasy in Lights at Olin Park has nearly 60 themed light displays along a drivable and/or walkable route for families to enjoy each year. One of the few truly “green” holiday light displays in Wisconsin, The Electric Group and other Madison sponsors ensure the event saves electricity by using only LED lights.
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