Christmas morning is a time to gather, check out what Santa left under the tree, and spend some quality time with loved ones. However, when you realize you need a gallon of milk, forgot to buy some batteries for that toy, neglected to buy that one ingredient for your Christmas dinner, or need a last-minute gift, you’ll be scrambling to find out what’s open. You might even want to head out and see a movie on Christmas Day!
Most small businesses are closed on Christmas Day in Wisconsin, but larger places and some large chains are open. However, even when dealing with a big name, it could be franchised, leaving the individual owner to make decisions about holiday hours. It’s always best to call ahead to check if someplace is open before heading out in the winter weather to drive miles and end up finding a closed sign.
Here are some of the places open on Christmas Day in Wisconsin:
CVS has more than 60 locations in Wisconsin, some of which are usually open 24 hours. Aside from fresh produce, you can find almost anything you need in a pinch. Their corporate offices report that many of the stores should be open on Christmas Day, but they will have limited hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. And, pharmacy hours might be reduced further. Check with your local CVS store to find out the exact hours.
Over 100 of Wisconsin’s cities and towns have Walgreens. Most will be open on Christmas Day, but some will operate with reduced holiday hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s best to check with your local store for exact hours and check if the pharmacy or clinic services are available if you need them. You’ll certainly be able to grab that last-minute thing you forgot or need.
If you live in Wisconsin, you live within a stone’s throw of a Kwik Trip. If you need something food-related, like eggs, milk, break, or even some basic fresh produce like apples, bananas, potatoes, and onions, a quick trip to Kwik Trip will work. Most Kwik Trips are open 24 hours and they do not close for Christmas. They are also a reliable stop if you are driving on Christmas Day and need to fill up your tank or grab some snacks.
Many convenience store chains stay open on Christmas Day. If you live in or are driving through the Madison or Milwaukee area, 7-Eleven is another option to run out and grab some emergency items or get that Slurpee you’re craving. You can even grab some donuts from their bakery on Christmas morning. Like Kwik Trip, most 7-Elevens are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and they do not close down for Christmas.
Circle K/ Holiday Station Stores
Those who live closer to a Circle K or Holiday than a Kwik Trip or 7-Eleven might be able to find what they need in a pinch. However, you will find more limited options for bakery and fresh produce, besides some apples and bananas. These convenient stores are typically open 24 hours in most places and do not close on Christmas.
If you need to get out of the house for a break from your in-laws or you want to buy a quick coffee gift, you might find an open Starbucks, depending on where you live. Many Starbucks are closed on Christmas Day, but some are open for limited hours, typically opening at 6:30 or 7 a.m and closing by noon or 1:00 p.m. Use the store locator on their website to check the Starbucks stores close to you and their hours for Christmas Day.
Some families make it a yearly tradition to go see one of the new movies that opens on Christmas Day. AMC Theaters, which you’ll find in Milwaukee, Madison, and Green Bay, are open, but so are many others. If you live near an independent movie theater, give them a call because they will likely be open. This Christmas, you can check out the long-awaited Avatar sequel, Matilda: The Musical, Babylon, and the Whitney Houston biopic—I Wanna Dance with Somebody.
Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Wisconsin
You’ll find many independent restaurants closed on Christmas Day to celebrate with their families. However, some larger chains are open or have limited hours and many restaurants housed in upscale hotels are open. Here are a few restaurants where you can go out for pancakes for breakfast, have a meal while traveling, or find an upscale meal if you don’t plan on cooking Christmas dinner at home.
- Benihana, 850 N Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 to 9:30 p.m.
- IHOP, All locations open on Christmas Day, check your local IHOP for hours.
The Statehouse, Edgewater Hotel, Madison, Brunch 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dinner 3 to 8 p.m.