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Winter events happening in and around Madison

Check out winter and holiday-themed events happening in and around Madison in this seasonal guide.

608 Madison Ballet Nutcracker Overture

See the Madison Ballet in action this holiday season. | Photo via Overture Center

Table of Contents

Get your fuzzy socks and hot cocoa ready, Madison. From holiday performances to festive parties, winter is when Madison thrives.

Gather the family and friends and celebrate what makes the holiday season special with this guide featuring upcoming winter events.

Holiday parties

12 Bars of Christmas | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 12-5 p.m. | State St., Madison | $15-$50 | Receive a complimentary mug and a drink specials passport for this bar crawl benefiting Toys for Tots.

Caribbean Christmas Party | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 1-5 p.m. | Neighborhood House Community Center, 29 S. Mills St., Madison | Free | Bring your family, friends, and a dish to pass to the Caribbean Association of Madison’s annual potluck party.

Ugly Sweater Party | Dec. 16 | 2 p.m.-Close | All three Nitty Gritty locations | Cost of purchase | Festive tunes, good cheer, door prizes, and cookie decorating. Pro tip: Wear an ugly holiday sweater for a free drink.

Women in Tech Holiday Social | Wednesday, Dec. 20 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | The Rigby, 119 E. Main St., Madison | Cost of purchase | Light snacks will be provided at this festive networking event.


Santa Cycle Rampage | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 9:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. | Madison area | $5-$20 | Registration fees support the Bike Fed’s Safe Routes to School programs and other K-12 initiatives.

Wisconsin Bike Fed Santa

Ride, Rudolph, ride. | Photo via Wisconsin Bike Fed

A Whole Latke Fun | Sunday, Dec. 10 | 4-6 p.m. | Temple Beth El, 2702 Arbor Dr., Madison | $40/family | A latke and pasta bar, dreidel spinning, sufganiyot, and much more.

Kwanzaa Basket Crafting | Wednesday, Dec. 27 | 10-11:30 a.m. | Madison Children’s Museum,100 N. Hamilton St., Madison | Free with museum admission | Kids can create a paper woven basket to celebrate the second day of Kwanzaa.

Holiday performances

NutKracken! | Sunday, Dec. 10 | 3 p.m. | Sun Prairie West Performing Arts Center, 2850 Ironwood Dr., Sun Prairie | $16-$22 | Beatrix Productions will journey under the sea with stilt walkers, aerial dancers, and flow artists.

A Very Darren Crissmas | Dec. 12 | 8 p.m. | Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave., Madison | $45-$175 | The “Glee” star will perform songs ranging from big band Christmas classics to novelty tunes to modern-day folk-pop ballads.

The Nutcracker | Dec. 15-Dec. 24 | Times vary | Overture Center, 201 State St.| $19-$95 | A Madison Ballet performance accompanied by Tchaikovsky music played by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

New Year celebrations

NYE at The Concourse | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 5 p.m.-12 a.m. | Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton St., Madison | $299+ | Choose from a variety of packages to ring in 2024 at The Concourse Hotel downtown.

Supper Club Surf and Turf | Sunday, Dec. 31 | Reserve time | The Harvey House, 644 W. Washington Ave., Madison | $200 | Ring in the New Year with a six-course dinner prepared by Chef Joe Papach.

Japanese New Year | Tuesday, Jan. 9 | 5:30-8:30 p.m. | Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., Madison | Free | This meetup is for local Japanese learners of all levels.

The Jimmys’ NYE | Sunday, Dec. 31 | 10 p.m. | High Noon Saloon, 701 E. Washington Ave., Madison | $25-$30 | Rock into 2024 with Madison’s favorite blues group.

Shop ‘til you drop

Winter Night Market | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 4-8 p.m. | Archer and Eye, 2042 S. Stoughton Rd., Madison | There will be art, baked goods, kitchenware, and home goods in the store’s new gallery space.

locally made buttons and pins

Shop stocking stuffers at Archer and Eye. | Photo by Archer and Eye

Hippie Holiday Market | Sunday, Dec. 10 | Delta Beer Lab, 167 E. Badger Rd., Madison | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Bring cash to join the raffle fundraiser and support Outreach Madison.

The Big Gay Holiday Market | Saturday, Dec. 16 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Wisconsin Rugby Club, 4064 Vilas Rd., Cottage Grove | Shop dozens of queer vendors at this heated indoor/outdoor market with a beer and wine bar, food carts, and hot drinks.

Holiday Black Bazaar | Saturday, Dec. 16 | 1-5 p.m. | DOXA Event Center, 2700 Novation Pky., Madison | This festive celebration of culture, community, and creativity includes a photo op with Santa.

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