Feeling festive? Shine on Madison kicks off this week

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Madison, take it in all season long by attending some of the Shine on Madison community events.

608 lisa link holiday lights

Who’s excited for Madison to shine this holiday season? | Photo by 608today

Madison doesn’t skimp when it comes to holiday spirit. The 2023 Shine on Madison spectacular kicks off this weekend, and runs throughout the next six weeks of the holiday season. Here’s how you can get in on the action.

Holiday Shopping Trolley

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on

  • Friday, Nov. 24
  • Saturday, Nov. 25
  • Saturday, Dec. 2
  • Saturday, Dec. 9
  • Saturday, Dec. 16

Where: State Street and Capitol Square Metro stops
What: Shop your way along the trolley’s route, or stay on board to just enjoy the ride.

Holiday Open House

When: Friday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Nov. 26
Where: State Street, King Street, and the Capitol Square

What: Before your turkey has a chance to digest, holiday festivities will kick off downtown with a weekend full of activities.

  • Local business specials
  • Live music
  • Shopping via the Holiday Trolley
  • Gift bags (on the trolley and at the Downtown Madison Visitor Center while supplies last)
  • Ornament balloon sculpture photo op

Lighting Ceremony

When: 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24
Where: Lisa Link Peace Park, 452 State St.

What: Once the sun sets, you’ll see State Street come alive with holiday lights.

Window decorations

When: Nov. 18-Dec. 18
Where: State Street, King Street, and the Capitol Square

What: Locals are invited to vote on which downtown businesses have the most impressive holiday window decor.

608 Soap Opera holiday

Last year, The Soap Opera won the window decorating competition. | Photo by The Soap Opera

Walk it out

Cookie Walk
When: 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 10
Where: Check-in at the Downtown Madison Visitor Center, 452 State St.

What: Take part in cookie sampling and decorating demonstrations at participating businesses.

When: Nov. 24-Dec. 24
Where: State Street and Capitol Square (find the map here on Wednesday, Nov. 22)

What: Families with young children will follow a map to find StoryWalk stops. At each stop, a portion of James and Joseph Bruchac’s “Rabbit’s Snow Dance” will be posted to read. After 12 stops, you’ll have read the entire book.