To help you get the most out of this most wonderful time of the year, we’ve compiled our winter bucket list, complete with 20+ seasonal events and activities around Madison that the whole family can enjoy. ☃️
Arts + crafts 🧶
- Wisconsin Winter Birds | Wed., Dec. 1 | 6:30 p.m. | Wine & Design, 167 S. Fair Oaks Ave. | $38 | Sip + paint in a guided class on a winter painting.
- State of the Museum | Thurs., Dec. 9 | 6:30 p.m. | Chazen Museum of Art | Free | A year in review and the future of the Chazen.
- Wine and Canvas – Watercolor Winter Landscape | Fri., Dec. 10 | 6-8:30 p.m. | Memorial Union | $50 | Sip wine + paint your own masterpiece.
- Antler Ornaments | Tues., Dec. 21 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Wine & Design, 167 S. Fair Oaks Ave. | $38 | Sip + paint a festive design in this instructor-led class.
Holiday shopping 🎁
- The Crafty Fair | Sat., Dec. 4-Sun., Dec. 5 | Times vary | The Goodman Center, 214 Waubesa St. | Free entry | 100+ handmade local vendors with crafts + creations for all to shop.
- Madison’s 25th Annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival | Sat., Dec. 4 | 8 a.m.-3 p.m. | Monona Terrace | Free entry | Find unique, socially responsible, handmade gifts from 40+ vendors.
- Holiday Market | Sat., Dec. 4 + 18 | 7:30 a.m.-12 p.m. | Monona Terrace | Free entry | Visit Dane County Farmers’ Market’s one-stop-shop for local holiday food. 🛍️
- Eastside Winter Market | Sat., Dec. 11-Sun., Dec. 12 | Times vary | Garver Feed Mill | Free entry | A community-focused market featuring local makers + shops with music in the evening.
- Toast Ceramics Pop-Up | Fri., Dec. 3-Sat., Dec. 4 | Times vary | Good Day Shop, 1925 Monroe St. | Free entry | Meet Jackie Matelski of Toast Ceramics during a pop-up shop.
Places to donate time or gifts ❤️
- Housing Equity Community Breakfast | Wed., Dec. 1 | 8-9:30 a.m. | First United Methodist Church | Free | Volunteer to serve breakfast + coffee to community members experiencing homelessness.
- Winter Work Party at Gibraltar Rock State Natural Area | Sat., Dec. 4 | 1-4 p.m. | Gibraltar Rock Rd., West Point | Free | Enjoy stunning views from the top of Gibraltar Rock as you help clear invasive brush on this volunteer workday.
- Second Harvest Volunteer Day | Mon., Dec. 20 | 8:30 a.m. | 2802 Dairy Dr. | Join Badger NAMA to help sort + pack care boxes.
Food + drink ☕
- Festive Fridays at Wollersheim | Fri., Dec. 10 | 12-8 p.m. | Wollersheim Winery & Distillery | Free entry | Enjoy a bite for lunch or supper + sign up for seated wine tastings.
- Holiday Cookie Decorating | Sat., Dec. 18 | 1 p.m. | Sur la table | $59 | Master techniques for turning royal icing + sugar cookies into edible art.
- Christmas Eve at the Melting Pot | Fri., Dec. 24 | 2-9 p.m. | The Melting Pot, 6816 Odana Rd. | $63.95+ | A special prix fixe holiday menu of salads, meats + fondue.
- Festive Bread Workshop | Sun., Dec. 19 | 10 a.m. | Sur la table | $79 | Learn to make a pull-apart wreath, babka + monkey bread.
Winter activities ❄️
- All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 | Thurs., Dec. 2-Sun., Dec. 12 | Overture Center | $20+ | Four Seasons Theatre presents a remarkable story from the Western Front of World War I.
- New Glarus Christkindli Market | Fri., Dec. 10-Sun., Dec. 12 | Times vary | Downtown New Glarus | Free entry | An outdoor Christmas market with mini chalets offering local gifts.
- Ugly Sweater Lights Run | Thurs., Dec. 16 | 6 p.m. | Fleet Feet Madison & Sun Prairie, 8440 Old Sauk Rd., Middleton | Free | Wear your ugliest sweater + brightest lights to run to one of Madison’s best holiday lights displays
- The Nutcracker | Fri., Dec. 17-Sun., Dec. 26 | Times vary | Overture Center | $11+ | The Madison Ballet’s annual production of the holiday classic.
- Welcoming Winter | Sat., Dec. 18 | 3-5 p.m. | Garner Park, 333 S. Rosa Rd. | $5 | Celebrate the beginning of winter with storytime + a solstice spiral walk.
- Black Girl Magic Saturday | Sat., Dec. 18 | 12-3 p.m. | Goodman Community Center, 214 Waubesa St. | An holiday craft-making event for Black girls in 4th-9th grade in the Madison area.
- Winter Garden Strolls | Sun., Dec. 26 | 1-2 p.m. | UW-Madison Arboretum Visitors Center | Free | A gently paced stroll for a multi-generational outing.