Winter Events in Madison, WI

Winter sunrise over the Madison skyline | Photo by @honeyoliveblaire

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 ❤️

 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.