Does any state get more into Christmas than Wisconsin? I think not. Some towns really embrace this time of year. So head to these 10 towns for that ultimate Christmas experience.
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If you are looking for a charming, warm Christmas experience, look no further than Cedarburg. The setting is gorgeous, with its centuries-old limestone buildings, coffee houses and pubs. Those storefronts are adorned with beautifully crafted Christmas decorations. There are all sorts of winter events for you to get involved in, including Festive Friday Eves, the Holiday Art Fair, and other events across town from now through Christmas.
There are loads of holiday events going on in Milwaukee, kicked off by the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival. Jump on the Jingle Bus from now through December 27--it only costs $1 and the tour lasts for 40 minutes. Head to the Historic Third Ward to see the tree.
There are so many festive things to do in Madison this time of year. There is the Olbrich Holiday Concert Series--just $1--on Sunday at 2. For the kiddos, visit Santa at Pump it Up on Saturdays and Sundays starting December 8/9. For some of the best holiday lights, head to Olin Park and drive around for free. Even get a candy cane at the end of the ride.
4. Chippewa Falls
The people of Chippewa Falls love their Christmas Village. There are over 100,000 lights that take over Irvine Park. Life-size Christmas scenes are of the Victorian feel. You can check them out through January 1. Don't miss "Paint the Town Christmas," a Christmas Open House on December 10 featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus!
5. Wisconsin Dells
You might only think of visiting Wisconsin Dells during summer, but consider heading there during Christmas. There are plenty of places to snowmobile and ski. Each year, there is a Canadian Pacific Railroad Holiday Train Event. You can get photos taken with Santa at Outlets at the Dells. And on Saturday, December 12, don't forget to go to the Christmas Cookie Walk.
In Ripon, it's all about an ode to Charles Dickens, with their Dickens of a Christmas Weekend. Since 1988, it's a unique, Victorian themed festival including Living Windows, carriage rides, and a tour of homes.
7. Elkhart Lake
Through December 13, visit the Old World Christmas Market. The market is reminiscent of a German Christkindlesmarkt, with all sorts of gifts, toys, ornaments and--of course--FOOD. You can get breakfast with Santa at the Osthoff Resort. The Siberian Outpost offers dog sled rides and demonstrations year round. There is no shortage of fun holiday things to do here.
Stockholm is a charming little town, and these streets get a holiday makeover this time of year. It truly is an "old fashioned" holiday experience, complete with sleigh rides, food, and, of course, Santa. True to its Swedish heritage, Stockholm has "God Jul: A Swedish Christmas."
Hudson loves Christmas. If you haven't gotten one already, go out to a free farm like Santa's Evergreens Tree Farm and cut your own tree. Enjoy A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol at the St. Croix Off Broadway Dinner Theater. Go ice skating at Burton Field.
10. Lake Geneva
Many people from Wisconsin and Illinois head to Lake Geneva during the summer months, but Christmas is a great time to head here as well. Head to the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa for lights, music, daily holiday teas, and gingerbread houses. This goes on now through December 31. Restaurants offer holiday specials and, trust me, there are loads of shops to find the perfect gift for those who are hard to shop for.
Does your town do Christmas right? REPRESENT in the comments.