It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
And to fully experience the Christmas season in the Fox Cities, there’s little time to sit still. There are glowing lights, parades and displays that bring us back to yesteryear. It’s a time for hot cocoa and cider to warm the body as well as a wide array of music to warm the spirit.
Get out and enjoy.
Valley Review is here to help you make your plans and make the most of your holiday.
Exhibits and events:
Grinch, Nightmare Before Christmas exhibits, Trout Museum of Art, Appleton
Through Feb. 2
Fans of the holiday classics have a special opportunity. The Trout Museum of Art is displaying original concept art from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas as well as 50 cels from the classic, animated special, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Oshkosh Celebration of Lights, Menominee Park, Oshkosh
Nov. 29-Jan. 4, 5:30-9 p.m.
Celebration of Lights features 1.2 miles of holiday sights and sounds are displayed throughout Menominee Park. Sights and activities include the 100-foot tree, more than 120 trees filled with lights, sculptured scenes and animated light displays.
Fox Cities Festival of Lights, Darboy Community Park, Darboy
Nov. 29-30, Dec. 6-7, Dec. 13-14, Dec. 20-31. Hours: 5-9pm
Its the first year for the family friendly walk-through light display set up in Darboy Community Park. A grand opening on Nov. 29 will include a visit from Santa and a food truck rally.
Victorian Christmas, Hearthstone Historic House Museum, Appleton.
Nov. 30, Fridays and Saturdays in December, 6-8 p.m.
Each and every room of Hearthstone is filled with old-fashion holiday cheer and decorations. This year’s theme is “Sugar Plums” but we didn’t forget Santa and the many other Christmas traditions that we embrace today which started in Victorian America and England. Each night will include a different soloist or group.
Menasha Holiday Hayride, Memorial Building, Menasha
Dec. 6, 5 p.m.
Seven rides will take off from the Memorial Building, 640 Keyes St. The first trip departs at 5 p.m. and the last trip of the evening leaves at 8 p.m.
A Very Neenah Christmas, Downtown Neenah
Dec. 6, 6-8 p.m.
The event will include a tree lighting in Gateway Plaza. There will of course be live mannequin window displays, carriage rides and more.
Grignon Mansion Christmas Tours, Grignon Mansion, Kaukauna
Dec. 7-8, Dec. 14-15
Grignon Mansion will feature candlelight tours after dark on Saturday nights. There will be cookie decorating, crafts, food samples, wassail (hot spiced cider), and milk punch (eggnog). There will be trolley rides on Saturdays from 5-7 p.m. and horse-drawn wagon rides from 11:30 a.m. -4:30p.m. For more information, visit https://www.grignonmansion.org
Theater and dance:
Christmas Stars 2019, Xavier Fine Arts Theater, Appleton
Dec. 5-8, Dec. 12-15
The annual holiday-themed extravaganza celebrates and honors the joy of the season with a mix of secular and religious music, dance, scenes and plenty of fun. For more information, visit www.christmasstars.org.
Makaroff Youth Ballet presents “The Nutcracker,” Stansbury Theater, Lawrence University, Appleton.
Dec. 13 at 7 p.m., Dec. 14 at 4 p.m., Dec. 15 at 1 p.m.
Concerts and live music:
Fox Cities Sings! A Christmas Cabaret benefitting Pillars Inc., Appleton Beer Factory, Appleton, 7 p.m.
Cirque Musica Holiday Wishes, Menominee Nation Arena, Oshkosh, 7 p.m.
“Dear Santa, I can explain…” First Presbyterian Church, Neenah, 7 p.m.
The Fox Valley Chorus of Sweet Adelines International presents their holiday show joined by special guests: Fox Sounds, along with The Bari-tones and It’s About Time Quartets.
Trim Hunger Holiday Gala, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Appleton, 6 p.m.
Performances will include Steve March-Torme’, Tim Dorsey, Pegasis, Cynthia Stiehl David Meulemans Appleton Boychoir. Tickets are available at Trimhunger.com
Little Chute Community Band Christmas Concert, Little Chute High School, Little Chute, 7 p.m.
Tuba Christmas, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Appleton, 7 p.m.
Since 1974, tuba, sousaphone, euphonium and baritone horn players from across the nation play Christmas carols, first with instruments only and then with everyone singing along.
Christmas in the Air, EAA Aviation Museum, Oshkosh, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Enjoy local musical, choral, and dance groups performing on various stages. Other activities include writing letters to Santa, cookies and milk, and face painting. All events and museum admission is free between 10am and 3pm.
Neenah Community Band Winter Concert, Perry Hall, UW Fox Valley, Menasha, 3 p.m.
Appleton Boychoir: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Appleton, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The Yuletide season begins with the majestic beauty of this community tradition. The soaring descants of the Boys with powerful brass and roaring organ pipes cannot be missed. Traditional carols of the season and new, poignant setting of the Christmas story, bring peace, joy and inspiration to all.
Kimberly Community Band Christmas Concert, J.R. Gerritts Middle School, Kimberly, 2 p.m.
Christmas on the Avenue with Dan Rodriguez, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Appleton, 7 p.m.
Lawrence Academy of Music girl choir concert: Yuletide Carols, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Appleton, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Steve March Torme’s Snazzy, Jazzy Christmas, Trout Museum of the Arts, Appleton, 6:30 p.m.
Boogie and the Yo Yo’z Christmas with You, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, 7:30 p.m.
One of the region’s favorite bands, Boogie & the Yo-Yoz will celebrate Christmas by performing new adaptations of traditional Christmas songs and a few brand new Christmas songs penned by members of the group.
NewVoices: Christmas at the Chapel, Lawrence Memorial Chapel, Appleton, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Join NewVoices for sacred music in a sacred space. This holiday concert features your favorite carols, hymns and songs of the Nativity including sing-alongs.
A Motown Christmas, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, 7:30 p.m.
A Motown Christmas features a vocal group assembled from past and present members of three of Motown’s most legendary groups: The Temptations, The Miracles and The Capitols. A Motown Christmas will combine Motown’s greatest hits with everyone’s favorite holiday classics.
Lorie Line — the 30th Anniversary — Celebrating Christmas, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, 3 p.m.
Lorie Line and her Pop Chamber Orchestra will celebrate the true meaning of the holiday with beautiful music and glamorous costumes.
The 49th Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas Parade will take place on Nov. 26 along College Avenue. The parade, which starts at 7 p.m., is the largest night-time Christmas parade in the Midwest.
Light Up Fremont takes place on Nov. 30. It includes a parade along Wolf River Drive at 4:30 p.m. followed by a tree lighting. Afterwards, head to Village Hall for soup, hot dogs, hot cocoa and cookies.
The Clintonville Christmas Parade will be held on Dec. 2 along Main Street at 6 p.m.
The Little Chute Christmas Parade will take place on Dec. 2 along its Main Street at 6:30 p.m.
Kaukauna’s Electric City Christmas Parade will take place in its downtown area at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3. Spectators are invited to head over to the Old City Hall at its conclusion for cookies and hot chocolate with Santa.
New London’s Winter Wonderland Parade will take place downtown on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m.
Chilton’s Holiday Parade of Lights will take place at 5 p.m. on Dec. 7.
The Weyauwega Christmas Parade will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 along Main Street. Afterwards, join Santa at the Gerold Opera House for hot chocolate and cookies.
Freedom’s 26th annual Christmas Parade will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7