Annual Holiday Events in Manitowoc

Christmas Lights in Manitowoc

Embrace the magic of the holiday season in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where the city annually undergoes a transformation into a winter wonderland. Manitowoc comes alive with Christmas lights, bows and garland. As you stroll through the streets, you'll notice a special nod to Manitowoc's history with silver trees adorning storefronts, paying homage to the iconic Evergleam Trees deeply rooted in the community's heritage. Don't miss the opportunity to witness our impressive 26-foot tree with present boxes underneath for the perfect photo op. And, for a unique touch, keep an eye out for the 22-foot winter scarf that envelops Shipbuilder the Badger, ensuring that he stays warm and festive all season long. Manitowoc is the perfect place to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with your loved ones.

Downtown Christmas Tree 2022

Lights In Lincoln Park

During the holiday season, Manitowoc's Lincoln Park Zoo becomes a gateway into a world full of holiday lights and animal-themed displays. From November 24th to December 9th, you can drive through the decorated zoo between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. As the holiday excitement grows, the lights will shine nightly from December 14th to December 28th, making it easier than ever to enjoy this festive spectacle. For a more immersive experience, join the community on November 21st and December 29th for the Family Night Fun Walk, where you can experience the event on foot. The pricing is accessible, with a $5.00 fee per vehicle for the drive-thru and a $5.00 per person (or $10.00 per family) fee for the fun walk. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Santa, who will be greeting visitors in cabin one on select nights.

Lights in Lincoln Park Elephants

Annual ‘Wagon Wheel’ Light Show

Enjoy synchronized lights and classic holiday music from your vehicle on 5031 Wagon Wheel Road this winter season! This event will take place right after Thanksgiving through December, Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays, the light show will operate until 10 p.m. to prolong the holiday fun! There is no admission fee, but all donations are welcomed and will benefit the Lakeshore Humane Society. 

holiday tree lights close up

Lakeshore Holiday Parade

Join the Manitowoc community the night before Thanksgiving at the Annual Lakeshore Holiday Parade. Starting at 6:30 p.m., immerse yourself in the festive spirit as floats, marching bands and walkers head down the streets of downtown Manitowoc. This event is fun and accessible for everyone and will include a sensory safe zone to provide a comfortable environment for those who are sensitive to loud noise and flashing lights. Before the parade from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. and again after, bring your little ones to meet the big man himself at the Rahr-West Art Museum.

2023 Lakeshore Holiday Parade Chewy's Float

Evergleams on Eighth

This annual display of Evergleam aluminum Christmas trees celebrates the historical significance that Manitowoc had in the well-loved holiday decoration. The story starts in the mid-20th century when the Aluminum Specialty Company, based in Manitowoc, embarked on a journey to redefine Christmas. Inspired by the beauty of a metallic Christmas tree on display in a photography studio, this local company set out to create an affordable, practical and yet utterly captivating alternative to the traditional evergreen. Today, Evergleams on Eighth celebrates this extraordinary heritage by transforming the streets of Manitowoc into a living museum. Downtown Manitowoc features these trees in storefronts from Thanksgiving until the new year. There is an option to take a guided tour on foot or from a trolley to learn about the history, styles and stories surrounding Evergleam trees.

Evergleams on Eighth 2022 Visit Manitowoc

Christmas in the Mansion

Step into a unique holiday experience at Christmas in the Mansion. Located within the Rahr-West Art Museum, this annual celebration of the holiday season is a true testament to the spirit of community and artistic creativity. Each year, dedicated volunteers come together to transform the historic mansion into a winter wonderland, adorning its rooms with unique and captivating themes that capture the magic of Christmas. Admission to the museum and the Christmas in the Mansion exhibit is entirely free, allowing visitors to experience the magic of this holiday tradition without cost. This annual spectacle opens its doors on the evening before Thanksgiving, coinciding with the Lakeshore Holiday Parade and the Rahr-West Art Museum’s Santa Reception. Christmas in the Mansion continues to captivate visitors through the first week of January.

decorated christmas tree at Rahr-West Art Museum

The Nutcracker 

The annual performance of "The Nutcracker" at the Capitol Civic Center is a beloved holiday tradition that enchants audiences of all ages. Each year, this timeless ballet comes to life on the stage, transporting spectators to a magical world of sugarplum fairies, toy soldiers and the enchanting Land of Sweets. The production showcases the exceptional talent of local dancers from the Jean Wolfmeyer School of Dance. With its captivating choreography and stunning set design, "The Nutcracker" is a heartwarming and visually spectacular holiday event that evokes the true spirit of the season, making it a cherished Manitowoc tradition for families and culture enthusiasts alike.

CCC outside lit up at night