30 Things to do Over Christmas Break Winter Lake Country Family Fun

30 Things to do Over Christmas Break

 2021 is almost over and we will ring in a brand new year soon. Here’s to praying it is a great year for our community members.  My son laughed at the lyrics of the Christmas song last week, “And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again”.  He knows!  Break is fun, but a well-planned out break can be even more fun for the whole family. We have put together a great guide for this year’s Christmas break with lots of ideas. Most holiday-light displays are open through January 1st or 2nd.

Doing things doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. Check out the fun local library events at the end (#30) to enjoy your winter break and save your wallet! Our local libraries have been instrumental in providing free local fun for families this year and throughout past years. There are other cheap or free things listed in this guide as well. 

Lake Country Family Fun has you covered with this handy guide to 30 Things to do over Christmas Break to keep you and your little ones occupied and avoiding the #stircrazy. Look no further this break! 

Note: These events are subject to change. Please check with the venues on availability and pricing before attending.

DON’T LET THE KIDS BE BORED DURING CHRISTMAS BREAK!

Christmas Break “No School” Day Camps available
December  27- 30
4 -12 years old, 6:30am-6pm
 We are running a camp special of $40 per day.
Registration Fees Waived. WOW!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP! 

Dayspring Preschool is located:
1.5 miles east of HWY 83 on Silvernail Rd.
Follow them on Facebook!

Christmas Break 2021 Ad Dayspring Pewaukee

 

 

30 things to do with Your Family over Christmas Break:

#1 Stay in and watch your favorite movies in pajamas with popcorn and hot chocolate. 

  • Our recipe for hot chocolate bombs can be found here.
  • Our favorite 30 Christmas movies can be found here.
  • Our favorite Amazon Prime movies can be found here + 4 ways to kick your at home movie night up a notch!
  • You can also hop in the car in your PJs with your cocoa and go view Christmas lights.  Most are open through the New Year. Find holiday light options and a map here.

#2 Visit the Milwaukee County Zoo – It’s FREE for these last days of 2021!

  • Frosty Free days are December 27 -31, 2021
  • Open 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Parking remains in effect
  • In 2021, the Zoo will be CLOSED for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
  • New this year – check out WILD LIGHTS at night. Admission holiday lights event.

#3 Sign up for Winter Camp at HAWS in Waukesha 12/27 – 12/31.

HAWS Winter Camp Ad _LCFF (1)

  • Looking for something fun for your kids to do during winter break? The animals at HAWS have got you covered! HAWS is now enrolling for their Kids N Critters One-Day Winter Break Camps. Animal lovers aged 7-14 will spend the day interacting with a wide variety of adoptable pets all while learning, volunteering and playing.  Camp dates are Monday, December 27 to Friday, December 31.  Sign up today to make sure your kids get a spot! https://hawspets.org/camp/
     

#4 Sort through old toys to make room for the new ones.

  • I don’t know about you, but the day after Christmas (or the next day) I get this massive urge to tear down the decorations, organize and clean. 
  • As you sort out which ones to keep, which ones are trash, and which ones to donate keep in mind local charities that take toys in good condition! (like these)
  • Need help organizing? Learn about the local business, “This Organized Space” in our shop local guide here.
  • Find 14 local donation centers HERE.

#5 Go Ice Skating indoors – 4 locations!

  • The Mullett Ice Center in Hartland has public holiday skating throughout break.
    • Monday, December 27th 1-2:30pm
    • Tuesday, December 28th 1-2:30pm
    • Wednesday, December 29th 1-2:30pm
    • Thursday, December 30th 1-2:30pm
    • Friday, December 31st 1-2:30pm
  • The Naga-Waukee Ice Arena in Delafield has public holiday skating. Skating is $6 with $3 for rentals. You can find the holiday schedule here.
  • The Eble Ice Arena in Brookfield has public holiday skating. You can views dates/times and make an online reservation here.
  • The Petite Ice Center in West Allis has public skating. Youth are $5.50 plus $3.50 for skate rentals. The holiday public skating hours can be found here.

#6 Check out our New Year’s Eve Family Fun Celebrations List for making plans on New Year’s Eve DAY – Friday, December 31.

#7 Stargaze at the only planetarium in Waukesha County

  • The state-of-the-art, 90-seat, Digistar-6 planetarium is owned and operated by the School District of Waukesha.
  • See George and Oatmeal Save Santa on December 22, 28 and 30th at 11:00 am. 
  • See Khrumka’s Adventures in the Winter Forest on December 27th and 29th at 11:00 am.
  • See the Planetarium programming at the Planetarium at the Retzer Nature Center and get tickets here.

#8 Fly a Kite and get free snacks and goodies at the Cool Fool Kite Festival on January 1st.

  • The COOL FOOL KITE FESTIVAL will be on New Year’s Day, 2022 from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm in Veterans Park on Milwaukee’s Lakefront. This is a FREE event, with plenty of FREE parking. They will have FREE hot chocolate, coffee, and snacks, compliments of Gift of Wings, while they last. This is a “Fun Fly” so bring your kite or pick up a kite at Gift of Wings at the park.

#9 Go Hiking on Jan 1 for the First Day Hike!

  • This year, the WI DNR has several First Day Hike options.
    • Read the press release here. Note: There is no first day hike in Waukesha County this year, but many within a few hours – which would make a nice day trip. 
  • Waukesha County Parks Department invites all to spend January 1 outdoors taking a hike at one of their county parks. This is a self-guided hike with no formal event. Find them HERE. Did you get your County Park pass for 2022 yet? They make a great gift!  

#10 Go Sledding

  • We hope there is snow!! If so, check out LCFF’s local sledding guide, featuring over 20 local spots. We even list out if a spot has parking or a restroom and what ages they are best for. 
  • Many thanks to Bark River Realty for sponsoring the sledding guide and bringing winter fun to local families. 
  • If there is no snow, be sure to bookmark the sledding hill guide for when there is!
  • The little snow we have gotten is really wet and hard to sled in so far. Swap sledding for a HIKE this year! We did!  Find hiking options here.

#11 Is it too cold out, but you want out of your house? Check out our Indoor Play Guide.

#12 Clean out your pantry.

  • Take some time to clear out your pantry. For any non-expired items, consider donating to a local food bank. See our Food Pantry Guide.
  • Create a new recipe with the new found ingredients hiding in the back of the pantry/cupboard.
  • Find 9 tips and ways to make organizing fun with kids HERE.

#13 Spend the day splashing away at an indoor water park or pool.

  • Springs Waterpark
    • 2810 Golf Rd., Waukesha, (800) 247-6640
    • Web
    • Our family’s review of Springs Water Park and the Country Christmas Getaway Package (Spoiler alert – we LOVED it!)
    • They also have a New Year’s Eve Family Package
  • Breaker Bay Waterpark, inside the Blue Harbor Hotel in Sheboygan
    • Blue Harbor, Sheboygan, (920) 452-2900
    • Open daily for the December holiday.
    • Web
  • The Wisconsin Dells Waterparks – Find our favorites by clicking on the link.
  • Splash the day away at the Great Wolf Lodge in Gurnee Illinois. Even get in some shoping before or after.
  • The Ridge Hotel has an awesome and big pool. on Mondays through Thursdays you can visit for $20, but call ahead.

#14 Support Local even after the Holidays – 3 ideas

  • Have you been inside Sweet P’s Pantry? My kids love visiting this small kitchen hidden in downtown Oconomowoc. 
  • Start eating healthy and start by ordering from the Polite Platter.
  • Get signed up for dance classes for your littles at Apsire Dance.
  •  Find all the businesses in our shop small shop local guide here.

#15 Show off your Skating Skills at an {outside} Ice Rink.

  • You can find out where you can ice skate in Waukesha via our LCFF Wintertime Fun Guide! Skating is fun for all ages! Here are a few of the many places to skate outdoors:
    • Nixon Park Hartland – NEW THIS YEAR
    • Sussex Ice Rink at Civic Center
    • Ice Rink at Park Arthur in Muskego -NEW LAST YEAR
  • Make a trip to downtown Milwaukee at Slice of Ice! It opened on Christmas Eve for the season. Holiday hours are:
    • Dec. 24 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
      Dec. 25 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.
      Dec. 26 – 31 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
      Jan.1 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
      Jan. 2 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

#16 See a $5 movie on Tuesday, December 21st or 28th or Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 at Marcus or see a $6 movie at Silverspot on Monday, the 20th or the 27th or January 3rd.

  • Our family loves going to the theatre after Christmas, during break. This year, the favorite movies are SING 2, Spiderman, Encanto, and West Side Story to name a few.
    • Silverspot Theatre
    • Brookfield Marcus
    • Brookfield Movie Tavern
    • Menomonee Falls Marcus
    • New Berlin Marcus

#17 Visit Milwaukee

  •  Betty Brinn Children’s Museum is open Dec 26 – Dec 30th with either a 9:30 – 12:30 session or 1:30 – 4:30 session. See their full holiday schedule here. Don’t miss their noon year’s eve party December 31, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  NOTE: The Betty Brinn Museum has been temporarily closed through January 5th, 2022.
  • The Harlem Globetrotters show will be at the Fiserv Forum on New Years Eve at 1 and 6pm.
  • The Transsiberian Orchestra Show will be on December 26th.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks play Dec 22, 25 and Jan 1, 3 and 5.
  • The Milwaukee Admirals play Dec 30 and Jan 1.
  • Get tips on visiting Milwaukee with kids

#18 Utilize your sitters who are home on break and go out on a date!

  • We will totally be doing this!  Twice!  You can find us on December 22nd at the 8pm Improv show with a little Christmas Shopping at the Corners before. 
  • Go out – Go out on the town for a date.  We have tons of local date ideas in our Date Guide sponsored by MKE Improv, a date night idea we highly recommend. Playing over break is:
 
  • Stay in – Mom and dad need a break from the kiddos and the regular routine. Try one of these 20 at home date night ideas and strengthen your relationship. 
  • Find a babysitter in our guide here.

#19 Take a mini-vacation to one of these airbnb unique vacation spots in Wisconsin.

  • Stays up north
  • Stays on a lake
  • Stays near and around Wisconsin Dells
  • Staycations in Wisconsin are the best!

#20 Try downhill skiing. 

  • No mountains necessary – there are quite a few bunny hills in these parts.
  • Some ski hills offer learn to ski classes. Some are private and others are open to the public.
  • Find all the details here. 
  • Note: Even if there is no snow on the ground, most hills make their OWN!

#21 Enroll your kids in Winter Camp.

  • Dayspring Pewaukee will be having Christmas Day Camps
    • Register here.
    • No School Day Camps available
      December  27- 30
  • Riveredge Winter Camp
    • Their 7th  annual Winter Camp will be December 27 – December 29 @ 9:00 am 4:00 pm
    • More details here

#22 Bounce away at SkyZone or Soar at Urban Air.

  • Urban Air Milwaukee West is a great time. We’ve been there, read our review here.
    • Their holiday hours can be found on their website.
  • Sky Zone Milwaukee/Waukesha has many holiday deals running right now and through Christmas break.
    • Looking at break, they have Family Fun Day every Wednesday. 
    • Holiday hours can be found on their website
    • Also, skim these Groupons

#23 Rent Snowshoes at Retzer Nature Center.

  • Snowshoe rentals are available when there is snow. $5.00 for half a day and $9 for a full day. They have a ton of rentals available in all sizes.  The office is closed 12/24, 12/25, 12/31, 1/1.
  • Mark your calendar for February 17th a candlelight hike in this park.

#24 See where kids eat free this week (PS. Tuesday has the most options).

  • Note: Be sure to check seasonal availability by calling before attending.
  • Kids Eat Free Guide

#25 Donate Blood. (January is National Blood Donation Month)

  • Schedule a blood donation at the Red Cross. I donate through Red Cross and love tracking my donation to its final destination hospital.
    • First Congregational Church in Hartland on 12/20.
    • St. Charles in Hartland on 12/28.
    • Raised Grain Brewery on 12/30
  • Donate through Versiti.
      • There are quiet a few. Search by zip code here.
         

#26 View the Country Christmas Lights Display or visit any of the other local light displays.

  • Most are open through the New year!
  • You can drive through to see the Country Christmas lights through January 2nd, 2021, including Holidays. Details here.
  • Better yet, book a stay with the Country Christmas Getaway Package
  • See other local light displays, too, with our handy map.

#27 Take a Road Trip!

#28 Make Your Own Playdough. It will last until Easter.

  • All you need is flour, oil, salt, cream of tartar and water for this easy home-made playdough recipe that lasts for months.  Add food coloring if you want to add color. Check out the recipe here.

#29 Visit the Milwaukee Park Domes Holiday Floral Show.

#30 Check out FREE Events at our Local Libraries and check out books to take part in Winter Break Reading.

  • One of the best gifts to give your kids (and their teachers) is to keep reading over Winter Break!   
  • Check out our local library locations here and you can even read Lake Country Family Fun’s review of each one!

Happy Christmas Break from Lake Country Family Fun

30 Things to do over Christmas Break
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