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

30 Things to do Over Christmas Break

 2023 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 (even a planned out down day/rest day) 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 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.

dayspring christmas break

Don’t Let the Kids be bored during Christmas Break!

Fun Games and themes every day!

“No School Day” Camp Full Day (More than 4 hours)

  • 4K / $50 per day
  • K – 6th Grade / $45 per day 

“No School Day” Camp Half Day (4 hours or less) 

  • 4K / $28 per day
  • K – 6th Grade / $25 per day

DaySpring hours run from 6:30am to 6pm. Campers bring their own lunch and pack clothes for outdoor play.


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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 

  • Frosty Free Week is December 26-30th, 2023
  • Open 9:30 am to 2:30 pm
  • Parking remains in effect
  • In 2023, the Zoo will be CLOSED for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
  • Again this year – check out WILD LIGHTS at night. Admission holiday lights event.
  • Start a NEW tradition for New Year’s Eve with the Zoo’s Wild Lights special event! Buy tickets HERE

#3 Sign up for Winter Camp at HAWS in Waukesha 26, 27, 28, 29, 2023

  • Looking for a fun place for your child to spend some of their winter break? Have them come spend a day or more at one of our locations interacting with and helping to care for our animals, enjoying winter themed activities both indoors and outdoors and learning what animals do in winter both in the wild and as a pet.
  • Ages 7-14.
  • Dates of camp are December 26, 27, 28, 29, 2023.
  • 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.
    • 12/23  1:00 – 3:30pm
    • 12/26  1:00 – 3:30pm
    • 12/27  1:00 – 3:30pm
    • 12/28  1:00 – 3:30pm
    • 12/29  1:00 – 3:30pm
    • 12/30  1:00 – 3:30pm
    • 12/31  1:00 – 3:30pm
  • 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. 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 – Sunday, December 31.

#7 Stargaze at the only planetarium in Waukesha County

2023 Holiday Break Horwitz Deremer Planetarium


#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, 2024 at 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. Find First Day Hike & Various Locations Here 
  • Take a walk around Fowler Park from 10 am to noon on January 1 to raise money for the Oconomowoc Splash Pad! So close to making this a community reality. 
  • 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 2024 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.

  • See the Indoor Play Guide with all the local indoor fun ideas.
  • Thank our Indoor Play Guide sponsor, Brad Marscke, Lake Breeze Realty. He’s the Real, Positive Realtor.

#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.
    • The Kalahari has an amazing water park. Tap above to see our review.
    • The Wilderness has multiple water parks. Tap above to see our review.
  • 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 or Stone Bank Farm Market.
  • 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 
    • Sussex Ice Rink at Civic Center
    • Ice Rink at Park Arthur in Muskego 
  • Make a trip to downtown Milwaukee at Slice of Ice! Target goal is to open Early December. We skated their in March 2023 and had so much fun! Check back HERE for Holiday Hours

#16 See a movie at Marcus Theatres and check out their ScreenX in New Berlin

  • Our family loves going to the theatre after Christmas, during break. This year, the favorite movies are The Grinch, Spiderman, Encanto, The Bad Guys just to name a few.
    • Brookfield Marcus
    • Brookfield Movie Tavern
    • Menomonee Falls Marcus
    • New Berlin Marcus
  • See our experience from December 2023 at ScreenX HERE.

#17 Visit Milwaukee

  • See the National Geographic’s Beyond King Tut: The Immersive Experience. The Exhibit is open until January 6 and is free to 6th graders!
  • Betty Brinn Children’s Museum will be open additional days for winter break. Hours of operation will be:
    • December 24 Closed
      December 25 Closed
      December 26-30 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
      December 31 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
      January 1 Closed 
      January 2-7 Regular hours
    • Don’t miss their New Year’s Eve at Noon event! It  will be held on Sunday, December 31. Families can enjoy a dance party and a 12 p.m. ball-drop ceremony. 
  • The Harlem Globetrotters show will be at the Fiserv Forum on New Years Eve at 1 and 6pm.
  • The Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be at Fiserv Forum December 27th 
  • The Milwaukee Bucks play Jan 1st & 3rd
  • The Milwaukee Admirals play Dec 27th and 30th
  • Get tips on visiting Milwaukee with kids

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

  • Go out – Go out on the town for a date.  We have tons of local date ideas in our Date Guide sponsored by American Family Field, a date night idea we highly recommend with Xgolf, The Barrel Yard, and the Tinsel Taproom! Use our code for a discount!
  • 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 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!

#20 Enroll your kids in Winter Camp.

  • Dayspring Pewaukee will be having Christmas Day Camps
    • Register here.
    • No School Day Camps available
      December  26 – 29
  • Riveredge Winter Camp
    • Their 8th annual Winter Camp will be December 26 – December 28 @ 9:00 am 4:00 pm
    • More details here
  • Oconomowoc High School Jr Raccoons
    • December 27 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm for 1st thru 5th grade
    • December 28 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm for 6th thru 8th grade 
  • FREE Holiday Kids’ Fun Classes at Journey Martial Arts in Waukesha.

    • Wednesday, Dec. 27th 5:30-6:30pm (ages 4-7)
      Register ages 4-7 here: https://bit.ly/jmaholidaykids

    • Thursday, Dec. 28th 5:30-7:00pm (ages 7-12) 

      Register ages 7-12 here: https://bit.ly/holidayjmayouth

    • Kids age 4-7 & 7-12 will love these holiday fun classes featuring challenges and games involving our blasters & darts (NERF), as well as our dodgeballs, plus a few holiday surprises! Light snacks and juice boxes provided during event. JMA members and their siblings or friends are welcome to attend these fee-free class events! Advance registration is required, see links above & share with friends/family.

#21 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

#22 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 29th a candlelight hike in this park.

#23 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

#24 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.
  • Donate through Versiti.
      • There are quiet a few. Search by zip code here.

#25 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 1st, 2024, 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.

#26 Take a Road Trip!

#27 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.

#28 Visit the Milwaukee Park Domes Holiday Floral Show, “A Holiday Snow Globe.”

#29 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!

#30 Take in a Gals on the Go Workshop (for boys and girls)

  • Frenemies 101
    • Join Gals On The Go  in this workshop for your Tween. Located at Little Red Schoolhouse in Hartland
    • This fun event includes interactive activities that will address all aspects of making, keeping, and maintaining healthy relationships on and off social media. Get ready for an engaging & confidence-building experience where we will strengthen self-worth and increase self-esteem by applying art, music, mindfulness, and confidence-boosting activities.
    • To sign up, view the event HERE
  • Cool, Calm and Capable Kids
    • Located at Little Red Schoolhouse, join our skilled team focusing on social and emotional skill-building, friendship development, and anxiety/worry reduction. This event is a fun day with hands-on activities, art exploration, and group-based play. This event is for BOYS ages 8-11. 
    • View event and sign up HERE

Happy Christmas Break from Lake Country Family Fun

30 Things to do over Christmas Break
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