‘Tis the season: Across Wisconsin, homes, parks, and public spaces are transforming into glittering spectacles that highlight the holiday spirit. Make your season even more merry and bright by visiting a few of these impressive holiday light displays.
This drive-through light show in Manitowoc’s Lincoln Park features more than 70 wild animal light displays (fitting, since Lincoln Park is also the home of Manitowoc’s zoo). Admission is a suggested $5 donation per car, with proceeds being used for improvements at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Lights of the Northwoods blankets Hodag Park in Rhinelander (the home of the Hodag, natch) with colorful lights. Throughout the celebration, Santa is on hand for your holiday photos. Lights of the Northwoods is open from 5-9pm, and there’s a driving route as well as a walking path.
While twin Kodiak bears Munsey and Boda are usually the star attractions at Marshfield’s Wildwood Park & Zoo, during the holidays they take second billing to one of the state’s premier light shows. Rotary Winter Wonderland is an ocean of twinkling lights, with dozens of displays and more than 2 million lights. You can experience the lights with a driving tour, but for the full experience, take time to walk through the park and marvel at the displays. The event runs from 5 to 9pm daily from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.
Enchantment in the Park, West Bend
Every winter, West Bend’s Regner Park is transformed into a magical wonderland of colored lights. The Rotary Clubs of Washington County host the event, and 750 hard-working volunteers work together to string more than half a million lights. The display expands every year, so there are always some new surprises for the more than 50,000 people who visit annually.
Rotary Holiday Lights, La Crosse
Walk, drive or take a carriage ride through La Crosse’s Riverside Park to marvel at more than 3 million lights that illuminate colorful displays at this popular park along the banks of the Mississippi River. More than 160,000 take in the display every year or attend fun events like the live nativity or visits with Santa and his reindeer.