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22 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Door County

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From snow-blanketed woods, bluffs and shorelines to vibrant displays of lights and decorations found in nearly every town, the holiday season is brimming with festivities from November to January in Door County.

Downtown Fish Creek decorated for Christmas at twilight

Welcoming the magic of the holidays, communities across the peninsula and Washington Island host events and activities each year. If you’re headed to the Door County area this season—or considering a winter trip for a later date—don’t miss these must-do holiday activities and events.

1. Throughout the year, the Door County Trolley offers a variety of tours—but if you’re looking for something festive, try the Winter Wine Tour & Sleigh Ride, the Wine, Spirits, & Brew Tour, the Holiday Pub Crawl or Santa Trolley Express. 

2. Fill your holiday season with nostalgia at Egg Harbor’s Holly Days. Enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides, caroling, old-fashioned tree lighting, and plenty of activities for little ones. 

3. The Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day Parade features eclectic floats and characters mixed with traditional color guards, a Jacksonport fire truck, some horses (maybe even a camel) and Santa.

4. Help Santa light up Sister Bay with holiday spirit at Capture the Spirit. Drink hot cocoa with Santa, his reindeer, and elves, then get some shopping done at the holiday arts and crafts fair.

5. Visit Door County’s first-ever European-style Christkindlmarkt. Enjoy food and drinks and shop for gifts from local vendors, including weavers, potters, photographers, painters, woodworkers, furniture makers, jewelers, candlemakers, glass artists, and more.

6. If you like to trot before you wobble, join Door County Fitness for their Turkey Trot & Dog Jog 1-mile and 5k. It’s free, with donations collected to benefit local Door County charities.  

7. From November through February, check out Baileys Harbor Winter Markets for homemade and homegrown local products. 

8. Wander through dozens of beautifully decorated trees at the Merry-Time Festival of Trees, each decorated by local businesses, organizations and residents. See a tree you like? Enter the raffle, and if you’re the lucky winner, you’ll go home with it! 

9. Kick off the holiday season by “unwrapping” the storefronts at Sturgeon Bay. Enjoy the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, a Car Cruise, a Holiday Parade, Santa Meet and Greets, and more. 

A couple ice skating on a lake on a sunny day

10. Join Ellison Bay for their Christmas Tree Lighting, then stay for a community chili supper. 

11. Journey to Germany… in Door County! Visit Koepsel’s Farm Market for their indoor German Settlement Christmas market. Discover handcrafted wares, foods, and local antiques. 

12. Join the Gibraltar Historical Association for the Noble House Tree Lighting at the Alexander Noble House in downtown Fish Creek. Then, treat yourself to hot cocoa and cookies. 

13. Enjoy horse-drawn wagon rides through town and holiday crafts and activities inside the Village Hall at Ephraim’s Christmas in the Village. Don’t forget to join Santa, his reindeer, and the elves at Harborside Park to watch as he lights the Christmas tree.

14. In need of holiday gifts for your friends and family? Check out Door County’s huge number of one-of-a-kind shops, stores and boutiques—whether online or in person.

Downtown Ephraim covered in snow with holiday lights aglow

15. Visit with Santa, his elves and reindeer for an evening of caroling, holiday activities and the Town Hall Christmas tree lighting during Harbor Holiday in Baileys Harbor.

16. Put on your walking shoes and bundle up for an enchanting luminary-lit stroll at Ridges Sanctuary’s Holiday Luminaria Walks. Or, immerse yourself in the tranquility of a Natural Christmas with a wreath-making workshop, holiday crafts, and a fire to roast marshmallows and chestnuts around.

17. Get into the Christmas spirit with a formal concert featuring a brass quintet, drummer, and vocalist at the Christmas at Birch Creek concert.

18. Enjoy some of Door County’s favorite musicians as they dazzle you with their vocal and instrumental talents at Northern Sky Theater’s annual Home for the Holidays concert. 

19. Get into the holiday groove at Door County Auditorium's inaugural Ugly Christmas Sweater Party with Big Mouth & Friends, where festive fashion meets the finest blues, jazz, and rock tunes for a Christmas celebration like no other.

20. Ring in the New Year at the famous New Year’s Eve Fireworks and Cherry Drop in Sister Bay. Shop throughout the village or try out ice skating at the Sports Complex. Then, stick around for a countdown to midnight and the glitzy cherry drop. 

21. Take in the spectacle at the Egg Harbor New Year's Day Parade, where residents decorate cars and floats, parade around in costumes (or put their pets in costumes), and enjoy an all-around wacky and informal kick-off to the new year.

22. Brave winter’s chill during the Jacksonport Polar Bear Swim, when the locals put on their best New Year’s Day swimwear and plunge into the frozen waters of Lake Michigan.

Discover More Things to Do in Door County this Winter

Just because the temperature drops doesn’t mean the fun stops. If you’re spending your winter in Door County, discover more wintry adventures to fill your snow-filled days! 

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