The local events scene slows waaaaay down during this part of the year, so we are spotlighting some of the seasonal shows, plays, and holiday activities that you still have time to check out.
Monday, Dec. 20
- Open Mic Comedy Night at the Bur Oak. Hosted by Jake Snell. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Free.
- Wanderlust Bookshop Pop-up at Leopold's Books Bar Caffè. Wanderlust Bookshop will be selling German-language books at Leopold's for one day only. 3-8 p.m. 3
Tuesday, Dec. 21
- Butter-making demonstration at Madison Children’s Museum. “Visit the Log Cabin and whip up a batch of homemade butter.” Free with admission. 2-3 p.m.
- Dog Nail Trim Clinic with Bad Dog Frida at the Barrymore, benefiting Lola's Lucky Day Rescue. $10 per dog. Must reserve a time slot online. 4:30 - 7 p.m.
- Kids in the Kitchen: Incredible Edible Gifts workshop. 5 p.m. Virtual. $10 for Owners; $20 for non-owners.
- Board Games & Beer: Happy Holidays Editions at Garver Feed Mill. Open to anyone and family friendly. Featured Game Designer this month is Reiner Knizia and Game of the Month is Carcassonne. 5:30-9 p.m.
- Book Release Party: “Madison Chefs” by Lindsay Christians at Leopold's Books Bar Caffè. 7 p.m. 🟠
- Isolation: DJ Ellafine via Twitch, 10 p.m. Free, donations requested. 🟠
Wednesday, Dec. 22
- A Very Kitschy Christmas with MELVIS at the Bur Oak. A musical comedy show featuring impersonator and comedian Melissa Brumm. Elvis tunes, kitschy jokes, dance routines, and Christmas songs. Doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. Free.
- Tone Madison Fundraiser Wednesdays at Imaginary Factory. 4 to 10 p.m., buy drinks! 🟠
Thursday, Dec. 23
- Holiday Blood Drive at Alliant Energy Center Exhibition Hall. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Lynda & The Zeros at High Noon Saloon. Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. $10 advance, $12 at door.
- A Very Merry Christmas: Stand-Up Comedy at The Rigby. Lineup of comedians from across Wisconsin and Austin, Texas. 7:30-9:30 p.m. $10 advance, $15 at door.
- Holly Jolly Amateur Burlesque at Crucible. Burlesque performances, prizes, snacks. 7 p.m. $10.
- Insidious: The Feast of St. Krampus at Crucible. "Come sit on St. Krampus's lap and tell him how you've been bad last year." 9 p.m. $5.
Wondering what that 🟠 means?
That symbol next to an event listing means that Tone Madison’s team of writers and editors recommends checking it out. Tone knows Madison’s arts and music landscape better than anybody else.
Sign up for the Tone weekly newsletter here.
❄️ 6 more seasonal suggestions
Ice skating at The Edgewater
Open starting Wednesday, Dec. 22. Open Christmas Eve & Christmas Day. Adults: $7. Children under 12: $4. Skate rentals: $3.
A Christmas Carol with Children’s Theater of Madison
Open through Thursday, Dec. 23. Tickets start at $23.
Step back in time to Victorian England as the miser Scrooge learns it’s never too late to open your heart, and a young boy’s life is forever changed. The whole family will enjoy this holiday favorite, filled with music, dance and plenty of Bah Humbug!
Credit: Children's Theater of Madison
Madison Ballet's The Nutcracker
Shows through Sunday, Dec. 26. One show on Christmas Eve. No show Christmas Day.
Madison Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker returns to Overture Hall in 2021 with a holiday performance that will dazzle like no other. A favorite of audiences of all ages, The Nutcracker seamlessly blends Tchaikovsky’s famous score, played by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, with all-new choreography to celebrate Madison Ballet’s 40th Anniversary Season.
Credit: Madison Ballet
Snow White and the Seven Superheroes
Shows through Dec. 28. No shows on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Tickets start at $10.
Take a classic fairy tale, sprinkle generously with characters from the fantastic world of comic book heroes, and throw in slapstick humor, corny jokes, and silly song parodies to get the sixth installment of Madison’s newest (and most FUN) holiday tradition: the holiday panto!
This time around, the Evil Queen (played in true panto tradition by veteran “dame” James Rowe) consults Siri, and Snow White ends up abandoned in the forest near a cottage occupied by Batman, Wonder Woman, and 5 other superheroes. Cheering for the heroes (both super- and non-) and booing for the baddies is strongly encouraged in this family-friendly holiday treat!
Credit: Mercury Players Theatre
Zoo lights at Henry Vilas Zoo
Open through Dec. 30. Not open Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. General Admission Tickets $10. Children 3 and under free (ticket still required)
Experience the Zoo after hours under the glow of almost one million lights! All tickets include unlimited carousel rides. Santa will be available for pictures every night until December 23rd. Drinks available for purchase.
Credit: Henry Vilas Zoo
Holiday Express Flower & Model Train Show at Olbrich Gardens
Open daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. through Dec. 31. Closes at 2 p.m Christmas Eve and not open on Christmas.
Enjoy large-scale model trains chugging through a festive scene overflowing with hundreds of poinsettias and fresh evergreens. Each year, Olbrich’s creative horticulturists design and carefully construct a unique environment for visitors to explore.
This year’s show theme is Planes, Trains, and Automobiles – so get your tickets out, make sure your tray tables are in the upright position, and buckle up!