Give your grandparents a gift to remember this holiday season by gathering the whole family together and taking them on a festive adventure!

Nutcracker in the Castle | Nov. 16 – Jan. 7

The Paine Art Center and Gardens presents a dazzling display of sights, sounds and surprises this holiday season with Nutcracker in the Castle. The tale unfolds with each room of the historic estate transformed into scenes from the beloved Nutcracker fairy tale, from the opening Party Scene with a giant Christmas tree to the magical Land of Sweets and the enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy.

There are three different ways to visit and enjoy the fantasy experience of Nutcracker in the Castle. Guests may take self-guided tours, candlelight tours, and guided tours, with each style of tour offered at separate times. In addition to tours, guests are invited to visit the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Cupcake Café for a scrumptious treat.

Deck the Halls | Nov. 17 – Dec. 30

Make your holiday season a hygge one! This year the Oshkosh Public Museum’s annual Deck the Halls holiday exhibit is inspired by hygge, a Danish concept of savoring life’s simple pleasures. Experience the Museum set aglow with a nostalgic display of holiday décor, combining ambient interiors, cozy settings and conviviality – all the makings of a happier hygge holiday.

A visit is not complete without a stroll through the halls to marvel at the gorgeous interiors designed by Tiffany Studios of New York, including the newly-lit, one-of-a-kind iridescent stained glass windows on the landing of the grand staircase. Visitors can also have fun finding the mischievous little elves hidden throughout the museum.

Celebration of Lights | Nov. 23 – Dec. 31

See more than one million twinkling lights from the comfort of your car at Celebration of Lights. The 1.2 miles of holiday sights and sounds are displayed throughout beautiful Menominee Park, enhanced by the colorful light reflections from Lake Winnebago.

Sights and activities include the 100-foot tree, more than 120 trees filled with lights, sculptured scenes, animated light displays, visits with Santa, gift shop, special event nights, carriage rides and much more.

Celebration of Lights visitors can tune in their radio and listen to holiday music during the drive through the park. At the end of the route, visitors will get to enjoy two colorful musical animated pixel light displays. Celebration of Lights is open daily from 5 to 9 p.m.

Holiday Music at The Grand | Dec. 7 and 8

The holidays are never quite the same without hearing the sweet sounds of music echoing through the halls of The Grand Oshkosh. Join award-winning vocalist Janet Planet along with University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Marty Robinson, for an evening of jazzy holiday favorites Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets

Come take in a night of Wail n’ good cheer Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. After 30 years, The Wail continue to take their listeners on a ride through the hot club sounds of Paris to the deep blues of the Memphis Delta to the folk scenes across “every town” America. Enjoy all the holiday classics with an Americana, gypsy jazz feel. Tickets

Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings | Dec. 13-15 and 20-22

Come join the debut of dinner theatre at the majestically restored Howard. Ring in the holiday season by enjoying an upscale, fine dining experience and quality entertainment with Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings. Sit back and enjoy this energetic and perfectly harmonized quartet sing in nostalgic doo-wop fashion.

Sprinkled among the Christmas offerings are audience favorites, like “Mambo Italiano”, “Fever”, their riotous three-minute-and-eleven-second version of The Ed Sullivan Show – this time, featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks, and The Vienna Boys Choir, as well as a Plaid Caribbean Christmas that puts the “Day-O” in Excelsis! Tickets

Nativity Collection | Year-round

A visit to the Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church's Nativity Collection could be the highlight of any season, not just Christmas. You will be awed by the beauty and diversity of this collection of more than 1,000 nativity sets. The collection is housed in the lower level of the church and is open during the church’s regular hours.

This is one of the largest permanently displayed collections in the world. The 1,000-plus sets were gathered by one church member, Mildred Turner. Depictions of Christ's birth range in size from five-feet tall to smaller than your thumb and reflect a myriad of cultures.

They are made of every kind of material, including wood, porcelain, precious metals and marshmallows, and they come from every corner of the globe. Nativities range from the unsophisticated work of children to masterpieces of artwork. It is breathtaking to see how many different expressions there are of the holy event.

by Paige Owens