Holiday Activities in Appleton

There are several activities in Appleton that take place every holiday season.  Starting with the Christmas parade just before Thanksgiving, and running through the 1st of the New Year! We have enjoyed several of these events over the few years we have lived here at the Franklin Street Inn.  Although some of these events have already taken place this year, it’s not too late to enjoy the local holiday cheer.

Christmas Parade

Marching band at nighttime Christmas parade, White slacks with red vests and wearing red christmas hatsOne of the main Holiday events eaxh year is the Appleton Downtown Christmas Parade, an annual event dating back to 1960.  The 49th annual parade marched and rolled down College Avenue on Tuesday, November 26th with the theme of “That Holiday Feeling.” This Christmas parade is the largest nighttime parade in the Midwest.  About 80,000 spectators assembled in Downtown Appleton for the parade last year despite frigid temperatures.  This year’s crowd looked just as large, even with the light rain that fell on the parade.

The parade was broadcast live on Green Bay’s WFRV-TV (Channel 5).  For those who missed it, or wish to enjoy it again, the parade will be rebroadcast on Christmas Day, December 25, from 5 – 6:30 am.

More information about the Christmas Parade, including the Parade Marshall’s, policies and participation can be located by clicking here:  Appleton Downtown Christmas Parade.

Historic Hearthstone Victorian Christmas exhibit

Hearthstone Victorian Christmas logo. Picture of Heathstone House inside a Christmas wreath with a gold bow at the top.Another wonderful activity during the season is The Hearthstone Historic House Museum annual holiday tradition – Victorian Christmas. Every room of Hearthstone is filled with old-fashion Christmas and holiday decorations. “Sugar Plums” is the theme this year, but they never forget Santa and the many other Christmas traditions which started in Victorian America and England and that we still embrace today

The special evening guest tours for the season are at your leisure – an open house setting so you do not have to start at a particular time.  Suitable for children of all ages, the docents are on hand dressed in their finest Victorian holiday attire to answer guests’ questions. There are also live musical performances featuring a different area group or soloist for guests to enjoy.

Be a part of the holiday tradition that is Victorian Christmas! Special tours and concerts take place on Fridays and Saturdays in December from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

See the Hearthstone website for the specific schedule of musical artists, ticket purchase and other details.

Christmas Window Displays

Window displays are another event that occurs each holiday season.  The downtown Appleton businesses traditionally decorate their windows in festive holiday spirit each year.  Most are decorated in time for the Christmas Parade, and decorations are left up into January.  In addition, this year the St. Mary Catholic Community, 312 S. State Street in Appleton, proudly presents a progressive Christmas window display that tells the Christmas story.  Lighted window scenes are accompanied by music (broadcast through an FM radio station).  The window scenes will change each week, concluding on January 5th.

Art Exhibits and Other Activities

Picture of characters from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before ChristmasAlthough the exhibits change each year, there are always several to enjoy every holiday season.  This year the Trout Museum of Art exhibits include Nightmare Before Christmas and The Grinch Concept.  Original concept art and sketches from two classic Christmas films are on display: Disney’s – Tim Burton’s The Grinch with folded arms in front of dark green backgroundNightmare Before Christmas,

and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  The exhibit runs through February 2, 2020.

There are always plenty of holiday activities for all ages and interests at a variety of Appleton establishments.  You may want to make Christmas crafts and gifts, decorate cookies, or shop at a holiday craft fair.  Or perhaps an open Christmas party or pub crawl is more to your liking.  Check out all the activities in Downtown Appleton at: Appleton Downtown, Inc,. events

There are also many activities in many of the nearby Fox Cities communities.  You can find out more about these holiday activities at:  Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau events calendar

We hope you have a wonderful Holiday season and are able to visit Appleton for some of our festivities!