Milwaukee Food Tours

From traditional to quirky, the Milwaukee area offers a plethora of things to do over the holidays. Here’s a peek at a few:

Milwaukee Food Tours

Two bus trips by Milwaukee Food Tours will get you in the holiday spirit:

• Christmas Around Milwaukee Bakery Tour. This tour will bring you around the world and back as we indulge in stories of ethnic holiday traditions. Enjoy this opportunity to sample and purchase delicious holiday cookies, candies, and pastries from a collection of favorite bakeries in Milwaukee.

Christmas Lights & Desserts Bus Tour. Show off your ugly Christmas sweater and spread some holiday cheer on a Christmas caroling sing-a-long. This Santa-approved tour is the perfect mix of history, Milwaukee Christmas traditions, tasty treats and a dash of light-hearted holiday spirit.

Chef’s Table Experience

Imagine planning a private holiday dinner party with the executive chef of a restaurant. That’s what happens at Chef’s Table in the Fifth Ward, MKE’s only personalized private dining experience.

The dining room, the bar, the lounge and the kitchen are all in one room amid an ambiance of cozy antiques. When you reserve The Chef’s Table for an event, you reserve the entire restaurant (not a room off to the side or on a separate floor), which provides you and your guests with an inclusive holiday experience from the moment they walk in the door.

Enjoy the magnificence and personality of David Magnasco, owner and executive chef. Customize your holiday dinner from start to finish, yet be surprised with the chef’s final picks.

500 S. 3rd Street, Milwaukee, 414-277-7676,

The Standard

On the corner of Hamilton and Franklin place, The Standard bar is always decked out with lights, trees and tinsel for the holiday season.  It’s a small and cozy atmosphere. Every year, the bar that never closes holds an “Orphan’s Christmas,” an amazing array of free food for those who have no place to go. The owners cook all day and bring a feast of ham, sides and desserts to the bar around 7 p.m.

1754 N. Franklin Place, Milwaukee, (414) 405-4656

Governor’s Mansion Tours

Enjoy in-person tours of the historic Wisconsin Executive Residence in Madison. The ornately decorated mansion tours are available from noon to 2 p.m. on select dates in December. Now a tradition, visit the Tribute to our Troops Tree, recognizing the many service members and their families and includes donated ornaments from families of those in the service.

99 Cambridge Road, Madison, (608) 246-5501,

Urban Ecology Center

Need a different twist from the usual Christmas fare? Try a day outdoors with the Urban Ecology Center. The Winter Break Forest Adventures, Dec. 21, features hiking, climbing and playing in the park for children ages 4-6 who can’t wait for Christmas.

Another experience is ROOT (Restoring Our Outdoors Together, Families can work to improve the biodiversity and ecological integrity of our parks via invasive species removal, trail work and planting at Riverside Park on Dec. 26. MKE