December in Oshkosh is a Wonderful Time Of Year

santa-brunchBy Jeff Potts

Our “Event City” reputation typically conjures images of a hot summer day spent listening to music or exploring aviation but the holiday season also has Oshkosh busy with activity.

We’re quickly approaching North Pole status for the amount of yuletide cheer a family can experience in Oshkosh. All of our major attractions are hanging their stockings, double checking their lists and providing plenty of good cheer.

For unique events check out the annual Christmas in the Air at the EAA AirVenture Museum, 3000 Poberezny Road, on Monday, Dec. 2. From 3 to 8 p.m. the museum will be decorated for the season and feature live music and dance performances, a just “plane” chocolate tasting event starting at 5:30 p.m. and the arrival of Santa Claus (by helicopter) at 6:30 p.m. This fun event is free for good boys and girls of all ages.

The Oshkosh Youth Symphony has a unique opportunity to enjoy “Brunch with Santa” on Saturday, Dec. 14 in the City Center Atrium, 2 Jackson St. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. you’ll enjoy a full breakfast, cookie decorating, ornament work stations, musical performances and more. Tickets are $20 for adults and $12 for children. Admission includes everything you need for a day of fun. Call (920) 233-7510 for reservations.

The Oshkosh Community Area Community Band continues their 28-year-old tradition with a night of Christmas Carols at The Grand Opera House, 100 High Ave., on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. A free will offering will be taken to enjoy this night of wonderful seasonal music.
The Grand has a number of holiday options this season.

The UW Oshkosh Jazz Ensemble teams up with Steve March-Torme for a night of holiday music and other selections on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

The Oshkosh Community Players perform “Nunsense!,” Dec. 12 through 14.

Second City brings their improvisational comedy to the Grand on Thursday, Dec. 19 for the “Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue.”

And Boogie and the Yo-Yoz will bring a rock and roll approach to the holidays for their show, “Boogie’s Rockin’ Christmas,” on Saturday, Dec. 21.

Tickets are available through their website:

The Paine Art Center and Gardens continues their holiday tradition known as “Nutcracker in the Castle.” With three different tours to choose from (self-guided, candlelight or guided tours with live music and dancers) you can explore the castle and the story of the “Nutcracker.” It’s a holiday spectacle for all the senses.

Across the street at the Oshkosh Public Museum a new “Deck the Halls” exhibit takes a look at how the holidays were celebrated generations ago through their toys, advertisements and decorations.
The two museum tour makes for an outstanding afternoon of holiday cheer.

In the evening it’s time to head to Menominee Park for the annual Celebration of Lights. More than a half-million lights sparkle on the shores of Lake Winnebago. The nearly one-mile drive includes stops to visit with live reindeer, Santa’s workshop and the Elves’ hideout with children’s activities. They’ll be treating the community to special themed nights throughout the end of the year. Check out their website for a complete schedule of events,

Finally, don’t miss a busy Gallery Walk from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Downtown Business Improvement District is sponsoring horse and carriage rides, madrigal singers and lots of opportunities to get your holiday shopping finished early.

Happy Holidays Oshkosh!

Jeff Potts is the Marketing Director at the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau. He has nearly 20 years experience working with Oshkosh events as a journalist, fundraiser, event planner and marketing professional.

The OCVB is the official destination marketing organization for Winnebago County committed to enhancing the economic impact of tourism through events, services, sales and marketing. To learn more, check out or email Jeff at

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