Madison During The Holiday

by Brianne Nickerson - December 17, 2017

My family and I recently moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Madison.Wisconsin. It was a successful move when it came to my job. We were moving up in the world and it was a great feeling. Now Philadelphia can be cold in the winter, but we had no idea how cold Wisconsin can be. There is no comparison. Whatever jackets we owned must, and I mean must, buy warmer coats. Please if you move here, invest in warm clothing (haha).

The nice thing about where we moved is The Capital Building can be seen, just two blocks walking distance, from where we live. Madison is the capital of Wisconsin. And the capitol building is smack dab in the middle of Madison.

And the holidays are approaching. We are fish out of water here. There aren’t cheesesteak stands on every corner, but there are places to get Brats, Cheese Curds, or a Brandy Old Fashioned. It will take me time to get use to this, but in the end THEY ARE DELICIOUS! All of them!

Anyways, once again, the holidays are approaching. One thing thing that we did while living in Philadelphia is cross the bridges to New York. We would see the tree at Rockefeller center, and the brilliance of lights around greater Manhattan. Philadelphia had it’s historic district lit up as well, so we had a whole spectacle of lights during the holidays.

But now we are in a new place. So, I asked our new house cleaning service if there was anything cool that we take the kids too that had that holiday festive spirit. And everyone, and I mean everyone said the same place… OLIN PARK!

There is festival of lights there. So, why not. Let the family see something new.

It’s literally right next to the capitol as well. You cross this bridge and “bang” you can’t miss it. It says right when you turn in “Turn Off Your Lights”. I have been to many light showings over the years, but never saw a sign warning that. Well, you don’t need lights there. There are plenty.

There is sign for a local radio station 101.5. It says tune in for the show. We did and holiday music filled our car. One right turn and suddenly it was the holiday oasis.

Lights everywhere. The Wisconsinites takes pride in all things Wisconsin. Name the team that plays here and they have a light spectacle. And it’s great. There is Bucky The Badger giant-sized in lights. Makes sense, they play about five minutes from here at The University of Madison. A gigantic Greenbay Packers football helmet that if you blink you still won’t miss. And of course, last but not least, the Milwaukee Brewers with a giant glove catching a ball.

On top of that, local restaurants and businesses have created their own lights. You will see all the normal characters from Frosty, Rudolf, Santa, and the Frozen characters. Lots of snowflakes, Christmas trees, and even a giant slot machine.

I was blown away. They even give everyone in your car a complimentary candy cane when leaving. I had no choice, we went through one more time just to see the lights again. It takes about 15 minutes to drive through, so what’s another 15 when everyone is having a good time.

Now, it’s a new tradition. Last year was our first year to see the lights at Olin Park, and this year we try to go a couple times a week, just for fun, then grab a nice hot cocoa after. I figure this is a only one time a year thing my kids love now, but will eventually grow up and find their own traditions somewhere else. So, enjoy it while I can.

Happy Holidays to all of you. Whether you are in Madison or not, have safe holiday season and best wishes to all of you.