Welcome to the ultimate holiday checklist! Here we’ve gathered 25 things that you can do around the 715 this holiday season. There’s no shortage of events going on to create unforgettable memories of this winter. It may be cold outside, but there’s still so much to do! So, read on to get some ideas to make the most of this holiday season.

  1. See the lights at Irvine Park

One of the essential activities a person in the Chippewa Valley must do is the Christmas village at Irvine Park. It’s free, goes from 7am-9pm every day from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, and it’s got 100,000+ lights and 100+ scenes that light up the night and ignite the holiday spirit in everyone that sees it. 

  1. Try a holiday-themed escape room

Treat yourself to an experience unlike any other with the Reindeer Games Escape Room in the Schlegelmilch House Museum in downtown Eau Claire. Held by Tactical Escape 101, players will have to find items to help Santa make Christmas happen. 

  1. Donate something

There are plenty of opportunities to do some good around this time of year. Whether you have extra winter gear, necessities, or new toys, you can help our community in one way or another. Check out our guide on a few charitable events happening here.

  1. Visit Santa

It’s not Christmas without a visit to Santa, especially if you have little ones. And there’s plenty of him going around – so make sure to catch him before he rolls out on Christmas eve!

  1. Take a class at the Glass Orchard

A class at the Glass Orchard is sure to be a good time. Blow glass with the experts, and you can make holiday-themed fused glass or blown glass projects. This is a unique experience that the 715 offers, so don’t miss out!

  1. Attend the Prohibition Party at Infinity

A fun and unique event is happening for the 7th annual time, at Infinity on December 1st. Celebrate the end of prohibition with a 1920’s dress up party, complete with cocktails of the time and a live jazz band. Dance away the night and celebrate!

  1. Visit a Winter Farmers Market

Farmers markets are not just for summer – you’ll find winter farmers markets around the 715 too. There’s one at the Brewing Projekt on the 2nd as well as one in Menomonie at the Raw Deal that same day. Down to Earth Garden Center also hosts a winter farmers market every first and third Saturday of the month. 

  1. Go to a Holiday Market

There’s TONS of holiday markets in the 715, so make sure you hit one up for handmade and local gifts!

  1. Take a crafting class

There’s a few crafting classes going on around the 715, like the jewelry making classes at String Theory Studio and Collective Charm. There’s also clubs to craft at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, too.  Craft away!

  1. Dress up as Santa and ride your bike

No, we don’t mean on a random Tuesday. It’s the Santa Cycle Rampage, happening at the Haymarket Plaza in Eau Claire starting at 1pm on December 2nd. This is the 2nd annual Santa Cycle Rampage in Eau Claire, and it’s a blast!

  1. See a musical

There are plenty of shows to see, and one place you can do that is at The Pablo Center. They have live music, Broadway shows, and a slew of other exciting shows in their lineup. They’ll have On Your Feet!, the Gloria Estefan-inspired musical, Charlie Berens, Chris Kroeze, as well as many other great shows. 

  1. Sing karaoke

Let loose one night this holiday season by trying karaoke. The 715 offers many places to do karaoke, like Scooter’s (Thursday and Sunday nights) and The Plus (Mondays). Sing your favorite holiday song or just your go-to karaoke song. Break a leg!

  1. Do DJ Trivia

If you’re into trivia, or you’d like to try something new (why not?), there’s plenty of trivia around the 715. Whether it’s The Thirsty Badger in Chippewa, Kat’s Pourhouse in Elk Mound, or The Plus in Eau Claire, there’s plenty of themed and general knowledge trivia to participate in. And that’s not even all of them!

  1. Visit an open mic

Okay, okay – we won’t make you perform, but there’s an incredible amount of underground talent in the 715 – and they’re showing their stuff at open mics. The Plus, The Lakely, and River Jams all have open mic nights every week or month. Visit one!

  1. See a comedy show

Eau Claire is very lucky to have Clearwater Comedy (read more here!), which brings comedians from all over through Eau Claire. They have all kinds of comedians, as well as improv groups and even a roast at the end of the year! Have some laughs and check out one of their shows.

  1. Sip a holiday cocktail

The 715 does not disappoint with their craft cocktails. There’s plenty of places that offer delicious and special cocktails, and what better way to embrace the holidays than to sip a holiday flavor? Check out the Lakely, Helix, and Infinity for some great drinks this holiday season. 

  1. Try a seasonal dish

Restaurants around the area are coming up with creative seasonal dishes to embrace the holiday season and make great tasting memories. Check out your favorite places to eat to see what they came up with!

  1. Make a porch pot or wreath

Down to Earth Garden Center is putting on workshops where you can build your own porch pot or wreath with your own or their supplies. Find out more information here.

  1. Catch a drag brunch

Check out the Holli-dazzle Drag Brunch at the Lakely on December 10th, hosted by local legend Khloe Wold. The event is 18+ and tickets are $20. Don’t forget to snap a photo with your favorite Queen!

  1. See music at the Plus

There’s a few local music shows going on this holiday season. One to look forward to is at the Plus on December 1st, featuring Lesh, Frank Samuel, and Elvessa. Another is Nick Anderson & The Skinny Lovers, The Over Unders, Parker Reed & The Lucid Dreamers, and Pullstring on December 15th. And finally you can see Creeping Charlie, Asparagus, and Once More, Autumn live at the Plus on December 10th. Don’t miss out!

  1. Don an ugly sweater

There is no shortage of opportunities to show your ugly sweater off, but there are a few ugly sweater events that really encourage it. The Lakely is having an ugly sweater party featuring live music from Sweater People, and they’re giving away a gift card to the best – well, ugliest – sweater. Another great opportunity is the ugly sweater bar crawl put on by Downtown Eau Claire, where you can find a passport at any of the participating bars and enter for a chance to win prizes. The bars are The District, The Fire House, The Plus, Reboot Social, The Mousetrap, and Clancy’s. So bust out the ugly sweater and have some fun!

  1. Do some mindfulness or yoga

The holidays can be overwhelming – don’t forget to take time for yourself. Do a yoga class, or just practice being mindful whenever you can. Remember, don’t stress yourself out!

  1. Pick out the perfect Christmas tree

Don’t forget to pick out a Christmas tree if that’s your thing! There are plenty of amazing tree farms around the 715. Check out a few here.

  1. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to serve the community in a non-monetary way. You can volunteer at the Humane Association, Agnes’ Table (check out all about their upcoming event here!), Hope Gospel, or one of the many opportunities to volunteer in the 715. 

  1. Decorate your place

Decorations are a fun way to get into the holiday spirit. Decorate your house with local decorations bought at all the fun shops in town. 

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