Visit Downtown Madison: Downtown Holiday Open House- Thanksgiving weekend

MADISON, Wis. (November 19, 2014) Downtown Madison offers a weekend of holiday fun plus great shopping at unique local merchants at the Downtown Holiday Open House, Friday and Saturday, November 28-29, 2014, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, State Street and the Capitol Square. Bring the family and guests for two days of fun, including trolley rides, ice sculpting, holiday crafting and pictures with Santa, art activities, and free family performances including a holiday magic and balloon sculpting and great music, plus special offers and refreshments from participating merchants, many locally owned. Park easy downtown, with more than 9,000 spaces available in public garages, lots and streets. Information is at or (608) 512-1342.

Enjoy an ice sculpting demonstration in Peace Park, pictures with Santa and a holiday crafting party at DreamBank, Holiday Trolley rides with welcome bags treats for children, “Kids in the Rotunda” performances at Overture Center (Tim Glander’s Holiday Magic and Balloon Sculpting, and a be-bopping family party with The Cash Box Kings), and art activities and book displays inspired by Holidays Around the World at the Central Library. For maps, directions, event information and more, stop by a Downtown Info Table at Overture Center (201 State St.), Nov. 28-29, or the Downtown Visitor Center (452 State St.), open every day.

Stop by downtown businesses, many locally owned, to get a start on your holiday shopping during the Holiday Open House. More than 30 downtown businesses and organizations are participating with sales, special offers, drawings, and activities, with shopping opportunities for gifts, cards, artwork, jewelry, craft items, clothing, accessories, shoes and boots, sporting goods, bath and body products, books and calendars, specialty foods (like cheese and chocolates!) and wine. From Anthology to University Book Store, businesses on State Street and the Capitol Square area including The Kitchen Gallery, Madison Sole, Art Gecko, Fromagination, Goodman’s Jewelers, Little Luxuries, A Room of One’s Own Bookstore, (shoo), The Soap Opera, Square Wine Company, Fontana Sports Specialties, and SERRV look forward to helping you find unique gifts for friends, family, and even yourself!

The Holiday Open House also kicks off the downtown Holiday Gift Drive for Teens ( , supported by downtown merchants, to benefit United Way of Dane County. Help bring holiday cheer to teens of families in need! It’s easy to give. While shopping downtown at the Holiday Open House, or anytime Nov. 28 through Dec. 29, pick up a Gift Drive Item, and drop off your donation at one of five downtown locations for United Way to distribute. A “wish list” of Gift Drive items to donate, plus participating stores and drop off locations, can be found at Or, stop by one of the drop off locations for details anytime between Nov. 28-Dec. 28, and look for the “We Carry Gift Drive Items” signs in downtown stores. Or, visit or call 2-1-1 to give. The downtown Holiday Gift Drive for Teens to benefit United Way is sponsored by Madison’s Central BID, the Greater State Street Business Association (GSSBA) and Isthmus.

The holiday fun continues in downtown Madison after the Holiday Open House. The free Holiday Trolley runs Saturdays, December 6, 13, and 20, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and community volunteer caroling groups will stroll State Street and the Square on those Saturdays from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Information is at

The Downtown Holiday Open House is presented by Madison’s Central Business Improvement District (BID) with support from the Greater State Street Business Association (GSSBA). Thanks to our Sponsor, DreamBank – American Family Insurance. Thanks also to our Media Partners Isthmus, 94.9 WOLX and 105.5 Triple M, and Programming Partners Madison Public Library’s Central Library and Overture Center for the Arts.