By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Nov 26, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Happy Thanksgiving, Milwaukee parents. Here are a bunch of  family-focused events that might tickle your fancy:


Get to the museum for an unusual lighting this holiday season. The Milwaukee Public Museum's 36-foot humpback whale skeleton will be adorned with a Santa hat and lit with more than 4,200 white lights for the holidays. Children in the audience will be encouraged to help Museum President Dan Finley pull the lever, which activates the lights and a medley of whale noises and holiday tunes.This whale is one of the oldest members of the Milwaukee Public Museum family; found washed up on an East Coast beach in 1877, it was purchased by the MPM in 1884 and has been on display ever since. The lighting is at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Help build Milwaukee's largest Harley-Davidson bar & shield logo out of cans by bringing one can of non-perishable food to the Harley-Davidson Museum.  Everyone who donates a can of food will receive one complimentary kid’s admission ticket to the Harley-Davidson Museum and benefit the Hunger Task Force. Have lunch with Mrs. Claus at Motor, warm your bones by the blazing outdoor bonfire or with a hot chocolate and watch as Santa makes his big entrance on his Harley "sleigh" to light the holiday tree. Rock out to live music and watch the twists and turns of Santa’s skateboarding elves Ollie, Nollie, Kickflip and Alley-Oop.


In true Milwaukee tradition, The Rep's "A Christmas Carol" opens at The Pabst Theater this weekend to bring the Dickens' classic alive. Don't miss Milwaukee's longest-running holiday production and annual family tradition! This highly acclaimed production combines traditional Christmas carols, magnificent costumes and memorable characters with Dickens' timeless Christmas tale. See the show through Dec. 27; tickets range from $20 to $45.

David Seebach presents his popular Christmas show for the third year at the Palladium Cine-Dine Theatre at the Marcus Majestic Cinema. Featuring the beautiful Sword Cabinet Mystery performed with special holiday costumes, the staging of Houdini's Metamorphosis magic act, an audience participation routine based on Einstein's theory of relativity and an appearance from Santa and his elves to greet all the audience members after the show for pictures and autographs.
Take the kids to the Bradley Center for "1-2-3 Imagine! With Elmo and Friends" all weekend long. Imagine singing and dancing with Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, and all your favorite Sesame Street Live friends. This high-energy musical will transport audiences to far away places as Ernie captains the high seas, Elmo dances to the rhythm of the African rainforest and Bert meets an octopus who has the blues. It's a story of adventure and fun that teaches children they can be anyone, do anything and go anywhere with the power of imagination. Shows run several times daily Friday, Saturday and Sunday; tickets range from $13 to $30.

First Stage Children's Theater presents "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." When the unruly Herdman kids are chosen to put on the annual Christmas pageant there’s laughter, tears, a small fire and the best Christmas pageant ever. Tickets range from $16.50 to $36.50 for floor seating, and $10.50-$12.50 for balcony seating; the show runs through Dec. 24.

The 11th annual Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival once again illuminates the streets and parks Downtown. Thousands of lights will radiate throughout three downtown parks while sparkling roof lines, brilliant wreaths and Moravian stars set the city's streets aglow for the six-week festival. Marvel at the spectacular sights of the season aboard the convenient Jingle Bus, which takes visitors on a 40-minute, narrated tour of downtown's winter wonderland. For $1 per person, visitors can relish in the holiday spirit while admiring a festive panorama. The Jingle Bus operates Thursdays through Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m.