Ballpark Commons Lights Festival

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Welcome to a world where fairy lights twinkle like stars and the night is aglow with festive cheer: the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival in Franklin, Wisconsin.

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Festival highlights

This enchanting event, part of the Enchant Christmas Festival, transforms the Ballpark Commons into a sparkling canvas of color and light. 

Each year, as the holiday season approaches, visitors are invited to immerse themselves in a wonderland of twinkling lights, trees and captivating light exhibitions. Join us on a journey through this magical festival of lights, where every corner shines with the joy and wonder of the Christmas spirit.

About the Festival

This 2023, Franklin, Wisconsin proudly stands as one of the seven cities hosting the renowned Enchant Christmas, known as the world’s largest holiday lights event. Since its inception in 2016 in Vancouver, the festival has captured hearts and spread holiday cheer, eventually expanding its reach to various US locations. 

Enchant Christmas at Ballpark Commons is more than just a festival of lights; it’s a complete holiday experience featuring a bustling marketplace, heartwarming visits from Santa Claus, interactive games for all ages, and live entertainment that fills the air with festive melodies.

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An image inspired by the festive atmosphere of the Enchant Christmas at Ballpark Commons

Immerse yourself in the splendor of these featured lighting displays:

  • The Christmas Light Maze: Navigate through an intricate maze illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights, creating a magical journey through a luminous labyrinth.
  • Ice Skating Trail with LED Dance Floor: Glide along an enchanting ice skating path, surrounded by dazzling LED lights that dance under your feet, adding a glow to every move.
  • Massive Light Sculptures: Marvel at the awe-inspiring light sculptures that tower over the festival grounds, each a masterpiece of design and illumination.
  • The Grand Christmas Tree: Behold the centerpiece of the festival, a majestic Christmas tree adorned with thousands of fairy lights, creating a spectacle that captures the essence of the holiday season.

Festival Dates (2023)

This year, the festival opens its doors to visitors from November 24 to December 31, 2023. During this magical period, the nights at Franklin will be illuminated with the vibrant and joyful spirit of the holiday season, inviting everyone to partake in the festive cheer that only comes once a year. 

Join us in this spellbinding celebration of lights, where each night is a unique opportunity to make lasting holiday memories.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The enchanting Ballpark Commons Lights Festival takes place at Franklin Field, nestled within the vibrant Ballpark Commons in Franklin, Wisconsin, United States. This location serves as the perfect backdrop for a holiday celebration, transforming into a mesmerizing landscape of lights and festive joy. 

Franklin Field, known for its dynamic atmosphere and community spirit, becomes a haven for holiday enthusiasts, offering an immersive experience in the heart of Franklin.

The nearest major airport to Ballpark Commons in Franklin, Wisconsin, is General Mitchell International Airport (MKE). This airport is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is approximately 10 to 15 miles northeast of Franklin, making it a convenient option for those traveling to the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival. Here are some travel options from the airport to the festival location:

  • By Taxi or Rideshare: A quick and direct way to reach the festival.
  • Public Transportation: Buses and shuttles available for an economical journey.
  • Car Rental: For those preferring a private and flexible travel option.

For visitors arriving from other cities by train, here’s a detailed guideline to reach the festival:

  • From Milwaukee: Take a train to Milwaukee Intermodal Station. From there, board a bus or hire a taxi to Franklin, which is approximately a 20-minute drive.
  • From Chicago: Catch a train to Milwaukee from Chicago Union Station. Upon arrival at Milwaukee Intermodal Station, opt for a bus or taxi to reach the festival in Franklin.
  • From Madison: Trains from Madison to Milwaukee are available. After reaching Milwaukee, a short bus ride or taxi journey will take you directly to Franklin.
  • From Minneapolis: Board a train to Milwaukee. From Milwaukee, Franklin is easily accessible via bus or a quick taxi ride.
  • From other regions: Connect through the nearest major city with train service to Milwaukee. From Milwaukee Intermodal Station, Franklin and the festival grounds are just a short bus or taxi ride away.

If you liked this festival, you might want to check out these other mesmerizing lights festivals as well:

Mission Inn Festival of Lights

Bull Run Lights Festival

Festival Hours

The Ballpark Commons Lights Festival invites you to step into a world of festive lights and holiday wonder during specific hours in December. Each day offers a unique timeframe to experience the magic of the festival, ensuring that every visitor has the opportunity to bask in the glow of holiday cheer.

Week Leading Up to Christmas (December 18 to 24)

  • Tuesday: 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM
  • Thursday: 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Friday: 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Saturday: 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Sunday: 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM

Christmas Week (December 25 to 31)

  • Monday (Christmas Day): 4:30 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Thursday: 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Friday: 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Saturday: 4:30 PM to 11:30 PM
  • Sunday (New Year’s Eve): 4:30 PM to 8:30 PM
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An image inspired by the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival

How Much Does It Cost to See Ballpark Commons Lights Festival

Embarking on the magical journey through the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival is an experience that comes with a value reflective of the wonder and joy it provides. The festival has set a thoughtful admission fee structure, ensuring accessibility for all who wish to bask in the glow of holiday lights and festivities.

  • Adult Admission Fee: The ticket price for adults is set at $34. This fee opens the door to a world where twinkling lights and festive charm create an unforgettable holiday experience.
  • Children’s Admission Fee: For the younger enthusiasts, a ticket costs $25.20. This special rate for children allows families to enjoy the festival’s enchanting atmosphere together, making it a perfect destination for creating holiday memories.

Weather and What to Wear

As we embrace the holiday season, the weather in Franklin, Wisconsin, during the months of November and December offers a quintessential winter experience. This period is characterized by a gradual transition from the crispness of late autumn to the chilly embrace of early winter.

  • November Weather: In November, Franklin experiences average temperatures ranging from highs of around 40°F to lows near 28°F. This month brings a mix of cool days and colder nights, with the possibility of early winter snowflakes.
  • December Weather: December ushers in the heart of winter, with average temperatures typically ranging from highs of 32°F to lows around 20°F. This month is often marked by snowy landscapes and frosty nights, creating a perfect backdrop for the lights festival.

To ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit to the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival, we recommend the following attire:

  • Warm Coat or Jacket: A must-have to stay cozy in the chilly weather.
  • Hat and Gloves: Essential for keeping your head and hands warm.
  • Thermal Layers: Layering with thermals under your clothes will provide extra insulation.
  • Waterproof Boots: Ideal for navigating snowy or wet conditions.
  • Scarf: Adds an extra layer of warmth and protection against the cold wind.
  • Warm Socks: Thick socks to keep your feet toasty.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

After a mesmerizing evening at the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival, retreat to one of these nearby hotels, each offering a blend of comfort, convenience, and amenities tailored to enhance your stay in Franklin.

Staybridge Suites Milwaukee Airport South

  • Location: Conveniently situated near Milwaukee Airport, offering easy access to both the airport and the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival in Franklin.
  • Description: As a 3-star hotel, Staybridge Suites provides a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, ideal for both short-term and extended stays. The hotel’s design caters to the needs of travelers seeking both convenience and comfort.
  • Amenities:
    • Free Breakfast: Start your day with a complimentary breakfast, offering a variety of options to suit all tastes.
    • Free Parking: Guests have access to free parking, making it easy to travel to and from the festival and surrounding attractions.

Travelodge by Wyndham Milwaukee

  • Location: Ideally situated near the heart of Milwaukee, this hotel offers easy access to both the city’s attractions and the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival in Franklin. Its location is particularly convenient for guests looking to explore the greater Milwaukee area while being in close proximity to the festival.
  • Description: The Travelodge by Wyndham Milwaukee is a 2-star hotel that combines affordability with comfort. It caters to travelers seeking a straightforward, no-frills accommodation experience. The hotel’s welcoming atmosphere makes it a great choice for both leisure and business travelers.
  • Amenities:
    • Pet-Friendly: Recognizing the importance of your furry companions, the hotel welcomes pets, making it an ideal choice for those who travel with their animal friends.
    • Free Wi-Fi: Stay connected with the complimentary Wi-Fi service, whether it’s for leisure browsing or staying on top of work commitments.

Super 8 by Wyndham Milwaukee Airport

  • Location: Located near Milwaukee Airport, this hotel provides easy access to the airport and is a short drive from Franklin and the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival.
  • Description: Super 8 by Wyndham Milwaukee Airport is a practical and budget-friendly 2-star hotel. It offers a straightforward and comfortable lodging experience, perfect for travelers looking for essential amenities without the extra frills.
  • Amenities:
    • Free Breakfast: Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast, a convenient way to fuel up before exploring the festival.
    • Free Parking: The hotel offers free parking, adding to the convenience for those traveling by car.

Where to Eat

Embark on a gastronomic journey at these local eateries near the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival, each offering a unique dining experience with a variety of flavors to satisfy your palate.

The Bowery Bar & Grill

  • Location: Conveniently located close to the festival area.
  • Description: A vibrant spot with a lively atmosphere, offering outdoor seating perfect for enjoying the crisp air.
  • Specialties: Known for its great cocktails, the grill also serves a range of delicious dishes including pizzas, burgers, and other classic American fares.

Swiss Street Pub & Grille

  • Location: A short drive from the festival, offering a cozy dining experience.
  • Description: A family-friendly establishment with a welcoming ambiance and a dedicated kids’ menu.
  • Specialties: Satisfy your cravings with their steak and eggs, unique pizza omelette, or the hearty corn beef hash, among other tantalizing dishes.

Toppers Pizza

  • Location: Easily accessible for festival-goers looking for a quick and tasty meal.
  • Description: A popular pizza joint perfect for casual dining or takeout.
  • Specialties: Offers a variety of vegetarian options, along with mouth-watering pizzas, crispy chicken wings, and sweet cinnamonstix for dessert.

More Places to Explore in the Area

Beyond the twinkling lights of the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival, Franklin and its surrounding areas are home to a variety of attractions, each offering its own unique set of experiences and activities for visitors to enjoy.

Boerner Botanical Gardens

  • Location: Nestled in Hales Corners, just a short drive from Franklin.
  • Description: This horticultural haven is a picturesque collection of themed gardens, showcasing a splendid array of plants and flowers.
  • Activities: Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls through the beautifully landscaped gardens, seasonal floral displays, and educational workshops.

Milwaukee County Zoo

  • Location: Located in Milwaukee, a brief journey from Franklin.
  • Description: Renowned for its diverse collection of over 2,000 animals, the zoo is a favorite for families and wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Activities: Explore various animal exhibits, interactive educational programs, and behind-the-scenes tours for an insightful and engaging wildlife experience.

Whitnall Park

  • Location: Situated in the heart of Franklin.
  • Description: Spanning over 640 acres, this park is one of the largest in Milwaukee County, offering a serene escape into nature.
  • Activities: The park features hiking trails, a scenic golf course, picnic areas, and in winter, cross-country skiing paths, making it a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Ballpark Commons Lights Festival

As the lights dim on another successful season of the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival, we carry with us memories illuminated by twinkling lights and warmed by the joy of the holiday spirit. This festival, a beacon of light in the heart of Franklin, has once again proven to be a magical gathering place for friends, families, and visitors from near and far. 

We leave inspired by the dazzling displays, the festive music, and the shared moments of wonder under the starry winter sky. Until next year, may the glow of the festival’s fairy lights continue to brighten our hearts and remind us of the joy and beauty of the holiday season.

FAQ

Is there parking available at the festival?

Yes, there is ample parking available at the Ballpark Commons, including accessible parking options.

Can I bring my pet to the festival?

Yes, pets are allowed, but they must be on a leash.

Is smoking permitted at the festival?

Smoking, including e-cigarettes, is not permitted within the festival grounds to ensure a comfortable experience for all guests.

Are there food and drink options inside the festival?

Absolutely! The festival features a variety of food and beverage vendors, offering delicious treats and drinks to enjoy.

Can I take photographs or videos at the festival?

Yes, photography and videography are encouraged! Share your magical moments but please respect the privacy of other guests.

Is the festival accessible for guests with disabilities?

The festival is fully accessible, with pathways designed to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers.

Are there any age restrictions for the festival?

The Ballpark Commons Lights Festival is a family-friendly event, suitable for all ages.

What should I do if I lose an item at the festival?

Lost and found services are available at the festival. If you lose an item, please contact festival staff for assistance.

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An image inspired from the Ballpark Commons Lights Festival

Sources:

https://biztimes.com/holiday-lights-festival-opens-friday-at-ballpark-commons-in-franklin/

https://radiomilwaukee.org/stories/milwaukee-news/2023-06-14/enchant-christmas-ballpark-commons-milwaukee

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