Max Koepke, western parties, winter parties and more Wausau events

By Devon Welsh

Winter Wonderland Party

Friday, 12/22 | Rainbow Play Systems of Central WI, Wausau

Looking for some family-friendly fun before Christmas? Rainbow Play Systems is throwing their first ever ‘Winter Wonderland Party’. Their indoor playsets will be open for kids of all ages to enjoy. There will be music and a dance floor ready for the whole family to cut a rug. The event runs from 11:30 until 6:30, but tickets are sold for two-hour blocks of time, so head online and book a time to play. 11:30 am – 6:30 pm. $9 per person, free for kids under two. More info at

Escape Rooms at the Library

Friday 12/22 – 12/30 | Marathon County Public Library, Hatley

Sometimes the holidays make you want to ‘escape’! Unfortunately you can’t escape your family this Christmas, but you can take them to an escape room! This is a cooperative game where a group of people have to work together to solve puzzles, discover clues and use their intuition in order to figure out how to get out of the room within a time limit. The Hatley branch of the MCPL has put together two different ‘pop-up’ rooms, one more challenging than the other. The escape rooms are completely free, but families must register in advance for a time slot. So get on the phone and book your ‘escape’! 10 am – 4 pm. Free. For more info and to register, call 715-359-6208.

Santa Saturdays

Saturday, 12/23 | Washington Square, Wausau

Forget everything you’ve heard – Santa Claus is real. I’m not kidding. If you want to see him for yourself and take a photo for proof, he will be at Washington Square on Saturday. Considering that Mr. Claus is gearing up for Christmas, it’s amazing that he is taking the time to stop in Wausau for a few hours. Mrs. Claus and the elves are surely continuing their preparations back at the North Pole. Let’s show our gratitude to Santa for stopping by – it’s first come, first serve, so bring the whole family and meet the man himself. Don’t bring pets, it will scare the reindeer. 11 am – 4 pm. Free. More info at

Max Koepke

Saturday, 12/23 | The Garage, Rib Mountain

Max Koepke very quickly became a local favorite back when he was a teenager from D.C. Everest High School. Koepke moved away for college, but the singer/keyboardist/guitarist usually plays out whenever he returns to town. This time he will play at The Garage, which is becoming a hotbed for music. And, if you miss him Saturday, he’ll play again at The Garage next Thursday, Dec. 28. 1 pm. See The Garage on Facebook for more. (BCK)

Midnight Rodeo
Saturday, 12/30 | Bantr, Rothschild

On the eve of New Year’s Eve, Wausau’s largest log cabin will be filled with country twang and the clomping of cowboy boots – luckily there will be no manure. Bantr is transforming their Rothschild venue in order to capture the spirit of the Wild West. This includes Western-themed drinks and cowboy games such as horeshoe tossing, quarters and bags. Jerry Schmitt, who was mentioned in last week’s highlights, will be providing the music along with his country band. Attendees should don their best cowboy outfits and prepare to step back into the old West. 8 pm – 12 am. Free. RSVP online.

New Year’s Day PJ Party

Monday, 1/1 | Clay Corner Studio, Wausau
On New Year’s Day you may not want to get out of your pajamas. If so, this event is for you. Clay Corner Studio is hosting their 16th annual New Year’s Day party, where pajamas are encouraged. Make your own pottery on the wheel while enjoying coffee, hot cocoa and donuts. If you’re in your PJs you get 10% off your pottery too. Getting creative without having to dress up might be a good way to start the new year. 10 am – 8 pm.