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The 12 Dates of Christmas | Michigan Edition

The best part about celebrating the 12 dates of Christmas is that they can be completed anywhere in the great state of Michigan.

The ideas I present to you in this guide can be tailored to any city. There is no obligation to complete all 12, but your Christmas spirit will be roaring if you do.

The 12 Dates Of Christmas: Michigan Edition - The Awesome Mitten
Sir Claus is coming to town
Photo courtesy of Joseph Symons

12  Excellent Ideas for Christmas Dates in Michigan

Prepare Yourself for Santa Claus’ Arrival

Even if you don’t believe in the big guy (c’mon now), the arrival of Santa Claus often coincides with many other great holiday events.

Town Christmas tree lightings, carolers, and sleigh rides with free hot chocolate are Santa’s frequent companions. You can find many of these holiday activities in Petoskey, the Great Lakes Bay region, Grand Rapids, and Metro Detroit.

What could possibly be more adorable than sipping hot chocolate and watching children shriek in delight at the arrival of a large man dressed in red?

Indulge in Some Tasty Christmas Shopping

And by tasty shopping, I mean wine tasting.

Michigan is well-known for its fabulous wines and everyone wants some for Christmas. Wine tasting is exceptionally delightful in the winter, as the tasting rooms are far less crowded.

Wineries are currently offering holiday discounts and the tasting rooms are festively decorated. Personally, I like to sample gifts before I give them to make sure they hold up.

Sampling local, festive wines with your partner is a great way to spend a blustery Saturday afternoon date.

RELATED: A Winter Wine Tour of the Old Mission Peninsula

Watch a Classic Christmas Performance

This time of the year, you are completely surrounded by musicals, plays, and other Christmas-themed performances. Some are put on by local schools, while others are put on by cities that have professional and amateur groups.

There are religious, funny, classic, and unique performances available all throughout the state of Michigan.

Check out your city’s local events calendar to see what is playing near you.

The 12 Dates Of Christmas: Michigan Edition - The Awesome Mitten
Michiganders know that winter running is the best!
Photo courtesy of Patrick Smith

Participate in a Christmas Themed Race

Most places in Michigan have a spirited Jingle Bell Run or other holiday-themed events that takes place before Christmas.

In my experiences, these races are usually not timed and costumes are highly encouraged. Grab your significant other, put on some warm socks, and trudge through the falling snow together.

The post-race party will be lively with Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, and winter camaraderie.

Glide Peacefully Around an Ice Skating Rink

This is a more traditional Christmas activity, but you can’t go wrong with a classic ice skating rink.

Places like Detroit and Grand Rapids have large, fully decorated rinks with refreshments available. Smaller cities have intimate, cozy, outdoor skating rinks created for locals.

Big, small, who cares? The ice is equally slippery and the photos will be priceless.

The 12 Dates Of Christmas: Michigan Edition - The Awesome Mitten
Christmas carols and Christmas beer
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Symons 

Enjoy a Mix of Beer and Hymns

Yep. Right Brain Brewery in Traverse City hosts a ‘Beers and Hymns’ event every December. They partner with a local church to come in and lead a group of folks in traditional Christmas songs while they casually sip on some craft brews.

You know who else combines the holidays with beer? Upper Hand Brewery, New Holland Brewing, and Dark Horse Brewing Company are just a few of the many breweries that ring in the holidays with special suds and celebrations.

Partake in Some Seasonal Cocktail Sampling

While we’re on the subject of great beverages, it is worth mentioning that there is nothing I love more than themes.

Themed cocktails are abundant this time of year, and I dare you to find one better than a peppermint eggnog martini, a Christmas cosmo, Bell’s Christmas Ale, or my favorite, the Glogg Winter Drink – mulled wine served warm.

Map out a walking tour with your partner to some of your favorite local establishments, I guarantee they have something seasonal ready for you.

Embrace the Season During Christmas Tree Shopping

If you are a fan of Christmas, I am going to make a bold assumption and say you love a good Christmas tree as well.

I wholeheartedly advise romping out in the middle of nowhere and cutting your own. I don’t mean go full-on ‘Christmas Vacation’, but be as adventurous as you dare. Many Christmas tree farms have options to cut your own or have it cut by someone who knows how to use a saw.

You can’t beat that fresh-cut smell and you must watch a classic Christmas film while decorating your tree. I insist.

The 12 Dates Of Christmas: Michigan Edition - The Awesome Mitten
Almost too pretty to eat
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Symons

Have Some Fun With Holiday Baking

I loathe cooking and I am awful at it. Ask my husband and he will lie to you. I have been known to start making cookies, get bored, and throw away the dough halfway through.

However, there is something completely different about holiday baking. Beautifully decorated sugar cookies, heartily-seasoned Chex Mix, and my family’s ancient recipes make me feel a little more enthusiastic.

Plus, if you make it a date activity, you can make your partner do all the work while you slowly poison yourself with the cookie dough.

Chow Down on a Christmas-Themed Dinner

Have I mentioned that I like themes?

Restaurants all across our fabulous state have been embracing local and fresh fare for years. They do not back down in the slightest during the Christmas season.

Black Star Farms in Leelanau County hosts a Brunch with Santa and is able to accommodate holiday parties as well. And, there are several turkey-themed restaurants in Michigan.

The 12 Dates Of Christmas: Michigan Edition - The Awesome Mitten
Pyramid Point in the winter is dazzling
Photo Courtesy of Joseph Symons

Take a Beautiful, Scenic Christmas Hike

As Michigan natives, we all know about the hikes and views available to us.

As the tourists and crowds die out during the winter months, it is time to revisit these hikes. You never know if the snow will be here or not in December, but that’s part of the adventure.

Have some snowshoes handy or just bundle up. The unique thing about Michigan is that the trails look vastly different depending on the season, so if you haven’t seen your favorite route in the early days of winter, I highly advise it.

View an Awesome Christmas Light Tour

A lot of cities in Michigan offer large light shows presented in a convenient location to drive or walk through.

If your city doesn’t offer this, I love viewing Christmas lights the old-fashioned way; cruising around independently and leisurely creeping around people’s homes to see their decorations.

I don’t advise actually going onto someone else’s property as they may not be as jolly as their lights, however, the view from the street is just as nice.

Start Planning Your 12 Dates of Christmas

Is there anything spectacular that I missed? Which one sounds like a Christmas date that you would go on?

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