The Awesome Mitten (Christmas in Michigan)

Christmas Events in Michigan!

‘Tis the season all over our beloved Mitten! Although the holidays are crazy for everyone, Christmas in Michigan is worth taking time for. This year boasts a crazy amount of Christmas activities, festivals, parades, craft shows, concerts and exhibits that are appropriate for your grandmother, children, significant other, sister and parents. I’ve chosen a few events to share but would encourage you to follow the links at the bottom of the article if there’s more Christmas extravaganzas you want to be a part of! We shall tackle this task region by region.

Metro Detroit
If you’re tired of shopping and baking, I would encourage a visit to the Walter P. Chrysler Museum for a little peace of mind and a glimpse of the Cars, Trees and Traditions exhibit. Museums are too low key? Head to Lake Orion on December 8th from 2-6pm for the Lighted Holiday Village Shopping Event. There are reindeer to pet. That’s all it takes for me. For something to scare your children this Christmas season, tell them the story of Hansel and Gretel and then take them to Michigan’s finest Candy Gingerbread House in Rochester! This masterpiece stands at eight feet tall and there are over 300 pounds of holiday candy adorning it. You have time to work that in before January 6th; it would be a great field trip before allowing your kids to make their own while they’re on break from school. If you’ve never been to Holly, what better time than this? December 8th at 1pm is their Holly-Day Parade, probably one of the last parades you’ll see til the snow melts.

Michigan Christmas Events - The Awesome Mitten
Photo Courtesy of DenLin Properties

Northern Michigan
If you’re hailing from the Northern half of the lower peninsula, Christmas opportunities are just as abundant. In Traverse City, the City Opera House will stage “A Christmas Cabaret” at 7:30 p.m. December 18th and 19th. The cold and Christmassy Kalkaska is having a Holiday Craft Show at Birch St. Elementary on Saturday the 8th from 9-4pm. Bring your cash- there’s a raffle! On December 20th at 6pm, Left Foot Charley Winery is sponsoring artist Phil Kline in his Unsilent Night Holiday Sound Sculpture, a musical walk that starts at the winery. The Interlochen Public Library is hosting a “Make it and Take it” Craft Day on Saturday, December 8th that would be perfect for all ages. Finally, Bellaire’s Shanty Creek Resorts is boasting “Skiing with Santa” on December 25th! Lift tickets are free and all donations of non-perishable food items, gently-used winter clothing and/or household items go to the Father Fred Foundation. This would be a fun and affordable holiday tradition to work in!

Michigan Christmas Events - The Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy of

Eastern Michigan
Frankenmuth. Need I say more? But seriously, go to Bronner’s, you won’t regret it. Beyond Christmas, families can look forward to Zehnder’s Snowfest, January 23rd-28th. Snow sculpting, a children’s area, fireworks? Perfect for when holiday madness slows down.

Upper Peninsula
Much like the Bronner’s and Frankenmuth association, one can’t think of a UP Christmas without considering the holiday’s namesake town, Christmas. Two hours north of the bridge will not only get you closer to the North Pole, but within minutes of Santa’s Workshop. When the presents have been shelved and the leftovers eaten, you know it’s time to ring in the new year.

The most unique option I’ve found in the Michigan party archives is Mackinac Island, beloved by all in the summer, and a quiet but beautiful place to be in the winter. December 31st boasts modest downtown bar and dining options (and you don’t have to drive anywhere afterwards), and you can come back for round two on January 1st, Baby New Year, for football parties at all the downtown pubs.

Michigan Christmas Events - The Awesome Mitten
Photo courtesy of

West Michigan
For all the electric company’s on the west side of our Mitten, I’m sure the Christmas bonuses just keep getting bigger and bigger as the displays of lights do the same! If you’re driving by and fall in love with a domestic display, let mLive know by clicking here! Storytime with Sinterklaas is in Holland on December 8that 11am and 1pm. Take your new or old flame to see a truly impressive sight at Fifth Third Ballpark for the drive through Nite Lites. Over a million twinkling lights and a mile of electric beauty would a great date night finale.

As if what I’ve listed above isn’t enough to pack your calendar, follow the links below to find more Michigan Christmas fun! I love this time of year and can’t wait to watch Michigan pull out all the stops in the name of holiday spirit.
Pure Michigan Ideas
A Capitol Christmas in Lansing

-Your Head Elf and Feature Writer, Lyndsay Israel

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