Pure Michigan December 2014 Events Roundup

The holiday season brings concerts, festivals and community lighting celebrations that make us remember why we love the snowy season and are proud to call the Great Lakes State home. Pull out your calendar and discover some of the many events that are happening in Michigan throughout the month of December. For a full list of events in Pure Michigan, visit michigan.org/events.

Week of December 1 – 7

detroit-zoo-wild-lightsParade of Lights
December 2, Holland
Santa arrives in downtown Holland during the annual Parade of Lights escorted by bands, floats, vehicles and individuals…all decked out in sparkling holiday lights! Over 50 different entries will illuminate the streets of downtown during this brilliant procession. At the end of the parade, Santa will take the time to greet his fans, both young and old!

Run Through the Lights
December 4, Kalamazoo
Make your way to the west side of the state for a festive run or walk through the holiday lights of downtown Kalamazoo. Run Through the Lights is an untimed, non-competitive, fun run and everyone is invited. Race starts and ends at Bronson Park, registration required.

Mid-American Conference Championship
December 5, Detroit
2014 Mid-American Conference Championship will match the champions of the East and West divisions in one of the nation’s most underrated athletic conferences. This annual game played at Ford Field offers the excitement of a championship game right in the heart of the city. Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University and Western Michigan University are all Mid-American Conference programs.

Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Concert
December 5, Ann Arbor
Get a jazzy start to the weekend by joining Vincent York’s Jazzistry for a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong! You’ll enjoy classics such as “Oh, Lady Be Good” and “What a Wonderful World.” Vincent York’s Jazzistry, an Ann Arbor based nonprofit, uses live performance to teach the story of jazz and its role in American history and culture to students in Michigan schools.

Reindog Parade
December 6, Saint Joseph
winter-runnersCostumed pets and their owners will escort Santa into downtown to kick off the holiday season. The annual Reindog Holiday Parade features dressed up pets and their owners in a variety of holiday garb. Be prepared to see all kinds of costumes from “Santa Bernards” to “Reindeer Rotweilers” – this is definitely a must-see event. The parade will start at 4pm and will also feature Santa’s arrival to downtown St. Joseph.

Farmland 5K European Style XC Challenge
December 6, Traverse City
Are you really tough? Rain, sleet, snow, or shine – this event is for you! Enjoy the natural challenge of running or biking in early December (event to be held no matter the weather). Traverse over grass or snow and ice, wooded dirt trails, and farmland running terrain. Post event food and festive awards celebration.

Week of December 8 – 14

Woodward Wonderland
Detroit, December 11-14
Woodward Wonderland puts a uniquely Detroit spin on the holiday season, paying tribute to the metro area’s many rich holiday traditions through original short plays and exuberant song and dance. The play takes audiences of all ages on a nostalgic theatrical journey to magical Motor City destinations like Toyland on the 12th floor of the old J.L. Hudson’s department store and Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Langsford Men’s Chorus Christmas Concert
December 12, Berkley
Enjoy the sounds and spirit of Christmas with the Langsford Men’s Chorus. Come hear this internationally acclaimed men’s chorus present their Christmas Celebration Concert at Our Lady of La Salette Roman Catholic Church, in Berkley, Michigan. This outstanding male chorus will perform a broad repertoire of classical, contemporary, and traditional Christmas favorites, all celebrating the most joyous season of the year!

Farm by Lantern Light
December 12-13, Grayling
Wellington Farm is now accepting reservations for what some consider “The most unique Christmas Experience in Northern Michigan.” Billed as “The Farm By Lantern Light” the full evening activity includes a wagon ride, a visit to the historic farm and a full length play all rolled into one “The Farm By Lantern Light” will take place on December 12, 13, and 19, 20. During the course of the evening, participants will board a wagon and be transported back in time to the year of 1932. A wonderful family event!

Tinsel & Treasures
December 12-14, Northville
The award winning 35th Annual Tinsel & Treasures Holiday Market, held in downtown Northville, is a juried, indoor, fine art and handcrafted holiday gift market featuring more than 75 artists and craftspeople from around the country.

Tyler Oakley’s Slumber Party Comedy Show
December 14, Kalamazoo
Armed with a quick wit and fabulous hair, Tyler Oakley has won the hearts of over five million YouTube subscribers with his weekly videos. Now, Tyler is packing up his living room and hitting the road for his first-ever live tour! Tyler’s Slumber Party is a one-of-a-kind live experience packed full of behind-the-scenes stories, interactive games – and lots of surprises. Get ready to be slayed. Please note this isn’t really a slumber party…you will have to go home after the show!

Week of December 15 – 21

Monday Night Raw
December 15, Detroit
World Wrestling Entertainment’s Monday Night Raw will return to Joe Louis Arena for the first time in two and a half years for a LIVE broadcast on Monday, December 15. The December roster will include appearances by all of your favorite WWE Superstars live in action including John Cena, Seth Rollins, The Big Show, Kane, Bray Wyatt & The Wyatt Family, Dean Ambrose, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, The Usos, The Miz and many more!

Mega 80′s
December 19, Saginaw
The Mega 80′s is returning to The Red Room! If you love 80′s music, then you cannot miss this event! Strap on your platform shoes and boogie over to Saginaw for an 80’s lover’s dream. This is a ticketed event.

Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Animal Show
December 20, Kalamazoo
Buy sell or trade a variety of reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and other exotic pets! Come see some crawling and wiggling friends that would love to come home with you or might make a perfect holiday gift for that animal lover you know.

Photos for Pure MichiganHoliday Nights in Greenfield Village
December 5-27, Dearborn
Take a lantern-lit journey into a living snow globe filled with live music, skating, fireworks and tons of winter wonder during America’s premier celebration of the season. December 5-7, 12-14, 18-23, and 26-27.

Annie |Theatre Performance
December 16-21, East Lansing
Leapin’ Lizards! The world’s best-loved musical returns! Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin, this production of Annie will be a brand-new incarnation of the iconic original. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other orphans, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of New York. Featuring book and score by Tony Award® winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie includes such unforgettable songs as It’s the Hard-knock Life, Easy Street, and the eternal anthem of optimism, Tomorrow.

Week of December 22 – 28, 29, 30 & 31

2014 Quick Lane Bowl
December 26, Detroit
The Detroit Lions are partnering with Quick Lane Tire and Auto to host the first annual Quick Lane Bowl game that will feature a match-up between the Big Ten and ACC conferences and will be played at Ford Field! Head to Detroit to see some great college football action on hometown gridiron. The University of Michigan and Michigan State University are Big Ten Conference Programs.

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park – Lantern Lit Ski and Snowshoe Trail
December 27, Ontonagon
Nearly 80 old-fashioned kerosene lanterns will illuminate a 1-mile trail for a unique and memorable experience. The ski trail is track-set for classic skiers, while snowshoers can make their own trail adjacent to the lighted loop. The ski trail has an “easy” difficulty rating; however, skiing or snowshoeing at night is always a challenge.

Michigan Historical Museum – History Gamers
December 27, Lansing
Whatever your age, come over and play! Today, you can try your hand at historic games from jacks to hopscotch and investigate historic toys and board games. New games are featured at each program. History Gamers is included with museum admission.

Bald Mountain Recreation Area – Krazy Snow RC Fly
December 31, Lake Orion
Just when you thought the New Year couldn’t get any more exciting, how about RC flying in the snow? Take-offs and landings with the flakes flying, cold winds and piles of snow on the field make it even more challenging than usual. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult

New Year’s Eve Anchor Drop
December 31, Port Huron
Bring in the New Year in the city of Port Huron! It’s a New Year’s Eve countdown party with a maritime twist. A lighted anchor will drop from the top of the 150-foot McMorran Tower at midnight! Live music, beer tent, free open skating, and much more.

Month-long Events

GiraffeWild Lights
November 22-December 31, Royal Oak
See the zoo in a whole new light! Experience the magic of the Detroit Zoo in winter as you take in the lights and the sights and enjoy holiday entertainment and activities for guests of all ages. For 22 nights beginning November 22, 2014, Wild Lights runs from 5:30 to 9pm on the following dates: November 22-23, 28-30; December 5-7, 12-14, 19-23, 26-31, 2014.

Nite Lites Jackson & Winter Wonderland
November 27-December 30, Jackson
One of Michigan’s largest Christmas light displays. This animated drive-through display is over one mile long and includes millions of lights. It’s a magical outing that families hold as a tradition year after year. Weekends in December, Winter Wonderland inside the American One Fair Event Center will feature decorated holiday trees, food and drinks of the season and visits with Santa Claus.

Gingerbread Art Competition
November 28-December 31, Newaygo
Have you ever looked at art and thought, “I’m hungry!”? Gingerbread Art will be displayed November 28 – December 31 from noon – 7pm each day at La Belle de la Riviere Bed and Breakfast in Newaygo. Don’t miss your chance to see some great gingerbread houses and designs before someone takes a bite!

36th Annual Christmas Tree Festival
December 1-30, Monroe
Visit and vote for your favorite decorated holiday tree or wreath during the month of December for our annual Christmas Tree Festival at the museum. Local 4-H clubs, organizations, charities, classrooms and scouts have been busy designing their creations to share with visitors. Come in and vote for your choice of best tree or wreath!

Do you attend any events in December that have become a holiday tradition? Let us know!

Three Reasons to Trick-or-Treat at Binder Park Zoo

Halloween is just around the corner! There are many ways to celebrate around the state – including a trip to the zoo! Today, Becca Freybler from Calhoun County Visitors Bureau shares her memories of ZooBoo at Binder Park Zoo and gives us three sweet reasons to trick-or-treat with the animals. 

Photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo

Photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo

This year, Binder Park Zoo’s ZooBoo celebrates 28 years of Halloween fun! Growing up in Battle Creek, I have great memories from my childhood going to trick-or-treating through the zoo during ZooBoo.  I especially remember how much fun it was to put on my costume, get into the minivan and then drive through the zoo entrance and see all the decorations.

Since its start, ZooBoo has grown and now includes so much more than just the trick-or-treating trail.  ZooBoo is an amazing Halloween festival in the zoo, it is creating happy and fun memories for so many kids. Here are some reasons why Binder Park Zoo’s ZooBoo is so special.

Photo courtesy of Calhoun County CVB

Photo courtesy of Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Community Pumpkin Carve
Every year before ZooBoo starts, Binder Park Zoo holds a pumpkin carve. Anyone can come and help carve the hundreds pumpkins that will be displayed throughout the zoo. Kids are so excited to come back and find where their pumpkin is placed.  It gives visitors a sense that they contributed to making this event happen. This year’s carve is on October 14 from 4-7pm.   It’s so much fun that our whole CVB staff will be there to help carve this year.

It’s in a Zoo
Everyone loves the zoo.  Coming to the zoo when it is all decked out in Halloween and fall décor makes it seem magical.  It’s worth a visit to see the zoo at night during such a fun, festive event.  All the decorations in the main zoo are “merry-not-scary” decorations so this event is great for all ages.

Photo courtesy of Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

Photo courtesy of Calhoun County Visitors Bureau

More than just Trick-or-Treating
Yes, the main attraction is the trick-or-treating for the kids but there is so much more to do! There are animal presentations, the fall classic straw maze, black light mini-golf, a carnival, carousel rides, and even a Haunted Hayride through Wild Africa. Yes, you heard me right. Binder Park has an Africa that makes you feel like you went on an African safari. The Haunted Hayride is for those that want a little more adventure!

ZooBoo is a great event for families and your kids will want to go back every year. You will too! Even as an adult, I still love ZooBoo and want to go back because I love the Halloween spirit that the zoo gives off this time of year. The memories it creates are timeless.

ZooBoo runs from October 15-30.
Wednesday – Friday: 5-8pm
Saturday – Sunday: 3-8pm
Haunted Africa is on Friday & Saturday ONLY from 6-8pm

Screen-Shot-2014-05-31-at-8.55.38-PM-250x194Becca Freybler is the Digital Media Marketing Manager for the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau, handling all of their digital platforms.  She has worked for the CVB since 2010. Becca is a Michigan State University graduate and a lifelong Battle Creek resident. Outside of work she enjoys sports, cooking, being outdoors, and owns a Collie named Simba.

Pure Michigan October 2014 Events Roundup

With apple picking, pumpkin carving and hay rides, it’s easy to see why October is a favorite time of year for many. From Monroe all the way to Houghton, there are events for the whole family to enjoy as fall enters full swing.

Below is a roundup of some of the many events going on around the state in October. Visit michigan.org for a complete listing of Michigan events.

 Week of September 29-October 5

A2 Art & Brew
October 2, Ann Arbor
This year visit eight participating breweries that will offer a tasting of its featured craft beer along with a uniquely paired tasty bite that compliments the beer. Join in the fun as local artists design a unique piece of site-specific sidewalk chalk art inspired by the brewery and beer. 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 through Monday, September 29th, $60 thereafter. Purchase tickets early, space is limited to 300 guests. You must be 21 years of age.

Zeeland Pumpkinfest
October 2-4, Zeeland
Pumpkinfest in Zeeland, Michigan, celebrates community, family fun and fall activities! 2014 will mark the 30th year for Pumpkinfest and take place October 2, 3, & 4. The three-day event will feature a number of free and low-cost events that can be enjoyed by all ages. Each year, a theme is chosen and from that theme, downtown Zeeland is decorated in fall decor and parade floats join the fun in matching the theme as well. The 2014 theme is “Pumpkinfest Pride…Celebrating 30 Years”.

Skitoberfest
October 3-4, Boyne Falls
A fall extravaganza and homecoming taking place in the Boyne Mountain Village and surrounding area. Skitoberfest celebrates the best of fall’s family offerings in an Oktoberfest style setting and the coming winter season with a Snowsports Summit hosted by Olympian Cary Adgate. Highlights include gourmet foods from northern Michigan restaurants, markets and farms, Michigan beers, wines and spirits for tasting, plus music and endless family entertainment. Admission is free, and tickets for food, brews and some activities are available. Special event lodging rates are available at Boyne Mountain Resort.

Bangor Apple FestivalBangor apple fest
October 4, Bangor
Fall is a beautiful time in Michigan. From the color of the fall leaves to the taste of a crisp apple, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Head to Bangor for the 36th Annual Bangor Apple festival, for activities that include car shows, lawn mower races, kids’ activities, live entertainment and much more.

Rattlesnake Run 5k
October 5, Rochester
Enjoy the fall colors and run, jog, or walk along the Paint Creek Trail located in Rochester, Michigan, in north Oakland County! Participants will receive a commemorative Rattlesnake Run T-shirt. To add to the fall fun, enjoy cider and donuts from the Paint Creek Cider Mill! Race begins at the Paint Creek Cider Mill.

Week of October 6-12

Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival
October 9-12, Alpena
Tour 11 lighthouses a whole new way. The four day event provides activities for the young and old including lighthouse tours (aerial, boat or personal vehicle), entertainment, and vendors. Climb many of the lighthouses, enjoy live entertainment and lighthouse exhibits, and nautical vendors round out the weekend.

Frankfort Fall Festival
October 11, Frankfort
Fall Festival celebration in Frankfort’s open space. Featuring a parade with the Scottville Clown Band, kid’s games, GIANT pumpkins, squash and watermelons, Master Carver Ed Moody, pumpkin drop on a car and catapults! Make your way to Frankfort for pumpkin decorating, Farmer’s Market and more!

Color Cruise and Island FestivalColor cruise
October 10-12, Grand Ledge
This three day festival is always the second full weekend in October at the Island Park in downtown Grand Ledge. See the beautiful autumn colors by riverboat, canoe, horse & wagon, bicycle or air. This event is filled with fun for the whole family and includes cider pressing, blacksmithing, fur traders, pioneer crafts, candle dipping, pumpkin painting, music, food, and a petting zoo. Shuttle service available from JC Park and the parking area off River Street. Friday is “Seniors Day” with discounts available

Appleumpkin Festival
October 11-12, Tecumseh
Tecumseh’s Appleumpkin Festival features arts and crafts, an antiques street fair, carnival games, midway rides, inflatables, a make-it take-it scarecrow tent and yummy fair food as well as live entertainment. Free parking is available with free shuttle service to transport visitors downtown and to the nearby Kapnick Apple Festival. Local restaurants are ready to serve delicious meals and merchants open their doors and invite you to explore a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. This festival is one you won’t want to miss!

ArtPrize 2014
September 24-October 12, Grand Rapids
ArtPrize is the world’s largest international art competition open to any artist and decided by public vote. Take 11 days to explore over 4500 artists at 515 venues in Grand Rapids and vote for the entries you think should win.

Week of October 13-19

Michigan’s Big Country Fest 2014
October 17-18, Frankenmuth
Slip on your cowboy boots, tip your hat and swing on over to the third annual Michigan’s Big Country Fest. Enjoy live bands, beer & mixed drinks, mechanical bull, down-home BBQ dinners and snacks, line dancing and much more. Free parking, handicapped accessible

Fall Fling Festival
October 18-19, New Era
Autumn is a special time at the farm: beautiful orchards and forests in the peak of fall color change, ripe pumpkins, the most varieties of apples to choose from of any season. That’s the backdrop for the annual Fall Fling Festival! Musicians, mimes, magicians, rides, face painters, balloon tiers, stilt walkers and more will join you at the 70+ animal petting farm. You won’t want to miss Michigan’s only animated chicken show, jumping pillows, pedal carts, duck races, Farming Rocks Gem Mining, Bunker Hill Fruit Cannons, pumpkin moon walk, barrel train rides, Apple Express wagon rides, pumpkin chucker and an eight acre corn maze.

Saginaw Zoo Boo
October 18-19, Saginaw
Put on your costumes and trick-or-treat your way through the decorated zoo! Load your treat bag with goodies from various vendors and booths. Watch Dr. Slime, the mad scientist, put on a mysterious, scientific show! Ticket price includes zoo admission, train and carousel ride, Dr. Slime Show, and trick-or-treating. Zoo members and the general public: $7 discount tickets available through October 17th. October 18th and after tickets are $9. Event also runs October 25 & 26.

The Walk
October 18, Shelby Township
Come dressed in your best costume and head out to Stony Creek Metropark on Saturday, October 18. The Walk offers an accessible and scenic fall route to walkers of all ages, while providing a fun filled and memorable day. Participants age 5 & under are free, ages 6-12 are $15, and ages 13 & up are $30. Halloween costumes or attire are strongly recommended!

2014 Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank MarathonTalmer
October 19, Detroit
There are so many things that make running Detroit unique and exciting – crossing international borders twice, running an “underwater mile”, and the large crowds and entertainers posted every few miles. The sights on Belle Isle are scenic and views of the city from the riverfront will make you wish you had your camera. This race has something for everyone from start to finish. All participants of the Marathon, International Half -Marathon, or U.S.-Only Half-Marathon must be at least 16 years of age. There is no age limit on the 5K or the Marathon Relay. Ages 4-12 are welcome for the Kids Fun Run.

Weeks of October 20-26 & October 27-31

Scarecrow Glow
October 22, Troy
Troy Historic Village is hosting “Scarecrow Glow”, a costume-optional event on Wednesday, October 22, 2014, from 6pm to 9pm. See the magic of the Village at night, and experience an evening of fall fun. Attendees will enjoy food and drinks from Troy establishments, while listening to the sweet sounds of jazz and bluegrass music. Watch a nighttime blacksmithing demonstration and make s’mores. A special gift bag will be given to all attendees. Costumes, especially related to the “Alice in Wonderland” theme, are encouraged. Tickets $40 per person, $50 per person at the door. Adults (21 and older) only.

The Glo Run
October 24, Lansing
The Glo Run is the energy that sparked the night run revolution. This is a 5k course on funroids with stimulating areas along the course. Run a nighttime 5k through a dreamworld full of glowing wonders and music.

Zombie Dash
October 25, Grand Rapids
Get ready for the wildest 5-K you will ever experience. Run a five kilometer course within the quarantine area. Conquer the infamous Apocalypse Avenue and Kill Hill. Dodge over 300 zombies looking for “fast food.” Race against darkness and survive the Zombie apocalypse. You’ll be given three or four “life strips” (flag football flags) to tuck in your pants. For each one you keep, you’ll have one minute subtracted from your time. No worries if you lose both. Just keep running and enjoy the experience of one of the most unique night races ever held.

Halloween in Greenfield VillagePhotos for Pure Michigan
October 10-26, Dearborn
Stroll down streets and alleys haunted by over 1,000 carved jack-o’-lanterns and lavishly costumed characters during America’s most spooktacular Halloween event. This is a kid-friendly, nightmare-free Halloween gathering. October 10-12, 17-19, and 24-26. Tickets rain or shine.

All Things Detroit III
October 26, Detroit
It’s time again for all of Detroit to come together and celebrate an amazing city at All Things Detroit III. This event will feature 60 local business owners with products made in Detroit, Detroit theme art, local bands, entertainment, raffles every 30 minutes, and free All Things Detroit souvenirs for the first 200 guests. This is a Motor City event you won’t want to miss!

Fall Color Tours by Dog Team
September 15 – October 31, Mc Millan
Enjoy the beautiful seasonal changes of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by taking a ride with the sled dogs in our dog-powered trail vehicle. This is a fall color tour like you’ve never seen before! Our fall trips begin at 8 am and 10 am when you will meet your guides and receive an introduction to sled dog training. You’ll see how we hook up the dogs and even learn to harness a dog if you’d like. You’ll also get a tour of our kennel and the opportunity to hold adorable puppies. We’ll stop along the route for photos. We’ll have coffee or hot cocoa and a homemade treat when we return. Plan about two hours for your tour.

Eisenhower Dance: The Light ShowAlicia Light Show
October 31, East Lansing
Back by popular demand after the sensational Red, Hot and Blue, and fun-filled Motown in Motion, Eisenhower Dance returns with a visually stunning co-commission by Wharton Center and the Detroit Opera House. The Light Show matches choreographers with lighting designers for four cleverly electrifying pieces incorporating lasers, light, and innovative dance. One of the finest contemporary dance ensembles today, Michigan’s acclaimed Eisenhower Dance combines remarkable technique with inventive choreography. Ticketed event.

With so much to do around the state in October, what will you do?