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.
December 1 – 5
Parade of Lights
December 1 – Holland
Santa arrives in Downtown Holland escorted by bands, floats; vehicles, family and friends all decked out in thousands of sparkling holiday lights! Over 80 entries will illuminate the streets of downtown Holland during this procession. At the end of the parade, Santa will take the time to greet his fans young and old alike! The parade begins at 8th Street and Columbia Avenue and continues onto the Eighth Street Market Place, home of the Holiday Kerstmarkt at 6:30 p.m
Shop & Champagne
December 2 – Birmingham
Sparkling, Creative and Delicious, words that describe Shop and Champagne! Guests will preview the annual Holiday Shop, a retail boutique with artisan, one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on any list! That night, in addition to exceptional edibles from the region’s finest restaurants, there’s a 10% discount on all purchases, valet parking &, of course, delightful wine & champagne! An excellent evening for entertaining friends & colleagues! All proceeds benefit the BBAC’s ArtAccess & educational programs.
A Polar Express Christmas
December 4 – Frankenmuth
All Aboard! Come celebrate the Christmas season with readings and music from the best loved book and movie A Polar Express. Join the Saginaw Elite Big Band, Big Money and the Sidewinders, FHS Choirs, our own Polar Express Children’s Choir and guest soloists as the bring the characters and story to life right on the Bronner stage. Ride along with children on their journey to the North Pole where they learn about friendship, bravery, and the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas on the Farm
December 5 – 6 – Grass Lake
The Waterloo Area Historical Society takes a look at the ways a rural 1880′s Michigan farm family celebrated the season with “Christmas on the Farm and at the Dewey School Museum”. This re-creation of the holiday’s traditions will include tours of the Farm Museum and Dewey School. Hand decorated greens, gifts and home-made baked goods will be for sale. Free refreshments and live music will be among the offerings for this homespun weekend.
December 5 – 6 – Kalamazoo
Enjoy a delicious breakfast or festive lunch with your family and watch the smiles on your little ones faces as they have a personal visit with Santa. Avoid long lines at the mall – give your child the time they need to talk with Santa. There is never a problem with photos, you can take as many as you like!
December 6 – 12
Ladies’ Night Holiday Shopping
December 10 – Traverse City
A tribute to the ladies! Join the restaurants and merchants of Downtown Traverse City for a night filled with specials, food and refreshments while you conquer some holiday shopping!
December 11 – Boyne Falls
Drop whatever you’re doing on December 11, 2014, pack up the SUV and head to 6-for-1 Day at Boyne Mountain. Initiated to commemorate the resort’s opening of America’s first six-person, high-speed chairlift the Mountain Express in 1992 6-for-1 Day is the best excuse we can think of to take a day off from work, leave the housework for another day, or…um…leave school promptly when your last class is over.
December 12 – 13 – Traverse City
There’s no better time than this event to stock up on wine and wine-related gift items. It’s the best shopping in the Traverse City wine tour region of the year! For the first two weekends in December, you will find both Leelanau wine and merchandise at their best prices. This is a great opportunity to take a self-guided wine tour to find wines that will pair perfectly with your holiday meal, whether you are doing the cooking yourself or you are a guest of friends or family. And, wine, of course, makes your holiday shopping simple and easy. Who doesn’t love getting a bottle of wine?
December 13 – 19
Men’s Night Holiday Shopping
December 17 – Traverse City
Just in time to finish your holiday shopping! This night is a salute to the men! Enjoy food, refreshments and specials while you shop the night away finishing up those last minute holiday gifts!
Dashing Through the Snow 5k Trail Run/Walk
December 19 – Saginaw
Let’s take some time to get out and enjoy the cool weather and beauty of Saginaw County’s Imerman Park trail with a bit of exercise (and a cool, long sleeved event t-shirt!) to relieve the seasonal stress. A good, hard run should be in order to earn that holiday meal! This will be a USATF sanctioned event that will be professionally managed and timed with online results being posted within 48 hours of race completion. There will be plenty of good cheer on the trail with holiday music and a possible visit from the “Big Man” himself. Ho, ho, ho!
A Classic Rock Christmas
December 19 – Port Huron
Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield, a Classic Rock Christmas is classic hits and classic carols, fused into one, performed by the December People. This high powered quintet, made up of some of the finest musicians from some of the world’s biggest bands, is a classic rock holiday tradition in the making.
Michigan Historical Museum – History Gamers
December 19 – 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. We’ll feature new games each program.
Ongoing Events Throughout the Month
Santa Visits Daily
December 1 – 24 – Frankenmuth
Bring your camera and wish list to Bronner’s for Santa will be visiting with children 10 years old and younger. Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., 1p.m. – 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m.- 7 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Sunday noon – 5:30 p.m. Please note that many children wish to see Santa on Saturday and Sundays, guests should anticipate a wait. Because Santa has a very busy night on Christmas Eve his hours will end at 3 p.m.
Christmas Tree Festival
December 1 – 30 – Monroe
Get in the holiday mood by viewing holiday-decorated trees and wreaths created by Monroe County 4-H clubs, organizations, church groups, classrooms, and charities displayed throughout the museum during the month of December. This is our 37th year of hosting this event, and this year the trees and wreaths will be judged and prizes awarded. Stop in if you have a lot of time, or just a little, and vote for your favorite.
Nite Lites Jackson
December 1 – 30 – Jackson
The 2015 season will be the 20th year for Nite Lites in Jackson! One of Michigan’s largest Christmas light displays, this animated drive-through display is over one mile long! Each year the Jackson County Fairgrounds are filled with dancing lights featuring scenes with reindeer, Santa Claus and the Nativity among the millions of lights. It’s a magical outing that families hold as a tradition year after year. Winter Wonderland–inside the American 1 Events Center each weekend in December–features kid’s activities and warm up with a hot cup of cocoa at the concessions. Get your photo taken with Santa Claus himself, watch a holiday puppet show, or take a ride on the kid’s holiday train. The reindeer may also stop by for a special visit.
Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village
December 4 – 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.
Which events do you plan to attend this December?