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
Parade 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.
December 6, Saint Joseph
Costumed 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
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!
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.
Holiday 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.
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!