Pull on the mittens and boots and fill the thermos with hot cocoa for a holiday excursion to enjoy the Pure Michigan holiday season. Communities across Michigan are decking the halls, lighting the night and celebrating Christmas with traditions new and old. Take part in the magic of the season and make some holiday memories to last a lifetime.
Enjoy the sparkling spectacular of the Wayne County Lightfest. The four mile trail – the longest drive-through holiday light display in the Midwest – presents an enchanted world of colorful rainbows, snowflakes, and candy canes. Other dazzling light displays throughout the state include the International Festival of Lights in Battle Creek, the Potter Park Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights in Lansing and a ride on the Huckleberry Railroad through Christmas at Crossroads Village.
The official state holiday tree stands in front of the Capitol in Lansing, but Christmas trees are the center of attention throughout the state. In Grand Rapids, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park hosts its indoor/outdoor celebration of Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World with 40 decorated trees, Nativity displays, carriage rides and other activities. New this year is a redesigned Diwali display honoring the Hindu Festival of Lights and the addition of the Polish szopka to the Nativity display.
Community groups get creative with entries in the annual Christmas Tree Festival throughout December at the Monroe County Historical Museum. As part of the Detroit Zoo’s Wild Winter celebration, they will once again feature their annual “Holiday Trees” display from November 19, 2011, through January 2, 2012.
Michigan has a wide array of historical holiday halls to experience. Completed in 1929, the 88,000 square foot Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester was built by the widow of auto baron John Dodge. Explore the family’s winter traditions on a holiday walk through the estate. The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House on Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Shores dresses for Christmas traditions that include Nutcracker and Holiday Teas, a Holiday Dinner and Tour, Christmas Story Time and, new this year, Santa’s Workshop. Take a holiday tour of Kellogg Manor Holiday Walk on Gull Lake near Battle Creek and enjoy spiced tea and treats along the way.
For an idea of how Depression Era families celebrated the holidays visit the Scolnik House in Muskegon, while the décor at the neighboring Hackley and Hume Houses evokes grand Christmases of the 1890s. Learn about Victorian holiday traditions at the Voight House Victorian Museum in Grand Rapids.
Pack your bags and check into a range of special seasonal packages designed for couples and families. Start a new holiday tradition at Cocoa Cottage in Whitehall. Combine comfortable relaxation with a trip to Stibitz Tree Farm to get a fresh cut Michigan Christmas tree for the holidays. Garden Grove Bed & Breakfast in Union Pier opens its doors for family fun during the kids break from school. Bottles of Michigan wine make a great holiday gift, and Birchwood Inn and Harbor Springs Vineyards & Winery in Petoskey have teamed up for a holiday Wine Tasting and Lodging package that includes 10% off bottled wine purchases.
Experience the classic Dickens Christmas with the Dickens Christmas Dinner package at The Kirby House in Saugatuck. Make a splash with the family and have More Fun for Less, including waterpark passes at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.