From candle-lit streets to vintage train excursions, from horse-drawn carriage rides to holiday trees and everything merry, jolly and cheerful--Michigan has festivals, fairs and community events galore now thru the holidays.
Toast the Season
Suttons Bay, November 5-6 -- The annual Toast the Season wine trail tour features a special wine pour, accompanied by holiday themed gourmet food, at each of the Leelanau Peninsula member wineries. At your assigned starting winery, you will be given a souvenir glass, a holiday gift basket and an ornament.
Silver Bells in the City
November 18, Lansing -- Celebrate the season with 80,000 attendees in downtown Lansing as we watch the annual electric light parade, light Michigan’s official Christmas tree and experience a beautiful fireworks display cascading over the capitol dome. Enjoy live entertainment, holiday shopping and free admission to downtown Lansing’s cultural institutions round out the evening at this fun, family-oriented event.
South Haven Women's Only Weekend
South Haven, November 11-13 -- Ladies, here's your chance to take an all girls' getaway. A $60 ticket per person includes complimentary food and beverage tastings, nightly entertainment, classic chick flicks, extra shopping perks and special WOW deals.
Family Night at Solace Spa
Boyne Falls, November 15 -- Share healthy lifestyle habits with the entire family (age 6 or up when accompanied with their guardian). Evening spa pass includes a 30-minute family style yoga class at 7pm, a locker, robe, and access to the relaxation lounges, whirlpool, steam room and cedar sauna, indoor/outdoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness facilities. (Please bring bathing suit on Family Night for use of wet facilities; please call in advance to reserve space in yoga class).
St Joseph, November 18 -- Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season strolling through the beautiful candle-lit streets as over 800 luminaries light your way in downtown St. Joseph. Shops will be open late to entice you with wonderful gift ideas and festive holiday décor--many merchants will provide refreshments.
Holland, November 19-December 10 -- The festivities begin with an old-fashioned evening European Lantern parade down cobblestone streets to Centennial Park starts off our festival and ends at an open-air Christmas market, where travelers buy foods and gifts ranging from rich Dutch pastries to handmade soaps.
International Festival of Lights
Battle Creek, November 19-December 31 -- Enjoy a beautiful array of downtown lighting, plus other festive activities including a festival pathway and fitness walk, carolers, dazzling light shows, a warming house filled with activities for children and adults, professional ice-sculptures and more.
Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World
Grand Rapids, November 22-January 8, 2012 -- Experience the most magical time of year as Meijer Gardens transforms into a world of winter magic with the glow of 300,000 lights, more than 40 captivating international trees and displays, strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides and more surprises than can fit under the tree. The Gardens Holiday Express train exhibit--a holiday favorite designed by railway garden designer Paul Busse--winds its way through three separate indoor gardens.
America’s Thanksgiving Parade
Detroit, November 24 -- Stuff the turkey, then hustle downtown for one of the country’s oldest parades (85th year) that steps off at 9:20 am and lasts nearly two hours. Award-winning floats, a dozen marching bands, giant balloons, 1,000 clowns and the walking Big Head Corps of 100 antique papier-mâché heads make their way down Woodward Avenue.
Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic
Flint, November 25–December 30 (weekends and select weekdays) -- Make tracks for Crossroads Village to ride the Huckleberry Railroad steam train, outlined with thousands of lights, past twinkling trackside light displays. Passengers mill around the 1800s living-history village to watch costumed residents celebrating an 1800s Christmas in shops and homes, and to enjoy a show in the opera house. The popular annual event offers live music, the lighting of the Tree of Lights and fireworks herald the November 25 kickoff.
North Pole Express
Owosso, November 25–27, December 3–4, 10–11, 17–18 -- All aboard the vintage train for a four-hour, round-trip excursion from Owosso to Chesaning. Passengers arrive at a heated building for a jolly time with Santa, carnival rides and a light display. A portion of the proceeds go toward restoration of the Pere Marquette 1225 steam locomotive.
Les Cheneaux Old Fashioned Christmas
Les Cheneaux Islands, November 27–December 7 -- Our snug little villages offer a personal, quaint gift-buying experience in nearly 25 unique shops, where you’ll experience old fashioned, one-on-one service and our Northern Michigan charm.
For a complete list of michigan.org holiday events, click here