Friday, November 27, 2015

Ideas for Holiday Fun in Michigan!



Sometimes road trip inspiration can be hard to come by in the winter months. Fortunately for us, travel writer and Michigander Jessie Voigts has put together a great list of upcoming holiday events in nearby Michigan sure to inspire a road trip or two! Thank you to Jessie putting this holiday round up together!


Holiday Family Fun in Michigan!

There’s no winter wonderland like Michigan, home to the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s. We Michiganders take our snowy weather, clear skies and warm hearts a step further, celebrating the holidays with panache. And while almost every town has a holiday parade, seasonal theatre, musical performances and plenty of craft shows and shopping, there are many other events worth discovering.

Here are several Holiday events around Michigan for your family’s enjoyment.

Upper Peninsula

Head to Christmas, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Superior and visit Santa’s Workshop. It’s a store that lives up to its location, selling Christmas delights galore. You’ll also see the world’s tallest Santa and the world’s largest concrete Frosty the Snowman.

Christmas is springing up in Michigan! Image from Meijer Gardens by Jessie Voigts.
Mackinac Island

If you’ve never been to Mackinac Island in the winter, December is the perfect time to do so. It’s a magical place, rated one of the top ten Christmas towns in America by HGTV.  In early December, you can see the tree lighting and shop the Christmas bazaar; activities run through New Year’s Eve (and beyond).


Lower Peninsula

Be sure to visit Manistee, Michigan from December 3-6, for a Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend. A highlight is the giant drafthorses pulling an even larger tree in the downtown parade, followed by fireworks.

You can eat breakfast, have story time, and even SKI with Santa at Shanty Creek Ski Resort. If your family loves skiing, pick one of those special dates to hit the slopes – and hang with Santa.

Want to get outside in December? Head to Ludington State Park to take a Snowshoe making class! You’ll be ready to chase those reindeer…

International Christmas Trees tell stories during the holiday season at Meijer Gardens. Image by Jessie Voigts.
Ready to explore Christmas traditions around the world – inside? Head to Meijer Gardens, in Grand Rapids.  I love Meijer Gardens all year around, but Christmas is special. There are over 40 international Christmas trees (decorated by country), hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights and a very special railway garden in one of the conservatory rooms (featuring buildings from five of Grand Rapids’ sister cities). Your whole family will love it!

Get some old-fashioned fun in Lowell, with the Lowell Showboat (and Santa),  horse and carriage rides, roasted chestnuts, and an ice sculpture demo.

Watch live mannequins in St. Joseph – it’s the 4th Annual Live Mannequins Day on December 4th. Storefronts will come alive! That same day, watch dressed up pets in the ReinDog Parade, and stay into the evening as the city lights up the bluff with over 30,000 lights (which will stay up until February 15)!

Other Michigan holiday event calendars:

Metro Detroit
West Michigan
Michigan.org

Jessie Voigts has a PhD in International Education, has lived and worked in Japan and London, and traveled around the world. She’s published six books about travel and intercultural learning, with more on the way. Jessie is constantly looking for ways to increase intercultural understanding, and is passionate sharing the world through her site, Wandering Educators. She founded and directs the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program, teaching teens all around the world.
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