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12 Things To Do During December in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

Lights, entertainment, and new year's celebrations take center stage during this festive month. Here are some extra special happenings around the state.

Dec 7-Dec 18 Christmas Cabaret – Augusta
If you’re looking to get in the holiday spirit, a visit to The Barn Theatre is sure to do the trick. Perfect for the whole family, this heartwarming show is filled with old fashioned Christmas spirit and is sure to create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for children 12 and under. The price of admission includes a piece of pie and coffee, hot cocoa or pop.

Dec 7-15 Heritage Holidays – Ray Township
There’s something to be said for the magic of an evening stroll on a cold winter’s night, especially when it involves crossing a river via a wooden bridge. During Heritage Holidays, at Wolcott Mill Metropark, the entire Historic Center is transformed into a magical holiday wonderland. Special guests include majestic Clydesdale horses. Get up close and personal for a seasonal selfie or enjoy a relaxing wagon ride. Admission is $5 per person. 

Dec 7-22 A Christmas Story - The Musical – Marine City
It’s hard to turn on the TV in December and not find this pop culture classic movie laying on some channel (and often on a loop). Imagine seeing it come to life with the extra flash and flair of Broadway. For those who haven’t seen it yet, A Christmas Story chronicles young Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams--an official Red Ryder® BB gun. An outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a triple-dog dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the bumps in the road that stand between Ralphie and his ultimate Christmas wish.

Dec 8 French Noel – Monroe
Many of the early settlers to Michigan were of French descent. To honor their traditions, River Raisin National Battlefield Park will host French Noel, a unique glimpse into how settlers along the River Raisin would have celebrated Christmas from the
late 1700’s until the time of the War of 1812. The free event runs from 11am – 4pm at River Raisin National Battlefield Park, and includes examples of typical French cuisine, and activities such as table games, crafts, and the yule log tradition.

Dec 8 Dark Horse Brewing 4 Elf Party – Marshall
We all know that Santa’s altruistic empire couldn’t deliver all those Christmas miracles without the help of his beloved elves. In an homage to the North Pole’s hardest workers, guests for this soiree are invited to come dressed in their own unique interpretation of an elf. Named after Dark Horse's seasonal winter warmer spiced ale, a malty cinnamon brew, this annual event is one of the best brewery parties of the year. Entry is $5 at the door, or FREE to those who come dressed in the latest “Elfinwear.” Specialty bottle releases, scrumptious food and live music, rounds out the celebration.

Dec 11 An Evening with Mitch Albom – East Lansing
Journey to Spartan country to partake in a special event with celebrated author and journalist Mitch Albom. Tickets are $35 and include a copy of Albom’s latest novel, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, as well as the opportunity to have it signed by the author after a 7pm author talk taking place in Wharton’s Cobb Great Hall. All proceeds from this event will fund student scholarships for MSU’s College of Arts and Letters.

Dec 15 Snowmobile the Mighty Mac – St Ignace
This might be literally and figuratively, one of the coolest events in the state. Vintage snowmobiles have the opportunity to cross the Mackinac Bridge under their own power. Participating snowmobiles must be outfitted with wheel kits to cross the bridge, and the wheels must be at least two inches wide and have no studs or cleats. Fans of any age are welcome to take in the spectacle, but the snowmobiles must also be 25 years old or older to participate.

Dec 30-31 Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament – Detroit
It wouldn’t be December in “Hockeytown” without the GLI. Now in its 54th year, this season’s tournament features four Michigan-based schools for only the 15th time in the event’s history. The two-day, single-elimination tournament, has a North VS South, L.P. VS U.P. vibe this year. Michigan Tech and Lake Superior State will join tournament mainstays, Michigan and Michigan State for some fast-paced action. This will mark only the fourth time Lake Superior has played in the tourney, and its first appearance since 1999.

Dec 31 New Year’s Fest – Kalamazoo 
Arts take center stage when KZoo wlecomes a new year. This spectacle features 24 performing artists in 11 buildings surrounding Bronson Park. Musical entertainment includes classical music, rhythm and blues, jazz, bluegrass, and Christian contemporary. Performing artists include magicians, clowns, jugglers, storytellers, and tricks. Admission is $5 for everyone over 4 years of age, and the celebration runs from 5:30pm to midnight.

Dec 31 Cherry Drop – Traverse City
Inspired by New York City, lots of towns drop a ball to ring in a new year, but not in T.C. Naturally, this tip of the mitt town, salutes a new turn around the sun with the drop of a cherry. This Front Street fiesta begins at 10pm. The cherry drops at midnight, followed by fireworks. Admission is free, but guests are asked to start of the year charitably with a cash or check donation to Salvation Army.

Dec 31 The Drop – Detroit
If it’s a cherry in T.C. then why not a giant D in Detroit? Detroit’s version of a drop party will feature multiple balloon drops and confetti storms. Streets will be closed and activities begin at 4:00pm. Expect live entertainment, fire pits, a dedicated kids zone, and some surprises.  

Dec 1-30 New Year’s Eve Ball Drop – Marquette
The tradition of gathering with family and friends to watch something drop and ring in the new year will see its 30th celebration in downtown Marquette this season. The symbolic ball drop is poised atop the Masonic Square Mall at 128-130 W. Washington Street. The streets beneath is closed to traffic for a family-friendly welcome to 2019. Revelers seeking to imbibe will find multiple bars and restaurants eager to host them. 


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