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A Dozen Ways to Celebrate the Holiday Season in Michigan

by Lisa Diggs

The holiday season is in full swing, bringing with it some delightful events to warm up your December.

 

Nov 20 Silver Bells in the City – Lansing

Kick off your holiday season in our capitol city. The entire town will glow with thousands of lights for the Silver Bells in the City celebration, bringing together family and friends from across the state. Enjoy the Electric Light Parade at 6PM and then hang out until 7:45PM for the lighting of the Official State Christmas Tree. Even if you can’t make it to Lansing for the Silver Bells celebration, it’s worth the trip any time in December to see the huge tree poised majestically in front of the capitol. www.silverbellsinthecity.org

 

Nov 20-Dec 19 Showcase D’ Holidays – Detroit

Magical entertainment, food, hot chocolate, a cocktail bar, and family fun, will be in full swing this season from 4PM-Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays in Campus Martius Park. Other nearby activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, street performers, and of course skating in the giant rink.  www.campusmartiuspark.org 

 

Nov 20-Dec 27 Wonderland of Lights – Lansing

A visit to the Potter Park Zoo isn’t just for summer. It’s a completely different, equally endearing place in the winter. Check it out and see the zoo in a whole new light, or filled with light as the case may be. Thousands of lights create extraordinary animal exhibits and holiday displays at the 22nd annual Wonderland of Lights. There will be cookies, crafts and animal encounters for the kids to enjoy. Wonderland runs from 5:00pm to 8:00PM nightly (closed on Christmas Day). www.potterparkzoo.org

 

Nov 21-Dec 31 International Festival of Lights – Battle Creek

Visit Cereal City as it becomes a city of lights before your very eyes at the 2015 International Festival of Lights. One of the most popular displays is the Twelve days of Christmas which is located on the back lawn of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Nightly, children romp through the structures singing and enjoying quality family time together. Enjoy the beauty of the lights in and around downtown Battle Creek. www.bcfestivals.com

 
Nov 21-Dec 12 Dutch WinterFest – Holland

As the snow begins to fall, there may be no better place to be than the Dutch Winterfest in Holland. With many events centering around downtown Holland, and plenty of shopping, you'll find their unique snow-melt system keeps streets and sidewalks clear! The biggest event is of course the annual arrival of Sinterklaas during the Parade of Lights on December 4. Be sure to shop the Holiday Kerstmarkt at the 8th Street Marketplace (150 W. 8th St.) while you’re there. www.holland.org

 
Nov 23-Jan 3 Big, Bright Light Show – Rochester

For the tenth straight year, you are invited to brighten your holidays in downtown Rochester with The Big, Bright Light Show. The buildings in downtown Rochester will be covered with more than 1 million points of glimmering holiday light. The festivities kick offon November 23, as the downtown merchants offer their Lagniappe (Creole for “a little something extra”) in appreciation for their support throughout the year! www.downtownrochestermi.com

 

Nov 26-America’s Thanksgiving Parade® – Detroit

America’s Thanksgiving Parade, presented by Art Van, is one of the country’s largest and most spectacular parades. It runs down Detroit’s historic Woodward Avenue, in a holiday tradition that dates back to 1924. Floats, bands, giant balloons, and of course the legendary Big Heads will bring smiles to young and old alike. This year’s Grand Marshall is comedian, and voice of the Pure Michigan commercials, Tim Allen. www.theparade.org

 

Dec 1-Dec 31 Wayne County Lightfest – Westland to Dearborn

Stretching for four miles along picturesque Hines Drive, this lighting spectacle has become an annual tradition for many families. Driving together throughout the event makes it an intimate holiday celebration, even though thousands of others will take part. With more than 47 giant animated themed displays and more than one million lights, it is the Midwest’s largest and longest light show. The route is open from 7pm until 10pm daily from November 20 until December 31(except for Christmas Day). The fee is only $5 fee per vehicle and you can enter at 7651 Merriman Road in Westland. www.waynecounty.com

 

Dec 3 Winter Snow Fun Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting – Marquette

Bundle up with friends and family as illuminated floats, tinsel-strewn trucks, and colorful carolers transform Third Street into a magical scene from the North Pole. After the parade, spectators are welcomed to the Marquette Commons where Santa Claus and friends will light up Downtown at the annual City of Marquette Tree Lighting. Festivities include a performance by the Marquette Senior High School Redmen Chorale, pony rides, hot chocolate and photos with Santa Claus. In a sweet, and timeless tradition, the Marquette Post Office staff lends a helping hand to Santa’s elves by collecting children’s letters to Santa along the Holiday Parade route. www.downtownmarquette.org  

 

Dec 4-6 Holiday in the Village – Suttons Bay

What better place to toast the holiday season than in the heart of Michigan wine country? Stroll along the luminaria-lined streets of this charming hamlet, and sample delicious Hors d'oeuvres and tremendous local wines. You’ll find restaurant specials, over 50 decorated trees, and a festive soundtrack provided by street carolers. www.traversecity.com

 

Dec 4-28 Holiday Lights in Greenfield Village – Dearborn

What do you get when you combine a magical place with a mystical time of year? The answer is Christmas inside Greenfield Village. You can actually take a lantern-lit journey through time to a beautiful place filled with live music, skating, fireworks and tons of winter wonder. Experience the wonder for yourself December 4-6, 11-13, 17-23, or 26-28. www.thehenryford.org

 
Dec 11-Dec 20 Christmas Cabaret – Augusta

Jennifer Garner, Lauren Graham, Tom Wopat, and Dana Delaney, are just a few of the famous faces who have taken to the stage at The Barn Theatre School. Originally a dairy barn, this theatre has since built a reputation as one of the finest professional Equity summer stock theatres in the country. The Christmas Cabaret, running on weekends in December is filled with caroling and fun to put you in the holiday spirit. Rumor has it that your ticket even includes pie and coffee or cocoa! www.barntheatreschool.org  

  

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