Not surprisingly, our 12 things to do in Michigan in December 2021 is all about the holidays. Whether you long for lights, songs, or shops, we’ve got you covered, and then some.
Dec 1-18 Dashing Through the Snow – Marshall
How about an original theatrical production to put an extra spark in your holiday fire? This show revolves around the Tannenbaum family as they try to make it back home to Michigan in time to celebrate Christmas with their relatives. Then a blizzard descends on the Midwest, forcing them to seek shelter. With all the rooms in every hotel booked, they camp out in the lobby of a small inn. Determined to make the best of it, the family meets their fellow stranded travelers, and finds the holiday spirit in this most unlikely of places. This lighthearted musical even features some holiday classics you’ll surely recognize. Tickets are $50 for adults and $35 for children under 12, which includes the buffet at Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre.
Dec 1-31 The Lights Over Leelanau – Leelanau Peninsula
Join the friendly folks out on Leelanau this month as they start a new seasonal tradition. Sled out to the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail and experience thousands of twinkling holiday lights at many of the wineries in the region. Aside from the beauty and charm of the area, there will be multiple ways to toast the holidays. Each participating winery is offering something unique, like happy hours, live music, wreath-building workshops and so much more. Did we mention how great the wine and the views are?
Dec 1-31 Dow Studio Tours – Midland
Alden and Vada Dow made Christmas a joyous and playful, family celebration. This December experience the beauty and fun of their zooming scale trains, playful mechanical toys, shimmering Christmas tree decorations, delightful holiday music and the warm and inviting atmosphere they created for family, friends and holiday guests. It’s a step back in time, and a wonderful opportunity to explore the home. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $8 for students (8 and up).
Dec 2-4, 9-11, 16-18 Merry Marketplace – Traverse City
This is a wonderful way to shop locally, while getting into the holiday spirit. The Merry Marketplace is hosted by Crooked Tree Arts Center over three weekends, each including over twenty artists. Expect shopping, workshops, artist demonstrations, and good, creative fun. The rotating event will feature different artists each weekend, so if you’re in the area, it’s worth a stop more than once.
Dec 2-19 A Southern Exposure Christmas – Battle Creek
Shed the hustle and bustle of the season, and visit this herb farm for a serene experience. Walk through magically lit gardens and decorated buildings full of wonder and nostalgia. Enjoy a variety of activities from creating a festive holiday decoration to walking through the festival of trees. Each tree is decorated by a local business to support a charity. Vote for your favorite and help raise some dough for a good cause. Plan to pop into the gift shop too and find a soon to be cherished treasure for you or someone special on your list.
Dec 3-5, 9-12, 17-23, 26-28 Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village – Dearborn
There may be no more enchanting way to welcome the Christmas season than with a trip to Henry Ford’s favorite little village. It’s a feast for the senses. Stroll down Main Street, brimming with holiday goods, food and warm beverages. Take a ride on a historic Model T or horse-drawn carriage. Warm up in historic homes filled with the family traditions of yesteryear, or by a roaring bonfire. Watch with wonder as Santa greets kids by name or as fireworks dazzle across the night sky. Consider buying a membership as a gift to your family, and take advantage of reduced ticket prices and shopping and dining discounts.
Dec 4-5, 11-12 Dickens Festival – Holly
Have you ever wondered what it was like to experience Christmas like a character in a Dickens novel? Wonder no more. Just head to Holly, an aptly-named town, for the return of this charming annual tradition. Smell the roasting chestnuts. Listen for pronouncements from the town crier. Sing along with strolling carolers, but keep an eye out for a grumpy soul. Rumor has it, Ebenezer Scrooge has been known to bounce around town. Enjoy the lovely shops and delightful eateries in this quaint village.
Dec 4-Dec 30 Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic – Flint
For many families, a visit to Crossroads has been a December tradition for decades. Last year’s drive-thru lightshow option is still available for $10 per vehicle on December 6, 13, 20, 24, and 27. This year, you can also visit the village to see the artisans at work, and even ride the Huckleberry Railroad. Note, that masks are recommended throughout, but required to hop aboard the train. Tickets for the village range from $13-$15, or an additional $9 each to add the train ride.
Dec 10-Dec 21 Christmas Cabaret – Augusta
One of Michigan’s most heartwarming theatrical traditions continues this year. Head out to the Barn Theatre if you’re looking for some good old fashioned Christmas spirit. If you love caroling, then this is the place to be. Perfect for the whole family, this joyous, reflective, upbeat show is sure to create wonderful memories that will last a lifetime. Plus, they’ll be serving up complimentary dessert, coffee and hot chocolate. Tickets are $36 for adults and $25 for children. Showtimes are at 7pm, with 2pm matinees added on Saturdays and Sundays.
Dec 11 Antique Snowmobiles on Mighty Mac – St Ignace
Whether you have a vintage snowmobile and want to take on this adventure, or just be a spectator, this is a uniquely Michigan experience. All snowmobiles that are 25 years or older are welcome to come and cross the bridge. They must have a legal registration or the Historic Registration, a wheel kit with at least 2″ wheels, and no studs or cleats. Riders will be crossing from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace at about 11am.
Dec 11 A Charlie Brown Christmas – Detroit
You probably grew up watching it on television, and now you and your kids can experience it live on state. Everyone’s favorite Peanuts television special is coming to life at Detroit’s Fox Theatre. There are shows at 12pm, 3:30pm, and 7pm. The whole family can join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts characters in their journey to uncover the true meaning of Christmas.
Dec 29-30 Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) – Ann Arbor & East Lansing
It wouldn’t be December without some phenomenal collegiate hockey battles. This year’s GLI will be played in a showcase format at the homes of the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans, rather than in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena. Also, no overall champion will be crowned. Despite the changes, it still promises to be a treat for hockey fans. On opening day, the Huskies of Michigan Tech will face the Wolverines at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor. Meanwhile, Western Michigan’s Broncos will tackle the Spartans at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing. On the second day, it’s Huskies vs Spartans in East Lansing and Broncos vs Wolverines in Ann Arbor. Tickets are available through each school’s respective ticket office.
Join us on social media for ongoing discussions about Michigan travel destinations. Tweet @BuyMichiganNow and let us know when you make it to one of our 12 things to do in Michigan in December 2021. For next month’s event highlights, or to get ideas for your local bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page.