Not surprisingly, our 12 things to do in Michigan in December 2022 includes a lot of holiday-themed events, and also other uniquely Michigan fun.
Dec 1-Dec 31 Heroes & Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume – Dearborn
This month marks the last chance to catch a unique glimpse of Disney magic up close and in person. Using more than 70 original pieces, including ball gowns, sorcerers’ capes, military uniforms, tiaras, and of course glass slippers, the exhibition explores the vision, process, and craft used to create the costumes worn by some of the biggest names in entertainment. In addition to this striking presentation, you can experience all of the other wonders of the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, including glorious holiday décor.
Dec 1-31 44: Portraits of a President – Detroit
Dynamic and inspiring, the exhibition includes forty-four artists’ interpretations of our 44th President in life-size, three-dimensional form. In essence, each sculpture is a blank canvas upon which artists imaginatively celebrate the man, his presidency, and our history. This exhibition serves as a study of his portrait and a platform to revisit his political ideology as well as his hopes for America.
Dec 2-17 Still Dreaming of a White Christmas – Marshall
This original theatrical production aims to freshen up the old holiday classic, yet remain true to the style and spirit. In this show, the combined acts of the old war buddies and the sisters is getting a bit stale. To liven things up, they add a sultry young singer to the lineup, which doesn’t sit well with everyone. Featuring well-loved favorites such as Cheek to Cheek, Baby, It’s Cold Outside and of course, White Christmas, this stylish evening of 1940s standards will make you swoon. Tickets range from $35-$52.
Dec 2-4; 9-11; 15-23; 26-28 Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village – Dearborn
As holiday traditions go, it is truly hard to top this one. Step back into a simpler time. Enjoy holiday melodies from Victorian carolers. Warm up and chat with other revelers around a roaring bonfire. Sip on a hot cocoa or craft cocktail. Taste a roasted chestnut. Pop into a home from a century ago and learn how the cooked the goose and other aspects of the yuletide feast. Be sure to stay until the end to take in the fireworks. There is something extra magical about those bursts of color on a cold winter’s night.
Dec 2-26 Fish-mas – Auburn Hills
Looking for something totally different to do with the kids this holiday season? This may be just the ticket. Head to Michigan’s largest aquarium to soak in an underwater winter wonderland. They’ve decked the halls and the tanks with festive décor. Kids can take a safe polar plunge by dipping their hands in the cold water Touchpool to pet bright red and green sea anemones. They may even catch a glimpse of Scuba Claus and his underwater elves while they clean the Ocean Habitat. Plus, they can help him find his lost gifts, which have been scattered throughout the aquarium in a holiday-themed scavenger hunt.
Dec 3-4; 10-11 Dickens Festival – Holly
Holly truly comes alive every Christmas season with the nation’s oldest and longest running Dickens festival. It’s been a tough year for this little hamlet with the devastating fire that whipped through the historic Holly Hotel. That makes it an extra special year to come spread some Christmas spirit, and some cash, through this warm and friendly town. This full sensory experience includes the scent of roasting chestnuts, the sounds of strolling carolers, and perhaps even a sighting of one grumpy soul known as Ebenezer Scrooge.
Dec 7-23 Michigan Made Holiday Art Exhibition – Lansing
Support a local artist this year. Whether treating yourself, or gifting a piece, it’s a wonderful way to boost our economy and spread joy. This exhibition showcases both established and emerging artists. It has been carefully curated. The event, at the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center will offer holiday shopping, as well as an opportunity to discover and become a fan of new artists. The exhibit will feature artworks ranging from fine art to small gifts including jewelry, sculpture, pottery, and more.
Dec 9-11; 16-22 Christmas Cabaret – Augusta
Attending this event is like taking part in a Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland musical, for those old enough to remember those. (Hint: if you don’t, try streaming one, they’re lots of fun). This annual tradition at the Barn Theatre is filled with good old fashioned Christmas spirit. 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. Showtimes are at 7pm, with 2pm matinees added on Saturdays and Sundays.
Dec 10 4-Elf Party – Marshall
The holiday season is a lovely time to visit Marshall. There’s a little bit of magic in the air. While in town, be sure to stroll the streets and enjoy the décor, then pop into Dark Horse Brewing for their best party of the year. The doors open at 11am for those who have built up tailgating tolerance. Wear a costume and the cover charge is just 5 bucks, or spend 10 and come as you are. There are lots of free food options,a costume contest, live music, and prizes. Best of all for beer lovers, there will be special barrel-aged beer releases—who wouldn’t want to try beer infused with the flavor of peanut butter cups or s’mores? Naturally, this is a day for grown-ups to play. Must be 21 or over to enter.
Dec 10 Antique Snowmobiles on Mighty Mac – St Ignace
One of the state’s more unique December parades has nothing to do with the holidays. Each year, vintage snowmobiles make their way across Mighty Mac. Whether you have an antique sled 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. 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. If participating, you’ll want to make sure your machine is in the Colonial Michilimackinac parking lot by 10am at the latest.
Dec 18 Menorah in the D – Detroit
Join in on the 12th annual Menorah in the D, a community Chanukah celebration. Thousands of people gather in Campus Martius for the festivities and the lighting of the massive 26-foot menorah each year. Highlights include strolling street performers, face painting, balloon sculpting, a fire show, marshmallow roasting pits, hot soup and cider, glow-in-the-dark giveaways, a mitzvah station and more. Eight community lamplighters will be honored, including Ryan Turell of the Motor City Cruise. The event kicks off at 5pm, but if you can’t make it in person, you can take part online, beginning at 5:30pm. Visit the website to RSVP for the in-person event, reserve your spot in the exclusive Zoom party and/or reserve an at-home lamplighter kit.
Dec 27-28 Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) – Grand Rapids
The Great Lakes Invitational was first played in 1965. This popular hockey tradition, like most things, was disrupted by the pandemic, but it’s back, and coming to Van Andel Arena. The 57th GLI starts with a doubleheader matchup on Tuesday, December 27 between Michigan Tech (CCHA) and Western Michigan (NCHC) at 3:30pm, followed by Michigan State (Big Ten) against Ferris State (CCHA) at 7pm. The winners of those contests will face off in the championship game on Wednesday, December 28 at 7pm. The puck drops on the GLI Third Place game at 3:30pm on the same day, so there’s plenty of action all weekend long.
Join us on social media for ongoing discussions about events and Michigan travel destinations. Tweet @BuyMichiganNow to let us know when you make it to one of our 12 things to do in Michigan in December 2022. For next month’s event highlights, or to get ideas for your local bucket list, be sure to visit our Michigan Tourism page.