No matter how old you are, there’s something undeniably special about the holiday season. Whether you’re five or 50, nothing rings in Christmastime like bright lights, happy music from carolers, and a sense of warmth that seems to abound throughout the state. When you’re ready to revisit your childhood, check out these nine delightful events throughout the Great Lakes State.
1. Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo (8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak)
You’ve visited the zoo during warmer months, but have you had the opportunity to explore this beloved location when wintertime rolls around? You’ll have a blast strolling around the beautifully dressed grounds of the Detroit Zoo at this fantastic event, which charms kids and adults alike with countless light displays and animal-themed holiday decor each weekend through December 31st.
2. Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village (20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn)
Get ready to step back in time and appreciate all the charms of an old-world Christmas at Greenfield Village, which operates as part of the Henry Ford Museum. During the village’s Holiday NIghts events, guests are treated to everything from old-fashioned ice skating to costumed carolers. You’ll find it impossible to resist singing along as you make your way through this holiday wonderland.
3. Holly Dickens Festival (downtown Holly)
Each weekend through December 9, the town of Holly comes to life with its annual celebration of the one and only Charles Dickens. Check out a performance of "A Christmas Carol," meet with Santa Claus, enjoy gorgeous light displays, or enjoy an arts and crafts workshop. With countless activities and an undeniably festive atmosphere, you’ll have an absolute blast.
4. Big, Bright Light Show (downtown Rochester)
Venture to downtown Rochester for one of the most magnificent Christmas light displays imaginable. With millions (yes, millions) of lights hung from buildings and treetops, Rochester truly comes to life and instills a sense of joy in the hearts of everyone who visits. Do a bit of holiday shopping as you stroll through this magical downtown area.
5. Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around The World (Frederik Meijer Gardens, 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids)
If you’re eager to learn more about how Christmas and other holidays are celebrated throughout the world, look no further than this fascinating event at Grand Rapids’ Frederik Meijer Gardens. You’ll see gorgeously decorated trees from a variety of countries, plenty of model trains, and all kinds of sparkling decor that will both educate and impress you.
6. North Pole Express (Steam Railroading Institute, 405 S Washington St, Owosso)
Hop aboard this incredible Christmas-themed train ride, which departs from Owosso’s Steam Railroading Institute and takes riders to the village of Ashley and its Country Christmas celebration. You’ll have a chance to ride on a genuine steam locomotive, which is sure to conjure images of the Polar Express. Sip on hot chocolate as you make your way across the countryside during this one-of-a-kind adventure.
7. Christmas at Crossroads Village (6140 Bray Road, Flint)
Each weekend through the end of December, visitors to Crossroads Village will have the magical opportunity to explore a winter wonderland, which comes complete with live entertainment, carolers, plenty of shopping opportunities, and even a few appearances by Santa Claus himself! Bundle up, round up the family, and get ready for one of the most delightful holiday excursions imaginable.
8. Holiday Kerstmarkt (8th Street, Holland)
Through December 9th, visitors to downtown Holland can explore all sorts of beautiful handicrafts and unique gift options at this charming holiday market. Sip on hot chocolate and mingle with locals as you make your way through this Dutch market, which comes to life with spirit each winter. When you’re finished, take an hour or two to peruse downtown Holland, which even offers heated sidewalks to prevent buildup of ice and snow!
9. Nite Lites (Michigan International Speedway, 12626 US-12, Brooklyn)
Hop in the car and venture to the Michigan International Speedway, which glimmers beautifully with countless holiday lights and animated displays throughout the Christmas season. Tune the car radio to your favorite holiday music station, marvel at breathtaking scenery, and step back in time to your greatest childhood memories.
Did we leave any of your favorite holiday events off our list? We’d love to hear how you embrace the childlike glee of the Christmas season. Share your thoughts and memories in the comment section below!
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