Michigan Places to Visit Santa that Aren’t a Shopping Mall

Santa Claus is coming to town and he is not just stopping at the mall! With downtown activities, festivals, and more celebrating holiday cheer there are lots of opportunities to run into Mr. Claus without waiting in those long lines at the shopping mall.

Check out some of the many locations across Michigan where you can see Santa and avoid the mall hustle and bustle:

Old World Canterbury Village
2359 Joslyn Ct, Lake Orion, MI. Visit with Santa and take a picture with him while taking in Canterbury Village where it is always Christmas. Saturdays and Sundays, Noon – 5 p.m. through Dec. 23. Also check out breakfast with Santa on Dec. 17 at the Kings Court Castle in Canterbury Village. Call 248-391-1900 for more information on the holiday special.

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI. Spend an unforgettable holiday night in Greenfield Village. Experience a magical night with candlelit paths, live entertainment, costumed presenters, horse-drawn wagons, Model T rides, shopping, live reindeer, ice skating, fireworks and Mr. Claus himself. Dates are already selling out, get your tickets fast. Visit December 15-17, 19-23, 26-27 and 29-30 from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa at the Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, MI. Don’t miss out an amazing holiday breakfast at the Detroit Zoo in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. The 14th annual Breakfast with Santa will open its doors at 8:15 a.m. and serve a buffet-style waffle breakfast at 8:30 a.m. There will be arts and crafts, a visit from Santa with photo opportunities and a special gift for each child. Visit Dec. 16 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Spicer Orchards Farm Market & Winery
10411 Clyde Rd., Fenton, MI. Make reservations for Santa’s Sleigh Workshop. Take a train ride, visit with Santa, enjoy a bonfire at his cabin, make reindeer food with the elves and Mrs. Claus then indulge in yummy cider and donuts. Everything to enhance the holiday spirit.

Nite Lites Show at Michigan International Speedway
12626 US-12, Brooklyn, MI (US-12 Entrance only). Enjoy a magical holiday light set-up, puppet shows and train rides with the family. Seasonal food and drinks will be provided as well as a visit from the jolly man himself. Visit Dec. 15-17, 22, 23. Winter Wonderland Hours: 6 p.m.- 9 p.m. Santa’s hours: 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Live Reindeer nights: 15, 22, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Santa Visits & Free Cocoa in Rockford
17 S. Monroe St., Rockford, MI. Visit Dec. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Celebrate the holidays in Rockford by hanging out with Santa and his reindeer while sipping on some hot cocoa in the Rotary Pavilion.

Santa Visits Meijer Gardens
1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI. The Frederik Meijer Gardens is the best place to be to get into the holiday spirit with traditions from around the world. Experience 300,000 lights, strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides and more than 40 international trees and displays. Don’t forget to stop and see Santa to share your holiday wishes and bring your camera for the photo op with him on his sleigh. Visit Dec. 12 and 19 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Michigan Steam Train North Pole Express
405 S. Washington St., Owosso, MI. Not only do you get to see Santa on your magical holiday excursion but there are reindeer, horse drawn carriage rides, arts and crafts, glass blowers, chain saw carvings, street performers, petting zoos and much more. The train ride is approximately an hour each way, with two hours in between to participate in the activities in Ashley. Rides take place through Through Dec. 17 Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Midland Santa House
Downtown Midland, Corner of Main St. and M-20. Stop by downtown and pose for a picture with Santa.  If you stop by at the right time you may even get to see his reindeer! See website for dates and times.

Where else have you taken your family to visit with Santa this year? Leave your tips for others in the comments below. 

Photo credit: NCDOTcommunications

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