Michigan Christmas Bucket List  

Abigail Grant
Abby Grant

| 4 min read

Window Shopping in the City
All around the state, there are many locations where you can visit and experience the holiday magic. Experiencing the charm of small towns decked out for the season, visiting Santa Claus or ice skating outside are all magical experiences that can become your family’s next holiday tradition.
Here are some of our favorite holiday activities around the state that you and your family can do this holiday season:
  • Visit Frankenmuth: The entire city of Frankenmuth radiates with the spirit of Christmas. Walk along Main Street to see the city decorated with twinkling lights and garland, or take a horse drawn carriage ride for the full Christmas experience. While in Frankenmuth, don’t skip Bronner’s which claims to be “the world’s largest Christmas store.” The store has thousands of ornaments and every decoration that you could think of.
  • Polar Express train in Owosso: The Polar Express is a popular children’s book and you can experience the Polar Express in real life. The North Pole Express is an hour and fifteen-minute ride that runs between Owosso and Ashley in mid-Michigan. After riding the holiday-themed train with hot cocoa, passengers can visit the Christmas village in Ashley to take pictures see Santa Claus. This Christmas excursion is a magical and a great addition to your family’s holiday traditions. Tickets are required in advance and often sell out quickly.
  • See Santa: Visiting Santa is a holiday tradition for many families, but Michigan has many places where children can see Santa that don’t require parents wait in line at the mall. Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm in Clare not only offers children the chance to see Santa, but they can also see and feed reindeer. At the Detroit Zoo, children and parents can get Breakfast with Santa and do arts and crafts in the beautiful butterfly garden. If you and your family want a magical place to visit Santa this holiday season check out this list: Unique Places to Visit Santa in Michigan.
  • Crossroads Village: Another favorite holiday spot in the Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad. This village is turned into a winter wonderland during the holiday season and during their Christmas at the Crossroads Holiday Magic event that happens throughout November and December, visitors can see the sparking lights, eat at the Christmas buffet, or even ride on the holiday train. 
  • Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: Visit Frederick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids to walk through an annual indoor display of Christmas trees decorated to reflect traditions from around the world. Cultural displays and a railway garden offer indoor inspiration and fun. Outdoors, the grounds of the sculpture park are decorated with lights.
  • Shop local: Looking for a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift? Consider shopping at a small business downtown or at a shopping center you’ve always wanted to visit. Make it a day trip to hunt for unique shops with unique finds this holiday. Many small towns in Michigan go all out with decorations for the holidays, adding to the festive atmosphere. Check out our list of downtown hotspots across the state to get started.
  • Watch holiday movies: Watching Christmas movies is a great way to get in the holiday spirit and many movie theaters around the state show Christmas movies during December. For example, MJR shows festive flicks throughout December in preparation for the Christmas. Be sure to check your theater near you to see if they are showing your favorite holiday movie.
  • Campus Martius: Campus Martius in downtown Detroit is the epicenter of the city’s Christmas spirit. Take in the city views with the giant Christmas tree and skating rink, and then cross the street to the Cadillac Square to shop at the pop-up holiday market featuring artisan goods. Warm up at the adjacent Cadillac Lodge with festive drinks and snacks.
  • Ice skating: With many locations around the state, ice skating is a fun way to get out of the house and get active during the winter holiday season. Ice skating rinks are located both indoors and outdoors providing options for those who don’t want to brave the harsh winter temperatures. Here is a list of the best ice skating locations across the state to visit this holiday season.
  • Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village: During the holiday season, Greenfield Village in Dearborn turns into a Christmas town full of holiday cheer. The village is fully decorated with lights and garland and Christmas carols can be heard all around the more that 80 acres. Visitors can drive in a Model T or horse-drawn wagon to see the holiday decorations, or they can brave the cold and walk around the village stopping in the small businesses full of holiday goods before warming up with a cup of hot cocoa.
Photo credit: Getty Images

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