Unique Places to Visit Santa in MI

Jennifer McCallion

| 5 min read

Santa and kids at Christmas time
Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s 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 long lines at the mall.
Check out some of the many locations across Michigan where you can see Santa and avoid the mall hustle and bustle:
2359 Joslyn Ct., Lake Orion, MI. Visit with Santa and take a picture with him at Canterbury Village’s Michigan Market Place. Santa stops in on Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 23. Also check out breakfast with Santa on Dec. 9 and 16 at the Kings Court Castle in Canterbury Village. Call 248-391-1900 for more information on the holiday special.
2706 E. Stevenson Lake Rd., Clare, MI. Experience the “real” Santa in a lovely setting created with a heated reindeer farm, hot cocoa and Christmas cookies. Along with a special visit from Skittles the clown who will be doing face paintings!
4981 N. Adams Rd., Rochester, MI. Santa Claus is coming to town for his very own workshop at the Sherwood Forest Garden Center. Visit with him in his newly re-modeled cozy cabin. Parents, bring your camera and kids, bring your Christmas joy … and wish list! Dates are: Dec. 7 from 4 – 7 p.m., Dec. 8 & 9 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Dec 14 from 4 – 7 p.m., and Dec. 15 & 16 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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 7-9, 13-16, 18-23 and 26-27 from 6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
100 Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI. Holiday spirit is being spread by Santa in the Jefferson Lobby all the way up until Saturday, Dec. 22! On Sundays, Mr. Claus is busy directing the elves and prepping the reindeer but any Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. he is ready to meet with you and snap a pic!
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. 8, 15, and 16, from 8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
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. To make a reservation with Santa please call 810-632-7692.
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. 8-9, 14-16, and 21-23. Winter Wonderland Hours: 6 – 9 p.m. Santa’s hours: 6 – 8:30 p.m. Live Reindeer nights: 14 and 21, 6 – 9 p.m.
17 S. Monroe St., Rockford, MI. Visit Dec. 12 from 6 – 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.
1000 East Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI. 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. 11 and 18 from 5 – 8 p.m.
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 Dec. 16: Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
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.
12111 Pardee Road, Taylor, MI. The finest holiday display not only brings in Santa Claus but Mrs. Claus, too! Do not miss out on the magical winter wonderland housing hundreds of animated characters, dozens of Christmas scenes and breathtaking light displays. Tentative hours are Fridays from 5 – 8 p.m., Saturdays from 1 – 8 p.m., and Sundays from 1 – 7 p.m.
Where else have you taken your family to visit with Santa this year? Leave your tips for others in the comments below.
Photo credit: Andresr

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