Michigan is one of the absolute best states for enjoying a memorable holiday season. It’s not too cold, it’s (usually) not too snowy and the people are downright neighborly. Scrooges here are few and far between. So, we at MCM say, “take advantage of it!” Embrace the beauty, fun and majesty of the holidays in the best way possible – with family, friends and a festive atmosphere. After decorating your home for the much-awaited December celebrations, why not collect those around you and head out to one of the happenings in Greater Flint or (if anything catches your fancy) a little further away. Get out-and-about and recapture that old Christmas spirit once again.
Greater Flint Fun
I think it’s time you take the kiddos back to the planetarium … What say you? Start the festivities off right with the Cosmic Christmas laser light show featuring 16 classic holiday songs all set to trippy (I mean festive) Christmas visuals. The show runs through the month of December and can fit into nearly every schedule with multiple showings, so you have no excuse. Visit sloanlongway.org to select your time and date.
Christmas at the Holly Hotel
On December 7, the movie “Christmas at the Holly Hotel” will premier locally at The Capitol Theatre in Downtown Flint. Filmed in Holly, the story centers around Holly native Kathy as she returns home after finding career success in New York City. There, she meets and falls in love with a handsome and kind police officer. Will she head back to The Big Apple or decide that where she truly belongs is back home in Holly? Enjoy this down-home Christmas story in a setting that we all know and recognize. For tickets, visit capitoltheatreflint.com.
Holly Dickens Festival
“And it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us, every one!” – Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol”
Get into the spirit of the season in Downtown Holly at the Dickens Festival. Take the kids back in time (get into the correct attire for added fun), start talking in your best British accent, and enjoy tasty food, Christmas vendors, carriage rides, games and brilliant stage performances. Great memories can be made just a hop away in Holly, but you have to act fast – the last weekend of festivities takes place December 10-11.
New Century Chorale Yuletide Festival
On December 11, the New Century Chorale will take the stage for their much-anticipated Yuletide Festival. Join Artistic Director Steven Holovach for a wonderful and dynamic mix of traditional holiday carols, sing-a-longs and rarely heard holiday music from the beautiful voices of the chorale and accompanying chamber orchestra. This year’s festival will take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Flint. Tickets are $12. The concert will also be streamed live and you may purchase tickets at newcenturychorale.square.site and a link for the live-stream will be emailed to you.
Flint Symphonic Wind Ensemble Holiday Concert
The 2022 FSWE Holiday Concert will take place December 13 at Mayfair Bible Church in Flushing, MI. Join Conductor Chris Anderson on a heavenly journey through the music of Christmas. This popular holiday performance is sure to get anyone in the mood! The program features classic seasonal melodies as well as selections from Leroy Anderson, Alan Silvestri, Vincent Gassi, John Cheetham and others. For more information, visit fswe-band.com.
FSO Presents: Holiday Pops
The FIM Whiting will be full to the brim with holiday mirth when the Flint Symphony Orchestra jumps into the 2022 Holiday Pops concert! On December 17, the FSO will play time-honored audience favorites from traditional and contemporary Christmas music along with upbeat special selections from 300 years of Mexican and Latin American traditions. Holiday Pops is one of Flint’s most anticipated shows of the year and never fails to leave a rosy glow on the season. For tickets, visit thewhiting.com
Christmas Season at Grandpa Tiny’s Farm
In our favorite Christmas town, Frankenmuth, is Grandpa Tiny’s Farm located at 7775 Weiss St. Decked out for the holidays, this unique experience gives visitors the chance to see Santa’s workshop, reindeer in training and even Santa himself! Kids are encouraged to bring a letter to St. Nick detailing how good they think they were this year and what gift they hope to receive. Watch and chat with Santa’s farm workers and then create an ornament at “The Woodworker” to mark the occasion. Grandpa Tiny’s Farm is open weekends through December 18. Admission is $14.75.
“It’s a Wonderful Life”
One of the greatest Christmas movies of all time will be playing in all its splendor at The Capitol Theatre in Flint on December 21 – just in time to learn the true meaning of Christmas. This classic film stars the iconic James Stewart as George Bailey, a small-town banker who loses his spirit and will to continue on. Through the help of his angel, Clarence, Bailey gets a chance to see what life would have been like in his home town if he’d never been born. Bailey soon learns that his life does matter to the people he loves, and he comes out with greater spirit than before. For ticket info, visit capitoltheatreflint.com.
Trail of Lights
Presented by Davison Township Parks & Recreation, the Trail of Lights brings the holidays home in a dazzling and beautiful walk through the Robert Williams Nature and Historical Learning Center. Horse-drawn carriage rides are available on December 9 & 11 for $15 and include the ride, a visit from Santa, hot cocoa and a craft. The trail is open to walking visitors on December 10, 16-18 and 22-23. For those with special needs, the trail is open on December 15, 6-8pm. On Friday, December 16 the Davison High School Choir will be on hand for caroling.
Christmas at Crossroads
Well, you’ve seen the lights, you’ve heard the music, and the big day is nearly here. What else is there? Only the biggest Christmas experience in Greater Flint, that’s what! Open on weekends through December 30, Christmas at Crossroads is the ultimate experience for those with all the holiday spirit. Brilliantly decorated, Crossroads Village comes alive with carols, performances, shops, Santa and more. Don’t forget to purchase your Huckleberry Railroad tickets early as it WILL sell out. It’s our local version of “The Polar Express” and nearly every person in Genesee County has fond memories of seeing the amazing lights from the window of the moving train. Tickets for the train and village are $24, and $15 for village access only.
Holiday Happening Destinations
If Greater Flint didn’t have enough for you, or you want to experience something different, Southeast Michigan has a wide variety of fun events. Here are a few you are bound to enjoy.
Telling the Story: Christmas Oratorios by Bach & Saint-Saens
Visit the Wharton Center in Lansing on December 10 to hear classic Baroque Christmas Oratorios from the masters. The uplifting and spiritual concert will be performed by the MSU Choral Union, University Chorale, State Singers and MSU Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Rayl. Tickets are available for $22. Visit whartoncenter.com to purchase.
Cirque Du Soleil – ‘Twas the Night Before
Visit Detroit’s fantastic Fox Theatre this season for a unique and marvelous holiday show performed by the world-famous Cirque Du Soleil. This festive show features the wonders of sharing and friendship as young Isabella is whisked away to an upside-down and inside-out world of the Night Before Christmas poem. This is Cirque Du Soleil’s very first Christmas show and it is bound to entertain and fill you with holiday cheer. The show runs from December 15-26 and tickets start at $42. Visit foxtheatredetroit.net for purchase.
Canterbury Village Holiday
Quaint villages are all the rage during the holidays and this Lake Orion attraction is the perfect little place to grow your holiday spirit. Running through December 23, the Holiday Stroll features a musical Christmas light show, professional carolers, live Christmas performances and live roaming holiday characters such as Buddy the Elf, The Grinch, Olaf, Jack Frost, Anna, Elsa and others. For the adults, the C-Pub outdoor patio is ready to serve you all of the Christmas libations (ahem) you may need to get you through the day. Make sure not to leave without getting your picture taken with Santa!
30th Annual Wonderland of Lights
This fantastic family delight at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing runs through December 23. Stroll around the zoo and take in thousands of beautiful and festive light displays while enjoying classic holiday music. Tickets are only $9. For more details, visit potterparkzoo.org.
Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village
Another of our favorite old-timey villages, Greenfield Village in Dearborn is a celebration of Christmas on each and every one of its 80 acres. Listen to carolers and fiddlers, and smell the roasting chestnuts and bonfires as you stroll down Main Street. Take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon or a Model-T as you find your best route from building to building. Reservations for “Supper with Santa” and/or “Holiday Nights in Eagle Tavern” can be purchased online at thehenryford.org. Make sure to take your ice skates! Holiday Nights in Greenfield is open until December 28.
The ultimate Christmas musical experience will be live at Little Caesars Arena on December 29. Just because the Big Day has already passed doesn’t mean the experience has to end! This highly anticipated winter tour – The Ghosts of Christmas Eve – will feature classic Trans-Siberian tunes such as “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24”, “Christmas Canon”, “This Christmas Day” and others. Tickets start at $44, visit 313present.com for more information.
Winter Wonder Lights
Explore a world of light and magic at Meadowbrook Hall on the campus of Oakland University. This self-guided outdoor event (through December 30) features festive music, lights, specialty drinks, bonfires and more. For an added bonus, make sure to check out the Starlight Stroll, Holiday Tea and Santa Saturdays! Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at meadowbrookhall.org/wonderlights
Magic of Lights
If a drive-through light experience is more your gig, head down to Pine Knob in Clarkston for “Magic of Lights.” See a variety of holiday scenes and characters, as well as intricate digital animations from the safety of your own car. One car, one price – just $20 per vehicle. So, cram ‘em in and get ready to be amazed! Magic of Lights is open until December 31. For advanced tickets and details, visit magicoflights.com/events/clarkston.
Holly Dazzle: A Renaissance Christmas
Visit Holly Grove, the site of the Michigan Renaissance Festival for Holly Dazzle! Holly Dazzle is a three-quarter mile trail with more than a dozen lighted holiday scenes featuring Santa, Sledding Penguins, a Candy Land Castle and more. Every child who meets Santa will receive a free gift. It’s the Renaissance Festival under a million lights! Holly Dazzle is open weekends through December 31. For more info, visit michrenfest.com
Walk on the Wild Side
Returning to the Detroit Zoo for another season, Wild Lights runs every weekend through January 8. Guests will enjoy multiple animal-themed light displays with a new Enchanted Trail added just this year. Visit the Wishing Tree and take a jump through Toyland as you make your way to The Polar Express™ 4D Theater Experience. When it’s all over, adults can visit the Wild Lights Lodge for live entertainment and much sought-after beverages. For ticket info, visit detroitzoo.org.
However you choose to celebrate the holidays, we hope it’s a happy time for you and yours! Happy Holidays from MCM!