Every year as the snow begins to fall, families throughout Michigan load up the sleigh and head to their favorite holiday destination for a bit of Christmas magic. From light shows to parades, small towns to big cities, festive seasonal attractions offer a variety of merriments – most only a few hours away. With some traditional celebrations being put on hold this year, now may be the best time for something new, something fresh. A new family experience that could become a treasured tradition.
Here are a few holiday places and happenings to help end 2020 on a positive note and make the holidays happy for you and yours.
Michigan’s Christmas Capital is always a fun holiday visit. What year would be complete without a pilgrimage to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland? The cozy, little Bavarian village offers nearly the total Christmas package from dazzling displays to warm restaurants and tidy shopping. This year, however, the traditional Holiday Celebration and Candle Walk will be put on hold but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fantastic family experience. (Or, if you are traveling sans family, no one will think twice about a stop at Frankenmuth Brewery for a Christmas Ale or two.)
Big Bright Light Show
Main Street, Downtown Rochester
For more than a decade, Downtown Rochester has “wowed” the public throughout December with a display of more than a million lights. Take an evening stroll past the festive buildings and do some shopping for the perfect Christmas gift. This year, the lights will be extended through the weekends in January, leading up to the Fire & Ice Festival.
The Christmas Lite Show
Fifth Third Ballpark, Comstock Park
During the holiday season, the Fifth Third Ballpark is transformed into a colorful wonderland. This year, the show will go on as a drive-through venue with a nearly two-mile route decorated in more than a million twinkling lights. Pile your family into the biggest vehicle you have and take the kids on a nighttime Christmas adventure. Tickets are $25 per vehicle. Make sure you order your tickets soon, as they tend to sell out. The show lasts through December.
Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village
Greenfield Village, Dearborn
One of the country’s premier holiday destinations, this annual attraction offers the full Christmas experience. Guests will enjoy dramatic displays, outdoor caroling, carousel rides, cooking and skilled artisan demonstrations, live reindeer and more! This year, ice skating, horse-drawn carriage rides, Model T rides and indoor caroling will not take place due to health concerns. Tickets range in price from $20 to $30 per person.
The Santa House
Since 1987, Santa has spent the days leading up to Christmas night in his cozy vacation house. The Midland Santa House offers a chance for children to see the magic of Christmas up close. They will get to see where Santa lives, meet him and, often, his reindeer. There is no cost to visit with Santa and he is always happy to pose for a photo. He is there until December 23, then he leaves to get ready for the big night!
Olde World Canterbury Village
2359 Joslyn Ct., Lake Orion
This designated historical landmark is located on the grounds of the old Scripps Farm. The village glows with an inspiring display of over 50,000 Christmas lights and decorations galore. Browse 14 specialty shops for your holiday gifting needs including Aldridge’s Always Christmas store. After a delightful afternoon, visit the King’s Court Castle Restaurant or the C-Pub Bar & Grille for a bite and a brew.
Detroit is a place for an all-day family outing. With its revitalized downtown, the city offers excellent holiday decorations, shopping and restaurants. After a morning of travel, spend the evening ice skating at Campus Martius Park. The trees around the rink glow with multi-colored lights and the 60-ft. Christmas tree is the perfect icon of holiday splendor. When you’ve had your fill of gliding, stop at the Detroit Zoo for the Wild Lights display featuring 280 sculptures made of five million yuletide lights! Tickets for Wild Lights range between $15 and $20 each, with free admission for kids under 2.
Nite Lites Holiday Spectacular
Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn
Through December 31, this light show is one of the best in the state. Smile with holiday cheer as you navigate your vehicle through five miles of over 300 Christmas displays. Guests will drive through seven lighted tunnels and watch the lights twinkle and dance along to holiday musical classics. Don’t miss the 12 Days of Christmas-themed display. Tickets range from $25 to $100, depending upon vehicle size.
Whatever your tradition or seasonal fancy, we hope you have an amazing holiday and a much-deserved, Happy New Year! Before venturing out, be sure to check for availability.
Photos from organization’s Facebook pages