Updated: Nov 1
Image: Cadillac Square Markets, Detroit
Treetops Resort // Gaylord
Partake in a family-friendly Guided Snowshoe Hike under the moonlight! Your guide will lead you to a beautiful perch overlooking the newly redesigned Extreme Tubing Park and then back through the woods to a quaint café light and fire lit setting where you can have a steaming glass of hot chocolate and roast a marshmallow for s'mores. For couples and groups check out the Winter Sleigh Ride Dinner. This culinary adventure takes you on a horse-drawn sleigh ride in and around a secluded piece of Treetop's property and then you arrive to enjoy a gourmet four course meal at Hunter's Grille.
Experience the magic of the holiday season at the 11th annual Downtown Marquette Winter Snow Fun Holiday Parade. Bundle up with friends and family as illuminated floats, tinsel-strewn trucks, and colorful carolers transform Third Street into an enchanted scene from the North Pole. For a less chilly activity, TV6 has planned craft shows throughout the Upper Peninsula this winter; Marquette’s will be housed in the Northern Michigan University Superior Dome which is famous for being the largest wooden sports structure in the world.
Annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony // Saugatuck
Santa and his reindeer will be available for photos and chats ahead of the tree lighting so bring your camera and Christmas list! After having a word about what you’d like the most this year head over to Wicks Park Gazebo on Water Street for a countdown to the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony with Santa & The Mayor of Saugatuck, Garnet Lewis. The lighting of the holiday tree will be in unison with the Star on Mt. Baldhead which is just across the Kalamazoo River. Once the signal to commence the holiday season concludes, visit local shops, artisans, and restaurants and enjoy the holiday spirit.
Redford Theatre // Redford
Opened in 1928 and once billed as America’s Most Unique Suburban Playhouse, the nonprofit theater now holds candle-lit concerts and offers classic movie screenings year-round. To get in the holiday spirit, visit the historic spot in November-December when it’s dressed to the nine’s in garland, gold, red, and green decor, and houses two massive Christmas trees to either side of the stage; the perfect ambiance to watch classics like White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, or attend the annual Redford Theatre Christmas Show for that live show experience complete with a 17-piece band and vocalist.
Harbor Springs Enchanted Trail // Harbor Springs
After a day of rigorous snowboarding and skiing at The Highlands Resort, explore this magical 2-mile loop of groomed trail brimming with twinkling lights where visitors can walk the trail or try their hand at snowshoeing while the soft warm glow of lights leads you along a beautifully lit winter trail. The trip brings guests to a rustic yurt that will feature s’mores, a bonfire, and warm drinks. This excursion is perfect for a lowkey night at the resort and has some stellar photo opportunities.
Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland // Frankenmuth
Head up to Little Bavaria to wander through Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the World’s Largest Christmas Store that’s open 361 days a year. The iconic store is filled to the brim with any and every holiday decoration, gift, costume, etc. imaginable; let’s put it this way, it’s the size of 1.7 football fields. That’s not all the shopping in town; mosey over to the Frankenmuth River Place Shops to survey locally-made goods, cozy bakeries, and gift shops.
Cadillac Square Marketplace // Detroit
This quaint outdoor space in the heart of downtown Detroit transforms into a winter wonderland come November. Visit local businesses in mini glass market spaces, walk over to take a picture with the 65-foot Christmas tree, or go ice skating in Campus Martius. Also home to The Cadillac Lodge, a holiday staple of Downtown during the most wonderful time of the year! This pop-up features a large, heated tent filled with games, leather sofas, cozy blankets, and up-north ski lodge amenities. Sample from a festive menu featuring holiday cocktails, hot cocoa, appetizers, and winter favorites.
Light Parade, Santa’s Arrival, & Tree Lighting // Traverse City
Kick off the holiday season in Northern Michigan! On November 19, start the night with Christmas caroling or explore downtown Traverse City before the light parade begins. Floats and cars covered in Christmas decor and lights bring a special guest to town, and the 35-foot Christmas tree that stands at Front Street is lit through December. For a more relaxed evening celebrating the holiday season, check out the up-and-coming restaurant scene in Downtown Traverse city, most of which will have a great view of the parade and tree lighting.
Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village // Dearborn
Mingle with merrymakers amid the smells of roasting chestnuts, warming bonfires, and the sounds of carolers, fiddlers, and bustling yuletide activity at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. One of the country’s premier holiday celebrations, Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village has been an annual tradition for countless visitors for nearly 25 years. Explore more than 80 acres of the property in this glimmering after-hours celebration of America’s most heartwarming holiday. Stroll down Main Street, brimming with holiday goods, food, and warm beverages, or take a ride on a historic Model T, carousel, or horse-drawn wagon. Warm up in historic homes as we open the doors to centuries of favorite family traditions.
The Big Bright Light Show // Rochester
Now in its 15th year, each winter the storefronts of Downtown Rochester are covered in 1.5 million glimmering lights that switch on from November through January. Attend the launch on November 21 as shops and restaurants celebrate the start of the holiday season with lagniappe and festive treats. As a bonus, this year’s Rochester Big Bright Light Show will be lit on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays all the way through January 15 and then during the Downtown Rochester Snow Glow Winter Festival; safari-themed ice sculptures are scattered throughout downtown, watch the ice carving competition and live carvings, roast marshmallows, shop, and enjoy the fireworks.
Magic of the Lights // Clarkston
A holiday trend that’s exploded since the pandemic is the Magic of the Lights show. Magic of Lights is a dazzling, drive-through holiday lights experience featuring favorite holiday scenes and characters of the season using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Experience the show from the comfort and safety of your own car as you wind through the sparkling path of Detroit’s newest holiday tradition. Grab a few of your closest friends or family, pile into a car, and drive through a light show while enjoying classic Christmas music; perfect for those extra chilly nights!
Photo Credit: Pure Michigan