Merriment in the Mitten

Venture Michigan’s picks for holiday fun across the Great Lakes state.



Grand Times in Grand Rapids

Festivities in the Meijer Gardens and Much, Much More
There’s no place like home for the holidays, but who says you can’t spend a weekend checking out a new town before retreating to the comfort of your living room? Grand Rapids offers countless activities and events during the holiday season, and just might be the winter weekend getaway you’ve been looking for. Enjoy ice-skating in Rosa Parks Circle, opening Dec. 2. Later, take in thousands of Christmas decorations while eating at the decked out Broadway Bar and end your evening with a drive through the Nite Lites display at Fifth Third Ballpark. And, of course, be sure to check out “Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World” at Meijer Gardens. The exhibition runs from Nov. 22 to Jan. 8 and features strolling carolers, 400,000 lights, visits from Santa, reindeer and more than 40 international trees and displays. 

Rockin’ Around Rochester

Holiday Walk Tours at Meadow Brook Hall and the Big, Bright Light Show
Get your Christmas cheer on with a self-guided holiday tour of Meadow Brook Hall. Tours run from Nov. 25 toDec. 22, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person with discounted rates available. Visitors can explore the decorated rooms of the manor and Santa’s workshop. After, stroll the glowing streets of downtown in the Big, Bright Light Show. The show is lit 5 p.m. - 12 a.m. every night from Nov. 21 to Jan. 1. 

Royal Oak Occasions

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo and the Holiday Magic Marketplace
Royal Oak’s Holiday Magic Marketplace will take place Dec. 1, 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. The event boasts 60 vendors, a tree lighting and a visit from Santa. Continue the fun in Royal Oak at the Detroit Zoo’s Wild Lights, which will showcase 5 million LEDs and 200 animal sculptures for 29 nights beginning Nov. 18. 

Fa La La La Lansing

The Magic of the Winter Glow Festival
East Lansing provides family-friendly festivities to all with its Winter Glow festival on Dec. 3 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.  This year’s event will include an ice sculpture walk, a winter barnyard, carriage rides, an outdoor holiday farmer’s market, visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, carolers from The Steiner Chorale and more. Winter Glow is free to the public.

Yuletide in the U.P.

Marquette Regional History Center Presents Its Christmas Collections Exhibition
Marquette, Mich. pulls out its quirkiest holiday collections for an exhibit on Dec. 7th. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., nutcrackers, stockings, villages, and other collections will take center stage. Visitors can enjoy holiday treats while sharing in the holiday spirit and talking with collectors. The exhibit is free, but donations are accepted.