18 Magical Frankenmuth Christmas Experiences 2023 | Michigan Christmas Town!  Visit Bronner's, Christmas Lights Driving Tour, Horse Drawn Carriage Rides

18 Most Magical Frankenmuth Christmas Experiences and Things to Do in this Michigan Christmas Town | By: Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Last updated: November 8, 2023

You absolutely must visit Frankenmuth during Christmas!

This quaint Bavarian village in mid Michigan is simply vibrating with Christmas cheer during the holiday season.

ENJOY Magical Christmas Experiences! Visit Bronner's Christmas Store and River Place Shops. Enjoy Christmas lights throughout Little Bavaria, romantic horse-drawn carriage rides, musical tree show and of course, be sure to indulge in a world famous chicken dinner! Book a Frankenmuth hotel for a perfect Frankenmuth Christmas Getaway.

This Frankenmuth Christmas town is a must visit in November and December! But as a four-season destination, Frankenmuth is a popular Michigan destination for visitors from around the world throughout the year.

  • Chris and I bundle up and enjoy walking down Main Street to pop into the Cheese Haus, Zac and Mac's for hot chocolate in the River Place Shops and explore the Bavarian Inn Castle Shops. 

There are so many Frankenmuth Michigan things to do!

See Why You Need To Visit Frankenmuth This Christmas! 

Really, Frankenmuth Michigan is THE PLACE for holiday spirit in Michigan as this charming small town is simply bursting with cheer and holiday joy. As you wander the streets and shops of Downtown Frankenmuth, you will see bright Christmas light displays, a lovely Christmas market, towering twinkling Christmas trees and a fairytale-like Glockenspiel Tower.  You will see rich German heritage everywhere you look, which adds to the Christmas spirit during the winter holidays.

18 Magical Frankenmuth Christmas Experiences 2023: Visit Michigan’s Christmas Town

  1. Visit Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland for one-of-a-kind Christmas ornaments and Christmas decorations 
  2. Go ice skating in the brightly lit outdoor Frankenmuth Ice Rink!
  3. Shop at incredible stores on Main Street and River Place Shops
  4. Take a nostalgic Christmas horse drawn carriage ride to see all the Frankenmuth lights! 
  5. Discover the Bavarian Inn Castle Shops and Bavarian Inn Restaurant
  6. Go Wine Tasting
  7. Dine on World-Famous Chicken Dinners
  8. See the Spectacular Musical Tree Show!
  9. Visit the serene Silent Night Memorial Chapel
  10. Ride the Free Frankenmuth Christmas Shuttle!
  11. Visit Santa's Reindeer Farm at Grandpa Tiny's Farm
  12. Shop at the Christkindlmarkt located at the Frankenmuth Farmers Market
  13. See the twinkling Frankenmuth Christmas Lights!
  14. See the Bavarian Inn Holz Brücke Covered Bridge in winter
  15. Stop into the Frankenmuth Brewery to warm up!
  16. Book the best Frankenmuth Hotels!
  17. Visit Frankenmuth Welcome Center for maps, brochures, coupons.
  18. Ooh La La, Enjoy a sweet or savory crepe at La Crepe du Jour

Michigan's Little Bavaria is sure to charm you this Christmas! There are so many Frankenmuth Michigan things to do at Christmas! It's pure Michigan holiday joy.

Is Frankenmuth decorated year round?  Is Frankenmuth Michigan Christmas all year?

No, Frankenmuth is decorated for Christmas by late-November (after Thanksgiving) for the Christmas season. Chris and I think Frankenmuth is one of the best Michigan Christmas Towns

  • HOWEVER, Bronner's Christmas Wonderland is open and decorated all year so you can get your ornaments, decorations and gifts any time of year!

Frankenmuth Christmas Frequently Asked Questions

When should I go to Frankenmuth for Christmas?  Visit Michigan's Little Bavaria right after Thanksgiving as the stores and streets will be decorated for Christmas

When is Frankenmuth decorated for Christmas? Right after Thanksgiving!

What Hallmark Christmas movie was filmed in Frankenmuth Michigan?

"A Christmas Movie Christmas!" This movie tells the story of two sisters. One sister loves holiday movies and well, the other sister isn't too fond of them. They are transported to a Christmas village where shenanigans ensure. And it's filmed...in Frankenmuth!

What is the biggest Christmas store in MI? Bronner's Christmas Wonderland!

What is the largest Christmas town in Michigan? Frankenmuth, Michigan's Little Bavaria is considered Michigan's Christmas Town. It's located just 90 miles (1.5 hours) north of Detroit.

Is Bronners lit up at night?   Yes, Bronner's is sparkling bright every evening from dusk until midnight.

Fun Fact Graphic

During Christmastime, Frankenmuth Michigan has over 175 sparkling and twinkling trees all across the town!

Decorated Christmas TreeFrankenmuth Christmas

Grab Our Interactive Frankenmuth Christmas Map! 

Here is a Google Driving Map of all the things to see at Frankenmuth during Christmas

  • Click on the plus and minus in the left corner to zoom in or out of the map.
  • Click on the icons for more info, addresses and photos of the stops.
  • Click on the map to drag and move it to view surrounding areas.
  • In the Header, click on the rectangle in the upper left of the map to see a menu of all of our stops. Click on anything that looks interesting to see where it is on the map. To hide the menu, click the rectangle in the header.
  • In the Header, click on the "square" icon in the upper right side to expand the map for better viewing.

Enjoy a Cheerful Frankenmuth Christmas in 2023

1. Visit the Famous Frankenmuth Christmas Store: Bronner's Christmas Wonderland -Tis the Season for Christmas Shopping!

Address: 25 Christmas Ln, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

Did you know Bronner's Christmas Wonderland is the World's Largest Christmas Store?!  

We are so lucky to have this incredible Christmas store right in the heart of Frankenmuth Michigan! Chris and I always have so much fun finding the most perfect ornaments for our tree or stocking stuffers!

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland's outdoor nativity scene and Christmas lights are just as incredible as the thousands of Christmas ornaments, trims, trees, lights, nativities, wreaths and collectibles you can find inside the store!

So, how big is Bronner's?

  • Bronner's store is 2.2 acres which is 1.7 football fields! Their landscaped grounds cover 27 acres, with 7.35 acres (5.5 football fields) of building in Bronner's entire complex. Pretty incredible, isn't it?

  • There are more than 6,000 styles of ornaments and half of the glass ornaments are Bronner's exclusive designs. You gotta check it out!
  • Bronner's is open year-round for all your decorating needs!

Plus, it's Christmas all year at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland!

See our Bronner's Christmas Wonderland walk-through video, photos and more information!

2. Glide Across the Ice on the Fantastic Frankenmuth Ice Rink!

Seriously, how fun is this!? 

Bring your family and friends to Frankenmuth to go ice skating!  Located in Zehnder Park (right next to Zehnder's restaurant on Main street in the center of town), this lovely brightly lit ice skating rink is safe, affordable and great family fun! 

Open November-February 2024

(If I didn't have super wobbly ankles, I'd be out there! Chris used to play ice hockey in high school so he loves skating.)

  • It's $10 to skate!
  • You can rent skates too for $3, so don't worry if you don't have any of your own.  If the idea of sharing skates with strangers makes you cringe, these skates are highly rated!
  • The ice rink is open Monday through Sunday. Check their website for hours as they are subject to change and weather dependent.  

Ice Skating

Love to go ice skating?  Check out these fantastic ice skating rinks in Michigan for fun outdoor activities for the whole family!

3. Shop For Everyone On Your List Along Main Street and Frankenmuth River Place Shops!  

Shop at incredible stores like Zak and Mac's, the White House Boutique, Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen, the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus, Prost, and the Bavarian Inn! Kids will love the huge mouse outside the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus!

Stop into the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce located at 635 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI.  There are racks of free guides for the driving Christmas light tour and Christmas events throughout the season. 

  • There are restrooms located right outside the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce. There is also a single stall restroom in the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus.

Stock Up on Tasty Cheese at the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus

Frankenmuth Cheese Haus: 545 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

It's fun to see the massive blocks of cheese being cut at the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus located on Main Street in Frankenmuth. You will be shocked to see how many different types of cheeses there are! Plus, be sure to take a selfie with the cute mouse and his wedge of cheese outside the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus!

Zak & Mac's Chocolate Haus - Riverplace Shops

I HAD to get a delicious hot chocolate to enjoy (and stay warm) from Zak & Mac's Chocolate Haus while I walked through the Frankenmuth River Place Shops which is a Bavarian-themed outdoor mall.  I might have ordered a few cookies and thick slices of fudge too!  You'll also want to stop into Cherry Republic (one of my top favorite stores) and check out fun attractions for kids such as the Mirror Maze.

Shop at the Jerky Joint!

4. Enjoy a Romantic Horse Drawn Carriage Ride to See Frankenmuth Christmas Lights and Attractions!

What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to embark on a horse-drawn carriage ride to see thousands of twinkling Christmas light displays throughout the downtown Frankenmuth! Enjoy the clop-clop of the horses' hooves as you enjoy the lights along Frankenmuth's Main Street. What an incredible Christmas experience!

Hop aboard the festive carriages at Fantasy Carriage Company located at 780 Mill St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734.  You can see them lined up near Zehnder's on Main Street. I can't think of a better way to have a Merry Christmas than visit Michigan’s Little Bavaria!

5. Discover the Bavarian Inn Castle Shops Below the Bavarian Inn

My friends, you will absolutely love the Bavarian Inn Castle Shops

Just walk in the Bavarian Inn on Main street and head down the stairs.

  • You will find a bakery, treats, a great variety of beer, candy shops, fudge shops, toy shops, boutique stores and so much more! You are sure to find the perfect gift this holiday season!

There are plenty of restrooms in the Castle Shops.

You will definitely want to stop into this candy store, it's a dream!

6. Go Wine Tasting at the Bavarian Inn-Heart of Downtown Frankenmuth

You can go wine tasting, experience pretzel rolling and lots of shopping in the Bavarian Inn located in the city of Frankenmuth!

Downtown Frankenmuth with horse and buggyFrankenmuth Michigan Guide

Love Frankenmuth? Grab our Frankenmuth Guide of things to see and do! So much FUN!

7. Dine on World-Famous Chicken Dinners at Zehnder's or Bavarian Inn

It goes without saying that you NEED to experience either Zehnder's or Bavarian Inn's fried chicken dinners with the zillion sides while exploring Frankenmuth.  It's just a thing you do!  It could be your new Frankenmuth Christmas tradition! 

Zehnders Frankenmuth

8. See the Spectacular Frankenmuth Musical Tree Show!

If you love music and Christmas trees, you must check out the spectacular musical tree show!  This lovely 44 foot tree is located right on Main Street between the Frankenmuth Visitor Center and the Frankenmuth Historical Museum. Such wholesome, small town fun! A Frankenmuth Christmas is a Hallmark movie in real life!

  • The shows play every day at 11:30 am, 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 8:30 pm. PLUS, on Friday and Saturday's there will be another show at 9:30 pm. 
  • Daily shows will play through mid January 2024

Info for the dates/times are listed in the Christmas Experience guide book available at the Chamber of Commerce.  The tree is spectacular without the show too as it is always lit up!

This spectacular Frankenmuth Christmas tree has 23,000 lights!

9. Visit the Serene Bronner's Silent Night Memorial Chapel

Outside of the Memorial ChapelBronner's Silent Night Memorial Chapel is very beautiful

Address: 25 Christmas Lane, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

  • You can easily walk to the Silent Night Chapel from the parking lot at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland. 

The Chapel is a replica of the original chapel in Oberndorf/Salzburg, Austria, which marks the site where “Silent Night” was first sung on Christmas Eve in 1818.

This lovely small chapel is open daily for visitation but is not available for ceremonies.  There is a small area to view the chapel that is sectioned off with glass so you cannot sit in the pews. 

10. Ride the Free Frankenmuth Christmas Shuttle!

Explore more of Frankenmuth from the comfort of the Frankenmuth Christmas Shuttle! FREE!

Stop #1 is the parking lot at 320 Heinlein Strasse parking area near Bronner's. Here you can visit Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, Michigan Heroes Museum and the lovely Silent Night Memorial Chapel.

The shuttle then goes to Santa's Reindeer Farm (pre-purchased tickets required, see more below at #9), The Frankenmuth Visitors Center, Frankenmuth's Christkindlmarkt (see the German Christmas Pyramid at Star Park), Midtown to see the German Pyramid at Star Park and the downtown area (like the Frankenmuth Ice Rink!).  

  • The shuttle comes by each stop about every 20-25 minutes.

11. Visit Santa's Reindeer Farm at Grandpa Tiny's Farm in Frankenmuth!

Grandpa Tiny's Farm - 7775 Weiss St. Frankenmuth, MI 48734

  • Book your tickets early to see Santa and his reindeer at Grandpa Tiny's Farm in Frankenmuth, Michigan! Santa's Reindeer Farm begins November 19, 2023 and tickets must be purchased on-line. 

This fun holiday event is perfect for kids AND adults! You can visit with Santa and snap perfect Christmas photos for your Christmas cards. 

I just HAD to get a photo with Santa! It was the coldest day ever, around 19 degrees, so we were all bundled up!  

Meet Santa and his adorable reindeer in training! Bring a letter to Santa! Watch and chat with the jolly workers helping to keep Santa's Farm running smoothly. Included is ornament-making with 'The Woodworker' to take home with you!

Santa's Reindeer is ready to go!  I can just hear him saying, "Are we ready to go yet, Santa?"

Grandpa Tiny's farm has several animals to pet including sheep, goats, horses and bunnies!  There are also chickens, peacocks and other animals to see along the way.

Simply wandering around Grandpa Tiny's scenic farm is a lot of fun for the whole family. 

12. Shop at the Frankenmuth Christkindlmarkt: Frankenmuth Christmas Market

Shop at the Christkindlmarkt, the Frankenmuth Christmas Market, located at the Frankenmuth Farmers Market for great handmade gifts, stocking stuffers and Christmas home décor! It's a true Frankenmuth Michigan Christmas experience! 

  • There are several vendors in both indoor and outdoor spaces selling handmade items, so be sure to check it out!

The farmers market location is not walkable from the downtown area so you will need to drive.  There are lots of free parking spots in the large lot at the farmer's market.

Christmas Markets

Did you know there are several fantastic Michigan Christmas Markets to visit this holiday season?

13. Frankenmuth Christmas Lights Driving Tour | You'll Have the Best Time!

Bundle up and stay warm in your car as you drive Frankenmuth's Christmas lights driving tour! Grab a map at the Frankenmuth Chamber located at 635 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734. 

Play Christmas music, munch on some popcorn and enjoy hot chocolate as you take a driving tour through the downtown streets decorated for Christmas with bright, colorful lights. Make tons of family memories this Christmas season as you enjoy Frankenmuth Christmas lights! T

  • The majority of the Frankenmuth Christmas lights are all along Main Street and you can see a lot of them as you drive to the Christkindlmarkt. 

14. See the Gorgeous Bavarian Inn Holz Brücke Covered Bridge in Winter + The Scenic Cass River!

Be sure to see (and walk across) the Gorgeous Bavarian Inn Holz Brücke Covered Bridge while visiting Frankenmuth this Christmas. The Cass River is also very scenic in the winter. Walking this covered bridge in Frankenmuth at Christmas is cheerful, especially if it's snowing!  Due to the fact that it's a wooden bridge makes it even more special. 

It's so pretty covered in snow!

  • You can see the bridge from the River Place Shops along Main Street or while walking near the Bavarian Inn Lodge parking area

15. Stop into the Frankenmuth Brewery to Warm Up and Sip a Christmas Town Ale | Enjoy Michigan Craft Beer

If you are hungry, stop into the Frankenmuth Brewery to warm up! Grab a pint and lunch! We like their burgers and fries! Plus, during the Christmas season, Frankenmuth Brewery offers their famous Christmas Town Ale!

Frankenmuth Brewery began in 1862 in historic downtown Frankenmuth. To this day, they they proudly welcome all of us to drink, dine and relax as you experience over 150 years of brewing tradition.

in the know

Did you know Frankenmuth Brewery is Michigan's Oldest Microbrewery? Cool, huh?!

16. Best Frankenmuth Hotels: A Perfect Frankenmuth Christmas Getaway

Why not stay overnight while visiting Frankenmuth! Check out the Best Frankenmuth Hotels and Getaways!

17. Visit the Frankenmuth Welcome Center, Located on Main Street | Brochures, Maps, Guides, Coupons

Of course, if you have questions, need a map or more suggestions, it's always a good idea to stop into the Frankenmuth Visitor & Welcome Center located at 635 South Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI.

18. Ooh La La, Have a Crepe at La Crepe DuJour For Lunch or Dinner!

925 S Main St H7, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

You are bound to get hungry while shopping at the River Place Shops, so stop into La Crepe Du Jour for a HUGE variety of sweet or savory, made-to-order crepes. You can also grab a hot coffee to warm you up. Wait, are we in Paris or mid-Michigan?

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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