Top 2023 Michigan Christmas Events, Markets, Christmas Trains, Lights, Best Things To Do

Top Michigan Christmas Events | By: Sherry Trautman of | Updated: November 5, 2023

Each December, Chris and I love to attend as many Michigan Christmas events as we can jam into our activity calendars! Train rides, holiday markets, Christmas concerts, Christmas lighted walks, home tours, and Santa visits are all on our must-see list!  So many fun things to do to get us into the holiday spirit!

Top 22 Michigan Christmas Activities and Things To Do

Sherry and Chris show you our Top 21 Christmas events in all the land! Well, Michigan that is!

OHH and Check Out Our ---> HUGE list of December Michigan Events, Festivals and FUN Things to Do! 

1. Get into the Holiday Spirit by Riding Magical Michigan Christmas Trains!

Did you know there are 9 Magical Michigan Christmas Trains? So many different trains to choose that we made a guide...just for Christmas trains! 

2. Ride the Michigan Polar Express Train (Chris and I LOVE This Train!)

Where: Address: 405 S Washington St, Owosso, MI 48867

When: December

Chris and I love love love the Michigan North Pole Express train that leaves from the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso, Michigan each December.

What we love: The atmosphere is incredible...what a great way to make holiday memories with your family!

Tickets go on sale in September and sell out quickly so be sure to sign up for the Steam Railroading Institute's newsletter to stay updated!

3. Blake's Holiday Extravaganza | Armada Michigan

Blake's Holiday Extravaganza: Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill located at 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada MI.

When: November 18 & 19, 2023 + November 24 – 26, 2023 | 10AM – 5PM. 

🎅 Kick off the holiday magic with a day of shopping, festive cheer, and twinkling lights. Shop local artisans, pick out a Christmas tree, and find fresh evergreen wreaths, porch pots, and delightful decor for your home. Snap photos with Santa , enjoy ice-skating, cozy igloo dining, and hot beverages. THEN, it's time for Blake’s annual tree lighting in Orchard Square on November 18th at 6:00 pm. Enjoy Christmas carolers and live music.  It’s a holiday extravaganza you won’t want to miss! Register soon!

4. Detroit's 20th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Events - Celebrate the Joy of the Season!

Where: Campus Martius Park in Detroit

When: November 17, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Detroit Christmas tree lighting is a HUGE event!  Come on out to the Campus Martius Park in Detroit from 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.  

See incredible performances by Olympic figure skaters, talented skaters in metro Detroit and live musical acts! Enjoy holiday shopping, food trucks, sparkling lighting attractions across Downtown Detroit and more! There is a full schedule of free festivities and entertainment!

5. See Rochester Christmas Lights | Drive Through Lights | Rochester Michigan | Metro Detroit

Where: South Main Street, Rochester, Michigan 

When: November 20, 2023 - January 7, 2024

On our list of favorite Michigan Christmas Events is definitely the Rochester Big Bright Light Show that illuminates the downtown area with over 1 million lights!

What we love:  The lights are bright fun and happy, feels like Vegas! 

You can park and walk around or simply drive through the downtown area to enjoy the show.  The lights will be aglow nightly, 5 pm to midnight, November 20, 2023 - January 7, 2024.

6. Where to See the Best Michigan Christmas Lights!

Grab our Best Michigan Christmas Lights Guide + Best Drive Thru Lights!

Our guide includes an interactive map showing the best lights closest to you.  Includes Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, and all across the state!

7. Shop the Kerstmarkt | Michigan Christmas Markets | Holiday Shopping | Holland - Ottawa

Where: Address: 8th Street Marketplace and Pine Avenue, Holland - Ottawa, MI


  • First Weekend: Saturday, November 18, 2023, 9am – 6pm 
  • Second Weekend: Friday, November 24, 2023, 11am – 8pm and Saturday, November 25, 2023, 9am – 6pm 
  • Third Weekend: Friday, December 1, 2023, 3pm – 8pm and Saturday, December 2, 2023, 9am – 6pm 
  • Fourth Weekend: Friday, December 8, 2023, 3pm – 8pm and Saturday, December 9, 2023,  9am – 6pm 
  • Fifth Weekend: Friday, December 15, 2023, 3pm – 8pm and Saturday, December 16, 2023, 9am – 6pm 

This lovely Kerstmarkt is held on weekends throughout the end of November through mid December. Experience an outdoor European-style market with holiday gift items, delicious food, and artisan demonstrations in Holland, Michigan.

8. Top Michigan Christmas Markets | Holiday Shopping!

Love Christmas Markets?  Us too!

9. Meadow Brook Hall's Holiday Walk | Christmas Lights and Holiday Mansion Tour | Rochester, Michigan | Southeast Michigan

    Where: Address: 350 Estate Drive, Rochester, Michigan

    When: November 24 – December 23, 2023

Meadow Brook Hall's Holiday Walk is a lovely self-guided Holiday Walk features holiday sights and decorations inside Meadow Brook Hall, the historic mansion and National Historic Landmark located in Rochester on the campus of Oakland University. See more than 50 magnificent trees, flickering fireplaces, and lights galore!

Meadow Brook Hall's Holiday Walk invites you to explore the 110 room estate from the Grand Ballroom to Candy Cane Cottage and visit Santa and his reindeer on Santa Saturdays! Perfect for a special date night or family outing.

Interested in the history of Meadow Brook Hall? It's pretty cool!

10. West Holiday Pops - The Grand Rapids Symphony | Live Christmas Concert | Family Friendly Christmas Music Event | Southwest Michigan

    Where: Address: DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI.

    When: December 21, 2023 - December 23, 2023

Holiday Pops - The Grand Rapids Symphony Pops Presents University of Michigan Health-West Holiday Pops at DeVos Performance Hall as part of the 2023-2024 season.  Awesome Grand Rapids December Michigan Events 2023. What is there to do in Grand Rapids in December? Well, this!

11. Visit Downtown Frankenmuth This Christmas!  ChristKindlMarkt Christmas Market

    Where: Frankenmuth, MI

    When: December

    What we love: Everything Christmas in one area!

December (or Christmas) is a fantastic month to visit Frankenmuth! Things to do include:

  • Visit downtown shops decorated for Christmas!
  • Embark on horse-drawn Christmas carriage tours
  • Find incredible Christmas décor, gifts and Christmas tree ornaments at Bronner's Christmas Wonderland
  • Take a driving tour of Frankenmuth's Christmas lights
  • Lace up some ice skates (you can rent them) at the Frankenmuth Ice Rink near Zehnder's. 
  • Shop the Frankenmuth ChristKindlMarkt (Christmas Market) located at the Farmers Market

Grab our Frankenmuth Christmas guide that includes an interactive map!

12. Downtown Rochester Kris Kringle Market | Michigan Christmas Market | Southeast Michigan | Metro Detroit

    Where: Location: West Fourth St. between Main & Walnut in downtown Rochester Michigan

    When: Friday, December 1, 2023 from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m.
    Saturday, December 2, 2023 from Noon – 10:00 p.m.  

The Downtown Rochester Kris Kringle Market is a great way to get into the holiday spirit! 

2023 dates for the Rochester Kris Kringle Market is Friday, December 1, 2023 from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 2, 2023 from Noon – 10:00 p.m. Chris and I love that you can buy sweets, fresh greens & wreaths, and handcrafted gifts in this outdoor European Market.  The Rochester Kris Kringle Market was inspired by the 700-year old tradition of the open-air Christmas markets throughout Europe.  Incredible Michigan Christmas markets!

9. Enjoy Nostalgic Christmas at Crossroads Village | Christmas Holiday Magic 2023 | Flint Michigan | Family Christmas Event

Where: Address: 6140 Bray Road, Flint, MI

When: November 24-26, 2023 and December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 28-30 of 2023. 
Hours: 4:00pm-9:00pm

What we love: We love the train and the village is amazing!

Shop, explore, dine and ride the steam train at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad!

  • Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic 2022. Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad is incredible! Chris and I have an absolute fabulous time exploring this Norman Rockwell type village and riding the nostalgic steam train.  It's one of our favorite Michigan Christmas events!

So many things to do at Crossroads Village including a lovely Christmas buffet. Dates of the events are November 24-26, 2023 and December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 28-30, 2023. Hours: 4:00pm-9:00pm. Buy tickets early!

See Christmas Lights: Open for Drive Through Only nights: December 4, 11, 18 & 24, 2023. Hours for Drive Through Only Nights: 5:00pm-9:00pm. $10 per vehicle.

Grab our Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad guide!

10. Annual Christmas on the Farm and at Dewey School 2023 | Blacksmith, Carolers, Music | Grass Lake Michigan 

Where: 13494 Waterloo Munith Rd, Grass Lake, MI. 

When: December 2023 tbd but most likely December 2-3, 2023

Annual Christmas on the Farm and at Dewey School is a re-creation of the Christmas holiday's traditions and will include tours of the ten-room farmhouse (where costumed guides recount the activities that may have occurred in each room at Christmas time), the authentic log house, blacksmith, singers and musicians perform traditional holiday melodies, and eight outbuildings. Live music! Fun for the whole family!

11. Christmas at Wings | 33rd Annual Art and Craft Show | Shopping | Kalamazoo Michigan

Where: Wings Event Center, Kalamazoo, MI.

When: December 2 - December 3, 2023.  Hours: Saturday 9 am-4 pm and Sunday 10 am-4 pm

Christmas at Wings- Shop Christmas at Wings for ceramics, jewelry, digital artwork, photos, fiber, metalwork, sculptures, glass, mixed media, and more!

"Christmas at Wings" is the largest Holiday craft show held in Southwest Michigan as it features about 340 craft exhibitors. 

  • Free parking 
  • Free admission  

12. Country Christmas at Three Cedars Farm 2023 | Christmas Tree Farm, Petting Farm, See Santa! | Family Friendly Event | Northville Michigan (Southeast Michigan)

Where: 7897 Six Mile Rd, Northville, MI 48168

When: Begins November 24, 2023 through December 17, 2023. Hours: Friday – Saturday: 10am-8pm and Sunday: 10am-5pm

Santa Hours 2023: Friday – Saturday: 11am-2pm & 4pm-7pm
Sunday: 12pm-4pm. Check their Country Christmas website for details and updates.

Country Christmas at Three Cedars Farm begins on Nov 24, 2023. Get in the Holiday spirit at Three Cedars by picking out Christmas trees and wreaths! Special treats including hot cocoa, cider and donuts.

Oh, and you can see Santa Claus! Snap photos with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, shop the Christmas Store, let you kids play in the outdoor play land, pet some cute critters in the petting farm and embark on kids train rides.

13. 2023 Zoo Nights with Lights! | Potter Park Zoo | Adults Only (A 21+ Event) | Happy Hour, Music, Animals

Where: Potter Park Zoo, 1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

When: December 13, 2023 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

One of our more popular Michigan Christmas Events is Zoo Nights, with Lights at Potter Park Zoo. This 21+ event is December 13, 2023 at 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm at Potter Park Zoo. This casual, happy hour-style event will feature holiday music and decór, and a variety of tastes from local restaurants and beverage companies. See the zoo after-hours, visit with the animals, and enjoy tasty treats. Super fun adult Christmas event!

14. See the Story of the Nutcracker by the Grand Rapids Ballet | DeVos Performance Hall

Where: DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

When: December 8-10 & 15-17, 2023 

Get in the Christmas spirit by seeing The Nutcracker performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet on December 9-11, 2022 and December 16-18, 2022 at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids.

Watch the lovely Sugar Plum Fairy as she guides Clara through the Land of the Sweets. Of course, they will encounter menacing mice and brave soldiers along the way.  See festive celebrations as Clara is mesmerized by an imaginative waltz with live accompaniment from the Grand Rapids Symphony to Tchaikovsky’s magical score. Your family or date will love this Christmas event!

15. Christmas in the Village | Parade, Luminaries, Santa, Reindeer | Roscommon Michigan (Northern MI)

    Where: Downtown Roscommon, Michigan

    When: Saturday, December 2, 2023

    Christmas in the Village - Roscommon, December 2, 2023. Enjoy  Christmas tree lighting, craft show, electric light parade and see Santa! Enjoy over 800 luminaries! Wood carving, reindeer run, petting zoo and live Reindeer! Fun Michigan Michigan events!

16. Annual Old Fashioned Christmas & Tree Lighting at the Museum

Where: 37236 Huron River Dr, New Boston, MI 

When: December 2023 tbd at 4 PM – 8 PM

Free event! Take a step back in time at the Samuel Adams House/Museum's old fashioned Christmas. Learn about Christmas' past through their themed exhibits. Popcorn, sweets and hot cocoa will be served, the children's tree will be filled with ornaments and horse drawn carriage rides will be offered 5:00-7:00 pm.

The surrounding area of the museum will feature live music, holiday vendors, a children's craft, live reindeer and more!

Children will be able to take home a ornament from the children's tree.

17. Blake's Santa Experience! | Kids Christmas Event: See Santa! | Armada Michigan (Southeast Michigan)

Where: Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill, 17985 Armada Center Rd, Armada, MI 48005

When: November 2023: 18th, 19th, 24th, 25th, 26th and also December 2023: 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th. 10:00am – 5:00pm,

  • Visit with Santa and write him a letter, 1 donut & cup of cider, take home a toy from Santa’s basket! Kids make & take crafts.

Check their website for dates, times, tickets and more info!

18. Magic of Christmas at Maybury Farm | See Santa, Bonfire, Hot Drinks, Shopping | Northville Michigan

Where: Maybury Farm, 50165 8 Mile Rd., Northville, MI 48167

When: December 2, 3, 9 & 10, 2023 from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. $10.00 per person. 

Experience the Magic of Christmas by seeing Santa and writing him a letter too! Holiday Fun and Santa Visit are by reservation only. Enjoy Santa in his Antique Sleigh (take your annual holiday photo!). There will be activities and crafts in the barn, hot drinks by the bonfire and great shopping for unique gifts at the General Store. Santa will be excited to see you...have you been good?

19. Christmas Market | Traverse City

    Where: Central United Methodist Church, 222 Cass St, Traverse City, MI

    When: December 2, 2023, Sat, 10 AM – 2 PM

20. Holiday in the Village | See Live Reindeer and Santa! | Suttons Bay, MI | Northern Michigan

    Where: Downtown Suttons Bay, MI

    When: November 25, 2023, Sat, 12 – 5 PM

    Shop the village, visit with reindeer, see Santa on his fire truck, help decorate the village tree, and other family friendly activities.

21. Christmas on the Farm | Myrtle and Maude's | Santa, Live Reindeer | Williamsburg, MI (Northwest MI Near Traverse City)

Where: Christmas on the Farm at Myrtle and Maude's, 10981 Elk Lake Rd, Williamsburg, MI (Northwest MI Near Traverse City)

When: Thu, November 16, 2023 – Sun, November 19, 2023,  10:00AM – 5:00PM

There is no place like home for the holidays! Christmas on the Farm at Myrtle and Maude's is filled with the warmth of Christmas. Shop for lovely gifts, décor, and treats!

  • Free hot cocoa bar open to all
  • Unique holiday decor and gifts
  • Refurbished furniture

November 19, 2023 Event Calendar: 12:00PM – 2:00PM

Santa arrives on Sunday with his LIVE reindeer! The kids will love it!

  • EM Creative Photography will also be there for professional photos with Santa.
  • Free hot cocoa bar

Rugby Grille Christmas Tea Event |  Birmingham, Michigan

Where: Rugby Grille Christmas Tea Event - 100 Townsend Street, Birmingham, Michigan 48009.

When: December 23, 2023 from 2:00-4:00 PM. Join a festive celebration of the most wonderful time of the year! The Townsend Hotel is offering a lovely Christmas Tea Event that will immerse you in the enchanting spirit of the holiday season. Make your reservation today

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

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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 "" 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 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.

Sherry & Chris are at the Inn at Bay Harbor and looking out at the lake.
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