Festive Holiday Events in Northern Michigan

‘Tis the season of Santa sightings, street carolers and twinkling parades. Hit all the highlights with MyNorth’s guide to Northern Michigan holiday events.

Browse all the events, or click to your town.

Harbor Springs | Petoskey | Charlevoix | Boyne City | Traverse City
Suttons Bay | Northport | Leland | Glen Arbor | Beulah | Frankfort | Manistee & Ludington | Cadillac


Harbor Springs Holiday Events

November 15: Ladies Night, 5–9 p.m.
Enjoy sales, live music and restaurant specials at more than 40 participating businesses downtown. Even better—there will be free gift wrapping and childcare available.

November 15: Market at the Shay, 5–8 p.m.
An indoor market at the Shay Hexagon House with live music, handmade merchandise from Harbor Springs Farmers Market vendors and a meet and greet with Molly Baker Veling, the new assistant director of the Chamber.

November 17: Holiday Arts & Crafts Bazaar, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
Crafts, Christmas ornaments, decor, jewelry, vintage treasures and more. There will also be a homemade cookies sale and soup luncheon. All proceeds benefit United Methodist Women missions helping women, children and families.

November 24: Annual Christmas Tree Lighting, 6:30–8 p.m.
A town tradition for more than 100 years. The tree lighting takes place on Main and State streets.

December 1: Merchants Holiday Open House, 6–9 p.m.
An evening of shopping and treats. Main Street shuts down so visitors can stroll between stores and the Petoskey High School Steel Drum Band provides special music.

Every Saturday in December: Old Fashioned Christmas, 1:30–4 p.m.
Pick your Christmas tree and holiday decorations, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and step back in time with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the woods of Cross Village. Admission: $5 per person, $15 per family of four, children 3 and under free. Reservations encouraged, but not required. Call Black Barn Farm at 231.526.2486 or Highland Roots Farm at 231.526.2976.


Petoskey Holiday Events

November 16: Ladies Opening Night, 5–10 p.m.
Shop downtown from 5–9 p.m. then head over to Stafford’s Perry Hotel for Doe Camp. Prize drawings off the buck pole begin at 9:30 p.m.

November 18: Holiday Craft and Gift Show, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Free admission and a wide variety of vendors at Odawa Casino. Accepting donations of canned goods to benefit The Manna Food Project.

November 23–24: Merry Makers Marketplace, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
An art fair and holiday celebration all in one at Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey. Admission is free. On November 24, Shop & Drop your kids off (ages 4 to fifth grade) for art projects and activities while you shop the marketplace from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

November 24: Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade, 10 a.m.–noon
The parade will wind through downtown streets and end at the Perry Hotel, where children can meet Santa. As part of the Toys for Tots program, the U.S. Marines will collect new, unwrapped toys for Northern Michigan families.

November 24–December 22: Santa’s Workshop, Noon–2 p.m.
It’s free! Bring your camera and family to the Rose Garden Veranda at Stafford’s Perry Hotel.

November 29: Holiday Swirl, 5:30–7 p.m.
Put on your best Christmas sweater and enjoy wine, beer, appetizers and festive tunes at Symon’s General Store. Tickets are $25 in advance; $30 day of.

December 1: Sugar Plum Fairy Tea, 1–3 p.m.
For boys and girls of all ages, attendees will sip tea and cocoa with principal performers of Crooked Tree Arts Center School of Ballet’s “The Nutcracker,” including Clara, the Nutcracker, the Snow Queen, the Dew Drop Fairy, Mirliton, and of course, the Sugar Plum Fairy at Stafford’s Perry Hotel. Admission includes two tickets to a performance of “The Nutcracker.”

December 7: Holiday Open House, 6–9 p.m.
Santa Claus flies in to light the giant Christmas tree in Pennsylvania Park, followed by live music, caroling and visits with children in the gazebo. The streets close down and merchants open their doors with holiday greetings. 

December 9: Santa Brunch at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Enjoy a delicious holiday buffet and a visit with the Big Guy. Call for reservations, 231-347-2771. $25.95 per adult, $13.95 per child.

December 9, 15, 16, 17: Holiday Madrigal Dinner & Performance
Petoskey High School’s award-winning show, complete with a gourmet dinner at the Perry Hotel;  $45 per guest. The performance on December 15 is an afternoon matinee; $20 per adult, $15 per child 12 and under.

December 15 & 16: CTAC School of Ballet Presents The Nutcracker, 3–5 p.m.
A new location this year at Great Lakes Center for the Arts.

December 16: Santa Breakfast at Stafford’s Perry Hotel, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
A la carte menu.


Charlevoix Holiday Events

November 22–December 30: Drive Thru Christmas Light Display
Northwest Michigan’s first drive-thru Christmas light display is at Castle Farms. The half-mile drive features tens of thousands of lights, showcasing the castle’s architecture and gardens. Admission costs $10 per car and $25 for oversized vehicles.

November 23: Tree Lighting & Holiday Parade, 3–6 p.m.
Black Friday deals and restaurant specials all day. From 3– 5 p.m. children invited to make craft projects at Charlevoix Circle of Arts and head to Charlevoix State Bank to sit on Santa’s lap for a free photo. From 4–6 p.m. cookies and cocoa served at East Park. Holiday Parade comes down Bridge Street at 5:30 p.m. Lighting of the tree at 6 p.m.

November 28: Twinkle Light Dinner, 6–8 p.m.
An evening of classic Christmas carols and a three-course meal catered by Ostego Grand Catering. The evening will culminate with a grand “plug-in” ceremony and Twinkle Light Walk through the lights. Tickets cost $45 per person.

December 1: Holiday Merchant Open House, all day
Merchants will have entertainment, samples, snacks, refreshments, special sales, raffles and more. At 2 p.m., the Charlevoix Cinema III will offer three free movies—Mary Poppins, Christopher Robin and Zootopia. For entry, bring a canned good to benefit the Charlevoix Food Pantry.

December 1, 2, 8: Story Time with Santa at Castle Farms
Santa will read a story and there will be a craft activity, cocoa, cookies, plus a special gift and photo with Santa. Space is limited to 20 children per session. Tickets on sale soon; $20 per child and each ticket includes one adult. Additional adults cost $5.

December 1 & 2: Train Wonderland, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Unlimited access to model- and interactive-train displays, including the popular Polar Express and riding trains for children at Castle Farms. Holiday games, crafts, snacks and hot cocoa are included. Admission is $5 per person ages 3 and up.

December 5: Holiday Jazz Concert, 7 p.m.
Featured vocalist Claudia Schmidt will perform holiday favorites with Steve Stargardt and the JATL Band.

December 7: Holly Daze, 5:30–10:30 p.m.
A benefit for Charlevoix Hospital’s Innovation and Patient Needs Funds at Castle Farms. The evening will be filled with cocktails, dinner, live and silent auctions, and more. Tickets cost $125.

December 8: Cookie Walk, 9–11 a.m.
Hundreds of homemade Christmas cookies for sale at $7 per pound at the First Congregational Church. There will also be handmade quilted items and gifts. Proceeds benefit the church.

December 15: Holiday House Workshop, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Build the candy house of your dreams at the Charlevoix Public Library. Register in advance.

December 27: A Children’s Winter Spectacular, 4–6 p.m.
Enjoy a visit and special performance by the well known Snow Queen and Ice Princess. Get creative at the hot cocoa bar and decorate your own sugar cookies. Plus, take home an Olaf Craft. After the event, drive through the lighted Christmas display at Castle Farms, included with your ticket. Tickets are $15 per child and each child includes one adult. Extra adults are $5.

December 28: The Second City Dysfunctional Holiday Revue, 8–10 p.m.
A healthy dose of satire for the holidays at Great Lakes Center for the Arts. The Second City is a premier comedy group with alumni including Bill Murray, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert. Tickets range from $35–$45.


Boyne City Holiday Events

November 17: Earlier Than the Bird, 7–11 a.m.
Friends, family, coffee and holiday shopping specials—all while in the comfort of your pajamas. Two dozen merchants invite customers to get an “early bird” preview of all the great holiday shopping available plus special deals and refreshments. Shoppers who wear their pajamas and stop at the Chamber office will receive an exclusive Earlier Than The Bird coffee mug. Many stores are offering 20% off or more storewide. Create Community Arts Studio will be painting in pajamas while your family enjoys a little shopping. The farmers market will give away a “bird basket” with all kinds of goodies to anyone who shops in their pajamas 9–11:30 a.m. Meet author Jeffery L. Schatzer as he signs his heartwarming book, Visions of Sugar Plums: Twenty Years Behind The Beard from 7 a.m. to noon at Local Flavor Bookstore.

November 16: Elf Interactive Movie, 7–9 p.m.
Sing and snack along with the movie. Children will receive a prop bag full of surprises. Register for the event by calling 231-582-7861

November 17: Polar Express Pajama Party, 8–11 a.m.
Drop the kids (ages 5 and up) at Boyne District Library for a movie, snacks and fun. Parents need to fill out a permission form in advance and drop it off at the library with the child.

November 17: Make & Take Card Workshop, 2–4 p.m.
Create beautiful cards at the Boyne District Library. Supplies are included and the workshop is free. To RSVP call the library at 231-582-7861.

November 23: Santa Parade/Downtown Open House, 5–9 p.m.
Santa will make his debut at the parade at 6 p.m. Downtown businesses will offer refreshments throughout the evening.

December 1: Holiday Craft Fair, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
A craft show and bazaar with 150 vendors to raise funds for the Booster Foundation, which supports arts, academics and athletics at Boyne City Public Schools.

December 1: Holiday Open House and Book Sale, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Santa will visit from 10:30 to noon and other fun activities at Boyne District Library.

December 8: Sleigh Rides to the North Pole, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Ride a horse-drawn sleigh to meet Santa at Northern Michigan Equine Therapy. Enjoy hot cocoa, cookies and pictures with Santa then meet the therapy horses and get in the holiday spirit. This event raises funds for those in need of therapy scholarships. Tickets are $20 per person and must be purchased before the day of the event. Please email [email protected] to reserve your spot, or call 231-881-5590.

December 5 & 8: Jolly Gingerbread, 6–7 p.m.
Make a gingerbread house at Boyne District Library. Each session will be limited to 25 children, who must have a helper. Registration opens November 23. Call 231-582-7861.

Boyne Falls: Don’t forget about holiday events at Boyne Mountain like Lunch with Santa, Six-for-One Day (six tickets for the price of one), the holiday open house and more.


Traverse City Holiday Events

November 17: Downtown Light Parade, Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting, 5:30–9 p.m.
Holiday music on Cass and Front starts at 5:30 followed by the tree lighting at 6 and the parade (Franklin to Union) at 7 p.m. Santa visits Cherry Republic after the parade.

November 17 & 18: NMC Children’s Choir Holiday Concert, 7:30–11 p.m.
The first NMC concert of the holiday season. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors (ages 62 and older) and children (ages 12 and younger). Family ticket packages (for up to six immediate family members) are available. Concert offered both Saturday and Sunday.

Starts November 23 (multiple dates): Old Town Playhouse Presents A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ most beloved story, lovingly adapted by Doris Baizley. Performances are Nov. 23, 24, 29, 30, and Dec 1, 6, 7,  8 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 25 and Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.

November 23: Christmas Concert and Sing-A-Long with Dave Calendine, 7–8:30 p.m.
Sing-a-long of your favorite Christmas music with Red Wings organist Dave Calendine leading the fun on the Wurlitzer. The Music House Museum will be decked out in its holiday splendor and attendees will also be treated to delicious holiday fare to sweeten the evening. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for students.

November 24: A Holiday Original Musical at City Opera House, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
At the Stroke of Midnight is a family show set in London in the late 1900s. William Hawthorne is the town’s overworked clockmaker. He has no family, and he’s not in the business of making friends. He sees the Christmas season as nothing more than a distraction and a nuisance. It will take a miracle to help William discover the true meaning of the holiday season. Admission is $9.

November 24 & December 1, 8, 15: Santa visits Grand Traverse Resort and Spa
Stop by the Grand Lobby on these special Saturdays from 6–8 p.m. for photos—bring your camera, Santa is happy to pose.

November 24: Traverse City Shop & Sip, 1–7 p.m.
The VIP Preview runs from 1–3 p.m. and the event opens to everyone for free from 3–7 p.m.The handmade holiday craft market is at Grand Traverse Resort and will feature more than 75 makers.

November 30–December 2: Walking in a Window Wonderland, all day
Vote on your favorite store’s window display and find all the special hidden objects in the windows and you could win a $250 Downtown gift certificate. Ballots will be available at participating stores.

November 30–December 1: Merry Makers Marketplace
Crooked Tree Arts Center in Traverse City will be transformed into a holiday shopping market with artists’ booths, a festive spread of cookies, cocoa and holiday cheer. Admission is free. 

December 1: Broadway on Front – Starry Night, 8–10 p.m.
Spend an evening among the stars at the fourth annual City Opera House Gala. An ensemble of Broadway’s best return to spread holiday cheer and share cocktails. Get unique holiday gifts during the live auction.

December 1: Holiday Open House in Elk Rapids, 12:30–8 p.m.
Cookie decorating, sleigh rides, a special movie at the Elk Rapids Cinema, reindeer at Siren Hall and more.

December 1: Winter Songs and Carols, 7:30–9 p.m.
Manitou Winds performs its free annual concert at Grace Episcopal Church. Manitou Winds draws from traditional carols, folk and pop music and original compositions to present a new program each December.

December 2: Traverse City Holiday Book Festival, 1–4 p.m.
25 authors and musicians will be in the Mercato at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Books for sale in all genres.

December 2: Cocoa Crawl, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Shop downtown and sip free hot cocoa at participating locations. Vote for your favorite.

December 6: Ladies’ Night Holiday Shopping, 5–9 p.m.
Specials, food and refreshments at downtown shops.

December 7: Unsilent Night at Left Foot Charley, 6–9 p.m.
A free, outdoor participatory sound sculpture played through roving mp3 players, iPhones, etc. (Unsilent night app available on iTunes store). Each person brings their own music player and walks through The Village at Grand Traverse Commons—the more people, the better it sounds! Reservations required—more information here.

December 7: Warm Up – A Holiday Special, 8–9:30 p.m.
The five singers of VoicePlay share a night filled with creative twists on Christmas classics and inventive renditions of modern hits. Soaring to fame on NBC’s The Sing-Off, the enormously entertaining five-piece a cappella group, VoicePlay will rock the City Opera House.

December 7–9: Christmas in the Village
A weekend celebration filled with music, carriage rides, visits with Santa, shopping specials, a cocoa competition and more at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons.

December 7: Biggest Little Holiday Party, 5:30 p.m.
A combined holiday party for businesses, non-profits, friends and couples at Grand Traverse Resort. There will be a reception with snacks and a cash bar followed by a dinner buffet with dancing and live music.

December 8: Mix and Mingle with Holiday Jingles, 6–9 p.m.
Presented by TC West Vocal Department at Blue Bridge Event Centre. All proceeds benefit the choir organization.

December 13: Men’s Night Holiday Shopping, 5–9 p.m.
Food, refreshments and specials at downtown shops.

December 8: Holiday Magic, 3–5 p.m.
A holiday concert to get you in the spirit at First Congregational Church. Encore Winds features big, bold brass and percussions sections and a powerful performance of Mike Forbes’ arrangement of “Russian Christmas.”

December 14–31: Festival of Trains
See the massive model train layout and a special one for kids where the young (and young at heart) can operate the controls. Admission is $5 for individuals and $20 for families.

December 15: Frost, a Winter Show of Dance, 2–4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Design Dance Company is thrilled to present their inaugural performance of Frost, a winter showcase of dance, at Traverse City Central High School Auditorium. Tickets range from $15–$20.

December 15: Sister’s Christmas Catechism at City Opera House, 8 p.m.
It’s “CSI: Bethlehem” in this holiday mystery extravaganza, as Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages—whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? Tickets range from $15 for students to $37.50.

December 15: Breakfast with Santa at Grand Traverse Resort, 9 a.m.
The resort will serve a family-friendly buffet and Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick will be on hand for photos and to visit with children. In addition to the buffet, the event will include face painting, balloon artists, DJ music, a Christmas cookie design station and more Reservations required. Tickets cost $25.50 for adults, $19 for ages 11–14, $13 for ages 5–10 and free for 4 and under.

December 16: Jingle Bell Run, 5 p.m.
The course heads down favorite neighborhood streets decked out in holiday lights and decorations. Where your favorite costume to the non-timed 3-mile run followed by cookies and cocoa. Free to current TCTC members; $20 for nonmembers.

December 25: Christmas Day Buffet at Grand Traverse Resort
Let the chefs at Aerie Restaurant & Lounge do the cooking. Adults $30.95; Ages 11–13 $16.95; 5–10 $13.95; 4 and under free. Call 231-534-6800 for reservations.


Suttons Bay Holiday Events

November 17: Holiday Open House
Local merchants are excited to show off their new holiday merchandise and great gift ideas—refreshments and snacks will be served by many. Each participating merchant will donate up to 10% of their sales to an area non-profit selected by you.

November 24: Holiday Pop-Up Market at 45 North *Lake Leelanau, Noon–5 p.m.
Just five minutes from Suttons Bay, stop by the vineyard and winery for holiday shopping a glass of wine. 

December 1 & 2: Holiday in the Village
Saturday is Family Day. Help the friends of the Suttons Bay Bingham District Library decorate for the holidays from 10 a.m.–noon. Enjoy cookies, crafts and write a letter to Santa. At noon, see a movie at the Bay Theatre for $1. Santa arrives by firetruck for the tree lighting at 5 p.m. on the corner of Jefferson and M-22. Go caroling with the Suttons Bay High School Band and visit with Santa at the VI Grill after helping him light the big tree. The holiday stroll is from 5–8 p.m. with refreshments and hors d’oeuvres, local wines, restaurant specials and more than 50 decorated trees.

On Sunday, antlers and elves will be at Brain Storm! and Enerdyne from noon to 3 p.m. The cookie extravaganza is also noon–3 p.m. Mix or match to make your own assortment—only $7 per pound at Suttons Bay/Bingham Friendship Center. The Community Choral Concert is at the Congregational Church at 3 p.m.

December 16: First Annual Brunch with Santa at Black Star Farms
Kids will visit with Santa while filling their bellies at the pancake bar and other brunch stations. Adults $30; kids 2–10 $15; kids under 2 free. Seatings at 10:15 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:30 p.m.


Northport Holiday Events

November 24: Merchant’s Open House and Tree Lighting, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
Store sales, carols, sleigh rides and the lighting of the tree.

December 9: Christmas Concert, 2–3 p.m.
The annual concert with The Village Voices and Northport Community Band. Tickets cost $25; $5 for students. 

December 21: Winter Solstice Party, 7:30–10:30 p.m.
Music by the Broom Closet Boys and refreshments from Tandem Ciders and The Mitten Brewery at the Village Arts Building. Tickets are $15.


Leland Holiday Events

November 21: Light Up Leland for the Holidays, 5:30 p.m.
Tree lighting at Christmas Tree Corner followed by Santa riding in a fire engine to the Village Green for caroling and treats.

November 23–24: HollyPOP!, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
An artful holiday pop-up at the Old Art Building.

November 23: Leland Holiday Early Bird Sale, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Special early bird discounts from 8–10 a.m. but sales continue all day.

December 1: Merry Marketplace at the Old Art Building, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Local artisans will have jewelry, pottery, specialty foods, candles, soaps and lotions, cards and much more. Complimentary cookies and coffee available.


Glen Arbor Holiday Events

November 23: PJ Party, 6:30–9 a.m
Roll out of bed and head to downtown boutiques and shops for great deals.

November 23: Bed Parade, 9–9:30 a.m.
This will be the 2nd annual parade for those who’d rather sleep in on Black Friday. Open to the public. Decorate a bed and wheel it out!

November 23: Holiday Marketplace Preview Party, 6:15–8 p.m.
The tree lighting and caroling begin at 6:15 followed by the preview party (free) at 6:30 at the Glen Arbor Township Hall. Donuts will be provided by Art’s Tavern.

November 24: Glen Arbor Holiday Marketplace, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Shop handcrafted, locally made goods from more than 30 artisans at the Glen Arbor Township Hall.

December 14 & 15: The Bells of Saint Mary’s, 7:30–9 p.m.
The Glen Arbor Players ring in the holidays with a classic at the Glen Lake Community Reformed Church.


Beulah Holiday Events

December 8: Christmas Magic in Downtown Beulah, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Kids activities, cookies and visits with Santa. Dress up your pets, kids and yourself for the parade at 5:15 p.m. Stores will be open late for holiday shopping.


Frankfort & Elberta Holiday Events

November 24: Holly Berry Arts & Crafts Fair, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
The indoor holiday art fair features more than 100 artists at Frankfort High School.

November 24 & 25: Festival of Trees in Benzonia
Enjoy decorated trees, wreaths and centerpieces at the Benzie Historical Society. A silent auction will benefit Habitat for Humanity. Free admission, but donations suggested.

November 24: Santa & Mrs. Claus
The Claus family will be at Frankfort High School passing out candy canes. There will also be horse-drawn carriage rides.

November 24: Frankfort Community Tree Lighting, 7–8 p.m.
Singing, donut holes and hot chocolate at Rotary Park on Main Street.

December 1: Annual Silver Tea Party, 1–3 p.m.
At First Congregation Church in Frankfort.

December 8: Benzie County Community Chorus Christmas Concert, 7 p.m.
A family-friendly event to celebrate the season at Frankfort United Methodist Church.

December 9: Free Family Holiday Event at Oliver Art Center, 3–5 p.m.
Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy arts and crafts, story time, Cognition and a hot cocoa bar.


Manistee & Ludington Holiday Events

November 17–18: Christmas in Onekama
Enjoy a craft show, baked goods sale, silent auction, chili cook-off and more on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Onekama Schools. Make reservations for dinner at M22 Grill from 5–8 p.m. The lighting of the community Ttee and reading of memorial names, followed by caroling and refreshments, is at the Farr Center on Sunday starting at 6 p.m.

November 24–December 31: Sparkle in the Park, Bear Lake, 5–10 p.m.
Opening night festivities include free chili, cocoa, coffee and cookies compliments of the Bear Lake community from 5–7:30 p.m. From 6:30–7:30 p.m. enjoy treats and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Toyland Bear Lake. Free admission; donations appreciated—consider bringing items for the Bear Lake Area Food Bank. Join carolers every Saturday at 6 p.m. at Toyland. Light displays are provided by more than 50 businesses, organizations and residential friends stretching throughout the US 31 corridor and Hopkins Park.

November 24: Aglow on the Avenue, Ludington
This all-day extravaganza starts with Breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m., which you can burn off in the 15-mile Singletrack Showdown Mountain Bike Race at 10 a.m. Shop the 9th Annual Holiday Craft Fair 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, in addition to downtown merchants offering deals on holiday gifts 11 to 6 p.m. for Small Business Saturday. Then join the tree lighting and caroling at 5:30 p.m. at James Street Plaza and the Holiday Parade along Ludington Avenue at 6 p.m., followed by a visit with Santa after the parade at Sandcastles Children’s Museum.

Starts November 30 (multiple dates): The Nutcracker Ballet at The Ramsdell
Tchaikovsky’s original ballet premiered in 1892 and was staged by Russian choreographer, Marius Petipa. Dancers from Manistee, Mason and Benzie counties present Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic “The Nutcracker Ballet” at the Historic Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee. The production is a collaborative Holiday celebration directed by Ingrid Bond and involves over 150 cast members and volunteers from across county lines. Tschaikovsky’s score and the ballet premiered at nearly the same time the Ramsdell was built. That’s why this version is set in the Victorian era heyday—to enable the audience to see some of the unique features of the Ramsdell stage. The ballet is being performed Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9. Tickets range from $10–$25. 

December 6–9: Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend
Tour a lumberjack mansion, watch a performance of The Nutcracker Ballet at the Victorian-era Ramsdell Theater, eat roasted chestnuts from a street vendor, take a carriage ride and more. Don’t miss the Victorian Sleighbell Parade as it makes its way down River Street beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 8. The highlight is a team of draft horses pulling a 30-foot Christmas tree down the street.

December 7–9 and 14–16: West Michigan B&B Christmas Cookie Tour
Ready for a little taste of Christmas? Join us for a weekend that celebrates the joy of baking during the holiday season! Stop in at nine bed and breakfasts from Whitehall to Bear Lake on the West Michigan Cookie Tour and gather a collection of Christmas goodies to take home. You will get a peek inside the bed and breakfasts all decked-out for the holidays, smell the aroma of fresh baked goods, meet the innkeepers, and sample some of their beautifully decorated creations. Package includes a two-night stay at one of the participating B&Bs with breakfast included (separate fee), two tour tickets, cookie recipes from each inn, keepsake ornament and entry in a drawing for a $250 gift certificate. Fee: $25 per person plus B&B reservation. Guests may call 800.301.9792 beginning Dec. 1 to purchase a non-refundable ticket and reserve a spot. Click here to see the full list of B&B participants.

December 8: Jingle Bell Jog 5K Run/Walk, 10 a.m.
Support the Manistee cross-country team and get your one-of-a-kind, famous “ugly sweater” shirt.

December 15: Pioneer Christmas, Historic White Pine Village, Ludington, 4–7 p.m.
Experience Christmas as your ancestors celebrated it more than 125 years ago. Visitors can stroll the grounds and visit several buildings that will be open and decorated in true pioneer Christmas fashion, in addition to hearing caroling and music. Enjoy hay sleigh rides and sledding (weather permitting). Participants can listen to readings of “Twas’ the Night Before Christmas” at the Burn’s Farmhouse, and children can write/mail a letter to Santa from the Marchido School, make a free pine cone bird feeder at the Artisan Building, and visit Santa in the General Store. Christmas cookies, popcorn and hot chocolate are available in the Town Hall building. Visitors can warm up at bonfires on the grounds. Admission fee.


Cadillac Holiday Events

November 24: Christmas in the Park & Light Up Downtown Cadillac, 6 p.m.
Santa, nativity scenes, caroling and spectacular lights with Lake Cadillac in the background.

December 1: Holiday Home Tour, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the holiday season at four beautiful homes. Maps are on the tickets.


While you’re out, do a little shopping.
100+ gift ideas for people who love Up North.


Northern Michigan Holiday Fun