From tree lightings and festive parades to live performances of the Nutcracker and brunch with Santa, here are the Northern Michigan events happening this weekend. Don’t miss these winter events selected just for you by our Office Manager Libby Stallman.

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Events on December 1 & 2 in Northern Michigan

December 1 to 14 | Holiday Decorating Contest | Mason County
Back by popular demand, Mason County residents may enter the Ludington and Scottville Chamber’s holiday decorating contest. Get in the Christmas spirit, deck your halls and enter for a chance to win cash prizes.

December 2 | Holiday Open House | Petoskey
Join Downtown Petoskey in celebrating the season at their Holiday Open House. Meet your friends and neighbors for a night of good cheer, hospitality, and shopping.

December 2 | Old Christmas Weekend | Manistee
Enjoy festive events, like an authentic victorian holiday gathering at the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts, Festival of the Trees and a Victorian Sleighbell Parade at Manistee’s Old Christmas Weekend. Learn more about this event with our Traverse Magazine article: Don’t Miss Manistee’s Magical Old Christmas Weekend & Parade.

Photo by Manistee County Visitors Bureau

December 2 | Madrigal Dinner Theatre | Traverse City
Enjoy a scrumptious feast and music by the Traverse City Central High School Trumpeters and Vocal Majority, the Presbyterian Church Choir, at this year’s annual holiday event, The Madrigal Dinner.

Events on Saturday, December 3, 2022

December 3 | The Polar Express | Elk Rapids
All aboard the Polar Express in Downtown Elk Rapids! Visit the Train display at Bayfront Beach and Bike; then visit Santa’s Reindeer at the American House patio!
Local shops will be filled with great gift ideas as well! The Indigenous Youth and Friends group will have hot cocoa and baked goods for donation.

December 3 | Brunch with Santa | Suttons Bay
Have brunch with Santa himself! This holiday event is perfect for a family outing. Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay will host a delicious brunch well-suited for all ages. Learn more about this event and get your tickets here.

December 3 | Holiday Craft Show | Boyne City
Head to Boyne City for the 43rd annual Holiday Craft Show and Bazaar. Find a wide variety of gifts from local crafters and vendors along with a wide variety of food options and more.

December 3 | Holiday Open House | Harbor Springs
Enjoy a fun-filled evening of shopping, and holiday treats, thanks to the Harbor Springs downtown merchants. Main and State Streets will be closed to allow the community to stroll between stores and enjoy a relaxing evening of tradition. Special music by the Petoskey High School Steel Drum Band.

December 3 | Tree Lighting | Frankfort
Head to Frankfort for a long-time downtown holiday tradition. The Frankfort tree lighting brings the community together to sing Christmas carols at this long-time downtown holiday tradition. Bring your little ones to Santa’s workshop prior to the tree lighting. They’ll have the opportunity to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, enjoy crafts & storytelling with the elves, and write letters to be sent to the north pole!

December 3 | The Nutcracker | Traverse City
Grab your tickets to this Christmas classic! For two shows only, join the Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre for their performance of The Nutcracker. Learn more about this event and get your tickets here: if one show is sold out, be sure to check the other!

Photo by Northwest Michigan Ballet Theatre

December 3 | Holiday Open House | Charlevoix
Head to Charlevoix for the Holiday Merchant Open House for entertainment, samples, snacks, refreshments, special sales and raffles.

December 3 | Holiday Craft Show | Manton
Stop by the Manton Schools 5th Street gym for the 2022 Holiday Craft Show between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

December 3 | Parade & Christmas Party | Charlevoix
Cheboygan’s Parade of Lights & Community Christmas party includes a fully functional locomotive float, and Santa Claus will be at the Festival Square.

December 3 | Parade of Lights | Bellaire
Head to Bellaire for the Parade of Lights. From a free kid’s movie and ornament-making to Bellaire’s annual soup cook-off with 10+ participating restaurants, there is something for everyone at this event. Don’t forget to head to the tree lighting, enjoy caroling and the nativity along with visiting with Santa after the parade.

Photo(s) by Allison Jarrell