There's no better time to cozy up for some true family togetherness than when our Pure Michigan landscapes have frosted over into a white, wintry wonderland and our timeless, traditional holiday festivals have left the streets ringing with the sweet sounds of caroling bells, horse-drawn carriage rides, and all-around good cheer.
So, whether the idea of a Go Great Lakes Bay holiday getaway has always been on your nice list or you're just now discovering the perfectly-wrapped joys of Pure Michigan at Christmastime, we're ready to help you forge new family traditions you and yours will want to repeat for years to come!
Explore what TIME Magazine called one of America's 9 Most Christmassy Towns - Frankenmuth, Michigan - where an outdoor European-style holiday marketplace lit in the soft glow of string lights and wrapped in the warmth of heated tents makes spreading and sharing Christmas cheer second-nature. Snag fresh greens and garlands or stock up on festive, artisan goods, but, however you enjoy the marketplace, be sure to buy extra and give the gift of thoughtfully-curated, one-of-a-kind Christmas finds.
Find joy in the time spent with your small ones as they eagerly await a well-worth-it visit with Santa and the Mrs. (not to mention, their reindeer!). This quaint and quirky Santa House - also home to a professional Santa Claus School - will give you and yours all the holiday feels... and a ride through festive Downtown Midland aboard the miniature, trackless North Star Train will only seal the deal!
Sundays in the City
A Festival of Wreaths, the passing by of live, street-strolling carolers, and the Christmassy "clomp" of horses pulling festive carriages throughout Downtown Bay City are the things Sundays in the City are made of here in Pure Michigan.
Catch a holiday movie on the big screen at the historic State Theatre, browse beautifully-decorated storefronts (and pop inside to purchase presents then joyfully gift-wrapped on-site for free), and soak in the snow-covered bilss of a Sunday spent wandering and simply enjoying.
While you're here, be sure to bask in the glow of the Third Street Star Bridge at night for a new kind of holiday (and year-round!) light experience, then stop into St. Laurent Brother's - our delightfully quirky 1904 candy & nut shop - for some sweet treats to fill those stockings!
In a place where it's Christmas all year long, a holiday spent holding hands and strolling aisle after aisle of trees and trimmings means more holiday magic than you can imagine. Make it an annual outing to the World's Largest Christmas Store and prepare to see little eyes swell at the sight of over 50,000 trims and gifts, 300 decorated trees, and 6,000 styles of ornaments.
Petting Santa's reindeer and riding a pony (for free!) are just part of the sheer Christmas magic your kiddos will find filling our Saginaw city streets during each year's Holidays In The Heart of the City celebration. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the downtown streets, sing along with the merry carolers, and exchange "oohs" and "ahhs" as you pass by the massive poinsettia display found here.
When the turkey's been gobbled and the pie plates cleaned, take on a new family tradition - the Chesaning Christmas Candlelight Walk. November 24-25, 2017, the cozy, Christmas village of Chesaning shuts down town to transform its charming boulevard to a stripped-back experience of simple, holiday joy. See the streets lined in more than 1,500 hand-lit luminaries as you pass by on a free, horse-drawn carriage ride, roasted chestnuts in hand. Tour the Festival of Trees, take part in a holiday pub crawl, write letters to Santa, and even join in joyful song at the Tree Lighting Extravaganza and village-wide "O, Christmas Tree" sing-along.
Here at Chesaning's Saginaw County Fairgrounds, Santa shares his 25,000 sq. foot home - Santa's Village at North Pole USA - with wide-eyed little ones, Saturdays and Sundays from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Imagine this: an indoor Christmas wonderland filled with the warm glow of 175 beautifully trimmed and lit trees, a festive model train display, holiday carnival rides, gingerbread houses, Christmas-themed crafts, and, of course - visits with Santa himself.
Cap off the perfect Christmas getaway in the Great Lakes Bay with a peaceful pathway walk through wintry Dow Gardens, lit by candles and lined with live holiday carolers. But, on this festive and free walk, be sure not to miss the dramatic poinsettia display found inside the Gardens' conservatory!