- Things to Do
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The world's largest Christmas store and a must-visit holiday destination, spend quality time with your loved ones at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland! Shop from more than 50,000 trims, gifts & ornaments — and get yours personalized for the perfect family memories! Look for special ornament signing events throughout the season, with visits from artists Emanuele Fontanini and Teresa Thibault, and be sure to snap a photo with Santa every year that you’re here.Read More +
Take a break from the holiday hustle at Santa’s Reindeer Farm on Grandpa Tiny’s Farm in Frankenmuth. Gather in a cozy barn to meet Santa and his reindeer in training! Be sure to write your letters to Santa before you visit, and then deliver right to the Jolly Elf himself — also order tickets online in-advance, the only place tickets are available to minimize crowds. Enjoy this special experience that includes making a keepsake ornament with the Woodworker and becomes a one-of-a-kind annual holiday outing.Read More +
Midland Santa House: Step into pure magic inside the North Pole that is the Midland Santa House! With holiday music playing and jolly elves busy at work, walk through a magical mixture of lofts and displays, cozy up to a fieldstone fireplace, and sit in Santa’s Chair! Visit with the Big Man, be on the lookout for reindeer — who may use the slanted roof, made perfect for launching and landing — and be sure to return time and again to experience the merriment of the season!
Northern Star Train: All aboard the Northern Star Train, tickets are free and the memories are priceless! Operational throughout the Santa House season, take a magical 20-minute ride through Midland aboard a whimsical train decked out in holiday spirit. Board the trackless train at the station, the Midland County Courthouse, and enjoy a wintry ride to Dow Diamond and back this season!
Nate & Mary Ida Doan Santa House: Keep the Christmas spirit alive with a visit to Santa in his workshop at the Nate & Mary Ida Doan Santa House. Bring the young and young-at-heart to this cozy log cabin with fascinating displays, and visit the kitchen to see the elves busily making cookies and other goodies! Have your photo taken with Santa, keep watch for visiting reindeer, and surely experience the magic of Christmas here each year.
Fantasy Carriage Company: With freshly fallen snow and sprigs of pine, snuggle under a blanket for a horse-drawn holiday ride with Fantasy Carriage Company. Take in twinkling lights through festive neighborhoods and see shops along Frankenmuth’s Main Street trimmed with Christmas bounty. Sing carols and spend time in silent awe on this beautiful, enjoyable holiday tradition.
Frankenmuth Carriage Company: Cozy up for a 20- or 30-minute holiday memory in the making with Frankenmuth Carriage Company. Enjoy your horse-drawn ride through seasonal displays and light-lined streets of Downtown Frankenmuth, and ride over the Bavarian Inn Holz Brucke (wooden bridge) while visiting other holiday highlights.
Dow Gardens Christmas Walk: Stroll a candlelit pathway through a winter wonderland during Dow Gardens Christmas Walks. Join carolers, sip delicious hot cocoa, and experience a dramatic display of poinsettias in the festive conservatory — with merry sounds of a live string quartet.
Holidays in the Heart of the City: Feel the Christmas spirit in Saginaw at Holidays in the Heart of the City. Visit Santa & Mrs. Claus in Borchard Park, where free pony rides are found. Enjoy caroling, hot cocoa, and cookies while visiting open houses and holiday activities at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo, Japanese Cultural Center, and more — and take in free horse-drawn wagon rides, holiday concerts, and the finale fireworks show!
Frankenmuth ChristKindlMarkt: Experience weekends of celebration and the wonders of Christmas at Frankenmuth ChristKindlMarkt! Explore troves of seasonal treasures and treats at mid-Michigan’s largest open-air holiday market, modeled after the traditional Christmas markets of Germany. With live holiday music filling the air, sip mulled wine or piping hot cocoa as you shop artisan gifts to seasonal greenery.
Festival of Trees: Visit a magical winter wonderland of more than 100 decorated trees, and pick up raffle tickets for your chance to win one of them. Stroll through seasonal creations of local artists and designers, take home decorating inspiration for your own Christmas trees and wreaths, and join more than 5,000 guests who attend this annual three-day event!
Christmas at The Pines: Pay homage to history and the holidays during Christmas at The Pines. Encounter a magical tour through the home of Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow, guided by docents, and experience what Christmas was like when Midland’s infamous family celebrated it together.
The Great Lakes Market - Holiday Celebration: Celebrate the season of merriment with unique creations of art, food, and crafts at The Great Lakes Market - Holiday Celebration. Make your holidays bright with architectural salvage and intriguing handmade items, merrily explore food truck fare, and sing along as live musicians play!
Tis the Season Weekends: Experience the magic of the holidays at Tis the Season Weekends at Frankenmuth River Place Shops! Join in song with strolling carolers, meet Santa Claus and his North Pole team, and celebrate Christmas in the elaborately decorated Santa’s Workshop. Each weekend is slightly different, all provide holiday cheer and joy.
Midland Santa Parade & Cocoa Crawl: Get your twinkle on and spend an afternoon “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” at this year’s Midland Santa Parade & Cocoa Crawl. Join the jolliest party in town, then stop at various Downtown shops to sample their spin on that cold-weather classic: hot cocoa! Vote for your favorite and enjoy a merry good day!
Chesaning Candle Walk: Stroll the luminary-lined streets of historic Chesaning during the beautiful Chesaning Candle Walk. Peruse Christmas-themed chalk art and inflatable decorations lining the walking path in Cole Park. Stick around for the Annual Golf Cart Parade, followed by the tree lighting ceremony with Santa. Visit live reindeer and enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides at this glorious gathering!
HollyDay Art Mart: Make it an annual tradition to shop the HollyDay Art Mart at Andersen Enrichment Center! With room-upon-room of artisan gifts for the season, find distinctive items, meet Michigan makers, and pick up fresh holly! Savor a soup and sandwich lunch, and take home sweets & treats for holiday entertaining.
Santa’s Holiday Hike: Step into the season for Santa’s Holiday Hike at Imerman Memorial Park! With festive inflatables guiding your way, hike the illuminated trail that leads to a cozy campfire and Santa Claus! Enjoy Christmas music, hot cocoa, cookies — and bring Coats for Kids donations to start your hike with gifts of the season.
Sundays in the City: Experience magic & merriment each Sunday leading up to Christmas during Sundays in the City in Bay City! Discover shops and eateries Downtown, all decked out for the holidays, and enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides, strolling carolers, and holiday movies at the historic State Theatre.
Holiday Open House: Take part in a special shopping experience during the Holiday Open House in Downtown Midland. Stroll past beautifully painted window displays, and stop into boutiques & shops decorated for the season. Cozy up by outdoor fireplaces with a beverage from The Commons Refreshment Area while discovering special holiday finds!
Little Bavaria’s “Little” Driving Light Tour: Fill your thermoses with hot cocoa, set the radio to holiday tunes, and head out for the self-guided Little Bavaria’s “Little” Driving Light Tour! Starting at the luminescent Willkommen archway at the entrance to the city, tour festive streets as you drive over bridges and underneath brilliant light displays — and end your “little” drive at the 17-foot-tall towering Santa!
The Freeland Lights: Once you’ve seen The Freeland Lights free show at Tittabawassee Township Park, you’ll discover a new annual holiday tradition! From the warmth of your vehicle, watch as the Christmas display comes to life through sights — and sounds! Drive into the park, tune your radio to 93.9 FM, and listen to your favorite Christmas songs while thousands of lights dazzle and dance to the classics.
Frankenmuth’s Spectacular Musical Tree Show: Meet at this magical 40-foot tree for a holiday interlude that is Frankenmuth’s Spectacular Musical Tree Show. Experience a 7-minute journey through popular Christmas songs with thousands of lights dancing about to each beautifully remixed song. Dance and sing along to the sounds of Christmas in the air!
25 Christmas Lane: Leading to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, drive along 25 Christmas Lane to witness a dazzling display of more than 100,000 holiday lights! Discover animated decorations and bright, twinkling lights adorning every lamp post and tree. Open each evening of the year from dusk to midnight, experience this ½ mile lane of lights and the perfect holiday photo op!
Saginaw Waterworks Lighting Ceremony: From darkness to brilliance in the blink of an eye, experience the iconic Saginaw Waterworks Lighting Ceremony and delight in a display that’s been lit for nearly a century! Don’t miss the moment — arrive early — and savor the magical display of hundreds of thousands of lights, the official kickoff to Holidays in the Heart of the City.
Midland County Courthouse Lighting: Enjoy a merry, magical evening as the lights go bright at the Midland County Courthouse Lighting! Kick off the holiday season with cocoa and cookies, and welcome Santa Claus as he makes his way over from The Tridge to officially open the Santa House for the season!
Frankenmuth Jaycees Joyful Jubilation: Take a drive around town and pick your favorite Christmas display for Frankenmuth Jaycees Joyful Jubilation — a friendly neighborhood decoration competition! With your voting number, instructions to cast your vote, and a Christmas Tours and Map guide, look for signs in the festive front yards of participating houses and enjoy!
Join with hundreds in Wenonah Park for Santa’s Arrival and the Wenonah Park Tree Lighting! Enjoy carolers and musical performances, sip hot cocoa in the pavilion — and fancy yourselves a horse-drawn carriage ride to mark this joyous occasion!
Midland Center for the Arts: Enjoy a holiday extravaganza at MCFTA with musical favorites Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and A Christmas Story: The Musical. Make your holiday magical with The Illusionists Magic of the Holidays, and learn seasonal cooking tips with Alton Brown: LIVE! Beyond the Eats — The Holiday Variant.
Temple Theatre: Step into timeless holidays at the Temple Theatre. Experience Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra: The Magic of Christmas and Holidays with the Saginaw Choral Society. Or, enjoy a holiday classic on the Saginaw Silver Screen.
State Theatre of Bay City: Sing along at the State Theatre of Bay City at A Rocky Mountain Christmas, a John Denver Tribute. Share in joy as Bay Chorale performs A Christmas Concert “Sing Joy”, see Cole in Your Stocking or A Hark Up Christmas on stage, and watch Sundays in the City Movies including A Christmas Story and White Christmas.
The Dow Event Center: Witness Broadway in Saginaw at The Dow Event Center during Cirque Dreams Holidaze. See storybook characters come to life & experience the holidays like never before!
Delta College Planetarium: Sing along to classics like Frank Sinatra, Burl Ives, and Brenda Lee during the Let It Snow Planetarium Show at Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center. Enjoy the 35-minute program with animation, special effects, and music by Trans Siberian Orchestra!
Pit & Balcony Theatre: Leave the kids at home for the adults-only production of Who’s Holiday at Pit & Balcony Theatre. Laugh your way through The Holiday Channel Christmas Movie Wonderthon, a parody of holiday romantic comedies.
Bay City Players: Enjoy the whimsy and charm of A Child’s Christmas in Wales presented by the Bay City Players. Follow the tale of young Dylan as he tries to recall Christmases past.
From Reindeer Cake to How to Make a Gift Basket, discover multiple Holiday How-To Classes. Celebrate Christmas with a twist at Zehnder’s Christmas Show, featuring Groove Marmalade. Or, enjoy special Breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus and Lunch with Santa & Mrs. Claus opportunities this season!
Jen is a Saginaw native and owner of Feel These Words, an independent copywriting studio & home to the free "5 Day Website MiniBoost". Jen specializes in writing that connects, delivered through website copy, branded content articles, and WingWoman writing services. You'll find Jen camping with her family, laughing, and at feelthesewords.com
Bundled up in bright white snow, snuggled ‘round for hot cocoa, or off to festivals and seasonal celebrations? Indulge in each and more as you discover these top winter wonderlands and extra-cool events in Pure Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region!Read More +
Read on to create one-of-a-kind moments and forever memories with these top wintertime things to do as a family in Pure Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region!Read More +