Bronner's | @katieincolors
Holiday Traditions

The world's largest Christmas store and a must-visit holiday destination, spend quality time with your loved ones at Bronner’s! Shop from 50,000 trims, gifts, and ornaments — and have yours personalized for the perfect family souvenirs. Look for ornament signing events, and be sure to snap a photo with Santa!

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November - December
Santa's Reindeer Farm

Take a break from the holiday hustle at Santa’s Reindeer Farm on Grandpa Tiny’s Heritage Farm in Frankenmuth. Gather in a cozy barn to meet Santa and his reindeer-in-training — and enjoy this special experience that includes making a keepsake ornament with the Woodworker!


With holiday music playing and jolly elves busy at work, walk through a magical mixture of displays, cozy up to a fieldstone fireplace, and sit in Santa’s chair! Visit with Old Saint Nick himself, be on the lookout for reindeer, and return time and again to experience the merriment of the season!

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The Northern Star Train | @edisal_azar

The Northern Star Train (December) Operational throughout the Midland Santa House season, take a magical 20-minute ride through town aboard a whimsical train decked out in holiday spirit. Choo-choo!

Nate & Mary Ida Doan Santa House (November – December) Capture the Christmas spirit with a visit to Santa's workshop, inside a cozy log cabin! Have your photo taken with Santa and keep watch for visiting reindeer.

Fantasy Carriage Company & Frankenmuth Carriage Company (Year-Round) Snuggle under a blanket for a horse-drawn holiday ride! Take in twinkling lights through festive neighborhoods and see shops along Frankenmuth’s Main Street trimmed with Christmas bounty.

Downtown Frankenmuth
Merry + Bright
Light Shows
25 Christmas Lane | @adventuresoflathan

25 Christmas Lane (Year-Round) Leading to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, drive along 25 Christmas Lane to witness a dazzling display of more than 100,000 holiday lights, illuminated every evening of the year!

Little Bavaria’s “Little” Driving Light Tour
(Seasonal) Fill your mugs with cocoa and set the radio to holiday tunes — then tour festive Frankenmuth streets as you drive over bridges and beneath brilliant light displays!

Frankenmuth’s Spectacular Musical Tree Show
(November – January) Meet at this magical, 40-foot tree to experience a seven-minute journey through popular Christmas music with thousands of lights dancing about.

Frankenmuth's Spectacular Musical Tree Show | @yarainthecity

Saginaw Waterworks Lighting Ceremony (November) 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.

Santa’s Arrival & Wenonah Park Tree Lighting
(November) 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!

Midland County Courthouse Lighting
(November) Enjoy a merry evening as the lights go bright at the Midland County Courthouse! Kick off the holiday season with cocoa and cookies, and welcome Santa Claus as he makes his way from the Tridge to open the Midland Santa House for the season!

The Freeland Lights
(December) Once you’ve seen The Freeland Lights free show at Hayes Park, you’ll discover a new holiday tradition! 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.

Dow Gardens Christmas Walks
Holiday Events

Festival of Trees (November) Visit a winter wonderland of decorated trees and wreaths, and pick up raffle tickets for your chance to win one! Stroll through seasonal creations of local artists and designers, take home holiday decorating inspiration, and join thousands who attend annually!

Holidays in the Heart of the City
(November) Visit Santa & Mrs. Claus in Borchard Park, where free pony rides are found. Enjoy caroling, hot cocoa, and cookies while visiting holiday open houses — and take in horse-drawn wagon rides, holiday concerts, and the finale fireworks show!

Midland Santa Parade &
Hot Cocoa Crawl (November) Join the jolliest party in town, the Midland Santa Parade, then stop at various Downtown shops to sample their spin on that cold-weather classic: hot cocoa!

Zehnder’s Holiday Lunch
& Dinner Shows (November) Taste tradition and be entertained during Three Men and a Tenor Holiday Lunch & Dinner Shows at Zehnder’s Restaurant. Enjoy delicious, golden-fried chicken and mouthwatering sides, served up with plenty of belly laughs!

Hollyday Art Mart (November) With room-upon-room of artisan gifts, find distinctive items, meet Michigan makers, and pick up fresh holly! Savor a tasty lunch, and take home treats for holiday entertaining.

Tis the Season Weekends
(November – December) Experience the magic of the holidays 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.

Frankenmuth ChristKindlMarkt
(November – December) Explore troves of seasonal treasures at mid-Michigan’s largest open-air holiday market, modeled after the Christmas markets of Germany. With holiday music in the air, sip mulled wine as you shop artisan gifts to seasonal greenery.

November - December
Sundays in the City

Experience merriment on Sundays leading up to Christmas during Sundays in the City in Bay City! Discover shops and eateries decked out for the holidays, and enjoy free horse-drawn carriage rides, strolling carolers, and holiday movies at the historic State Theatre.

Dow Gardens Christmas Walks

The Great Lakes Market – Holiday Market (December) Spend a magical afternoon or evening inside a greenhouse filled with over 40 Christmas trees! Make your holidays bright with intriguing handmade items, merrily explore food truck fare, and sing along as live musicians play.

Dow Gardens Christmas Walk
(December) Stroll a gently lit pathway through a winter wonderland. Join carolers in song, sip delicious hot cocoa or coffee, meet Santa’s reindeer, and enjoy an old-fashioned evening of candlelight and music.

St. Charles Old-Fashioned Christmas
(December) Experience the nostalgia of an old-fashioned Christmas! Enjoy tasty food vendors, a tree lighting ceremony, and visits with Santa — wrapped up with a festive parade.

Holly Jolly Days
(December) Stroll past painted window displays, and stop into Downtown Midland shops decorated for the season. Cozy up by outdoor fireplaces with a beverage from The Commons Refreshment Area while discovering holiday finds — and enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride!

Christmas at the Pines
(December) Tour the home of Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow, guided by docents, and experience what Christmas was like when Midland’s famous family celebrated it together.

Live Holiday Entertainment
Bay City State Theatre

Midland Center for the Arts (November – December) Delight in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas The Musical or be dazzled by contemporary circus arts in Cirque Dreams Holidaze. Make the season magical with the Tony® Award-nominated musical Million Dollar Quartet, or listen as Broadway star Abby Mueller performs Holiday Pops with the Midland Symphony Orchestra.

State Theatre of Bay City
(November – December) 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 their annual Christmas concert, see Cole in Your Stocking on stage, and watch Sundays in the City movies including Christmas Vacation and A Miracle on 34th Street.

The Temple Theatre
(December) Experience Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra: Holiday Superstars, hear the Saginaw Choral Society in A Classy Brassy Christmas & More, or enjoy a classic holiday film on the Saginaw Silver Screen.

The Dow Event Center (December) Listen to the seasonal stylings of multiple Grammy® nominee Martina McBride as she lights up the stage during The Joy of Christmas Tour 2023.

Delta College Planetarium (December) Be surrounded by sights & sounds of the season during a family-friendly showing of Let It Snow. Sing along to holiday tunes as festive images dance across a giant, overhead dome!

Bay City Players (December) Follow along with The Stewart Family — and all the family holiday drama — as they attempt to plan the perfect soiree in A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas.

Pit & Balcony Theatre
(December) Leave the kids at home for the Pit & Balcony After Dark production of The Eight: Reindeer Monologues and hear all eight reindeer dish about the real Santa.

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Things To Do

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!

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Things To Do

Warm woolen mittens & fluffy down coats — wrap up the family for wintertime adventures ahead! Whether you sled down snowy slopes and twirl loops at outdoor ice rinks — or dare to barrel down toboggan runs together — enjoy the hot cocoa and rosy cheeks afterwards!

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Jen W. O'Deay + Go Great Lakes Bay

By: Jen W. O'Deay | Updates: Go Great Lakes Bay | 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