Fabulous Christmas Events You Can’t Miss – Shows, Parades, Christmas Lights & Santa

Gazelle Sports Whoville 5K Christmas Grand Rapids

West Michigan Christmas Events

feature image is of the annual Whoville 5K.


Twinkling lights, fresh snow, and the excitement in the air – If you are like me, you want to soak in as many of these holiday moments and Christmas events as you can.

We invite you to use this Christmas Events Guide to fill your December with Christmas lights, holiday shopping, Christmas Parades, and lots of holiday cheer and family fun this holiday season.

It’s jam-packed with loads of Christmas things to do and holiday events that will help you create memories that will last for years to come.

Christmas Events & Activities Menu

Christmas Event in Comstock Park

Christmas Light Show mega holiday guide 2022

4500 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321
I was in awe at how many lights there were and it really put me in the holiday spirit. It is a great experience with friends, family or a date!


Christmas Lite Show is celebrating 25 years of lighting up faces and keeping spirits bright in West Michigan!

Drive in the warmth of your vehicle on a nearly two mile trail and view million of lights and bright multi-shaped tunnels. Plus over 60 animated displays featuring new ocean, playground and snow globe scenes.

We feature several ways to experience the magic:
~ Take the one-night-only Winter Wonder Walk on November 12. You'll experience the joy through every step and smile. (Registration required)

~ Ride your bike through the lights on November 13 during the Reindeer Bike Ride. (Registration required)

~ Hop aboard the open air Memory Lane Train for it's 25th year giving rides along the trail

~ And of course the most popular option: in the comfort of your own vehicle

We are open every night, including holidays, starting the night before Thanksgiving and ending New Year's Eve night.

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(616) 745-9955

[email protected]

Christmas Event in Auburn Hills

Legoland mega holiday fun guide

4240 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Great place to spend with the kids to enjoy rides, games, and creativity. The LEGO build of local Detroit landmarks was very cool. Perfect for kids ages 4-10. -Zafar R.


This holiday season, let your imagination run wild at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Michigan's ultimate indoor LEGO® playground!

Build, create and play in ten themed play areas jam-packed with millions of LEGO Bricks!

Enjoy two BRICKtastic rides, experience some magic in the 4D theatre, and build and test your own creations! You can even explore your favorite miniature Detroit landmarks all decked out in their holiday best in MINILAND.

Create memories this holiday season at LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

This indoor attraction is best suited for groups with children ages 4-10. Adults must be accompanied by a child in order to enter.

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(248) 409-6001

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Christmas Event in Auburn Hills

sea life aquarium mega holiday fun guide 2022

4316 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Beautiful exhibits that kept us oohing and aahing all throughout! We took our toddlers who loved the experience almost as much as we did! -Becky H. (Google)


Bring your family to visit SEA LIFE, Michigan’s largest Aquarium, and experience some underwater holiday magic!

Come face-to-fin with over 250 species and 2,000+ creatures including sharks, rays, and green sea turtles.

Get hands-on with a 'splash'-tacular sea star or sticky anemone at our Touchpool and then walk through Michigan's ONLY underwater Ocean Tunnel! This experience will have the whole family exclaiming 'ho-ho-holy cow!'

'Sea' what other amazing discoveries you'll uncover when you visit SEA LIFE Aquarium!

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(248) 409-6001

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Christmas Event in Auburn Hills

Peppa Pig mega holiday fun guide 2022

4362 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
My 3 year old STILL talks about this place 3 weeks later! So much to do here, so much fun. -Rachel M. (Google Reviews)


Enjoy the holiday season with guaranteed snorts and giggles at Peppa Pig World of Play!

You and your little piggies will explore (and play in!) more than a dozen free-roaming play areas, all lovingly inspired by the cherished TV series.

You'll discover Peppa's Treehouse, Rebecca Rabbit's Underground Adventure, George's Fort, Granddad Dog's Garage, Madame Gazelle's School Bus, and more!

This indoor attraction is designed for children ages 1-8 years old.

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(248) 392-2121

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Christmas Event in Holland

Paint a Pot 2022

390 E 8th St Suite 6, Holland, MI 49423


Create a memory at Paint a Pot located in Holland!

We offer pottery for all ages. Banks, boxes, platters, plates, mugs, etc.

No appointments are needed, just come on in. Invite family or friends and plan a date!

Check us out on Facebook or our website for more details.

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(616) 355-6442

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Santa Events

Visiting Santa Claus

Seeing Santa and taking a photo with Santa is one of the most popular Christmas events!

Santa is, without a doubt, one of the most recognizable figures around the world. And every year he (sometimes it’s Santa and Mrs. Claus!) visits West Michigan children at many area locations.

Check out the Santa Sightings list for all the places you’ll find Grand Rapids Christmas events with Santa.

Christmas Events include visiting Santa
Santa at Flowerland

Nutcrackers, Christmas Plays & Holiday Concerts

Christmas Events that Take the Stage

Get off the screens and experience a live performance. Whether professional or students, there is nothing quite as magical.

Don’t miss the one-night only Hip Hop Nutcracker at DeVos Performance Hall.

Or go traditional and watch the Grand Rapids Ballet’s Nutcracker.

Wish for your own magical nanny at Mary Poppins at the Civic Theatre.

These and so many more are ready to dazzle us this holiday season.

Nutcracker Christmas Event in Grand Rapids Michigan
The Nutcracker

Christmas Parades

CHRISTMAS PARADES, SANTA PARADES & HOLIDAY PARADES

Parades are back in huge way for 2022 – including the Grand Rapids Gentex Santa Parade with Lowell’s own real Santa!

Nighttime Christmas parades are all over this year. Hudsonville is joining up with with staples like Zeeland’s Magical Christmas Parade and Lowell’s Annual Nighttime Santa Parade.

Use our list to find a Christmas parade or holiday parade near you.

Lowell-MI-Santa-Parade
Lowell Nighttime Santa Parade

Holiday Tree Lightings

COMMUNITY TREE LIGHTING EVENTS

There’s nothing quite like standing outside, bundled up in your warmest winter clothes and clutching a mug filled with hot chocolate, eagerly anticipating the very first time the Christmas tree is lit with thousands of lights.

Luckily, there are several places around west Michigan with holiday tree lightings.

While some are stand-alone Christmas tree lightings, others really bring their A Game in conjunction with holiday parades.

You can re-live the magic again and again – all in one season.

tree-lightings-header

Christmas Holiday Trains 

CHRISTMAS AND TRAINS GO TOGETHER

There is something magical about trains at Christmas time.

Polar Express look-alikes ride the rails throughout the state all month long – but snag your tickets as early as August to reserve your seats on some of them.

Watch the model train round the bends at Meijer Gardens or find the old “Breton Village train” at its new home at the Ford Museum.

Kids and adults alike look forward to these favorite West Michigan traditions every year.

Michigan Christmas Trains Northern Star Railroad in Midland Michigan 1
Northern Star Railroad in Midland

Live Nativities

WATCH THE CHRISTMAS STORY COME TO LIFE

If you are looking for a fun way to visualize the Nativity scene, check out a live Nativity.

These scenes have real people reenacting the original Christmas scene including live animals. Some places include refreshments, live music, or a narrator retelling the Christmas story.

Is your church or group hosting a Live Nativity as well? Submit your event here to get featured in our events calendar and on this list.

Critter Barn Live Nativity
Live Nativity at The Critter Barn in Zeeland

Free Christmas Events & Activities 

FUN FOR ANY BUDGET

Cost doesn’t need to hold you back from Christmas fun.

Stroll through Candy Cane Lane in Sparta.

Be amazed by all the wreaths at the Festival of Wreaths in Muskegon.

Check out a downtown lit up and decorated for the holidays.

West Michigan is filled with opportunities for free Christmas fun.

outdoor kid gear christmas gift ideas

Christmas Markets

FEEL WARM AND COZY AT AN OPEN-AIR MARKET

Christmas markets are Michigan’s best kept secret – and they start well before December.

Head up to Manistee for Old Christmas Weekend.

Live it up in Frankenmuth at ‘ChristKindlMakt’ to get handmade gifts, spiced wine and a magical atmosphere — and all by Bronner’s.

Stay closer to home at Holland’s 25th Kerstmarkt for shopping, food and even dogsled demos.

Bundle up and hit the road to find the best Christmas markets in Michigan.

Kerstmarkt-Christmas-market-Holland-Michigan
Kerstmarkt in Holland

One of a Kind Christmas Events

Looking for something a little different?

These Christmas events are not your usual celebration and are a fun way to get moving this season.

Frederik Meijer Gardens

AN ANNUAL TRADITION FOR MANY WEST MICHIGAN FAMILIES

Frederik Meijer Gardens is known for their many gorgeous displays and gardens. Their annual Christmas & Holiday Traditions exhibit is no exception.

Running just before Thanksgiving until early January, this exhibit showcases over 40 trees decorated in different themes of cultures around the world.

PLUS new for 2022 is the Holiday Light Show. The 20-minute looping, interactive light show will happen outdoors in the Amphitheater. Catch it December 19–23 and 26–30, 2022, with light shows running every half hour, from 6–8 pm.

Tuesdays are really special when Santa visits and Dickens carolers serenade visitors.

Reindeer wait outside on Saturdays for pictures and maybe a nose rub.

No matter what day of the week you visit, awe-inspiring sights await.

Frederik Meijer Gardens Christmas Trees
Christmas Trees at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids

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