It’s that time of the year when kids (and adults) around the world are creating their lists, while Santa is checking his. Santa wants to make sure he has it all straightened out: who’s naughty, and who’s nice? Everybody else, on the other hand, is jotting down what they hope to find under the tree come December 25th. All over West Michigan, Santa is stopping by and lending his ear to listen to what everybody wants for Christmas this year.
Santa Sightings in West Michigan’s South Region
There’s a rumor going around that Santa himself will be swinging by Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo on Christmas Eve to grab a pint before heading off with his reindeer for a night of delivering presents and spreading joy. Come enjoy a frothy beverage with him, and if you’re nice, he may even pose for a picture with you!
Round Barn Winery in Baroda is hosting its annual “Sippin’ with Santa Toy Drive” on December 3rd. Partnering with the New Buffalo chapter of Toys for Tots, the Round Barn owners and staff are delighted to give back to the local community that has supported them for the last 24 years. Donate a new, unwrapped toy (or $5 suggested donation for Toys for Tots) and help Round Barn make some Christmas wishes come true. Your donation will score the kids some quality time with the Man in Red so remember to bring your cameras to capture the sweet moment. Toys for Tots will have an additional donation bin at the Round Barn Union Pier Tasting Room location throughout the month of December.
Get ready for Christmas by visiting Santa in Marshall. The big man will be all over the Marshall area from December 2nd to 23rd, jumping between various spots. Visit the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance’s website to see a full list of where he’ll be, and don’t forget to bring your camera and wishlist!
Coldwater Country is having Santa stop by to ensure that he has a chance to meet with as many people as possible before his big voyage! A perfect opportunity to meet with him is at the Quincy Fire Station on December 2nd when he takes part in the Quincy Lights. He’ll be around throughout the month as he enjoys treats and takes note of what he needs to bring come December 25th.
Santa will be making several appearances throughout downtown Hastings during the holiday season. Have cookies with Santa on December 3rd at the Hastings Public Library or see him at the Hastings Christmas Parade on the same day. On December 4th, enjoy a free pancake breakfast with Santa in the Jingle Bell Event Tent downtown. Santa will be all over downtown Hastings, so get in the holiday spirit and go find him!
St. Joseph Today has a house dedicated to Santa in addition to featuring him in the 18th Annual Reindog Parade! Thursdays through Sundays between December 3rd and 23rd, Santa will be in downtown St. Joseph to meet and take photos. The house is at the corner of State and Pleasant Streets. If you want to see a dog version of Santa, the Reindog Parade on December 3rd is a must see. Owners will be dressing up their pets in costumes, so you’re sure to see a “Santa Bernard” walking the streets. Whether you want to meet the jolly old Santa that we know and love, or you want to pet a dog version of him, St. Joseph has you covered!
Santa Sightings in West Michigan’s Central Region
Robinette’s in Grand Rapids is hosting Santa and his reindeer on December 3rd from noon to 3pm. Tell Santa what you want for Christmas before bringing the reindeer a much needed treat. They’re preparing for their trip around the globe, so make sure that you see them before they go!
The Downtown Market in Grand Rapids is hosting their Winter Wonderland Open House on Wednesday, December 7th. Experience the magic of the season and enjoy special offers from their Market Hall merchants. In addition to delicious food and holiday shopping, Santa will be at their greenhouse! Bring your wishlist and share with Santa what you want him to bring you this year.
Wheelhouse in Grand Rapids is having a brunch with Santa on December 10th, 11th, and 18th. This is a family-friendly event featuring a delicious buffet-style brunch from their Executive Chef Andrew Alcid, free photos with Santa, Christmas cookie decorating, and more! Experience the magic of the holiday season at Wheelhouse and book your brunch today.
Deer Tracks Junction in Cedar Springs becomes even more jolly during the holiday season! Come and visit Who-ville where you’ll see the Grinch, Max and CIndy-Lou in addition to Santa himself! Don’t forget your camera, so that you can take plenty of pictures with Santa! Whether it’s your first time or this is a long running family tradition, it’s always a fun time at Deer Tracks Junction.
You’ll find yourself on a train with Santa if you visit the Coopersville & Marne Railway in Coopersville during the month of December! Every Saturday and Sunday until Christmas, Santa will have a special seat on this 90-minute journey through the snow-covered farms, fields, and roadways along the route. The train runs even on snowiest of days, creating the perfect winter atmosphere to read your wishlist to Santa.
Santa will be at Double JJ Resort in Rothbury on December 17th. The magic of Santa will delight the children, and a photographer will be available to capture the enchantment in your child’s eyes. Throughout the afternoon, there will varied activities for the children including the Wooden Nickel Arcade, bounce house, mechanical bull (ages 8 and up), karaoke, and craft corner. Rustler’s Roost will be open so the family can enjoy a meal or snack. This is sure to be fun for the entire family, and a great opportunity to get a photo with Santa!
Join the Grand Rapids Public Museum for Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 3rd! Families will enjoy a special holiday breakfast in the Museum, have their photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus, go on an elf hunt, see Let it Snow, the musuem’s holiday themed planetarium show, and visit the Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown traveling exhibit. This is sure to get your family in the holiday mood and give you a chance to get a picture with Santa.
Santa is planning on spending a lot of time in Holland this December! The Dutch Winterfest will feature the big man himself as you enjoy the Parade of Lights, carolers, open-air Christmas Market and more from now until December 18th. One place that you’re sure to find him is at Santa’s House located at Carolyn Stich Studio between now and Christmas Eve. These fan favorite holiday traditions will be a hit with your whole family, but be sure to bring your camera and wishlist!
Santa will be in Muskegon County throughout the month of December starting with two family fun events on December 3rd. The 13th Annual Holidays in Lakeside will feature a visit from Santa, sleigh rides, merchant sales, a free movie and more. The Circle of Trees is on December 6th in the festively decorated Walker Park. There is a tree lighting ceremony followed by a visit from Santa. Lastly, grab a delicious brunch with Santa at the SE4SONS Gastropub at Muskegon Country Club on December 18th. You’ll be seeing a lot of Santa during the month of December as he makes his way through Muskegon County, meeting with as many families as he can!
Santa Claus is coming to town at the 64th Annual White Lake Area Christmas Parade! On Saturday, December 3rd, over 50 participants will line up and follow the parade route from Whitehall to Montague along Business 31/Colby Street. See floats from area churches, civic organizations, businesses and area neighbors. As the Grand Finale, Santa will make his entrance with a horse drawn carriage. He will be eager to see children of all ages following the parade at his house outside Montague City Hall located on Ferry Street. Children can visit Santa at his Montague house on Fridays and Saturdays in December.
Santa Sightings in West Michigan’s North Region
Surely Santa is visiting Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City for a healthy mix of visiting with children and enjoying the water park, right? Either way, you can see him there on December 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, and 16th through 23rd when he’ll be entertaining with a storytime at 8pm each of those evenings, in addition to meeting to hear about wishlists.
Santa loves Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire! He’ll be spending a good amount of time there before his big trip on the 25th. On December 17th, he’ll be having breakfast at Shanty Creek as well as dinner at their annual Tannenbaum Blitzen fundraiser. The same day, Santa will be coming down the chairlift on Schuss Mountain for the torchlight parade followed by a reveal of this year’s Christmas tree! He’ll also be reading stories to kids on December 23rd and hitting the slopes on December 25th after a long day’s work. As a gift to you, ski for free that day! In his free time, Santa will be spending plenty of time at Shanty Creek Resorts this holiday season.
Stop by Castle Farms in Charlevoix to see if you can find Santa! There are rumors that he will be checking his model train collection on December 3rd and 4th, so bring the whole family to this train extravaganza! This family friendly event includes interactive trains, train rides for the little ones and pictures with with Santa. This holiday wonderland is a great time for families to visit with Santa and put everybody in the holiday spirit.
Bellaire comes alive with a visit from Santa during their 7th Annual Light Up the Night event on December 3rd. In addition to the usual craft show, soup cook off and tree lighting, Santa will be visiting after their Parade of Lights. He’ll lend you his ear so that you can tell him what to pack in the sleigh for you when he stops by your home later this month.
The Petoskey Area has decked the halls and brought a special guest for everybody to see! On Saturday, December 3rd, Santa heads to Harbor Springs for the annual Merchants Holiday Open House with live music, treats and even more holiday cheer. Meet the guest of honor and let him look over your wishlist!
If you’re looking for more Christmas celebrations, check out this helpful guide that will take you to the jolliest places and events in West Michigan!