How to Enjoy the Holiday Season in West Michigan

ZooLights at Binder Park Zoo

  • Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek transforms into an outdoor winter wonderland adorned in twinkling lights to celebrate the holiday season during their ZooLights event from December 16th to 23rd.
  • Visitors of all ages can wander the lighted paths, visit winter-hardy animals on exhibit, admire the beautiful displays and enjoy free carousel rides.
  • Traditional indoor festivities include dinner with Santa, holiday story time, themed crafts, holiday refreshments and more!
  • And the big man himself will make special appearances each evening prior to Christmas and during the Zoo’s “Dinner with Santa” event.
  • These special evenings will include unlimited FREE carousel rides, FREE train rides, up-close animal meet and greets, seasonal holiday refreshments, special activities, holiday stories, and time with Santa around the fireplace beginning nightly at 6pm in Beulah’s Restaurant.

The Holidays at Grand Rapids Public Museum

  • The Grand Rapids Public Museum has exhibits and events to help you and your family enjoy the holidays.
  • The traveling exhibit Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown explores the making of the animated Peanuts classic. This is included with general admission and even runs through January 29th!
  • From December 17th to January 3rd is the Snowflake Break, when the Grand Rapids Public Museum takes part in a variety of friendly programs and activities themed around history, science and culture.
  • Visitors can make their own themed snowflakes and punched tin to take homes and play a variety of games!
  • Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown is made up of high-quality digital reproductions of Charles M. Schulz’s original Peanuts strips with thematic graphics and features 3D Peanuts novelties. Kids can write to Santa at the interactive letter writing station, and the whole family can take a photo with the iconic Snoopy’s Doghouse outside the exhibit! Visitors see a behind the scenes look at the making of the animated classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Enjoy the holidays with a fair amount of education added in with these Grand Rapids Public Museum’s exhibits and events.

Santa Train, Coopersville

  • On the Coopersville & Marne Railway in Coopersville, the friendly Conductor will call out “all aboard!” every Saturday and Sunday from now until Christmas.
  • The vintage train cars, which date from 1919 to 1932, are all decorated for the holidays.
  • Santa has a special seat and will be in your train car for half of the 90-minute journey through the snow-covered farms, fields and roadways that are along the route.
  • The Storytelling Princess will read children’s Christmas-themed books when Santa is in another train car.
  • The train runs even on snow days, so it’s the perfect way to enjoy these winter days as a family.

Christmas Experience Tour at Deer Tracks Junction

  • Deer Tracks Junction in Cedar Springs becomes even more jolly during the holiday season!
  • Santa will be at Deer Tracks Junction every Wednesday through Sunday from the Day after Thanksgiving until December 24th.
  • We will also have special times during the week before Christmas so be sure to check the schedule.
  • Get your picture with Santa, then head out back and check out all of the cool decorations in the “town”.
  • And be sure to say Howdy to the Grinch and all the “Whos” down in Whos-ville!
  • Your Christmas Experience Package includes the Wildlife Safari Tour with the Grinch where you will get to see and pet our adult wildlife, visiting with Santa, playing on our large outdoor Play area and strolling through all of the beautiful Christmas Decorations.
  • You can warm up with some yummy hot cocoa or coffee for sale at our indoor Plop Plop Ice Cream Shop or enjoy some of our delicious Farm Fresh Ice Cream.
  • You do need to make reservations, and can on the Deer Tracks Junction website.