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 everyone wants for Christmas this year.
Santa Sightings in Southern West Michigan
Santa is coming to St. Joseph with the Inn at Harbor Shores’ Brunch with Santa on Sunday, December 10th from 9am to 2pm. The buffet will include carving stations for turkey and smoked brisket, pasta, mashed potatoes, stuffing, smoked fish, salad bar, and an omelet and waffle stations. Feast upon all the breakfast foods you could ask for while spending time with the big man himself.
Picture perfect holiday fun is available weekends in December in downtown St. Joseph. Santa’s house will be located on the corner of State and Pleasant Streets, and he’ll be check everybody’s wish lists to make sure that he brings exactly what they want come Christmas Day. Santa’s House is open Thursdays through Sundays from December 2nd to 23rd.
Cornwell’s Turkeyville in Marshall is hosting a Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 2nd. The kids breakfast includes cookie-sized pancakes with your choice of turkey sausage or turkey bacon and a drink. An adult meal option is available as well. A photographer will be on-site to take your family’s photo with Santa.
The Boulevard Inn & Bistro in St. Joseph is hosting Sundays with Santa on December 3rd, 10th, and 17th. Treat your child to a magical brunch, telling Santa their wishes, picking their favorite foods from the special buffet, and decorating their own cookies.
The Michigan Flywheelers Museum will hold Christmas at the Flywheelers on December 8th and 15th at their museum in South Haven, featuring a visit from Santa. The old-fashion holiday event also includes lighted outdoor displays, holiday music, and kids’ craft workshops. It’s been five years since the museum last held this event, and museum members have been busy since September decorating the grounds, expanding displays, and adding more lighted exhibits.
There will be plenty of Santa sighting in Hastings during the city’s annual Jingle & Mingle holiday event from December 1st to 3rd. Children and the young at heart can visit the Jolly Old Elf at various locations throughout downtown during the weekend. Santa will also make an appearance amid the lights, music, and excitement of the annual Hastings Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 2nd.
Round Barn Winery in Baroda hosts their 5th Annual Sippin’ with Santa on Saturday, December 2nd to collect toys for less fortunate children, and share in the holiday spirit. For the fifth year, Round Barn Winery will be partnering with the New Buffalo Toys for Tots chapter to make sure all the children in the community have something to unwrap on Christmas morning. Each year, over 250 kids come to the winery to score some precious time with Santa as he makes a special stop at the Round Barn!
Experience wintry evenings at Binder Park Zoo with Zoolights from December 15th to 23rd. Stroll along lighted paths with nightly entertainment as you view some of the weather-hardy animals on exhibit enjoying the winter season. These special evenings will include unlimited free carousel rides, up-close animal meet and greets, special holiday activities, time with Santa and his animal friends, and storytime with Mrs. Claus. There’s also Dinner with Santa each night. This is a special opportunity for your child to make sure Santa gets their wish list and for families to share a meal together in a unique setting.
Santa will be stopping by 12 Corners Vineyards in Benton Harbor on Saturday, December 9th. His vehicle of choice for this visit is a vintage sleigh, which makes for a great photo op. Kids and families are welcome to bring their list, and meet Mr. Claus before he heads out on his holiday mission.
Crane’s Pie Restaurant Winery in Fennville is hosting a visit from Santa and cookie decorating on Saturday, December 16th from noon to 4pm. Let Santa know what you want for Christmas, and decorate a cookie to celebrate the holiday season. If you have time, decorate a cookie for Santa to try and stay on the nice list!
Arcadia Brewing Company in Kalamazoo is hosting an Ugly Sweater Party on Thursday, December 21st with a special appearance by Santa himself! Come for the party, but don’t forget to let Santa know what you want for Christmas. If you need to get a gift for somebody on your list, stop into the gift shop before you go, and get your favorite beer-lover some Arcadia merchandise, gift card, brewery tour and tasting, and more.
Santa will be in River Country as part of their Main Street Holiday Strolls. On each Friday in December, leading up to Christmas, these themed evening events feature shopping and restaurant promotions in addition to “night out” activities. The stroll on Friday, December 8th includes a visit from Santa! Bring your list, and enjoy an evening downtown.
Santa will be spending a lot of time in Coldwater this Christmas. The fun kicks off at the Quincy Lights on Friday, December 1st, where Santa will be hanging out at the Quincy Fire Station. Head to downtown Coldwater on Saturday, December 2nd for the annual Christmas Parade and Santaland. Enjoy tree-lit streets, bands playing Christmas carols, children anxiously awaiting a glimpse of Santa, and more during this magical time of the year in Coldwater.
Santa Sightings in Central West Michigan
Santa’s Holiday Wonderland is the perfect way to put you in the holiday spirit. Santa arrives in downtown Holland escorted by bands, floats, vehicles and more, all decked out in thousands of sparkling holiday lights! Over 80 entries will illuminate the streets of Downtown Holland during this procession. The parade begins at Eighth Street and Columbia Avenue and continues on to the Eighth Street Market Place, home of the Holiday Kerstmarkt.
The Holiday Brunch with Santa at Muskegon Country Club and SE4SONS Gastropub is a family-favorite every year! This year’s event is Sunday, December 17th from 11am to 2pm, and features an extensive menu, including fan-favorites like fresh pastries, seared chicken, a kids buffet, and more. Reservations are required and fill up fast, so make yours today!
Visit Muskegon County on Saturday, December 2nd to see over 80 participants in the White Lake Christmas Parade! The annual parade promises to be even more exciting with 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 for regular hours on Fridays and Saturdays throughout December, giving them plenty of time to make wishlists heard.
The Grand Rapids Public Museum will once again be hosting Breakfast with Santa for families this December. The program offers a special opportunity for families to enjoy a holiday breakfast, as well as take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the museum on Saturday, December 2nd. Breakfast with Santa is an exclusive event for only 200 people to skip the lines and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, as well as enjoy a holiday breakfast at the museum. Tickets include this experience, a free planetarium show Let it Snow, admission to the Brain: The World Inside Your Head exhibit, and general admission for the day.
Stop by the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids to visit the big guy himself on December 15th and 16th! Bring your wishlist to ensure you land on his nice list this year. Afterwards, shop at the market or enjoy a nice meal from one of the many vendors.
Santa and his reindeer are coming to Robinette’s in Grand Rapids on Saturday, December 2nd to meet with all the good boys and girls, and take a note of what they want for Christmas. After your meeting with Santa, grab one of Robinette’s delicious donuts, apples, or ciders for the road!
It’s Christmas time in Grand Rapids, and Santa Claus is coming to town! Wheelhouse is hosting its second annual Brunch with Santa event on December 16th and 17th from 9am to 3pm. This is a family-friendly event features a delicious buffet-style brunch from Wheelhouse’s Executive Chef Andrew Alcid, free photos with Santa, Grand Rapids Ballet Dancers, Christmas cookie decorating, and more. Experience the magic of the holiday season at Wheelhouse, and book your brunch today!
Visit Catch Air in Grand Rapids as Santa joins the fun on Friday, December 8th. Let Santa know what you want this year, while having fun at your favorite place. Seeing Santa is free with your admission. Just don’t forget to bring your camera and wishlist!
The 74th Annual Santa Parade through downtown Rockford is Saturday, December 2nd. After the parade concludes at noon, Santa visits and carriage rides will be available at the Rotary Pavilion. Santa will be there on December 6th, 8th, 13th, and 15th to hear wishlists from all the good boys and girls. Meet Santa and let him know what you want under the Christmas tree when he spends time in Rockford.
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.
Tour guests will be able to meet Santa at Deer Tracks Junction in Cedar Springs every Wednesday through Sunday from now through December 24th. The junction will also have special times during the week before Christmas, so be sure to check their schedule. Bring your camera to take pictures with Santa, then head out back and check out all of the cool decorations around the junction.
Nelis’ Dutch Village in Holland presents its annual Sinterklaas Storytime at 11am and 1pm on Saturday, December 2nd with free cookies and cider for all. The Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) annual celebration in the Netherlands begins in mid-November and reaches its peak on Sinterklaas day, which is December 6th.
Santa is going to be all over Mecosta County before his trip around the world. Between December 2nd and 17th, he’ll be stopping by local businesses to meet with kids about their wishlists. Take photos and get some holiday shopping in afterwards as you prepare for one of the jolliest times of the year.
Santa Sightings in Northern West Michigan
Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville is hosting their annual Ski with Santa event on Sunday, December 24th. Join Santa for some on-hill fun as he hits the slopes with all the good boys and girls before he heads off to deliver gifts all night!
Visit the Inn at Bay Harbor in Bay Harbor for a fun and festive breakfast with Santa in the Sagamore Room on Saturday, December 23rd from 9am to 11am! They’ll be serving a generous breakfast buffet, including made-to-order eggs and omelettes, waffles, pancakes, breakfast meats and more.
Stop by Castle Farms in Charlevoix to see if you can find Santa! Their event Story Time with Santa is December 2nd, 3rd, 9th, and 10th. Here, groups of kids spend an hour with Santa while he reads them a story. They also make a craft, receive a gift, snack on cocoa and cookies, and get a professional portrait with Santa.
Santa loves Shanty Creek Resorts! He makes it a point to visit frequently during the holiday season. Head to Shanty Creek for the weekend prior to Christmas when Santa visits to read holiday classics during Storytime with Santa on Friday, December 22nd from 7pm to 8pm. Stay for the weekend and get more time with the big guy! The next morning on Saturday, December 23rd, have breakfast with Santa, and then later that same day, celebrate the season with the annual Tannenbaum Blitzen. That evening, Santa will take part in the Torchlight Parade, making a grand entrance down Schuss Mountain. Santa rounds out the holiday season on the slopes of Schuss Mountain with a day of free skiing on Christmas day.