9 Places to Celebrate Christmas in Central West Michigan

Enjoy holiday festivities throughout central West Michigan – including festivals, parades, and even a Santa train!

1. Muskegon

Muskegon’s Lakeshore Museum Center is offering Holiday Tours of the area’s Hackley and Hume Houses. Starting November 27th, visitors can enjoy a walk-through tour and experience these historic houses beautifully decorated for the holidays.

The Muskegon Museum of Art’s outdoor holiday event, Festival of Wreaths, spreads the holiday spirit throughout downtown Muskegon through December 5th. Participants can take a “wreath walk” to find and view designer wreaths on display at participating businesses. Each participating downtown business or organization hosts a designer wreath provided by the MMA in a window facing the street or sidewalk.

Celebrating its 36th annual season, “America’s Tallest Singing Christmas Tree”, presented by the Mona Shores High School Choir and Orchestra, is the premier way to kick off your holiday season. Over 200 enthusiastic performing arts students sing and play an eclectic mix of seasonal favorites from a wide variety of genres while standing in a 67’ tree covered with over 25,000 lights…it is simply spectacular!

2. White Lake

On December 4th, Santa’s coming to White Lake! Don’t miss the area’s Annual Christmas Parade in downtown Montague and Whitehall, kicking off at 2pm. With over 50 entries, this parade is a very special slice of “small town America” and a great way to celebrate this holiday season with family, friends, and neighbors. Stay to the end to see Santa make his entrance as the grand finale!

3. Newaygo

Head to Newaygo on Friday, December 3rd for the area’s Christmas Walk. This unique hometown experience is like no other, with twinkling lights, horse-drawn wagon rides, the smell of fresh roasted chestnuts, and the sounds of Christmas carols. Area merchants will have special sales and goodies for shoppers, and local churches will have food and activities for the whole family. It all kicks off at 6pm!

The Colors of Christmas is a free, dazzling light display in Newaygo County you won’t want to miss! Since 2016, Colors of Christmas has sought to share the holiday spirit with all, and has grown to be a wonderland of lights and light displays! Walk or drive through the campground and enjoy the lights and displays starting November 26th through January 1st.

4. Lowell

Saturday, December 4th, Lowell will host their Christmas Festivities! During the day, enjoy shopping throughout Lowell, an art and craft holiday sale, a live nativity scene, Rudolph’s Craft Workshop, visits with Santa Claus, and a pancake dinner at the fairgrounds. Then, at 6pm, the Annual Night-time Santa Parade will conclude the full day of holiday fun – this year’s parade theme is Light it Up with the Magic of Christmas! You won’t want to miss it.

5. Ludington

Satisfy your sweet tooth by engaging in the annual cookie walk on December 11th at businesses in Downtown Ludington. With the purchase of your ticket, you’ll be able to travel to each of the participating stores, and pick up a cookie at every location. What a fun way to celebrate the season and have some sweets for your holiday gatherings!

Load up the family in the car and take a light tour of Mason County’s festive decorations! You can view outdoor decorations and lights, and even vote for your favorite. The Deck the Halls contest runs December 1st-27th, giving you lots of chances to return to this old-fashioned Christmas tradition.

6. Holland

Sinterklaas Eve is happening on Friday, December 3rd. Head to Eighth Street Marketplace in Holland to learn about the tradition of Sinterklaas, the benevolent Dutch St. Nicholas. Pose for photos and even get a special surprise from his helpers!

Join the Holland Symphony Orchestra on December 11th for a festive concert featuring seasonal light classics, traditional carols, and holiday pops. It’s all happening at Dimnent Chapel on the campus of Hope College.

7. Rodney

This Christmas, see the story of the nativity come to life at CranHill Ranch’s Star of Wonder: Journey to the Manger on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th. This drive-thru, live nativity is complete with actors, animals, lights, and narration. Enjoy this free event with the whole family, as you remember the story of Christmas!

8. Grand Rapids

Enter a winter wonderland, illuminated by 300,000 lights and filled with the sights and sounds of 46 cultural displays. The University of Michigan Health-West Christmas & Holiday Traditions exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens marks the 27th year of their annual horticulture exhibition honoring the role music, bells, gongs, whistles, and animals play in treasured holiday celebrations.

Celebrate the holiday season at RedRock Grille’s annual Santa Brunch, happening Sunday, December 19th! Join them for a family-friendly brunch with Kris Kringle himself. Enjoy a delicious buffet, cookie decorating, and a hot chocolate bar. Don’t forget to get your photo with Santa Claus while you’re there!

9. Coopersville

The Coopersville & Marne Railway’s Santa Train will be taking to the rails again this month. This family friendly event has become an annual tradition for many in West Michigan, and includes a 90-minute trip on the vintage train from Coopersville to Marne and back. During the trip, a storytelling Princess will read the ‘Polar Express’ and kids will be able to look for special Christmas symbols located along the route. Each child will also have an opportunity to talk directly to Santa Claus using a special direct video connection. In addition, each child receives a toy by which to remember their journey on the Santa Train.


See where you can find Santa around West Michigan this season!

Check out our West Michigan Holiday Gift Guide for ideas for everyone on your list.