Santa Sightings

Santa’s big day is coming up! Be sure he knows what’s on your wish list with these special letter drop off spots, virtual visits, and Santa sightings around West Michigan. 

Please note that the below information was accurate at the time of publication. You are encouraged to confirm with locations before visiting and follow guidelines for traveling safely in West Michigan. 

St. Joseph (South) 

Even though Santa has to stay in the North Pole this year, St. Joseph Today wanted to ensure everyone’s letters and wishlists got to the man in red. Santa’s House will still take its spot on the corner of State and Pleasant Streets to serve as a drop off for letters to Santa through December 24th. Mrs. Claus has also offered to read some of her favorite books with weekly videos for the Storytime with Mrs. Claus series.

Coldwater (South)

Enjoy the sights and sounds of a steam engine train in the winter with a ride aboard The Holiday Express at Coldwater Country’s Little River Railroad. Visit with Santa on the train, enjoy holiday treats, and a Christmas tour of the depot. Saturdays and Sundays, December 5 & 6, 12 & 13. Tickets are available online. Make your reservations early, these events will likely sell out.

Battle Creek (South)

Write a letter to Santa and drop it off in the mailbox at the Battle Creek Welcome Center and Santa will write you back! While in downtown Battle Creek, it’s also a good time to check out the International Festival of Lights. Displays are set up throughout downtown, from the 12 Days of Christmas along the river to a coordinated light show in Mill Race Park.


Kalamazoo (South)

Santa’s Workshop, presented by the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo, is a magical place filled with little animated elves, twinkling lights, and a jolly old soul! Stop by to give Santa your Christmas wish list Thursdays through Sundays between December 5th-24th. Find updated event and safety information on the Facebook event page


Coopersville (Central) 

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.  


Grand Rapids (Central) 

When you visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum this month, find 15 historic Santas from around the World in the Streets of Old Grand Rapids, and 12 whimsical elves hidden throughout the three floors of the museum. The Santa & Elf Hunt is included with general admission. 

Enjoy a family-fun experience with the Grand Rapids Public Museum Santa virtually! Santa can visit families virtually through a live Zoom chat or downloadable video message to the kids or entire family. Santa will be making 10 minute, live Zoom calls to families at a pre-scheduled time, or families have the option to receive a downloadable customized video message directly from Santa. Visit the GRPM website for more information.

Sparta (Central)

Someone very famous is setting up shop in Sparta. That’s right, Mr. Santa Claus himself is setting up shop in 201 E. Division. Along with helping him set up his Sparta Division Office, the Sparta Chamber of Commerce is also helping him get letters from all the boys and girls in Sparta through December 15th. To ensure there will be enough time for a response from Santa, please drop off your letters no later than December 15th.

Newaygo (Central)

Santa will be in Newaygo on Friday, December 4th during the annual Christmas Walk. Santa & Mrs. Claus will also be at the Charles Smith Memorial Park for the Hometown Holiday in White Cloud on Saturday, December 19th with take home arts & crafts, horse & wagon rides, a hot cocoa bar, an ice skating rink, and more. Find more event information and updates on the River Country Community Calendar.

Big Rapids (Central)

2020 has Santa sightings looking a little different for the holiday season but you can still spot him around Mecosta County. More information about catching Santa downtown can be found on the Community Events Calendar.

Suttons Bay (North)

This year the Inn at Black Star Farms will welcome guests for a drive-through visit with Santa. From the safety of your open car windows, children can share their wish lists with Santa, who will be seated on his front porch wearing a face shield. While wish lists are being shared, pop your trunk, and Santa’s elves will load brunch into your car to enjoy safely at home with your family. Visit Black Star Farms online for more details. 

Charlevoix (North)

Enjoy fun holiday activities with Santa from the comfort of your home! Castle Farms in Charlevoix will be hosting virtual Santa’s Workshop events. For more info click here.

Harbor Springs (North)

Drop your letter to Santa at the dedicated mailbox located at the Harbor Springs Lyric Theater through December 17th and Santa will send a letter back! Remember to include your name and address so that Santa will know exactly where to send his reply.

Click here for more Christmas celebrations happening this month.