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2022 December Michigan Holiday Events Calendar: Parties, Activities and Things to DO

2022 December Michigan Holiday Events Calendar: Parties, Activities and Things to DO

December in Michigan is a busy time: there are so many things to do in Michigan in December! The start of December marks the peak of the holiday season and all of Michigan is full of cheer. Activities all across the state will leave you humming Christmas carols, craving candy canes and holiday sweets, and the sweet smell of pines.

From downtown Detroit to the Mackinac Straits, there is plenty of holiday fun to be had in every corner of Michigan, including family-friendly activities and 21+ craft beer and wine outings.

Read on for some of the BEST Michigan Holiday Events and Things to Do.

December Michigan Events and Things to do in Michigan in December

TOP 2022 Guide of December Michigan Calendar of Events, Festivals, Arts Fairs, Christmas Lights, BEST Things to Do in Michigan This Winter, Upcoming New Years Eve, Christmas and Holiday Activities This Weekend

From holiday bar crawls and Christmas ugly sweater contests, to holidays farmers markets and visiting with Santa, the lists of Michigan holiday events and things to do in December are endless. We’ll start with our list of 21+ holiday events and things to do.

Official Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl in Detroit

Greektown Casino, 1211 Chrysler Dr., Detroit

Grab your friends, don your ugliest Christmas sweaters and head for the Greektown in downtown Detroit for the sixth annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl on December 11 and again on December 18.

New Years Eve Resolution Ball in Detroit

The Masonic Detroit, 500 Temple St, Detroit, MI

Billed as the BEST New Year’s Eve event in Michigan, this Chicago-Vegas Style New Year’s experience is held at the beautiful Masonic temple in downtown Detroit. Entertainment includes Cirque-Style acrobat stage performers, stage dancers & roaming performers a midnight blowout balloon drop and confetti storm.

Holiday Wine Affair in Leland

302 River Street, Leland, Michigan 49654

Try your favorite wines paired with festive bites, selected with your holiday meals in mind, just in time to stock up for the holidays.

Michigan December Events and Things to Do

December | December Michigan Holiday Events Calendar

Best Events and Things to Do in December in Michigan

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124‑5029

Immerse yourself in all the sights, sounds, and smells of the Christmas season at Greenfield Village in Dearborn during Holiday Nights. On weekends throughout December, take a walk through history while sipping on a warm beverage as festive music fills the air, courtesy of fiddlers and carolers. Stroll down Main Street or relax on a historic Model T or classic horse-drawn carriage ride. Engage with centuries worth of tradition as part of your own holiday routine.

Insider Tip: Buy tickets early, this event is highly popular and tickets disappear quickly.

Detroit Zoo: Wild Lights

8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067

In Royal Oak, the animals at the Detroit Zoo begin to prepare for the winter, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had at the zoo. Throughout December, Wild Lights, the Detroit Zoo’s annual holiday light display will become a beautiful and popular holiday destination. You can expect to see lights all over the zoo, from trees to buildings, and even specially-made sculptures.

See our complete guide to the Detroit Zoo’s Wild Lights show here.

Insider Tip: Be sure to purchase tickets in advance as walk-up admission will not be available this season.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Concert

130 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Always near instantly-recognizable, Trans-Siberian Orchestra has become a staple of holiday music. TSO breaks the boundaries of what we think of when we imagine Christmas music by reimagining slow, soft melodies as rock opera jams, and on December 28, you can see the spectacle for yourself in Detroit at Little Caesars Arena. Book tickets for yourself and see just how rockin’ the holiday season can be.

Insider Tip: TSO likes to rock hard and loud, so bringing earplugs can help you enjoy the show without putting your hearing at risk. Trust us – you’ll still hear everything!

Detroit Red Wings Hockey

Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Dates and Ticket Prices Vary

Winter is here, which means winter sports are in full swing. Hockey is one of Michigan’s favorite sports and the Red Wings are the pride of Detroit. This season, the Red Wings are really stepping up their game this season, so take advantage of the good fortune and support the Red Wings this December.

Insider Tip: Seats between the blue lines are always in high demand and likely more expensive, but if you snag a seat in the corner at mid-level, you’ll be able to see just as much for less.

Best Things to Do in Frankenmuth in December

Christmas in Frankenmuth is a Hallmark movie come to life, with fun things to do all season long.

Tis the Season Weekends

Frankenmuth River Place Shops, 925 South Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

‘Tis the Season Weekends continue into December at Frankenmuth’s River Place Shops. Engage with all the holiday cheer with activities including Santa and Mrs Claus visits, caroling, and plenty of holiday shopping bargains. This ongoing event is fun for all ages and well worth making a weekend out of. Stay at Zehnder’s or the Bavarian Inn to enjoy the fun of the indoor water park after a day out shopping ‘till you drop.

Insider Tip: Take some time for a stroll around Frankenmuth at night to enjoy all the festive holiday lights. At this time of year, Frankenmuth looks like it belongs in a Christmas movie.

Breakfast or Lunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Zehnder’s

730 S Main St, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

On December 4th, Santa and Mrs. Claus come to town to dine at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth – and you’re invited. For both breakfast and lunch, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Zehnder’s and available for pictures and holiday fun. Make reservations to enjoy a delicious Zehnder’s meal and some hot chocolate with a little added Christmas magic.

Insider Tip: Children in attendance will receive a small gift from Santa himself, but keep it a secret for a magical and memorable surprise.

12 Days of Christmas Shopping in Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth River Place Shops, 925 South Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

For the first 12 days of December, Frankenmuth River Place Shops are offering a special sale. With these doorbuster deals, you can do your Christmas shopping as you’re immersed in the spirit of the holidays. Enjoy Christmas music, beautiful decorations, and plenty of great holiday shopping deals across over 40 shops.

Insider Tip: Keep an eye on participating stores to know what you might want. That way, when you get there, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for and will be more likely to find it.

Best Things to Do in West Michigan in December

Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey

130 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Dates and Ticket Prices Vary
If you can’t see a Red Wings game in Detroit, what’s the next best thing? The Grand Rapids Griffins! The Griffins are a fantastic AHL team with plenty of skill and talent, which makes them wildly fun to watch. Any west Michigan hockey fan knows the Griffins are amazing in their own right and deserve more love. If you can’t make it to an NHL game, the AHL is a solid alternative, especially when you’re watching the Griffins.

Insider Tip: The Griffins are the AHL affiliate team for the Red Wings, meaning Detroit pulls players from Grand Rapids to play at the NHL level. Because of this, the Griffins are highly skilled, nearly as good as the Red Wings, but the price on tickets is much lower.

West Michigan Beer Tours

In winter, Michigan’s craft beer circle thrives. West Michigan is known to be a haven for craft beer and in Kalamazoo, there’s much to explore. For December, the walking tour gets a holiday makeover with special Holiday Beer Shopping & Brewery Tours. Of course, participants must be 21 or older, but anyone over 21 who loves beer simply shouldn’t miss out on this wonderful fusion of holidays and hops.

Insider Tip: Take advantage of West Michigan West Michigan Beer Tours’s exclusive room rate at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Downtown Kalamazoo and make a weekend out of the tour so you can visit more of the breweries, bars, restaurants, and shops Kalamazoo has to offer.

Spring Lake Sparkle Festival

Downtown Spring Lake MI

In west Michigan, Spring Lake’s holiday displays light up the downtown area with hundreds of twinkling lights and its winter wonderland of holiday lights, sights, and sounds. Over 120,000 multi-colored lights will light up the trees lining Savidge Street between Division and Buchanan at this favorite holiday event, as well as the buildings along Savidge.

Best Things to Do in Northern Michigan in December

Black Star Farms Brunch with Santa

0844 E Revold Rd, Suttons Bay, MI 49682

The holiday spirit just isn’t complete without Santa. At Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, a special Brunch with Santa event is available on December 11. Enjoy the gorgeous scenery of northern Michigan in the wintertime and embrace the magic of the holidays. Bring the kids and snap that priceless photo with Santa as he listens to their Christmas lists.

Insider Tip: A cash bar will be available for mimosas and wine by the glass or bottle for those looking for a more literal Christmas spirit.

Downtown Traverse City Ladies’ Shopping Night/Men’s Shopping Night

Shopping in Downtown Traverse City is a treat, especially when you can get all the guys or girls out together. Luckily, TC has planned for just that, with December 9 being Ladies Shopping Night, and December 16 being for the lads. Support local businesses and have plenty of fun while shopping for unique holiday gifts among your best guys or best gals.

Insider Tip: For those looking for a deal, know that special discounts will be decided by local businesses for each shopping event.

A Colonial Christmas

106 W Straits Ave, Mackinaw City, MI 49701
Explore the Christmas traditions of the 17th and 18th centuries at Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City on December 11. Here, the historic colonial era lives on through tradition, reenactment, and preservation. Visit the fort for an exciting and immersive holiday experience with storytellers reciting the tale of the first Christmas at Mackinac in 1679 and an 18th century Christmas Mass display at Ste. Anne’s.

Insider Tip: Bundle up! Michilimackinac may be a fort, but much of the property is still outdoors.

Best Things to Do in Mid-Michigan in December

27th Annual Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo

1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

If you love Christmas lights and you love the zoo, this is a great place to visit during December. See the thousands of lights that make up an extraordinary holiday display in Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo. Throughout the zoo, lights will amaze the eyes while holiday music will please the ears.

Insider Tip: Don’t forget to grab a goodie bag for the kids to take home with you on your way out.

Chippewa Nature Center Outdoor Fun

400 S Badour Rd, Midland, MI 48640
All month long the Chippewa Nature Center has events centered around getting outside in the winter wonderland, even as the days get shorter and colder. Spending time outside in Michigan winter can be daunting, but also exciting and fun. Check out events like “Celebrating the Winter Solstice,” the “Full Moon Stroll,” or the “Forest Night Hike” to see Michigan’s winter like you’ve never seen it before.

Insider Tip: Check the calendar on the Chippewa Nature Center’s website to see all events and plan your next outing.

Reindeer Games

Downtown Howell, Corner of Michigan Ave. & Grand River Ave., Howell, Michigan, 48843

Rudolph may have been excluded from the Reindeer games, but at this Howell Christmas event, the reindeer games are open to everyone. This team scavenger hunt is open on both December 17 and 19 and will take you around town and have you compete in fun challenges to win a prize. Competitive or not, this is a fun way for the whole family to get out of the house this month.

Insider Tip: For extra fun, split your group into two teams and compete against each other for the title of ultimate holiday champion.

Find Exciting Michigan Holiday Parades

Who doesn’t love a good holiday light parade to lift the spirits? There are plenty of holiday and Christmas Parades to check out all across Michigan this year. Who knows, you might get to meet Santa in a horse-drawn sleigh. Here is our list of must-see Michigan parades for the holiday season.

Marquette Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting

Marquette, MI
December 2nd

Kentwood Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Parade
Kentwood, MI

December 2nd

Annual Christmas Whootville Parade
Saugatuck, MI
December 4th

Reindog Holiday Parade
St. Joseph
December 4th

Jingle Bell Parade
Grand Haven
December 4th

See Christmas Tree Lightings in Michigan

Christmas tree lightings are magical and special. They awaken the holiday spirit of entire towns with their soft glow against the dark December skies and there’s simply nothing else like them. Here are some Christmas tree lightings you should check out in Michigan.

See our complete guide to Christmas tree lighting here.

Marquette Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting
Marquette, MI
December 2nd

Hudsonville Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
Hudsonville, MI
December 2nd

Kentwood Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Parade
Kentwood, MI
December 2nd

Wixom Tree Lighting Festival
Wixom, MI
December 3rd

Downtown Auburn Hills Tree Lighting Ceremony
Auburn Hills, MI|
December 3rd

Macomb Holiday Lighting Fest
Macomb, MI
December 3rd

Lexington Christmas Tree Lighting & Merchant Walk
Lexington, MI
December 4th

Christmas in Mulliken Tree Lighting
Mulliken, MI
December 4th

Celebrate New years Eve in Michigan