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Village of Ashley Country Christmas 2023

santa claus at the village of ashley country christmas
Photo from the Village of Ashley Country Christmas Facebook

Visit the Village of Ashley Country Christmas

For a family-friendly Christmas celebration, head to the mid-Michigan and the Village of Ashley’s Country Christmas soon.

This charming small town, just northeast of Lansing MI, turns into a Christmas village with decorations so festive that you’ll think you’ve landed at the North Pole. 

It’s true: there’s a lot to do in Ashley Michigan during the holiday season, whether you drive yourself or take Michigan’s own Polar Express steam engine.

Ride the North Pole Express Steam Train to the Village of Ashley

That’s right, the North Pole Express runs every Saturday and Sunday from Owosso to Ashley, and you’ll enjoy a 90-minute ride on the Pere Marquettte 1225 locomotive. The North Pole Express train is very popular and you’ll want to be sure to get your train ticket in advance to make sure you have a seat on this north pole adventure.

No matter how you get there, this enchanting Michigan Christmas town is worth the trip. We make it a point to visit with family every year, and we put together a list of some of our favorite things to do and see in the Village of Ashley MI, a magical Christmas wonderland. 

villaoe ashley country christmas
Photo from the Village of Ashley Country Christmas Facebook

About the Village of Ashley Country Christmas

The tiny village of Ashley is home to just around 600 year-round residents (according to the 2010 census), but the population swells to thousands during the holidays for their country Christmas celebration. In addition to holiday decor, you’ll find hot chocolate to sip as you puruse handmade gifts  and more in the unique gift shops. 

A visit to Ashley is like the gift of Christmas come to life, only in the 1940s or 1950s. The entire main street in town, Sterling Street, becomes a Christmas market, lined with shops, stands and booths offering everything from sweet treats to munch on (like cupcakes of deep-fried Oreos) to kettle corn and special gifts to purchase.

There’s even an antique post office for letters to Santa, and fun kid activities like face painting and a time for visiting Santa. 

Take a wagon ride in one of the horse-drawn wagons traveling up and down the street, or buy that special someone a toy at Santa’s workshop as you wander the town filled with holiday cheer. 

Here are some of our favorite things to see and do when we visit Ashley Country Christmas Michigan’s special holiday town!

village of ashley country christmas
Photo from the Village of Ashley Country Christmas Facebook

Our Favorite Things to Do in the Village of Ashley MI

Stop at the Czech Bakery for nut rolls and other traditional Czech pastries.

Grab a bowl of some of Michigan’s best potato soup at the Hobo Kitchen, or their amazing chicken and dumpling soup. they also have gluten-free options here. 

Take a photo of the famous Pere Marquette 1225 (the Polar Express) before it heads to its other destination of the north pole. This special steam locomotive is operated by the Steam Railroading Institute.

Christmas in Michigan

How to Get to the Village of Ashley 

By Car

The Village of Ashley is located just east of US-127, north of Lansing MI. From Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit, and Ann Arbor, it’s about a 90-minute car ride. 

By Train 

 North Pole Express makes two  Train Trips from Owosso, MI Each Saturday and Sunday, November 19 – December 18. There is also one train that runs on Friday, November 25th. The North Pole Express train tickets must be purchased directly from the Michigan Steam Railroading Institute. Check their website for tickets and a schedule of times. 

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