From Whootville Parades to Pioneer Pastimes, Here Are Our Top Holiday Picks

November 27, 2016

Our cups are running over with holiday cheer here in Southwest Michigan. We've sifted through the jam-packed calendar to bring you 15 of our top choices. The icing on the sugar cookie? Most are free, low-cost or charitable in nature. Enjoy!


A Charlie Brown Christmas  Holland | through Dec 10

Charlie Brown discovers the true meaning of Christmas in a charming live-stage production of the small-screen holiday staple at the Holland Civic Theatre. 



Giving Tuesday at the Outdoor Discovery Center  Holland | Nov 29

The non-profit nature center invites the community to help decorate its visitor center for the holidays and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa.


Gingerbread House Contest  Douglas | Nov 30-Dec 4

All ages are invited to put their imaginative spin on the traditional confection-adorned abode. Entries should be dropped off at Douglas City Hall by Dec 4.

Live Mannequins!  St Joseph | Dec 2

The storefronts and windows of downtown shops in St Joe come to life with a mesmerizing array of live mannequin displays.

Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Today


Candlelight Christmas Parade  Dowagiac | Dec 2

More than 100 lighted floats, costumed characters and marching bands make for a magical evening, along with a tree-lighting ceremony, bell tolling, hot chocolate and sweet treats from local vendors.


Sinterklaas Eve Procession  Holland | Dec 2

In true Dutch folk tradition, Sinterklaas arriveson his white horse at the Eight Street Market Place along with mischievous, candy-giving Zwarte Piets. Guests are invited to the Holland Museum afterward to meet the merry man and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate.

Three Oaks Peppermint Parade & FOTOfest  Three Oaks | Dec 3

A colorful parade kicks off at Three Oaks' Dewey Cannon Park, followed by a lively celebration at the Acorn Theatre (admission is a non-perishable food item or donation to benefit the Harbor Country Food Pantry).


Sippin' with Santa Claus  Baroda | Dec 3

Round Barn Winery's annual Toys for Tots holiday bash includes one-on-one chats with Santa, ornament making and cookie decorating for the kids, and wine sampling for the adults. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to join the fun for a worthy cause.

Whootville Christmas Parade  Saugatuck | Dec 3

Dress up as your favorite Whoville character and join Saugatuck's festive holiday  procession, led by Whoville’s fabled mayor as parade marshall.


Cookie Walk  Edwardsburg | Dec 8

Pick up a container and a map of participating businesses for $3 (plus a canned good to donate to the local food pantry) before heading out to fill it with delicious goodies.

Winterfest at the Felt Mansion  Saugatuck | Dec 10
Guests are invited to enjoy lunch, horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting and a visit from Santa and Mrs Claus at the historic Felt Mansion.


Nutcracker Tea & Cookie Decorating Party  Kalamazoo | Dec 10

Kids can join a free, enchanting tea party with cookie decorating, dancing and more at the Ballet Kalamazoo at The Station.

Homestead Holiday  Holland | Dec 10

Dip and roll candles and make pioneer-era holiday gifts and crafts, such as cornhusk dolls, German wax ornaments and more for a small fee at the DeGraaf Nature Center. The log cabin will have cookies and hot chocolate available by a warm fireplace.

'Christmas Tree Ship' Story Time  South Haven | Dec 17

The historic Keeper's House in South Haven provides the perfect backdrop for a special reading of a children's book, "The Christmas Tree Ship," hot chocolate and cookies.

Countdown to Noon  Fennville | Dec 31

All ages are invited to attend this early year-end celebration at the Forever Curious Children's Museum, with crafts, activities and a special countdown at 12 pm sharp. 


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