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

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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