This complete guide to Northern Michigan Holiday Events & Shows includes live performances, tree lightings, Santa visits, craft shows and more!
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Encore Winds Celebration of the Christmas Season
When: Saturday, December 21, 8pm, 3pm Children’s Concert, 7pm Tuba Christmas
Where: Lars Hockstad Auditorium, Traverse City
Guest Artists: Ballet Etc.,Tom Morrell, Liam Bernhard and Hanna Brammer
An Irish Christmas
When: December 4, 7 pm
Where: Milliken Auditorium, Traverse City, 231.995.1055, dennosmuseum.org
Tickets: $22 Members, $25 Advance, $28 Door, tickets available at dennosmuseum.org or MyNorthTickets.com.
The popular show features Irish music, song and dance in an engaging performance rich in history, humor and boundless energy.
Handel’s Messiah, Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra
When: December 13-14, 7pm
Where: St. Francis Xavier, Petoskey, 231.487.0010
Tickets: Reserved seats $75, $50 and $35. General admission $20. Tickets available by calling 231.487.0010, or online at glcorchestra.org and MyNorthTickets.com.
Guest Conductor Michelle Merrill; soloists: Amy Cross, Soprano; Martha Hart, Alto; David Theis, Tenor; and Peter Sims, Bass, are joined by the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra Chorus.
It’s A Wonderful Life
When: December 8, 7:30pm, December 9, 3pm
Where: Ramsdell Theatre, Manistee, 231.723.9948
Tickets: $20. Tickets available by calling 800.836.0717 or MyNorthTickets.com.
The holiday classic about George Bailey and the
Christmas angel who comes to teach him gratitude. Presented by Manistee Civic Players.
It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
When: December 6-8, 12-15, Thurs.-Sat. 7:30pm, Sun. 3pm
Where: Old Town Playhouse, Traverse City
Tickets: $25 Adults, $14 Kids, $23 Senior (available Thurs. and Sun. only). Tickets available by calling 231.947.2210, online at oldtownplayhouse.com or MyNorthTickets.com.
The beloved American holiday tale comes to life as a live 1940s radio broadcast, in this adaptation of the Christmas classic of George Bailey and his search for purpose and love.
Home for the Holidays
When: December 14, 7:30pm, December 15, 3pm
Where: Lars Hockstad Auditorium, ?Traverse City
Tickets: Start at $20. Purchase online at ?traversesymphony.org or MyNorthTickets.com.
A Traverse City holiday tradition: Traverse Symphony Orchestra with NMC Chorale, Chamber Singers and Children’s Choir.
Northern Michigan’s Small Town Holiday Celebrations
Alden: Nov. 23 Christmas Craft Show Crafts, refreshments, 9am-4pm. Helena Township Community Center, 231.533.9044. Nov. 30 Holiday Illumination 5:30-7pm, village lighting, carol sing and refreshments, 231.331.4643. Dec. 8 Children’s Christmas Party 1-4pm. Pictures with Santa, activities and refreshments, Helena Township Community Center. 231.331.4643.
Bear Lake: Nov. 30-Jan.1 Sparkle in the Park. Santa and his elves. Tailgate chili and more. 231.864.4300.
Bellaire: Nov. 2 Holiday Gift Fair, Bellaire High School, 10am-3pm. Dec. 7 5K Elf Run 9am. Light Up the Night: Santa, tree lighting, soup cook-off, caroling, 4-6:30pm. 231.533.6023.
Boyne City: Nov. 29 Holiday Open House; Santa Parade 6pm. Dec. 7 Holiday Hobby Craft Show, Boyne City High School 9am-3pm; Weihnachtsmarkt German Christmas Market, 11am-6pm, Water Street Mall. 231.582.6222.
Boyne Mountain: Dec. 14 Village Tree Lighting and Holiday Open House. 5-9pm. 231.549.6000, boyne.com
Cadillac: Nov. 9-10 Hobby & Craft Show 10am-4pm. Nov. 29 Storybook Christmas in Cadillac tree lighting, singing and Santa. 231.775.0657. Dec. 7 Holiday Home Tour, 10am-3pm. 231.510.9047.
Charlevoix: Nov. 30 ?Charlevoix Merchants Open House. Make ornaments for community tree, parade, Santa arrives, Christmas Tree Lighting. 231.547.2101.
Cheboygan: Nov. 30 K of C Thanksgiving Craft Show, K of C Hall. 231.420.5350.
Cross Village: Nov. 29 Annual Community Tree Lighting with music, food and festivities at Three Pines Studio 5:30pm. 231.526.9447.
East Jordan: Nov. 9 Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair 10am-4pm at East Jordan High School gym, 231.536.2152. Nov. 24-Dec. 20 Members Art Sale, Jordan River Arts Center, 231.645.2220. Dec. 5 Community Night, Santa parade, soup cook-off, live nativity, tree lighting 5:30-8pm. 231.536.7351.
Elk Rapids: Nov. 30 Holiday Open House 10am-6pm. dec. 31 Community PJ Party, 7am-Noon. 231.264.8202.
Ellsworth: dec. 11 Wooden Shoe Holiday Festival, tree lighting, caroling, Santa. Banks Township Hall. 231.588.7411.
Empire: Nov. 30 Artisans Marketplace, music, food, tree lighting. Empire Township Hall, noon-5pm. 231.334.3349.
Frankfort: Nov. 30 Holly Berry Arts & Crafts Fair, Frankfort High School 10am-4pm. Santa & Mrs. Claus 1-3pm. Community Tree Lighting and refreshments 7pm, Rotary Park. 231.352.7251.
Gaylord: Dec. 6 Santa Parade, tree lighting, Santa & Mrs. Claus, free horse-drawn carriage rides 6pm. Dec. 7 Holiday Shop & Stroll, 6-9:15pm 989.732.4000.
Glen Arbor: Nov. 29 Merchants Pajama Party 5am. Tree lighting, carols, Glen Arbor Township Hall, 7pm. Nov. 30 Holiday Market Place, Glen Arbor Township Hall 10am-4pm. 231.334.3238.
Grayling: Nov. 16 Christmas Walk. Santa arrives in the World’s Shortest Parade followed by festivities including Cinderella carriage rides. 5-8pm 800.937.8837, grayling-mi.com. Dec. 13-14, 20-21 Farm by Lantern Light 6:30pm, Wellington Farm Park. 989.348.5187.
Harbor Springs: Nov. 30 Caroling, chili, Santa and Community Tree Lighting 6pm. Dec. 7 Merchant’s Holiday Open House, 6-9 pm. 231.526.7999.
Indian River: Nov. 29 Christmas Craft Show, Inland Lakes School 10am-4pm. Christmas in Indian River with parade, Santa & Mrs. Claus, tree lighting 5pm. 231.238.9325.
Interlochen: Dec. 1-22 Mitten Tree, Interlochen Public Library. 231.276.6767. Dec. 6 Community Tree Lighting, Santa and treats. Dec. 7 Christmas in the Village, Merchant’s Open House 10am-4pm. 231.276.7141.
Kaleva: Dec. 1 Special Christmas Celebration at the Bottle House Museum, noon-4pm. Dec. 21 Annual lighting of the Kaleva Cemetery, a Finnish tradition on the longest night, where hundreds of luminaries are placed on graves, 4pm. 231.362.2080.
Leland: Nov. 29 Where the Holiday Begins, PJ Party and Sale. 231.256.0079. Dec. 7 Merry Marketplace, Old Art Building. 231.256.2131. Dec. 14-15 Christmas in the Village. Santa, Christmas Tree lighting caroling and refreshments, 5pm. 231.256.0079.
Ludington: Nov. 30 Center for the Arts Christmas Holiday Craft Show 10am-4pm. 231.845.2787. Ludington Aglow on the Avenue Parade, Santa and festivities. 231.845.0324. Dec. 31 New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, 231.845.6237.
Mackinac Island: Dec. 6-8 Christmas Bazaar, arts, crafts and meals. Community Hall. 906.847.3783.
Mackinaw City: Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 Christmas in Mackinaw, parade and tree lighting Nov. 30, 5pm. 231.436.5574.
Manistee: Dec. 5-8 Victorian Sleigh Bell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend. 231.723.2575. Dec. 12 Ladies Night Downtown. Dec. 19 Men’s Night Downtown. 231.398.9355.
Northport: Dec. 15 Christmas Concert with The Village Voices & Northport Community Band. 3pm, Northport Community Arts Center, Northport. 231.386.5001, northportcac.com.
Onekama: Nov. 23 Craft show 10am. Celebration of Lights. Craft show, chili cook-off, tree lighting, caroling 5:30pm. 231.889.4048.
Pentwater: Nov. 30 Festival of Lights, caroling, tree lighting, Santa’s arrival, merchant open houses, carriage rides 5:30pm. 231.869.4150. Dec. 7 Christmas Craft Fair, Pentwater Public Schools, 866.869.4150.
Petoskey: Nov. 22-Dec. 18 Holiday Art Bazaar, Crooked Tree Arts Center. 231.347.4337. Nov. 30 Stafford’s Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade 10am. Dec. 6 Downtown Holiday Open House 6-9pm. 231.622.8501.
St. Ignace: Dec. 6 Home for the Holidays Parade, Santa & Mrs. Claus arrive, tree lighting 6pm.
Suttons Bay: Nov. 24 Holiday Open House. Dec.6-8 Holiday in the village.
Traverse City: Nov. 2 Dickens’ Christmas Arts & Crafts Bazaar 9am-3pm First Congregational Church 231.947.6698 Nov. 7-10 Festival of Trees, Haggerty Center. Dec. 6 Holiday Open House, Santa’s arrival and tree lighting 5-9pm. Dec. 12 Ladies’ Shopping Night 5-9pm. Dec. 19 Men’s Shopping Night. 231.922.2050, DOWNTOWNTC.COM. Dec. 8, 15 The Wellington Inn at Christmas. Tours of the 1905 mansion’s decked halls. 231.922.9900. Dec. 31 Cherry-T Ball Drop, downtown. 231.922.2050.
Village at Grand Traverse Commons: Dec. 7 Tree Lighting Celebration with carols and horse-drawn carriage rides 2-6pm. Village Open House, 5-9pm. Dec. 14 Santa Lucia Celebration, 2-6pm. 231.941.1900.