Santa Sightings in Northwest Michigan
Updated: Nov 25, 2022
Your guide to visiting Santa Claus with kids in Northwest Michigan!
Alden's Christmas Celebration - November 26
Santa arrives at Alden's Christmas with a celebration at 5:30 via fire truck. There will also be a Christmas Tree lighting, hot chocolate, a toasty fire and gift bags for children.
Window Night in Central Lake - December 7
Santa visits Central Lake at their annual Window Night. Activities on this night include visiting with Santa, lighting of the Village Christmas Tree, Hayrides, Fire Truck and Ambulance Rides, shopping local businesses and consuming hot chocolate, apple cider and donuts!
Friske's Country Christmas in Ellsworth - December 10
Christmas Spirit and Cheer have come to Friske’s Country Christmas event! Santa Claus will be arriving at 11am with his friend Buddy the Elf. Both Santa and Buddy will be available for photos and to visit with the kids. Warm yourself by the bonfire or have a seat in Santa’s stable which will be decorated, heated and ready for you to enjoy donuts, cocoa, cider, craft projects for kids, and more!
Holiday Trail Celebration at Crystal Mountain - November 25
Holiday Trails will kick-off with Santa making his way through the resort core beginning at 5pm from Kinlochen to the Crystal Center on a Horse Drawn Surrey. He'll use his holiday magic to help light Crystal Mountain's holiday tree at 5:30pm during the First Light Celebration. Visit with Santa and his reindeer after the tree lighting.
Frankfort Community Tree Lighting - December 3
Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the annual community tree lighting at Rotary Park. Enjoy Christmas carols, activities throughout town, donuts and more.
Annual Walloon Lake Village Lighting - November 23
See live reindeer and enjoy a special visit from Santa & Mrs. Claus at Walloon Lake's annual Lighting of the Village. Bring a donation for Toys for Tots and shop local vendors. Enjoy free hot chocolate, kids’ activities, and a cash bar available from 5 PM to 8 PM.
Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting in Charlevoix - November 25
Santa and his elves will be at the Charlevoix State Bank as part of the Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting Celebration. Kids can enjoy delicious treats while they wait to get their picture with Santa. Crafts at Santa's Workshop, the holiday parade and community tree lighting will also take place at the event.
Holly Jolly Boyne in Boyne City - November 26
Visit with Santa inside the log cabin at Sunset Park at Holly Jolly Boyne. The night begins with a tree lighting ceremony by the Girl Scouts and the Santa Parade starts at 6 p.m.
Christmas Tree Lighting in Harbor Springs - November 26
Celebrate 107 years of a magical tradition in downtown Harbor Springs at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Santa will ride up right outside the theatre to meet and greet kids. The mailbox to Santa will be located at the Lyric Theatre. Make sure your children write their letters to Santa and drop them off anytime the month of December.
Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade - November 26
Head to Petoskey for the Downtown Petoskey Holiday Parade. “Light Up the Night” with family activities in Pennsylvania Park at 5 pm, followed by a festive evening parade featuring Santa Clau. There will also be cookie decorating, letters to Santa, a photo area, and more.
Grand Traverse County
Festival of Trees in Traverse City - November 11 - 13
Spread holiday cheer and give back this time of year during the Festival of Trees in Traverse City. Shop the Yuletide Emporium and stroll through the beautiful Tall Tree Gallery and Tiny Tree Tour November 11 - 13, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus on Sunday, November 13.
Christmas on the Farm at Myrtle and Maude's in Williamsburg - November 17 - 20
Santa arrives on Sunday, November 20 with his live reindeer during Myrtle and Maude's Christmas on the Farm event! Make sure to bring the kids out for a squeeze from the big guy and so he can hear their biggest wish this year!
Downtown Traverse City Holiday Festivities - November 19
The tree lighting, Santa’s house and the light parade will all take place downtown Traverse City at the Downtown Holiday Festivities event, starting at 5:30pm on November 19!
Visit Santa in Downtown Traverse City - November 19, 25, 26, 27 and December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 19, 23, 24
Santa is ready for his annual meet and greet at his house in downtown TC! Stop and say hello and share all your secret holiday wishes!
Grand Traverse Mall - November 25 - December 24
Santa's helpers have been working hard decking the halls for you and your family, so don’t miss out on taking tree-mendous pics with St. Nick at Grand Traverse Mall!
Santa Meet & Greet at Once Upon A Child in Traverse City - December 6
Bring your wish lists to hand deliver to the big guy himself and your cameras to capture the smiles (or tears) at Once Upon A Child's Santa Meet & Greet. There will be a big chair with a perfect picture ready background for your Christmas photos.
Christmas in the Village at Grand Traverse Commons - December 8 - 10
Visit The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, December 8-10 for “Christmas in the Village”. A weekend long celebration filled with music, carriage rides, Santa Claus visits on Saturday and Sunday, shopping specials and much more.
Sleigh Bells with Santa at Ranch Rudolf - December 18
Ranch Rudolf will host Santa Claus at their upcoming Sleigh Bells with Santa event. Their beautiful horses will proudly wear their Christmas bells as they take you on an approximately 35-minute winter hayride - bundle up to enjoy this authentic experience, and warm up by the fire upon your return. Enjoy a hot cocoa and dessert station following your ride, with sweets and treats to please all ages. Reservations are required.
Delamar Breakfast with Santa in Traverse City - December 18
The Breakfast with Santa Experience at Delamar includes fun activities for the whole family. Enjoy a breakfast buffet, visit with and write letters to Santa, design your own ornament, roast s'mores, decorate cookies, indulge in a fancy hot cocoa and coffee bar (with special add-ons for mom and dad), and vote on the staff gingerbread house competition.
Light Up Cedar - November 25
Santa will arrive at the Light Up Cedar event on the fire truck to light the town, and will be available for pictures and to listen to children's Christmas requests. His reindeer will also be there! Enjoy music, a bonfire with s'mores, crafts and more.
Light Up Leland - November 25
Light Up Leland for the holidays! Leland will light its community Christmas tree this evening followed by a fire engine processional to the Village Green where you can enjoy the lights, caroling, treats and time with Santa and Mrs. Claus!
Glen Arbor Holiday Marketplace - November 25 - 26
The annual Holiday Marketplace is held the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. On Saturday, November 26, meet Santa at the marketplace!
Northport Tree Lighting - November 26
Have brunch and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Northport Tree Lighting! Head to the Leelanau Township library for crafts, storytime and letters to Santa. There will be over 20 activities including horse-drawn carriage rides, cookie decorating, Northport Gingerbread Competition, kids yoga, meeting Santa's Reindeer at Around the Corner Foods & Fun, the rock climbing wall, and more!
Holiday in the Village in Suttons Bay - November 26
The magic of the season is captured beautifully at the Holiday in the Village event in Suttons Bay. Highlights include Caroling on the Corner, Santa arriving via fire truck, storytime with Mrs. Claus, tree lighting, mail letters to Santa, gifts from Santa, extended business hours & more
Get into the holiday spirit and bring the family to Black Star Farms Suttons Bay for a memorable dining experience with Santa! Our guest of honor, Santa, will arrive for those priceless photo opportunities and to hear your Christmas wish lists!
Santa's Headquarters at Manistee Marina - December 3-4 (Victorian Sleighbell Parade and Old Christmas Weekend) and December 10, 11, 17 and 18
Santa will be at his Manistee Marina headquarters himself will be there for photo ops and to receive Christmas lists from all the good girls and boys from 1-4pm. Visit during the Victorian Slighbell Parade and Old Christmas weekend, or subsequent weekends in December.
Cadillac Annual Christmas In The Park - November 25
Santa and Mrs. Claus will take pictures with your kids and family at the annual City of Cadillac Christmas In The Park. Also enjoy Christmas carols, candy for kids and the lighting of the City Christmas Tree and lights.
Pahl's Santa Experience in Buckley - November 26 - December 19 (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays)
Visit Santa, roast marshmallows, and drink hot cocoa at Pahl’s Santa Experience! Take a tractor-pulled hayride into the forest where Santa awaits in his little cabin. Stay warm by the bonfire and enjoy the serene snow-covered woods. Shop the store for local gifts and treats!
Dutchman Tree Farms in Manton
Visit Santa while picking out your Christmas tree at Dutchman Tree Farms. Children will also enjoy complementary hot chocolate and cookies, a free zip line and petting zoo.