Make holiday memories to last a lifetime

Portrait of a Girl Sitting on Santa Claus's Lap

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) The holidays are a special time of year, we get to spend time with family and friends. Check out Maranda’s top picks in this week’s Five Star Family Fun Update. To get a full list of events e-mailed to you each week, click here to sign up!

Christmas Lite Show at Fifth Third Ballpark
West Michigan’s largest, animated drive-through light show is now celebrating its 20th year. Enjoy nearly 2 miles and over a million lights, animated displays, lighted tunnels and more.
Cost: $17 per car

The Santa Train
Saturdays and Sundays through Saturday, Dec. 24
Coopersville & Marne Railway
11am & 1:30pm
Adults: $19
Children (2-12) $17
Each of their vintage passenger cars has a special seat reserved just for Santa and his friends. Elves will escort children to sit with Santa and all children get a present. Their story-telling Princess will read Christmas-themed books to children in each of the railcars.

Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World
Frederik Meijer Gardens
November 22- Jan 8
Ring in the holiday season with their most beloved winter exhibition. See the glow of nearly 400,000 lights, strolling carolers, visits from Santa, rooftop reindeer and more than 40 international trees and displays.
Regular admission rates: Adults $14.50, children (5-13) $7, children (3-4) $4 children 2 and under free. Free to members

Breton Village Mall Traditional Train Display
Display runs until December 31
Mall hours:
Monday-Friday: 10am-8pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: noon-5pm

Ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle
Open skate hours and ice skating are weather-dependent.
Adults: $2, children 17 and under – $1

Christmas Experience with Santa at Deer Tracks Junction
Santa will be at Deer Tracks Junction every Wednesday through Sunday now until Dec. 24. Get your photo with Santa, check out the Grinch and all the “Whos” down in Whos-ville. The Christmas Experience Package includes the Wildlife Safari Tour too. (Cost $16 per person – 2 and under free)
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – 3pm-6pm. Tours run at 4pm & 5pm
Saturdays and Sundays – Noon-6pm – Tours run 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5pm

Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys
Christmas Lessons and Carols
Friday, Dec 9 – 7pm St. John’s Episcopal Church – 524 Washington – Grand Haven
Saturday, Dec. 10 – 8pm – St. Andrew’s Cathedral – 265 Sheldon – Grand Rapids
Sunday, Dec. 11 – 3pm – St. Andrew’s Cathedral – 265 Sheldon – Grand Rapids


Turning Pointe School of Dance presents “The Promise”
“The Promise”, a holiday season tradition for many in the Lakeshore area, weaves the Christmas story together using scripture and Christmas music with Classical and Contemporary Ballet. Performed by the Turning Pointe Ensembles, The Promise showcases the beauty of the true Christmas message and celebrates Christ’s birth through dance.
Friday-December 9th            7:00pm
Saturday-December 10th     2:00pm matinee and 7:00pm
The Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 E. 8th Street, Downtown Holland
Tickets available at the Hope College Ticket Office after November 1st. Click here for seating.
To purchase tickets after November 1st call please call (616) 395-7890 or purchase online at (online service charge applies)
Advance tickets:
$15 Student, $19 Adult
At the door:
$17 Student, $21 Adult

Grand Rapids Ballet Presents “The Nutcracker”
After a sold out world premiere, The Nutcracker, re-imagined by Polar Express author Chris Van Allsburg, returns for two weekends at DeVos Performance Hall. This magnificent production features choreography by Val Caniparoli and imaginative set design by Eugene Lee. Sugar plum fairies, fighting mice, and toy soldiers make this enchanting story the perfect tradition for the entire family. The Nutcracker will be performed in concert with the Grammy nominated Grand Rapids Symphony.
Friday, Dec. 9 – 7:30pm
Saturday, Dec. 10 – 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, Dec. 11 – 2pm

Feel the Zeel of Giving Downtown Christmas events – Zeeland
Friday, Dec. 9 5:30pm-8pm
Downtown Zeeland
Every year, the City of Zeeland partners with a selected, local non profit organization to host a series of charming Christmas events downtown. Feel the Zeel of Giving is a three day series that celebrates the warmth and nostalgia of the holiday season in a small town. Visit downtown Zeeland and create loving Christmastime memories with your family. During FEEL THE ZEEL OF GIVING and you will find horse-drawn trolley rides, a visit with Santa, live reindeer, Santa’s mailbox, extended holiday shopping hours, in-store promotions and more!

A Nite of Christmas Cheer!
Lowell Showboat
Friday, Dec. 9 5:30pm-7:30pm
Make memories this year in Lowell when you visit the Lowell Showboat! Decorated in this year’s theme, Santa’s Village, the Lowell Showboat will delight all ages with Christmas magic, including a visit with Santa followed by hot cocoa and cookies.

Breakfast with Santa –KDL Kentwood Library Branch
Saturday, Dec. 10 9am-noon
4950 Breton Road SE, Kentwood

Breakfast with Santa at Indian Trails Camp
O-1859 Lake Michigan Drive NW
Saturday, Dec 10.

Cookies with Mrs. Claus
Saturday, Dec. 10
Coopersville Farm Museum
375 Main Street – Coopersville

Family Fun Day at the Felt Estate
Saturday, Dec. 10
The Felt Estate is holding their annual family fun day – Winterfest, features a free lunch, horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
6597 138th Avenue – Laketown Township

Of Christmas Past
Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11
Historic Charlton Park – Hastings
Come out and enjoy the sights, sounds, taste and activities of the last 1800’s. You are invited to tour the village and enjoy Christmas at the historic park. There will be traditional crafts and ornaments, including hand-dipped candles. Admission: adults: $6, children 4-12 $4.
2545 S. Charlton Park Road – Hastings

Candy Cane Hunt – Byron Center
Saturday, Dec. 10 – 11am
Ages 2-11
$4 – resident child/$6 non-resident child
$2 adults
Must register in advance – or 616-878-1998

Blandford Nature Center Holiday Celebration
Saturday, Dec. 10
Explore how the pioneers celebrated the holidays. There will be crafts in the Star Schoolhouse, kids can play snow-games in the school yard, and can decorate their own cookies.
$5 for member, $8 for non-members
1715 Hillburn Ave. NW – Grand Rapids

Pet Photos with Santa
Saturday, Dec. 10
Celebration! Cinema South
Bring your pet to the theatre on Saturday, December 10th from 5-8PM to get their picture taken with Santa! Donations are accepted to help purchase another K-9 for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit. We will have some of the current furry deputites and their handlers on site for a meet and greet!

Holland Civic Theater Presents: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Holland Civic Theatre
50 West Ninth Street
Dec 8 & 9      7pm
Dec 10          2pm & 7pm
When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but this proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas fir tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to learn what the real meaning of Christmas is.
Cost: $10-$20

Holland High Theatre Presents Mary Poppins
Dec 1 –Dec 11, 7pm
Holland High Theatre is opening it’s 2016-17 season with the timeless and family friendly musical MARY POPPINS!
The show runs December 1-11, 2016. Tickets officially go on sale September 1 at Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students (18 and under) in advance. Prices goes up $5 if purchased at the door the night of shows. Tickets will sell fast, so get them now! The show features students from 3rd thru 12th grades from throughout Holland Public Schools. With hundred’s of costumes and wigs and some special magic thrown in, MARY POPPINS will be a great evening! Come see Mary fly and Bert leap from building to building!
Holland High Theatre
600 Van Raalte Ave,
Tickets: $15 adults, $10 students

Dec 9, 11am-12pm
11a-12p. Compose your letters to dear old St. Nick. We’ll complete our time together with coloring and crafts.
Forever Curious Children’s Museum, Fennville.
Cost: $4.50

Holland Symphony Holiday Concert
Saturday, December 10, 2016 – 3:30 & 7:30 pm
This festive and collaborative concert with the Holland Symphony and the Holland Chorale features seasonal light classics, traditional carols and holiday pops and has become a tradition for the local holiday season!
The concert is held twice:  3:30 and 7:30pm.  Seating is general.  Come early to hear the Chorale Dickens Singers prior to the concert.
We hope you will make this special concert part of your family Christmas.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel
277 College Ave
Tickets: $5-$20


Dec 10, 7-9pm
This is the third year that four of SW Michigan’s finest a cappella choruses and quartets will join together to welcome in joy of the Holiday Season with wonderful, memorable carols and other holiday songs.  Kalamazoo’s Mall City Harmonizers Barbershop Chorus, The Mid-Lakes Sweet Adelines Chorus (of Plainwell), the Battle Creek Cereal City Barbershop Chorus, and the Battle Creek Sweet Adelines Chorus…and quartets from each chorus!…will be singing your favorite music of the holiday season .  From young children to seniors…singles, couples and whole families…all will find this an evening for all to enjoy and remember as we look forward to Christmas, Chanukah and the New Years!
First Baptist Church
315 W. Michigan Ave.
Cost: FREE


Dec 10, 5:30pm-7:00pm
The Tinsel Toes 5k, brought to you by Cereal City Athletics, is a family fun run that weaves through the beautiful Festival of Lights in Downtown Battle Creek. Our focus is on highlighting our beautiful downtown and bringing friends and family together for fitness and festive fun. All proceeds from the event benefit Girls on the Run of Calhoun County. Registration closes at noon on December 8th.
Full Blast
35 West Hamblin Avenue, Battle Creek


Dec 10, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Caroling by a bonfire with hot chocolate, donuts and Santa Claus!
Questions contact City Hall 616-842-5803
William Ferry Park in Ferrysburg
110 Pine Street
Grand Haven
Cost: Free

Flick’s Festive Favorites
Celebration! Cinema
Kids 12 and under free ($5 for adults)
Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” – opens Dec. 9
Polar Express – Opens Dec. 9

Kentwood Community Tree Lighting & Holiday Parade
Friday December 9, 2016
KDL Kentwood Library Branch – 4950 Breton SE Grand Rapids
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Join us for the Annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony! This year’s event takes place on a Friday night starting with a holiday light parade. There will also be carriage rides and hay rides, hot chocolate and cookies, live music, caroling, and of course a visit from Santa!

Middleville Lions Club Christmas Parade
Saturday, Dec. 10
Downtown Middleville – 100 Main St. Middleville
Time: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

International Festival of Lights
Battle Creek
Through Dec. 31
Once again, the traditional festival of lights has returned with all its splendor and beauty. Colorful displays sparkle along the Battle Creek River and along State Street every night during the 6-week festival.
Visit with Santa Saturdays 5pm-8pm and Sundays 1pm-4pm at the Warming House (33 North McCamly)


Holiday at the Homestead
Sunday, Dec. 11
DeLano Homestead – Kalamazoo Nature Center
555 West E. Avenue – Kalamazoo
Discover the origins of our holiday traditions from the 1800’s. See how the settlers lived and celebrated during winter in the Michigan wilderness — when candles lit the long nights, and decorations were made from objects found in nature. The air will be filled with music and the scent of fresh pine boughs and gingerbread in the historic DeLano Homestead. Create your own tradition and enjoy the wonders of the season. Make gingerbread cookies and crafts • Listen to live music in the parlor • Stroll to the 1830s log cabin replica • Try your hand at candle making • Take an old-fashioned wagon ride

Santa Fly In
Sparta Airport
December 10 – 6pm
9130 Vinton, Sparta

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