Start the car, fill up a thermos of hot chocolate and grab some cookies so the whole family can enjoy an evening of twinkling Christmas light displays in the Southwest Michigan area.
Let us know in the comment section below if you know of any other local Christmas light displays that families must see. Thanks!
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS AROUND KALAMAZOO
(photo courtesy of Gull Meadow Farms)
8544 Gull Road, Richland
- Come check out the Christmas Light Show. Gull Meadows has added to this show for 2015 and it features over 50,000 lights choreographed to music. The light show is viewed from outside in front of the Gull Meadow Farms Market, so be sure to dress for the weather. You can always stop in the market before the show and grab some hot cider or coffee to keep you warm.
- The light show will run Friday and Saturday nights at at 5:30 pm, 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, and 7:30 pm. The show is approximately 15 minutes in length.
- Cost: $1 per person. New for 2015: limited amount of space for vehicles to park and view the light show from their car, cost: $10 per vehicle.
(photo courtesy of Binder Park Zoo)
7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek
- December 18-23 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Enjoy the Zoo decorated for the holidays! Stroll along lighted paths viewing some of our weather-hardy animals on exhibit enjoying the winter season. Then head indoors for time with Santa, stories with Grandma Claus, unlimited FREE carousel rides, up-close animal meet and greets, seasonal holiday refreshments, special activities, and more.
- $4 Binder Park Zoo Members, $5 Non-members, Children under 2 are FREE
- New for the 2015 Season Binder Park Zoo is teaming up with Melissa’s Images and offering commemorative 5×7 photos with Santa. The cost is $5 for a 5×7 image to commemorate this year’s Binder Park Zoo Lights.
- New this year is the festival of trees; trees are decorated by area businesses and non-profit organizations on the Smith Amphitheater lawn. On December 22nd, a Disney Holiday Sing Along movie will be hosted by Princess Elsa!
Check out this amazing Christmas display at 1532 Long Road in Kalamazoo. It is a must this holiday season!
Battle Creek (on State Street, near the Battle Creek River)
- Computerized light and music show in Mill Race Park runs nightly from November 21 through December 31.
- One of the most popular displays is the Twelve days of Christmas which is located on the back lawn of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
- Other activities through the season include a Live Nativity, Santa’s workshop and Draft Horse-led Wagon Rides. Visit the website for more information.
Portage City Center
City Center and Celery Flats Historic Area, Portage
- Traditional Holiday and Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 5 at 7:00 pm.
- Thousands of lights will be illuminated in celebration of the holiday season. Then follow a horse-drawn wagon, complete with jingle bells and Christmas carolers, on a short walk down the Portage Creek Bicentennial Trail to the Celery Flats Historical Area, where the holiday celebration will take place.
- Festive music will be provided by Proclamation Brass, a local brass ensemble group, as well as local carolers. Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet visitors at the historic schoolhouse and refreshments will be available at the Hayloft Theatre.
- Hot cider and hot cocoa coffee will be available for a $1 donation per cup – proceeds from the sales will benefit area charities.
200 S Rose St, Kalamazoo
- The lights in Bronson Park officially kicked off with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on November 27. Take a stroll through Candy Cane Lane which is a favorite place to visit for area families. Stop in before one of the downtown shows, take a break during the Holly Jolly Trolley, and walk through anytime to help get you in the holiday spirit.
- For information on Santa’s Workshop hours and the Holly Jolly Trolley Service check HERE.
CHRISTMAS CARD DISPLAYS AROUND KALAMAZOO
Kalamazoo Community Church, 2435 N 26th St, Kalamazoo
- Visitors will be able to view the Christmas Card Drive display and enjoy Christmas cookies. Attend the “There is a Light” event to be held on December 5 at 7:00 pm and on Sunday December 6 at 9:00 am and 11:00 am. Admission is free.
Lauderdale Drive off of W Main, Kalamazoo
- 50th year celebration this year! Make sure to check out the 50th anniversary card located in the center of the cul-de-sac (south end of the street).
- While not a traditional light display, residents of this 43 house street in Westwood continue a local tradition of lighting large plywood Christmas cards displayed on their front yards.
- Note: the last few years Santa has been in attendance on Christmas Eve handing out candy canes.
Holiday Card Walk in Portage
Bicentennial Trail in Portage
- Beginning the first of December, check out this popular Portage tradition of viewing large holiday greeting cards made by area families, businesses and organizations.
- Cards will be located along Bicentennial Trail.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS WITHIN A ONE HOUR DRIVE
Why not make take a road trip to see some Holiday Lights that are worth the drive? These are some suggestions from our KZOOkids.com readers.
Jackson County Fairgrounds, 200 W. Ganson St., Jackson
- Celebrating their 20th year, the more than 1.5-mile presentation is known as Michigan’s largest Christmas light display. Runs November 26th thru January 3rd from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm. $15 per vehicle / $30 per mini-bus.
- Check out the website for additional opportunities to visit Santa and see live reindeer during their Winter Wonderland open on select dates in December. They will be offering a puppet show and train rides
Fifth Third Ball Park, 4500 West River Dr, Comstock Park
- Nite Lites tour with forty creative and animated displays covering over a mile of fun with approximately a million lights. Runs November 25 – January 2 from 6:00pm – 9:00 pm. $17 per vehicle or $25 per limo.
- Select dates in December to meet Santa.
(photo courtesy of St. Joseph Today)
Lake Boulevard, St. Joseph
- Over 1 million lights come alive along Lake Bluff Park as it is transformed into a winter wonderland runs from December 4 through Valentine’s Day. Free. While you’re there, make sure you check out the Silver Beach Carousal all decked out for the holidays.
1093 Cranbrook Lane, Mason, MI
- Located just outside of Lansing, the Brown Christmas Light Show is a computer-animated light display with 495ch of computer control of 50,000 lights set music. 2015 is the last year to view the light show!
- Runs November 29 through January 2 Sunday – Thursday 5:30 – 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 – 11 p.m.
- Make sure to tune your car radio to 107.1 FM to hear the music for the lights!
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS MORE THAN ONE HOUR DRIVE
If you’re heading out of town this holiday season, why not check out one of the light displays within a few hours or so of Kalamazoo?
- Wonderland of Lights is open on Thursdays through Sundays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm only from November 20 through December 27. Admission for Wonderland of Lights: $7 adults, $5 for kids 3-12 and free for kids under 3.
- The zoo will offer cookies, crafts and animal encounters for the kids to enjoy
- More than five million LED lights will illuminate trees, buildings and more than 100 animal sculptures throughout the front of the Zoo.
- Wild Lights will be held between 5:30 and 9:00 pm on November 20-22, 27-29 and December 4-6, 11-13, 18-23, 26-31
- Ticket prices are $9 in advance or $11 at the gate. Advanced purchases are highly recommended.
- Live entertainment, arts and crafts, ice carving and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit will add to the festivities.
- Visitors enjoy displays containing millions of lights and many other holiday-themed attractions. Enjoy a holiday-themed Festive Feast at the Holiday Lodge, Watch the Dancing Lights display near Cheetah Valley, hear the joyous sounds of carolers on selected evenings, and of course don’t forget visits with Santa in the Museum.
- Runs nightly through January 3rd except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
- Free, family-oriented holiday celebration, featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout zoo grounds. Festive activities include: Photos with Santa through December 23, free holiday crafts, animal encounters, musical light shows, ice skating, and more!
- Display days begin November 27th and run from 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm (check the website for select dates the zoo lights are closed).
And, finally, for those Star Wars fans in the family – how can you not resist checking out this video of a spectacular Star Wars-themed light show!