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Santa Sightings around Kalamazoo – 2016

Santa Claus in coming to towns…Yes, towns, parks, Christmas parades, and so much more!

What better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to take the kids to visit Santa Claus.

There are plenty of locations and times where you can spot Jolly St. Nick around the Kalamazoo area this holiday season.  Enjoy all of the fun things of the season with your family!

Check back often as we will be updating and adding events!

Multiple Dates

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Santa’s Workshop – Downtown Kalamazoo | 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall

Santa’s Workshop, presented by Kalamazoo Candle Company, has moved one block south to the Epic Center, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall. Filled with animation, and toys to play with, kids can make their own arts and crafts and write a letter to Santa. Santa’s Workshop is free and provides the perfect backdrop for taking pictures and videos; individuals are encouraged to bring their own cameras and video recorders and click to your heart’s content.

Santa’s Schedule: Santa’s Workshop operates from November 25 to December 24.

Crossroads Mall |  6650 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage

Make a reservation to see Santa and spend less time in line. Plus, save 30% on your photos by pre-ordering a package online. Visit before December 9 to save an extra $5.
Receive a coupon for $30 to spend towards Tiny Prints. Visit the Santa photo checkout area for details. See terms and conditions. Reservations and photo purchases are not required to visit Santa.

Santa’s Schedule – November 12 – December 24

Regular Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 12:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Sunday: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Special Hours:
12/16 – 12/24: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
12/18: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Christmas Eve: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Break: 12:30 PM-1:30 PM)

*Santa may take occasional breaks to feed the reindeer.


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Gull Meadow Farms Santa | 8544 Gull Road, Richland

Meet and greet with jolly old Saint Nicholas this holiday season at Gull Meadow Farms. Please check the Gull Meadow Farms Facebook page for info on Santa and what you’ll find at Gull Meadow Farms.

Santa’s Schedule:  November 25-27, December 2-4, and December 9-11 with the hours of Friday 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Saturday 1:00 – 4:00 pm and Sunday noon – 3:00 pm.

Binder Park Zoolights | 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek

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, hot chocolate, special activities, and more. (Wild Africa will be closed.)

Get your picture with Santa! Melissa’s Images will be returning this year for Photos with Santa.  They will be located in the Habitat Room of the Children’s Discovery Center. Santa will be in for photos between 6pm – 8pm.  The cost is $5 for a 5X7 with 20% of the proceeds going back to Binder Park Zoo.

$5 Binder Park Zoo Members
$6 Non-members
Children under 2 are FREE

Santa’s Schedule: December 16-23 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

or, for additional time with Santa at Binder Park Zoo, check out:

Dinner with Santa | Binder Park Zoo

December 16-23
5:00pm to 6:30pm
$20 for Adults, $15 for Children Ages 2-10 (Children Under 2 FREE)

Enjoy a delicious homestyle dinner and exclusive time with Santa, then stroll through ZooLights. Dinner will be served promptly at 5pm. Santa will be at dinner until 6pm. Visits with Santa will continue in the habitat room across the hall. Register online or call (269) 979-1351.

Selfies with Santa | Walmart (9th Street Location, Kalamazoo)

December 10-11 and December 17-18 from noon – 4:00 p.m. bring your kids to visit jolly St. Nick at area Walmart stores.  Confirmed for 9th Street Location Walmart, contact other stores for specific times.

Santa at the Carnegie | Carnegie Community Center, 129 South Kalamazoo Street, Paw Paw, MI

Bring the children to the Carnegie Center to meet Santa in a relaxed setting. Write a list for Santa! Free photos for all. Hot cocoa and cookies served. No charge. Sponsored by the DDA and local businesses.

Santa’s Schedule: Saturday December 17 from 10:00 am- 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm. Monday, December 19, Tuesday, December 20, Wednesday, December 21 from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Coopersville Santa Train | 311 Danforth Street, Coopersville

Ride with the FUN GUY! Everyone loves Santa and Santa loves kids. Each of our vintage passenger cars has a special seat reserved just for the Big Guy and his friends. Elves will escort the children to sit with Santa. All kids get a present, even the shy ones! Our story-telling Princess will read Christmas-themed books. All of our cars are comfortably heated and each has a restroom on board.

Adults $19.00
Senior $18.00
Kids (2-12) $17.00, Under 2 FREE

Santa’s Schedule:

Saturday November 26, 11:00 & 1:30 pm

Saturdays December 3, 10 & 17 10:00, 12:00 2:30 & 4:30 pm

Sundays November 27, December 4, 11 & 18 1:00 & 3:00 pm

Saturday December 24, 10:00, 12:30 & 2:30 pm

Christmas Around Town | Downtown Three Rivers

Saturday, November 26th,  Santa  will be at the Riviera on Saturday–arriving by fire truck! Along with that, they’ll feature the reindeer petting zoo, Santa’s workshop, and other activities. New for this year, United Way will feature its cookie sale, in cooperation with participating merchants.

New this year – Sunday, November 27th is a Breakfast with Santa event, to be held from 10:00 – 2:00 pm at the Three Rivers Community Center. Bring the family down for a pancake breakfast with generous toppings bar, and enjoy your breakfast with Santa! Purchase tickets in advance, by reservation. Many activities will also continue on Main Street.

Winter Holiday Festival – Olde World Village | 13215 W. Augusta Dr. (M-96), Augusta

A fun-filled event to celebrate the holiday season for the whole family with amazing arts and crafts, shows, music, vendors, food, live entertainment and more. Admission $10 for adults, Children under 12 are FREE.

Santa’s Schedule: Saturday and Sunday, December 3 & 4 from 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Santa’s Workshop at Wedel’s Nursery, Florist and Garden Center | Kalamazoo 

Enjoy “Make it – take it” workshops, music and more. Have your picture taken with Santa.

Santa’s Schedule: Friday, December 9 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 10 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Of Christmas Past | Historic Charlton Park, 2545 S. Charlton Park Rd., Hastings

Historic Charlton Park’s turn-of-the-century village is the setting for Of Christmas Past! Come out and enjoy the sights, sounds, tastes and activities of the late 1800’s. On Saturday and Sunday, December 10 & 11, 2016, from noon to 5:00 p.m., you are invited to tour the village & enjoy Christmas at Historic Charlton Park. St. Nicholas will be stopping by both days. Admission to Christmas Past is $6 for adults and $4 for children 4 to 12.

Santa’s Schedule: St. Nicholas will be stopping by on December 10 & December 11.

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Specific Dates

 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bronson Christmas Tree Lighting | Bronson Park 200 S. Rose Street, Kalamazoo

Join the fun from 5:00 – 7:30 pm on Friday, November 25 to celebrate the season and light up Bronson Park! Have a cup of hot chocolate while the children enjoy creating their own arts and crafts, visits from Mr. and Mrs. Claus, ice carving, and a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Hot chocolate donations will be accepted with proceeds benefiting the YWCA Kalamazoo’s Domestic Violence Shelter.

The tree lighting ceremony will begin at 6:00 pm. After the event, hop on the Holly Jolly Trolley and take a trip to one of your favorite downtown spots.

 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Santa is Coming to Little Sprout! | 3009 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo

Stop by Little Sprout Children’s Boutique and take pictures with Santa, enjoy tasty treats, and check out great Small Business Saturday deals.

Santa’s Schedule: Saturday, November 26 from noon – 2:00 pm

 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Marshall Christmas Parade | Downtown Marshall

Marshall’s annual Christmas Parade will delight children and adults alike with lively bands, floats, clowns, horses and more. The beautiful lights in the downtown will be turned on at 6:45 pm with the parade set to begin at 7:00 pm. Join the Marshall community as they wait for Santa Claus to appear to wave to the children and wish everyone a “Merry Christmas!”

Santa’s Schedule: Monday, November 28 at 7:00 pm in downtown Marshall

 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Richland Wassailing and Open House | Downtown Richland

Many local businesses stay open late and offer food, specials and sometimes entertainment.

Santa’s Schedule: Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the Richland Community Hall (across from Hardings) from 5:30 – 8:00 pm

 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Candy Cane Hunt | Mayor’s Riverfront Park – 251 Mills Street, Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department will host its 11th annual Candy Cane Hunt at Mayor’s Riverfront Park. Children will have the opportunity to hunt for nearly 5,000 candy canes dispersed throughout the park! There will also be drawing of names for gifts, arts and crafts, and an opportunity to visit with Santa.This is a FREE event!

Santa’s Schedule: Saturday, December 3 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Breakfast with Santa at the Fetzer Center | WMU, Kalamazoo

Enjoy breakfast or lunch while your little love ones have direct access to Santa through out the event. Why wait in lines at the mall, make this your family holiday tradition.

Santa’s Schedule: Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 3 from 8:30-10:30 am

Cookies with Mrs. Claus | 4-H Camp Kidwell, Bloomindgale, MI

This is a kids and family favorite!  So much fun, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be here, you can enjoy all the beautiful items, make some holiday crafts and so much more.  Mrs. Claus will be decorating cookies with the kids and Santa will be ready to take your Christmas list and snap a picture. First cookie is free and additional cookies are $1. Crafts are free to all children. Don’t miss your chance to share your Christmas list and get your picture taken with Santa for only $5.

Santa’s Schedule:  10:00 am – 3:00 pm

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Otsego Hometown Christmas Celebration and Holiday Parade!!  Visit with Santa, chili cook-off, chestnuts on an open fire, and MUCH more! Join us for a day of Christmas Cheer!

Santa’s Schedule: 

Saturday, December 3 at 5:30 pm at the Otsego Fire Department.

 

 

Christmas in the Village | Downtown Vicksburg, MI

Plenty of Holiday cheer is on tap in Vicksburg – horse carriage tours, and the annual parade to name a few.

Santa’s Schedule:  Saturday, December 3. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the parade and visit with Santa at the Vicksburg Community Center at 6:30 pm

Portage Traditional Holiday 2016 | City Centre/Celery Flats, Portage

Set your sights on holiday lights, caroling and holiday treats! Please join in an evening night of fun at the City of Portage annual Traditional Holiday and Tree Lighting Celebration. The fun kicks off at the City Centre, near the Portage District Library on Saturday, December 3 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.

For the first time ever we will have Santa’s reindeer available for kids to pet and take a picture with courtesy of Osborne & Kline. Festive music will be provided by Proclamation Brass, a local brass ensemble group, and the Portage Central Choir. 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 will be available for a $1 donation per cup – proceeds from the sales will benefit area charities. Admission is free, however, donations of food, toys and outerwear will be accepted for the Portage Community Center to help those in need.

Santa’s Schedule: Saturday, December 3 from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Lunch with Santa at the Fetzer Center | WMU, Kalamazoo

Enjoy breakfast or lunch while your little love ones have direct access to Santa through out the event. Why wait in lines at the mall, make this your family holiday tradition.

Santa’s Schedule: Lunch with Santa on Sunday, December 4 from 11:00 am–1:30 pm

 

 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Galesburg Winter Wonderland | Downtown Galesburg

  • Parade starts at 6:00 pm and Fireworks after the Parade.
  • Horse Drawn Carriage Rides Weather Permitting
  • Hot Dogs, Hot Chocolate and other treats
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit with children after the fireworks at Andrea’s Restaurant

Santa’s Schedule:  6:00 – 8:00 pm (following the fireworks)

 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Swim with Santa / YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo – Maple Branch, Kalamazoo

Enjoy a fun night at the YMCA with Santa, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. Arts & crafts, a healthy snack followed by Santa helping the lifeguards watch families enjoy fun pool activities. FREE for members. Non-members pay $15 per family. All ages welcome.

 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Plainwell Children’s Christmas Festival | City of Plainwell

A fun filled day of activities in downtown Plainwell. Enjoy hot cocoa with Santa at the Plainwell Diner and/or pizza with Santa at The Calico Rabbit Event Center. See Facebook for additional information and costs.

Santa’s Schedule:  10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Holiday Open House | Comstock Township Library

Join the Comstock Township Library for the annual Holiday Open House from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Enjoy holiday cookies, cider, a performance by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Jazz Trio, meet Mrs. Claus, make a children’s craft, play children’s games, and see live reindeer. The reindeer will be outside, so please dress warmly. (Reindeer may not be petted.) Please bring your camera, as pictures with Mrs. Claus and the reindeer will be allowed.

Mrs. Claus Schedule:  1:00 – 3:00 pm

 

Saturday – Sunday , December 17 & 18, 2016

Live Reindeer and Santa Visit | Otsego District Library

Enjoy a visit with Santa, live reindeer, free hot chocolate, donuts and popcorn

Santa’s Schedule: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Christmas Party | Galesburg-Charleston Memorial District Library

Listen to a story, visit with Santa, make a craft (or two), and enjoy some yummy snacks.

Santa’s Schedule:  11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Breakfast with Santa at Burdick’s | Burdick’s at the Radisson, downtown Kalamazoo

Enjoy holiday treats, expanded buffet and get your photo taken with the Jolly St. Nick himself!! Reservations required, call (269) 226-3155

BREAKFAST BUFFET:
Adults – $16.99
Kids – $10.99

Santa’s Schedule: Saturday, December 17 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and Sunday, December 18 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Blitzen Bash | Reindeer Ranch – 2921 N. 6th Street, Kalamazoo

Come see the reindeer. Relaxed atmosphere with hot cocoa and cookies.

Santa’s Schedule: Visit with Santa Saturday and Sunday from noon – 4:00 pm

 

Did we miss a Santa Sighting event in our area? Submit it to our Event Calendar here

 

*Note: this Santa Sightings Guide is published for the readers and friends of KZOOkids.com. Any reference or copy of this guide in full or in part, we request that you link to our website and reference this post. Thank you. 

 

Ho, Ho, Ho – Wishing you a very Happy Holiday Season!

 

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Robin

Robin is a native Michigander and mother of two. She has a keen eye for discovering deals and an honest desire to share local activities and family fun. In addition to enjoying early mornings with strong coffee, she likes hanging outside with her kids, biking and reading.

 

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