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Santa Sightings around Kalamazoo – 2017

 

by Robin B

 

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

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than to take the family to visit jolly St. Nick.

Whether you want to sit down for a meal or just get a few quick photos, there’s something for everyone around Kalamazoo. Grab your camera and get ready to go! Check out our extensive list of all the places to meet Mr. Claus and his helpers this year!

(See individual listings for more details on locations, descriptions, times, and prices).  Note: some events require advanced registration or ticketing.  We HIGHLY recommend verifying the details with the event organizer before you head out. 

 


*Our Santa Sightings Guide is brought to you by AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool. 

AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool’s provide a safe, nurturing, child-centered environment where your child can learn, grow, and thrive academically. Now Enrolling at the Kalamazoo, Portage, and Otsego locations. Visit www.appletreekids.cc to learn more.

Portage School
1518 East Centre Ave
Portage, MI 49002

Kalamazoo School
4620 Arboretum Parkway
Kalamazoo, MI 49006

Otsego School
909 Dix Street
Otsego, MI 49078


Multiple Dates

 

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

Santa’s Workshop is located at the Epic Center, 359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Second Floor. Experience the excitement of visiting Santa in a traditional, fun, cozy space without the long lines. Before visiting with Santa, children can write a letter to Santa (so he can remember all the details on “the list”), decorate cookies (Saturdays from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.), and new this season, Santa wants us to give the gift of reading; the first one thousand children to visit Santa will receive a free book to take home to read on cold winter nights.

Santa’s Schedule: Visit with Santa hours November 25 to December 24:

Thursdays & Fridays 4 pm-8 pm | Saturday Cookie Decorating 11 am-2 pm
Saturdays 11 am-6 pm | Sundays Noon-4 pm.

Crossroads Mall |  6650 South Westnedge Avenue, Portage

Don’t miss the easiest way to visit Santa—just reserve your time online and skip the line! Save $5 on photos when you book between Monday and Wednesday (through December 9th). Reservations and photo purchases are not required to visit Santa.

Santa’s Schedule – now through December 24

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

Special Hours:

Special Hours:
12/15 – 12/23:9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
12/17: 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.

Pet Photos with Santa | Crossroads Mall, Portage

Create a ‘fur-rever’ memory with your 4 legged family members when you take your dog or cat to get their photo with Santa! Imagine the fun reactions you’ll get sharing this adorable photo with your family, friends and Facebook followers. MONDAY evenings.

Santa’s “Pet Photo” Schedule: November 27 – December 11 – Monday’s from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 

Photo Courtesy Gull Meadow Farms

Gull Meadow Farms Santa | 8544 Gull Road, Richland

FREE meet and greet with jolly old Saint Nicholas this holiday season. Guests are welcome to take their own pictures. Follow the Gull Meadow Farms Facebook page for updated information on Santa.

Santa’s Schedule:

Saturday, November 25: 1-4 pm
Sunday, November 26: 1-4 pm
Friday, December 1: 5-7 pm
Saturday, December 2: 1-4 pm
Sunday, December 3: 1-4 pm
Friday, December 8: 5-7 pm
Saturday, December 9: 1-4 pm
Sunday, December 10: 1-4 pm
Friday, December 15: 5-7 pm
Saturday, December 16: 1-4 pm
Sunday, December 17: 1-4 pm

  • Gull Meadow Farms is hosting a Dear Santa event this year at the farm. For more information on this magical experience / ticket pricing / dates & times check out here.

Binder Park Zoolights | 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek

Experience wintry evenings at Binder Park Zoo! Stroll along lighted paths with nightly entertainment as you view some of our weather-hardy animals on exhibit enjoying the winter season. These special evenings will include unlimited FREE carousel rides, up-close animal meet and greets special holiday activities, time with Santa and his animal friends, and story time with Mrs. Claus (Wild Africa will be closed).

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

Santa’s Schedule: December 15-23 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 15, 16, 17, 22 and 23
4:45 pm to 6:30 pm

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

Gingerbread at the Union | Union Cabaret & Grille, 125 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo

Come one, come all to the Union in downtown Kalamazoo!  Families will first build a gingerbread masterpiece followed by a visit from Santa. Seating is limited so call the Union today to reserve a spot. (269) 384-6756. Cost of Gingerbread house – $45, any food/drink ordered are extra.

Saturday 11-25-17 at 12:00
Sunday 11-26-17 at 12:00 and 4:00
Saturday 12-2-17 at 12:00
Sunday 12-3-17 at 12:00 and 4:00
Saturday 12-9-17 at 12:00
Sunday 12-10-17 at 12:00 and 4:00
Sunday 12-10-17 at 4:00
Sunday 12-17-17 at 12:00 and 4:00
Saturday 12-23-17 at 12:00 

Santa at the Carnegie | Carnegie Community Center,  Paw Paw

Bring the children to the Carnegie Center to meet Santa in a relaxed setting. Write a list for Santa, do crafts! One free photo with Santa. Hot cocoa and cookies served. No charge.

Santa’s Schedule:

Wednesday, December 13 – Friday, December 15 | 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Saturday, December 16 | 10:00 am – Noon and 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm


sponsor:
sponsor:

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 $19.75
Senior $18.75
Kids (2-12) $17.75, Under 2 FREE

Santa’s Schedule:

Saturday November 25, 11:00 & 1:30

Saturdays December 2, 9 & 16 & 23 at 10:00, 12:00 2:30 & 4:30

Sundays November 26, December 3, 10 & 17 at 1:00 & 3:00

Sunday December 24, 11:00, 1:00 & 3:00

Christmas Around Town | Downtown Three Rivers

The annual downtown holiday gathering returns as always to Three Rivers! Join in the weekend of November 24-26 for time-honored traditions including a Friday tree lighting, Saturday reindeer petting area and carriage rides, and visits with Santa at the Riviera, Santa’s Workshop kids crafts, and cookie activities all weekend long!

On Main Street, Santa arrives at the front entrance to the Riviera Theatre at 12 noon on Saturday; he will be traveling by fire truck courtesy of the Three Rivers Fire Department in traditional fashion. Santa will remain at the Riviera Theatre for in-person visits until 4:00 pm. For Sunday, Santa will return to the Riviera Theatre from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Santa’s House | Downtown St. Joseph

Picture perfect holiday fun is available weekends in December in downtown St. Joseph. Santa’s house will be located on the corner of State and Pleasant Streets.

Santa’s Hours: December 2 – 23, visit website for specific dates and times

 

RELATED: Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies & Holiday Parades Around SW Michigan

 

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

A fun-filled event happening December 2 and 3 to celebrate the holiday season for the whole family, with amazing arts and crafts, shows, music, vendors, food, live entertainment, not to mention Santa and his elves! Admission $10 for adults, Children under 12 are FREE.

Santa’s Schedule: December 2 and 3, beginning at noon each day

Santa’s Workshop at Wedel’s Nursery, Florist and Garden Center | 5020 Texas Drive, Kalamazoo 

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

Santa’s Schedule: Friday, December 1 from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm and Saturday, December 2 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  December 9 and 10, from 11 a.m – 4 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 9 & December 10 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Christmas at the Flywheelers | Michigan Flywheelers Museum, South Haven

Celebrate Christmas the old fashion way at the Michigan Flywheelers Museum. Festive lights, children’s craft activities, holiday music, trolley hay rides and of course, a visit with Santa are all part of this special holiday event. FREE event!

Santa’s Schedule: Friday, December 8 and 15 from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

 

Specific Dates

 

Friday, November 24, 2017

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

The City of Kalamazoo’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will again be held at Bronson Park, the heart of Kalamazoo. The Mayor, City Commissioners, City Manager and Santa Claus will attend to read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”, light Kalamazoo’s Christmas trees, and kickoff what is sure to be another great holiday season!

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.

Santa’s Schedule:  Pictures with Santa 6:20 pm – 7:30 pm (approximate)

 

RELATED: Where To Find a Real Christmas Tree Around Kalamazoo 2017

 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Crafting in the Creek Day | Downtown Battle Creek

Come on out between 5 pm and 8 pm to do some crafting in the Creek! Different crafters will be located in local businesses around downtown to help you make fun crafts you can take home.

Santa’s Schedule: Visit Santa at the Bronson warming house at the Hall of Toys from 5 pm to 8 pm

Santa Saturday | VerHages Fruit Farm, Kalamazoo

Visit the Farm, Santa will be there all day.  Come on out and have FREE snacks and bring a camera to take pictures! VerHages is selling pre-cut Christmas trees, Christmas fudge, candy and caramel apples.

Santa’s Schedule: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Marshall Christmas Parade | Downtown Marshall

Marshall’s 53rd Annual Christmas Parade brings hundreds of families to see the beautiful lights of Michigan Avenue and the festive parade. Downtown is filled with spectators as floats, bands, fire trucks and more parade the street from Brooks Fountain to Exchange Street. The fountain lights are turned on at 6:45 pm to the oohs and aahs of the visitors lining the street. At 7 pm the parade begins with music, cheers and children’s delightful sounds of glee. Join in this great holiday tradition of Marshall!

Santa’s Schedule: Monday, November 27 at 7:00 pm in downtown Marshall

 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Ugly Sweater Night | Crossroads Mall, Portage

Wear your merry gear to spread holiday cheer! It’s time to get U–G–L–Y with Santa! Bring your friends and family and dress in your ugliest sweater to see Santa.

Santa’s Schedule: Friday, December 1, from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

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

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.

Santa’s Schedule:  10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Otsego Hometown Christmas Celebration | Main Street, Otsego

Otsego’s annual Hometown Christmas happens on December 2nd to offer an entire day of events and activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Santa’s Schedule: Breakfast with Santa at the Elks Lodge 8 am -11 am, visits with Santa at the Chamber Building 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm

Reindog Holiday Parade | Downtown St. Joseph

Come down to St. Joseph, for a fantastic way to kick off the holiday season. The annual Reindog Holiday Parade features dressed up pets and their owners in a variety of holiday garb. Be prepared to see all kinds of costumes from “Santa Bernards” to “Reindeer Rotweilers” – this is definitely a must-see event. The event also marks the arrival of Santa- who will then be available for wish list conversations and photos.

Santa’s Schedule: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Breakfast with Santa | Cornwell’s Turkeyville, Marshall

Enjoy breakfast with Santa in front of our large Christmas tree.
Cookie sized pancakes with choice of sausage or bacon and a drink. $3
Adult meal will be available also.

Santa’s Schedule: 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Pancakes with Santa | Brookside Farms Fritz’s Blueberries, Paw Paw

Head over to the Paw Paw store on December 2nd and enjoy a pancake breakfast, tell Santa your wish list, enjoy a yummy hot cocoa bar, and take home some tasty baked goods. Be sure to bring your own camera to take pictures with Santa. There just might be some other fun things happening, so, be sure to get there early. RSVP by calling 269-657-3500.

Santa’s Schedule: 9:00 – noon

29th Annual Christmas Walk | Downtown Schoolcraft

The annual Schoolcraft Christmas Walk will be Friday, December evening and on Saturday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Santa’s Schedule: visit and photos with Santa from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at The Beauty Bar

39th annual Children’s Christmas Parade | Downtown Paw Paw

The Children’s Christmas Parade route travels downtown Paw Paw, starting at 10:00 am. Children can tell Santa all of their Christmas wishes and receive one free photo with Santa. While waiting, Children can enjoy a craft project & The Magic of Joe Bennett. Hot cocoa and cookies provided.

Santa’s Schedule: Santa Claus arrives and greets all children at the end of the Parade

Sippin’ with Santa | Round Barn Winery, Baroda

Score precious time with the Man in Red with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy (or $5 suggested donation). At this family-centered holiday, party kids can make their own ornaments and decorate cookies.

Santa’s Schedule: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Christmas in the Village | Downtown Vicksburg

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

Santa’s Schedule:  Santa visits at the North Pole (Community Center) after the parade from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Portage Traditional Holiday and Tree Lighting Celebration | 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 2 at 6:00 pm. Thousands of lights will be illuminated in celebration of the holiday season. Then follow a horse-drawn wagon with Santa and Mrs. Claus, 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.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet visitors at the Hayloft Theatre, and refreshments will be available including hot cider and cocoa. An ice sculpture demonstration, reindeer petting, and letters to Santa in the Schoolhouse will also be on site.

Santa’s Schedule:  7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Santa Luncheon at WMU Fetzer Center | WMU, Kalamazoo

Join Santa for lunch at the Fetzer Center and enjoy a special one-on-one time with Santa. This year there will also be a magic mirror to capture your memories at this festive event. Seating is limited so hurry and make your reservation today.

Santa’s Schedule:  11:00 am–3:00 pm

 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Santa’s Coming to Aubree’s | Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill, Plainwell

Santa is coming to Aubree’s Plainwell! The Big Guy will arrive and visit with guests. Bring your camera and take all the photos you’d like. Then, stay for dinner at Aubree’s. For more information, call the restaurant at (269) 685-2122.

Santa’s Schedule:  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Santa and his Reindeer | Bedford Township Fire Station, Battle Creek

Pictures with Santa, pet a live reindeer, kids games, refreshments and hot dogs – all FREE at this community event.

Santa’s Schedule: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Winter Wonderland | Downtown Galesburg

Santa will be at the Galesburg Winter Wonderland. There will be a parade at 6:00 pm with special guests, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Homemade cookies & hot cocoa, free hot dogs, fireworks following the parade. Santa is available to visit with children after the parade – Andrea’s restaurant location.

Santa’s Schedule:  6:00 – 8:00 pm

 

Friday, December 8, 2017

YMCA Swim with Santa / Maple Branch, Kalamazoo

Enjoy a fun night at the YMCA with Santa. Santa will be helping the lifeguards. FREE for members. Non-members pay $15 per family. All ages welcome.

Santa’s Schedule: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Holiday PJ Night with Santa | Crossroads Mall, Portage

Throw on your most festive jammies and come see Santa! Dress up the family in your favorite festive pajamas and come take an adorable photo with Santa.

Santa’s Schedule:  5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Breakfast with Santa | Four Points by Sheraton, Kalamazoo

Join Santa and his helpers for a special breakfast buffet. Fun for the entire family and pictures with Santa. Call for more information or reservation 269-216-5960

Santa’s Schedule: 8:30 am – 10:30

Candy Cane Hunt | Mayor’s Riverfront Park,  Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department will host its 12th annual Candy Cane Hunt where 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: Visit with Santa from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Holiday Open House | Comstock Township Library

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. Please bring a camera, as pictures with Mrs. Claus and the reindeer will be allowed.

Mrs. Claus Schedule:  1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Reindeer and Santa Visit | Otsego District Library

Santa is coming and he is bringing his reindeer! Live reindeer from Reindeer Ranch. Visit with Santa, pet live reindeer, and make a holiday craft during this popular event. Enjoy FREE popcorn, hot chocolate, and donut holes!

Santa’s Schedule: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Meet Santa | Little Sprout Children’s Boutique, Kalamazoo

Bring the little ones to come meet Santa! There will be goodies for kids and adults and the store will be open for shopping from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Santa’s Schedule: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Breakfast with Santa | Old Peninsula Brewpub and Restaurant, Kalamazoo

Join us as Santa visits the Brewpub! Skip the long lines at the mall. Instead, have the kids tell Santa what they want here while enjoying a breakfast buffet. Serving scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, hash browns, shrimp ‘n grits & more. Call 268-343-2739 for reservations or more information.

Santa’s Schedule:  9:00 am – noon

 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Cookies & Cocoa with Santa and his Reindeer | Davis Creek Apartments, Portage

Davis Creek Apartments is hosting a winter event. Santa will be here with his reindeer (pictures encouraged). Hot Cocoa and cookies will be served in our leasing office along with a craft for the kids! This is a free community event, everyone welcome!

Santa’s Schedule: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

 

Friday, December 15, 2017

YMCA Swim with Santa / Portage Branch, Kalamazoo

Enjoy a fun night at the YMCA with Santa. Santa will be helping the lifeguards. FREE for members. Non-members pay $15 per family. All ages welcome.

Santa’s Schedule: 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Party | Galesburg-Charleston Memorial District Library

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

Santa’s Schedule:  11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Santa Skate | Millennium Park Ice Rink, Portage

Millennium Park Ice Rink offers $5 Skate & Rental Package / $3 Skate Only – for an afternoon of fun on the ice with jolly Ol’ Saint Nick! Enjoy holiday music and skating with the Big Man himself. Bring a cameras for this fantastic holiday photo op with family and friends.

Santa’s Schedule: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

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

Enjoy holiday treats, expanded buffet and get your photo taken with the Jolly St. Nick himself. Call 269-226-3155 to make a reservation.

Santa’s Schedule:  9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Photo Courtesy Burdick’s for Breakfast

Sunday, December 17, 2017

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

Enjoy holiday treats, expanded buffet and get your photo taken with the Jolly St. Nick himself. Call 269-226-3155 to make a reservation.

Santa’s Schedule:  9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Kris Kringle Tea | Celery Flats Historic Area – Stuart Manor, Portage

Come join Santa and Mrs. Claus for an afternoon of tea and holiday treats. Tea and refreshments provided by Portage’s own Chocolate Tea. The cost to attend this event is $25 per adult and $20 per child. Limited space available and registration deadline is December 3. To register visit www.portagemi.gov and click on the purple Recreation Activities button.

Santa’s Schedule: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

 

Get on Santa’s NICE list this year at any of these meet & greet locations. Other Santa Sighting event in the area we may have missed? Submit it to our Event Calendar here

*Note: this Santa Sightings Guide is published for the readers and friends of KZOOkids.com. Any copy of this guide in full or in part is prohibited.  Thank you!

 

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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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