by Jill P



Making Holiday Memories

Making holiday memories with your family this holiday season is something that doesn’t have to break the bank. There are so many fun things to do with your family around Kalamazoo this time of year. Many of these things are cheap (less than $5 per person) or FREE! And make sure that you bring your camera to capture these memories.

Here’s some of our favorite activities and events to squeeze in before Christmas:


1. Holly Jolly Trolley And Candy Cane Lane

Take a ride around downtown Kalamazoo on the Holly Jolly Trolley with a stop at Candy Cane Lane in Bronson Park. Always a fun thing to do this time of the year and it’s free! The Holly Jolly Trolley is a wonderful way to take in the holiday decorations and lights while getting around downtown.

2. Take A Drive To See Holiday Lights

We’ve published our Holiday Light Guide. Many of the places on the list are free or the upcoming ZooLights at Binder Park Zoo running December 18-23 is just $5 per person and $4 per person for members.


3. Gingerbread House Making-Options At Our Local Libraries

The KPL is offering two opportunities to create a masterpiece with graham crackers, frosting, and candies at KPL-Powell Branch on December 15 and at KPL-Washington Square Branch on December 17. Registration is required for these events and space is limited. Also offering gingerbread house making are: Parchment Library on December 17, Comstock Library on December 13, or at Portage Chapel Hill Church on December 14.

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4.  Visit to Santa’s Workshop at the Kalamazoo Mall

Santa’s Workshop is free and located at 157 S. Kalamazoo Mall in downtown Kalamazoo. Kids can take their time, make their own crafts, and write letters to Santa. Mall Plaza is decorated to look just like the North Pole, so bring your own camera and take all the photos you wish with Santa and his elves.

5.  Catch Some Local Holiday Shopping Events

Plenty of places to shop locally around the area. We’ve had fun as a family checking out all of the local arts and crafts. Some of these include:


6. Visit Reindeer Ranch or See Reindeer at the Kalamazoo Public Library

The Reindeer Ranch in Kalamazoo is having their annual Blitzen Bash on December 20 & 21. It’s free, but you can also bring a donation. Also, check out the Reindeer Reign at the KPL-Oshtemo Branch on Saturday, December 13 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.


7.  Of Christmas Past at Historic Charleton Park

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 13 & 14 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, you are invited to tour the village & enjoy Christmas at Historic Charlton Park. Admission to Christmas Past is $5 for adults and $3 for children 4 to 12.


8. Flick’s Festive Favorites

Why not head to the movies this weekend? Flick’s Festive Favorites is running December 12th – 14th. See Elf and The Polar Express on the Big Screen at select Celebration! Cinema locations. Kids aged 12-and-under are free. Adult tickets are just $5 per-person.


9.  Catch a Christmas Performance at a Local Church

Some of our local churches have some special holiday productions. “The Bethlehem Project” Christmas Musical is at Haven Reformed Church on December 14 or Journey to the Manger – a Living Nativity at Lighthouse Community Church. The Living Nativity runs from 6:00 pm– 8:30 pm December 11 & 12 and 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm on December 13 & 14. These productions are free.

Please share in the comment section below if you’re church is having a special Christmas production or program.


10.  Holidays at the Homestead

Bring your family and friends to the beautifully decorated DeLano Homestead at the Kalamazoo Nature Center for Holidays at the Homestead for a step back in time. Join the 1800’s-style celebration and holiday traditions. Free to members, non-members adults- $7, children & students (4-17)-$4 and children 3 & Under-free.

Some of the activities include:

  • 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 a horse-drawn wagon ride (weather permitting)
  • Warm up with cider and a cookie
  • Watch skilled spinners, weavers, and blacksmiths demonstrate their craft


Hope you enjoy the sights, sounds, and feel of the Holiday Season!




By | 2014-12-11T05:44:20+00:00 December 11th, 2014|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Newly Published|3 Comments

About the Author:

Jill is a mom of a busy 8 year old son. was started in 2013 to showcase all of the great things to do in and around Kalamazoo. When not working the website, Jill likes to hike, cook, and read in her free time.


  1. Melanie Sage December 11, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    gracespring Bible Church is also have a Christmas program this weekend (Dec 13 – 14). Saturday performances are at 5pm and 7pm and Sunday performances are at 9am and 11am.

  2. barbara.marquis December 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Love these ideas. My only complaint is that there are not suggestions for when kids are actually on break. All of these ideas are really for before.

    • Jill P December 11, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Stay tuned…we are also coming out with a Christmas Break Planner.

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