This article is currently being updated for the 2021 holiday season. Stay tuned for the new version in November!
2020 Christmas Events & Activities in SWMI
Each year we accumulate more Christmas decorations. Another box of ornaments, a new building for the Christmas village, or another cuddly stuffed animal donning a Santa hat. And while each January tests my spatial relations to return said decorations to their storage in the basement, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Christmas is more magical (and more fun) since we had kids. I’m okay if it also means a few extra trimmings to store for next year.
How can we celebrate the holidays this year? Can we even see Santa?
It’s hard to know what to expect in 2020, but rest assured: the guy in the red suit is still visiting kids. Christmas tree farms are still cutting down tinsel-ready trees, and Christmas is very much happening.
We’ve curated a guide to celebrating the holidays in Kalamazoo with a variety of fun activities. No matter how your family chooses to celebrate this year; we wish you a happy and safe holiday.
Find all Things Twinkly, Snowy and Jolly in Kalamazoo for 2020
December brings a variety of fun, seasonal activities for families to enjoy. Some are virtual, many are outside, and others require ticketed entry to social distance. Try our suggestions below and don’t forget our calendar for daily activities.
Use this list to find your family’s holiday fun:
Where to See Santa
Santa is not letting 2020 foil his plans to see kids this year. The jolly man in the red suit is still available (even during a pandemic) to spread some holiday cheer.
Families have options this Christmas including virtual Santa visits, Santa socially distanced, and Santa behind plexiglass to safely visit this December.
Looking at Christmas lights is an annual tradition in our family, and one of my favorites. Warm up some cocoa, put the kids in their jammies, and take a drive around Kalamazoo for some fantastic Christmas displays.
For drive-through lights, advanced tickets may be required (and will save you time waiting in line).
Christmas Tree Farms
While our Christmas tree resides in our basement 11 months out of the year, many families visit Christmas tree farms annually to bring theirs home. Local tree farms are open and ready to help families take home a terrific tree, offering both pre-cut and u-cut options.
Be sure to verify times and payment policies (some may be cash only) before you head out.
Tree Lighting Ceremonies & Parades
“Glory in the Highest” A Calvary Christmas Concert
Calvary Bible Church
855 S Drake Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
» December 11-13, 2020
In order to maintain socially distanced seating at the concerts, all attendees will be asked to reserve a seat by obtaining a ticket (at no cost).
A Season of Giving
Hosted by Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
» December 18-23, 2020
A collection of song and word performances to celebrate the season. Name your own price, minimum $5, suggested price of $15.
Sounds of the Season: A Virtual Celebration
Hosted by Kalamazoo Symphony
» December 20, 2020 | 4pm
Our annual holiday tradition comes to your home this year as we gather online for a musical celebration of the winter season. We look forward to sharing this hour together with holiday favorites! Name your per-ticket price, the suggested price per ticket is $54.
Jim Brickman LIVE! Virtually
Hosted by Kalamazoo State Theatre
» December 22, 2020 | 7-10pm
Jim Brickman will wow the crowd with his uplifting, family-friendly, holiday concert tradition “Comfort & Joy at Home” LIVE. A portion of each ticket purchased to this LIVE event will benefit the Kalamazoo State Theatre. $40
Drive Through Live Nativity
Vineyard Assisted Living
8170 Vineyard Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
» December 8, 2020 | 5:30-7pm
Drive through our live nativity scene to celebrate the reason for the season. The first 50 cars will get a box of Christmas cookies to take home. Also featuring Santa’s mailbox, so your little ones can make sure their letters get to Santa in a safe and socially distanced way.
MINI Nativity: Let’s Celebrate His Birth
6364 144th Ave, Holland, MI 49423
» December 12 & 13, 19 & 20 | 4-6pm
Come Celebrate the Birth of Jesus through a Live MINI Nativity Scene at the mini red stable where inside the Holy Family will admire The Christ Child as The Angel, Shepherds and Wisemen also adore Him. Fell pony & Gypsy Vanner horse jingle rides will be available. $5 suggested donation/person
Drive/Walk-Thru Christmas Musical: The Innkeeper’s Stable
Faith Chapel Ministries
7736 G Ave W, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
» Thursday-Sunday, December 12-31, 2020 | 6-10pm
Come view beautifully painted scenery and listen to our original Christmas production over your radio or smartphone. Radio broadcast will start at the top of each hour.
Drive/Walk-Thru Christmas Musical: The Innkeeper’s Stable
Milwood United Methodist Church
3919 Portage Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
» December 18 & 19, 2020 | 7-9pm
See the Christmas story come to life on Portage St. Outdoors and socially distanced, you’ll get to see the holy family in the stable, the shepherds and wise men, and even a live camel (from Scheumann Farm)!
Holiday Meals to Go
Our family (like many) will not see extended relatives or serve a big meal to many attendees. However, I still want a special meal to share with my kids for Christmas. Local Kalamazoo restaurants are stepping up to the plate this year in a big way, and offering complete meals to go for both Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Support a locally-owned restaurant and take cooking a big meal off of your plate this year (win-win):
Kalamazoo and its surrounding communities offer a fantastic variety of gift options for the holidays. Whether it’s apparel, toys, books or candy, there is no shortage of local brick and mortar shops to help stuff those stockings and stock the presents under the tree. And if your family is looking for less “stuff,” we’ve included experience options like memberships and classes to consider.
Send Santa to shop locally this year, as our list covers kids of ALL ages, plus moms and dads too:
Skiing, Sledding and Skating Spots
Many Michiganders hope for a white Christmas as the season changes and temperatures drop. But once the ground is covered in that white fluffy stuff, where are the best spots to enjoy it?
We’ve rounded up the top picks for sledding, skiing, ice skating and tubing to jumpstart your winter fun activities. How many will you visit this year?
Winter Break Activities