Winter Wonderland at Gilmore Car Museum Returns in 2023 with Drive Through Lights, Inflatables Maze, FREE visits with Santa + Christmas Magic

Winter Wonderland Gilmore Car Museum Christmas Event

Winter Wonderland at the Gilmore Car Museum

Back for its third year, Winter Wonderland invites families to celebrate the holiday season in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

Start your Gilmore Car Museum visit with an outdoor driving tour through beautiful colors, lights, music, and dynamic decorations.

You’ll travel the museum’s winding roadways to see more than 25 individual-themed lights displays, lighted historic barns, and decorated vintage-era car dealerships.

Then, head inside the museum for a bevy of fun, including the Festival of Trees and a visit with Santa Claus.

Gilmore Car Museum
6865 W Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

9 Things to Do at Winter Wonderland

Gilmore Car Museum’s Winter Wonderland is PACKED with activities inside and outdoors.

Visitor Tip: Dress for the weather. While there’s plenty to see and do indoors, you will also be outside! We recommend cozy layers.

1 – Navigate the Mega-Inflatables Path

Find the giant, one-of-a-kind pathway in the carriage house.

Work your way through 60+ holiday inflatables (some are gigantic!).

Kris Kringle’s Courtyard is in the Carriage House

2 – Take Advantage of the MANY Photo Ops

Be sure to take pics at the nostalgic 1960s fresh Christmas tree and wreath lot, complete with a vintage Shasta camper trailer.

And at the many other photo ops set up throughout the whole experience. Come with a fully charged phone battery – you’ll be clicking away all night.

Gilmore Car Museum Shata Trailer Photo Opp
Shata Trailer Photo Op
Gilmore Car Museum Shata Photo Op
Photo Ops are Everywhere in and Outside of the Museum
Gilmore Car Museum

3 – Enjoy Yummy Beverages and Treats for Kids and Adults

Bring a few extra dollars, because you’ll be lining up for the gourmet hot chocolate, adult drinks, holiday-themed food & sweets, not to mention the holiday gift shopping.

Visitor Tip: You can sip while you stroll! We recommend getting beverages pretty close to the start of your visit.

Mini Outdoor Holiday Market Sells Roasted Chestnuts
Stop by the Gilmore Bar for Spirited Drinks
Christmas Through the Years Displays
The Diner at the Gilmore Car Museum is Open. They Serve Meals & Milkshakes

4 – Build and Race Toy Cars at the Car Test Stand

Located near the Delorean in the front part of the museum, there’s a toy car build and test stand that is easy to miss.

Ask staff where it is if you can’t find it – your kids will love creating and racing their own creations down the track!

gilmore car museum
📷: Leslie Puckett

5 – Visit Santa

The kids can visit St. Nick at the Gilmore Car Museum. He’s ready to listen!

And, they can leave letters for Santa with the North Pole Post.

Gilmore Car Museum Santa Visits
Santa Visits are Available at the Winter Wonderland Event

6 – Enjoy the Christmas “Through the Decades” Holiday Displays

Around every corner, it seems, there is a different Christmas Tree decorated according to the traditions of the time period on display.

It’s fun to give kids a glimpse of Christmas past. And if you’re visiting with grandparents, to share a bit of nostalgia of how Christmas was for them as a child.

Christmas Through the Years Displays
Find Christmas Tree Displays Through the Decades

7 – Drive Through the Lights

Tune your radio to the designated FM station and watch the lights go by as you motor along the 1.0-mile-long pathway through the museum campus. The light show is included with admission.

Gilmore Car Museum Winter wonderland
📷: Leslie Puckett

8 – Visit Santa’s Garage

Don’t miss a stop inside Santa’s Garage, the big man’s hot rod workshop, located inside the 1930s Shell Station.

It’s a great place to warm up, too.

Gilmore Car Museum Shell Station
Gilmore Car Museum Shell Station

9 – Take a Vintage Car Ride Through the Lights

Go Dashing Through the Snow in a vintage ride from Gilmore Car Museum. Families can ride through the lights in a Ford Model A, a Checker Taxi Cab, a ’63 Cadillac convertible, and several other vintage cars from the collection.

Dashing Through the Snow family rides are FREE (up to four guests), but donations are encouraged.

These family rides are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

📷: Gilmore Car Museum

Winter Wonderland Schedule

Winter Wonderland at the Gilmore Car Museum will run throughout the holiday season, from November 24, 2023, through December 30, 2023.

Thursday through Sunday, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM

• Monday, December 18
• Tuesday, December 29
• Wednesday, December 20

Winter Wonderland Tickets

You can purchase tickets both online and in person at the museum.

Visitor Tip: Save $2.50/ticket by purchasing online.

• Adult (18+): $20
• Youth (5 – 17): $12
• Child (4 & under): FREE

TICKETS – Online
• Adult (18+): $17.50
• Youth (5 – 17): $9.50
• Child (4 & under): FREE

Tickets are NOT date-specific. You may use your ticket on any day between Nov 24, 2023 – Dec 30, 2023.

More Michigan Drive Thru Christmas Light Shows

Winter Wonderland is just one of many options for driving through some twinkling lights this holiday season in Michigan.

About Gilmore Car Museum

The world-renowned Gilmore Car Museum – North America’s largest auto museum with more than 400 vehicles on display — is located midway between Chicago and Detroit, just 20 minutes north of Kalamazoo, or 45 minutes south of Grand Rapids.

The museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, whose mission is to tell the history of America through the automobile.

For questions or more information, visit, call (269) 671-5089 or email

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