by Leslie P 

Start the car, fill up a thermos of hot chocolate and grab some cookies so the whole family can enjoy an evening of twinkling Holiday light displays in Kalamazoo, the Southwest Michigan area, and beyond.

This guide is brought to you by Kalamazoo Candle Company, helping to make spirits extra bright this holiday season with 100% soy candles, all crafted by hand in downtown Kalamazoo. Shop the Kalamazoo Candle holiday collection at any one of their local retailers.  Find your nearest Kalamazoo Candle retailer here:


RELATED: Santa Sightings around Kalamazoo – 2017


Updated for 2017!

zoolightsphoto courtesy of Binder Park Zoo

Zoo Lights at Binder Park Zoo

7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, MI 49014 | (269) 979-1351

  • December 15-23 from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm.
  • Visit Binder Park Zoo to view their lights, decorations, winter animals, special entertainment and even visit Santa. Enjoy unlimited carousel rides, animal meet and greets and , holiday treats. Check out their Facebook page for additional information.
  • $5 Binder Park Zoo Members, $6 Non-members, Children under 2 are FREE
  • Wild Africa will be closed.
  • Register to have a special dinner with Santa. Details can be found here.

International Festival of Lights

Battle Creek (on State Street, near the Battle Creek River)

  • Take a stroll along the river and State Street in downtown Battle Creek to enjoy their beautiful light displays.
  • One of the most popular displays is the Twelve days of Christmas which is located on the back lawn of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
  • Other entertainment and activities will be announced on their website.
  • There are many new events this year including a Tinsel Toes 5k, caroling, horse-drawn wagon rides and more. Click here for details.


Portage City Center

  • Take a stroll on the lighted paths near Portage City Hall and the Portage District Library.


Bronson Park and Downtown Kalamazoo

200 South Rose Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

  • Walk through Candy Cane Lane, take a picture with the giant Santa near the Radisson hotel, take a break on the Holly Jolly Trolley, and view the beautiful lights around downtown Kalamazoo.
  • For information on Santa’s Workshop hours and the Holly Jolly Trolley Service check HERE.


Long Road in Kalamazoo

1532 Long Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

Located just east of the WMU campus, this home is well known for its elaborate decorations!  Decorations include beautiful light displays, Santa, reindeer, Olaf, Snoopy, snowmen, penguins, Queen Elsa and so much more. You can park your car nearby and take a stroll past the house, or if it’s too cold, even a slow drive by will surely get you in the holiday spirit.




Kalamazoo Community Church

Kalamazoo Community Church, 2435 North 26th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49048

  • Visitors will be able to view the Christmas Card Drive display. Admission is free, just drive right up.


Christmas Card Lane

Lauderdale Drive off of West Main, Kalamazoo

  • Residents of this 43 house street in Westwood continue a local tradition of lighting large plywood Christmas cards displayed on their front yards.


Holiday Card Walk in Portage

Bicentennial Trail in Portage beginning at Celery Flats

  • Beginning on the second of December, check out this popular Portage tradition of viewing large holiday greeting cards, lights and decorations made by area families, businesses and organizations.
  • Cards will be located along Bicentennial Trail.
  • Does your family or organization want to make your own card to be displayed next year? Plan ahead by clicking here for details.




Why not make take a road trip to see some Holiday Lights that are worth the drive? These are some suggestions from our readers.


 photo courtesy of the Calhoun County Fairgrounds

Marshall’s Merry Mile

Calhoun County Fairgrounds

720 Fair Street, Marshall, MI 49068

  • Now through December 30th.
  • Wednesday – Sunday 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
  • CLOSED Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
  • Pricing: $6 Car/truck/SUV/Van, $10 Bus Groups.




Christmas Lite Show

Fifth Third Ball Park, 4500 West River Drive, Comstock Park, MI 49321

  • Christmas Lite Show animated drive-thru light display is almost two miles long!
  • The display runs November 22nd – December 31st from 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm.
  • Admission starts at $20 for cars.
  • NEW this year – catch the Memory Lane Train departing at certain times.

Lights-St.Joephoto courtesy of St. Joseph Today

St. Joseph Lights up the Bluff

Lake Boulevard, St. Joseph, MI

  • From December 1 through Valentine’s Day you can take a walk through Lake Bluff Par and enjoy the view of over a million lights.  While you’re there, make sure you check out the Silver Beach Carousal all decked out for the holidays.




If you’re heading out of town this holiday season, why not check out one of the light displays within a few hours or so of Kalamazoo.

Nite Lites Show, Winter Wonderland  (New Location)

Michigan International Speedway, 12626 US-12, Brooklyn, MI 49230

  • Now thru December 30th.
  • Times:  5:30 pm to 9:00 pm, Sunday through Thursday and 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday.
  • Admission is $20 for cars.
  • The display takes approximately 20-30 minutes to drive through. You can turn your radio to their Christmas music station for even more holiday cheer.
  • Check out the website for additional opportunities including Santa visits, reindeer and train rides.


Wonderland of Lights – Potter Park Zoo

1301 S. Pennsylvania Avenue, Lansing, MI 48912 | (517) 483-4222

  • Wonderland of Lights is open on Thursdays through Sundays from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm only (through December 31st). Admission for Wonderland of Lights: $7 adults, $5 for kids 3-12 and free for kids under 3.
  • Santa will be visiting Fridays and Saturdays through December 23rd.


Wild Lights – Detroit Zoo

8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067 | (248) 541-5717

  • Wild Lights will be held between 5:30 pm and 9:00 pm December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23 and 26-31.
  • Walk-up ticket pricing is $16, but discount tickets are available with advanced purchase on select dates. Click here for details.
  • Carousel rides and pictures with Santa are available for purchase.
  • The Polk Penguin Conservation Center will be closed.


The Lights Before Christmas – Toledo Zoo

Toledo Zoo, 2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH 43614 | (419) 385-5721

  • Running through December 31st, this year’s edition features over one million lights and more than 200 illuminated animal images!
  • Hours: Sunday – Thursday 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
  • Admission: Adults – $17, Children 2-11 – $14.
  • Additional activities include Santa visits, Santa dives, and ice bumper cars

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2015

ZooLights – Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614 | (312) 742-2000

  • Visit the Lincoln Park zoo for FREE family fun featuring luminous displays and holiday-season activities throughout the zoo grounds.
  • Display runs December 8-23, 26-31 and January 1-7.
  • Hours:  4:30 pm – 9:00 pm.
  • Admission is FREE, except on special event nights – see website for dates. Special experiences are an additional price.


This year, delight your family with a drive to see Kalamazoo’s most spectacular light displays. Let us know in the comments any other worthy spots to check out!







By | 2017-12-07T15:14:26+00:00 December 4th, 2014|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Newly Published, Parent resources|Comments Off on Holiday Lights In & Around Kalamazoo

About the Author:

Jill is a mom of a busy 9 year old son. When not working the website, Jill likes to hike, cook, and read in her free time.