2020 Holiday Celebrations in Downtown Kalamazoo: New Outdoor Holiday Market, Window Decorating Contest, Santa Sightings & More

What’s Happening for the Holidays in Downtown Kalamazoo in 2020

Experience the holidays throughout downtown with safe and fun opportunities, while making lasting memories with family and friends.

Stop by to see Santa and Mrs. Claus, share your wish list, take a socially-distant photo, and walk away with a goodie bag!

Stroll through downtown checking out all the decorated storefronts and vote for your favorite.

Shop for the holidays at downtown businesses and vendors during the Holiday Market – an outdoor shopping experience.

Holidays in Downtown Kalamazoo

NOV 28-DEC 24, 2020


  • Santa Sightings
  • Window Decorating Contest
  • Holiday Market


Downtown Kalamazoo is Celebrating the Holidays in 2020

The Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is excited to bring holiday cheer to downtown!

This year’s events may look a little different in response to the ongoing pandemic, but there are still plenty of safe and fun holiday events for the whole family.


Families looking for a fun and safe Santa experience need to look no further than downtown Kalamazoo.

Santa Sightings, presented by the Radisson Plaza Hotel, is a free, outdoor experience on the patio of Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill located at 100 East Michigan Avenue. This magical place filled with little animated elves and twinkling lights is sure to delight all ages! Stop by any time during scheduled hours to wave to Santa and Mrs. Claus, share your wish list, and receive a goodie bag.

Each child who stops by to see Santa will be able to talk to and take a socially-distant picture with Santa. There will be no sitting on Santa’s lap this year.

This year, in lieu of in-person letter-writing activities, children will receive a Santa Letter Writing Kit to take home. The kit includes all materials needed to send a letter to Santa, a holiday craft and wrapped goodies. There will be three Santa mailboxes, sponsored by Consumer Energy, placed throughout downtown for families to send their letters to Santa. Mailboxes are located at Rocket Fizz (125 S. Kalamazoo Mall), Spirit of Kalamazoo (154 S. Kalamazoo Mall), and outside Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill (100 W. Michigan Ave.).

Santa Sightings are scheduled Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 4 to 7 p.m., as well as 12 to 3 p.m. on December 24.  Santa Sightings with Black Santa are scheduled Sundays in December from 12 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. December 21-23.

Additional information on Santa Sightings can be found at downtownkalamazoo.org.


Returning this year is the family favorite Downtown Kalamazoo Winter Window Decorating Contest – a friendly competition between downtown businesses to see who has the merriest display of them all.

This year, with the ongoing pandemic in mind, there are two ways to vote for your favorite display. Votes from both methods will be used to determine the winners.

• In-person voting: The community is invited to walk downtown to see 35+ business storefronts decked out for the holidays and vote for their favorite by scanning the QR code on the window.

• Social voting: Photographs of each participating business’s storefronts can be ‘liked’ on Facebook for a vote.

Voting opens on Small Business Saturday (November 28) and runs until December 16. The winners will be announced December 18, 2020.


An Outdoor Holiday Market comes to Kalamazoo Mall Saturdays in December.

Every Saturday in December, the North and South Kalamazoo Mall will be transformed into an outdoor Holiday Market featuring a variety of retail vendors and music artists for a festive, holiday shopping experience.

The market will feature both small vendor and brick and mortar businesses in this exciting new event.