Kalamazoo Christmas Updates: Santa Visits, Light Displays, Christmas Tree Farms and Suggested Gifts

Christmas Tree Decorate

Kalamazoo’s Holiday Hub for 2020

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.

Important Message: Area businesses are working to implement procedures based on the new safety guidelines. For each of the attractions and events we mention, we include a link to the business website. Please use this link to confirm the details, hours of operation and any requirements guests must follow before visiting. Thank You!


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:


1) Visit 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.

2) Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

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.

See also: Cut Your Own FREE Christmas Tree in Michigan’s National Forests »

3) Drive Around Town and See Twinkling Lights

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).

See also: Drive Through Lights in Michigan »
See also: Walk Through the Lights at Gull Meadow Farms »

4) Order Some Local 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):


1) Shop Local for Gifts & Experiences

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:

2) Shop for Some Fun Gifts to Make it Through a Michigan Winter

Winter is a LONG season in Michigan and navigating it while in our quarantine bubbles from COVID-19 can only make it feel longer. Try this mega list for winter gift ideas; go big since we are all staying home.


1) Cross Items off of Your Winter Bucket List

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?

2) Plan Some Winter Break Fun