The 2023 List of Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Michigan

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The 2023 List of Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Michigan

Michigan in wintertime is nothing short of a snowy wonderland, and when the festive season rolls around, it truly transforms into a dazzling display of holiday cheer. If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry! I have put together an amazing list of places to see Christmas lights in Michigan. From the quaint charm of small-town festivals to the grandeur of drive-through light displays, there’s a spectacle for everyone to enjoy.

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In 2023, we are bringing you an exclusive guide to the best places across the Great Lake State to witness the magic of Christmas lights and holiday displays. Whether you’re looking to admire meticulously decorated homes, immerse yourself in community celebrations, or take a mesmerizing drive through twinkling lights, Michigan has it all. So grab your hot cocoa, bundle up, and get ready to explore the sparkling beauty of Michigan’s Christmas lights and holiday displays with us!

Places to See Christmas Lights in Michigan – Southwest

Christmas Lite Show at LMCU (Fifth Third) Ballpark in Grand Rapids

4500 River Dr. NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321

You’re in for a treat because Michigan’s biggest Christmas light show is back in action! The Christmas Lite Show is all about spreading holiday cheer with over 40 animated displays that stretch for nearly two miles. It’s been a family tradition for folks in Grand Rapids and beyond for ages.

2023 marks the 26th year of this fantastic drive-through light show, and it’s better than ever. Whether young or just young at heart, you’re in for a magical time. Picture this: nearly two miles of Christmas magic featuring over a million twinkling lights, animated displays, and even lighted tunnels. And here’s the real kicker – the Winter Wonder Walk. It’s a chance to get up close and personal with all that Christmas enchantment. Walk through the lights, snap photos, and soak in the festive spirit. Plus, guess who might make a special appearance? Santa and his reindeer! You won’t want to miss it.

Hip Grandma tip:  Check the website for special times when you can walk through or ride a bike through the show.

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Binder Park Zoo Lights Before Christmas

7400 Division Dr, Battle Creek, MI 49014

Visit Binder Park Zoo for a delightful display of lights, animal encounters, and seasonal festivities. ZooLights features over 80 animal shapes outlined in lights, 36 decorated Christmas trees, a 15-foot highlighted teddy bear, and nightly hands-on presentations exhibiting some of the zoo’s smaller animals. My grandkids love this fantastic zoo, and it’s even better at Christmas!

Spring Lake Sparkle in Spring Lake

Spring Lake, Mi

Get ready for a dazzling spectacle! With over 120,000 multi-colored lights, Spring Lake is lighting up the trees and buildings along Savidge Street, stretching from Division to Buchanan.

The lights kick off at sunset on a Friday around Thanksgiving and keep the festive glow going through January 3rd. But Spring Lake Sparkle isn’t just about the lights; one of my favorite parts about this lighted town is that the village businesses join in the fun by staying open late on Fridays and Saturdays, and some restaurants are even opening on their usual off days. Food trucks also roll in to add to the culinary delights.

ZooLights at John Ball Zoo

1300 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Embark on an enchanting journey at John Ball Zoo after sunset, where the night comes alive with thousands of vibrant lights illuminating your path. Wander through the zoo’s magical wonderland and check out the captivating displays and dazzling colors.

As you stroll through the zoo, you’ll be captivated by swaggy animal exhibits, all under the soft glow of evening lights. I particularly love the festive atmosphere with the seasonal entertainment that adds a touch of wonder to this extraordinary nocturnal adventure. Zoo Lights at John Ball Zoo is fun for all ages and an excellent way to get the whole family together over the holidays and enjoy some good, clean family fun along with the lights!

Veenstra Christmas Lights

2187 132nd, Hopkins, MI 49328

Catch the holiday vibes as you drive by the Veenstra Christmas Lights. This private property showcases Christmas with more than 7,700 lights that groove to the beat of festive tunes on your car radio. This dazzling show keeps the holiday spirit alive from Thanksgiving through the first week of January.  

The Colors of Christmas in Newaygo

7683 S. Croton Hardy Drive, Newaygo, MI 49337

Discover the Colors of Christmas Wonderland at Croton Township Campground in Newaygo, MI. The campground is lit with vibrant lights and enchanting displays, and you can drive or hike through this magical wonderland! The display is open from the day after Thanksgiving until January 1st.

Hip Grandma Tip:  If it’s in your holiday budget, you can donate, supporting the Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Gilmore Car Museum

6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

Winter Wonderland: A Holiday Lights Spectacular at Gilmore Car Museum is an absolute blast for the entire family! It offers a one-of-a-kind experience that stands out from any other holiday light attraction you can think of. I love that you can listen to festive holiday tunes as you make your delightful drive through the beautifully illuminated grounds.

After your cruise through the lights, stop inside the museum to meet Santa Claus and wander through the Gilmore’s Festival of Trees, mixed with hundreds of classic cars. It’s a holiday adventure like no other! Tell them the Hip Grandma sent you!

Merry Mile at the Calhoun County Fairgrounds

720 Fair St., Marshall, MI 49068

The Merry Mile is perfect if you’re looking for a new family holiday tradition! Cruise through a one-mile display of lights from the cozy comfort of your car. We like to pack some Christmas cookies and hot cocoa to get into the mood.

There’s no place like Michigan during this delightful time of year, and attractions like the Merry Mile add to the winter charm around the holidays. And while you’re visiting Marshall, plan a stop in the historic downtown. The town puts great effort into its beautiful holiday lights, and you may get a little Christmas shopping done while you’re there!

Gull Meadow Farms in Richland

8544 Gull Road, Richland, MI 49083

You’ve gotta swing by Gull Meadow Farms on the weekends in December – They transform the place into this epic indoor Christmas light wonderland, and it all happens in the greenhouses. It never gets old. Each greenhouse has its own vibe and theme, and it’s just like stepping into a whole new world of holiday magic. Add Gull Meadow Farms to your family’s holiday tradition. Trust me, they’ll love it.

Fredrick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

If you’ve never been to Fredrick Meijer Gardens at Christmas, you’re missing out. Wandering through the indoor and outdoor displays is one Christmas tradition that makes my list of favorites every year. The whole place lights up with this incredible glow, from the gardens to the sculptures and all the Christmas-themed displays. They’ve got more than 40 displays that dive into all kinds of remarkable stories, facts, and folklore – it’s like a journey through time.

And don’t even get me started on the outdoor adventures! Taking a wintertime walk in the gardens is like stepping into a winter wonderland. And whether you’re inside or outside, you’re surrounded by a stunning display of 350,000 lights – it’s like the whole place sparkles.

For 2023, they’ve outdone themselves with 42 displays. Seriously, you don’t want to miss Meijer Gardens this year. See why I keep returning year after year – it’s an experience like no other!

Chase Family Christmas Lights Display

276 E. Kenwood Rd, Twin Lake, MI

The Chase Family knows how to celebrate the season! If you’re in the Twin Lake area, fit this fantastic light display into your holiday schedule. This display is on private property, and donations are welcome to support our American veterans.

The Chase Family creates a unique walk-through display that includes approximately 40,000 lights. On the weekends, you can visit with Santa and the Grinch after you walk through the fantastic display. Be sure to snap some selfies at the marked selfie spots, and bring the littles for a fun train ride through the lights. If your kids and grandkids are like mine, they’ll love this fun extra touch!

Hip Grandma Tip: Check the Chase Family Christmas Lights Facebook page for parking information before you come.

Lansing Holiday Light Show at Cottonwood Campground

5339 N Aurelius Rd, Lansing, MI 48911

Have you been to the Lansing Holiday Light Show at Cottonwood Campground? Beware – if you’re like me, it will quickly become your go-to spot every holiday season! This place is kicking off its second season, and it’s the only drive-through light show in Lansing, Michigan – how cool is that?

So many mind-blowing, giant holiday displays will make your jaw drop. It’s perfect for the whole family or a solo trip to soak in the holiday vibes. I love to hop in my car, bring my favorite snacks and drinks, and crank up the radio to catch the light performance synced up to the music. It’s like a holiday party in my car!

The route is a solid 0.5 miles of pure holiday magic. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this. Grab your friends and family, or bring yourself and see what the hype is all about. I promise it’ll be your new holiday tradition, just like mine!

Hip Grandma Tip:  The light shows on this list have set dates and times that they are open. Sync up your calendar to be sure you show up at the right time and place.

A quote on a Christmas background: "The charm of a Michigan Christmas lies in its ability to blend the grandeur of holiday festivities with the intimate joy of home gatherings. It's pure holiday perfection." – Michael Anderson, Celebrated Chef and Michigan Native

Places to See Christmas Lights in Michigan – Southeast

Lights on Grand Blvd in Grand Blanc

11400 Grand Blvd, Grand Blanc

You’ve just got to swing by Lights on Grand Blvd in Grand Blanc! The whole street comes alive from 6–10 p.m. It is a holiday party you don’t want to miss.

The lights? Oh, they’re not just any lights. They dance and shimmer in sync with the music, and all you have to do is pull up, pop your car in park, switch off those headlights, and tune your radio to 87.9 FM. It’s like having your very own light show right in your car!

And the best part? The playlist changes every weekend, so it’s always a fresh experience. I can never get enough of it. They are doing something extraordinary, too – collecting donations for Fish of Grand Blanc, our local food pantry. It’s all about spreading that holiday cheer and helping out the community.

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Magic of Lights Michigan at the Pine Knob Music Center

33 Bob Seger Dr., Clarkston MI 48348

Magic of Lights in Michigan is like my holiday season highlight every year! This place is something else, with more than a mile of these jaw-dropping light displays that bring all your favorite holiday scenes and characters to life.

The displays are epic. The Holiday Barbie™ display is sparkling and larger than life; the Bigfoot® Monster Truck is extremely cool, and the life-sized dinosaurs of Prehistoric Christmas? Just wow! It’s like stepping into another world.

The best part? Pile everyone into the car, and you’re good to go – it’s one price for the whole carload. Talk about a holiday steal! Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this – it’s an experience for the entire family, and it’s just as excellent every single time.

Hip Grandma Tip: You’ll want Christmas music, holiday snacks, hot cocoa, PJs for the kids, and warm cozy blankets. Also, be sure you have a full tank of gas.

Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth

25 Christmas Ln, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth is like Christmas magic brought to life! It’s huge – they don’t call it the world’s largest Christmas store for nothing, right? Every time I go there, it’s like stepping into a holiday dream. The lights, the ornaments, the trees – it’s all so dazzling!

They’ve got everything you could ever think of for Christmas. And the lights and décor are a Christmas lover’s dream. Stroll the store and the grounds if you want a Christmas lift. I could spend hours just browsing and soaking in all the festive vibes. Trust me, you’ve got to check it out; it’s a whole experience. Plus, Frankenmuth is such a cute town to explore, too. You can’t beat a day spent there, especially during the holiday season!

A Frankenmuth Christmas

635 South Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734

Speaking of Frankenmuth…  If you’re in town for Bronner’s, plan a wander through downtown. The whole city of Frankenmuth is lit up at night. I find it nearly impossible to resist the holiday spirit when you’re in Frankenmuth. Check out the Frankenmuth website for a schedule of the many events throughout the season. Celebrate the holiday season in Frankenmuth with spectacular light shows, exciting activities, and family fun.

Dow Gardens in Midland

1809 Eastman Ave, Midland, MI 48640

You’ve just got to experience the holiday magic at Dow Gardens – I wouldn’t miss it for the world! This fabulous, gently-lit pathway takes you straight into a winter wonderland. Santa’s reindeer make an appearance too! It’s like they bring the North Pole right to Midland. Plus, there’s always a group of carolers belting out all the classic holiday tunes, really getting you into the festive spirit.

And if you’re feeling chilly, no worries– Travelin’ Toms is right there with all sorts of warm drinks to buy. Hot cocoa? Yes, please! The best part? You get to enjoy all this festive fun for free. These perfect old-fashioned evenings are filled with candlelight, music, and pure holiday joy. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this. Join the fun and make your holidays a whole lot brighter!

Christmas Aglow in Clinton Township

40700 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township, MI 48038

Christmas Aglow in Clinton Township – it’s my must-attend event every holiday season! The whole place lights up and marks the start of the most beautiful time of the year for me.

Christmas Aglow is the perfect event to bring your family along or meet up with neighbors. The whole community comes together for a night of pure festive fun. And for the kiddos? They have their special moment with Santa, sharing their Christmas wishes directly with the big guy.

The atmosphere is just buzzing with holiday tunes, and you can’t miss the stunning ice sculptures –like works of art! Plus, horse-drawn trolley rides? Sign me up! And with light refreshments to top it all off, it is the perfect way to dive into the holiday season. Trust me, you don’t want to miss Christmas Aglow; it’s always a blast!

Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade and Tree Lighting

Kercheval Ave, Grosse Pointe, MI 48236

For a fantastic start to the season, plan to swing by the Santa Claus Parade and Tree Lighting in Grosse Pointe – it’s the perfect kickoff to the holiday season every year! Seriously, the whole event is just packed with joy and festive vibes. The parade is like a winter wonderland come to life, and when they light up that tree, it’s just magical. The atmosphere is unbeatable and really gets you into the holiday spirit. Trust me, once you’ve been once, you’ll want to make it a new tradition!

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Holiday Walk in Downtown Plymouth

Downtown Plymouth, MI 48170

If you’re in the Plymouth area, you must experience the Holiday Walk in downtown Plymouth! The whole place transforms into this enchanting winter wonderland with sparkling lights, beautiful decorations, and a fantastic holiday vibe.

Everything starts with the grand Main Street Tree Lighting; let me tell you, it’s a sight to behold! Plus, the Salvation Army Red Kettle Kickoff happens simultaneously, and it’s a great way to give back during the holiday season.

Strolling through the charming streets, soaking in the festive atmosphere, it’s like a little slice of holiday heaven. I’m telling you, once you’ve been, you’ll be counting down the days until the next Holiday Walk in Plymouth! Trust me, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.

Christmas Holiday Magic at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad

6140 Bray Rd, Flint, MI 48505

You can’t beat the Christmas Holiday Magic at Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad! It’s like you’re stepping straight into the past, with the historic village all decked out in thousands of twinkling lights and festive decorations.

And the train ride? Absolute magic! It takes you on this enchanting journey through the holiday-themed countryside, and I promise, it’s a total highlight. The whole experience fills you with that warm, fuzzy holiday feeling. 

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067

The Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo must be on your go-to list every holiday season! The whole place transforms into this incredible winter wonderland, and it’s nothing short of magical. We’re talking millions of LED lights sparkling everywhere and these super cool animal sculptures you must see.

Oh, and the holiday train? It’s the cherry on top! It adds this extra bit of magic to the whole experience. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been, and it never gets old.

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI 48124

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village? Oh, this one is on my must-visit list every holiday season! It’s like stepping back in time and experiencing Christmas just like they did way back when. The whole village comes alive with carolers filling the air with classic holiday tunes, and you can’t miss out on the horse-drawn wagon rides – they’re just so much fun!

And the decorations? They’re all period-themed, so you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. I love soaking up all the festive vibes and getting lost in the magic of the season.

Wayne County Lightfest

7651 Merriman Rd, Westland, MI 48185

The Wayne County Lightfest in Hines Park is a top-notch event for the holiday season! Imagine driving through over four miles of dazzling, animated holiday displays and tunnels of lights—it’s truly magical. They have nearly 50 themed displays and over 100,000 lights that transform the park.

Tune into AM 1640 for real-time updates as you approach; it’s handy for knowing about wait times and special events. And don’t forget to make a pit stop at Perrin Park to drop off your letter to Santa and grab a bite from the food trucks.

Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo

1301 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48912

I absolutely love visiting Potter Park Zoo every year for their wonderful Wonderland of Lights! It’s become a cherished tradition for me. The dazzling light display, the captivating animal exhibits, and, of course, meeting Santa Claus – it’s an enchanting experience that I eagerly anticipate and never want to miss. If you haven’t been yet, I highly recommend making it a part of your holiday festivities!

The Durand Union Station Depot

200 S. Railroad St., Durand, Michigan, 48429

Get ready to dive into the holiday spirit at the Durand Union Station Depot! They’ve gone all out with festive decorations, and I love the gorgeous sight of 40 stunning, one-of-a-kind trees on display. It’s a fantastic place to soak in the wonders of the season with friends and family.

Canterbury Village Holiday Stroll

Canterbury Village, 2359 Joslyn Ct, Orion Charter Township, MI 48360

You’ve got to experience the winter wonderland at Canterbury Village—it’s a blast every time! They put on a fantastic synchronized light show that blows me away, and strolling through the holiday market? Absolute must-do.

And oh, you can’t forget about Santa’s grand arrival! It’s like the cherry on top of an already fantastic holiday experience. I’m telling you, once you’ve been once, you’ll be marking your calendar for next year just like I do.

Lights on the Lake

439 Shady Oaks St., Lake Orion, MI 48362

Have you ever been to Lights on the Lake over in Lake Orion? This incredible holiday light display started in 2015. With around 20,000 LED lights all dancing and twinkling in sync with the holiday tunes—it’s like they’ve got a life of their own! And it’s all orchestrated using roughly 60,000 computer-controlled channels. Lights on the Lake never disappoints, and it’s one of those experiences that gets you right into the holiday spirit.

Rochester Big Bright Light Show

City Hall, 1000 Rochester Hills Dr, Rochester, MI 48307

If you’ve never strolled through downtown Rochester during the holiday season, you’re seriously missing out! The entire area transforms into this enchanting spectacle with thousands of twinkling lights adorning the storefronts—it’s like a holiday dream come true.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Rochester Hills pulls out all the stops with its own version of the Big Bright Light Show. We’re talking about thousands of dazzling lights that take your breath away.

Stony Creek Metropark Holidays Lights

4300 Main Park Dr, Shelby Charter Township, MI 48316

Enjoy a drive-through light display through the scenic Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Charter Township. Multiple holiday events happen throughout December at the Metropark, including dazzling holiday lights. A stroll through this area is worth a road trip, too, with family-friendly and fun lights and activities for all. Check out the entire calendar of activities in the area at the Stony Creek Metropark website. 

Hip Grandma Tip: You’ll likely be in the car awhile. And you might be drinking hot cocoa or hot apple cider. Have a bathroom plan, especially if you’re bringing kids with you.

Nite Lites at Michigan International Speedway

12626 US-12, Brooklyn, MI 49230

If you haven’t been, you must check out Nite Lites at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan! My adult daughter and I visited last year, and let me tell you, it’s nothing short of magical. Picture this: a five-mile-long route, completely decked out in sparkling and vivid lights, creating a winter wonderland. It’s such a unique experience being at a speedway transformed into a festive holiday escape.

You can purchase tickets at the entrance, but I recommend getting them in advance to make things smoother and quicker. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this spectacular light show; it’s a holiday highlight I look forward to every year. So, grab your tickets, hop in the car, and see the fuss. Nite Lites is calling your name!

Hip Grandma Tip:  Plan a leisurely drive through this attraction – and turn your headlights off!

Fantasy of Lights in Howell

Downtown Howell, MI 48843

You’ve just got to head down to Howell’s historic downtown when the holidays roll around—it’s like the whole place lights up! They deck out the streets in holiday lights and decorations; it’s super festive and is guaranteed to get you in the spirit.

There are so many excellent local spots to grab a bite or do a bit of shopping. And Santa and his reindeer make an appearance, too; it’s always a hit with the kiddos. Plus, the holiday parade is one of the longest-running in the area, and it never disappoints.

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Northville Symphony of Lights

41355 Six Mile Rd, Northville, MI 48168

Northville is beautiful during the holiday season. But you haven’t seen anything til you’ve seen the Northville Symphony of Lights! Over 125,000 lights dance to the beat of your favorite holiday tunes. The 2023 Christmas light show will have 125,000 lights and is dedicated to celebrating the true meaning of Christmas – the birth of Christ. There is no charge to see the show! So, this is a perfect way to see the season’s sights without breaking the bank. Pack an extra holiday snack, and you’ll have a new tradition.

Taylor Winterfest Parade and Tree Lighting

Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Rd, Taylor, MI 48180

Get ready for a fun-filled day at the Taylor Winterfest. After a day of fun activities, the fest culminates with the Winterfest Parade at 5 p.m. It’s a showstopper, starting at the Recreation Center and making its way down Pardee Road to Heritage Park. And when the clock strikes 6, get ready for music, stunning tree lighting, and fireworks that will leave you in awe. Plus, the kiddos can dive back into arts and crafts at the Sheridan Center. It’s a blast from start to finish!

Hip Grandma Tip:  The tree is lit throughout the holiday season, so if you miss the lighting ceremony, you can still enjoy the tree all season!

Glenlore Trails Aurora in Commerce Township

3860 Newton Road, Commerce Township, MI 48382

Dive into a captivating winter adventure suitable for every family member at Glenlore Trails Aurora, Michigan’s pioneering illuminated forest, this festive season! I love wandering through the mesmerizing one-mile outdoor trail, enriched with engaging story moments, interactive experiences, and various entertaining activities.

They keep the experience fresh and exciting by introducing new features annually, ensuring every visit feels as enchanting as the first. Don’t miss the chance to create unforgettable memories in this unique, luminous winter paradise!

A quote on a background of bokeh Christmas lights: "Christmas in Michigan is like stepping into a living snow globe – there's a unique magic in the air, and every snowflake tells a story." – Emma Thompson, Michigan-born Author

Places to See Christmas Lights in Michigan – Northeast

Christmas in Bad Axe

750 S. Van Dyke Road, Bad Axe, MI 48413

The Bad Axe Christmas Parade is an annual tradition that kicks off the holiday season in Michigan’s thumb! Come out to watch the parade as it winds through downtown Bad Axe. 

Northern Lights Parade in Oscoda

Downtown Oscoda

Get your warmest coats and fluffiest scarves ready because we’re welcoming Santa Claus to Oscoda in style! After a cup of hot cocoa at the Oscoda Township fire barn, gear up for the Lighted Parade at 6 p.m., making its dazzling way through downtown on US-23. There is no better way to kick off the holiday season than with this fantastic parade in Northeast Michigan!

Cheboygan Parade of Lights

Downtown Cheboygan

There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than at the Downtown Cheboygan Parade of Lights! It never disappoints. Cheboygan lights up Main Street and hosts floats decked out in the most amazing lights and the happiest bunch of marchers you’ll ever see.

The parade begins at Court and makes its way North on Main right up to State, and the whole town comes alive! I’ve been part of this tradition for ages, and it’s the perfect way to kick off the season, I promise. And the cherry on top? Santa and Mrs. Claus come to town, and it’s just magical. Just a heads-up: parking on Main Street takes a little break from 3:00 p.m. until after the parade, but it’s worth it. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this!

Places to See Christmas Lights in Michigan – Northwest

Boss Family Christmas Display

9336 Pearl Ave, Charlevoix MI 49720

If you find yourself in Charlevoix, Michigan, during the holiday season, you must check out the Christmas display set up by the Dale and Marilyn Boss family. They have been captivating Michigan residents with their unique displays for years! They’ve been lighting up Charlevoix with their festive spirit since 1978, making it a long-standing tradition in the community.

It’s not just about the lights; it’s about the love and history behind them. Every time I visit, it feels like a trip down memory lane mixed with all the cozy vibes of the season. Don’t miss out on this gem; it’s a true embodiment of holiday magic in Michigan!

Herman Holidays on Murray Ct in Suttons Bay

10780 E. Murray Ct, Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Herman Holidays on Murray Ct, just a bit south of Suttons Bay. It’s mind-blowing! The hundreds of handmade decorations are a sight to behold, and what’s even cooler? Many of them move! So head over, park the car, and walk through this fantastic light show. While you’re there, stop at the Hot Cocoa stand for a cup of Santa’s favorite brown beverage!

Sparkle in the Park Bear Lake

12376 Virginia Street, Bear Lake, MI, 49614

No list of Michigan Holiday events and lights would be complete without a mention of this fantastic place called Sparkle in the Park, which lights up every night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the holiday season! It’s free to enter, but they have a donation box to help fund next year’s sparkling displays if you feel generous. Thanks to the excellent collaboration between the Bear Lake Promoters and the Bear Lake Village Council.

This place is like a winter wonderland, one of the most beautiful Christmas scenes you could ever imagine. So, bundle up, grab your loved ones, and head to Bear Lake to experience the magic of the seasons at Sparkle in the Park.

Christmas in Charlevoix

Downtown Charlevoix, MI 49720

Get ready to be charmed by the holiday vibes in downtown Charlevoix! The whole area transforms into a magical wonderland with stunning festive lights and decorations that’ll make your heart swell with joy. My favorite part is the incredible light parade that kicks off the season.

And the fun doesn’t stop there – the downtown stays brilliantly lit throughout the holiday season. Trust me, it’s a sight and the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. You must see it for yourself; it’s a community favorite for a reason!

Castle Canadian lakes

9400 Pere Marquette Dr., Canadian Lakes, MI

The Castle in Canadian Lakes, Michigan, will be all decked out and dazzling for the 2023 holiday season, thanks to the awesome folks at Century 21 White House Realty! We’re talking over 100,000 LED lights draping the castle’s outer walls. It is a sight you can’t miss, hands-down the top holiday display in the area.

Hip Grandma TipClick HERE for your FREE vehicle pass, which you’ll need to get in.

A quote on a Christmas background showing strings of lights:  "In Michigan, the holiday season is a time for community, with towns lighting up from coast to coast, creating a winter wonderland that warms the heart." – John Richards, Local Historian

Places to See Christmas Lights in Michigan – The Upper Peninsula

Holiday Lasers on the Ore Dock

117 West Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855

The Ore Dock in Marquette is getting all decked out for the holiday season! From Thanksgiving weekend all through December, downtown Marquette is the place to be if you want to soak in festive vibes. They are masters at bringing together local history and snazzy modern technology with an incredible laser light display on the iconic Lower Harbor Ore Dock. Stop by any Thursday through Saturday during the holidays. You may even catch me there – look for the Hip Grandma with pink hair!

Carters’ Christmas Lights

1313 N Vandenboom Ave, Marquette, MI 49855

The Carter’s Christmas Lights display isn’t your average light show; it’s a private residence that goes all out to spread the holiday cheer. They’ve been at it since 2013, and let me tell you, they’ve got this festive display down to an art. Ten years in, and they’re still rocking it! If you want a sneak peek of what you’re in for, hit their Facebook page. You’ll find pics of all the festivities from past years.

Light Up the Soo

Soo Locks, Sault Ste. Marie, Mi 49783

The Soo Locks are one of the most unique and cool places to visit in Michigan. The annual Light Up the Soo event is an absolute hit for the whole family, and trust me, you don’t want to miss out. If you want to catch an incredible view of Sault Ste. Marie, all lit up in its festive glory, make your way to the Tower of History. Imagine seeing all the twinkling lights from 210 feet up in the air – it’s simply breathtaking!

Businesses and homes are all decked out everywhere you look, and all the area attractions are joining in on the holiday spirit. It’s the perfect time to start a new tradition with your loved ones.

Extend Your Trip

The best way to get a feel for the festive feel of Pure Michigan is to sample some of the lights from all around the state. And the Christmas season is the perfect time for a Michigan Road Trip. My adult daughter and I always take a weekend to do some shopping and enjoy lights that aren’t right outside of your own backdoor. 

If you need a place to stay somewhere in Michigan, I’ve made it easy with this collection of rentals available near our many light shows around the state.

Need a Place to Stay in Michigan?

Zoom in on the map to see hotels and VRBO rentals available in the area where you’d like to stay.

Wrapping it all Up

Thank you for taking this little journey with me through Michigan’s festive streets and twinkling woods, all about the magical Christmas lights and heartwarming events happening right here in our snowy state. It’s not just about the sparkling lights; it’s about the tight-knit communities, the laughter, and the hot cocoa in hand as you stroll through these winter wonderlands.

From charming downtown parades to forests lit up like something out of a fairy tale, every corner of Michigan is open for families and friends to make some holiday memories. And hey, amidst all the fun, we’re also taking a quiet moment to remember what Christmas is about: the birth of the Savior and the joy of being surrounded by the people we love. So, grab your favorite winter scarf, round up the gang, and dive into the season’s cheer Michigan-style – you’ll have a blast!

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PIN image for Places to see Christmas Lights in Michigan with an image of trees and a gingerbread man lit up on a red background.