Make Merry in Muskegon this Holiday Season!
Here come the holidays and snow and we embrace that!
Downtown is already sparkling with lights and festooned with pine branches. To celebrate the season, Muskegon County offers holiday concerts, a singing Christmas tree, a festival of trees, stage productions of classics like A Christmas carol and the Nutcracker, a holiday ice skating show, parades, decked out lumber baron mansions, and of course hockey and outdoor activities at the Muskegon Luge and Adventure Sports Park.
Here’s a roundup of the festive fun:
A Christmas Carol
November 15 – December 1
Muskegon Civic Theatre proudly presents a diverse cast of 22 local thespians to bring a musical version the Charles Dicken’s yuletide classic “A Christmas Carol” to the Beardsley Theater, located in the Frauenthal Event Center for the Performing Arts. There are a total of 10 performances scheduled, until the last curtain call on December 1st. But don’t wait for the clock to strike midnight, tickets are selling like prize turkeys!
Festival of Trees
November 20 –December 1 (Closed Thanksgiving)
The Muskegon Museum of Art’s 15th Annual Festival of Trees sets the scene for holiday inspiration. This year’s Festival of Trees theme is inspired by the beauty of Mother Earth and the spirit of Father Christmas.
Professionally designed trees and décor set, and get you in, a festive holiday mood! Some are available for purchase through the silent auction which runs throughout the entire Festival which wraps up on December 1st. Every year has a unique theme, and this year’s Festival of Trees theme is inspired by the Beauty of Mother Earth and the Spirit of Father Christmas. There are visits with Santa, raffles and live musical performances. Bring your shopping list to the gift store for fabulous finds…or get yourself a little something special!
Special events include:
First Day Food Drive
Receive half-off Festival admission with your donation to Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.
Wednesday, November 20, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Deck Your Halls Holiday Decorating Demonstration:
Floral designers Deb Moon from Le Fleur Flower Shoppe and Skeeter Parkhouse from Wasserman’s Flowers and Gifts will demonstrate how to create unique holiday décor during this event. Items created during the demonstration will be raffled to the audience. Light snacks and coffee will be served.
Sunday, November 24, 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Receive discounted Festival admission if you are 65 years of age and older. Enjoy free coffee and cookies, vendor giveaways, information, and register for door prizes.
Tuesday, November 26, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Santa will stop in for a visit from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and the fun will include a kids’ craft activity and scavenger hunt. Special Family Day pricing includes half-off adult ticket price
Friday, November 29, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Special holiday musical performance featuring Julia and the Greensides and Max and Ruth Bloomquist.
Friday, November 29, 6:00 pm Cocktail Hour | 7:00 pm Concert
Teddy Bear Breakfast:
Mark your calendars, grab your teddy bears and head to the Teddy Bear Breakfast; especially fun for kids ages three to eight years old. Enjoy breakfast; a visit with Santa; bring your teddy bear for a checkup (by a certified teddy bear nurse); and more fun at Festival of Trees! Ticket prices include Festival of Trees admission. Note…This event sells out!
Saturday, November 30, 8:30 – 10:30 am
Cocktail Hour: Partnering with Muskegon Civic Theatre
New this year, ticket holders to the Muskegon Civic Theatre’s Saturday performance of “A Christmas Carol” will receive free admission to a festive Cocktail Hour
Saturday, November 30, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
White Lake Holiday Walk
November 22, 2:00pm – 8:00pm and Saturday, November 23, 10:00am to 4:00pm
It’s time for the 25th Annual White Lake Holiday Walk! For 25 years the White Lake area decks itself out for the holidays and White Lake Area merchants present their Christmas Open Houses. The little ones can visit with Santa. There’s caroling, luminaries, a Tree Lighting Ceremony” old-fashioned carriage rides, trolley rides, Christmas crafts at the Nuveen Center. Decorate a Cookie at Fetch Brewing Company and build and take Gingerbread House at PUB ONE ELEVEN. Located across the street from each other, both events occur on Friday at from 4 PM – 8 PM.
Children of all ages are invited to help decorate the Community Christmas Tree by bringing their own ornaments or create make-and-take ornaments from participating stores. The “Tree Lighting Ceremony” will light up the hearts and eyes of old and young alike on Friday, November 22 at 6:30pm at the north end of Mears Ave. Sing along to Christmas carols while the aroma of roasted chestnuts fills the air and hundreds of holiday luminaries line the sidewalks.
Friday from 5:00pm – 8:00pm, and Saturday from 12:00pm – 3:00pm, enjoy old-fashioned carriage rides in both Montague and Whitehall. Trolley rides will transport you to any of the participating merchants throughout Montague and Whitehall on Saturday from 11:00am – 3:00pm.
Participating merchants and Santa’s time and locations are located on the Holiday Walk Star Map/Entry Form, which can be picked up at the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce or any participating Holiday Walk stop (look for the big blue sign in the window). Submit your completed Holiday Walk Map/Entry Form and enter the drawing to win a $50 White Lake Gift Certificate.
Gingerbread House Building
November 22, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | November 23, 9:00 am – 11:30 am and 1:00 pm – 3:30 | November 24, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Mimosas, Wine, Beer and mixed drinks and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. Fatty Lumpkins will also be onsite serving up their one-of-a-kind sandwiches.
Feeding the Soul of the City Concert Series “The Christmas Ship”
November 26, 12:00 percent
Shop Local on Small Business Saturday
Western Market Small Business Saturday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Shop Lakeside Local on Small Business Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Circle of Trees is held on the first Sunday in December at Walker Park. Trees are decorated, the dogs get to parade, people get to carol, there is a tree lighting ceremony, refreshments and visits with Santa.
3:00pm – Tree Lighting Testing (Walker Park)
5:15pm – Santa/Dog Parade (Fire Station)
5:30pm – Caroling (Walker Park)
5:45pm – Lighting of the Trees
6:00pm – 7:00pm – Visit with Santa
Hackley and Hume Holiday Tours
December 1 1:00pm – 4:00pm, December 14 4:00pm – 8:00pm. December 21 4:00pm – 8:00pm, December 27 and December 28 1:00pm – 4:00pm
During December you can tour the Hackley and Hume homes. These exquisite examples of the late 1800’s Queen Anne style were the homes of lumber-barons Charles Hackley and Thomas Hume and are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. They are stunning to see all year-round with their ornamental wood carvings, trim, tiles, stencils and furnishings, but they are particularly special to see when decorated for the holidays. The rooms and halls are festooned decked for the holiday with period Victorian ornaments, artifacts, and more. The self guided tour includes both houses and “City Barn” located between the homes. The tours run on weekends through December 28.
Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Muskegon Heights Library to meet children of all ages. Bring the whole family and start your holiday season with stories, crafts and Santa! Don’t forget your camera. You won’t want to miss this free photo opportunity.
The Playhouse at White Lake presents “Irish Christmas in America” Produced by County Sligo fiddler, Oisín Mac Diarmada, the hugely popular Irish Christmas in America show features top Irish music, song and dance in an engaging performance rich in humor and boundless energy.This family-friendly performance features lively instrumental tunes on fiddle, flute, uilleann pipes and harp, along with thrilling Irish old-style dancing from Samantha Harvey. In addition, evocative photographic images provide a backdrop to some of the rich historical traditions of Ireland. Take a memorable glimpse into the enchanting spirit of Christmas, as the finest traditional artists from Ireland, bring you on a fun-filled start to the holiday season.
December 4, 5, 6 and 7 at 7:30 pm
“Once Upon a Time…Stories of the Season” will be presented by Muskegon Community College’s Center for Theater from Wednesday, December 4 – Saturday, December 7 at 7:30 pm in Overbrook Theater.
The featured stories, many of which have been adapted for stage by the director and actors, include:
· A Visit from Mother Winter
· The Polar Express
· Home for the Holidays
· Angels Part II
· Hanukkah v. Christmas
· The Little Match Girl
· Der Belznickel
· The Gift of the MagiDirected by MCC Theater Instructor Tom Harryman,
“Once Upon a Time…Stories of the Season,” features cast members Alex Kooi, Dekari Lawrence, Adrianne Lewis, Luke Lewis, Mark Lewis, Annmarie Santos, Olyvia Staples, Chelsea Theile and Brianna White. Technical assistance for the production is provided by Sheila Wahamaki, Jim Allen and Susan Eyler. The performance, which runs approximately one hour and 20 minutes with no intermission, is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree
December 5 and 6 at 7:00pm | December 7 at 3:00 and 7:00pm
The historic and beautiful Frauenthal Center presents the 35th Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree which has been featured on both the Travel Channel and Learning Channel! Come marvel at the 15 tiered, 67 foot tree made up of 25,000 colored lights and 280 singers with music is accompanied by the 50 piece Mona Shores High School Orchestra. The Singing Christmas Tree must be seen to be believed! If you can’t get tickets, you can watch it stream live on the Muskegon Channel.
Come to the beautiful and historic Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club for “Evening of Elegance | Exquisite Holiday Tablescapes” View exquisite holiday tablescape displays set brilliantly among this registered historic landmark. Enjoy free admission to view the building and tablescapes from December 5 – December 7 from 10:00am – 5:00pm, and December 8 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm. Then, on December 9, enjoy a catered dinner, viewing and a performance.
After a memorable sold-out show last year, Praytell returns to Muskegon for an evening of festive music at the Frauenthal’s Beardsley Theater. Praytell is the Chicago-based musical duo of married couple Jon Guerra and Valerie Strattan Guerra, consistently releasing music that mixes the nostalgic harmonies, poetic lyrics, and musical storytelling they’ve developed a reputation for. Praytell has toured extensively around the globe, including years opening for Amy Grant and Vince Gill’s Christmas at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. Praytell’s “It’s Almost Christmas” Tour is sure to be a musical highlight of your holiday season!
White Lake Christmas Parade
December 7, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The 67th annual parade promises a lot of fun and excitement with floats from area churches, civic organizations, businesses, and community neighbors. Both Montague and Whitehall High School’s marching bands will step out, joined by area Boy and Girl Scout troops, fire trucks, clowns, emergency vehicles, and animals of all shapes and sizes. As the Grand Finale, Santa makes his entrance and will greet children of all ages following the parade at his house outside Montague City Hall, located on Ferry Street.
This parade is a very special slice of small town America and a great way to celebrate the holiday season with family, friends and neighbors.
After he passes by, parade spectators can join the parade and follow him to his “Santa House” outside Montague City Hall located on Ferry St.
Holidays in Lakeside 2019
Meet Santa, take a carriage ride, watch the tree lighting, stock up at the bake sale and enjoy holiday shopping and a myriad of other merry making activities. All this holly jolly fun takes place in the Lakeside Business District; both inside the shops and outside.
It’s the night before Christmas and all through the farm, not a creature is stirring, not even a… duck? Farmer Brown is busy decorating his home in preparation for Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve! All seems calm in the barnyard, but Farmer Brown isn’t the only one who is getting ready…
Based on the book “Click Clack Ho Ho Ho” by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, families will enjoy a live narration of this fun holiday story at The Block. Illustrations will displayed on a 20 foot screen and the story is accompanied by original music played by professional musicians and children will have an opportunity to help compose their own music and hear it performed. Join them for a holiday celebration with your favorite Click Clack Moosic barnyard pals, cookies and milk… and if he isn’t too busy in his workshop, maybe even a visit by the man in the red suit!
Story by Karen Vander Zanden, WMS Director of Education, music by Phil Popham.
Santa at the Egelston, North Muskegon Library and Norton Shores Library
Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Egelston Library at 11:00 am, North Muskegon Library at 11:30 am and Norton Shores Library at 2:00 pm to meet children of all ages. Bring the whole family and start your holiday season with stories, crafts and Santa! Don’t forget your camera. You won’t want to miss this free photo opportunity.
Feeding the Soul of the City Concert Series “ Festival of Lessons and Carols”
December 8, 5:00 pm
All Holiday Celebration
December 9, 7:30 pm
The Downtown Live Concert Series continues with the “All Holiday Celebration,” featuring Muskegon Community College’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and College Singers, on Monday, Dec. 9, in the Frauenthal Theater, 425 W. Western Ave.
Under the direction of Daniel M. Meyers, the Wind Ensemble will perform:
- Holy Night, Silent Night arr. Clifton Jameson Jones
- Russian Christmas Music by Alfred Reed
- Greensleeves arr. Alfred Reed
- Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24 arr. Bob Phillips and George Megaw
The College Singers, directed by Nicholas Palmer, will sing:
- The Very Best Time Of Year by John Rutter
- Hanerot Halalu arr. Neil Ginsberg
- Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! arr. Mark Hayes
- Snowfall by Claude Thornhilll and Ruth Thornhill
- Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas arr. Tom Fettke and Thomas Grassi
Directed by Patrick Parrish, the Jazz Ensemble will play three selections:
- Holly and Ivy arr. Ryan Fraley
- The Christmas Song arr. Jerry Nowak
- Africa arr. John Wasson
West Michigan Symphony: Sounds of the Season
December 13 and 14, 3:00 pm
West Michigan Symphony presents Sounds of the Season at the Frauenthal Center conducted by John Dodson. The North Muskegon High School Choir and West Michigan Symphony Children’s Choir will warm hearts in this annual concert of seasonal favorites—from classics to beloved carols. Bring the whole family for a spellbinding evening of Yuletide magic!
Pigeon Hill Brewing Company is throwing an Ugly Sweater Party for a Cause! Dress to impress at the annual event featuring a live performance by Logan White. There will be a prize awarded to the Ugliest Sweater at 10:00 pm!
Instead of charging cover, and as an official Toys for Tots drop off location, they’re asking everyone to bring an unwrapped toy. They’ll also be collecting items for Kids’ Food Basket’s “Sack Supper Wish List.” Each Sack Supper is a well-rounded, nutritious evening meal critical to the development of the brain and body. Providing that level of nutrition to nearly 8,000 children each weekday takes a lot of support from people like you!
The Muskegon on Ice: Holidays
December 15, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
“Holiday on Ice Show” is becoming a Muskegon holiday tradition! For the second year, over 20 skaters from the Muskegon Lakeshore Figure Skating Club lace up their skates and get decked out in festive costumes. The skaters take to the ice at the L.C. Walker Arena to perform routines set to favorite holiday classics.
West Michigan Youth Ballet presents “The Nutcracker”
December 15, 3:00 pm
The Nutcracker Ballet is a true holiday tradition and on December 15th the West Michigan Youth Ballet will bring the classic story to the stage of the Frauenthal Theater, which will make it all the more magical. The Frauenthal is a majestic, fully restored, historic motion picture palace, built in the Moorish style that originally opened in 1930 and is considered one of the best theaters in Michigan.
The West Michigan Youth Ballet has been around for over a decade now and company members range in age 8 to 18, and come with varied backgrounds and experience.
Feeding the Soul of the City Concert Series “Christmas at the Organ”
December 17, 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
This concert series offers half-hour lunchtime concerts that feature a variety of musical styles, predominantly classical, jazz, and folk/Celtic. They are held in the historic and beautiful St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Muskegon. The concerts are free and open to the public and light refreshments are provided. This lunchtime concert puts organist Peter Kurdziel in the seat for “Christmas at the Organ”
Bundle up and take it outdoors!
All told Muskegon County has over 60 miles of trails of natural and paved trails perfect for snowshoeing and fat tire biking.There are also 26 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and when they freeze and get snow covered, the coast takes on an otherworldly magnificence! Taking walk on the frozen landscape will leave you breathless with how beautiful it is. (But mind the safety rules!)
Don’t forget the Muskegon Luge and Adventure Sports Park! Did you know they have one of only four public luge tracks in the United States? And an outdoor skating trail that winds through the State Park woods. It is lit at night and it’s beautiful! Learn to Luge Weekend begin on December 27th.
Information on these and more events (there are so many!) can be found on our Calendar of Events