Holiday Hullabaloo

. December 1, 2014.

Parades, carolers, tree lightings, artisan markets, visits with Santa, and other happenings capture the spirit of the holiday season. The list below shows you the way to carry your sleigh to some fun and family-friendly activities.


December 1, 8, & 15             

The Santa Express

10am & 12:30pm     

The Old Road 

301 E. Adrian St., Blissfield


Join them for a special 90-minute train ride with Santa and his friend, Jingles the Elf! Enjoy cookies and milk, and lots of activities for kids. Each visitor will have their own personal visit with Santa during the train ride. Boarding starts 15 minutes before the train leaves. $21/adults, $19/seniors, $16/children 2-12.


Friday, December 5

Kerrytown Kindlefest


Kerrytown Market and Shops

315 Detroit St., Ann Arbor


A Children’s Lantern Parade will take off from the Farmers Market. An outdoor holiday market will feature handcrafted gifts and artisan-made food, accompanied by live music, fire pits, a heated tent, and other goodies. Midnight Madness shopping inside Kerrytown Shops.


Friday, December 5

Ypsi Christmas Tree Lighting


Ypsilanti District Library Plaza

229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti

734-482-4110, &

Caroling with hot cocoa will get you in the holiday mood at the Downtown Association’s annual tree lighting ceremony. Santa is going! A First Fridays art crawl of art and music events is the same night, from 6-10pm.


Friday-Sunday, December 5-7

Chelsea Hometown Holidays

Various times and locations

Downtown Chelsea


Marvel at the light parade, visit Santa’s workshop, attend a tree lighting ceremony in Pierce Park. There are holiday craft sales, music and theater performances, luminaries, and many more activities during the 3-day citywide festival. Plus, gingerbread houses will be on display at participating merchants December 4 through December 20.


Saturday, December 6

Sing-Along with Santa


Bethlehem United Church of Christ

423 S. 4th Ave., Ann Arbor


Join the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra to sing carols and Christmas favorites with Santa and piano accompaniment. Get your picture with Santa and enjoy cookies and cider at the show. This is a ticketed event. $12/adults, $8/kids, $35/families (up to 6).


Saturday, December 6

Milan Christmas Parade


Main St., Milan


Santa will be riding in on the Boogie Woogie Choo Choo Train, along with floats, bands, and other festive parade walkers. There will be a City Christmas tree lighting and much more, at Milan’s annual downtown celebration. This year’s theme is “Christmas Around the World.”


Saturday, December 6

Christmas at the Mansion


Gordon Hall

8431 Island Lake Rd., Dexter


The historical home of village founder Judge Samuel Dexter gets decked out for the holidays with festive Christmas decorations. Make and take home a country craft, visit with Santa, and enjoy refreshments at this Dexter Area Historical Society event. Suggested donation $5. Also, pop on over to a Holiday Bazaar of handcrafted gifts at the Dexter Area Historical Museum (9am-3pm, 3443 Inverness St., Dexter).


Saturday, December 6

Saline Holiday/Christmas Parade


Michigan Ave. and various locations in downtown Saline


Saline’s parade kicks off Holiday Week with a bang. There will likely be all sorts of floats, bands, baton twirlers, animals, and much more. Santa arrives on his sleigh and then heads over to Santa’s Village (Dec. 6-9 at Stone Arch Arts and Events; 117 S. Ann Arbor Street). This year’s theme is “Your Favorite Christmas Memories.”


Saturdays, December 6, 13 & 20

Santa Visits Kerrytown


Kerrytown Market and Shops

315 Detroit St., Ann Arbor


Have you been naughty or nice? Santa visits Kerrytown every Saturday leading up to Christmas. Live musical performances by local school groups, musicians, and choral groups ring in the season.


Saturday & Sunday, December 6 & 7

Christmas on the Farm

Saturday 10am-4pm, Sunday Noon-4pm

Waterloo Farm Museum

13493 Waterloo Munith Rd., Grass Lake


Travel back in time to the pioneer days and Victorian era at one of Waterloo’s first homesteads. The ten-room farmhouse, outbuildings, and nearby Dewey one-room schoolhouse get decked out with period Christmas decorations, historical re-enactors, fresh baked goods cooking on the original wood burning stove, and guided tours. Free admission for members and children under 5. $5/adults (non-members), $2/children ages 5-12.


Sundays, December 7, 14, 21

Holiday Classics Film Series


Michigan Theater

603 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor

State Theater

233 S. State St., Ann Arbor


Some modern holiday classics will be screened at the Michigan Theater and State Theater, for free! “Miracle on 34th Street” (December 7 at the State Theater), “Elf” (December 14 at the Michigan Theater), and “It’s a Wonderful Life” (December 21 at the Michigan Theater) will be shown during this year’s State Street Area Association film series.


Thursday, December 11

PJ’s & Stories with Santa

6-7 & 7:30-8:30pm

Saline Rec Center 

1866 Woodland Dr., Saline


All little boys and girls are invited for a very special evening of holiday fun. Wear your favorite pair of pajamas and get cozy as one of the Saline District Library’s storytellers reads holiday stories. You will sing songs, do crafts and have milk, cookies and hot chocolate. $12/child day of event. 


Friday, December 12

Festive Friday 

Main Street, Downtown Ann Arbor            

Live entertainment will sing and dance its way down Main Street as onlooker’s eyes light up! Acts include a cappella groups, breakdancers and carolers.


Friday, December 12

A2SO Holiday Pops Concert


Hill Auditorium

825 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor


Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s new holiday tradition features high school choral singers from Pioneer and Huron, the Boychoir of Ann Arbor, and men’s choral group, Measure for Measure. Tickets range from $10 to $45.


Saturday, December 13

Holiday Hustle

Monument Park

Baker Rd. and Main St., Dexter


Running Fit’s annual festive and family-friendly 1 mile fun run (4:15pm) and 5K (4:30pm) will start from Monument Park. Santa Claus will be at the Monument Park pavilion before the races start. Holiday sweaters and costumes are encouraged. The first 500 people to register get flashing swag (hats and necklaces that light up). $5/person. Sign up as a family (up to 5) and save $2.50 a person on registration fees.


Saturday, December 13

Treasure Trail to Santa


Busch’s Shopping Center

E. Michigan Ave., Saline


Follow a treasure map to Santa around the shops at the Saline Busch’s Shopping Center. Visit Santa, ride in a horse-drawn carriage, pet animals, and enjoy performers and other entertainment. Pick up a treasure map at Physical Therapy in Motion (505 E. Michigan Ave.).


Saturday, December 13

Breakfast with Santa


Briarwood Mall

100 Briarwood Cir, Ann Arbor


Have breakfast with Santa and support a great cause! All proceeds will go toward the #ChadTough Fund for pediatric brain tumor research in honor of Chad Carr, the 4-year-old grandson of former U-M football coach Lloyd Carr who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. $20/person. 


Saturday, December 13

Milk & Cookies with Santa


2855 Boardwalk Dr., Ann Arbor


All little ones will celebrate at a baby/toddler-friendly Santa party at Lamaze Family Center. There will be plenty of time for free play and games, and children will have the opportunity to make a craft, share a treat and meet Santa. For an additional fee of $30, local photographer Julie Morrison will also be on hand to take photos with Santa. Families opting for photos will receive two free prints, and they can purchase additional photos/photo products from Julie’s website. $12/person.


Sunday, December 14

Frosty on Ice Skates


Veterans Ice Arena

2150 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor


Frosty The Snowman will be lacing up his ice skates and hitting the Vet’s Park ice rink. Skate with Frosty and get your picture taken with him during a meet and greet. Free candy canes for skaters of all ages. General admission. Skate rentals available on site.


Sunday, December 14

Santa Central


Hudson Mills Metropark

8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter


Come play reindeer games, take a hayride, and visit with Santa. Choose between one of three two-hour sessions (10am, 12:30pm, or 2:30pm). Make a day of it by exploring Dexter’s beautiful parkland. Buy tickets in advance at the park office or call to preregister. $6/child, $3/adult. Bring your own camera or purchase a photo with Santa for $2.


Thursday, December 18

One Candle for Tzedakah


Jewish Community Center 

of Greater Ann Arbor

2935 Birch Hollow Dr., Ann Arbor


Share in a community dinner during Hanukkah, which will feature a professional magician. Fun activities, crafts, and games will follow dinner. The Center is also participating in a Toys for Tots drive. $15/families, $5/individuals.


Thursday, December 18

Songs of the Season


Towsley Auditorium at Washtenaw 

Community College

4800 E. Huron River Dr., Ypsilanti


Joyous holiday songs performed by Ypsilanti Community Choir with special guest The Motor City Brass Band, and more tunes by the BDQ jazz quintet. WEMU radio personality Linda Yohn hosts this annual tradition. 


Saturday, December 20

Nature Tales – A Chilly Tale


Leslie Science and Nature Center

1831 Traver Rd., Ann Arbor


Bring your little ones (ages 1-5) to this story time and nature activities event. “A Warm Winter Tale” by Carrie A. Pearson tells of how animals adapt to the cold. Hands-on, nature-themed activities, including live animal visits, follow after story time. $4 per child (non-member) $3/child for LSNC members. Preregistration is encouraged.


Saturday, December 20

Make a Sock Snow Person


Malletts Creek Branch of the Ann Arbor District Library

3090 E. Eisenhower Parkway, Ann Arbor


Get crafty and learn how to turn one of your socks into a snow person doll. This kids’ workshop at the library is intended for grades K-5.


December 22, 23, 29 & 30

Winter Break Movie Matinees


Ypsilanti Library Whittaker Branch 

5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti


Take your little ones to watch a matinee and have popcorn. Movies include Frozen, The Lego Movie, Muppets Most Wanted and Disneynature Bears.