Holiday events have returned with a bang. There’s a fun experience for anyone who needs some festive cheer.
Nov. 18: Battle Creek Christmas parade
It’s your first chance to see Santa. Find a spot near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and McCamly Street – the parade starts rolling at 5:30 p.m. from the corner of Washington Avenue and Champion Street. It’s also the first night the lights turn on for the International Festival of Lights.
Nov. 27: Marshall Christmas parade
Downtown Marshall’s quaint main street is perfect for an old-fashioned parade. They start at the fountain circle and head downtown at 7 p.m. This year’s theme is The North Pole and Misfit Toys.
Dec. 1: Albion Aglow
There’s a reason Albion’s parade on Dec. 2 is called Albion Aglow: it begins with the ceremonial tree lighting in Bournelis Park at 6 p.m. Afterward, line up along downtown’s Superior Street to see the parade.
Dec. 1-2: Winter Wanderland
Two nights of holiday magic in downtown Battle Creek. There will be free carriage rides to see the lights. A craft show will fill Kellogg Arena from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2. Admission is free.
Dec. 3: Tea with Mrs. Claus
Kids can enjoy high tea with Mrs. Claus at Kellogg Manor on Gull Lake. Travel back through time in this sumptuous historic building, where Mrs. Claus will tell stories and lead a singalong. Reservations are required, space is limited.
Dec. 10: 4 Elf Party
Dress up in your best elf gear for the release of Plead the 5th and other rum barrel-aged beers at Dark Horse Brewing Co. in Marshall. This year, there will be a special edition of 4 Elf with wax-dipped bottles. Arrive at 11 a.m. if there’s a brew you want, because supplies are limited. Besides the best craft beer that Dark Horse has to offer, there will also be live music and costume contests. It’s $10 if you’re an elf, $15 for those without costumes. The cover price includes a buffet served between 2 and 10 p.m.
Dec. 13: Holiday Spice Tea
Sip on the Kellogg Manor’s famous Holiday Spice Tea. It’s served alongside an impressive teatime assortment of savory bites and sweet treats, such as cucumber sandwiches and scones with strawberry jam and cream. Reservations are required, space is limited.
Nov. 24-Dec. 16: W.K. Kellogg Manor Holiday Tours
Take a self-guided tour through the historic summer home of former cereal magnate W.K. Kellogg. There will be docents on hand to answer your questions (be sure to ask about the number seven). End your trip with hot spiced tea. The Holiday Market will be open, too.
Dec. 2: Historic Adventist Village Christmas Stroll
Candles burning brightly in the windows of village buildings and lanterns light the path on this special day at Historic Adventist Village. Each building has a special storyteller to inspire the spirit of Christmas. After the tour, there will be a bonfire with hot chocolate and cookies served in one of the historic buildings.
Dec. 9-10: Marshall Candlelight Tour
Tickets sell out fast for this Marshall Historical Society event, so pre-order ASAP. A tour guide will lead groups through four historic houses and a museum, all beautifully decorated for the holiday season.
Nov. 18: International Festival of Lights
A long-standing Battle Creek tradition, downtown Battle Creek is festooned with strings of lights and decorations. Favorites include the synchronized light show at Mill Race Park, the 12 Days of Christmas at Kellogg House and Santa on the rooftop of Clara’s on the River. Make sure you stop by Cafe Rica for a hot chocolate. If you have a letter for Santa, drop it into the red mailbox outside of the Battle Creek Welcome Center with a return address and he’ll write back!
Nov. 25: Winter Wonderland
Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners is setting up a tunnel of lights for you to drive through. A ticket includes a tour through the festive grounds, a visit with Santa, a maze of holiday inflatables and a chance to see the museum’s world-class car collection. Tickets are available for 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays with additional dates in December.
Nov. 30-Dec. 30: Merry Mile
The first day of December means Marshall gets merry with a mile of light displays at the fairgrounds. It’ll be open Thursday through Sunday for all of December (including Christmas Eve). There will be special events throughout the month, including visits from Santa, crafts and a live nativity. Admission is $10 per car or $20 for a van or bus.
Dec. 2: Brass Band of Battle Creek
Join the world-renowned Brass Band of Battle Creek for a magical evening featuring some of your favorite holiday classics at the W.K. Kellogg Auditorium.
Dec. 8-21: Christmas Cabaret
Barn Theatre opens up every December for carols, dessert and hot cocoa. Your favorite actors will be there for an evening of Christmas songs in the Rehearsal Shed.
Dec. 10: Holiday Magic
Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra is playing Christmas and Hanukkah classics with Broadway star Christiane Noll (Jekyll & Hyde, Ragtime, Dear Evan Hansen). The winner of the kid’s conducting contest will pick up a baton for Leroy Anderson's “Sleigh Ride.” Sing along to carols with the orchestra.
Nov. 2-Dec. 17: “Tinsel and Turkey”
This original musical revue at Cornwell’s Turkeyville has a cast of holiday characters such as Suzy Snowflake, Frosty the Snowman, and the Sugar Plum Fairy shaking their tail feathers and turning up the heat as the snow starts to fall. You can buy a ticket for the show only or buy a ticket that includes a turkey dinner.
Dec. 14-17: “The Sounds of Christmas”
Great Escape Stage Company is bringing back artists who have appeared on the Marshall stage over the years. They’ll perform things both new and familiar. This variety show is pay what you can.
Dec. 7-17: “The Christmas Schooner”
What A Do Theatre is bringing back the “Christmas Schooner” tradition. This musical is about a Michigan boat captain who risks everything to take Christmas trees across Lake Michigan.
Nov. 4-Dec. 21: Art Center Holly Mart
For unique handmade gifts, the Art Center of Battle Creek is filled with crafts and art from Michigan makers. It will be open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and Saturdays.
Nov. 18: Holiday Emporium
The four stories of Eastend Studio & Gallery in Marshall will be full of artists, crafters and makers. You can wander through the galleries and ballroom for unique, handmade gifts.