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Christmas & Holiday Activities Up North

November-December, 2023


The holiday season in Northern Michigan begins Thanksgiving weekend. Unlike the big cities where Black Friday is a mad rush of people, the Christmas shopping season kicks off here with Christmas tree lightings, decorated stores, a holiday parade, merchant open houses, and smiles from shoppers and storekeepers. Shop local? Absolutely!

Christmas shopping in Northern Michigan is the way shopping is supposed to be. Friendly and knowledgeable shopkeepers can help you fulfill your gift list in a fun and enjoyable setting. Plan a weekend Christmas shopping get away to Northern Michigan and meander through Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, Boyne City, Mackinaw City, or Indian River.

Things to Do

Did we mention snow? Our ski resorts generally open on Thanksgiving weekend and skiers can’t wait to get fresh wax on the skis and hit the slopes.

Northern Michigan has three of the country’s best ski resorts right here so spend a day at each to them: Nub’s Nob, Boyne Highlands, and Boyne Mountain. Check the daily ski conditions and look at the webcams for a current look at action on the hills.

Northern Michigan has  a great line up of fabulous places to explore while cross country skiing and snowshoeing with choices near Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Boyne City, and Charlevoix. And with ice rinks and sledding hills in every community, skating and sledding is great way to spend the holidays Up North.

For those who enjoy snowmobiling, you’re in luck Up North. Trails, trails, trails! Bundle up and hit the snowmobile trails for a great time for the entire family.

Here are Events & Activities that Take Place During the Holiday Season Up North:


  • Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023 from 6-9pm – Walloon Lake Village Lighting
  • Friday, November 24th, 2023 at 9am – Christmas in Indian River including a craft show, parade, and tree lighting with Santa
  • Friday, November 24th, 2023 – Holly Jolly Boyne- Boyne City parade, open house, and tree lighting
  • Friday, November 24th, 2023 – Charlevoix Merchant Open House, Holiday Parade, & Tree Lighting 
  • Saturday, November 25th, 2023 – Harbor Springs Tree Lighting


  • Friday, December 1st, 2023 at 5:30pm – Mackinac Island Christmas Tree Lighting and caroling. Downtown Mackinac Island.
  • Friday, December 1st, 2023 from 6-9pm – Petoskey Open House, Holiday Parade, and Tree Lighting
  • December 1st-31st, 2023 – Christmas in Mackinaw City, visit for more info
  • Saturday, December 2nd, 2023  – Harbor Springs Merchants Holiday Open House
  • Sunday, December 3rd, 2023 from 10am-2pm –  Sleigh Rides to “the North Pole” at Northern Michigan Equine Therapy- 5025 Church St., Boyne City
  • Saturday, December 9th, 2023 from 3:30-6:30pm – Colonial Christmas at Fort Michilimackinac
  • Saturday, December 9th, 2023 from 5-8pm – Alanson Community Open House
  • Sunday, December 31st, 2023 (tentative) New Year’s Eve Celebration at Crooked Tree Art Center

Stay tuned for updated information on Christmas and holiday activities in Northern Michigan for 2023!

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Activities & Attractions in Northern Michigan

M-119 Tunnel of Trees

Take a beautiful color tour as you travel under a tunnel of colorful trees along M-119 from Harbor Springs to Cross Village.

The Little Traverse Wheelway

The Little Traverse Wheelway

Bicyclists, walkers, and roller bladers can go from Harbor Springs to Charlevoix on the 26-mile long Little Traverse Wheelway.

Northern Michigan Lighthouses

In Northern Michigan, you’ll find lighthouses where lighthouse keepers once lived and worked that have been restored and are open to visitors.

Cheboygan Opera House

Cheboygan Opera House

The elegantly restored Cheboygan Opera House is an acoustically superb, Victorian theatre that presents entertainment of many genres.