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Holiday Activities to Boost Your Christmas Spirit

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The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Unless you’re not much of a singer. In that case, consider slipping into the spirit by partaking in local holiday activities. Don’t like driving far in winter weather? Below is a list of attractions/locations close to Flint that will be taking place during December for you to do with friends, on a date, or with your family.

Frankenmuth

This Bavarian-style city is over 100 years old, and has deep German roots and heritage. Chances are you or someone you know has been there, or at least has heard of it. Roughly a 30-minute drive north of Flint, the town is a classic holiday visit for many mid-Michigan families. It is here you can find Bronner’s, the self-proclaimed “world’s largest Christmas store,” spanning over 7.35 acres, according to its website. If you are looking for something that embodies Christmas or Santa, you will definitely find it here. Frankenmuth is famous for its authentic German restaurants, including Zender’s and the Bavarian Inn, as well. So, after picking out this year’s newest ornament, head over to one of the city’s many restaurants.

Huckleberry Railroad/Crossroads Village

The historic Huckleberry Railroad is a heritage railroad located in Genesee township. The 3-foot gage railroad has been open to the public since 1976. Originally, it began operating in 1872 as the Flint River Railroad. Today, it still has several operable locomotives, according to their website. The train station, known as Crossroads Village, consists of 30 structures built in an old design, resembling a Hollywood backlot. The village offers a variety of Christmas activities, including a tree lighting, caroling, and activities for children. A full calendar of their activities can be found on the Genesee County Parks website at www.geneseecountyparks.org/crossroads-village.

Holly Dickens Festival

This historic festival in downtown Holly spans three weeks starting on Thanksgiving. According to the website, it is the oldest, as well as the longest running Dickens Festival in the country. This year will mark the 44th festival, featuring a light parade, as well as an annual tree lighting. The festival weekend dates are November 24, 25, and 26, as well as December 2, 3, 9, and 10. The times are Saturdays at 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and  Sundays from 12 until 5 p.m. More information can be found on their Facebook page or at www.hollydickensfestival.org.

Flushing Candlewalk

The Flushing Candlewalk began over 30 years ago and has grown into one of the area’s largest events. Thousands of flickering candles are set up to light and line the streets of Flushing. The event is Thursday and Friday, December 7 and 8 from 6 until 9:30 p.m. The event will feature choirs, ice sculpting, wood carving, s’mores, shopping, refreshments, and horse drawn carriage rides. The event will come to an end with a parade that features Santa receiving the key to the city. Afterward, the official Christmas tree will be lit and Santa will meet with children. More information about the event can be found at www.flushingchamber.com.

Santa’s Village

This magical village, consisting of over 175 Christmas trees, comes alive every year at the Saginaw County Fairgrounds.  The 25,000-square-foot Christmas wonderland has crafts, food, carnival rides, holiday shopping, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. The village is open 12 to 7 p.m. every weekend starting on Thanksgiving through December 18. Visit www.santa.saginawcountyfair.org for more information and directions.

Holiday Shows at the Whiting

The preforming arts center, known simply as The Whiting in the Flint Cultural Center, hosts a variety of Christmas programs and plays during the holiday season. The Nutcracker, C.S Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer are just a few of the plays they will be showing during this season. For more information and ticket prices, check out their website at www.thewhiting.com.

Living Nativity

Many local churches offer a live drive-through nativity scene to the public. Owosso First Methodist Church in Owosso and Assembly of God in Brighton both offer extremely impressive set-ups, with live actors and animals. A great way to find out if any other churches near you offer this experience is to look on Facebook, simply ask your friends, or community members.

Trail of Lights

The Robert Williams Nature & Historical Learning Center in Davison offers a trail of lights every year for residents, as well as the general public. The trail is lined with a Christmas light extravaganza. The event offers horse drawn rides, tractor pulled rides, and walking trails. For event times and prices call 810-214-1810, or visit their Facebook page.

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