Merry Bright Weekend Header Image

It's a weekend of family fun in Michigan's Great Southwest! The first full weekend of December brings lights on the bluff, Santa, holiday windows, Reindeer Rottweilers, holiday shopping and more! Check out all of the festive family fun and holiday happenings, starting Thursday, December 6th through Sunday, December 9th, 2018!


Thursday December 6th

Kick off the weekend with the Silver Beach Carousel! Enjoy $1 rides during their Family Fun Night "All Aboard the Polar Express" from 4:00-8:30pm. Wear your pajamas and get a free ride (limited to one person). 

Those looking for an artsy twist on the night look no further! PetchKucha returns to the Box Factory for the Arts from 7:00-9:00pm with doors opening at 6:00pm. Presentations are 20 slides x 20 seconds each, slides advancing whether the presenter is ready or not! 

INSIDER TIP: Food (by Nosh Village) and beverages will 
be available for purchase during the event!

For the 21+ crowd check out these Thursday night offerings: 

                  Sister Lakes Brewing: Team Trivia from  7:00-9:00pm 
                  221 Main: 6th Annual "The 12 Cocktails of Christmas" 
                  Coach's Bar & Grill: 12 Beers of Christmas


Friday December 7th

Year-round, the bluff in St. Joseph is a sight to behold. For the holiday season, the landmark is lit with a million lights trasnforming it into a winter wonderland. Light up the Bluff takes place Friday evening with the ceremony starting at 6:00pm followed by the tree lighting at 6:30pm. The event is free and open to the public. 

 INSIDER TIP: Stop by the Baking Spirits Bright! Lorey's PLace Crew 
Cookie Walk from 4:30-7:00pm. 

Getting into the holiday spirit is easy when you visit the Victorian-era downtown St. Joseph during the month of December. Dozens of store fronts will participate in Live from Downtown! the inaugural holiday window decorating event from 7:00-8:30pm. Gift hunters will appreciate the unique selections, special prices, and festive shopping atmosphere that evening and throughout December! 

Craft Beer enthusiasts will enjoy December Darkness at The Livery (Friday and Saturday) featuring dark & barrel aged beers, specialty beer tapings, bottle releases, live music, and more! 

INSIDER TIP: Swing by Purely Michigan on Friday evening from 6:00-8:00pm for free
tastings from Round Barn and Tabor Hill winery!

Twin City Players kicks off their holiday performance of Scrooge! at 7:30pm. Catch this show Fridays-Sundays through December 16th! 


Saturday December 8th

Santa has arrived at Schu's! Two kids eat free with an adult breakfast from 9:00-11:00am; they'll also have the chance to visit with Santa and decorate cookies. Call for reservations at 269.983.7248; he'll be there Sunday too. 

Eat, drink and be merry! Enjoy Brunch with Santa from 11:00am-3:00pm at Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant. Featuring holiday themed food and beverages, carolers, and Magician John Dudely. It's fun for the whole family!

Join the Curious Kids' Museum and Forever Books before the Reindog Holiday Parade for some family fun! CKM will host their Super Saturday "Reindog Parade" from Noon-4:00pm. Enjoy a make and take craft activity free with museum admission or membership. While Forever Books hosts author Troy Cummings for a special book signing at 3:00pm and again after the parade! 

Animal Aid SWMI is hosting their Annual Holiday Open House. Head over to the St. Joseph City Library from 1:00-3:00pm for a great cause! There will be gift items, a silent auction, bake sale, stocking stuffers and more! 

For all your furry friends, the 20th Annual Reindog Holiday Parade has returned to downtown St. Joseph! At 4:00pm, "Santa Bernards" and "Reindeer Rottweilers" and more will parade down State Street (beginning at Elm). Sponsored by FuzzyButz, this annual event promises a great time for two-and-four legged friends. Regestrationis required; you can register in advanced at the Welcome Center, or day-of-registration begins at 2:00pm in the Welcome Center. 

INSIDER TIP: Judging and day of registration takes place from 2:00-3:45pm
at the Welcome Center (301 State Street). 

Eden Springs Park at the House of David invites you to get in the holiday spirit during their Christmas Train Rides! Featuring miniature train rides through the Eden Springs Park grounds from 4:00-8:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays in December. Cost is $3 per ticket and proceeds go towards park restoration. 

Enjoy twice the fun at the Box Factory for the Arts on Saturday evening! First up visit the latest Art Exhibition Opening - Artists & Members Show from 5:00-7:00pm. Followed by live music during Unwrapped at the Box feat. Kecia Deroly & Friends from 8:00-10:00pm. 

Wrap up the evening at the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra's Glad Tidings event at The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College at 7:30pm. This community talent showcase features The Three Divas of SWMI, local high school choirs, and narrator Bill Downey. 


 Sunday December 9th

Santa's House returns to downtown St. Joseph December 8-23! Sponsored by the Herald-Palladium, Santa's House is moved from the North Pole each year to right outside the Welcome Center (301 State Street)! Santa arrives in style at the end of the Reindog Holiday Parade (Saturday at 5:00pm) and holds various hours here throughout the holiday season. Visit for a detailed list. 

Sarett Nature Center will host holiday nature crafts from 2:30-4:30pm and will feature a visit from Santa around 3:00pm! Crafts will cost between $1 and $2. Don't forget to bring your camera!