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Family-Friendly Events

December 2023

The lakeshore communities of West Michigan do a fantastic job of hosting events and activities that include the whole family. There’s so much happening that is geared specifically toward kids and families as a whole, and that’s part of what makes being here so amazing!

Every season in West Michigan has it’s unique, fun things to do for kids of all ages- from babies up to the “young at heart”. Indoors or outdoors, no matter the time of year, there’s always something great going on along the lakeshore for families to experience together!

In addition to the following list, check out all the special events and programs provided by Sandcastles Children’s Museum and the Ludington and Scottville branches of the Mason County District Libraries.

Amber Elk Ranch

Here's a list of family friendly events happening in December:

Each Saturday in December

Pentwater’s Christmas in the Village
Various locations in Pentwater.

November 30th-December 3rd, 2023

Victorian Sleighbell Parade & Old Christmas Weekend
Downtown Manistee.

Saturday, December 2nd, 2023

Festive Fun Family Day
Kids can visit with Santa and enjoy a $2.99 meal. Ludington Meat Company- 3815 W. US-10, Ludington.

Saturday, December 2nd-Sunday, December 3rd; 2023

A WSCC Holiday Music Spectacular III
2nd-3rd at 2pm AND 2nd at 8pm

Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Breakfast with Santa
At The Jolly Plate- 2516 N. US-31, Scottville. Kids 10 and under get a free reindeer pancake.

Saturday, December 9th, 2023
10am AND 4pm

Lantern Lit Snowshoeing, Cross-Country Skiing, or Hiking
The walk begins at the Ludington State Park Warming Shelter (8800 M-116, Ludington) and has approximately 1 mile of lighted trails. There are bonfires at both the Warming Shelter and the Amphitheater, along with free warm beverages at the Amphitheater. No registration is required.

Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Cookie Walk
Stroll the downtown Ludington district, sampling delicious cookies. Tickets are $20 per person and only 100 are available. Ticket price includes over two dozen cookies and a cookie box. For more information or tickets, visit

Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Candy Canes & Characters
Meet and take photos with Santa, Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, elves, the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, a polar bear, a penguin, and the Oriole bird at Ludington High School- 508 N. Washington Ave., Ludington. There will also be face painting, snacks, games, and holiday crafts. Admission is $5 per participant or $15 per family (caregivers enter free). Proceeds benefit the Ludington High School Year Book Fund. For more information, contact Sierra Holmes at (231) 794-9936 or

Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Mr. & Mrs. Clause Come to Ludington
Complimentary professional photography will be provided by Lynsey Baldon. The event is hosted by Lynsey Baldon Photography and Rachel Rae the Realtor. Red Rooster Coffee & Community- 207 S. James St., Ludington.

Saturday, December 9th, 2023

Holiday Parade & Activities in Scottville
Parade at 6:30pm beginning on W. Beryl St. ending on Main Street, Activities on Main Street will follow including kids crafts, pictures with Santa, cocoa, popcorn, and cookies.

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Visit with Santa
Hamlin Town Hall- 3775 N. Jebavy Dr., Ludington.

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Santa Visits the Brewery
Free and open to all ages. Ludington Bay Brewing Co.- 515 S. James St., Ludington.

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Visit with Santa & the Grinch
During the Festival of Tree at Stix- 1963 N. Lakeshore Dr., Ludington.

Saturday, December 16th, 2023

Christmas Party at Sandcastles Children’s Museum
Mr. and Mrs. Claus will make a special stop from 11:30am-1:30pm. Live music with the String-Alongs will be from 11am-12pm. John Marek and his Balloon Creations from 12-1pm and Deb Borema at the Creation Station will demonstrate and help you make Funny Sweater Ornaments from 1-3pm. There will also be cookie decorating downstairs. Admission is $9/person unless already members of the  museum. Visit for more information.

Sunday, December 17th, 2023

Brunch with Santa & the Grinch
Stix- 1963 N. Lakeshore Dr., Ludington.

Sunday, December 17th, 2023
1pm AND 3pm

Performances of Max’s Merry Everything
This children’s holiday play was written by Debbie Nellis and Rick Plummer. Tickets are $10 each and the shows will be held at Sandcastles Children’s Museum- 129 E. Ludington Ave., Ludington.

Friday, December 22nd

Create Letters to Santa
Regular admission applies. Sandcastles Children’s Museum– 129 E. Ludington Ave., Ludington.

Sunday, December 31st, 2023

New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop
Fun activities and refreshments for the whole family with a balloon drop to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Tickets  are $60/immediate family or $15/person and can be purchased by calling (231) 233-9326. Sandcastles Children’s Museum– 129 E. Ludington Ave., Ludington.

Sunday, December 31st, 2023

Family New Year’s Eve Party
Free party includes games, crafts, and snacks. Ludington Library- 217 E. Ludington Ave., Ludington.

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