MemberNews5Happy holidays! This season of wonder takes on a magical aura in and around St. Joseph. Come feel the joy for a day or snuggle for a night or more in our comfy lodgings. Below you’ll find 24 fantastic ways to spend time together – and isn’t that one of the best gifts you can give to anyone?

8 kid happenings

  1. Dec. 8 & 15: Christmas at the Flywheelers
    6-8:30 p.m., Michigan Flywheelers Museum, South Haven; FREE
    Celebrate Christmas with children's craft activities, trolley hay rides and a visit with Santa.
  2. Dec. 10 & 17: Brunch with Santa
    11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Bistro on the Boulevard, St. Joseph; Adults: $20; 6-10 years: $10; 5 and under: Free, plus tax and gratuity. Choose favorite foods from the kid-friendly buffet, decorate cookies and tell wishes to Santa.
  3. Dec. 16: A Steamed Nutcracker by The Citadel
    2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m., The Mendel Center, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor; $25
    A steampunk version of the holiday classic performed with a live orchestra.
  4. Dec. 16 & 17: Cirque Dreams Holidaze
    9 p.m. (Dec. 16) & 5 p.m. (Dec. 17), Four Winds Casino, New Buffalo
    A critically acclaimed cirque spectacle, Broadway musical and family show all in one.
  5. Dec. 17: Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra Winter Concert
    4 p.m., Howard Performing Arts Center, Andrews University, Berrien Springs; $5 adults; $3 children/seniors
    Family favorites will be performed by youthful musicians representing over 13 area schools.
  6. Dec. 21: “Oh Deer, Rudolph” Family Fun Night
    4-8 p.m.: pet live reindeer, 6:30-9 p.m.: visit with Santa, Silver Beach Carousel, St. Joseph; Live Reindeer Admission: $1, 3 years-adult; Free, 2 years and younger; All carousel rides only $1
  7. Dec. 24 & 25: Christmas Skiing & Snowboarding
    9 a.m.-5 p.m. (Dec. 24) & noon-10 p.m. (Dec. 25), Swiss Valley Ski & Snowboard Area, Jones; $20 lift ticket, $10 equipment rental.
  8. Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2-6: I Spy Adventure
    Noon-4 p.m., Curious Kids’ Museum, St. Joseph; free with admission or membership
    Holiday break fun for ages 5-10 years solving mysteries and playing secret agent games.

8 friend-time festivities

  1. Dec. 8: Holiday Art Hop
    6-9 p.m., Arts District, Benton Harbor; most venues FREE
    A merry mix of art, music, dance, delicious desserts and refreshments.
  2. Dec. 8 & 9: December Darkness
    11 a.m-1 a.m., The Livery, Benton Harbor, FREE admission; $$ for food and beer
    Be there for the beer tapping and bottle releases of dark and barrel-aged craft beers.
  3. Dec. 8: Dance, Music & Desserts
    6 & 7:30 p.m., The Citadel, Arts District, Benton Harbor; $5
    Watch excerpts from A Steamed Nutcracker and holiday tap dancing and enjoy desserts.
  4. Dec. 9 & 10: Holiday Makers Market
    10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Dec. 9) and noon-5 p.m. (Dec. 10), Box Factory for the Arts, St. Joseph, free admission
    You’ll find gifts galore made by 35 local artists plus cooking demos, fancy coffees and live music.
  5. Dec. 10: Christmas Sing-a-Long with Carrie VanDenburgh
    4 p.m., Howard Performing Arts Center, Andrews University, Berrien Springs; FREE
    Shop for exquisite artisan gifts, see cooking demos, try great foods and fancy coffees.
  6. Dec. 11 & 12: 9th Annual Holiday Bizarre
    7 p.m. (Dec. 11) & 5 p.m. (Dec. 12), The Livery, Benton Harbor; $$ for food/beer/gifts
    One-stop shop for locally made holiday gifts, craft brews and tasty eats.
  7. Dec. 19: 3-D Snowflake Painting
    6-9 p.m., Lazy Ballerina Winery, St. Joseph; $50
    Paint lovely 3-D snowflakes affixed to a painted 16x20 canvas; supplies and drink ticket included.
  8. Dec. 19: Mix & Mingle Holiday Party
    5:30 p.m., The Mendel Center, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor; party tickets $25/guest; Rejoice 2017 tickets start at $24/guest; group party/show packages start at $41
    Delicious dinner, full cash bar plus a chance to hear Bryan Lubeck’s fresh arrangements of your favorite holiday tunes.

8 romantic interludes

  1. LightupthebluffDec. 9: Sounds of the Season
    7:30 p.m., SWM Symphony Orchestra, The Mendel Center, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor; $5-$35
    An uplifting variety of holiday melodies, concluding with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.
  2. Dec. 16: Holiday Tunes with Mike Talbot
    2-5 p.m., Twelve Corners Vineyards, Benton Harbor; FREE admission
    Sit back, sipping your favorite 12C wines while listening to Talbot strum holiday treasures.
  3. Dec. 19: Rejoice 2017 – A Tapestry of Holiday Music
    7:30 p.m., The Mendel Center, Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor; $24-$48
    Bryan Lubeck’s spectacular vocal and musical tapestry will bring you to your feet.
  4. Dec. 23: Jolliest Christmas Ever!
    8 p.m., Acorn Theater, Three Oaks; $25
    Harbor Country Opera outdoes itself with fresh new songs, familiar holiday music and humor.
  5. Dec. 26-30 Cross-Country Ski or Snow Bike Date
    10 a.m.-5 p.m., Love Creek Nature Center, Berrien Springs; $3 vehicle entrance; ski trail: $5 adult/$4 youth (15 years and under); ski equipment and fat-tire snow bike rentals available.
    Snow permitting, celebrate the holiday week enjoying these beautiful wooded trails; check conditions here.
  6. Dec. 29, 30 & 31: New Year’s Eve Romantic Getaway
    The Boulevard Inn & Bistro, St. Joseph; packages start at $269/night.
    Relax downtown in a spacious suite and enjoy the special French-inspired dinner menu.
  7. Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Together
    5-10 p.m., Hilton Garden Inn, Benton Harbor; $10 to $45 menu items.
    Enjoy specials from the New Year’s Eve menu then spend the night with the one you love!
  8. Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve Live Music by Exit 41
    2:30-5:30 p.m., Dablon Winery & Vineyard, Baroda; FREE admission
    Taste wines while listening to this acoustic musical duo’s wide variety of familiar cover songs.