Happy 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Dec. 8 & 9: December Darkness
11 a.m-1 a.m., The Livery, Benton Harbor, FREE admission; $$ for food and beer
Be there for the beer tapping and bottle releases of dark and barrel-aged craft beers.
- Dec. 8: Dance, Music & Desserts
6 & 7:30 p.m., The Citadel, Arts District, Benton Harbor; $5
Watch excerpts from A Steamed Nutcracker and holiday tap dancing and enjoy desserts.
- Dec. 9 & 10: Holiday Makers Market
10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Dec. 9) and noon-5 p.m. (Dec. 10), Box Factory for the Arts, St. Joseph, free admission
You’ll find gifts galore made by 35 local artists plus cooking demos, fancy coffees and live music.
- Dec. 10: Christmas Sing-a-Long with Carrie VanDenburgh
4 p.m., Howard Performing Arts Center, Andrews University, Berrien Springs; FREE
Shop for exquisite artisan gifts, see cooking demos, try great foods and fancy coffees.
- Dec. 11 & 12: 9th Annual Holiday Bizarre
7 p.m. (Dec. 11) & 5 p.m. (Dec. 12), The Livery, Benton Harbor; $$ for food/beer/gifts
One-stop shop for locally made holiday gifts, craft brews and tasty eats.
- 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.
- 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
- Dec. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.