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Wow! Another year has flown by! But don’t pull down the 2018 calendar just yet. We asked locals to share ways to make December merrier and included them in this issue.

Hope to see you this Saturday and throughout the month. Happy Holidays.

Dec. 8 | Glad Tidings & Sing-Along | 7:30 pm | The Mendel Center | Benton Harbor | $5-$35

Experience the wonder of the season through music when the SMSO shares the stage with The Three Divas of Southwest Michigan, the Berrien Springs, Coloma and Lakeshore High School choirs and narrator Bill Downey who can make everyone a believer in St. Nick.

Experience the wonder of the season through music when the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra shares the stage with The Three Divas of Southwest Michigan, the Berrien Springs, Coloma and Lakeshore High School choirs and narrator Bill Downey who can make everyone a believer in St. Nick. Your entire family will enjoy these holiday favorites.


Two Party Ideas in One and All You Do Is Come!

Mix MingleDec. 18 | Mix & Mingle Party | 5:30 pm | | $25 | AND | Rejoice 2018 Concert | 7:30 pm | $24-$48 | The Mendel Center | Benton Harbor

Are you in charge of planning your office party? Need a super-easy place to celebrate with family or friends? Let the party experts at The Mendel Center do the work for you! All you will have to do is make reservations and come enjoy!

Your evening will start with the Mix & Mingle Party featuring a sumptuous buffet, your favorite libations from the cash bar and surprise entertainment. Then keep making merry (or you can choose to only attend the concert) by topping off your celebration with Bryan Lubeck’s all-new tapestry of holiday music, Rejoice 2018. What a night!

Please note, Mix and Mingle and Rejoice 2018 tickets are sold separately.


Ring in 2019 in a Safe, Fun Way

newyearThis year, Dec. 29 and 30 are on a Saturday and Sunday, so you can start your New Year’s celebrations early. Our lodgings are safe havens for romantic getaways, get-togethers with friends, football bowl parties or kid-friendly overnights swimming and playing games poolside. Here are some ways to bring in the New Year:


  • Dec. 28, 29, 30 & 31 | New Year’s Package | The Boulevard Inn & Bistro | St. Joseph | All-Suite Accommodations & Party Treats | $269-$499 + taxes
  • Dec. 30 | The Backsliders | 2:30-5:30 pm | Dablon Vineyards & Tasting Room | Baroda | Live Music and Wine Tasting
  • Dec, 31| New Year’s Eve | 5-10 pm | Hilton Garden Inn | Benton Harbor | Special Menu
  • Dec. 31 | New Year’s Eve Celebration | The Inn at Harbor Shores | St. Joseph | Choice of Party Options | $20-$80-$369 (cash bar + tips/taxes)

Get event details here and make your reservations today!


Learn more about these packages here.


Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa Is in Town!

SantaSanta loves Southwest Michigan so much he comes early to gather up wishes. See him in and around St. Joseph on:

  • Dec. 8, 4 pm: Santa arrives in festive downtown St. Joseph escorted by costumed pets and their owners during the 20th Annual Reindog Holiday Parade.
  • Dec. 8-23, hours vary: After the parade visit Santa from 5-7 pm in his special house on the corner of State and Pleasant Streets. He will be back to listen to wishes on Thursdays through Sundays ‘til Christmas; visit stjoetoday.com for hours.
  • Dec. 8, 3-6 pm: Join us at The Sandpiper for the annual Bridgman Holiday Village! Your children will love decorating cookies and listening to Mrs. Claus read Christmas stories near the Christmas tree.
  • Dec. 9, 16 & 23, 11:30 am-2 pm: Make Santa’s Brunch and Cookie Decorating at the Bistro on the Boulevard in St. Joseph a family tradition. 4 years and younger: free, 5-12 years: $10; Adults: $25 (+ sales tax/tip). It’s a beautiful setting to take keepsake photos!
  • Dec. 15, 9-10:30 am: Visit Santa while enjoying a yummy breakfast at Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve in Niles. Stay to make a take-home craft with Santa’s helpers, play along with an interactive holiday band, view the trains in the conservatory and walk outdoors in the glistening gardens (admission is free). Adults: $15.95; 6–12: $9.95: 5 and under: free (+ sales tax). Reservations fill quickly, so call 269-695-6491 today.
  • Dec. 16, 9 am-2 pm: Enjoy Brunch with Santa at Plank’s Tavern on the Water at the Inn at Harbor Shores in St. Joseph. Make sure you’re here to see the live reindeer between 10 am-1 pm. Buffet: $34.95 adults; 4-10: $19.95; and 3 and under free (+ sales tax/tips). To reserve a table, call 269-408-9108.
  • Dec. 20, 4-8 pm: Oh what fun it is to see our North Pole guest and pet a live reindeer at the Silver Beach Carousel in St. Joseph. Admission to enter the reindeer coral is $1 for 3 years and older; free for children 2 and under.

All of these events are great photo opps. Please share them with us on our Facebook wall or tag us on Instagram!

Gift Ideas Galore

IMG 2687 ChartreuseThe shops in downtown St. Joseph and neighboring towns are brimming with ideas for everyone on your list. But if you’re looking for unique presents that are sure to bring smiles, here are a few ideas:

Holiday Party Gifts under $15. All of the wineries, breweries and distilleries along our Makers Trail have shelves of bottled gifts to please everyone’s tastes and your budget. Lazy Ballerina Winery in downtown St. Joseph has a cranberry wine that teases taste buds with subtle sweet and tart notes. Warm it with mulling spices and it’ll be the perfect addition to any holiday gathering. Or pick up a non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice as you do your Southwest Michigan tasting/gift hunting tour. All ages twirling through this joyous season will enjoy a glass!

Santa Paws Gifts $1+. Remember your best friend this holiday with tail-wagging gifts from FuzzyButz Pet Bakery in downtown St. Joseph. Choose from fresh-baked small peanut butter cutout cookies to liver sticks to bark-be-que chicken and giant Ho Ho Ho bones.

Stocking Stuffers and Dreidel Prizes $2 and Up. Need a little something for each of the children (adults, too) on your list. The Brass Ring Gift Shop at the Silver Beach Carousel is a must stop to get stocking stuffers, dreidel prizes and bigger gifts, too. Buy a bag of ride tokens, a Magical Memories coupon book for $25 ($50+ value) that includes coupons for rides, concessions, event admission and more.

For more gift-finding destinations



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