Time is flying, and we’re almost a whole week into November! Stores are putting out their holiday wares, and a few flurries have floated through the air. The excitement is building as the countdown to the holidays begins (22 days until Hannukah, 49 days until Christmas), and we are here to help you plan your calendar so that you don’t miss a single holiday event!



Five Kid-Friendly Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Season
1. November 19, 2021 – Holiday Open House at the Carnegie BranchDowntown Jackson Christmas Parade, and The Polar Express at the Michigan Theater

Making a grand return for 2021, this festive evening in Downtown Jackson will surely make you feel ready for the holidays! This year is the 30th anniversary of the Christmas Parade, which features floats, marching bands, and ends with Mr. and Mrs. Claus! (Parade starts at 6 p.m.) Traffic flow and parking can be a challenge for this event, so head down early to attend the open house at the Carnegie Branch, which starts at 4:00 p.m. 

 After the parade, head over to the Michigan Theater for a free showing of the Polar Express, starting at 7:30 p.m. Now the only question is, will the kiddos be able to stay awake for the whole movie? (Visit the event links above for more details for each event.)

2. November 26, 2021 – Holiday Parade & Christmas Tree Lighting – Brooklyn, Michigan

Downtown Brooklyn will be the place to be on this special evening, starting at 5:00 p.m. Featuring a parade that will welcome Santa Claus to town, this event includes Santa’s reindeer, horse-drawn carriage rides, a choir, a variety of food items, merchant open houses, Christmas card making for the troops, Mrs. Claus’ storytelling, cookie decorating, vendors and so much more. Visit this link for more information.

3. December 4, 2021 – Grass Lake Candyland Christmas Cookie Tour and the Festival of Lights Parade and Tree Lighting

Next up are two events that are sure to make you feel like you have been transported into a Hallmark Holiday Movie. Grass Lake pulls out all the stops on this day with a darling cookie tour, followed by a parade and tree lighting. This is small-town Michigan at its finest, and your kids are sure to have a magical time.




4. November 25 – December 31, 2021 – Nite Lites at Michigan International Speedway

While most of the events on our top five list are free, we couldn’t help but include Nite Lites as a holiday right of passage. Kicking off on November 25, this five-mile drive-thru light show is sure to be a memory that your children will have for a long time (okay, and a delightful memory for you as well). We love visiting on a weeknight to avoid the long lines, and we love to grab some hot chocolate on our way. Make sure those speakers are ready to blare some holiday tunes and prepare to be dazzled by the animated light displays. (Prices are listed at the link above.)




5. November 25, 2021 – America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Detroit

We know not everyone will be ready to jump into the holidays until after Thanksgiving, so why not go to the best Thanksgiving Day Parade in America? This parade is free to attend and features amazing floats and live entertainment. Visit the link above to plan your visit. 

Looking for more holiday events in Jackson County? Visit our Community Events Calendar here. Click on each event to see details, find a link to the event page, and even add events directly to your personal calendar!

Downtown Jackson’s Christmas Tree
Image Credit: Wonder and Wander – Jackson
Five Kid-Friendly Ways to Kick Off the Holiday Season – Jackson County, Michigan

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