If one Michigan town is synonymous with Christmas, it's Frankenmuth.

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There's a lot to love about Frankenmuth - Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the Bavarian Inn Castle Shops, and the Christmas lights driving tour - just to name a few.

Photo Courtesy of Kristen Matthews/TSM Lansing
Photo Courtesy of Kristen Matthews/TSM Lansing
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But Michigan has a lot more to offer during the holiday season, like these seven non-Frankenmuth attractions you should put on your Christmas bucket list.

Ashley

Photo via YouTube (Pure Michigan)
Photo via YouTube (Pure Michigan)
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Remember the 2004 Tom Hanks movie The Polar Express? The steam engine seen and heard in that film is the 1225 Pere Marquette, which hosts runs from Owosso to Ashley multiple times every holiday season as the North Pole Express. Tickets for those rides sell out quickly every year, but there's still a lot of holiday fun to be had if you travel to Ashley by car - including building wooden toys in Santa's workshop, and regular visits from the jolly old elf himself.


Greenfield Village

Photo via YouTube (The Henry Ford)
Photo via YouTube (The Henry Ford)
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The Henry Ford in Dearborn hosts Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village throughout the Christmas season. Guests are invited to "explore more than 80 acres ... in this glimmering after-hours celebration of a beloved, heartwarming holiday. Stroll down Main Street, brimming with holiday goods, food and warm beverages, or take a ride on a historic Model T, carousel or horse-drawn wagon."


Huckleberry Railroad

Photo via YouTube (Lauren's Lionel)
Photo via YouTube (Lauren's Lionel)
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Located in Flint, Christmas Holiday Magic at Crossroads Village/Huckleberry Railroad has been named as the Best Christmas Light Display in Michigan by Travel + Leisure! Guests are invited to "join friends and family for an evening ride on the Huckleberry Railroad and watch Village artisans make vintage crafts" amidst thousands of sparkling holiday lights.


 

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Frederik Meijer Gardens

Photo via YouTube (Cash Presley & Oakley Star)
Photo via YouTube (Cash Presley & Oakley Star)
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Grand Rapids' famed Frederik Meijer Gardens presents Christmas and Holiday Traditions every season roughly between the week before Thanksgiving and the first week of the new year. More than 300,000 twinkling lights illuminate "stunning presentations of winter plantings, the artistry of (the Gardens') adorned Christmas trees, intriguing cultural displays and the beloved Railway Garden."


Canterbury Village

Photo via YouTube (Traveling Michigan)
Photo via YouTube (Traveling Michigan)
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A beloved tradition in the Metro Detroit area is the Canterbury Village Holiday Stroll in Lake Orion. Outdoor holiday revelers "stroll through the quaint Village that is glowing with almost a million festive lights, enjoy a 7-minute amazing light show choreographed to classic holiday songs, and enjoy the sounds of professional carolers, and live Christmas performances."


Spring Lake

Photo via YouTube (CheapDreams)
Photo via YouTube (CheapDreams)
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Located south of Muskegon and just outside Grand Haven, you'll find the Spring Lake Sparkle Festival. If you're looking for a quaint village that goes all out for Christmas, you'll find it among nearly half a million sparkling lights in Spring Lake. Enjoy some holiday cheer, and don't be surprised if you run into Santa while you're there!


St. Joseph

Photo via YouTube (Whodat Travel)
Photo via YouTube (Whodat Travel)
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We put this one on the list last because it technically takes place a little past Christmas. Ice Fest happens in St. Joseph the first weekend of February, but it's still definitely got that holiday vibe going on. Guests are invited to "enjoy professional Ice Carving Competitions, a Scavenger Hunt, Ice Interactives and more."

The Perfect Gifts for a "Pure Michigan" 12 Days of Christmas

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Gallery Credit: Kristen Matthews

 

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