Santa and Holly Jolly Trolley fun return to downtown Kalamazoo
Light up your holidays in Downtown Kalamazoo with a festive slate of free events scheduled all season long. The downtown holiday season, sponsored by Consumers Energy, features Santa’s Workshop, Small Business Saturday(s), Window Decorating Contest, and more!
Fun for the family
Visit with Santa at the Bronson Park Tree Lighting
Join in on this annual event scheduled 5-7 p.m. on Friday, November 26 in Bronson Park. Festivities include live music, crafts, hot chocolate, and other holiday fun. Visits with Santa, sponsored by the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership, will be available in the park. The Tree Lighting Ceremony is always free, and everyone is welcome to join the fun.
Paws with Claus
Bring your furry friend (and your camera) to Gazelle Sports for a fun, holiday photo with Santa Claus before the Bronson Park Tree Lighting from 3-4:30 p.m. Pet food donations will be collected during the event to donate to local pet shelters – consider purchasing from Beowoof in downtown Kalamazoo.
Plus, enjoy a cast of costumed characters on the Kalamazoo Mall. Special appearances from Olaf, Elsa, Paw Patrol, and Princess Sophia on November 26, 3-5pm and November 27, 12-2pm
Santa’s Workshop opens Saturday, Nov. 27, featuring visits with Black Santa every Thursday and Sunday afternoon
Santa’s Workshop, presented by the Radisson Plaza Hotel Downtown Kalamazoo and supported by the Black Arts and Cultural Center, opens Saturday, November 27 on the first floor of the Radisson Plaza Hotel in the Blush Salon Beauty Lounge Space at 100 W. Michigan Ave. This magical place filled with little animated elves and twinkling lights is sure to delight all ages!
Each child who visits will receive a Santa Letter Writing Kit to take home. The kit includes all materials needed to send a letter to Santa, a holiday craft, and wrapped goodies. Santa mailboxes, sponsored by Consumers Energy, will be placed downtown for families to send their letters to Santa. Mailboxes are located at Rocket Fizz (125 S. Kalamazoo Mall), Spirit of Kalamazoo (154 S. Kalamazoo Mall), outside Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill (100 W. Michigan Ave.), and in the newly renovated Haymarket Plaza.
Santa will see visitors from near and far Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. In the spirit of ensuring Santa reflects the vibrant diversity of our community, Santa’s Workshop welcomes Black Santa every Thursday and Sunday in December from 12 to 4 p.m.
Window Decorating Contest
Returning this year is a community favorite: Downtown Kalamazoo’s Winter Window Decorating Contest – a friendly competition between downtown businesses to see who has the merriest display of them all. Needing extra cheer this holiday season? Come down for a walking tour of downtown Kalamazoo’s holiday lights and decorated storefronts.
Additional information on holiday events in downtown Kalamazoo is available here: https://bit.ly/30eD3Ce
Getting around downtown
The Holly Jolly Trolley runs Thursdays through Sundays throughout Downtown Kalamazoo
The Holly Jolly Trolley, sponsored by Kalamazoo Valley Community College, will run its traditional route through Downtown Kalamazoo Nov. 26 through Dec. 29, and on Tuesday, Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve. With nine stops throughout the Downtown, the route includes stops at City Hall, along the Kalamazoo Mall, Portage Street, and Michigan Avenue.
The trolley will run Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. Special hours include Friday, Dec. 24 from 12 to 4 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 31 from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. All trolley rides are free.
Park for free Thursdays in Epic Parking ramp throughout December
Returning this year, enjoy FREE Parking Thursdays in December in the Epic Parking ramp, located on South and Lovell Streets, FREE 90-minute on-street parking throughout downtown, and FREE parking all day Sundays. Easy, convenient downtown parking gets you to your holiday fun faster.
Support local businesses this holiday season
Join the nationwide movement to shop local on Small Business Saturday – November 27. And for Downtown Kalamazoo, Small Business Saturday doesn’t end on November 27 – every Saturday in December is “Small Business Saturday.” That means even more chances to snag the perfect holiday gift – all while supporting local.
And, supporting local just got even easier (and rewarding) with the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership’s Downtown Dollars BOGO deal. Between November 5 – November 19, when you purchase $20 in Downtown Dollars, you get an added $10 free. This deal is limited to $100 per person until funds run out.
Many of the businesses will host in-store promotions and specials. Plus, when shopping at a downtown retailer this Small Business Saturday, customers will receive a limited-edition reusable holiday retail shopping bag, while supplies last.
Additional information on Small Business Saturday available here: https://bit.ly/3wi7Utb
About Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership
Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership is a private, non-profit organization that works with both the public and private sectors in preserving and enhancing the economic health of Kalamazoo’s downtown area and, in turn, the Kalamazoo community. In conjunction with its affiliate organizations, it manages a full range of activities that include capital improvement projects, business development and recruitment programs, image marketing and event planning in order to establish Downtown Kalamazoo as an accessible, diverse, green, progressive and vibrant urban center. For more information, visit downtownkalamazoo.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.