Light up your holidays in Downtown Kalamazoo with a festive slate of free events scheduled all season long. The downtown holiday season features Santa’s Workshop, Small Business Saturday, the Holly Jolly Trolley, Moonlight Madness, and more!
Bring the family or your jolly crew of friends to make holiday memories. Enjoy holiday lights, festive eats, and FREE holiday fun!
Support local this holiday season
Join the nationwide movement to shop local on Small Business Saturday – November 25. And for Downtown Kalamazoo, Small Business Saturday doesn’t end on November 25 – every Saturday in December is “Small Business Saturday.” That means even more chances to snag the perfect holiday gift – all while supporting local.
November 25 – December 24
Santa’s Workshop, will open Saturday, November 25 in the City Centre building just beyond the City Centre Deli (in the former Bronson Health Club, enter from Farmer’s Alley or the Kalamazoo Mall). This magical place filled with little animated elves and twinkling lights is sure to delight all ages!
Thanks to the support of our sponsors and supporters, Santa will see visitors from near and far on Thursdays and Fridays from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m. Santa’s Workshop will be open Saturday, November 25 but will be closed Sunday, November 26. Regular hours will start on Thursday, November 30.
- Saturday, November 25 – 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Thursday, November 30 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, December 1 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, December 2 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Sunday, December 3 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Thursday, December 7 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, December 8 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, December 9 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Sunday, December 10 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Thursday, December 14 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, December 15 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, December 16 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Sunday, December 17 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Thursday, December 21 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, December 22 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, December 23 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
- Sunday, December 24 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 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.
Special activities are featured along with decorating shopping bags, writing letters to Santa, and of course, visiting as long as you want with Santa. The Workshop is a perfect space for families to attend with no rush to leave within the stated hours.
Other activities surround the Santa’s Workshop experience including the Holly Jolly Trolley, featured by Drive and Shine, and many other great retail events hosted by Downtown Kalamazoo Shops.
The Workshop, originally called Santa’s Village was started at The Gilmore Department Store, and still today some of the trees and decorations are part of the displays. The Sleigh and Tin Soldiers are also part of the allure and tradition that makes this place a special holiday tradition. The animated elves were created by David Hamberger and are around 30 years old. Not all of the elves are still working, but some are and they offer a bit of nostalgia for families that have made Santa’s Workshop their tradition over the years.Learn more
Holly Jolly Trolley
November 24 – December 31
Thanks to the support of Drive and Shine together with Discover Kalamazoo and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the wonderful tradition of riding the trolley will continue again in 2023. The trolley service is free and runs at the top and bottom of the hour, starting at City Hall (241 W. South Street). The trolley follows and 20-25 minute service featuring 8 trolley stops where people can get on and off enjoying the service as a way to explore downtown.
The trolley will run starting November 30 through December 24: Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m.
Special hours include November 24 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., November 25 from 11:00 a.m. to 8 p.m., and December 31 from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. All trolley rides are free. The trolley service starts and finishes at City Hall, 241 W. South Street.
The trolley route follows a route that is based on the following stops. The actual map is available upon request and at the following locations:
- City Hall – 241 South Street, sponsored by Drive & Shine
- Main Mall – Kalamazoo Mall – 202 S. Kalamazoo Mall – sponsored by City Centre Deli
- Epic Center (across from) – 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall -sponsored by Discover Kalamazoo
- Bates Alley – 120 Portage Street
- District 211 Building– 211 E Water Street-sponsored by Mercantile Bank
- Radisson Hotel intersection – 200 N Kalamazoo Mall
- Kalamazoo Valley Museum – 230 N. Rose Street -sponsored by the Kalamazoo Valley Museum
- Parks Trade Center – 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave – sponsored by PlazaCorp
Dates and Times:
- November 24 & November 25,
- November 30, December 1, 2, 3
- December 7, 8, 9, 10
- December 14, 15, 16, 17
- December 21, 22, 23, 24
- December 31 (7 p.m.-11 p.m.)
- Thursdays 5-9 p.m.
- Fridays 5-9 p.m.
- Saturdays 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Sundays 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Easy, convenient downtown parking gets you to your holiday fun faster. With more than 400 free 90-minute on-street parking spaces, 90 minutes free in the Epic Center and Kalamazoo Mall parking garages, plus paid parking spaces and lots, Downtown Kalamazoo has a space for you. FREE 90-minute on-street parking throughout downtown, and FREE parking all day Sundays. You’ll also find on-street metered spots throughout the downtown, which range from $1.75/hour to $3/day, and are free after 5 p.m. on weekdays and all day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.