Yes, we know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet. But before you know it, the holiday season will be in full swing. In-laws will invade your guest rooms and pull-out beds, children will be out of school, and you’ll need to find a way to entertain them. (Or maybe you just need a chance to get out of the house for some “you time.” Just tell the family you need to run to the store. We won’t judge.)
We’ve rounded up a listing of Greater Lansing’s most popular holiday offerings. Whether you’re into dancing nutcrackers, electrified parades or holiday-themed burlesque, there’s a holiday event for you.
Thursday, Nov. 19-Dec. 20
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol’ at Williamston Theatre In a clever twist on Dickens’ holiday classic, “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” presents the story from the view of Ebenezer Scrooge’s late business partner, Jacob Marley. Stuck in purgatorial limbo, Jacob returns to the land of the living to change miserly Ebenezer’s heart in a lastditch effort to redeem his own soul. See web for complete schedule and prices; discounted tickets available for seniors, veterans and students. Williamston Theatre, 122 S. Putnam St., Williamston. (517) 655-7469, williamstontheatre.com.
Friday, Nov. 20
Silver Bells in the City “The Voice” finalist and former Lansing resident Joshua Davis serves as Grand Marshal and headlining performer for this year’s installment of Lansing’s Silver Bells in the City. The popular downtown event also includes the Electric Light Parade, featuring floats, vehicles and individuals festooned with colorful lights, a fireworks show and the official lighting of the State Christmas tree. This year also features the return of the community sing, with the Steiner Chorale leading participants in the singing of two community-chosen carols. See web for complete schedule and locations. 5 p.m. FREE. Downtown Lansing. silverbellsinthecity.org.
Friday, Nov. 20-Dec. 27
Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo The Potter Park Zoo staff is unspooling thousands of festive lights for its annual Wonderland of Lights event. In addition to the luminous animal and holiday displays, children can enjoy snacks, crafts and special animal encounters. On Dec. 5, visitors who bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots will be admitted for free. 5-8 p.m. Thursday- Sunday; closed Christmas Day. $7/$5 children 3-12/FREE for children under 3. Potter Park Zoo, 1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing. (517) 483-4222, potterparkzoo.org.
Friday, Nov. 27-29
‘The Nutcracker’ at Children’s Ballet Theatre Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet comes to the Wharton Center stage as the Children’s Ballet Theatre of Michigan presents its 35th annual presentation of “The Nutcracker.” The program, featuring local ballet dancers between the ages of 8 and 18, includes well known tunes like the delicate “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $14. Wharton Center, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. (517) 432- 2000, whartoncenter.com.
Friday, Nov. 27-29, Dec. 4-6
'A Christmas Carol’ at Riverwalk Theatre Riverwalk Theatre’s own Tom Ferris injects music and humor into “A Christmas Carol” with his new adaptation of the classic tale. Audience members are encouraged to show up early for “Fezziwig’s holiday party” before each show, where attendees can mingle with Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other characters before the performance. 7 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $7/$5 children. Riverwalk Theatre, 228 Museum Drive, Lansing. (517) 482-5700, riverwalktheatre.com.
Wednesday, Dec. 2
Winter Wine & Stein at Potter Park Zoo
Leave the kids at home and enjoy Potter Park Zoo’s Wonderland of Lights while sipping a chardonnay at the inaugural Winter Wine & Stein. This wintertime version of the zoo’s popular summer social event features beer and wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants and a chance to observe the nocturnal habits of the zoo’s animal inhabitants. Attendees must be 21 or older. 5-8 p.m. $35/$30 zoo members. Potter Park Zoo, 1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing. (517) 483-4222, potterparkzoo.org.
Saturday, Dec. 5-Jan. 3
Festival of Trees at Turner- Dodge House
The fourth annual arboreal invasion of Old Town’s historic Turner-Dodge House kicks off Dec. 5 as the Festival of Trees fills all three floors of the historic estate with festively decorated trees. The event, which raises funds for maintenance and educational events at the Turner-Dodge House, features dozens of trees created or decorated by local businesses, nonprofits and individuals. Noon-8 p.m. Saturday; noon-6 p.m. Sunday. $5/FREE for children 12 and under. Turner-Dodge House, 100 E. North St., Lansing. (517) 483-4220, lansingmi.gov/tdodge.
Saturday, Dec. 5
Old Town Scrooge Scramble 5K run/walk The Old Town Commercial Association is looking for Greater Lansing’s crazy winter runners for its ninth annual Scrooge Scramble. The holiday-themed 5K run/walk will take runners through the streets of Old Town and along the Lansing River Trail. 10 a.m. (Packet pickup starting at 8:30 a.m.) $25/$20 OTCA members/$30 day of race. Turner Street and Grand River Avenue, Lansing. (517) 485-4283, iloveoldtown.org.
Saturday, Dec. 5
Winter Glow Ice carving, horse and carriage rides, marshmallow roasting and much more come to Ann Street Plaza for East Lansing’s Winter Glow festival. This year’s installment also includes a holiday farmers market and the Jingle Jam Music Tent, featuring performances by Deacon Earl, Ladies First and the Swift Brothers. Attendees can also check out special offers from local businesses that are participating in that weekend’s Green Friday (and Saturday too!) event, East Lansing’s local alternative to Black Friday. 2-5 p.m. FREE. Albert and M.A.C. avenues, East Lansing. (517) 319-6888, cityofeastlansing.com/winterglow.
Saturday, Dec. 5
Phil Denny & Friends Christmas Collective
Swing into the holiday spirit at the fourth annual Phil Denny & Friends Christmas Collective concert. Denny, Lansing’s premier smooth jazz saxophonist, heads up a slate of nationally known smooth jazz artists to put a silky sheen on some holiday classics. This year’s roster includes saxophonist/vocalist Marqueal Ranae Jordan (Chicago), vocalist Yolanda Rabun (Wake Forest, N.C.), guitarist Bryan Lubeck (Chicago), pianist Scott Allman (Chicago) and singer/songwriter Trey Simon (Rochester Hills), as well as talented students from Michigan high schools. 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25, VIP package available. Pattengill Middle School Auditorium, 626 Marshall St., Lansing. phildenny.com.
Saturday, Dec. 5- 6
Holiday Traditions Tour Explore the historic homes of Grand Ledge at the Grand Ledge Area Historical Society’s annual Holiday Traditions Tour. Several residents will open up their historic and modern homes to the public, offering an inside look at some of the area’s most interesting abodes. The Grand Ledge Museum, Grand Ledge Opera House and Emmanuel Lutheran Church will also be open for tours, and Sanctuary Spirits will offer tours and samples of its wine and spirits. Grand Ledge residents who would like to include their house in the tour should contact Marie Brown at (517) 627-1352 or Marilyn Smith at (517) 896-4613. See web for participating homes. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday. FREE. Grand Ledge.
Saturday, Dec. 5- 6
MSU Holiday Arts & Crafts Show Get a jump on your holiday shopping with the 52nd annual MSU Holiday Arts & Crafts Show. This year’s show features over 130 vendors from across the U.S., including 25 vendors appearing at the show for the first time. There will be a wide range of handmade items for sale, including candles, furniture, jewelry, home and yard decor, toys, painting, pottery, and more. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. FREE. MSU Union, 49 Abbot Road, East Lansing. (517) 355-3354, uabevents.com.
Saturday, Dec. 5-6
Celebrate! A Holiday Festival LanSINGout Gay Men’s Chorus presents an evening of holiday favorites and seasonal fare. This year’s concert features a guest appearance by local actor/singer Joe Quick, a regular in the Greater Lansing musical theater circuit. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets start at $10. Lansing First Presbyterian Church, 510 Ottawa St., Lansing. lansingout.org.
Friday, Dec. 6
Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at the Wharton Center MSU choral groups Choral Union, University Chorale and State Singers will join forces with MSU’s Symphony Orchestra to present Handel’s “Messiah.” Composed 274 years ago, “Messiah” has become a staple of the holiday season and continues to be one of the world’s most popular orchestral works. 7 p.m. $20/$10 students. Wharton Center, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. (517) 432- 2000, whartoncenter.com.
Friday, Dec. 11
Holiday Sing at the Ten Pound Fiddle Local folk music promoter Ten Pound Fiddle puts the audience in the spotlight with its 12th annual Holiday Sing. The sing-along concert will be led by Sally Potter, veteran of the local music scene as well as booker for Ten Pound Fiddle and teacher at Williamston High School. She will be joined by a special guest, Lansingbased dulcimer player/builder Doug Berch, who will also provide pre- and post-show music. 8 p.m. $15/$12 members/$5 students/$35 family. MSU Community Music School, 4930 S. Hagadorn Road, East Lansing. (517) 337-7744, tenpoundfiddle.org.
Friday, Dec. 11-13
Holiday at Lebowsky with the Owosso Community Players Join the cast and crew of the Owosso Community Players for an evening of holiday-themed song and dance. The historic Lebowsky Center, which hosts the holiday performance, was completely renovated after a 2007 fire nearly destroyed the building. The Owosso Community Players recently celebrated the renovations with a relighting of the theater’s iconic marquee, retrofitted with energy efficient LED light bulbs. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. $20/$18 students and seniors/$10 children. The Lebowsky Center, 122 E. Main St, Owosso. (989) 723-4003, owossoplayers.com.
Friday, Dec. 11-12
Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle Third Annual Holiday Show The 15ish-piece musical group Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle — known as LUVS by its fans — hosts a yuletide-themed concert full of mischief and merrymaking. The 1920s-influenced gypsy-jazz outfit invites audience members to sing along with their vaudevilleified versions of classic Christmas tunes. The eccentric show will also feature dancers, puppets and comic relief provided by pseudo-scientists. 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. $15/$10 advance. Robin Theatre, 1105 S. Washington Ave., Lansing. 517luvs.com.
Thursday, Dec. 17-19
Cirque Dreams ‘Holidaze’ at the Wharton Center
Soaring snowmen and acrobatic angels hit the Wharton Center stage in Cirque Dreams’ colorful holiday stage extravaganza, “Holidaze.” The show celebrates the season with elaborate production numbers, extravagant costumes and live music, all performed in a winter wonderland setting. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets start at $38. Wharton Center, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. (517) 432-2000, whartoncenter.com.
Saturday, Dec. 19
A Jazzy Little Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 19
Tease-a-Gogo Holiday Burlesque Variety Show Need a little help making Santa’s naughty list? Tease-A-Gogo, Mid-Michigan’s popular burlesque variety show series, makes a stop in Lansing on its annual Tease-A-HoHo tour. This holidaythemed burlesque bash will feature sideshow, drag, and striptease performances sure to make even an abominable snowman blush. Guests are encouraged to join in on the fun and don their holiday apparel. Doors will open at 9 p.m. All adults over 18 are welcome, and reserved seating is available. 10 p.m. $10. The Avenue Cafe, 2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. teaseagogo.com.