Sunday, December 15, 2019

Holland's Kerstmarkt

I'd been interested in visiting the Kerstmarkt in Holland, Michigan for several years and this season I finally made it on the last day it was open.  The Kerstmarkt is the Dutch version of the outdoor Christmas markets that are popular throughout Europe.

Holland's market featured over a dozen booths selling crafts, plus a few offering food and drinks, and warming hut.

On Saturday's the Holland Farmer's Market sells fresh produce, baked goods, and chocolates which doubles the size of the market.

It also offered a dogsled demo on the day I visited.

The Kerstmarkt was a pleasant, low-key experience.  It was no where near the size of Chicago's Christkindlmarket but it did make a list of the Top 50 Christmas Markets worldwide.  On its own, I'm not sure it justifies the drive from Kalamazoo but it does make a good excuse to visit downtown Holland during December.

The Kerstmarkt right at the edge of Holland's 8th Street shopping district, which is West Michigan's best "Main Street." My favorite place for lunch in Holland, New Holland Brewing, is just a few blocks from the market. Along the way, The Outpost is great shop for camping, SUPs, and outdoor clothing.  8th Street also has branches of regional favorites like Gazelle Sports and Kilwins chocolates and a newly opened Hopcat.

Holland Kerstmarkt
8th Street Market Place
150 W. 8th Street
Holland, Michigan

Monday, December 2, 2019

Winter Events 2019-2020

While we had snow earlier this year, December is the traditional start to Winter.  Get ready for a season of skiing, sledding, and skating.  Plenty of local festivals celebrate the season.

Winter Events near Kalamazoo

December 7, 2019 Tree Lighting & Traditional Holiday celebration Celery Flats, Portage 
December 7, 2019 13th annual Candy Cane Hunt Mayors Riverfront Park Kalamazoo
December 7, 2019 Local Gift Fair  9 am -4 pm Kalamazoo Nature Center Kalamazoo 
December 31, 2019 New Year's Eve Fest Kalamazoo
January 11-18 2020 Kalamazoo Beer Week Kalamazoo

January 23-26, 2020
Winterfest Grand Haven
January 31- February 3, 2020  Icebreaker  South Haven

February 14 -17,  2020  Great Backyard Bird Count

February 15-16, 2020 Free Fishing Winter Weekend throughout Michigan

February 22, 2020 Winter Beer Festival Grand Rapids

February 29, 2020 Quietwater Symposium East Lansing

Ongoing events
International Festival of Lights Battle Creek November -December 
Zoo Lights Binder Park Zoo Battle Creek
          Dutch Winterfest Holland
Millennium Park Skate Rink opens December 8, 2019, or when weather permits Portage
          Christmas Bird Count

See also

OptOutside  An alternative to hitting the malls on Black Friday

Discover Kalamazoo's event listing
Gazelle Sports Races and running calendar

11 Unforgettable Winter Places in Michigan

West Michigan Winter Weekends

Sarrett Nature Center's Event list Benton Harbor

The DNR has calendars of events for State Parks and Recreation Areas.

Events from Pure Michigan