I’ve put together a little Christmas list of fun things to do the next few weeks in our little hamlet of Ludington. Some involve shopping, some stepping into nature’s beauty and others taking in the sights and sounds of Christmas in Ludington’s way. I’ve divided list by the next three weekends since some of the happenings are time sensitive.
This is a good weekend to support the artists and shop for the unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for the unique, one-of-a-kind individuals on your lists. For the first stop head to the Red Door Gallery for their Holiday Open House , Nov. 26 and 27 from 10 AM to 5 PM.
“The Red Door Gallery is dedicated to highlighting the very best contemporary fine art and fine crafts by local and western Michigan artists. Owned and operated by ceramic artists Nathan Grubich and Amanda St.Hilaire.” , (from their website)
Another place to look for a one-of-a-kind gift is the “Art of Giving” Holiday Artist Market, being held at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, Friday, Nov. 26 through Friday, Dec. 17. Local creators will have on sale their unique paintings, prints and jewelry throughout the month, and shoppers will be able to choose from a variety of remarkable pieces. Plus, your purchase helps support the arts in the community. Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Ludington has a talented artist community so I’m glad to see their work out there.
My favorite home furnishings shop is Grateful Heart and Home. Many items are refurbished or painted, often with an image or a saying, a beach theme or verse. There’s always something that fits my mood it seems. Many items relate to the area’s lake and beach environment, so they naturally find their way into area homes.
Maude’s Garage is another creative home furnishings place that shouldn’t be missed. It’s not usually open this time of year but it IS open during this weekend, Friday and Saturday, 12-4. This place too has items repurposed, or small antiques, artisan crafts, and often vintage furniture and collectibles. You’ll find an old antique truck with flat tires out front, Maude’s “trademark” so to speak. A look at their Instagram gives you a feel for their wares.
Of course there are many other shops in Ludington but this blog is touching on my favorite places.
Friday night, the 26th, there will be live music at Ludington Bay Brewing Co. hosts Tom Zatarga. Sample some Tangelo Dream Pale Ale, James Street Brown Ale or D’Booty or any other of the 20-24 different brews they have on tap daily. Oh—the food is great too!
The Singletrack Showdown Bike Race takes place Saturday the 27th. If you’re one that seeks thrills on the bike trails this is for you! Sign up for late registration by 9AM Saturday at Spindrift Cyclesports. Race time is 10 AM. Or get a cup of something warm and cheer on the participants of this 16.5 mile race. Click link for more details and a couple past year videos to see what riders experience. I watched one and could hardly stay on my chair. It was quite a ride!
At 6 PM Saturday the “Aglow on the Avenue” Parade provides the first sighting of Santa and Mrs. Claus in Ludington this year. The parade is downtown and marches between Harrison and Gaylord on Ludington Avenue.
If Christmas shopping is on your mind this weekend, we recommend shopping downtown for searching out some unique shops. Ludington’s Downtown Authority has put together a list of shops website for your browsing convenience. Browse through it now to get a preview of places that might suit your fancy.
Having a weakness for books, especially used books, Bob and I will recommend the Windowsill. Oh the attic smell… the dog-eared pages… the thrill of discovery… We also like the Bookmark bookstore for new books and local authors. Bookmark has a coffee and tea bar and a seating area for browsing your purchases or visiting with your fellow shoppers.
For those creative, one-of-a-kind gifts, the ‘Art of Giving’ Holiday Artist Market is still going on at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts. (See description earlier in this blog). Oh! and while you’re in the building, check out the art exhibit currently on display entitled Cosmic Gasp by artist Claire Ashley. You can read about her here.
Early Bird Snowshoe Walks are planned for December 4 and 11 at the Ludington State Park. Here’s your chance to take in the beautiful scenery of the lakes, dunes and woodlands with your family. If you don’t have your own snow shoes the park has 60 pairs of snowshoes available to use on a first come first serve basis. (If there is not snow, a nature hike will be held.) Meet at 10 AM at the Park Warming Shelter, near park entrance.
Mason County Chamber of Commerce hosts Deck the Halls: A Mason County Decorating Contest! If you have memories of riding in the family car at night, looking at the Christmas lights, or watching neighbors compete to put on the best light show, now you can relive the experience. Mason County’s outdoor decorations and lights “contestants” are noted on a published map and you’re invited to vote for your favorite. The contest runs December 1-27, a relaxed activity that can be done any evening during the month.
On December 4, travel north to Manistee about 30 miles to see the Victorian Sleighbell Parade (sponsored by West Shore Bank – Downtown Manistee on River Street – 5:30 PM).
Start your holiday season with this authentic Victorian era parade complete with horse drawn carriages, turn of the century characters, a 30 ft. Christmas tree pulled upright down the street by a beautiful horse team, elf on stilts, high school marching bands, and plenty of other delightful surprises! The parade runs from Division to Spruce Street (just past the fountain). Follow the last entry down River Street for community caroling and lighting of the tree!
Note: This is a big event in Manistee, main roads are blocked off so go early to find parking and dress warm!
Note#2 The parade is part of a several day event. The schedule will tell you more. Keep that in mind as you do your planning.
Sleighbell Fireworks sponsored by Jeff Reau Edward Jones
Also Dec 4 following parade: Jingle Bell Jam, Nutcracker Ballet
Friday night is part of West Shore Community College Performing Arts Series 2021-22, the WSCC Holiday Rock Spectacular! Get ready for a high-energy evening of holiday rock, funk and blues featuring guitarist, Lou Musa, from the Verve Pipe, Craig Avery, and Kevin Depree from the popular Grand Rapids based-band Brenna, along with special appearances from Groove 101, Edgar Struble, and many more area favorites! This holiday rock concert is set for two shows (6:30 & 9 p.m.) Friday, Dec. 10 at Radiant Church of Ludington. Click HERE for tickets.
Schedule this one for sure! Ludington’s Downtown Cookie Walk Dec 11, 1:00 – 4:00PM Venture to each of the 32+ participating locations and collect cookies as you go. This year, each cookie will be individually wrapped in recyclable bags. You will collect your cookies in a Downtown Ludington tote bag. Tickets are $25 each. Only 100 are available so buy your ticket now. MORE INFO WILL BE EMAILED TO YOU CLOSER TO THE EVENT if you purchase.
Totes can be picked up at Five Star Real Estate, 513 S James St, Ludington, MI 49431 on December 11th from 12:30-1:00pm. A map and list of participating businesses will be emailed to you the day prior to the event and there will also be a map and printed list in your cookie tote. Masks are recommended.
Three suggestions we also listed the week before are also available this weekend. See the previous descriptions or the links below.
Early Bird Snowshoe Walks at the state park Dec 11, 10AM to 12AM.
“Art of Giving” Holiday Artist Market at Ludington Area Center for the Arts
Deck the Halls: A Mason County Decorating Contest! a self-guided Christmas light tour.
If outdoor cross-country skiing is your thing and snow is here, the Ludington State Park has miles of trails, about 21 miles. The Logging Trail in particular, is a groomed for cross-country skiing. Other great trails in the outlying area are the Pentwater Pathway and the Big M Recreation Area, near Manistee.
Many of these trails can be used for snow-shoes as well. Just keep in mind the sportsman’s etiquette of staying to the side of a trail rather than the center when on a trail designated for skiers.
And if the temperatures begin to climb these same trails are always beautiful hikes. You’ll just have to switch to the boots. The things I like to bring: my cell phone for photos and trail maps, a walking pole and a small backpack for snacks and water bottles. Along with the book shops the trails seem to be perfect for almost any season.
So if your in the need for some small town Ludington Christmas fun give us a call. We’d love to serve you breakfast!
Information gathered from