I’ve put together a little Christmas list of fun things to do this weekend 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.
If Christmas shopping is on your mind this weekend, we recommend heading 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… yup, you’ll find it at the Windowsill. 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 no 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!
Also Dec 4 following parade: Sleighbell Fireworks (sponsored by Jeff Reau Edward Jones), Jingle Bell Jam, Nutcracker Ballet at the Ramsdell Theatre.
Note: The parade and other events are big attractions in Manistee, main roads are blocked off so go early to find parking and dress warm! The schedule will tell you more so use it as to guide your planning.
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