In Lake Orion, behind the vast sprawl of the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, is a peaceful and charming spot many pass by on their way to the mall and surrounding shopping super centers.
Olde World Canterbury Village lies just three miles north of I-75 but feels like it's miles away, nestled in a quiet piece of land in a world of its own. The historical landmark covers over 21 acres of land and prides itself on providing the ultimate Christmas shopping experience.
Built in the European, half-timbered architecture style, this world of tradition and "olde world" ambience immerses visitors young and old as they walk the grounds and visit an array of themed shops.
"It's an experience that engages you in the Christmas spirit," says village representative Frances Fischer. She says Canterbury Village has much more to offer than a typical shopping mall.
"With 18 retail sites and 90,000 square feet, it really offers a unique experience," she says.
In fact, you don't have to spend a dollar at the village to enjoy your visit. The grounds are perfect for taking a wintertime stroll with the family and kids, enjoying the brisk air and beautiful architecture.
Fischer says visits with Santa are very popular with families during the holiday season. While kids wait in line, Mrs. Claus tells stories and greets the children.
Kids will also want a spin on the marvelous replica of a 19th century German carousel in the Canterbury Pavilion, which is still only $1 per ride.
For shopping options, the Celtic Connection, Highland Fling, Tea Boutique and the Village Quilt Shoppe are all popular stops – but Aldridge's Always Christmas is a must-see when visiting Canterbury.
If you're looking to spruce up your Christmas spruce, you needn't look further than Aldridge's. All kinds of ornaments can be found here, from traditional to sports and special picks especially for children.
"Aldridge's is always a fun time for kids," adds Fischer. Families will marvel at the giant display of a miniature holiday village and may even be inspired to start their own model village at home with the miniatures available for purchase.
The Scripps estate, once owned by WWJ Newsradio 950 founder and media mogul William Edmund Scripps, surrounds Olde World Canterbury Village. Originally a farm for cattle, sheep and poultry, the grounds now belong to Orion Township, Oakland County and the state of Michigan. The farmhouses of the estate are now a part of Canterbury Village.
While Canterbury shines as a holiday destination, the village also offers year-round fun. King's Court Castle restaurant and banquet room is open all week and available for events, and the Clansman Gaelic Pub is a great place for parents to grab a pint or a bite any time of year.
The Village's Wedding Chapel is a popular place to tie the knot, and February sees the annual Bridal Show in King's Court Castle. Other events occur throughout the year, including a mom-to-mom sale in early March.