Holiday and Winter Family Fun in Frankenmuth

A trip to Frankenmuth is great fun any time of year but the winter months hold a little something extra. Get tips and insider info on planning your family's trip.

Are you looking for a magical experience this holiday season? Look no further than Frankenmuth.

Michigan’s “Little Bavaria,” as it is lovingly called, is a fantastic way to spend time with the family all year round, but when the snow begins to fall, a beautiful and unique opportunity to experience the town arises in the form of events and spectacular displays.

“(In December), the whole main street area is adorned with lights and the Bavarian Inn and Frankenmuth River Place Shops are decked out in lights and decorations, too,” says Joanna Stratman, the assistant general manager at the Bavarian Inn Lodge.

Inside the lodge, guests will also delight in dozens of Christmas tree displays scattered throughout the hotel. Among them is a forest of trees in the conference center and a beautifully decorated inverted tree hanging from the ceiling of the main lobby.

Of course, there’s plenty of fun to be had outside the lodge too. On the grounds, families can spend some time together in a heated igloo, which is available for rent on the weekends and first-come, first-served during the week.

You can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the snow around town to take in the lights and other decorations.

And, for those who prefer to walk but don’t want to slip and slide, the River Place Shops, which is a short distance from the Bavarian Inn, offers heated sidewalks.

“It makes getting around this area of town much easier,” Stratman says. “There’s plenty to do in the building but if they want to venture out they have a clear path.”

The family fun isn’t limited to the holidays either. Every Saturday in December, kids can enjoy free special family activities at the lodge from 6 to 8 p.m. And after the holidays, in late December and into January, there’s even more fun, cheer and events.

On Dec. 31, 2019, you can ring in the New Year at one of two celebrations happening at the Bavarian Inn Lodge.

Those with kids will enjoy a scrumptious buffet, glowing party favors, dancing and a countdown to the New Year. Meanwhile, upstairs, adults can partake in the New Year’s 2019 Gala, which features a gourmet buffet including appetizers, prime rib and Frankenmuth’s famous chicken, along with decadent desserts, live music and dancing.

Admission to the kid-friendly event runs $43-$70 per person. The adults-only gala is $90 per person and tickets are expected to sell out for both of these events.

After New Year’s, families can continue to take in the holiday decorations, which will be up through mid-month, and also experience the area’s huge wintertime festival.

Zehnder’s SnowFest, as it’s officially called, is free to attend and runs Jan. 22-27, 2020. Here, families will find ice and snow carving demonstrations, ice displays throughout the city – many of which are on display in the Bavarian Inn parking lot – Also, live music (for a charge) and warming tents are available.

“(Frankenmuth) is just beautiful and it gives you a feeling of cheer (this time of year,)” Stratman says. “There’s a lot going on in the hotel (and) we do still have some availability during the holiday break time when families are off of school and work, but it gets more limited during that time so call soon to get your plans squared away.”

For more information on holiday and wintertime family fun in Frankenmuth, or details on the Bavarian Inn Lodge, visit them online at


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