One place you should definitely visit this Holiday season (or anytime of year for that matter) is Frankenmuth Michigan! Located north of Detroit outside of Saginaw, this place is a living version of the North Pole year round!
Day or night, walk around the village and visit the many restaurants, specialty shops and stores like Zak And Mac's where you can bear witness to the smells and beauty of homemade Fudge, Toffee, Dipped Candy Apples and many more sugary delights being made right in front of your eyes while sipping on some hot chocolate. Don't forget, while there say Hey to "Herman The German" .
One of the many centerpieces of this town is the Bronners Christmas Wonderland store. Much more than just your typical big box retailer, this place would make Santa put his workshop up for sale and relocate!
Your children and the kid inside of you will love everything about this place and you can easily spend a few hours here without realizing it! All sorts of ornaments, Christmas Trees , gifts, nicknacks and just flat out holiday spirit is in abundance aisle after aisle! O did I mention this is the World's Largest Christmas Store? With theming all around, you'll have to remind yourself that your still in Michigan.
Hungry? Of course you are and in Frankenmuth you can find pretty much anything to impress your palate. One place I can personally recommend however is Zehnders, home of the World Famous Chicken Dinner! Ranked the "Number One Fried Chicken Restaurant in America" by Thrillist.com, Be forewarned that you will need to come hungry for this multiple course meal. If you've ever been to Der Dutchman (Or any similar Amish style kitchen), than this place could easily be considered the older, wiser and more welcoming cousin that loves to cook and hates leftovers. Their Vidalio Onion Soup is a game changer point blank. O yes and while your dining, be sure to post your photos and use the hashtag #ZFun for a chance to be featured on their IG page!
As for lodging, the options are in abundance ranging from your standard branded hotel chains providing you the accommodations you've come to expect such as Choice, Marriott and Hilton Hotels, or you can stay at one of the locally owned and operated establishments and experience relaxation bavarian style!
For those that want a little extra in-house (I mean it's not often you travel to the North Pole right?) The Bavarian Inn features an Indoor Waterpark with 4 pools and 3 whirlpools , including one pool and whirlpool for adults only. 18 hole indoor Mini Golf, the largest Family Fun Center in any Midwest hotel (open until midnight on weekends), a 2 story Children's Village Play Area, Sunday Brunch served poolside in the Courtyard and Family Karaoke on Weekends! Sheesh, with all of these options, you may not make it out of the hotel!
Not be be outdone is Zehnders Splash Village, offering not 1, but 2 different Indoor Waterparks and 178 deluxe rooms with 74 of those being family suites! Not to mention a 2,000 sq. ft. Arcade (Quarters anyone?), Private Cabanas, Movie Nights and several different packages with multiple night stays and dinner included (MMMM Chicken Dinner). Also in December, you can have lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Claus!
And to think that just a few paragraphs back you thought the only thing they did big was Chicken Dinners!
Honestly, I've barely scratched the surface in regards to things to do in Frankenmuth, as I didn't even mention the horse drawn carriage rides thru town at night, The Holiday Celebration by Candlelight, or the old fashioned boat rides on the Bavarian Belle Riverboat. Also, the covered bridge and the famous Clock tower or shall I say Glockenspiel are among the list of other must sees in town.
With just the few things i've mentioned, There's absolutely no reason why Frankenmuth shouldn't be on your must visit list! I was fortunate enough to go several times as a child and still to this day, no holiday memory exist that doesn't include thoughts of the fun times spent here!