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Frankenmuth: A Holiday Wonderland

A covered bridge covered in snow in Frankenmuth

Experience the Magic of Christmas in Michigan’s Quaint Bavarian City

Nestled along the banks of the Cass River, there exists a place where Christmas comes to life in a way that is nothing short of magical. Welcome to Frankenmuth, Michigan, a charming Bavarian city that transforms into a winter wonderland. Frankenmuth is the perfect place to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with its old-world charm, unique traditions, and warm-hearted spirit. 

Frankenmuth’s storybook charm is year-round, but it adds an extra layer of enchantment during Christmas. As you stroll down the town’s picturesque streets it transports you to a quaint Bavarian city with half-timbered buildings adorned with twinkling lights and festive decorations. It’s as if you have stepped into a Hallmark movie. 

Stop by Frankenmuth’s Visitor Center first to begin your incredible journey. Observe the captivating 40-foot Christmas tree lit with 23,000 synchronized lights that sing and dance. The daily light show runs from the week of Thanksgiving through the first week of January. 

For a sense of nostalgia, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Frankenmuth. Snuggle under a cozy blanket and let the clip-clop of the horse’s hooves set the pace for a romantic journey through the city. Enjoy the illumination of more than 175 trees lit on Main Street. 

Downtown Frankenmuth illuminated for the Christmas season

Experience a graceful glide on the ice beneath the shimmering lights and festive decorations that enhance the atmosphere at the Frankenmuth Ice Rink. The ice rink welcomes individuals of all ages and skill levels, offering a space for families and friends to unite and create lasting memories. Skate rentals are available.

If you are looking for unique and thoughtful gifts, Frankenmuth’s downtown and River Place Shops are a treasure trove of holiday shopping opportunities. From quaint boutiques to specialty stores, you will find one-of-a-kind gifts, including handmade ornaments. Look for unique pieces of German Christmas Traditions such as Schwibbogen (Candle Arch), German Nutcracker, and a Weihnachtspyramide (German Pyramid). Locally crafted items make for a memorable present for loved ones or yourself. 

No visit to Frankenmuth would be complete without a trip to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the World’s Largest Christmas Store. As you step through the doors, the scent of fresh pine, the twinkle of lights, and the jingle of bells greet you. The store is a maze of holiday treasures, each corner overflowing with ornaments, decorations, and gifts. 

One of the store’s highlights is the vast collection of ornaments. From classic glass baubles to whimsical and personalized designs, there is an ornament for every taste and style. Whether you want to decorate your tree with traditional red and green or add sparkle with crystal and metallic embellishments, Bronner’s has it all. 

As you prepare to depart from Bronner’s, be sure to embark on a mesmerizing journey down Christmas Lane. Witness the enchanting transformation of the surroundings into a dazzling spectacle, with over 100,000 lights illuminating the lane. Adorned with thousands of twinkling lights and animated decorations that grace lampposts and trees, 25 Christmas Lane makes the perfect half-mile scenic drive that captivates year-round. 

Visit the Silent Night Memorial Chapel, an impressive 56-foot-tall landmark located at the southern tip of Bronner’s 27-acre property. This chapel faithfully replicates the one found in Oberndorf/Salzburg, Austria, where the timeless hymn “Silent Night” was first sung on Christmas Eve in 1818. 

Make sure to savor a meal at one of the town’s famous restaurants, like Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth or Bavarian Inn Restaurant, for a traditional family-style chicken dinner. During the holiday season, these establishments pull out all the stops with special holiday menus featuring roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and all the fixings one would expect for a holiday feast. Or indulge in craft-centric comfort food at the Frankenmuth Brewery. 

Children can send their heartfelt letters to Santa and keep a watchful eye because Santa is always keeping tabs. You never know when he might make a surprise visit. Join the festive fun with the “Stop and Snap Challenge,” capturing cherished moments around town. And don’t miss the chance to enjoy a self-guided tour of Little Bavaria’s “Little” driving light tour. Just follow the map, and have a fellow passenger recite the accompanying poem for the complete experience. To get your map, visit the Visitor Center.

At Christmas, Frankenmuth is a truly magical experience that transports you to a world of holiday wonder and joy. Whether you come for the shopping, the food, the festive ambiance, or simply to create lasting memories with loved ones, the charming Bavarian city has something for everyone. For more information, visit the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and Convention Visitors Bureau Christmas Experience page at

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