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The Seven Best Ways to Get Festive This Holiday Season

The Holiday Season Is Here!

If you’re like me, you are someone who switched from the spooky season right over to Christmas season on November 1st at 12am sharp! I LOVE Christmas, but last year I really struggled to find ways to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year while up in Bowling Green. That is why this year, I did extensive research on the best festive activities in and around BG and compiled them to share with my fellow falcons! Below is a list of experiences that are located within 30 minutes of our beloved campus.

1. Bowling Green’s Holiday Parade– Bowling green, OH

Start off the holidays right by celebrating at our very own town’s 67th annual Holiday Parade! This parade welcomes the BG community, families and BG students alike, out on Main Street to celebrate the commencement of the holiday season.

The parade will take place on Saturday November 19th at 10am. It will feature performances and floats from local marching bands, local businesses, and even an appearance from Good Ol’ Saint Nick!

 Can’t make it to the parade in person? It will also be covered live by WTOL-11 and uploaded onto their YouTube page!

2. Toledo zoo light display– Toledo, Oh

Another great option to celebrate the holidays this year is by visiting the Toledo Zoo! A quick 30-minute drive from campus, the Toledo Zoo offers plenty of festive activities for all to enjoy. The zoo is celebrating with their themed Lights Before Christmas display throughout the park. It will offer a light display made up of over one-million lights, holiday train rides through the Africa exhibit (Friday, Saturday, and Sundays), live caroling and more!

 The Lights Before Christmas display will be active between November 18th and December 31st. Admission to enter the Zoo is $26 for Adults between the ages of 12-59 and $23 for Children and Seniors. They are open Monday-Thursday from 3pm-8pm and Friday-Sunday from 3pm-9pm.

Want to get EVEN more festive at the zoo? Check out the tree-lighting event happening on their opening day (November 18th) at 6pm in the Gardens at the Zoo!

3. Christmas open house event– Grand rapids, oh

Located 20 minutes from BG, downtown Grand Rapids Ohio is hosting a Christmas Open House! I personally have never been to downtown Grand Rapids, but the description of this event really caught my Christmas-lover attention. 

The 7th annual Christmas Open House event allows participants to stroll around on Front Street while listening to Christmas music, exploring over 20 local businesses, checking out yummy restaurants, and participating in festive activities! The invitation for this event mentions Gingerbread House Decorating, S’mores Roasting, and Ice Creations! Santa Claus has also been mentioned as the guest of honor.

This open-house is a full two-day event, starting at 10am on Saturday November 19th until 5pm on Sunday November 20th. 

I can not wait to check out this event! I am very excited to get some Christmas shopping done, knowing I am supporting local businesses. 

4. Joyous sounds holiday concert– Bowling Green, OH

A free and local way to celebrate the holiday season this year is by supporting our College of Musical Arts in attendance of their Yuletide Celebration! The college is putting on this celebration of the holiday season by featuring the university’s Choral Society and Graduate Brass Quintet. The program is not yet available, but should be posted soon on the link above!

This performance will be on Tuesday November 29th at 7pm across Wooster Street from campus, at First United Methodist Church. 

5. Holiday light show– Maumee, OH

One of my FAVORITE holiday activities that I like to do each year is seeing a holiday light show! The light display at the zoo is one excellent way to see a ton of beautiful lights, but there is another form of view that will keep you much warmer: a drive-thru holiday light show. I went to one for the first time two years ago and I was amazed, I was very excited to learn that there is a show like this located just 25 minutes away from campus!

This light show is located at the Lucas County Fairgrounds. You can order tickets online in advance, paying $25 for a carload of people, and get entrance into the display! Something that is truly magical about this display is that you will tune in to a radio station upon entry, and experience a beautiful show that syncs directly to the festive music playing in your vehicle. 

Another ticketing option for this display is a season pass, which pays for itself in three visits. For the price of $62.50, you can go through the show as many times as your festive heart desires. 

The show will begin for the season on Friday November 18th from 5-9pm. There are dates available for viewing Thursday-Sundays for the remainder of the Fall Semester, and then open every day of the week between December 15th and December 31st.

6. Christmas wonderland– Frankenmuth, MI

Okay, I know what you’re thinking:

 “Sarah, isn’t Frankenmuth Michigan more than 30 minutes away from campus?”

The answer is yes, Frankenmuth is an activity that is significantly farther than 30 minutes away from campus. It is actually over 2 hours away. BUT, if you have a full day or a weekend to dedicate, the trip is worth it.

Frankenmuth is known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria. This city is generally a very wonderful place to experience, but according to Frankenmuth’s website:

Frankenmuth during the holidays is an experience that is truly, well, magical

Frankenmuth’s Official Website: https://www.frankenmuth.org/christmas/

Frankenmuth has many festive adventures for visitors, but one of the main attractions featured here is Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. Bronner’s is the world’s largest Christmas store, and a definite must-see for any Christmas lovers. 

Other notable attractions in Frankenmuth is an Ice Rink, a 40ft spectacular Christmas tree that puts on free seven-minute light shows multiple times a day, a beautiful city with a laid-out tour, and more!

7. Stay in!

One final option during this season that is more cost-effective and demands a lot less driving is to stay in! There are plenty of ways to be festive while staying in.

You could celebrate the season by watching your favorite Christmas movies! Many of the popular Christmas movies are available on streaming platforms, here is a very brief list:

-Disney+: Santa Clause series (featuring a new addition to the series out on November 16th), Home Alone series, Noelle, and Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas (a personal favorite)

-Netflix: The Christmas Chronicles series, Love Hard, Falling for Christmas (new 2022 movie starring Lindsay Lohan and Chord Overstreet) and many more original romantic (admittedly pretty-cheesy) holiday movies

-HBO Max: The Grinch (live-action), The Polar Express, Elf, A Christmas Story, and Arthur Christmas

-YouTube (free!)*: Rudolph the Red Nosed ReindeerFrosty the SnowmanSanta Claus is Comin’ To Town, and more!

Happy Holidays!

*links are active as of November 14th, 2022

Sarah Leming

Bowling Green '25

Hello, my name is Sarah (she/her)! I am currently a sophomore at Bowling Green State University. I am majoring in AYA ISS (teaching social studies to middle/high schoolers) with a minor in History! I am from Hilliard, OH (right outside of Columbus) and this is my first year on the Her Campus team. In my free time, I really enjoy listening to music, rewatching my favorite shows, and spending time with my friends/family! Within my family, I have two dogs– a Yorkipoo named Bailey and a Goldendoodle named Milo. Three of my favorite things of all time (and what i'll likely write about the most) include: Harry Styles, Glee, and Christmas!