Here’s a bunch Michigan festivals & events for the month of November. As usual, there’s no way to get them all, so please add links and information about the one’s we’ve missed (or reviews of ones we have here) in the comments below.
November Fast Facts
- The Leonids meteor shower reaches its peak around November 17
- November’s birthstone is the yellow topaz.
- Its birth flower is the chrysanthemum.
- November 10th is the birthday of the United States Marine Corps
- November 11th is Veterans Day
- Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November.
- The day after Thanksgiving in the USA, a famous day for shopping, known as “Black Friday.”
- Monday immediately following Thanksgiving Day in the USA is know as Cyber Monday
In 1863, Abraham Lincoln, proclaimed the last Thursday of November to be a National Day of Thanksgiving(pdf).
“All in November’s soaking mist
We stand and prune the naked tree,
While all our love and interest
Seem quenched in the blue-nosed misery.”
- Ruth Pitter
“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
- Emily Dickinson
“So dull and dark are the November days.
The lazy mist high up the evening curled,
And now the morn quite hides in smoke and haze;
The place we occupy seems all the world.”
- John Clare, November
“November’s sky is chill and drear,
November’s leaf is red and sear.”
- Sir Walter Scott
“The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.”
- Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald”
Things to Do, Places to Go
Through November 21
Northern Michigan C. S. Lewis Festival – Traverse City
The Northern Michigan C. S. Lewis Festival welcomes you to our annual month-long celebration. Events take place during late October and November in the Petoskey area on Little Traverse Bay, including music & theater performances, school & library programs, scholarly lectures, community discussion groups, and more.
November 3 -13
Grand Rapids Restaurant Week – Grand Rapids
Over 50 GR restaurants will feature a three-course menu for a fixed price of $25 in addition to their regular menu and some are offering 2 for $25!
Iceman Cometh Challenge – Traverse City
Nearly 4000 cyclists from the United States and Canada converge on Traverse City for the Iceman Cometh – a 27-mile point-to-point mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City through the Pere Marquette State Forest.
November 5 & 6 or November 12 & 13
Toast the Season Wine Tour – Leelanau Peninsula
The annual Toast the Season wine trail tour features a special wine & food pairing and a holiday gift bag featuring local food at each of the 19 Leelanau Peninsula member wineries.
November 5 – 6
First Frost Arts and Fine Crafts Festival – Flint
Enjoy a glass blowing demonstration, view & bid on decorated holiday tree or wreath and explore artwork in wood, fiber, clay and more from more than 50 juried artists.
November 9 -17
East Lansing Film Festival – East Lansing
The East Lansing Film Festival (ELFF) is the largest and most diverse film festival in Michigan to screen independent and foreign feature, documentary, short and students films from around the world. The Lake Michigan Film Competition (LMFC) will be held during the festival. This competition gives cash awards to the filmmakers whose film was at least one quarter filmed, produced, or financed in the states that border Lake Michigan.
Annual Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service – Whitefish Point
The service includes reflections, music, and the Call to the Last Watch Ceremony in which the ship’s bell is run 29 times for each crewman who went down with this famous vessel plus a 30th ring for all who have lost their lives on the Great Lakes.
November 10 – 12
Michigan Festival of Sacred Music – Kalamazoo
The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music offers events which represent diverse religious traditions, promoting mutual respect and understanding through sharing the music treasured by these traditions.
Wagbo Farm Cider Making Demo – East Jordan
Join the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center for their free monthly potluck program! Potluck lunch starts at 12pm. Bring a dish to pass if you want, but it’s not mandatory. Wagbo provides drinks and table service. The presentation begins at 1 pm. Homebrewers Keith Kintigh and Jason Stephens will provide an introduction to the art of making “hard” cider. Discussion will include history of cider making, the role of apple varieties, and the importance of yeast choice. Free and open to the public.
November 12 – 20
Christmas Tree Galleria – Caspian
Head to the Iron County Historical Museum Complex in Caspian for a display of over 50 trees with rural, ethnic and international themes.
November 14 – 22
Annual Children’s Film Festival – Saugatuck
Artful, educational, funny, thought-provoking films for young audiences (made by both adult and young filmmakers). Public screenings are on November 19.
November 15 – 30
Deer Hunting (Regular Firearm Season)
If you think this isn’t a major event, then you probably live south of Clare.
Grand Rapids Wine, Beer & Food Festival – Grand Rapids
An annual pre-holiday event! Now in its fourth year, this festival has established itself as Michigan’s premier event for the celebration and tasting of the finest foods, wines, beers and spirits. From the connoisseur who lives and breathes for the finer things in life to the novice looking for an introduction to the world of food and spirits, the International Wine & Food Festival will deliver a grand experience that is sure to please every palette.Absolute Michigan has FOUR tickets to give away for to someone on our email list – click to sign up and get much more information!
November 17 – 27
Festival of Trees – Muskegon
Designers & artists present beautifully decorated holiday trees and wreaths at the Muskegon Museum of Art. Also included are a holiday movie festival.
Silver Bells in the City – Lansing
Silver Bells in the City attracts 120,000 attendees annually and features an Electric Light Parade followed by the lighting of Michigan’s official Christmas tree and a firework show (weather permitting) over the State Capitol. The evening is also filled with free family entertainment including free admission to Lansing’s cultural institutions, horse-drawn wagon rides on Washington Square, and performances by more than 50 local arts and cultural institutions throughout downtown Lansing.
November 18 – 27
Christmas WonderFest – Detroit
Glittering buildings, busy sidewalks, brisk air, dazzling gift displays and decadent treats are highlights of a bustling Christmas season in the city. In November 2011, the city’s central plaza Campus Martius Park will debut Christmas WonderFest, a highly anticipated indoor/outdoor festival and return to the legacy of Detroit Christmas Past. WonderFest, modeled upon traditional European Christmas Markets, will kick off the holiday season in grand style with an International Marketplace, seasonal food & drink, Carousel and Ferris Wheel spins, and Holiday Tree-Lighting.
Kalamazoo Russian Festival – Kalamazoo
Celebrate the partnership between Kalamazoo, Michigan and Pushkin, Russia at this years Kalamazoo Russian Festival; a unique Russian cultural event in the Midwest.
November 19 – December 31
Battle Creek International Festival of Lights – Battle Creek
The six-week holiday lighting extravaganza in greater Battle Creek, Michigan, features over one million sparkling lights, special events, lighting displays, and entertainment.
November 24 – Thanksgiving Day
Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Detroit
The theme for the 2011 America’s Thanksgiving Parade is “So Much To Believe In”. The parade down Woodward Avenue is one of the nation’s oldest and most celebrated parades. They start at 9:20 a.m. on Woodward Avenue and Mack and end at Woodward Avenue and Congress in downtown Detroit before hundreds of thousands of parade-goers, in person and on WDIV Local 4.
Fantasy of Lights – Howell
Parade & Town Activities in Historic Howell, Michigan
November 26 – December 18
Santa’s Village – Chesaning
Experience Santa’s Village – North Pole USA.Young and old alike will enjoy a visit to the enchanged village. Nestled snugly at the North Pole (aka, Saginaw County Fairgrounds, Chesaning, Michigan), Santa’s Village embodies the spirit and excitement of the holiday season. North Pole Express Engine 1225 arrives at Santa’s Village at 11 am and 5 pm daily while the Village is open. View the steam engine made famous in the movie Polar Express.
November 25 – December 30
Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic – Flint
This holiday fantasyland features thousands of sparkling lights and Michigan’s most spectacular moving light display, the Huckleberry Railroad. The entire village is aglow with colored lights and more lights decorate the railroad’s locomotive, coaches and trackside displays. Costumed villagers prepare for the holiday season in the village’s homes and shops, the Colwell Opera House presents live entertainment and Santa Claus talks with the children. See model trains, craft demonstrations, holiday music and unique shopping opportunities delight all ages.
Great Macaroni & Cheese Bake-Off – Old Mission Peninsula
The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula will host local restaurants who have turned the classic comfort food, Macaroni and Cheese, into culinary marvels! This rich and creamy fare is paired with wines from Old Mission – Rieslings, Pinot Grigios, Chardonnays and more. Taste what our local Chefs have come up with this year!