Holiday Movies with Michigan Flavor

Many directors have used Michigan as a backdrop for their films. Michigan’s majestic flora and fauna are perfect for any movie. In particular, many of our towns have an old village sensibility that is a great setting to set your holiday movie in. And Michigan has its share of local filmmakers that have utilized this. has a list of holiday movies with Michigan flavor.

From the holiday wonderland of Frankenmuth, the natural beauty of Manistee, or the recreation and shopping of Rockford, Michigan has many towns that provide the inspiration for these holiday films.

Michigan Holiday Movies Feature 2

  • 1. The Polar Express

    The Polar Express was written by Chris Van Allsburg, a Grand Rapids native. Later turned into a major feature film starring Tom Hanks in 2004. The world premiere of the film was shown at the Celebration Cinema IMAX in Grand Rapids.

  • 2. Prancer

    The mustache wonder Sam Elliot stars in this film about a rescued reindeer. Filmed in Berrien County town of Three Oaks, located in the southwest corner of Michigan

  • 3. The Santa Clause (I, II, and III)

    A stretch, but Tim Allen is very much a native-born Michigander! Tim Allen, who attended Western Michigan University, takes over as the new Santa Claus when he accidentally causes the demise of the current Santa. A regular rotation in most holiday movie lists. 

  • 4. The Christmas Bunny

    A movie filmed entirely within Michigan. A story of a rescued bunny found on Christmas Eve that is nursed back to health. Shot in several locations across Michigan including Lowell, AltoWyoming, and Zeeland. And as a bonus, it was also directed by Grand Rapids native Tom Seidman.

  • 5. Silver Bells

    A story about a newscaster who is serving community service as a Salvation Army bell ringer. Filmed in several locations around Michigan including Manistee, Grand Rapids, and Ludington

  • 6. Small Town Santa

    Dean Cain (SUPERMAN!) plays a small-town sheriff who arrests a vagrant who just happens to be Santa.  Filmed and takes place in Rockford.

  • 7. A Dog for Christmas

    Superman couldn’t get enough of Michigan! Dean Cain stars in another Christmas movie filmed in Rockford again. This time the story revolves around a wish for a dog for Christmas. Will Santa deliver? Will there be a Christmas/Dean Cain trilogy in Rockford in the future? 

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