Frankenmuth is such a magical place… at least it looks magical and since it’s Christmas year round, it’s a great place to take out of town guests, especially right before the holidays.

We had out of town guests from California visiting for Thanksgiving and decided to make the hour trip from Rochester to Frankenmuth.  We started our venture at the world’s famous Bronner’s Christmas Store.  Bronner’s is a Christmas Wonderland, open 361 days of the year and features over 50,000 trims and gifts.  I picked up a Little People’s Nativity set for the girls and a few ornaments for the girls to give to their teachers.  We then headed over to grab some lunch at the Bavarian Inn.

We wanted some authentic German  food and that’s just what we got!  I ordered the Bavarian Combo plate and it was delish!  It had Smoked Pork Loin, Breaded Loin of Pork and Marinated Beef.  It also came with these amazing Potato Cheese Puffs.  It was the perfect amount of food and I was glad I got to try a few different things.  I ordered the girls the chicken fingers and they were SO good!  They also had hot chocolate that was by far the best hot chocolate I have ever tasted in my life!

After lunch we looked through the shops that are in the basement of the Bavarian Inn and then picked up some cheese from a cheese shop and fudge from a fudge shop that were downtown.  We had a wonderful trip to Frankenmuth and it was a great way to kick off the holiday season!

Meadow Brook Hall

Meadow Brook Hall

I feel like I am stepping off of a time machine into the 1800’s every time I step foot into meadow Brook Hall and during the holiday’s it is especially magical with the Dodge/Wilson home decorated top to bottom for the holidays.

The home is a magnificent part of metro Detroit’s history and if you go for a tour, now is the time!  We were invited to visit Meadow Brook Hall to kick off the holidays, but this was not our first visit.  Even though this was our 3rd visit to the home, every time we visit, we learn a little more about the history that has been preserved so wonderfully.  Last year we went to Dinner With Santa and the whole family had a wonderful time!

This year, they opened up the children’s secret playrooms which was a very special treat!  I always wondered what they looked like and we finally got a tour!

Cider Mill

Not all, but a lot of the Cider Mills are open year round and on a cold day, a hot cup of cider and a warm donut are just what you need to take off the chill!  We took our out of town guests to Yates Cider Mill and got the treat of watching the apples being juiced while we sat and enjoyed our cider and donuts.  You can’t visit Michigan without visiting a cider mill!

Great Lakes Crossing

What’s a trip without a little shopping?  Great Lakes Crossing has the best line-up of designer discount stores!  From Banana Republic to Coach and Lacoste to the Disney Store, there is something for everyone and really great deals!

Big Bright Light Show

This year was the first year we missed the “official” lighting of downtown Rochester.  If it hadn’t been for the rain and the sick kids, we would have continued our annual tradition, but poor health got in the way.

The Big Bright Light Show is even bigger this year and attracts visitors from all over metro Detroit and beyond.  It’s a treat for kids and adults alike and a must not miss attraction during the holiday season!

Luckily, our friends that were visiting from California during Thanksgiving got to experience the spectacular show!  After our Thanksgiving dinner, we took a drive through downtown Rochester, MI for an early showing of the Big Bright Light Show!

Do you have any special places that you take out of town guests when they visit metro Detroit during the holidays?

Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Courtney is the traveling mom! She has 3 girls and is the founder of Detroit Mommies and currently lives in Florida. You can follow her on Twitter @courtneyRVL.
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Robyn @ Detroit Coupons and Deals
Robyn @ Detroit Coupons and Deals
12 years ago

I love this list! I’m always wondering where to take out of town guests. I’ve even considered ordering brochures of different attractions so they can choose. I’ll second Christina on Greenfield Village. My MIL has a season pass there and can get our whole family in for free. It’s a really fun place. You can go multiple times and each visit is unique.

Courtney Velasquez
12 years ago

Christina… Those are two places I have not been ,but would love to check out! Thanks for the suggestions!

Christina S.
Christina S.
12 years ago

Great list, Courtney! I’d also highly recommend Greenfield Village, it’s rated as one of America’s top history attractions. I also like the Detroit Historical Museum. It doesn’t get as much attention as some of the bigger attractions, but it’s a really cool place – they’ve even replicated the streets and shops of early Detroit.