By Guest Blogger: Lara King
Only 1 more week until Christmas! However, we made a list and checked it twice so you can fit in all of these events and activities before Christmas time. Enjoy these holiday-themed activities, shopping local, and festive plates in “The Ultimate Holiday Guide” below:
  1. Donate to Toys for Kids to make a family’s Christmas a little brighter. The Alpena Vietnam Veterans chapter

    Operation Toys for Kids has drop-boxes at businesses all over town. Many businesses are even matching all donations dropped off!

    will accept toys and monetary donations until Christmas Eve at the Old Ripley Fruit Market. For more information, contact Tammy at 989-464-5588. You may also donate online to their Go Fund Me page here –> Operation Holiday Toys for Kids Needs Your Help!

  2. Enjoy a festive holiday dish. The Fresh Palate is offering up a new holiday feature menu starring dishes such as the “Feliz Navibahhh”, a smoked lamb and pork meatball with sunshine pumpkin puree and microgreen kale salad with beetroot vinaigrette, goat cheese, and candied pecans. Mmmmmmm! 
  3. Check out the Local Basket Case’s Facebook page every day this week to see Great Lakes Daily Deals from December 17th to the 22nd! 
  4. At Art in the Loft, register your young children for a free, festive hour of art on December 18th by using the link: Additionally, drop by on the 22nd from 12pm to 2pm for a Holiday Make and Take session for only $5. Oh! Don’t forget about their “Creativi-tree”. Give the gift of art and donation materials and receive an ornament from the creative-tree. Everyone who donates will be entered to win an Art in the Loft experience. 
  5. Vote for your favorite gingerbread house in downtown Alpena! Ballots are available at the DDA Office, and you can receive additional ballots with every purchase you make at a downtown business. You can then vote for your favorite creation and deposit your ballot in a box at any of the locations where gingerbread creations are displayed. The last day to vote is Saturday, December 22nd. 
  6. Starting on December 19th, hop on a trolley for a tour of Christmas lights throughout the town. Tickets cost $1

    Donate to the “Creativi-Tree” at Art in the Loft.

    for adults and 50¢ for children under 13. For more information, call 989-354-2487. The times are: 

    • December 19-20 = 6pm – 9pm
    • December 21-23 = 5pm – 9pm
  7. Enjoy a Ladies Night Cookie Exchange at Rusty Petunia’s Marketplace on December 20th, 6pm. Bring 12 cookies and take 12 cookies home, sip some fine beverages, and participate in sales and giveaways. (Men are also welcome to enjoy the event!)
  8. Celebrate Christmas with pies and rolls from The Parker House. Order ahead by calling 989-595-6484 to pick up freshly baked goods by December 24.
  9. Find Santa’s Runaway Elves in this downtown Alpena scavenger hunt. Pick up a North Pole Pass at any participating stop and see how many elves you can find throughout the downtown. Find 15 elves total and be entered to win a special downtown prize! Once you complete your North Pole Pass, write your name and number on the back and leave it any participating stop. A winner will be drawn at the end of the month. You can find the list of participating downtown business in the link here –> Runaway Elves
  10. Pick up some last-minute Christmas gifts at the Re-Tails Boutique pop-up shop at Suite Salon Spa, December 22nd 11am-1pm. All proceeds go to the Huron Humane Society. Check out their Facebook page for more information!
  11. Visit Santa before he returns to the North Pole. Stop by his house at Culligan Plaza on December 22nd from 12pm – 4pm.
  12. Make a trip to the Alpena Farmer’s Market once more before Christmas on Saturday, December 22nd (10am-2pm) to stock up on baked goods and homemade treats for you and your family. 

Happy Holidays, with ♥ Alpena: Sanctuary of the Great Lakes

To be a guest blogger for the Alpena Area CVB contact To check out the complete list of holiday events, go 

(Featured photo at the top by Instagram user @thefamilypalate)