Coming home for the holidays does not have to mean vegging around all day in front of the TV in between meals. Unless of course, that is what you look forward to! However, if you and the family are looking for things to do and things to see in Alpena since you’ve been away, may this be your adventure guide to a eventful holiday weekend!

  1. Bolenz Jewelry Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting– Join us for this fun-filled,

    With a wave of his hand, The Grinch lights up the tree for Christmas; photo courtesy of the Alpena DDA

    festive parade on Friday the 25th at 5:30 pm. The parade will start at the Annex building parking lot at the corner of Chisholm St. and Ninth Ave. The parade will then travel down Chisholm and turn left onto Second Ave. downtown and take a right on Water St., ending in the parking lot behind City Hall. Stick around after the parade is over and head downtown to Culligan Plaza for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Last year we had a very special guest with The Grinch himself making an appearance. His heart really must have grew 3 sizes that day because with a wave of his hand, the lights lit up into a beautiful display! (Family Event, Free Admission)

  2. Dork Brothers Turkey Trot 5k– The 14th annual Turkey Trot will be held at the APLEX (701 Woodward Ave.) on Thanksgiving morning. Registration begins at 8:00 am with the race beginning promptly at 9:00 am. Run, jog, walk, or skip your way to the finish line with your friends and family by your side. Race will be held no matter what the weather conditions are, so dress appropriately. (Family Event, $10 for students, $15 for adults, $30 for families. All proceeds benefit Alpena Area Food Kitchens)
  3. Island Park Bridge Dedication & Lighting Ceremony– The City of Alpena will be holding a dedication for our beautiful, hand-hewn wood covered bridge on Saturday the 26th at 4:00 pm. A holiday lighting ceremony will also be held at the same time and the public is strongly encouraged to come out and show your support for this Alpena treasure! This bridge will make the perfect backdrop for your Thanksgiving family photos, don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity! (Family Event, Free Admission)
  4. Thunder Bay Theatre Presents: The Sound of Music– The talented crew of TBayT is bringing Alpena alive…with the sound of music! Check out this classic re-production Friday, November 25th through Sunday, December 11th; evening shows beginning at 7:30 pm and Sunday shows at 2:00 pm. (Family Event, Contact box office for prices) 989-354-2267

    Sandy Blumenthal Bridge

    Our beautiful bridge connecting Duck Park to Island Park; photo courtesy of Sandy Blumenthal

And it doesn’t have to end here. Have you seen our brand new “Make a Splash for Art” Aquascape mural in the Chisholm St. Pocket Park? What about the new Season of Light display at Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan? Have you recently taken a tour inside our Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center or played a game of Extreme Laser Tag? How about a trail walk at Norway Ridge with the family dog, a shopping trip downtown with Mom, fishing the river with Dad, or stargazing with your significant other?

We challenge you to get out there and explore Alpena with your family this holiday weekend, whether you call Alpena home or are just visiting for a long weekend. Enjoy yourselves and each others company, be kind to one another, be thankful, and Happy Thanksgiving to all!


>>Need more ideas…check out these links to more Alpena adventure blogs<<

Never Skip A Beat with Alpena’s Guide to Live Music

Alpena’s Hidden Treasures

6 Ways to be a Tourist in Your Hometown of Alpena, Michigan

6 Ways to Time Travel in Alpena

Top Spots to Enjoy a Sunset in Alpena

Your Quick Guide to Inland Fishing in Alpena

7 Ideas for a Rainy Day in Alpena

Get Out of the Elements and Into Your Element at These Alpena Art Workshops

For more events, see our events calendar at