Winter Glow

There is something for everyone at the popular annual Winter Glow event – East Lansing’s free, outdoor winter festival. This winter-inspired annual tradition will take place on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in downtown East Lansing with a wide variety of fun-filled seasonal activities from 2-5 p.m. It’s free and rain or shine! The Winter Glow activities will be located in Ann Street Plaza, Fountain Square and inside the East Lansing Marriott. The outdoor spaces are adjacent to the intersection of Albert and M.A.C. avenues. There will be free parking in all gated lots/garages in downtown East Lansing from 2-6 p.m. on the day of the 2018 event. Gates will be up until 6 p.m. Cars remaining in the lots/garages after 6 p.m. will need to pay to park.  

2018 Activities

This year’s Winter Glow will feature ice carving, horse and carriage rides, a special outdoor holiday farmers market, a heated music tent, a winter barnyard, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus (3-6 p.m. inside the Marriott, photos are $5), family friendly activities and games, winter photo scenes, marshmallow roasting, merchant activities, roasted nuts, a community art project and donation-based hot chocolate with the East Lansing Art Festival and much more.

Green Friday (& Saturday too!), Nov. 30-Dec. 1

Support local businesses! This year’s Green Friday shopping event will take place in conjunction with the Winter Glow! Shoppers are invited to downtown for a special East Lansing version of the popular day-after-Thanksgiving Black Friday sales. 

Outdoor Holiday Farmers Market

A special outdoor holiday farmers market will feature many of the popular East Lansing Farmers Market vendors. Vendors will include 45th Parallel Pickle and Clothing Company, Where the Wild Things Bloom, Guiding Light Garlic Farm, The Cheese People of Grand Rapids, Jenny’s Sweets & Treats, Fins n’ More (Fresh Lake Whitefish Company), Sapo de Solis, El Burrito Mexicano, For the Love of Grain, Clyde’s Pit, Droscha Sugarbush, Applegarth Honey, Tomac Pumpkins, Para Para Creamery - Steffey Farms, 517 Coffee Company and Nut Brothers. 

Jingle Jam Music Tent

The Jingle Jam Music Tent will feature a free, live performance by The Sea Cruisers from 2-5 p.m. There will also be special appearances by SIGH Studio of Music, featuring holiday ukulele music.

Toys for Tots - Toy Drive

New this year! There will be a Toys for Tots toy drive during the event and the first 400 people to bring an unwrapped toy will receive one free professionally printed photo with Santa! Toys will be collected near the Santa photo area in the lobby of the Marriott. This special activity is sponsored by Landmark on Grand River, Newman Lofts, The Christman Company and the MSU Federal Credit Union. 

Program Guides

Printed copies of the Winter Glow program guide will be available at the festival information booth in Fountain Square, located at the corner of M.A.C. and Albert avenues.


Community volunteers are needed for the 2018 Winter Glow! Those interested in serving as a volunteer can sign up here.


The 2018 Winter Glow event is produced by the City of East Lansing and sponsored by Downtown East Lansing, the MSU Federal Credit Union, the East Lansing Marriott, Center for Autism & Related Disorders, Landmark on Grand River, Newman Lofts and The Christman Company.