5 Michigan Christmas Movies to Watch with the Family

By: Scott Davis | December 23, 2020

’Tis the season for snowy days, hot chocolate, holiday lights and watching a heart-warming movie with the family. We all have our favorite holiday flicks, ranging from classics such as “A Christmas Story” and “Elf” to “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “Home Alone.” If you’re in the mood for something with a local touch, check out these Christmas movies with Michigan ties.

“The Santa Clause”

Tim Allen is one of the proudest Metro Detroiters working in Hollywood, and the Birmingham native starred in one of the most beloved Christmas trilogies of all-time. The “Santa Clause” films follow Allen’s character, Scott Calvin, accidentally taking on the role of Santa Claus, much to his chagrin. The family-friendly trilogy has become a staple for many families and is one of Allen’s most iconic roles. 

“Polar Express”

Chris Van Allsburg’s beloved novel was made into an animated film starring Tom Hanks in 2004. Grand Rapids is featured throughout the movie with Herpolsheimer’s downtown department store being prominently shown. The film’s Pere Marquette 1225 locomotive was also inspired by a real locomotive, which was restored and put back in operation in 2013.

Families are always on the go, and the All-New Trailblazer combines safety, comfort and accessibility to fit your family's needs. Discover the available features that make Trailblazer an ideal family SUV.

“Prancer”

Even though he might not be the most famous reindeer of all, “Prancer” got his own movie back in 1989. The film was shot in Berrien County and centers around a farm girl discovering one of Santa’s reindeer, which fell from a downtown decoration, has come to life. The film stars Sam Elliott, Cloris Leachman and Rebecca Harrel.

“Small Town Santa”

Filmed and set in Rockford, “Small Town Santa” stars Mount Clemens native Dean Cain as a sheriff who locks up a man claiming to be Santa Claus. When he realizes people’s Christmas wishes are coming true, he starts to realize that maybe the man isn’t as crazy as he thought. The family comedy also stars Christine Lakin and Sophie Bolen.

“A Dog for Christmas”

Another Dean Cain Christmas flick filmed in Rockford is 2015’s “A Dog for Christmas.” Rockford natives might notice some local spots throughout the film, including The Corner Bar. “Home Improvement’s” Richard Karn also has a supporting role.

What are some of your favorite Michigan Christmas movies? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram.