University of Michigan Health-West: Christmas & Holiday Traditions

November 22, 2022 through January 8, 2023

This exhibition—honoring cultures and holiday traditions from around the world—has grown to 46 unique displays depicting fact and folklore, past and present. University of Michigan Health-West: Christmas & Holiday Traditions is a hallmark Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park exhibition. Dedicate time to appreciate the stunning presentations of winter plantings, the artistry of our adorned Christmas trees, intriguing cultural displays and the beloved Railway Garden. Venture outdoors and discover the beauty of nature with wintertime walks. Indoors and out, our magnificent grounds sparkle with 350,000 lights.

Overview

Showcasing the Season in a New Light

See the season in a new light at the University of Michigan Health–West: Christmas & Holiday Traditions exhibition! We’re illuminating the ways diverse cultures use light to uplift hope, warmth, faith, remembrance, gratitude, prosperity and more during the darkest days of the year. From the warm glow of the Hanukkah menorah, to the bright flash of Diwali fireworks, to the starry sparkle of Filipino Christmas lanterns, light is at the center of the celebration in holiday festivities around the world.

This year’s exhibition features additional indoor lighting and a new immersive light experience at the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater—beginning at 6 pm, December 19–23 and 26–30). Bundle up and come celebrate the season with us!

This exhibition honors cultures and holiday traditions from around the world. The annual celebration of Christmas & Holiday Traditions and the winter season is a Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park hallmark. Meijer Gardens collaborates with community partners on development of the exhibition. Traditions vary from region to region and family to family; the details of each display do not suggest all people in any one culture celebrate the holidays in exactly the same way. Meijer Gardens honors the joy all families bring to one another when they gather together in celebration.

Lena Meijer, and some of her family and friends, began Christmas & Holiday Traditions in 1995 with 20 displays. For 2022, the exhibition has grown to 46 displays depicting fact and folklore, past and present. Dedicate time to appreciate the stunning presentations of winter plantings, the artistry of our adorned Christmas trees, intriguing cultural displays and the beloved Railway Garden. Venture outdoors and discover the beauty of nature with wintertime walks. Indoors and out, our magnificent grounds will sparkle with 350,000 lights.

The companion Railway Garden exhibition is a unique horticultural display incorporating garden design, miniature buildings handmade from natural materials, and model trolleys and trains.

PLEASE NOTE: Meijer Gardens is closed for the day on November 24, December 25 and January 1.

We will be open until 9 pm December 19-23 and 26-30.

EXHIBITION GUIDE

Events

Santa peaking out from behind a Christmas tree

Nov 29, 2022 at 5:00 PM / Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory

Santa Visits

All guests are welcome to share their holiday wishes with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. Tuesday evenings through December 20.

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory
4 adult carolers dressed in old fashioned attire with a lit Christmas tree on the side

Nov 29, 2022 at 6:00 PM

The Original Dickens Carolers

Listen to this festive holiday tradition!

Fee Information
Included with admission

Dec

1

6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Dec 1, 2022 at 6:00 PM

Christmas Cabaret

The Christmas Cabaret is back after a three-year hiatus and we're celebrating the 25th year of this festive event! We are excited to celebrate the holiday season with you thanks in large part to the generosity of our presenting sponsor, Old National Bank. We invite you to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as you see the season in a new light at the University of Michigan Health-West: Christmas & Holiday Traditions exhibition! This year we’re illuminating the ways in which diverse cultures use light—featuring winter plantings, the artistry of our adorned Christmas trees, intriguing cultural displays and the beloved Railway Garden.

Fee Information
$150
Live reindeer laying on the ground in a pen

Dec 3, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Rooftop Reindeer

Each Saturday through December 24, reindeer will be on-hand in Michigan's Farm Garden.

Fee Information
Included with admission

Dec

4

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Enroll

Dec 4, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Morning Family Member Holiday Party: December 4

Morning Family Member Holiday Party: December 4

Dinner plate with food and sprigs of evergreen

Dec 4, 2022 at 2:00 PM

Celebrating Kucios

One of the most important holiday celebrations of the year in Lithuania is the traditional Christmas Eve dinner called Kucios.

Fee Information
Included with admission
Santa peaking out from behind a Christmas tree

Dec 6, 2022 at 5:00 PM / Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory

Santa Visits

All guests are welcome to share their holiday wishes with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. Tuesday evenings through December 20.

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory
4 adult carolers dressed in old fashioned attire with a lit Christmas tree on the side

Dec 6, 2022 at 6:00 PM

The Original Dickens Carolers

Listen to this festive holiday tradition!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Live reindeer laying on the ground in a pen

Dec 10, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Rooftop Reindeer

Each Saturday through December 24, reindeer will be on-hand in Michigan's Farm Garden.

Fee Information
Included with admission
A gold menorah with 9 long taper candles

Dec 11, 2022 at 2:00 PM

Celebrating Hanukkah

Hanukkah is known as the eight-day Festival of Lights.

Fee Information
Included with admission

Dec

11

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Enroll

Dec 11, 2022 at 6:00 PM

Evening Family Member Holiday Party: December 11

Evening Family Member Holiday Party: December 11

Dec

12

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Enroll

Dec 12, 2022 at 7:00 PM

Member Holiday Party - Adult Only (18+)

Member Holiday Party - Adult Only (18+)

Santa peaking out from behind a Christmas tree

Dec 13, 2022 at 5:00 PM / Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory

Santa Visits

All guests are welcome to share their holiday wishes with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. Tuesday evenings through December 20.

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory
4 adult carolers dressed in old fashioned attire with a lit Christmas tree on the side

Dec 13, 2022 at 6:00 PM

The Original Dickens Carolers

Listen to this festive holiday tradition!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Live reindeer laying on the ground in a pen

Dec 17, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Rooftop Reindeer

Each Saturday through December 24, reindeer will be on-hand in Michigan's Farm Garden.

Fee Information
Included with admission

Dec

18

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Enroll

Dec 18, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Morning Family Member Holiday Party: December 18

Morning Family Member Holiday Party: December 18

Dec 19, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
Santa peaking out from behind a Christmas tree

Dec 20, 2022 at 5:00 PM / Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory

Santa Visits

All guests are welcome to share their holiday wishes with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. Tuesday evenings through December 20.

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory

Dec 20, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
4 adult carolers dressed in old fashioned attire with a lit Christmas tree on the side

Dec 20, 2022 at 6:00 PM

The Original Dickens Carolers

Listen to this festive holiday tradition!

Fee Information
Included with admission

Dec 21, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Dec 22, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Dec 23, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
Live reindeer laying on the ground in a pen

Dec 24, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Rooftop Reindeer

Each Saturday through December 24, reindeer will be on-hand in Michigan's Farm Garden.

Fee Information
Included with admission

Dec 26, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Dec 27, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Dec 28, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Dec 29, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Dec 30, 2022 at 6:00 PM / Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

Seasonal Light Experience at Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater

It’s an awe-inspiring, immersive lightshow inspired by the natural world!

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
A single lit candle glowing with food and drink in the background

Jan 8, 2023 at 2:00 PM

Celebrating Diwali

Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a five-day celebration observed among Hindus, Jains, Sikhs.

Fee Information
Included with admission
Several Christmas trees lining the Bissell Corridor

Nov 28, 2022 at 6:00 PM

Past Event

Evening Family Member Holiday Party: November 28

Evening Family Member Holiday Party: November 28

Live reindeer laying on the ground in a pen

Nov 26, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Past Event

Rooftop Reindeer

Each Saturday through December 24, reindeer will be on-hand in Michigan's Farm Garden.

Fee Information
Included with admission
Santa peaking out from behind a Christmas tree

Nov 22, 2022 at 5:00 PM / Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory

Past Event

Santa Visits

All guests are welcome to share their holiday wishes with Santa & Mrs. Claus in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. Tuesday evenings through December 20.

Fee Information
Included with admission
Location
Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory
4 adult carolers dressed in old fashioned attire with a lit Christmas tree on the side

Nov 22, 2022 at 6:00 PM

Past Event

The Original Dickens Carolers

Listen to this festive holiday tradition!

Fee Information
Included with admission

Nov 21, 2022 at 6:00 PM / BISSELL Corridor

Past Event

Member Holiday Party: Tree Lighting Ceremony

Member Holiday Party: Tree Lighting Ceremony

Location
BISSELL Corridor

Nov 5, 2022 at 9:00 AM

Past Event

Holiday Gift Show

Make your list. Check it twice. Get ready to get your gift on!

Fee Information
Included with admission

joy

In many cultures, the holidays bring people together in distinct and memorable ways that are difficult to capture in a display.

Please watch the award-winning film joy, highlighting several locally celebrated traditions from centuries ago, still vital today:


Exhibition Guide

Sponsors

Title Sponsor

Lead Railway Garden Sponsor

Additional Supporters

The Meijer Foundation
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Foundation
Botanic and Sculpture Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Michigan Arts and Culture Council, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts
Life EMS
Michigan Radio
Star 105.7
FOX17

Showcasing the Season in a New Light

See the season in a new light at the University of Michigan Health–West: Christmas & Holiday Traditions exhibition! We’re illuminating the ways diverse cultures use light to uplift hope, warmth, faith, remembrance, gratitude, prosperity and more during the darkest days of the year. From the warm glow of the Hanukkah menorah, to the bright flash of Diwali fireworks, to the starry sparkle of Filipino Christmas lanterns, light is at the center of the celebration in holiday festivities around the world.

This year’s exhibition features additional indoor lighting and a new immersive light experience at the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater—beginning at 6 pm, December 19–23 and 26–30). Bundle up and come celebrate the season with us!

This exhibition honors cultures and holiday traditions from around the world. The annual celebration of Christmas & Holiday Traditions and the winter season is a Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park hallmark. Meijer Gardens collaborates with community partners on development of the exhibition. Traditions vary from region to region and family to family; the details of each display do not suggest all people in any one culture celebrate the holidays in exactly the same way. Meijer Gardens honors the joy all families bring to one another when they gather together in celebration.

Lena Meijer, and some of her family and friends, began Christmas & Holiday Traditions in 1995 with 20 displays. For 2022, the exhibition has grown to 46 displays depicting fact and folklore, past and present. Dedicate time to appreciate the stunning presentations of winter plantings, the artistry of our adorned Christmas trees, intriguing cultural displays and the beloved Railway Garden. Venture outdoors and discover the beauty of nature with wintertime walks. Indoors and out, our magnificent grounds will sparkle with 350,000 lights.

The companion Railway Garden exhibition is a unique horticultural display incorporating garden design, miniature buildings handmade from natural materials, and model trolleys and trains.

PLEASE NOTE: Meijer Gardens is closed for the day on November 24, December 25 and January 1.

We will be open until 9 pm December 19-23 and 26-30.

EXHIBITION GUIDE