Aghhh! It’s already November and the shopping days ‘til Christmas are counting down, your holiday calendar is filling up and there’s just not enough time for everything that’s about to get so crazy busy.

Maybe you need a breather.

If you don’t schedule some family time away, then that time is sure to slip away in the rush of the season to come. So make sure this Christmas really is the most wonderful time of year and plan now for a family getaway.

You don’t have to take a big trip to get into the spirit of the season. How about a close-to-home family weekend that puts you in a holiday mood and recharges your batteries for the festivities ahead?

Here are some sample itineraries filled with great holiday events in Lansing:

  • Nov. 17-19 – Join tens of thousands of people who gather in downtown Lansing each year for Silver Bells in the City. On Friday, Nov. 17, you can see Santa in the amazing Electric Light Parade and take part in the lighting of the official state Christmas tree as fireworks blast over the Capitol dome. Reserve seats for Brunch with Santa on Saturday or Sunday, and enjoy any of the Capital Region’s many great family attractions on the weekend, too, like Impression 5 Science Center and the unique flavors of ice cream at the MSU Dairy Store.
  • Nov. 24-26 – The Wharton Center for Performing Arts has a world-class schedule of holiday-themed productions this year and it kicks off with The Nutcracker on Thanksgiving weekend. While you’re in town, be sure to check out the incredible Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park Zoo, where the exhibits will be adorned in lights on weekends from Nov. 17 through Dec. 31. On your way home, stop by Peacock Road Family Farm to pick out a tree and ride the train to Santa’s cabin.
  • Dec. 1-3 – See Santa Claus at the Night Lights Christmas Parade in Grand Ledge on Friday night, go for a horse-drawn carriage ride and roast marshmallows at the Winter Glow on Saturday in East Lansing and pick out some special gifts at the massive MSU Arts & Crafts Holiday Show on Sunday. For a little extra shopping fun, the Old Town Holiday Hullabaloo is this weekend, too.
  • Dec. 8-10 – For an old-fashioned holiday experience, hear the MSU College of Music play the Hallelujah Chorus and the rest of Handel’s 18th-century Messiah on Saturday night, then go to the free, family-friendly Christmas in the Village in Okemos on Sunday where volunteers reenact holiday traditions from the past. For a more modern celebration of the season, browse the Lansing Art Gallery’s Holiday Art Market, open Nov. 7-Dec. 23, on Saturday and then enjoy the Lansing Symphony’s Holiday Pops on Sunday at the Wharton Center.
  • Dec. 15-17 – The award-winning Broadway musical “Finding Neverland” hits the Wharton Center stage Dec. 12-17. The zoo’s Wonderland of Lights will still be going strong, and Hollywood’s biggest Christmas movies including “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” will be playing at Celebration! Cinema Lansing & IMAX where you can watch in reclining leather chairs.