After a year like this one, we all need some extra holiday cheer. Give this year’s family photos a boost by setting out to find the perfect Insta-worthy backdrop.
You don’t have to hire a professional photographer. In fact, you’ll get more authentic and spontaneous shots with your smartphone. Even if you don’t send out cards, post your shots on social media and spread a little holiday cheer against a backdrop of Michigan’s most picturesque spots.
1. The Mackinac Bridge in Mackinaw City might be the most iconic feature in Michigan. It’s even on the state’s license plates! Weather permitting, head down to the beaches on the south side of the straits for a fresh take on the “everyone in khakis on the beach” shot.
2. Bonfires, roasting chestnuts and twinkling lights make classic backdrops for a holiday photo. Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village offers all this and more and this year, they’re celebrating 20 years as one of the top Christmas experiences in the country.
3. Sure, the small town of Christmas, Michigan may not be the chic-est of destinations. But what could be cuter than a family pose in front of both the three-story Santa and the sign that says “Welcome to Christmas”?
4. The suspension bridge at Grand Ravines park in Jenison would make pretty great holiday photo backgrounds. But the primo spot is probably the big red barn at the Fillmore entrance. Bonus: the park’s paved trails are both dog- and stroller-friendly!
5. A Christmas tree farm is a classic winter photo spot. Capture some shots of your family strolling the rows of perfectly-shaped trees. You could even cut your own and take a series of photos of the process.
6. Every holiday season, the Detroit Zoo lights up the night with “Wild Lights”, a spectacular display of over five million LED lights, illuminating trees, buildings and over 280 sculptures throughout the zoo. Because capacity is limited, you won’t have to worry about crowds spoiling the shot.
7. Another option is to just head out on the road. Dress the family in reds or golds and pose in front of the first forested area you come across. Or stop at for a roadside hot chocolate and capture the moment.
Note: Be sure to check weather conditions as well as any pandemic-related restrictions before visiting any of these spots.