Even during winter, Kalamazoo remains active and vibrant. If you're not fond of the chilly weather, fear not! We've compiled a list of our top suggestions for staying cozy while experiencing everything downtown has to offer this season.


Enjoy Craft Cocktails



Green Door Distilling Company



Green Door Distilling Co, is an award-winning grain to glass distillery located in Kalamazoo’s River’s Edge District. We’re proud to be Kalamazoo’s first distillery and represent the rich distilling history that Kalamazoo possessed in the 1800’s.



Principle Food & Drink



Located on the historic central Kalamazoo Mall, Principle Food & Drink features craft cocktails and scratch made cuisine in a casual yet elegant vintage atmosphere. The Principle kitchen presents an array of 'medium' plates, comprised primarily of ingredients sourced within 50 miles of Kalamazoo. Guests are delighted as fresh ingredients and high quality spirits are skillfully melded to create memorable craft cocktails at the Principle bar. Expect a lively, convivial experience at Principle Food & Drink. Cheers!




The Stamped Robin 



At Stamped Robin, you'll find a comfortable haven for savoring a delightful beverage. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails, indulge in natural wines, and enjoy delectable European bar snacks in the company of good friends. It's the perfect place to unwind and enjoy an unforgettable drink with the best of company.



Explore Downtown Kalamazoo's Most Festive Sites

Nothing warms your heart in the winter like twinkling holiday lights! Head to these spots downtown for the best outdoor light displays.




Kalamazoo Mall



The Kalamazoo Mall, also known as the Kalamazoo Pedestrian Mall, holds a significant place in American history. It is recognized as the first outdoor pedestrian shopping mall in the United States. Located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the mall is known for its historical and modern shopping trends and holds a unique spot in the community's heart. 

Currently, the mall stretches along South Kalamazoo Mall Street, flanked by various shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Shoppers will find clothing stores, jewelry stores, art galleries, specialty food stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and even a few craft breweries. Several festivals, events, and concerts also take place throughout the year, adding to its cultural significance.




Bronson Park



During the holidays, Bronson Park in Kalamazoo, Michigan, becomes a magical place, with decorations, festive activities, and various events bringing joy to its visitors.  Starting from late November, the park comes alive with a vibrant holiday light display known as Candy Cane Lane. It's a dazzling display with thousands of lights that illuminate the park with a myriad of festive colors. Walking through the park under the blanket of twinkling lights with the surrounding historic architecture reflecting the holiday ambiance is nothing short of mesmerizing. 

Each year, there's the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony that typically takes place after Thanksgiving, signifying the official start of the holiday season. During this event, a large, beautiful Christmas tree is decorated with colorful ornaments and bright lights. Families, friends and community members gather together in the cold, warming their hands with hot beverages and watching as the park turns into a vibrant spectacle.

The holiday celebrations in Bronson Park bring a strong sense of community, with locals and tourists alike flocking to participate in the festive events or simply to marvel at the vibrant decorations. In Kalamazoo, it is certainly considered one of the must-see highlights of the holiday season. The magic of the holidays shines brightly in Bronson Park, making it a place where wonderful holiday memories are made.




Bates Alley


Lights strung over Bates Alley

Bates Alley in Kalamazoo, Michigan is a lively and charming pedestrian alley that showcases the urban revitalization efforts in the heart of downtown. Once just a place to park cars, it has been transformed into an urban hub, offering an enticing array of restaurants, bars, and cafes. 

The restaurants and bars along Bates Alley have outdoor seating, making it the perfect destination for socializing on a warm, sunny day or spending a cool, clear night under the stars. These include popular venues like Saugatuck Brewing Company, Green Top Tavern and more. From hearty pub fare and craft beers to expertly mixed cocktails and fine dining options, the food and drink scene is truly a highlight.

Bates Alley is also near several of Kalamazoo's notable landmarks, such as the Kalamazoo State Theatre, the Bell's Eccentric Cafe and Beer Garden, and the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, which means there is always something to see and do in the area.




End The Night With Local Coffee or Hot Chocolate


Factory Coffee

Coffee culture thrives in Downtown Kalamazoo with many cozy cafes serving winter-friendly beverages. Not only do these cafes offer exceptional brews and pastries, but also offer unique environments and aesthetics. 

Each coffee shop in Downtown Kalamazoo presents its unique flavor while reflecting the local community's spirit. Whether you are a coffee aficionado or simply need a cozy place to escape the winter chill, the coffee scene in Downtown Kalamazoo will surely not disappoint.

If you're on the Kalamazoo Mall, make sure to check out Caffe Casa. We also recommend checking out Factory Coffee and Water Street Coffee

Then, there's Cherri's Chocol'art. While known for their exquisite chocolates, they also offer delicious hot drinks. Sip on their decadent hot chocolate, a perfect beverage to keep you cozy and satisfied. Also, don't forget to try their delightful coffee blends sourced from some of the best growers worldwide.