Niles library, history center team up for a day of holiday magic

Published 10:38 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

NILES — The Niles District Library and History Center are teaming up to offer families a day of holiday magic.

On Saturday, Nov. 20, Santa will make his annual visit to the Niles District Library. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will join Santa next door at the Niles History Center. Doors open at 10 a.m., and special guests will arrive with a police escort at 11 a.m. Rudolph will bring two friends with him. Visitors will meet live reindeer, courtesy of Reindeer Ranch in Kalamazoo. The event is free and open to the public.

Activities will take place at both the history center and the library. At the library, Santa will make his annual appearance. Free tickets are required to meet Santa and are available through Friday, Nov. 19. Tickets will not be available the day of the event.
Interested readers can pick up a ticket for their group at Niles District Library’s youth services desk. During the visit, visitors can check out one of magician John Dudley’s magic shows taking place at both 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the library’s storytime room. Families can also experience the magic of the season with a fun ornament scavenger hunt, or snag a few books that will make great gifts at the Friends of Niles District Library and History Center Book Sale.

At the history center, visitors can view the Fort St. Joseph Museum and Historic Chapin Mansion all dressed up for the holidays, decorated by various community groups in the theme for the year: “Winter Wonderland.” The Fort St. Joseph will feature an exhibit of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer memorabilia. Why Rudolph? Organizers said Rudolph has a historical connection to Niles. The character was created by Robert May for the Montgomery Ward’s Department Store. Niles is the childhood home of A. Montgomery Ward, the store’s founder.

Speaking of shopping, the museum’s gift store will be open, offering a unique selection of historical books, toys and locally created art.

“We are so excited to bring this event back for the community. Rudolph and his reindeer friends missed seeing everyone last year,” Niles History Center Director Christina Arseneau said.

Admission to Holiday Magic is free. Holiday Magic is sponsored by the Friends of the Niles District Library and History Center.

Check the Niles History Center’s website,, for more information or call (269) 845-4054. The Niles History Center is located at 508 E. Main Street, Niles.