11 Metro Detroit Events to Get You in the Holiday Spirit


Noel Night // Photograph Courtesy of Midtown Detroit, Inc. 

We’ve barely made it to Thanksgiving, but the holiday season has officially kicked off in metro Detroit. From breath-taking light displays to shopping, there’s no shortage of cheer around the city. Check out these 11 holiday events to help you get into the spirit. 

Rochester Big Bright Light Show

Over one million lights will brighten up downtown Rochester beginning November 20. Throughout the season, the downtown area will also feature a weekly Winter Farmers Market, Friday night carriage rides, a Christmas Parade, and more. Through January 7. Downtown Rochester; downtownrochestermi.com

The Nutcracker

The Cincinnati Ballet is traveling to Detroit this holiday season for a performance of The Nutcracker. The Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra will be performing the show’s score. Nov. 25-26. $49+. 1525 Broadway St., Detroit, 313-237-746; michiganopera.org

Meadow Brook Holiday Walk
Stroll through elegant décor and sparkling lights at this year’s Meadow Brook Holiday Walk. The annual event will feature new attractions including guided candlelight tours, a kids candy adventure, and visits with Santa in his workshop. Nov. 24 - Dec. 7. $20. 350 Estate Dr., Rochester; 248-364-6200; meadowbrookhall.org

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo
This holiday season, the Detroit Zoo will be lit up with more than 5 million lights and decorated with 430 trees and 230 animal sculptures. Guests can purchase tickets for ice skating, visits with Santa, carousel rides, and more. Nov. 24-26, Dec. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 26-31. $10. 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-541-5717; detroitzoo.org

Kerrytown KindleFest Market
This one-day outdoor festival, housed in the Ann Arbor Farmers Market, will feature artisans, farmers, and retailers selling a variety holiday wares. The German-inspired, family-friendly evening will also include food, mulled wine, beer, strolling musicians, fire pits, and more. Dec. 1. 315 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 734-794-6225, kerrytown.org/kindlefest

Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village
Carolers, sleigh bells, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire are just some of the highlights from the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. Main Street will be filled with food and beverages while historical homes will be open for tours highlighting holiday traditions. Visitors are welcome to walk through the village or hop on a horse-drawn wagon for a slow ride through the town. Dec. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 19-23, 26-27, 29-30. $19.50. The Henry Ford 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-982-6001; thehenryford.org

Birmingham Holiday Tree Lighting
Both Birmingham’s Mayor and Santa will attend this year’s holiday tree lighting in Birmingham. More than 40,000 lights will decorate the 35-foot blue spruce. Children are also invited to meet Santa, with proceeds benefiting Leader Dogs for the Blind. Dec. 1. Birmingham Shopping District, 151 Martin Street, Birmingham, 248-530-1200; enjoybirmingham.com

Noel Night
More than 100 venues are scheduled to participate in this year’s 45th annual Noel Night. Venues including the Michigan Science Center, Detroit Public Library, and the Detroit Historical Museum will offer entrance to the public free of charge. Guests can also partake in holiday shopping and choose from among 200 special performances taking place around Midtown. Dec. 2. Free. Midtown, Detroit; 313-420-6000; noelnight.org

Merry and Bright Nights
Every weekend through the holiday season, guests can enjoy tours through the Eleanor and Edsel Ford’s home, which will be “dressed up for the holidays.” Outside the historic home, attendees can gather around a fire, complete with cocoa and s’mores available for purchase. Children are invited to visit with Santa and take part in a special scavenger hunt to earn a holiday treat. Dec. 7-23. $12+. Edsel and Eleanor Ford House 1100 Lake Shore Rd., Grosse Pointe Shores; 313-884-4222; fordhouse.org

Ferndale Holiday Ice Festival
Downtown Ferndale will be transformed into a winter wonderland for this one-day event. Watch the ice carvers as they chainsaw, chisel, and shape blocks of ice into nearly 50 ice sculptures. The festival will also include lunch with Santa, hayrides, real live reindeer, and more. Dec. 9. Schiffer Park, W. 9 Mile Rd and Planavon, Ferndale.; 248-546-1632; downtownferndale.com

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas
Known for their distinctive rock-and-roll takes on classic Christmas song, Mannheim Steamroller will take to the stage for one night only at the Fox Theatre during their 2017 tour. Dec. 16. $26.50. The Fox Theatre Detroit 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-3200; olympiaentertainment.com


And don't forget…

Small Business Saturday
Observed the day after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to support small retailers and businesses by shopping locally. From the recently opened Downtown Detroit Markets to other new local shops, there are plenty of places to start your holiday shopping while supporting small businesses. Nov. 25. Various metro Detroit retailers

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