Looking for something fun to do this weekend, Dec. 8-10, 2023? Metro Detroit is celebrating the holiday season with plenty of activities including festivals, concerts, stage shows, and other special events. Get details on these happenings and much more with this handy guide.
One Sleepy Night – Detroit
This original Christmas musical features 16 original songs and puts a spotlight on the people, culture, resilient hope and love, and other parts of Detroit that make the city so special. It tells the story of a modern family who discovers the love that came “one sleepy night” in Bethlehem. Dec. 6-9. $10-$50. Garden Theater, 3929 Woodward Ave., Detroit; onesleepynight.com.
Catch Sleigh Ride, Jingle Bells Forever, and more seasonal songs to lift the spirits at this annual holiday show. $10-$35. Dec. 7-8. First United Methodist Church on Thursday and Northville Marquis Theater on Friday; michiganphil.org.
Celtic Angels Christmas
Featuring world-class Irish dancing, a live band, and five dynamic vocalists, this Celtic Christmas celebration blends Old World charm with modern-day production elements to create a toe-tapping night of holiday entertainment. The show is written, directed, and choreographed by Dublin native Louise Barry. Dec. 8. $41+. Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township; macombcenter.com.
A Magical Cirque Christmas
World-renowned entertainment troupe Cirque du Soleil is known for jaw-dropping acrobatic stunts that synchronize with immersive visual effects. That formula gets a festive spin in A Magical Cirque Christmas, a Yule-themed variety show set to holiday music favorites. The awe-inspiring program is suitable for all ages. Dec. 8. $45+. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313presents.com.
Voctave: The Spirit of the Season
The 11-member a cappella group boasts a stunning five-octave vocal range and performs favorites from Disney movies and hit Broadway shows. It will make a stop at Detroit’s Orchestra Hall to perform captivating renditions of holiday classics from its chart-topping Christmas album The Spirit of the Season. Dec. 8. $29+. Orchestra Hall, 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; dso.org.
Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village
This event has been a holiday tradition in metro Detroit for nearly 25 years. Explore the 80-plus acres of the village for holiday goods, seasonal food and warm drinks, Model T rides, and horse-drawn wagon rides. There’s also carolers, bonfires, and fireworks. Dec. 8-10, 14-17, 19-23, and 26-28. $29.25-$32.50 for adults, $24.25 for kids 5-11, free for kids 4 and under. Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; thehenryford.org.
Gary Hoey: Ho Ho Hoey Rockin’ Holiday Tour
Guitarist and songwriter Gary Hoey has toured with Ted Nugent, Foreigner, The Doobie Brothers, and countless other big-name acts. He’ll put a rock ’n’ roll spin on classic holiday tunes when he stops at Ferndale’s The Magic Bag on his upcoming holiday tour. Dec. 9. $40. The Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; themagicbag.com.
Motown Museum’s Amplify: The Sound of Detroit
Auditions for this singing competition take place live from noon-4 p.m. Ten artists will be selected to compete in Amplify 2024 for a chance to become the “Amplify Artist of the Year” and a shot at $15,000 in cash and prizes. You must be at least 16 years old to compete. Advance registration required. Dec. 9. Motown Museum, 2648 Berry Gordy Jr. Blvd., Detroit; motownmuseum.org.
Old Town Krampusnacht
This event brings old world Krampus celebrations to life. Find food, a vendors’ market, kids’ activities, visits with St. Nick, and a traditional costumed Krampus parade. Be aware: there may be a few scares at this event. Dec. 9. Free. Old Town, Lansing; facebook.com.
Clarkston Holiday Lights Parade
Clarkston Community Schools’ robotics team, Team RUSH, organizes this annual holiday parade on downtown Clarkston’s Main Street. Students use their science, technology, engineering, and math skills to design festive floats that spread holiday cheer as well as a pro-STEM message. The floats will compete for the Best Use of STEM Award, which comes with a $100 prize. Dec. 9. No cost. Renaissance High School, 6558 Waldon Road, Clarkston; teamrush27.net.
97.9 WJLB Presents Live, Lit & Laughter
This comedy show features performances by Rickey Smiley, Chico Bean, Bill Bellamy Tony Roberts, Benji Brown, Darren Brand, Osama Bin Drackin, and musical guests The Ying Yang Twins. Dec. 9. $69+. Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313presents.com.
Holiday Hoopla & Tree Lighting
Enjoy photos with Santa, visits with reindeer, crafts, cookie decorating, and more ahead of the community tree lighting. Dress for the weather. Dec. 9. No cost for admission. Waterford Town Hall, 5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford; waterfordmi.gov.
The Scarlet Tour with Doja Cat and special guest Ice Spice makes a stop in the Motor City for an evening of some of her best music, including her latest track “Attention.” Dec. 10. $59+. Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit;313presents.com.
Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet
Caroling in the City
Downtown Rochester transforms into Dr. Seuss’ Who-ville for this annual night of music and holiday activities. Enter an ugly-sweater contest, decorate your own Christmas cookie, and stroll down Main Street with the Rochester Community Carolers as they perform classic holiday selections. Dec. 10. No cost. Downtown Collaboration Studio, 431 S. Main St., Rochester; downtownrochestermi.com.
Brian McKnight Hits and Holidays
The Grammy Award-nominated R&B vocalist will perform some of his most popular songs, along with selections from his two Christmas albums, when he makes a December stop at MotorCity Casino Hotel. Dec. 10. $57+. Sound Board at MotorCity Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; soundboarddetroit.com.
The Ringwald Theatre and Affirmations in Ferndale put on this new holiday show, which tells the story of the first time Barbra Streisand hosts her first live Christmas show — but the weather is keeping the stars from the studio. $15-$25. Now-Dec. 8. The Ringwald inside of Affirmations Community Center, 290 W. 9 Mile Road, Ferndale; theringwald.com.
A Nice Family Christmas
This comedy by Phil Olsen “puts the fun is dysFUNctional,” and tells the story of a young newspaper reporter who is on the brink of being fired, but it given one more chance to tell a captivating story by writing what a typical family does for Christmas — and that family is his family. Now-Dec. 16. Tickets start at $20. The Farmington Players, 32332 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills; farmingtonplayers.org.
The Detroit Repertory Theatre is kicking off their 67th season with this Pulitzer Prize-winning show about a dark relationship of brothers Lincoln and Booth as they struggle with work, women, abandonment, and more as they work toward improving their lives. Now-Dec. 17. $25-$30. Detroit Repertory Theatre, 13103 Woodrow Wilson St., Detroit; detroitreptheatre.com.
Canterbury Holiday Dinosaur Wonderland
This display features life-sized dinosaurs including velociraptors, triceratops, stegosauruses, pterodactyls, and a t-rex set up in a forest that is beautifully decorated for the holidays. Now-Dec. 24. Ticket fees apply. Canterbury Village, 2357 Joslyn Court, Lake Orion; canterburyvillage.com.
Wayne County Lightfest
This annual drive-thru display features nearly 50 animated holiday displays that use more than 100,000 lights. Tune in to AM 1640 when you’re three to five miles away to get regular updates on wait times, traffic flow, and more. Now–Dec. 24. $5 per car, $20 for commercial vans, $25 for mini-buses, $50 for passenger busses, cash only. 7651 N. Merriman Road, Westland; waynecounty.com.
A Christmas Carol
No holiday tale is more enduring than Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella about a greedy, uncaring miser and the ghosts that help him change his ways. Enjoy this live stage adaptation by Charles Nolte, featuring gorgeously festive sets and plenty of faux snow. The production has been a Meadow Brook Theatre Christmas tradition for more than 40 years. All ages are welcome. Now-Dec. 24. $36+. Meadow Brook Theatre, 378 Meadow Brook Road, Rochester; mbtheatre.com.
Magic of Lights
Drive through beautiful lighted holiday displays themed to Winter Wonderland, 12 Days of Christmas, Toyland, and more. The 200-foot Enchanting Tunnel of Lights, 32-foot animated Christmas Barbie, life-sized dinosaurs, and the Bigfoot monster truck shouldn’t be missed. Now-Dec. 30. $22.50 for a standard vehicle. Pine Knob Music Theatre, 33 Bob Seger Drive, Clarkston; magicoflights.com.
Glenlore Trails: Aurora
The popular mile-long illuminated winter trail is back for the 2023 holiday season. Take a walk on the manicured, but unpaved trail to take in thousands of lights set to festive seasonal music. Open Thursdays-Sundays. Now-Dec. 30. $20-$25 for adults, $15 for ages 4-12, free for kids under 3. Glenlore Trails, 3860 Newton Road, Commerce Township; glenloretrails.com.
The Holidays at Meadow Brook
Meadow Brook celebrates the holidays with its Holiday Walk and Winter Wonder Lights events. The Holiday walk will take you on a tour of the historic mansion, which is decked out in its holiday best, while Winter Wonder Lights takes you around the grounds to see the breathtaking seasonal displays. Now-Dec. 30. $20.50 for adult holiday walk, $8 for kids 3-12 Holiday Walk, $22.50 for Winter Wonder Lights, $12.50 for kids 3-12 Winter Wonder Lights, free kids under 2. Meadow Brook Hall, 350 Estate Drive, Rochester; meadowbrookhall.org.
Home for the Holidays at Ford House
Take an evening self-guided through the beautifully lit historic estate. As you make your way around the home and grounds, you’ll hear stories about its history. Each ticket includes hot chocolate. Now-Dec. 30. $20-$30 for adults, $10-$15 for kids. Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores; fordhouse.org.
Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo
Visit the zoo to take in spectacular light displays themed to animals that live at the zoo. The event takes place in the front half of the zoo and animal habitats are not accessible during the event. Now–Jan. 7. $17+. Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak; detroitzoo.org.
Monroe Street Midway
Bumper carts, minigolf, and a ride down an 80-foot-long slide are among the activities available as this event returns to downtown Detroit, turning Monroe Street across from Campus Martius Park into a winter wonderland. Detroiters can also enjoy an immersive art experience as locally painted murals are transformed into multidimensional wonders using 3D technology. Now-Jan. 7. No cost. 22 Monroe St., Detroit; deckedoutdetroit.com.
From These Hands
This art exhibit features the work of six Michigan artists, all of which are members of the Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club. No cost for admission. Now-Jan. 30. Southfield City Hall Main Lobby, 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield; cityofsouthfield.com.
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