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Hot for the Holidays in The D

Campus Martius skating

We may be headed for the brute months of a Michigan winter, but before we get there take a little time to enjoy the warm and festive spirit of the season. Metro Detroit offers infinite possibilities that will keep your pre- and post-holiday activities calendar full.

Merriment and Must-Dos

Take some time to appreciate Henry Ford Museum's Lionel trains as they charge along a labyrinth of tracks and turns. All part of a huge display specially built for the holidays. Holidays in Henry Ford Museum runs through Jan. 3.

Arts, crafts and ongoing visits from a guy with a beard wearing red and white headline during Heritage Holidays at Wolcott Mill Historic Center in Ray Township. Sip on hot chocolate and cider. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride across the mill grounds.

Glide along the ice at the famous outdoor rink at Campus Martius Park downtown. If you don't have skates, you can rent them on-site. Your backdrop is the city's official Christmas tree, a 60-foot-tall Norway Spruce all aglow with more than 19,000 lights. On Fridays and Saturdays in December, you can also catch Santa Claus hanging out in the park looking for family photo ops. 

Campus Martius Park is also the starting point for horse-drawn carriage rides. Huddle close to your sweetie and mosey through the decorated streets of downtown Detroit for just $10 a person. Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m.-midnight, and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays through Jan. 2 (with a few blackout dates).


Big Bright Lightshow

Holiday Light Shows

If you are looking for a family winter activity after dark, grab the kids and take a walk or drive through the sparkly, twinkling holiday light displays around the metro area.

The Wayne County Lightfest on Hines Drive is a crowd favorite. The four miles of lights will be up until New Year's Eve.

Winter Wonderland at the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House 
Sip hot chocolate and walk beneath a canopy of twinkling lights. You will hear the sounds of carolers as you stroll the grounds of this historic home. Open every Friday and Saturday in December. Admission is $10 per guest.

If you haven't seen Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo, you will be awestruck by the twinkly holiday magic. The lights are on Dec. 11-13, 18-23 and 26-31 from 5:30-9 p.m. While you're there, take the Polar Plunge down the new 22-foot-tall, 150-foot-long slide, only available during Wild Lights.

The Big Bright Light Show is another must-see light display. Downtown Rochester is entirely lit up until Jan. 3. See the lights, shop the stores and eat at the restaurants.

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village is quickly becoming a local holiday tradition. Walk the historic streets, hear carols of old, enjoy a warm drink. Dec. 11-13, 17-23 and 26-28.

During the Holiday Sound + Sparkle Spectacular, the city's Christmas tree in Campus Martius Park is transformed into a sparkling, musical showstopper. Musical tracks of legendary Detroit artists performing classic holiday songs are synchronized to an exciting pattern of blinking, dancing and sparking tree lights. Runs daily on the hour from 5-11 p.m. through Dec. 31.


Christmas Carol

The Shows Are Going On

Put on your best holiday dress or suit plus tie and make it a night to remember. Seasonal shows abound in metro Detroit throughout December. A few staples:

See A Christmas Carol at the Detroit Theater through Dec. 24.

Merry Christmas Darling is at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 12. A Christmas Concert is on the center’s calendar for Dec. 20.

Manheim Steamroller comes to the Fox Theatre on Dec. 18. The Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker graces the Fox’s stage on Dec. 11-27.

See Home for the Holidays at Orchestra Hall on Dec. 18-20.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra rocks The Palace of Auburn Hills with two shows, both on Dec. 29.



Adults Only

Looking for a night on the town with your holiday sweetheart?
Stop by Kuhnhenn Brewing Company's Winter Solstice on Dec. 18-19.
Rare crafts, live music and a heated beer tent.



Whitney dining


Check here to find out what metro Detroit restaurants will be open for business on Christmas Eve.


District Key

(DW) Dearborn/Wayne
(DD) Downtown Detroit
(GN) Greater Novi
(M) Macomb
(O) Oakland

Detroit Districts map 


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