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As the last of the leaves hit the ground and the crisp air whips across town, we realize that a special time of year is near. The time for gift giving to friends and family, Santa and his sleigh and a series of seasonal shows and activities. Metro Detroit always offers infinite possibilities that will keep your pre- and post-holiday calendars full. So, make your to-do list now and check it twice.
Start off with a show or a seasonal-inspired stage play to set your holiday mood in high gear.
Everyone's favorite, Elf is coming to town on Nov. 15-20 at the Fox Theatre. Also at the Fox, the talented dancers of the Moscow Ballet will be performing the Great Russian Nutcracker on Dec. 18, followed by A Christmas Story on Dec. 24-30.
Other holiday favorites playing on metro Detroit stages are A Christmas Carol at the Meadow Brook Theatre on Nov. 11-Dec. 23. Don't miss the Trans-Siberian Orchestra this year, either. It performs one night only, Dec. 30, at The Palace of Auburn Hills. We also recommend you check out the new musical Fun Home playing at the Fisher Theatre on Nov. 29-Dec. 11.
Fantastical floats, Jolly Old St. Nick on his sleigh, hot cocoa and lots of twinkling lights down city blocks. Make your picks for fun times and fantasy.
Go curbside on Woodward Avenue to watch this year's America's Thanksgiving Parade on Nov. 24. See the magnificent floats, clap for the Big Head Corp and see how Santa makes his debut in The D.
Take a day trip with the family to the charming town of Frankenmuth and see the CHRISTmas Wonderland that is Bronner's. If you prefer to stay closer to metro Detroit, check out all of the December dates for Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village, where you can enjoy the beautiful sounds of carolers and the twinkling lights while navigating about the village's historic structures.
Keep the holiday spirit going through December 27 and head downtown with your family to enjoy Menorah in The D - a celebration featuring a 26-ft. menorah, kosher food court, family fun activities and a beer garden.
Looking for more light shows? Click here for four must-sees in metro Detroit.
Metro Detroit has numerous ice skating rinks where you can bond with family and friends ⏤ many with heated reception areas and skate rentals available.
City Square Ice Arena in Warren turns its summertime fountain into a glistening sheet of ice for residents and nonresidents to enjoy. The underground cooling system allows for ice skating up to 50 degrees. (Psst ... Be sure to stop by the arena on Jan. 14, 2017 for the Hamilton Chevrolet Winter Cold Rush, a day filled with on-site ice carvings, ice skating, a petting zoo, miniature golf and more.
Blossom Heath Park in St. Clair Shores is another pond ready for skates on icy days. Bring your own shovel, and remember prepping the ice is half the fun. Stony Creek Metropark in Macomb County offers ice skating daily from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Riley Park Ice Skating Rink in downtown Farmington is another arena available for outdoor skating.
Don’t miss the Campus Martius Park annual tree lighting on Nov. 18. Follow the ceremony with a skate around the park's ice rink and a cup of hot cocoa in the cozy, heated area.
Looking for colder weather to-dos that keep you moving but don't require bundling up? You can always take the younger brood to one of metro Detroit's many activity-oriented indoor venues.
The Michigan Science Center always has new exhibits for the young scientist. Bring the family to see the Creatures of Light exhibit through Jan. 14. Learn the secrets of bio luminescence in living organisms.
Step inside the DNR Outdoor Adventure Center for a fun, educational way to learn more about Michigan's waters and vast forests, and all of their non-human inhabitants.
The water at Sea Life Michigan Aquarium never freezes, and the Lego-infused playscape at LegoLand Discovery Center Michigan, both at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, are always surefire party pleasers.
"A great way to try out Detroit restaurants is to log onto Groupon ... It helped us breakout of our normal routine, visit more and it has spiced things up a bit for my traveling girlfriends group."
Book a dinner cruise or go for a late-night moonlight party aboard the Detroit Princess. The five-story riverboat is back in action for the season.
Fall is in full swing and that means Detroit Red Wings hockey at The Joe. No ticket? Cobo Joe's is a surefire hot spot on game days.
Watch Discover the D TV to learn all about the hidden gems and history that our city has to offer.