7 Can’t-Miss Metro Detroit Holiday Attractions

Modified: November 26, 2019 | Story by Lori Bremerkamp | Photos by Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony, Downtown Rochester

Schedules can get hectic around the holidays, but make you have the dates saved for these annual family-friendly events!

Detroit’s Holiday Attractions

1. Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony

Nov. 16
The annual lighting of the city’s mega-sized Christmas tree marks the beginning of the holiday season in The D. The spirit of the season is never higher, don’t miss all the fun at the Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony.  

2. Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Nov. 17-18, 23-25, 30; Dec. 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 20-23, 26-31

Experience the magic of the Detroit Zoo in winter as you take in the holiday lights, the sights and enjoy entertainment and activities for all ages. More than 5 million LED lights illuminate trees, buildings and animal sculptures throughout the front of the zoo.


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3. Holiday Walk Tours at Meadow Brook Hall

Nov. 24 to Dec. 23

Stroll through the elegant décor and sparkling lights of the Great Estate and experience the holiday magic of Meadow Brook. Be sure to bring the kids! Santa will be at his workshop Dec. 21–23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Photos are welcome, and visits are included with ticket admission.

4. Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

Nov. 30 to Dec. 27

Surround yourself with true holiday spirit in what Reader’s Digest and USA Today call “one of the Top 10 Christmas experiences” in the country. Every lantern-lit path takes you to a new winter wonder to discover. Strap on a pair of ice skates, send a shout-out to Santa and his magnificent reindeer, and nestle into a horse-drawn wagon for a sing-along through Greenfield Village.

Enhance your experience by booking a special dinner package at Eagle Tavern or a Supper with Santa at A Taste of History Restaurant.


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5. Winter Wonderland at Ford House (Edsel & Eleanor Ford House)

Various dates throughout December

Holiday events at the Ford House make for great memories. Soak in the beauty and history on a strolling holiday tour of the house. Outside, warm up around a toasty fire with cocoa and s’mores and see the estate aglow with holiday cheer.

Santa will make his annual appearances in Josephine’s Playhouse to hear children’s wish lists.

6. Midtown Detroit Noel Night

Dec. 1

More than 100 participating institutions — including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History — open their doors to the public free of charge during this cultural center-wide event. Noel Night activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by area music, theater and dance groups.

As always, the evening’s festivities will culminate with a Salvation Army Band-led sing-along, which has been moved to the Wayne State University campus (southwest corner of Woodward and Warren Avenues) this year.

7. Big Bright Light Show

Nov. 19 to Jan. 1

Brighten your holidays with the Big, Bright Light Show. Grab dinner and do some holiday shopping while enjoying the more than 1 million lights covering the buildings of downtown Rochester. They’re lit each evening from 5 p.m. to midnight.

See more Detroit attractions.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Campus Martius Park
    800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  2. 2
    Detroit Zoo
    8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
  3. 3
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
  4. 4
    Ford House
    1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236
  5. 5
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  6. 6
    Michigan Science Center
    5020 John R St., Detroit, MI 48202
  7. 7
    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
    315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  8. 8
    Downtown Rochester
    308 Main St., Rochester, MI 48307
  9. 9
    Rochester Downtown Development Authority
    308 S. Main St., Rochester, MI 48307
  10. 10
    Meadow Brook
    350 Estate Drive, Rochester, MI 48309