Holiday Celebrations in Metro Detroit

Modified: November 28, 2022 | Story by Biba Adams

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is upon us and after several years of collective challenges, many families in Metro Detroit are ready to celebrate. And good news… There is plenty to do. Visit Detroit searched high and low for the best events that celebrate different faiths–many of which are free or low cost! 

So, while the weather outside is a tad bit frightful, we think you will find this list quite delightful! 

Detroit Tree Lighting

800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI

5 p.m. – midnight on Friday, Nov. 18

The official Detroit Tree Lighting event is back in full effect. This year’s event will feature over a half-million lights on a gigantic tree overlooking the ice skating rink at Campus Martius Park. The night will also feature amazing lighting attractions, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, hot chocolate giveaways, food trucks, visits from Santa, and much more!

Noel Night

Midtown Detroit and the Cultural Center

Saturday, December 3, 2022, from 5-9 p.m. in the Cultural Center and 5-10 p.m. in Midtown.

Noel Night returns for the first time since 2019 with over 90 participating venues, this walkable holiday celebration features free indoor and outdoor programming, holiday shopping, stunning outdoor art installations, yuletide treats, caroling, family craft activities, artist demonstrations and performances by local and national artists. Noel Night is free and open to the public and produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc

Noel Night Midtown Detroit

The Wayne County Lightfest

7651 North Merriman Road

Wednesday – Sunday from Thursday, November 17, 2022 until Saturday, December 24, 2022 from 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM.

This four-mile stretch of nearly 50 animated and themed displays and more than 100,000 lights is a family favorite with light displays that dazzle. It’s all family-friendly with costs of only $5 per carload. 

The Big, Bright Light Show

Downtown Rochester

November 21 – January 21, 2023

Illuminating downtown with over 1.5 million points of light, the Big, Bright Light Show is a staple of the Rochester community and it returns this year bigger and brighter than ever! The event was honored as one of the most magical ways to celebrate Christmas in Michigan. You’ll want to bring along your camera as you do a bit of seasonal shopping in lovely Rochester.

Rochester Big Bright Light Show downtown

Photo by Camera Jesus

Wild Lights at The Detroit Zoo

8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak

Nov. 19, 2022, to Jan. 8, 2023 Hours & Days Vary–typically 5pm-10pm

Ticket bundles range from $35 to $60

Wild Lights is the Zoo’s annual events where guests will enjoy masterfully designed light displays and festive vignettes featuring millions of twinkling LED lights illuminating buildings, trees, sculptures and a walk-through light tunnel! This year features an Enchanted Forest featuring a stroll through an immersive forest of lights while listening to the sounds of the season!

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Photo by Mark M. Gaskill

Menorah in the D

Campus Martius Park

Dec. 18, 2022 5 p.m. 

Detroit’s largest Chanukah event includes a festive celebration featuring a giant menorah lighting, Chanukah games, food, Chanukah gelt, and a fire show. Guests can also donate and purchase a Lamplighter Kit for families who can not attend in person. It  includes Chanukah candles, custom MITD light-up yoyo, Gelt, guide, and more!

Menorah in The D crowd

Holiday Magic Marketplace

Royal Oak Farmers Market

Thursday, December 1, 2022 AT 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

This year marks the 23rd Annual Holiday Magic Marketplace located inside the Royal Oak Farmers Market. Over 60 local crafters and vendors will help you with your holiday shopping and decorating needs. The event is free and will include Free Cookies, Live Entertainment, Community Tree Lighting, and a Visit from Santa. 

Palmer Woods Holiday Home Tour and Soiree at Historic Palmer Woods in Detroit

December 3,  4:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Event cost: $150

One of the more pricey events on our list, this event will allow guests the chance to tour five of Palmer Woods historically significant homes, lavishly dressed in holiday splendor. After the tour, guests will gather to enjoy great food and entertainment

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124‑5029

December 2-4, 9-11, 15-23, 26-28

6:30-10:00 p.m. Member-exclusive preshow entry at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets range from $29.75 to $60.00. Free for kids under 5

At Historic Greenfield Village you can stroll down Main Street, brimming with holiday goods, food and warm beverages, or take a ride on a historic Model T, carousel or horse-drawn wagon. Warm up in historic homes as we open the doors to centuries of favorite family traditions. From the finest tinseled detail to the fireworks-filled sky that marks each evening’s finale, make our holiday story a cherished part of your own.

Cirque Du Soleil – Twas The Night Before

Fox Theater

December 15 to December 26

Tickets start at $27.50

“‘Twas the Night Before…” by Cirque du Soleil is an exhilarating spin on the beloved Christmas classic as only Cirque du Soleil could imagine. Join Isabella, a curious girl, jaded by the craze surrounding Christmas, as she is whisked away to an upside-down, inside-out world of the poem where she meets colorful characters of this timeless classic and it is Cirque du Soleil’s first-ever Christmas show. 

Kwanzaa With The Wright! 

The Charles H. Wright Museum

315 E. Warren Ave. Detroit

Kwanzaa is an African American holiday tradition that honors the building and unification of communities. Each family celebrates Kwanzaa in its own way, but celebrations often include songs and dances, African drums, storytelling, poetry reading, and a large traditional meal. Each night, a child lights one of the candles on the Kinara (candleholder), then one of the seven principles is discussed. Visit The Wright’s website for a full schedule. 

The Motor City Kwanzaa Kinara

SW Garden of Campus Martius

December 26, 5 p.m. 


Celebrating the unveiling of the world’s largest Kwanzaa Kinara at Campus Martius as the brand new 30-foot Kinara is lit for the first time. The Kinara will join the world’s largest Menorah and our state’s largest Christmas tree, as people of all backgrounds come downtown to celebrate their faith and culture this holiday season. 

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