Fall 2018/Winter 2019 Tip Sheet

Modified: August 27, 2019 | Photos by Midtown Detroit Inc.

As the seasons change in metro Detroit, so does the focus of the fun. Fall brings a chance to cheer for your favorite sports teams, the start of a new theater season, shopping galore and several holiday-themed events. It’s Go Time in Detroit, so let us help you plan your visit. For more information, please contact Renee Monforton, Marketing & Communications Director, at 313-202-1951 or rmonforton@visitdetroit.com or Deanna Majchrzak, Media Relations Manager at 313-202-1999 or dmajchrzak@visitdetroit.com.

Cheer for the home team with a crowd of loyal Detroit sports fans. There’ll be plenty of pride when the Detroit Lions kick off their regular season Sept. 10 at Ford Field vs. the New York Jets. The Detroit Red Wings take to the ice for their regular season Oct. 4 vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets at the new Little Caesars Arena. The state-of-the-art stadium is also home to the Detroit Pistons, who step back on the hardwood Oct. 17 to start the regular season vs. the Brooklyn Nets.

Watch as thousands of people “run for the border” at the Detroit Free Press Chemical Bank Marathon Oct. 20-21. The 5K, Kids Fun Run and an inaugural one mile competitive race take place Oct. 20, while the Relay, Half Marathons and Marathon happen Oct. 21. The marathon course winds through Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, crossing the international border at both the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, through historic neighborhoods, around beautiful Belle Isle, and along the Detroit RiverWalk.

Stroll an enchanted path lit by more than 1,000 jack-o’-lanterns and elaborately costumed characters during Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford Oct. 12-14, 18-21 and 25-28. New this year are a thrilling 19th century magic lantern show and chilling dreamscape for the imagination in Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park. The Hallowe’en Fairytale Feast is also new, with a horse-drawn hayride, Halloween-themed buffet and visits to your table by characters from the original Alice in Wonderland.

Craft beer fans can sip their way through the tenth annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival in Eastern Market Oct. 26-27. Sample from more than 800 beers locally crafted by 110+ Michigan brewers plus food and live bands.

The Detroit Zoo hosts a “merry-not-scary” trick-or-treat Oct. 5-7, 12-14 and 19-21. The Zoo Boo trail winds through the front of the Zoo with stops for crafts and entertainment.

There’s no better way to kick off the holiday season than the longstanding tradition of America’s Thanksgiving Parade. See colorful floats, marching bands and gigantic character balloons march down Woodward Avenue Nov. 22. The buildings of quaint downtown Rochester are magical to behold, sparkling with more than one-million points of light during the Big, Bright Light Show Nov. 20-Jan. 7.

Some of Detroit’s finest theaters get in on the seasonal fun with classic holiday shows. The Michigan Opera House hosts The Nutcracker, Nov. 24-25; Too Hot to Handel, Dec. 1 and Amahl and the Night Visitors, Dec. 22. The Fox Theatre holiday lineup begins with ELF The Musical, Nov. 20-25; A Charlie Brown Christmas Live On Stage, Dec. 15; Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis, Dec. 16; A Christmas Story: The Musical, Dec. 20-23 and Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker.

Find the best presents in The D at The Mall at Partridge Creek, Village of Rochester Hills, Somerset Collection, Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, or Fairlane Town Center, where you’re sure to check off everyone on your list plus go home with a little something for yourself. Peruse a full list of metro Detroit shopping destinations.

At Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo, more than five million LED lights illuminate trees, buildings and 100 animal sculptures throughout the Zoo Dec. 1-4, 8-11, 15-23, 26-30.

Take a trip back in time at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 20-23, 26-30 with roasting chestnuts, bonfires, carolers, sleigh bells, ice skating, Santa and live reindeer and singalong and fireworks finale.

Visit the estates of the auto barons adorned in holiday splendor. Take an opulent holiday walk at Meadow Brook Hall or Edsel & Eleanor Ford House.

Make Noel Night in Midtown Detroit a part of your holiday tradition on Dec. 1. More than 100 Detroit institutions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Public Library, are free of charge during this Cultural Center-wide holiday open house. Expect horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by more than 200 area music, theater and dance groups.

View intricate ice sculptures, live carving events, a Dueling Chainsaws competition, an ice playground and more at the Plymouth Ice Festival Jan. 11-13, 2019.

The 2019 U.S. Figure Skating Championships glide into town Jan. 19-27, 2019. Detroit is the host city for all junior free skate/dance and championship level events with U.S. champions crowned in ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dance at the senior, junior, novice, intermediate and juvenile levels at Little Caesars Arena.

The Motor City celebrates all things automotive at the North American International Auto Show Jan. 19-27, 2019 at TCF Center. The industry showcases new models, technology, innovation and vehicles of the future at this world-class auto event.


The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities.
More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB’s membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world’s first convention and visitors bureau. visitdetroit.com


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