How to Spend a Festive Winter Weekend in Detroit

Story By: Sarah Bence


Get away to Detroit this winter for a weekend escape. The city is filled with holiday events and pop-ups all season long. This continues into January and even February and March with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the winter season.

Whether you’re on a stay-cationing or vacationing, a weekend getaway to enjoy  winter seasonal activities and quality time with loved ones is just what the doctor ordered. This itinerary has all you need to maximize 48 hours in our winter wonderland.

Where to Stay


For this winter weekend itinerary, it is best to choose a hotel close to downtown Detroit.

The Atheneum Suite Hotel is a great option in Greektown. Enjoy valet parking and a five-minute walk to Woodward Avenue.

Consider The Siren Hotel or Shinola Hotel for upscale, boutique-style luxury accommodation right in downtown Detroit.

For something a bit further away (but with free parking and filled with Detroit-made décor), stay at Trumbull & Porter in Corktown. You’ll be a 30-minute walk or a seven-minute Uber or drive to downtown.



Photos Courtesy of: The Siren Hotel Lobby Photo Credit Christian Harder, Ice Skating Rink photo by Charles D Falsetti

Work up an appetite ice skating at the Rink at Campus martius and then feast at one of the many restaurant options within walking distance.

Day 1



Start your winter weekend in Detroit by cozying up indoors at one of the city’s great breakfast establishments. Choose a restaurant downtown, close to Woodward Avenue, to position yourself for the rest of the day’s activities.

Hudson Café on Woodward Avenue is a classic option with an extensive menu of mouth-watering pancake creations.

Another nearby option is Dime Store, also downtown. This restaurant has a reputation as one of Detroit’s best brunch spots.

Avalon Café and Bakery is yet another downtown Detroit must-visit for its baked goods. This is a more casual stop – you could even pick up a coffee and fresh-out-of-the-oven bagel to go.

Dime Store Detroit

Dime Store Detroit, image courtesy of Dime Store

Window Shopping

Next up is window shopping along Woodward Avenue. There are some great shops located here, including national brands and local Detroit businesses alike.

Check out Nike, Madewell, Lululemon, Detroit is the New Black, and more. Better yet, popping in and out of the shops will keep you warm on a cold winter day!

Downtown Festive Activities

If you’re visiting in December or January, spend the afternoon enjoying some of downtown Detroit’s festive activities.

Holiday markets will be happening in Cadillac Square through December 31. You can even grab a bite to eat at Cadillac Lodge, run by Bea’s Detroit (known for their choose-your-own-adventure drinks).

Campus Martius will also be home to their annual ice skating rink all the way through March 6. Tickets are $11 for adults and $9 for children or seniors, with an extra $5 for skate rental.

Maru Sushi in Detroit



Make a reservation at one of Detroit’s downtown restaurants for dinner on your first night.

Maru Sushi is a small Michigan business and a favorite option for those who love cocktails and Japanese food. In the winter, you can even reserve a heated outdoor igloo to dine in! This is best for groups, and you must spend at least $300 on food and drinks.

Central Kitchen and Bar is a popular American cuisine restaurant that is very conveniently located for those coming from Campus Martius. For a more elegant ambience (without feeling stuffy), try Wright & Co, which is host to a James Beard nominated chef.

Late Night Fun

If you’ve got the energy to keep going, extend your evening in Detroit at one of the city’s great cocktail bars. The Skip, a whimsical bar located inside The Belt (an art-covered alley in downtown), is hosting a winter pop up bar. Through December 31, the bar is transformed into a kitschy Christmas wonderland with an extensive Christmas-themed cocktail menu, available for both drink-in and to go.

Alternatively (or after December 31), spend your night enjoying a weird yet iconic Detroit activity: fowling! You can experience this unusual football-bowling combo sport at the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck.



Photo Courtesy of: The Hudson Cafe, Pure Michigan, Maru Restaurant, The Dime Store and the Hannah Symanzik (photographer) and Mother of Pearl Design (decor)

Switch it up and try something different like take in a Broadway show, see the Model-T at the Ford Piquette Plant or the statues at DABLS.

Day 2


Eastern Market

Begin your second morning in Detroit at Eastern Market – a Detroit institution and the nation’s largest outdoor farmer’s market that, yes, operates in the winter, too!

On Saturdays from 6am-4pm, Eastern Market hosts their much-loved Saturday Market, filled with local vendors.

Around the holidays, Eastern Market also hosts special Sunday Holiday Markets. Here, you can pick up gifts made locally by Michigan Artisans.

After leisurely strolling Eastern Market, grab a late brunch or early lunch at a restaurant in the area. If you didn’t eat at Cadillac Lodge yesterday, this is a great opportunity to check out Bea’s Detroit’s brick-and-mortar location.



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Museum Hopping

Spend your wintery afternoon in Detroit warm indoors at one of the city’s museums (or two). Options include the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Henry Ford, the Piquette Plant, the Michigan Science Center, the Detroit Historical Museum, Dabls MBAD African Bead Museum, and more.




For dinner on your second night in Detroit, choose one of Detroit’s best known cuisines. Either try a Detroit-style pizza (Buddy’s Pizza serves the original, but Luigi’s and Cloverleaf are beloved too), or a Detroit coney dog (American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island have a long-running rivalry… why not try both and decide for yourself?).

Catch a Show

End your winter weekend in Detroit by catching a show. Both the Fox Theatre and Fisher Theatre in downtown are open for business, with plenty of live shows on the schedule, including Broadway tours.

If you’re not in the mood for live entertainment, then watch a film at the Monroe Street Drive In Powered by Emagine. This pop up drive-in movie theater has shows through the spring. The cost is $20 per vehicle, or free for the walk-in outdoor heated seating pods.


Photo Courtesy of: Amy Boyle for Rent 20th Anniversary Tour and The Ford Piquette Plant

Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Atheneum Suite Hotel & Conference Center
    1000 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226
  2. 2
    The Siren Hotel
    1509 Broadway St., Detroit, MI 48226
  3. 3
    Shinola Hotel
    1400 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  4. 4
    Trumbull & Porter
    1331 Trumbull Ave., Detroit, MI 48216
  5. 5
    Hudson Cafe
    1241 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  6. 6
    Dime Store
    719 Griswold St., Ste. 180, Detroit, MI 48226
  7. 7
    Nike Community Store - Detroit
    1261 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  8. 8
    Lululemon Athletica
    1459 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  9. 9
    Detroit is the New Black
    1430 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  10. 10
    Campus Martius Park
    800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  11. 11
    160 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226
  12. 12
    Central Kitchen & Bar
    660 Woodward Ave., Ste. 4A, Detroit, MI 48226
  13. 13
    Wright & Co.
    1500 Woodward Ave., Second Floor, Detroit, MI 48226
  14. 14
    The Skip
    1234 Library St., Detroit, MI 48226
  15. 15
    The Belt
    Between Broadway and Library Streets, linking Gratiot and Grand, Detroit, MI 48226
  16. 16
    Fowling Warehouse
    3901 Christopher St., Hamtramck, MI 48211
  17. 17
    Eastern Market
    Russell Street between Mack Avenue and Gratiot Avenue, 2934 Russell St., Detroit, MI 48207
  18. 18
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  19. 19
    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
    315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  20. 20
    Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)
    4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  21. 21
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
  22. 22
  23. 23
    Michigan Science Center
    5020 John R St., Detroit, MI 48202
  24. 24
    Detroit Historical Museum
    5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  25. 25
    Buddy's Pizza - Detroit
    17125 Conant St., Detroit, MI 48212
  26. 26
    American Coney Island
    114 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
  27. 27
    Lafayette Coney Island
    118 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226
  28. 28
    Fox Theatre
    2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201