Winter in Detroit: Holiday Markets, Winter Lodges & More

November 14, 2018  |   Story by Michelle Fusco  |   Photos by Bill Bowen

From the tree lighting and ice skating in Campus Martius Park, pop up markets, Cadillac Lodge, and events like Light Up Beacon Park, ’tis the season to make some holiday memories and forge some new traditions in Detroit.

Holiday Activities in Detroit

The winter season kicks off downtown in spectacular fashion on Nov. 16 with the Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony in Campus Martius Park. Marvel as 19,000 twinkling, multi-colored lights illuminate a 60-foot Norway spruce. Grammy-winning gospel artist and Detroit native Cece Winans will entertain the crowd along with U.S. Olympic figure skating pair Alex Shibutani and Maia Shibutani. Local choirs and skating groups also perform.

 

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The Rink at Campus Martius opens for the season following the tree lighting from 9 p.m. to midnight. Skate to holiday music and warm up with hot chocolate in between laps. Admission is $10 for adults or $8 for children and seniors. Skate rental is also available. Free lessons will be offered at the rink on select dates in December and January leading up to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships at Little Caesars Arena Jan. 18 – 27.

Free shuttles run between Campus Martius to nearby Beacon Park on November 16 from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. At the Light Up Beacon Park event, a live stream of the tree lighting will be shown along with live entertainment inside the heated Winter Lodge tent. Selfies with Santa and custom-designed holiday lights will turn the park into a winter wonderland. Catch Prismatica, an interactive, international traveling art exhibit, at the park through Nov. 19.

Food Truck Fridays are held weekly in Beacon Park. Visit DTEBeaconPark.com for a full schedule. The park’s final Detroit Lions tailgates, Nov. 18 and Dec. 2, are free, family-friendly football watch parties that are open to the public.

campus martius tree lighting

Tree Lighting at Campus Martius Park

Detroit Holiday Markets & More

During the holidays, at the pop-up Cadillac Square Markets and Capitol Park Markets, glass huts with rotating vendors let you shop small and local for food, clothing, home goods, gifts and more. Warm up and relax inside Cadillac Lodge, with TVs, board games, cozy seating and a full-service bar. Find your perfect Christmas tree at the Christmas Tree Farm in Capitol Park.

Holiday horse-drawn carriage rides leaving from Campus Martius are a magical way to tour downtown. Rides are offered Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 16 through Dec. 22 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $10 per person or $40 for a private group.

Save time to experience a meal at one of the terrific dining options near the parks. Try the upscale Parc at Campus Martius, named 2018 Restaurant of the Year by Hour Detroit magazine or the popular Lumen in Beacon Park.

Parc in Campus Martius

Parc

Extra Special Events

Campus Martius will celebrate Menorah in the D on Dec. 2 beginning at 6 p.m. Watch the Detroit Menorah lighting, sip hot cider, roast marshmallows and check out the food trucks. Face painting, Chanukah crafts, fire jugglers and dancing dreidels add to the fun.

On New Year’s Eve, Beacon Park will host the The Drop: Motor City NYE, a free festival with live entertainment, fire pits, and family-friendly fun.

For more information on dining, shopping and playing in Detroit this holiday season, go to visitdetroit.com.

Mentioned Attractions And Venues
  1. Campus Martius Park
    800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-962-0101Highlight on map | More Details
  2. Little Caesars Arena
    2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201313-471-7000Highlight on map | More Details
  3. Parc
    Campus Martius Park, 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226313-922-PARCHighlight on map | More Details