With the Christmas Holidays fast approaching, there are several events and displays going on around Southeast Michigan. In Metro Detroit and beyond you’ll find a mix of Christmas light displays, live events, and outdoor activities. Here is a list of where you can find a bit of Christmas cheer in the area.
Wayne County Lightfest
One of the most popular Christmas light displays in Metro Detroit is easily the Wayne County Lightfest on Hines Drive. This drive-thru event is filled with classic characters and scenes created with thousands of colorful lights. The Lighfest is also one of the most affordable at only $5 per vehicle. There are also an optional Toy Night Tuesdays December 3, 10 and 17 where visitors can donate a new unwrapped toy in lieu of paying the entrance fee. The Lightfest runs November 21through December 31 all week long. Click here for a list of more drive through Christmas light displays.
Greenfield Village Holiday Nights
Greenfield Village hosts special Holiday Nights each winter to close out their season. During Holiday Nights, guests can interact with entertainers in period costumes, listen to carolers and live music, and tour the decorated buildings. Each night is capped off with a fireworks display. The event runs November 29 through December 28 on select nights. Prices range $30 and under. Tickets and schedule.
Tour an Auto Baron Mansion or Two
Meadowbrook Hall, in Rochester Hills, is decorated with over fifty Christmas trees. Take a tour through the historic mansion or attend on the many special events, such as a candlelight walk or Holiday Tea. Holiday walks are held daily November 29 through December 23 with prices ranging from $5 to $20.
This year Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, in Grosse Pointe Shores, features a floral theme to replicate how the home was decorated in 1969. The house and grounds are open for touring November 29 through January 5 Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is $12 and under.
Campus Martius Park Christmas Events
There’s nothing quite like Christmas in the city. Campus Martius Park, in downtown Detroit, is decorated with an enormous Christmas tree and lights. An ice skating rink takes over the park for the winter and a Christmas market is set up in adjoining Cadillac Square. Several excellent restaurants and bars are located within a short walk. Skating costs $8-$10 with $5 skate rentals.
Canterbury Village, near Lake Orion, is a great place to take a stroll and get some shopping done. Stop by the Always Christmas and Dept. 56 stores for some festive decorations, then head out to one of the unique shops and the special Made in Michigan marketplace to cross a few items off your list. The kids will love a ride on the carousel.
Polar Express Train and Christmas Village
Made popular by the hit movie, the original Polar Express train, aka Pere Marquette 1225, is located right here in Michigan. The Poalr Express leaves from Owosso and heads out to the Christmas Village of Ashley, one hour away. In Ashley, guests have two hours to enjoy live Holiday entertainment, food, and shopping along before heading back to the station. The Polar Express operates weekends November 16th through December 21st. Tickets range from $50 to $120. Tickets and schedule.
Rochester Big Bright Light Show
During the Holiday season, all of the buildings on downtown Rochester’s Main Street are covered sidewalk to roof in Christmas lights. The lights can easily be viewed from your car, but it’s best to park after a drive though and wander around. There are dozens of stores, restaurants, and other shops to peek into along the way. Rochester also holds special seasonal events, with their Fire and Ice festival soon after in January. Lights are on from 5pm to midnight daily, and most restaurants and stores are open until at least 9pm.
Detroit Zoo Wild Lights Christmas Display
The Detroit Zoo decorates the front half of the zoo with thousands of Christmas lights covering animal shaped displays. Special 4D version of the classic stop-motion Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV show. There’s even an ice skating rink. The event runs on select dates November 16th through January 5th. Prices range from $11 to $37.
Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic
Christmas is in full swing at Crossroads Village near Flint. The historic buildings are decked out with lights and decorations, while costumed villagers and entertainers interact with visitors. Steam train rides are available as well as dinner buffets. Crossroads Village has plenty of space for guests to wander around and enjoy the decorations, plus there are some rides for the kids. The Christmas event runs Fridays through Sundays November 29 through December 30. Prices range $10 to $19. There are also special nights where visitors can bring their vehicles for only $5/car Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23-24, 30. Tickets and schedule.
Frankenmuth at Christmas
Michigan’s Little Bavaria wears its Christmas cheer front and center at Bronner’s. The world’s largest Christmas store has every kind of decorations imaginable spread over acres of retail space. If that wasn’t enough, the massive parking lot is decorated for the season all year long. Bronner’s hosts Santa Claus meet and greets daily from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.
The main street of downtown Frankenmuth is decorated for the Holidays. Take a stroll around the charming town and duck into some of their many shops. Of course, you can’t forget a visit to Zehnder’s or Bavarian Inn for a famous chicken dinner.
Holly Dickens Festival
Holly kicks off their annual Charles Dickens Festival the Friday after Thanksgiving with an evening light parade and lighting of the town Christmas tree. The following three weekends see the town transformed into Victorian Era England where visitors are treated to live entertainment, performances, and horse drawn carriage rides. Queen Victoria, herself, leads the children’s parades! Event runs Saturdays and Sundays through December 15. Click here for event schedule.