Who has time to think about Thanksgiving pie when the Holidays are already basically here! From cultural celebrations to dazzling light displays, Detroit is brimming with festive cheer, and what better way to immerse yourself in the spirit of the season than by exploring the best 15 things to do this holiday season in Detroit. — You sure won’t be disappointed!
1. Deck the halls at Detroit’s Annual Tree Lightning Ceremony
Save the date because on November 17, from 4 to 9 p.m., you have a date in Mauritius Park to see Detroit’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. This year, the city celebrates its 20th anniversary with a 64-foot, Michigan-grown Norway Spruce with more than 25,000 twinkling lights. Live entertainment, food trucks, music, and hot beverages will all make an appearance at this holy jolly celebration.
2. Shop at Downtown Detroit Winter Markets
You don’t need to travel thousands of miles to get lost in beautiful holiday markets when you have the Downtown Detroit Winter Markets. Returning to Cadillac Square on November 9, this year’s market will host more than a dozen local businesses, family-friendly activities, food stalls, live entertainment, and more.
3. Attend a festive Candlelight concert
Experience the joy of the holiday season by attending a unique candlelit concert. This year, Candlelight has organized a series of extraordinary festive and pop concerts featuring talented local musicians. So, whether you love the classic Nutcracker or prefer the enchanting tunes of your favorite movie soundtracks by Hans Zimmer, we have a concert tailored for everyone this season.
4. Celebrate Hanukkah at the Menorah in the D Lighting
On December 7 at 5 p.m., gather around the Campus Martius to light up the Menorah in the D and celebrate Detroit’s biggest Hanukkah event. Hot soup, games, a fire show, a Chanukah gelt, and more will all be part of this festive celebration as you welcome the holiday season.
5. Get your holiday gifts at Eastern Market
Wrap up your holiday shopping with a local touch at Eastern Market’s special holiday markets in November and December. Make sure to stop by on Tuesdays for feature food vendors or Sundays for Michigan-made products. And while you are at it grab a freshly cut Christmas tree directly from Michigan farms. The market is open on December 4, 11, 18, and Saturday, December 24, for last-minute gifts and festive food shopping.
6. Watch all the lights at The Big, Bright Light Show
Make a stop in Downtown Rochester this Holiday to experience their dazzling Big, Bright Light Show, running from November 20 to January 21. Witness the magic as over 1 million sparkling holiday lights adorn the buildings every evening until midnight, transforming the downtown area into a spectacular display of festive lights.
7. Take a trip to Blake’s Winter Wonderland in Armada
Just 45 minutes north of Detroit in Armada, Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. Glide across their synthetic ice rink and warm up in their heated igloos with a cider and sweet dessert. And if you’re feeling adventurous, check out their 100-acre farm and cut down your Christmas tree from a selection of over 10,000 trees.
8. Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Motor City Kinara Lighting
Mark your calendar for December 26 and head to Campus Martius Park for the Motor City Kinara Lighting. This 30-foot-tall monument becomes a beacon of celebration, bringing to life the rich tapestry of African-American life, community, and culture right in the heart of Detroit.
9. Drink holiday cocktails at Sippin’ Santa’s pop-up bar
Escape the cold and transport yourself to a tropical holiday paradise at Sippin’ Santa’s pop-up tiki bar. Starting November 17, The Skip churns out the Christmas tiki magic for a delish cocktail experience. Check out their Sippin’ Santa made with aged Demerara rum, amaro, gingerbread, lemon, and orange, or their Undertow Toddy, a steamin hot cognac cocktail that’ll keep you cozy this holiday season.
10. Watch the auroras at Glenlore Trails Aurora
From November 17 to December 30, escape to the immersive wonderland of Glenlore Trails Aurora in Commerce Township. Wander through a mesmerizing holiday light display forest, and if you’re 21 or older, don’t miss Adult Night on December 15, featuring live music to elevate the experience.
11. Grab a cold one at Ale Mary’s Beer Hall
Head to Royal Oak and indulge in the festive ambiance of Ale Mary’s Beer Hall. This Christmas pop bar boasts seasonal cocktails and a tempting menu. Treat your taste buds to the must-try Jingle Juice, a delightful concoction of Tito’s Vodka, allspice dram, cranberry juice, and lime. Don’t miss the Peppermint White Russian for a candy-cane twist on the classic.
12. Ugly Holiday Sweater Party
On November 18, take out your ugly sweater and bust some moves as you ice skate at Downtown Detroit’s Ugly Holiday Sweater Party. Starting 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. join Joey Namou and DJ Chris Hesano for a night of festive fun under Detroit’s Christmas Tree. Admission for adult is $12.00 and skate rental $6.00.
13. Have a jolly dinner at Lumen
Starting November 17, make your way to Beacon Park as their light turn up and make it a holiday date by booking a jolly dinner at Lumen’s heated private chalets. Enjoy the delectable offerings of this American modern restaurant while basking in the brilliance of Beacon Park’s holiday lights. —If you ask us, you must try their pretzels, hoisin glazed salmon, and chocolate cherry bread pudding. Thank us later!
14. Catch a holiday movie at the Redford Theatre
Starting December 1, head to the iconic Redford Theatre for a cinematic holiday treat. From Gremlins to White Christmas, the Redford Theatre has a movie for every taste. Join in on December 10 for a mystery holiday movie and relish the charm of these classics on the big screen.
15. Drop by Edsel & Eleanor Ford House for festive fun
From November 24 to December 30, visit Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe for “Home for the Holidays” at Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. Enjoy a beautifully lit evening walk through the historic estate, adorned with glittering white lights. Top off your experience with a complimentary hot chocolate as you exit the Main Residence.