Detroit in December can certainly be cold and dark, but that certainly doesn’t stop Detroiters from having a good time or from celebrating the holiday season throughout the entire month!
So from romantic candlelit concerts to holiday carriage rides in Downtown Detroit, here are some of the things to do in Detroit this December that we highly recommend you don’t skip!
2. Check out Monroe Street Midway’s winter festivities
If you’re looking for family-friendly fun in Downtown Detroit then Monroe Street Midway across from Campus Martius Park is the place to be! With entry into the midway area and a lot of the activities inside being free, this place is perfect for anyone who’s trying to save their spending this holiday season!
3. Go shopping at Detroit’s Downtown Holiday Market
The Downtown Holiday Market near Campus Martius Park is one of the most festive and picturesque spots in Detroit and it is 100% something every Detroiter should check out before they close! The festive seasonal experience provides a much-needed opportunity for local small businesses to share their crafts and items with the people of Detroit, which means that this is a perfect place to do some of your holiday shopping because you’re guaranteed to find some unique gifts!
4. Buy your U-Cut Christmas tree at a local tree farm
Michigan has some of the most spectacular forests in the United States, so naturally, you can find some of the most beautiful and picture-perfect Christmas trees in the Detroit area! We put together our list of five of the best spots around Detroit to buy your U-Cut Christmas tree, but in case you haven’t seen our full list here are a few of our favorites:
5. Go ice skating at one of the Detroit area’s outdoor rinks
One of the easiest outdoor activities to get into the spirit of the holidays and embrace Winter is to go ice skating outdoors! While there are a coupleoutdoor ice skating rinks around Detroit that you can visit this winter, few outdoor ice skating places can match the ambiance of the Campus Martius Ice Rink, which gives you an incredible scenic view of Detroit’s downtown skyline and the Detroit Holiday Tree.
6. Sip on drinks and play a board game at Cadillac Lodge
Every year now Detroiters await the return of Cadillac Lodge during the holidays, its incredible atmosphere and welcoming setup make for a perfect plan with family or friends! Located right next to the Downtown Holiday Markets, Cadillac Lodge provides a festive oasis that can help you get into the holiday spirit at your own pace while you sit and recover from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Detroit in December.
7. Take photos in front of Detroit’s downtown holiday tree
If you missed the tree-lighting ceremony that was held in Downtown Detroit back in November, sorry to say it but you missed out, that being said, Downton Detroit’s Holiday Tree is as beautiful as ever. The incredible backdrop of Detroit’s skyline against the beautiful color of this year’s 65-foot Norway Spruce which is decorated with over 20,000 lights makes for one of the most iconic holiday photos you can take in the entire state of Michigan, let alone in Detroit!
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra provides an incredible touching rendition of some of your favorite holiday stories being told through the instruments of the most incredible orchestra group in Michigan! This December, not only can you see their performance of incredible holiday classics like The Snowman or The Nutcracker, but you can also see concert renditions of modern seasonal favorites like Home Alone or Elf!
These are shows you do not want to miss and are perfect for the whole family to enjoy!
9. Grab some festive drinks at one of Detroit’s Christmas pop-up bars
Detroit has no shortage of festive fun, even for something as simple as grabbing drinks with friends! We already gave you our list of 9 Christmas pop-up bars around Detroit that you should visit, but if case you haven’t seen it here’s a sneak preview:
10. Attend one of the several live sporting events going on around Detroit
We admit that seeing the Detroit Pistons in action this year has not been quite as fun as we hoped it would be, in fact, they recently broke a franchise record for most losses straight in the regular season with over 15 straight L’s. That being said, there is some good news for Detroit sports fans, The Detroit Red Wings, who have been off to a solid start of their season just recently signed future hall of famer, Patrick Kane! Plus, the Detroit Lions are still looking like this might be the year that they pull off their first playoff win since 1992.
11. Go snow tubing at Hawk Island in Lansing
This incredibly fun Winter event is one of our favorite things to do with friends and family, no matter what age you are it’s hard not to have fun when you speed down a 600-foot snowy slide built specifically for snow-tubing! Additionally, when you’re done playing in the snow or just want to take a break, you can get a hot chocolate or s’mores from their snack bar and warm up sitting by one of the outdoor fires set up nearby.
Location: Hawk Island Park, 1601 E. Cavanaugh Rd., Lansing, MI 48910
12. Take a walk through the Canterbury Village’s Holiday Stroll
Filled with holiday spirit and Christmas Cheer, the Canterbury Village Holiday Stroll is a must-visit for anyone in the Detroit area who has not been before! This winter wonderland offers the full holiday package from a private mailbox for letters heading to the North Pole to seasonal light shows and even meet-and-greets with some of the season’s most iconic characters.
Location: 2325 Joslyn Ct. in Lake Orion.
This December, Dining in the Dark is back to offer Detroiters one of the most unique culinary experiences they’ll ever have! During this blindfolded meal, your senses of taste and touch are heightened to a level that makes this already tasty meal that much more memorable! Of course, you don’t have to worry about getting something you won’t like because prior to going they provide a detailed questionnaire about your plate preferences and any dietary restrictions you might have.
Location: The War Memorial, 32 Lake Shore Dr., 48236
14. Visit Santa Claus at one of these picture-perfect locations!
The leadup to the holidays are a crucial time for families and part of that experience for children is to meet Santa Claus and tell him what you want for Christmas! Making sure that your children have a positive memorable experience is an important consideration when you decide where you plan to go to visit Santa as a family, which is exactly why we’ve listed three perfect spots for you to visit Santa around Detroit!
- On select dates, Blake’s Farm hosts one of the most iconic Santa meet-and-greets in the Detroit area, plus one ticket to meet Santa includes one donut and a cup of hot chocolate.
- With the purchase of tickets to the Canterbury Village Holiday Stroll customers also get a chance to visit and speak to Santa Claus and get their picture taken by a real professional photographer!
- If you’re looking to avoid spending and want to have a quality keepsake from visiting Santa, then going to Santa’s Wonderland at any Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shop location is perfect. All you have to do is reserve your time to visit and you can meet Santa and have a free 4×6 photo of the experience to take home with you.
15. Holiday carriage rides through Downtown Detroit
Hop in the back of a seasonally decorated horse-drawn carriage for a romantic and memorable way to tour the most iconic parts of Downtown Detroit! Every Friday and Saturday until December 30th, you can hitch a ride in one of these incredible carriages for $10 per person and enjoy the mesmerizing views that Detroit offers.
Location: Woodward Esplanade, 600 Woodward Ave