Hol-i-D. Celebrate the holiday season Detroit-style

The tree lighting ceremony at Campus Martius officially kicked off the 2016 holiday season. Check out all these upcoming secular and spiritual events offered in Detroit over the next few weeks. There’s bound to an event or a few,  that will help you celebrate the spirit of the season and create lasting memories.

Campus Martius aglow for the holiday season. Photo: Campus Martius media gallery
If we’ve missed your event, please feel free to provide a brief description of it in the comments section along with the date and a link. Time permitting, I will try to incorporate your events into this list.


November 18 – December 31

Winter Magic at Campus Martius

Enjoy carriage rides, ice skating, visits with Santa and a variety of kid and adult fun throughout the holiday season.

November 19 – December 30

Christmas Tours at Historic Trinity

Visit this authentic cathedral and historic site outfitted in its finest seasonal decorations. “Christmas at Historic Trinity” is an annual tradition showcasing over 650 angels, 250 creches from around the world, and over 50 decorated Christmas Trees, animated characters, many doll houses, garlands – bows – wreaths – candles everywhere, unique old Christmas decorations, and much more.

November 22, 27; December 4, 11, 18, 20 (Tuesdays/Sundays)

Holiday Market @ Eastern Market

Fun, festive opportunity to shop local this holiday season and find great gifts for family and friends that are uniquely Detroit and Michigan made

November 24

America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

One of the country’s largest and most spectacular parades in the United States makes its way down Woodward Avenue and captures the imaginations of millions of children and their families. A holiday tradition dating back to 1924, this year’s parade celebrates its 90th anniversary with larger than life floats, colorful helium-filled balloons, thunderous marching bands, and exciting specialty acts! The parade culminates with the presentation of the key to the city to none other than Santa Claus. Join thousands of spectators and watch the parade live or tune in to WDIV-TV, Local 4 and view it from the comfort of your home.

Children giving their wish lists to Santa Claus. Photo: Campus Martius media gallery

November 25 – 27

The Nutcracker

Sir Roger Moore narrates this holiday classic presented by the Michigan Opera Theatre featuring more than 100 dancers and larger-than-life characters to Tchaikovsky’s glorious musical score.

December 2 – 28

Classic Christmas movies at Redford Theater

Catch these holiday favorites on the big screen throughout December: White Christmas, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Polar Express, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Bishop’s Wife.

December 3

Christmas at the Fort

Annual living history event showcases Christmas traditions throughout American history and how members of the military celebrated away from home and hearth. Meet soldier and civilian reenactors from Revolutionary times to World War II. Tours of historic Fort Wayne given.

December 3

44th annual Noel Night (Midtown)

Over 70 institutions open their doors to the public free of charge during this Cultural Center-wide holiday open house. Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by over 200 area music, theater and dance groups, and other special performances.

December 3, 4

Handel’s Messiah

Decades long tradition presented by Fort Street Chorale and Chamber Orchestra at Fort Street Presbyterian Church

December 10

Too Hot to Handel

This jazz-gospel version of Handel’s classic Messiah has become a tradition for the Motor City and features Detroit-inspired music styles of jazz, gospel, blues are intertwined with swing, classical and scat. The Opera House pulses with music and the true spirit of the holidays as more than 80 musicians fill the stage and share a soul-stirring experience.

December 10

Christmas Cheer Swing Dance

Big band, dancing fundraiser for historic Fort Wayne held in the recreation center used by US troops stationed here. Holiday swing dances were big events during World War II.

December 10

Historic Boston-Edison Association 42nd Annual Holiday Home VIP Twilight Tour

Limited tickets available for an intimate preview tour of the five decorated homes featured on Sunday’s public tour. Ticket price includes dinner and wine/dessert reception.

December 11

Historic Boston-Edison Association 42nd Annual Holiday Home Tour

Five historically significant homes will be on display and decorated for the holiday season. Visitors can view the fine exterior and interior residential architecture of the early 1900s. The tour transports one back to the “Golden Age” of Detroit when Boston-Edison residents included such familiar names as Henry Ford, James Couzens, Charles T. Fisher and S.S. Kresge.

December 11

Hip Hop Nutcracker

Contemporary re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s timeless music debuts this holiday season  at Fox Theatre.

December 11, 12

Detroit Merry Market

Hosted by Detroit Mercantile located inside Eastern Market, Detroit Merry Market features unique gift items from regional and local vendors.

December 17

Detroit Santarchy

Hundreds of Santas converge upon the city for a spirit-laden pub crawl.

December 20 – 24

A Christmas Story – The Musical

This holiday season, the Fox Theatre presents the award-winning Broadway hit, A Christmas Story, The Musical and brings this beloved classic movie to life

December 27

Menorah in the D

Menorah lighting ceremony at Campus Martius commemorates Chanuka. The Festival of Lights is celebrated throughout the day with a variety of family-friendly events.

Menorah in the D. Photo: Campus Martius media gallery

Dec 31

Noon Year’s Eve

Preschool and elementary aged children and their families can make their own noisemaker, write a time capsule letter, enjoy cookies and hot cocoa and, most importantly, celebrate the New Year at the Detroit Historical Museum.

Dec 31

The Drop: Motor City NYE 2016

Ring out the old and bring in the new at this fun, festive event featuring many activities and entertainers held in the heart of downtown Detroit.


In the ‘Burbs

A Christmas Carol – Meadow Brook Theatre

Big Bright Light Show – Rochester*

Fantasyland (Debuted in 1964) – Lincoln Park

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village – Dearborn

Wayne County Light Fest– Westland*

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo – Royal Oak*

Winter Wonderland – Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

2nd annual Black Santa Photo Experience – Southfield Pavilion

32nd annual Festival of Trees – Dearborn

45th annual Holiday Walk – Meadow Brook Hall

*Enjoy all the festive light shows in one night via the Ho Ho Ho! Holiday Lights Bus Tour (Southgate departure – multiple dates)

Ho Ho Ho! Holiday Lights Tour presented by City Tour Detroit

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