Holiday Happenings Guide 2019

Festive ideas for holiday frolicking and fun.

If you’re looking for some holiday cheer, take in the area light displays, dine with Santa, join in the caroling and crafting or catch a holiday show. The 2019 holiday season is packed with family events sure to bring out the smiles!

Events | Santa Sightings | Holiday Lights | Going Green | The Nutcracker Ballet

December 1-15

Letters to Santa
Meri Lou Murray Rec Center
2960 Washtenaw Ave.
734-971-6355 |
Drop off your letters to Santa in his mailbox in the lobby and receive a response from the North Pole! Free

December 1 1:30-3:30pm

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St.
866-820-4553 |
Bring the family for a showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch. Free

December 1 5pm

White Christmas
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St.
866-820-4553 |
Watch the classic “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby and join in a sing along before the show at 4:30pm with on-screen lyrics andinteractive props. Tickets $16 with discounts for students, seniors and children under 12.

December 1 3-4pm

Paper Flower Gift Toppers and Paper Gift Boxes
Ann Arbor District Library-Pittsfield Branch
2359 Oak Valley Dr, Ann Arbor
734-327-4200 |
Learn how to make simple yet colorful paper poinsettias to top gifts or use as festive decorations. Make beautiful paper gift boxes. Grades 3 to adult. Free

December 1 4-6pm

Big Band Holidays: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Hill Auditorium, 825 North University Ave.
734-764-2538 |
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with a holiday-themed Jazz concert featuring vocalists Denzal Sinclaire and Alexis Morrast. Tickets $19 with discounts for students.

December 1 5-7pm

Kerrytown Tree Lighting Festival
Kerrytown Market and Shops, 407 N. Fifth Avenue
734-662-5008 |
Join in the fun as Santa lights the tree in Kerrytown’s courtyard. Also included will be candle luminaries and Christmas carols. Free

Photo Courtesy of Kerry Town District
Photo courtesy of Kerrytown Historic Market District

December 3, 6pm

Saline Tree Lighting
Michigan Ave. and North Ann Arbor St., Saline
734-429-4494 |
Enjoy cookies, hot cocoa and coffee during the tree lighting. Children in kindergarten through 3rd grade can participate in the Ride with Santa Coloring Contest for a chance to ride with Santa in the parade. Free

December 4, 7pm

Classical Holiday Marimba Music
Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
734-426-4477 |
Paul Demick will perform classic holiday music on his Marimba sharing classic holiday carols and the stories behind them. Free

December 5, 6-7pm

Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses
Ann Arbor District Library – Downtown Multi-Purpose Room
343 S. Fifth Ave.
734-327-4200 |
Build a “gingerbread” house out of icing, candy, and graham crackers! This event is designed for children in kindergarten–eighth grade. Free

December 5-6, 7:30pm
December 7-8, 3pm

A Fairy Tale Christmas Carol/Saline Area Players
Fifth Corner, 211 Willis Rd., Saline
734-755-6983 |
The show by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus offers a twist on the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” featuring fairytale characters. Tickets are $6/person at the door.

December 5-6, 10am

A Christmas Carol by Wild Swan Theater
Morris Lawrence Building
4800 E. Huron River Dr.
734-994-0530 |
Wild Swan Theater adapts this Charles Dickens classic novel “A Christmas Carol” for family audiences. $12-$15 per person.

Photo Courtesy of Wild Swan Theater
Photo Courtesy of Wild Swan Theater

December 6, 4-10pm

Kerrytown District Kindlefest
Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market, 315 Detroit St.
734-709-0697 |
Family-friendly event featuring artisans, farmers and retailers selling their holiday wares and traditional food, mulled wine and beer. Businesses are open late. Kidzone from 4-6pm featuring crafts, games and entertainment, with Santa arriving at 5pm. Free to attend.

December 6, 5:30pm

Downtown Tree Lighting
Ypsilanti District Library, 229 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti
734-482-4110 ext. 1323 |
Festivities begin with cookie decorating and hot chocolate. Tree lighting takes place at 6pm, followed by caroling with the Ypsilanti Community Choir and a visit from Santa! Free

December 6, 6pm

Chelsea Tree Lighting Ceremony and Annual Holiday Light Parade
Pierce Park, Main Street, Chelsea
734-474-9178 |
The 32nd Annual Chelsea Hometown Holiday kicks off with the lighting of the Christmas tree and parade, featuring lighted floats and vehicles, marching bands and Santa arriving. Events continue December 6-8. Free

December 6, December 13, December 20, 6-8pm

Festive Fridays at the Creature Conservancy
4950 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.
734-929-9324 |
Indoor facility features holiday light displays and animals on exhibit, including a reindeer. Cookies and hot cocoa available. Cost $15/person, children under two free. Call to register.

December 6-7 7:30pm; December 8 4pm

Boar’s Head Festival
Concordia University Ann Arbor, Chapel of the Holy Trinity
4090 Geddes Rd. | 734-995-7537 |
Students, faculty, and staff come together to enact medieval Christmas traditions and the story of Christ’s birth in this moving spectacle, directed by Angie Lai, with musical direction by Brian Altevogt. Tickets $10-$16

December 6, 6:30pm

Manchester Christmas Parade – Christmas in the Village
Downtown Manchester, Main Street, Manchester
A Christmas parade featuring beautifully-lighted floats is just part of the fun. A tree lighting ceremony will also take place at Wurster Park at 7pm after the parade. Manchester will also feature crafts shows and a Festival of Trees beginning at 9am Dec. 7. Free to attend.

December 7, 10am-1pm

Christmas Party
Downtown Home and Garden, 210 S. Ashley St.
734-662-8122 |
This neighborhood Christmas party features smoked turkey, Grandma Mooberry’s cranberry salad, hot cider and eggnog. Visit the farm animals while listening to the Oliver Mayman Quintet. Santa will be on hand. Free

December 7, 1:30-3pm

Homemade Gifts
Chelsea District Library, 221 S. Main St., Chelsea
734-475-8732 |
Tweens and teens can make and wrap a homemade gift. Great opportunity for parents to drop off kids and do some downtown shopping. Geared for ages 10-17. Registration required. Free

December 7, 5:30-9pm

Parade of Lights Saline Holiday Parade
Downtown Saline, Michigan Ave.
734-429-4494 |
Saline’s 44th annual Christmas Parade features lights, music, entertainment, and a visit from Santa. Refreshments provided. More than one hundred parade participants, including dancers, musicians, and animals. Friends of Saline Cross Country will also host the Merry Mile before the parade at 5pm on Michigan Avenue with a cost of $20. Children under age 10 running with a paid adult can run free. The event benefits the school cross country programs. Free

Photo courtesy of Saline Chamber of Commerce
Photo courtesy of Saline Chamber of Commerce

December 7, 9am-5pm

Christmas at the Mansion
Historic Gordon Hall, 8341 Island Lake Rd., Dexter
734-426-2519 |
Make a gingerbread house, visit with Santa, and peruse the Christmas Village Collection featuring a magical display of Department 56 Christmas Villages. Visit with Santa 9am-3pm. Suggested donation $5/person. Additional Gordon Mansion open houses on December 13, 14, 21, 28 from 5-7:30pm.

December 7, 6-9pm

Milan’s Christmas Parade – Everything Old is New Again
Downtown Milan, West Main St., Milan
734-439-7932 |
Parade proceeds along Main St., beginning on W. Main and ending at the Old Fire Barn, where children can visit with Santa. Tree lighting ceremony included. Free

December 7, 6-8pm

Superior Township Christmas Tree Lighting
Old Township Hall, 3040 Prospect Rd., Ypsilanti
734-482-6099 |
Join in for the annual tree lighting with caroling, ice carving demos, cookies, hot chocolate and pictures with Santa. Free

December 7, 7-10pm

Christmas in Ida Parade
Downtown Ida, Lewis Ave., Ida
Come enjoy Ida’s festive light parade with more than 130 illuminated and animated entries. The festivities will include the “Light Up the Night Run” ($15-$20/person) and a fireworks show at Monroe Community College. Earlier in the day there will be craft and vendor shows, Santa’s Zoo, video game truck and story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free

December 7 at 8pm
December 8 at 2pm

Handel’s Messiah
Hill Auditorium, 825 North University Ave.
734-764-2538 |
Music director Scott Hanoian conducts the UMS Choral Union and Ann Arbor Symphony in this annual community tradition. Tickets are $16-$40. Student tickets also available.

December 7, 10am-4pm
December 8, 12-4 pm

Christmas On The Farm
Waterloo Farm Museum, 9998 Waterloo Munith Rd., Grass Lake
517-596-2254 |
Tour the 10-room farmhouse decorated in period style for the holidays. Hand-crafted greens and baked goods available for purchase. Enjoy free cookies, cider and live music. $5/adults, $4/seniors, $2/children ages 5-12, under age 5/free

December 8, 12-4pm

Country Christmas
Cobblestone Farm and Museum, 2781 Packard St.
734-794-7120 |
Tour the 1850s-era farmhouse and enjoy the warmth and holiday smells in the kitchen. Admission charge.

December 8, 1:30-3:30pm

A Christmas Story
Michigan Theater
603 E. Liberty St.
866-820-4553 |
We triple-dog-dare you to come see free showing of “A Christmas Story.” Free

December 8, 1-4pm

Christmas Tea at Gordon Hall
Historic Gordon Hall, 8341 Island Lake Rd., Dexter
734-426-2519 |
Celebrating Katharine Dexter McCormick and the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, a tea with a light lunch and desserts held at Gordon Hall. $30/adults. $15/child. Call for reservations.

December 8, 2-4pm

Rooftop Reindeer
Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
734-426-4477 |
Get up close and personal with live reindeer from Rooftop Reindeer, outside the library. Holiday crafts will be available for children. Registration is not required. Free.

December 8, 2-5pm

WinterFest Multicultural Holiday Celebration in the Log Cabin
Palmer Park, 910 Merrill Plaisance St., Detroit
313-757-2751 |
Bring the family for old-fashioned holiday fun at this multicultural holiday festival. See Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy horse and carriage rides through the woods (suggested donation $5/adult or family, $2/child), sweets, treats, hot cocoa, ornament making and music. Celebrate Hanukkah with the Downtown Synagogue and Kwanzaa. Free

December 10, 5:45pm-7:15pm

One Candle For Tzedakah
Jewish Community Center, 2935 Birch Hollow Dr.
734-971-0990 |
The community gathering includes dinner, Hanukkah-related crafts and activities, as well as a teddy bear clinic. The JCC is partnering with Mott Childrens Hospital and Chai Mitzvah for the program and will be collecting gifts the month of December and during the event to give to children at Mott Hospital. Check out the website for more information.

December 12, 2:30-3:30pm

Decorate a Nutcracker
Ann Arbor District Library-Pittsfield Branch
2359 Oak Valley Dr.
734-327-4200 |
Decorate your own one-of-a-kind wooden nutcracker ornament for the holidays. Grades K-5. Free

December 13, 5-10pm

Kids Night Out
Saline Rec Center, 1866 Woodland Dr., Saline
734-429-3502 |
Parents can do their holiday shopping while kids have a blast making crafts, watching movies, playing games and swimming. Pizza dinner included. Register online. $25/members, $35/non-members.

December 13, 7:30pm

The Art of the Holidays
Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College,
4800 E. Huron River Dr.
734-252-9221 |
Washtenaw Community Concert Band rings in the holiday season with musical tributes to the traditions of this joyous time of year. Free

December 13, 8pm

Holiday Pops
Hill Auditorium, 825 North University Ave.
734-994-4801 |
Guest music director Steven Jarvi conducts the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra in welcoming the holidays featuring the Nutcracker Suite arrangements, selections from “Frozen” and other notable holiday selections. Tickets $60 with discounts for children, students and seniors.

December 14, 4pm

Holiday Hustle 5K
Monument Park, 8000 Ann Arbor St., Dexter
734-929-9027 |
This charity event donates $5 of entry fee to local Dexter charities. Bring canned goods and non-perishable food items for the needy and get a raffle ticket for each item to win prizes. Race begins at Monument Park and travels through Main Street and downtown.

December 14, 2pm

Winter Wonderland
Ypsilanti District Library, 5577 Whittaker Rd., Ypsilanti
734-482-4110 |
Join in the Winter Wonderland at the library. Come pet a reindeer, make a sparkly craft, sip hot cocoa. Adults and children are welcome! Free

December 14, 11am-5:30pm

Tiny Expo Indie Holiday Art and Craft Fair
Ann Arbor District Library
343 S. Fifth St.
734-327-4200 |
Tiny Expo features more than 45 artists and crafters selling handmade wares. Hands-on activities will also be offered in the Secret Lab. Free

December 14,15 1-4pm

Christmas at Rentschler Farm
1265 E. Michigan Ave., Saline
734-944-0442 |
Old fashioned 1930’s Christmas farmhouse tour. Visit with Santa, make a craft and enjoy cider and donuts. Demonstrations throughout the day. Presented by the Saline Area Historical Society. Free

December 14, 6pm

Holiday Celebration
Dixboro Farmers Market, 5221 Church Rd.
Experience the holiday season at the market with a tree lighting, carols and a visit with Santa. Free

December 14, 5:30-6pm

Dexter Daze Light Parade
Mill Creek Park-Alpine St., Dexter
Dexter’s annual parade will take place after the Holiday Hustle run. Grab some cocoa, bundle up and come join the fun! Free

December 15, 4-6pm

An ELF Christmas
Hudson Mills Metropark, 8801 N. Territorial Rd. Dexter
734-426-8211 |
Come be an ELF like Buddy. It will be even more fun if you’ve seen the movie “Elf.” Spread Christmas Cheer by singing carols on a hayride, making paper cut-out snowflakes and other crafts, and enjoying a spaghetti dinner (with maple syrup available for sale to take home. Preregisteration requried. $12/adults, $9/children.

December 15, 1:30pm

Family Holiday Cabaret
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, 322 W. Ann St.
734-971-2228 |

Join the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre for their Holiday Cabaret celebration packed with holiday songs and laughs. Before the performance there will be holiday festivities such as an Ugly Sweater Contest, kids crafts, and caroling. And don’t miss the hot chocolate buffet and cookies. $15.

December 15, 4:30-6:30pm

Frozen Pool Party
Meri Lou Murray Rec Center
2960 Washtenaw Ave.
734-971-6355 |
Jump into the holiday season with your favorite Frozen characters! Event includes cookie decorating. $8 per swimmer. Pre-registration is required.

December 17, 11am

Holiday Story Time
Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St., Dexter
734-426-4477 |
Children ages 6 and under are invited for stories, rhymes and music celebrating winter and the holidays. No registration required. Free

December 18, 6-8pm

Holidays and Celebrations
International House, 921 Church St.
734-662-5529 |
Celebrate the holiday season during this Q&A about holidays and celebrations from around the world such as Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice and Christmas. Participate in a White Elephant Gift Exchange by bringing a wrapped gifts valued at $10 or less—the sillier the better! Free and open to all.

December 19, 7-8pm

Crafty Chocolate Christmas
Chelsea District Library, 221 S. Main St., Chelsea.
734-475-8732 |
Teens will craft delicious chocolate gift for the holidays. The class will create a variety of chocolate truffles and learn how to make origami boxes to gift them in. Free

December 21, 8pm

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis
Fox Theater, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit
313-471-7000 |
Featuring holiday musical compositions from the first “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” and multimedia effects. Tickets starting at $25, sold individually and as groups.

December 22-31, 7pm

Happy Hanukkah 8K – Eight Crazy Nights Ann Arbor Virtual Race or
Run or walk from any location. Run your own race, at your own pace and time it yourself. Complete a virtual 5K, 10K or half marathon. Cost is $20 and includes a medal, bib and shipping.


December 28, 3pm and 8pm

Christmas Eve and Other Stories by Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Little Ceasar’s Arena, 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
313-471-7000 |
Trans-Siberian Orchestra continues its tradition of holiday season concerts. Tickets start at $49.50.

December 31, 11am-1pm

Noon Year’s Eve
The Toledo Zoo, 2 Hippo Way, Toledo
419-385-5721 |
This family-friendly event will focus on making 2020 a greener year. Celebrate at the stroke of noon with the recycling ball drop, biodegradable confetti, a toast of juice, and the singing of Auld Lang Syne. $21/adults, $18/ages 2-11, $18/seniors, under 2/free.

December 31, 11:00am–12:30pm

Noon Year’s Eve Party!
Ann Arbor District Library, Malletts Creek Branch
3090 E. Eisenhower Pkwy.
734-327-4200 |
Join the library for a fun celebration of the new year! They’ll start with party stories before diving into giant games, music and a balloon drop at noon! This party is planned for children in preschool–grade 5. Free

December 31, 11:30am–12:30pm

Noon Year’s Eve Party
Westerman Preschool & Family Center
2775 Boardwalk St.
734-994-2300 Ext 53186
Families are invited to join in the fun with a Noon Years Eve Balloon Drop hosted by First Steps Preschool just for the kids who are too young to stay awake for midnight. Free

Santa Sightings

Does your child want to meet Santa in person this year? Visit one of these venues for a chance to chat with St. Nick!

December 1-24 During mall hours

Santa at the Mall
Briarwood Mall-Von Maur Court
100 Briarwood Circle
734-769-9610 | simon/com/mall/briarwood-mall
Children may visit with Santa and have their photo taken. A Caring Santa event will be held on December 1, 9-10:30am. Children with sensory, physical or other developmental needs will have the opportunity to visit with Santa and have their photos taken in a supportive environment. Call for reservations. A pet photo event will be held Dec. 8 from 6-8pm. Free

December 1-24 10am-4pm Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5pm Saturday and Sunday

Visit with Santa at the Henry Ford
The Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
313-982-6001 |
Take your little ones on an expedition to visit Santa at the museum’s “Heroes of the Sky” exhibition. Prices are $24/general admission, $22/senior, $18/child ages 5-11. Admission is free for children age 4 and under.

December 5-8, December 12-15, December 17-23, December 26-28
Dinner 4:45-6:30pm; Event 6:30-10pm

Supper with Santa
Greenfield Village, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
313-982-6001 |
Take a horse drawn carriage ride to A Taste of History restaurant for a buffet style dinner perfect for kids. Have photos taken with Santa, make a holiday craft, enjoy a sing along with Santa and join a caroling procession to Holiday Lights in Greenfield Village. $55/general admission, $41.25/child ages 5-11, $18/child ages 3-4. Call for reservations.

December 7, 9am and 10:45am

Pancake Breakfast with Santa
Pierce Lake Golf Course, 1175 S. Main St., Chelsea
734-971-6337 |
Mingle with Santa while enjoying fresh pancakes! Photos with Santa available after breakfast. $10 with pre-registration required. Children under 1-year-old are free.

December 8, December 14-15, 10:30am-3:30pm

Snacks with Santa
Kensington Metropark Farm Center
2240 West Buno Road, Milford
248-684-8632 |
Enjoy Snacks with Santa, a horse-drawn hayride or sleigh ride and holiday sing along. Advance tickets required. Entry fee and $10/person.

December 12, 4:30-5:30pm, 6-7pm, 7:30-8:30pm

PJ’s and Stories with Santa
Saline Rec Center
1866 Woodland Dr., Saline
734-429-3502 |
Enjoy storytime with a Saline Library storyteller while eating cookies and drinking milk or hot chocolate, followed by sing alongs and craft time. Children ages 1-9 can bring their wish list for Santa. Must pre-register. $12/child day of event, children under one free.

December 14, 5-7pm

S’mores and Santa
Kensington Metropark Farm Center
2240 West Buno Road, Milford
248-684-8632 |
Make s’mores outside by the campfire and then head inside to warm up with hot chocolate, family holiday crafts, and a visit with Santa. Advance tickets required. $10/daily entry fee and $5/person for the event.

December 14-15, 8:30-10am and 10:30am-noon

Breakfast with Santa
Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak
248-541-5717 |
The holiday magic is alive and well in the Detroit Zoo’s Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. Enjoy a buffet-style waffle breakfast beside hundreds of free-flying butterflies in the Butterfly Garden. The popular event includes a special gift for each child, arts, crafts and photo opportunities. Cost $30-$40. Registration is required.

December 14, 9am and 10:45am

Pancake Breakfast with Santa
Rolling Hills County Park
7600 Stony Creek Rd., Ypsilanti
734-971-6337 |
Mingle with Santa while enjoying fresh pancakes! Photos with Santa available after breakfast. $10 with pre-registration required. Children under 1-year-old are free.

December 14, 10am-1:30pm

Treasure Trail to Santa
Busch’s Shopping Center
565 E. Michigan Ave., Saline
734-429-4494 |
Visit businesses at Busch’s Shopping Center for treats, free carriage rides and a visit with Santa!

December 14, 12-2pm

A Visit With Father Christmas
Matthei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
734-647-7600 |
The annual visit by the Real McCoy, Father Christmas. In town for one day only. A great photo opp! Free!

December 14, 10am-2pm

Brunch with Santa
The Kensington Hotel, 3500 South State St.
1-866-654-7431 |
Come have brunch with Santa. Included will be carving and Omelet Stations, vegetarian options, waffles and pancakes with a toppings bar for the kids and kids at heart. Call for reservations. $13/child ages 4-12, $26/adult, $22/senior.

December 14, 2-4pm

Photos with Santa
The Owl, Morning ‘til Night
9 W Main St., Milan
734-508-6340 |
Visit with Santa and have your photo taken by Gal With Her Camera. Digital downloads are free with larger prints available for purchase.

December 15, 10am-2pm

Santa Brunch
Polo Fields Country Club
5200 Polo Fields Drive
734-998-1555 |
Visit with Santa during this special brunch. Tickets $36/adults, $16/children ages 3-12, free children under 2.

December 21, 10:30am-2:30pm

Santa at the Yankee Air Museum
Yankee Air Museum at the Willow Run Airport
47884 D St., Belleville
734-483-4030 |
Santa will be flying in on his private helicopter and landing in the gift shop parking lot. Parents are encouraged to take photos. Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum and Leslie Science & Nature Center will have fun hands-on activities and scary animals from 11am-2pm. Free all day for kids. Free for parents until 11:30 am.

December 1, December 6-8, December 13-15, December 20-22
Winter Wonderland hours: 6-9pm
Santa’s hours: 6-8:30pm

Winter Wonderland Santa Visits at Michigan International Speedway
Michigan International Speedway, 12626 US-12, Brooklyn
517-937-6426 |
Featuring seasonal food and drinks and a visit from Santa Claus himself! Puppet shows and train rides are also available. Live reindeer will be on display December 6, 13, 20 from 6-9pm. This event is part of the drive thru Christmas light show. $25/car or vehicle, $40/mini bus, $40/limo or motor home, $70/tour bus

December 15, 1-2:30pm

Santa Central at Hudson Mills Metropark
Hudson Mills Metropark
8801 N. Territorial Rd., Dexter
Kids can visit with Santa, go on a hay ride, and make seasonal crafts. Call to pre-register. $6/child. Metroparks vehicle entry permit is required.

Holiday Lights

Light up the night this holiday season by enjoying any of the many holiday light displays throughout the area.

December 1-December 31
Weeknights and Sundays 5:30-9pm
Friday and Saturday 5:30-10pm

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak
248-541-5717 |
More than five million LED lights will light up the trees, buildings and sculptures at the Detroit Zoo. Holiday entertainment and special activities for all ages. Purchase tickets in advance $11-18/person. Purchase tickets at the front gate $19/person. Children under 2 free.

December 1- 31
Monday-Friday 7-10pm
Saturday-Sunday 6-10pm

Wayne County Lightfest
7651 North Merriman Rd., Westland.
734-261-1990 |
Enjoy five miles of colorful displays, as well as music, refreshments, and fireworks. Stop by the Santa Shelter for photos with Santa and refreshments. Admission $5/vehicle.

December 1-January 5, 5pm-midnight

Big Bright Light Show
Main St., Rochester.
248-656-0060 |
More than one million holiday lights twinkle from Rochester buildings in this display. Stroll the sidewalks to take in the light show, or pop in to the buildings for some holiday shopping. Most stores and businesses open Monday-Saturday until 9pm. Free

December 1- 31
Sunday-Thursday 3-8pm; Friday-Saturday 3-9pm

Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo
2 Hippo Way, Toledo
419-385-5721 |
This event features more than one million lights and more than 200 illuminated animal images and animated displays. $19/adult, $16/kids and seniors, under 2/free. Members receive free visits Monday-Thursday and one free weekend visit.

Photo Courtesy of Toledo Zoo

December 1-31
Sunday-Thursday 5:30-9pm; Friday, Saturday 5:30-10pm

Nite Lites at the Michigan International Speedway
Michigan International Speedway
12626 US-12, Brooklyn
517-937-6426 |
Michigan’s largest Christmas light display! Nite Lites is a drive thru Christmas light show. Certain dates will also feature visits with Santa and Winter Wonderland visits. $25/car or vehicle, $40/mini-bus, $40/limo or motorhome, $70/tour bus.

December 1-31
Thursdays-Sundays, 5-8pm

Potter Park Wonderland of Lights
1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Lansing
517-483-4222 |
This event features holiday light displays, cookies, crafts, and animal encounters. $7/ adults, $5/children 3-12, under three free. December 1 is a Toys for Tots event. Bring a new unwrapped toy for free admission.

December 5-8, December 12-15, December 17-23, December 26-28 6:30-10pm

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
313-982-6001 |
Take a historic home tour and explore holiday traditions of the past. Holiday goods, food and beverages are available. Fireworks finale every evening. Santa will be there with his reindeer!
$30 ages twelve and up, $27/seniors, $22.50/children ages 5-11 non-member, under age 4/ free. Members receive a discount.

December 3, 10 8-9pm

Season of Light
EMU Planetarium
900 Oakwood St, Ypsilanti
734-487-2282 |
Explore the astronomy behind holiday traditions at the Eastern Michigan University planetarium. $5 per person.

December 7-31, 6pm-Midnight

Winter Lights
Downtown Milan
734-395-3880 |
Drive or stroll through downtown Milan and enjoy the lights. Historic buildings of Milan will be outlined in nearly 3000 feet (more than eight football fields) of white lights. Free

Going Green

There’s nothing like the scent of a fresh-cut tree during the holidays! Cut your own or purchase pre-cut trees, wreaths and greenery at one of these area businesses.

Arend Tree Farm
3512 Notten Rd., Grass Lake
734-475-7584 |
9am-5pm 7 days a week
This family farm features 400 acres of trees, with horse-drawn wagon rides on weekends.

Braun’s Tree Farm
796 Warren Rd., Ann Arbor
734-663-2717 |
10am-dark Friday-Sunday
Bring the whole family (dogs welcome) to this 50 acre farm, where you can cut your own tree, or purchase pre-cut trees, wreaths, stands and more.

Hillside Christmas Tree Farm
14745 Sharon Hollow Rd., Manchester
517-456-7233 |
10am-5pm December 1, 8 and 9
The farm features wagon rides, warming barn, hot chocolate and refreshments.

Lodi Farms
2880 S. Wagner Rd.
734-665-5651 |
9am-6pm Monday-Friday
9am-4pm Saturdays
1-4pm Sundays
This local farm features nine varieties of cut and live potted trees, as well as handmade wreaths, roping, greens and custom arrangements.

Matthes Tree Farm
13416 Lulu Rd., Ida
734-269-2668 |
9am-6pm Seven days a week
See Santa on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-5pm
This farm features a petting zoo, handmade crafts, and a Christmas shop featuring wreaths and roping. The kitchen is open 9am-4pm every weekend.

Three Cedars Farm
7897 Six Mile Rd., Northville
248-437-8200 |
10am-8pm Friday and Saturday
10am-5pm Sunday
Santa Hours:
4-7pm Fridays
11am-2pm, 4-7pm Saturdays
12-4 Sundays
Visit the farm for hot cocoa and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and purchase Christmas trees, wreaths and roping. Cash or check only, credit cards not accepted. ATM on site. No pets allowed.

Urquhart’s Tree Farm
10050 Jerusalem Rd. | Chelsea
734-433-8733 |
10am-5pm | Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
10am-5pm | Saturday-Sunday
This farm features 200 acres of trees and wagon rides on the weekends. Last full service day is December 21, with self-service days December 22-24.

Westman’s Tree Farm
8000 Chamberlin Rd., Dexter
734-646-7062 |
3:30pm-dark Monday-Friday
9am-dark Saturday-Sunday
This farm has thousands of trees to choose from, and is senior friendly and accessible to people with disabilities. Cash or check only, no credit cards accepted.

Zilke Farm Kitchen/Vegetable Farm
1115 Dexter St., Milan
10-7 Monday-Friday
10-3 Saturdays
This local farm and kitchen will have a variety of pre-cut trees, wreaths and centerpieces available. Tree varieties include Fraser, Douglas and Canaan. Stop into the Farm Kitchen for take-home freshly prepared meal kits, salads and more.

The Nutcracker Ballet on stage

Experience the magic of the Nutcracker Ballet during one of the many performances this holiday season.

December 2, 10:30-11:15am

Nutcracker Ballet Storytime
Chelsea District Library, 221 S. Main St., Chelsea
734-475-8732 |
Join in the fun during this special story time featuring dancers from Ballet Chelsea performing a preview of the Nutcracker. For youth ages 5 and under. Free

December 7-8, 2pm Chelsea
December 14, 7pm; December 15 2pm Jackson

Ballet Chelsea’s 22nd Annual performance of The Nutcracker
Chelsea High School, 740 N. Freer Rd., Chelsea
The Potter Center, 2111 Emmons Rd., Jackson
734-475-3070 |
Ballet Chelsea is celebrating their 22nd annual performance of the Nutcracker in collaboration with Jackson Symphony Orchestra. Call to reserve tickets.

December 14, 6:30pm

The Nutcracker
Michigan Theater, 603 E. Liberty St.
866-820-4553 |
A must-see holiday event featuring Michigan’s talented ballet students, joined by international professional ballet dancers and guest artists. Ticket prices $35-$45.

December 14-15, 2pm

The Nutcracker Suite and Spirit of the Season
Milan High School, 200 Big Red Dr., Milan
734-302-4248 |
Ann Arbor Dance Classics Youth Dance Ensemble performs “Nutcracker Suite and Spirit of the Season.” Call to reserve tickets.

December 21, 2pm and 7pm; December 22, 2pm

The Nutcracker Randazzo Dance Company
Power Center for the Performing Arts, 121 Fletcher St.
734-477-9350 |
With a cast of nearly 100 dancers, the dance troupe presents its 51st annual holiday performance with a fresh perspective of the classic Nutcracker Ballet. Tickets $10-$25.

December 22, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at Fox Theater
2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit
313-471-7000 |
This quintessential holiday performance is a must-see. Ticket prices start at $46, sold individually and in groups.