We are bringing you the best of the season in Washtenaw County to help you get into the holiday spirit with friends and family!
Downtown Ann Arbor
318 S. Main St.
734-668-7112 | mainstreetannarbor.org
Merchants in the Main Street area have decided to once again fund a direct mail route from Ann Arbor to the North Pole! Santa’s mailbox will be open for wish lists in front of Conor O’Neill’s. All letters received by 3pm on December 16th will be answered. Please remember to include your return address. Free
Saturdays and Sundays
Creature Encounters: Reindeer
2pm and 4pm
The Creature Conservancy (Stone Stage)
4950 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd.
734-929-9324 | thecreatureconservancy.org
Meet Seven the reindeer this month. $8.
Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence exhibit
10am | Michigan Science Center
5020 John R. St. Detroit
313-577-8400 | mi-sci.org
This exhibit features the extraordinary and diverse organisms that produce light. Learn how and why they glow. $14/adult, $11/child under 12, Free/child under 2.
Chelsea Tree Lighting Ceremony & Santa Arrival
6pm | Pierce Park
901 S. Main St. | Chelsea
734-475-1145 | chelseamich.com
The Chelsea Area Girl Scouts will kick off this event with a dedication of a new holiday tree. Sounds of the holiday season will be performed by members of the Chelsea High School Choir followed by the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Next, Santa heads to the Chelsea Historic Depot where he will spend the evening listening to special wishes from Chelsea’s children during Santa’s Workshop. The Chelsea Children’s Co-op Preschool sponsors free craft projects for the children and parents are encouraged to bring their camera. Free
KindleFest, A Christkindlmarket
6-10pm | Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market
Fourth Ave. | between Catherine and Kingsley
734-662-5008 | kerrytown.org/kindlefest
An annual, free and outdoor holiday market featuring local and regional artisans and farmers selling hand-crafted ornaments, toys and unique holiday gifts, as well as German foods, sweets and beverages. Enjoy live music, fire pits to keep you warm, a heated tent, s’more roasting and a Lantern Parade in the Kerrytown neighborhood. Bring your family to the Christkindlmarket and parade around with colorful lanterns while singing holiday carols.
December 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 20-23, 26-30
Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village
6:30-10pm | Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd. | Dearborn
313-982-6001 | thehenryford.org
Take a lantern-lit journey into a living snow globe filled with live music, skating, fireworks and tons of winter wonder during America’s premier celebration of the season. Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village is like stepping into a Christmas card from the past — the golden glow from candlelit windows, the scent of roasting chestnuts, the sound of carolers in the distance, the jangle of sleigh bells. Where else will you find lantern-lit paths, costumed presenters, horse-drawn wagons and Model T rides, plus Santa with live reindeer. $26/adult, $23.50/senior, $19.50/child, Free/kids 2 and under. $6/vehicle for parking.
12th Annual Chelsea Light Parade
6pm | Downtown Chelsea
310 N. Main St. | Chelsea
734-474-9178 | chelseamich.com
12th annual parade featuring dozens of lighted floats and vehicles, marching bands, and the big guy himself, Santa! Parade starts at Chelsea State Bank’s south-end lot (corner of US12 and M52) and travels North on Main Street to Jackson Street. After the parade, head down to the Clocktower Complex for the “Lights Out After the Parade.” The community is invited to warm up with music, photo booths, s’more fire pits and hot chocolate. Free
Breakfast with Santa
8:30am | Comfort Inn & Village Conference Center
1645 Commerce Park Dr. (off M-52) | Chelsea
734-475-1145 | chelseamich.com
Children enjoy a pancake breakfast with other goodies and sit with Santa. Bring your camera for photo opportunities with Santa. Free
Lights Before Christmas
Sunday-Thursday, 3-8pm | Friday-Saturday, 3-9pm
Toledo Zoo | 2 Hippo Way | Toledo
419-385-4040 | toledozoo.org
The zoo becomes a winter wonderland during this Toledo area classic event. Enjoy a visit to the Winter Village for treats and a visit with Santa. Experience a ride on the Ice Slide and witness the beauty of ice-carving. And of course, wish some of your favorite animals Happy Holidays! $17/ages 12-59, $14/seniors 60+ and children 2-11, Free/kids under 2.
December 3, 10, 17
Breakfast with Santa – Detroit Zoo
8-10am | Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Rd. | Royal Oak
248-541-5717 | detroitzoo.org
Get ready to have breakfast with your favorite holiday friends at the Detroit Zoo’s Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. The buffet-style waffle breakfast also includes a special gift for each child, arts and crafts, photo opportunities and of course a visit from Santa. Breakfast will be served at 8:15am. You will be able to visit the Zoo once breakfast is over at 10am. $40/adults 15 and older, $35/children 14 and under.
Frosty the Snowman
Michigan Theater | 603 E. Liberty St.
734-668-8463 | michtheater.org/series/not-just-for-kids
The beloved holiday song “Frosty the Snowman” has inspired this brand new story. A young orphan named Billy discovers magic in a stolen hat. When he places the hat on a snowman’s head, the snowman comes to life! But can Frosty the Snowman help Billy find his real family in time for Christmas? Recommended for grades K to 5. $12/person. Kids 12 and under/Free
Annual Saline Christmas Parade
5:30-7pm | Downtown Saline
734-429-4494 | salinechamber.org
Over 1,700 participants and 4,000 visitors are expected to attend the Christmas Parade in downtown Saline, featuring floats, marching bands, animals, performances and Santa arriving in his sleigh with his chief elf. Free
Holiday Light Earrings
7pm | Ann Arbor District Library – Westgate Branch
2503 Jackson Ave.
734-327-4200 | aadl.org
Join the library for a fun event that will hang some holiday lights on your ears! This event will help you make super cute bead earrings using simple tools. Perfect for kids in grades 6 and up. Free
A Christmas Carol
December 8, 10am | December 9, 12:30pm
December 10, 2pm | December 11, 2pm
Wild Swan Theater
Towsley Auditorium | Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College
734-995-0530 | wildswantheater.org
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens and adapted for Wild Swan by Jeff Duncan with original music by composer Tom Schnauber, Wild Swan’s version of this wonderful holiday classic has been especially created for family audiences. A Christmas Carol tells of the astonishing transformation of miserly old Ebeneezer Scrooge after he is visited by three spirits on the night before Christmas. $12/child, $15/adult, $3/lap child (under 2).
8pm | Hill Auditorium
825 N. University Ave.
734-994-4801 | a2so.com/events
Mark the season with a festive mix of orchestra and voice, classical and pops at this annual Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra tradition. It is a wonderful way to welcome in the holiday season. Enjoy an evening of merry music-making with some of our area’s most beloved choruses including the men of Measure for Measure, Pioneer, Huron and Saline High School Choruses all concluded with singers harmonizing to the song Let There be Peace on Earth. Tickets are $10-$52.
Ypsilanti District Library | Whittaker Community Room
5577 Whittaker Rd. | Ypsilanti
734 482-4110 x1340 | ypsilibrary.org
It’s the perfect time of year for gingerbread! Create your own unique gingerbread house by adding frosting and candy to a graham cracker house. Fun for kids of all ages. This event will also take place at the Michigan Avenue branch location on December 17 at 3pm, see the website for full details. Free
Holiday Hustle 5K and 1 Mile
Monument Park | Downtown Dexter
Baker Rd. at Main St. | Dexter
734-929-9027 | runholiday5k.com
Naughty or nice, walker or runner, come breathe in the December night air, burn off a few holiday calories and give back to others. A silly, hilly dash around Dexter that will take in the neighborhood light displays and give you a chance to see the flashing gang ahead or behind you! This is a charity event, bring canned or nonperishable food items for the needy and get a raffle ticket for each item! A stroller friendly course. $40/5K, $25/ 1 Mile (Under 18), $35/ 1 Mile (18 and over).
Winter Greens Crafts
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro
734-647-7600 | lsa.umich.edu/mbg
Traditionally evergreens have been used to signal the winter holidays and to bring natural beauty and fragrance to the home. Choose from a selection of evergreens and ribbons and decorate a bough for the door or mantle. Make winter related crafts to take home. This program is open to Scouts and their families and the general public. Kids of all ages welcome. $10/child.
December 10, 17, 27-30
Toledo Zoo | 700 Broadway St.
419-385-4040 | toledozoo.org/camps
Drop the kids off for a winter adventure with exhibit tours, animal visitors, crafts and games. Get some time to shop or nap. For ages 5-10. Registration is required. $40-$45.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker
7pm | Fox Theatre
2211 Woodward Ave. | Detroit
313-471-6611 | hiphopnutcracker.wordpress.com
A holiday mash-up for the entire family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary re-imagination of Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, is an evening-length production performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, DJ and violinist. Through the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her prince, Myron, travel back in time to the moment when her parents first meet in a nightclub. Tickets are $25-$75.
Frosty on Ice Skate
Veterans Ice Arena | 2150 Jackson Ave.
734-794-6235 | a2gov.org
Children of all ages will love this skate with Frosty. There will be free candy canes, a meet and greet and pictures with Frosty. Cost of general admission. $5/resident adult, $4/resident youth or senior, $3/skate rental.
Holiday Pops with the Phil
6pm and 8pm
Michigan Philharmonic | Penn Theatre
760 Penniman Ave. | Plymouth
734-451-2112 | michiganphil.org
A festive, family-friendly yuletide pop concert featuring traditional Christmas carols like A Charlie Brown Christmas, Festive Sounds of Hanukah, Jingle Bells Forever, and a christmas sing-along. $30/person.
One Candle for Tzedakah
Jewish Community Center of Greater Ann Arbor (JCC)
2935 Birch Hollow Dr.
734-971-0990 x126 | jccannarbor.org
Swing by the JCC beginning November 21 with your children and help them choose a child you would like to “adopt” for the holiday season. Jewish Family Services (JFS) will share a list of refugee children in need and the information will be hung on tags from the menorah in the lobby. Then shop together for gifts for that child and remember to keep the tags you picked so you can attach it to the gifts for the child. On December 15 the JCC will celebrate the Hanukkah holiday and the mitzvah of giving to children who would otherwise not have a joyful holiday themselves. The party begins with games, a giant gift-wrapping party, and a card station to decorate a card welcoming the children to Michigan. There will of course be a wonderful Hanukkah dinner. After the Hanukkah candles are lit and the wrapped gifts are presented to JFS, relax and enjoy some Hanukkah entertainment. $10/individual or $20/family
Holiday Fun Night
Pittsfield Township Community Center
701 W. Ellsworth Rd.
734-822-2120 | recreation.pittsfield-mi.gov/
Tis’ the season to enjoy a night of crafts, cookies, hot chocolate and a classic holiday movie. Kids will watch a holiday movie, make holiday crafts and write letters to the North Pole. There may even be a surprise appearance by Santa! Pre-register by December 14. Perfect for ages 4-10. $15/pittsfield township resident, $20/non-resident.
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas
December 16 | 6:30pm
December 17 | 11am, 2pm and 5pm
December 18 | 11am and 2pm
Fox Theatre | 2211 Woodward Ave. | Detroit
313-471-6611 | fancynancychristmaslive.com
What could be fancier than Christmas? This year, Nancy is especially excited. She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous? Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas is based on the New York Times bestselling picture book by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. $29.50/person.
The Saline New Horizons Band Holiday Concert
4pm | Saline Middle School
7190 N. Maple Rd. | Saline
734-769-2613 | salinenewhorizonsband.org
This event will feature familiar favorites, according to band director Dr. Joseph Labuta, with a few surprises as well. Free
New Year’s Eve All-You-Can-Play Laser Tag at Zap Zone
Zap Zone Ann Arbor | 4177 Carpenter Rd.
734-930-6670 | zap-zone.com
Action-seeking kids can ring in the New Year with unlimited laser tag and glo-golf. A family friendly party with a balloon drop at midnight! Check ahead for age information. $35/person, pre-register and pay to reserve your spot.