Holiday Happenings

. December 1, 2017.

The holidays have arrived, and along with
them, these great events in and around
Washtenaw County. Bundle up the
family and get ready to feel the
holiday spirit!

Downtown Ypsilanti

December 1
Tree Lighting
YDL-Michigan Library Plaza
229 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti
734-482-4110 x1323 |
Join the library for caroling led by the Ypsilanti Youth Orchestra. Enjoy hot chocolate, cookies and a visit from Santa! Free

Midnight Madness

Downtown Ann Arbor
318 S. Main St.
734-668-7112 |
Stoes open late! Holiday Sales! Santa Claus and Miss Washtenaw County will be roaming the sidewalks in the Main Street area, along with various outdoor entertainers and performances.

KindleFest, A

Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market
303 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor
734-662-5008 |
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, Santa and a Lantern Parade in the Kerrytown neighborhood. Bring your family to the Christkindlmarket and parade around with colorful lanterns while singing holiday carols.

Midnight Madness
in Kerrytown

Kerrytown Market & Shops
407 N. 5th Ave, Ann Arbor
Great holiday sales throughout the locally owned stores. Most shops are open until midnight or open late. Enjoy live music in Kerrytown Shops, visit with Santa as he strolls the neighborhood, and grab great holiday discounts and sales at participating merchants.

Chelsea Tree Lighting
Ceremony & Santa Arrival

Pierce Park
901 S. Main St., Chelsea
734-475-1145 |
Sounds of the holiday season will be performed by members of the Chelsea Choir, followed by the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and a visit from the very special guy in a big red suit! Santa arrives on the Chelsea Fire Authority Ladder truck at approximately 6pm. Free

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

December 1-3
December 1, 7:30pm
December 2, 3pm and 8pm
December 3, 2pm and 7pm
Fox Theatre
2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit
313-471-3200 |
Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with never before seen performances, over 300 costumes, 20 of the world’s best acts, the finest singers, original music and seasonal favorites. Experience elaborate costumed characters, snowmen, penguins, candles, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, Santa and ornaments as they fly, balance and stretch imaginations in this groundbreaking holiday celebration. $25-$65

Santa’s Mailbox

December 1-17
Downtown Ann Arbor
318 S. Main St.
734-668-7112 |
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 with return addresses received by December 17 will be answered. Free

Santa’s Arctic Landing

December 1-24
Monday-Friday, 10a-4pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am-5pm
Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
313-982-6001 |
Take your little ones on an expedition to the North Pole to visit with Santa. As they explore the early pioneers of aviation in Greenfield Villages’ “Heroes of the Sky” exhibition, they’ll land at the most ideal location for a photo op with the greatest Toy Maker of all time! Bring your own camera to this photo op, which is free with museum admission. $22/ages 12-61, $20/seniors 62+, $16.50/ages 3-11, Free/kids under 2. $6/vehicle for parking.

Holiday Nights in
Greenfield Village

December 1-3, 8-10,
15-17, 19-23, 26-27, 29-30
Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
313-982-6001 |
Mingle with merrymakers amid the smells of roasting chestnuts and warm bonfires; the sounds of carolers, fiddlers and sleigh bells; and other yuletide activity during Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. Every lantern-lit path takes you to a new winter wonder to discover. Strap on a pair of ice skates, send a shout-out to Santa and his magnificent reindeer, find your reflection in a handcrafted ornament and nestle into a horse-drawn wagon for a sing-along through Greenfield Village. $26/ages 12+, $23.50/seniors 62+, $19.50/ages 3-11, Free/kids 2 and under. $6/vehicle for parking.

Sacred Plants— Holiday
Conservatory Exhibit

December 1-30
10am-4:30pm, Closed December 24, 25
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor
734-647-7600 |
Focusing on plants in our conservatory collection, the holiday exhibit explores how certain plants figure in myth, lore and ritual for cultures around the world. This annual winter/holiday event also features seasonal flowers, decorated trees, kids activities, holiday items in the Garden Store and more. Free

Lights Before Christmas

December 1-31
Sunday-Thursday, 3-8pm
Friday-Saturday, 3-9pm
Toledo Zoo
2 Hippo Way, Toledo
419-385-4040 |
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! $16/ages 12-59, $13/seniors 60+ and children 2-11, Free/kids under 2

Annual Christmas Party

December 2
Downtown Home and Garden
210 South Ashley, Ann Arbor
734-662-8122 |
What better way to top off a midnight madness weekend— smoked turkeys, Grandma Mooberry’s cranberry salad, hot cider and eggnog! The farm animals will be hanging out, Community High Jazz Band will be here, and the real Santa will be on hand to listen to the wish lists. C’mon down and celebrate! Free

Breakfast with Santa

Comfort Inn Village Conference Center
1645 Commerce Park Dr., Chelsea
734-475-1145 |
Sit with Santa and enjoy a free pancake breakfast and other goodies. Bring your camera for photo opportunities with Santa. Free

Shine in the 2017
Light Parade

Downtown Chelsea
310 N Main St, Chelsea
734-474-9178 |
Parade featuring dozens of lighted floats and vehicles, marching bands and the big guy himself, Santa! Parade starts at Chelsea State Bank (at Old US-12) and heads North on Main Street to Jackson Street. Free

Saline “Santa’s Workshop” Christmas Parade

Downtown Saline
734-429-4494 |
More than 1,400 participants, 40 floats, a hot air balloon, bands, twirlers, dancers, animals, and Santa will make their way down Michigan Ave from Davenport St to Lewis St. Following the parade, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Merchants Square Building until 8pm. Bring a camera for photos. Check website for parking details. Free

A Merry Mitten
Holiday Event

Nicola’s Books, Westgate Shopping Center
2513 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor
734-662-0600 |
Looking for that perfect gift for a youngster or new parent? A signing event with six local authors who are members of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Meet and talk with a wonderful array of authors: Leslie Helakoski, Nancy Shaw, Jodi McKay, Jeff Jantz, Kathryn Madeline Allen, and Janet Ruth Heller. Free

Christmas at the Mansion

Historic Gordon Hall
8341 Island Lake Rd, Dexter
734-426-3341 |
Visit this wonderful historic home, featuring the Christmas Village Collection, a magical display of Milt Campbell’s huge collection of Department 56 villages. This collection was traditionally seen in the windows of Huron Camera in downtown Dexter throughout the holiday season, and was a favorite destination for families. After a visit with Santa, children can make a gingerbread house to take home. Suggested donation $5/person

Handel’s Messiah

December 2-3
December 2, 8pm
December 3, 2pm
Hill Auditorium
825 N University Ave, Ann Arbor
734-764-2538 |

Nearly 300 years after its completion in 1741, Handel’s Messiah still provokes joy, and University Musical Society’s 139th year of presenting the oratorio fills audiences with emotion for both the beauty of the piece and the pride of hearing friends and colleagues from the community bring this glorious work to life. Music director Scott Hanoian conducts the UMS Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony in this annual community tradition. Recommended age, 12+. $12-$36

Breakfast with Santa

December 2, 9, 16
Detroit Zoo
Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak
248-541-5717 |
Get ready to have breakfast with your favorite holiday friends in the 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 8:30am. You will be able to visit the zoo once breakfast is over at 10am. $40/adults 15 and older, $35/children 14 and under.

Caring Santa

December 3
Briarwood Mall— Von Maur Court
100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor
734-769-9610 |
Just for children with special needs: Caring Santa is coming to town! Reservation required. Photos may be purchased.

Paul Keller Ensemble
Holiday Concert

YDL-Whittaker Community Meeting Room
5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti
734-482-4110 x1323 |
This nationally known local ensemble will delight with familiar Christmas tunes, lovingly arranged for trumpet, trombone, saxophone, piano, string bass, drums and vocals by Paul Keller and his bandmates. Free

Cookies with Santa

December 6
4-5:30pm, 6:30-8pm
Longacre House
24705 Farmington Rd, Farmington Hills
248-477-8404 |
Enjoy Santa’s favorite snack of milk and cookies while he reads a holiday story. After story time, each child will get an individual visit with Santa. Don’t forget your cameras to take pictures of this memorable night! Pre-registration required. $8-$13

J.S. Bach’s
Christmas Oratorio

December 8
Hill Auditorium
825 N University Ave, Ann Arbor
734-764-2538 |
J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio is written in six parts, each celebrating one of the major feast days of the Christmas period. The Bach Collegium Japan brings its signature crispness and purity to a beloved Bach masterpiece, highlighting the polyphonic wonder of Bach’s rich, imaginative cantatas that were written to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Recommended age, 14+. $14-$80

Winter Wonderland
Daddy Daughter Dance

Pittsfield Township Community Center,
Multi-Purpose Room
701 W Ellsworth, Ann Arbor
734-822-2120 |
Join us for an enchanted evening with your little “princess.” A winter wonderland evening filled with music, dancing and refreshments. Daughters will receive a special gift and an opportunity to purchase a keepsake photo. Preregistration required by December 6. Ages 5-12. $40

Gingerbread Houses

December 9
YDL-Superior Main Area
8795 MacArthur Blvd, Ypsilanti
734-482-4110 x1316 |
Create a festive graham cracker house by adding candy and frosting. Limited to the first 25 participants. No registration needed. Free

Gingerbread Houses

YDL-Michigan Program Room
229 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti
734-482-4110 x1325 |
Decorate your own gingerbread house with colorful candy and chocolate Santas. Free

Holiday Hustle 5K and
1-Mile Fun Run

Monument Park, Downtown Dexter
Baker Rd. at Main St., Dexter
734-929-9027 |
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 single-stroller friendly course. $40/5K, $25/1 Mile (ages 17 and under), $35/1 Mile (ages 18+)

Treasure Trail to Santa

565 E Michigan Ave, Saline
734-429-4494 |
The Saline Chamber of Commerce will host its fun holiday event at Busch’s Shopping Center in Saline. Participants start at Cottage Inn Pizza and follow the magical outdoor trail to Santa. Along the way, businesses pass out treats for the kids to collect. There will be a free photo booth and horse-drawn carriage rides for the kids, as well. Don’t miss this fun hoiday tradition and get some photos with Santa! Free

Santa Breakfast

December 9-10
Longacre House
24705 Farmington Rd, Farmington Hills
248-477-8404 |
Join Santa for a special breakfast at the historic Longacre House. Eat with the jolly man himself and have time to share your Christmas list. Each child will receive a special gift and have the opportunity to get a picture taken with Santa. Preregistration required. $13-$18

Magical Christmas Villages

December 9, 10, 27, 28
Historic Gordon Hall
8341 Island Lake Rd, Dexter
734-426-3341 |
A magical display of Milt Campbell’s huge collection of Department 56 villages. This collection was traditionally seen in the windows of Huron Camera in downtown Dexter throughout the holiday season, and was a favorite destination for families. Presented by the Dexter Area Historical Society. Suggested donation: $5/adult

Pet Photo Night

December 10
Briarwood Mall— Von Maur Court
100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor
734-769-9610 |
Bring your pet to sit, stay and pose for a photo with Santa! Photos may be purchased

Neil Berg’s
Broadway Holiday

Fox Theatre
2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit
313-471-3200 |
The No. 1 touring Broadway concert in America brings Broadway’s finest stars and greatest songs together for an unforgettable holiday event featuring hits from classic shows, to current blockbusters, as well as much-loved holiday tunes. $19.50-$44.50

Holiday Pops with the Phil

December 14
6pm and 8pm
Penn Theatre
760 Penniman Ave., Plymouth
734-453-0870 |
A musical sleigh ride around the world from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and “African Noel” to a contemporary Hanukkah favorite, “The Eighth Candle.” Celebrating the sounds of the season, the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra returns to beautiful downtown Plymouth at the Penn Theatre with fun music from the Grinch, Rudolph, and The Polar Express. Along the way enjoy a mash-up of “The Stars & Stripes Forever” and “Jingle Bells” along with a Concerto for Timpani and Strings. Enjoy an old-fashioned carol sing-along culminating with the “Hallelujah Chorus.” $30/General, $25/Senior, $10/Student

Holiday Pops

December 15
Hill Auditorium
825 N. University Ave.
734-994-4801 |
Bring your family and friends for an evening of good music-making with some of our area’s most beloved choruses including the men of Measure for Measure, Ann Arbor Youth Chorale, Boychoir of Ann Arbor, Dexter, Huron and Pioneer High School Choruses. It will be ear-to-ear grinning merriment concluding with a surround of singers harmonizing ”Let There be Peace on Earth.” $12-$52

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas

December 16
Fox Theatre
2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit
313-471-3200 |
A holiday tradition for many families, the show will feature classic Christmas hits from Mannheim Steamroller and multimedia effects. $30-$70

The Saline New Horizons Band Holiday Concert

December 17
Saline Middle School
7190 N. Maple Rd., Saline
734-769-2613 |
This event will feature familiar favorites, with a few surprises, as well. Free

Noon Year’s Eve

December 31
Toledo Zoo
2 Hippo Way, Toledo
419-385-4040 |
Bring the entire family ring in the New Year a little early— at noon! Midnight is just too late for the younger party-hat wearers. To provide the same fun festivities during daylight hours for our pint-sized guests, the zoo will celebrate Noon Year’s Eve, focusing on making 2018 a greener year. Together with family and friends, the zoo will celebrate the stroke of noon with the rising of our recycling ball, a cascade of biodegradable confetti, apple juice toast and a chorus of “Auld Lang Syne.” Make conservation reZOOlutions, enjoy craft time, an ice carving demonstration, animal feeds, the Ice Slide and Bumper Cars on Ice. $17/ages 12-59, $14/seniors 60+ and children 2-11, Free/kids under 2

Santa’s Waiting

December 1-24
December 1-2, 8-9, 11-14: 10am-8:30pm
December 3: 12-7pm
December 4-7: 10am-8pm
December 10: 11am-6pm
December 15: 10am-9pm
December 16, 18-23: 9am-9pm
December 17: 10am-7pm
December 24: 8am-6pm
Briarwood Mall— Von Maur Court
100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor
734-769-9610 |
Stop by to get this year’s holiday photos with Santa.

Elf: The Musical

December 20-24
December 20-21, 7:30pm
December 22, 2pm & 7:30pm
December 23, 10am, 3pm, 8pm
December 24, 1pm
Fox Theatre
2211 Woodward Ave, Detroit
313-471-3200 |
Elf: The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. Buddy is unaware that he is actually human, until his enormous size and terrible toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern-day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf. $35-$75