Christmas Events and Activities for the Family in Detroit

Light Shows, Santa, Reindeer and Carolers

Christmas activities seem to start earlier each year, but that's okay because they are fun and magical and distract us as we slip into a Michigan winter. There is plenty to do until the New Year to celebrate the holidays, so take a step back in time, marvel at lighted displays and pet a reindeer this holiday season. 

  • 01 of 05
    The Big, Bright Light Show in Rochester
    ••• The Big, Bright Light Show in Rochester. Photo © Mitch Ward

    When: Nov 21 through January 1, 2017
    Where: Downtown Rochester

    Downtown Rochester does the holidays right with The Big, Bright Light Show, where each storefront along Main Street (Rochester Road) literally gets its own color scheme of lights. The effect is magical and will light up your life—or at least your shopping—through New Year's Day.

  • 02 of 05

    When: The month of December (dates to be announced)
    Where: Crossroads Village, Flint

    The Christmas at Crossroads village and train are all lit up for the season. In addition to historic displays, crafts, costumed villagers, food and shopping, the Opera House provides live entertainment. Sullivan's Black Forest restaurant offers a Christmas Buffet on Friday and Saturday nights in December. 

    The Village is open for drive-through visits on Monday evenings throughout December for a small fee. Tickets for the village and train are available. 2017 prices haven't been released yet.

  • 03 of 05

    When: December (dates to be announced)
    Where: Greenfield Village, Dearborn

    Stroll along lantern-lit streets to soak up the spirit of Christmas past at Greenfield Village's Holiday Nights. In addition to food, shopping, an ice rink, live performances and Santa, there are carriage and Model-T rides, roving costumed characters, live reindeer and a spectacular fireworks display each evening. Your ticket also includes:

    • Skilled artisan demonstrations
    • 1913 Herschell-Spillman carousel
    • Holiday vignettes and activities
    • Holiday cooking
    • Carolers
    • Live musical and dramatic performances
    • Decorated homes and shops

    Non-member adult admission is $26 ($22 for The Henry Ford members).

  • 04 of 05
    Wayne County Parks Lightfest 2007
    ••• Wayne County Parks Lightfest 2007. Photo © Laura Sternberg, Licensed to

    When: Late November through December (dates to be announced)
    Where: Merriman Hollow Park (Hines Drive and Merriman), Wayne County Parks, Westland

    Wayne County Parks celebrate the holidays with an annual Lightfest the whole family can enjoy. It consists of more than 4 miles of displays and a million lights. Drive through the festive exhibit and visit Santa's Workshop at the end of the lighted display. 

    Admission is by car for a small fee.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Breakfast With Santa

    When: Weekend days in December (dates to be announced)
    Where: The Detroit Zoo at the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery, Royal Oak

    The Detroit Zoo hosts a Santa event in celebration of the holidays. It includes a breakfast buffet with waffles, quiche and cheese blintzes. Kids will get a thrill when Santa visits. The breakfast also includes a gift for each child, photo opportunities, and arts and crafts.

    Although 2017 prices haven't been announced, in 2016 tickets for non-members were $30 for adults and $25 for children. Tickets go on sale November 1 and sell out quickly.

    Dinner With Santa

    When: December (dates to be announced)
    Where: Wildlife Interpretive Gallery

    Come see the Wild Lights, chat with Santa and partake of a buffet-style dinner.  The dinner includes a gift for each child, arts and crafts and admission to Wild Lights.

    Tickets for non-members were $44 for adults and $39 for children in 2016. Detroit Zoological Society Members receive discounts on tickets.