Metro Detroit Events and Things to Do in January

Events, Festivals, Attractions, Shows, Walks and Marathons

The Metro-Detroit area welcomes winter in January with ice sculptures, snow festivals and winter sports. Whether your pleasure is down-hill skiing or an indoor event, there is something for everyone this month. To help you schedule your activities, here is a list of Metro-Detroit Events and Things to Do in January.

If you are looking ahead to February and beyond, check out the Yearly Calendar of Events for Metro Detroit.

Update: 12/10/14

  • 01 of 12

    Plymouth International Ice Sculpture Spectacular

    The Scooby Gang at the Plymouth Ice Festival in 2008
    The Scooby Gang at the Plymouth Ice Festival in 2008. Photo © Laura Sternberg, Licensed to

    When: 1/9/15 through 1/11/15
    Where: Downtown Plymouth

    The Plymouth community was one of the first to showcase ice sculptures. Over 30 years later, the Plymouth Ice Festival continues to attract talent and to set the standard for all ice-sculpture events in the Metro-Detroit area. There will also be live entertainment, Fire and Ice Towers (a light display), and a cross-country skiing zone. In 2015, the event is serving up a new attraction -- HAP and the Detroit Red Wings are creating a slap shot activity. In other words, the festival is still worth getting bundled up to face the cold.

    Photo Tour of Plymouth Ice Festival in years past

  • 02 of 12

    North American International Auto Show

    2008 North American International Auto Show (Detroit)
    2008 North American International Auto Show (Detroit). Photo © Laura Sternberg, Licensed to

    When: 1/12/16 through 1/25/15
    Where: Cobo Center, Downtown Detroit

    One of Detroit's biggest tourist attractions and winter distractions is the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Detroit's Auto Show is renowned internationally because of its large number of world debuts, its historical significance, and the charm of the Motor City.

  • 03 of 12

    When: 1/12/14 with events from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
    Where: Detroit's Garden Theater

    The Urban Wheels Awards are in their 19th year and recognize the achievement of automotive companies and suppliers.

  • 04 of 12

    Anti-Freeze Blues Festival

    Anti-Freeze Blues Festival, The Magic Bag, Ferndale (2007)
    Anti-Freeze Blues Festival, Ferndale (2007). Photo © Christopher J. Peters

    When: 1/16/15 through 1/17/15
    Where: The Magic Bag, Ferndale

    In its 21st year, the Anti-Freeze Blues Festival features Lazy Lester and the Siegel-Schwall Band. Tickets are $25 each night.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12
    Zehnder's Snowfest 2008
    Zehnder's Snowfest 2008. Photo © Marvin E. Graves

    When: 1/21/15 through 1/26/15
    Where: Frankenmuth

    Frankenmuth hosts one of Michigan's premier winter events: Zehnder's Snowfest, where ice and snow carvers from all over the world come to create a magical winter landscape. In addition to the carvings made out of both ice and snow, the event has fireworks, petting zoo and children's activities.

  • 06 of 12
    The Big, Bright Light Show in Rochester
    The Big, Bright Light Show in Rochester. Photo © Mitch Ward

    When: 1/23/15 through 1/25/15
    Where: Third and Water Streets, Downtown Rochester

    Celebrating all things winter, the Fire & Ice Festival comes back to downtown Rochester with an Ice Sculpture Show, Beer Tent, Tube Sledding Run, fireworks, dog sled demos, ice skating, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, carriage rides and Downtown Rochester's Big, Bright Light Show.

  • 07 of 12
    Comerica Park, Home of the Detroit Tigers
    Comerica Park. Photo © Laura Sternberg
    When: 1/24/15
    Where: Comerica Park, Detroit

    The 20th annual Tigerfest allows fans to interact with the team's players and coaches. In addition to all the fan mingling, the event includes autograph sessions, photo booths, seminars, batting cages, clubhouse tours, baseball bat carvings, ice sculpting, and face painting. Tickets are $28 an adult / $14 a child.
  • 08 of 12

    Ann Arbor Folk Festival

    Ann Arbor Folk Festival, 2007
    Ann Arbor Folk Festival, 2007. Photo © Erich Zechar

    When: 1/30/15 through 1/31/15
    Where: Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor

    In its 38th year, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival celebrates all music folk, roots and ethnic. A host of musical artists will perform over two nights, including Brandi Carlile, Bahamas, Amos Lee, Holly Williams, Noah Gundersen and Laith Al-Saadi. Tickets start at $37.50 for one night / $67.50 for both nights. Proceeds will benefit The Ark.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12
    Skating and Campus Martius
    Skating at Campus Martius. Photo &Copy; Jeff Widen

    When: Throughout the Winter
    Where: Woodward Avenue, Downtown Detroit

    The Park at Campus Martius was designed to be the central square of the city. During the winter months, the park offers a venue for ice skating, and the nearby cafe offers hot chocolate to keep Detroiters warm and toasty. 

  • 10 of 12
    Stomp. Photo by Steve McNicholas

    When: Throughout the next couple of months
    Where: Detroit-area theaters

    At any given time, Detroit hosts a variety of shows and concerts, including music concerts, Broadway plays, comedians, rodeos and circuses.

  • 11 of 12
    Skiing at Pine Knob
    Skiing at Pine Knob. Photo © John Wills

    When: Throughout the Winter
    Where: Throughout the Metro-Detroit area and beyond

    Michigan winters give us plenty of opportunity for ice skids and snow shoveling, but they also give us a unique set of outdoor sports, including downhill skiing. There are four skiing resort in and around the Metro-Detroit area.

  • 12 of 12

    Detroit Institute of Arts

    Prentis Court balconies at The Detroit Institute of Arts
    New Prentis Court balconies at the DIA. Photo © The Detroit Institute of Arts

    When: Throughout the year
    Where: Detroit Institute of Arts, downtown

    Arts Alive!: After six and one-half years of renovations, the New Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) opened its doors in 2007 to show off its new design and galleries. The DIA is always brimming with events, including films, exhibits and music.