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
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)
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

Urban Wheel Awards

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)
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.

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05 of 12

Zehnder's Snowfest

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

Fire & Ice Fest

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

TigerFest 2015

Comerica Park, Home of the Detroit Tigers
Photo © Laura Sternberg

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
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.

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09 of 12

Campus Martius Ice Skating

Skating and 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

Shows and Concerts

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

Downhill Skiing

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
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.

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