Turn off the holiday movies, put on a warm coat, and head to the heart of Detroit for a variety of winter activities for all ages. Many plazas and parks have transformed into Winter Wonderlands during these dreary cold months. Leaves have been replaced by stringed lights, a concert stage with an ice rink, and basketball courts with pop-up shops. Visit these five wonderlands for the perfect holiday outings.
The grassy area in the center of the city that holds summer concerts and movies is transformed into an icy paradise. Bring the entire family ice-skating under the lights of Detroit’s 60-foot Norwegian Spruce tree. The rink is open every day with hours varying throughout the season, and runs until March 4. If you do not have your own skates, you can rent a pair for $4. Group sales options are also available.
Santa makes special stops to see all the good little boys and girls at the One Campus Martius building. Come take a picture with Santa Thursday or Friday from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. or Saturday or Sunday from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. He will be at Campus Martius until he heads back to the North Pole, December 23.
After you twirl around the rink, head over to the Lodge at Cadillac Square to warm up with a hot chocolate, local craft beer, or a tasty snack. Relax in the rustic atmosphere with a giant game of Jenga as you watch holiday movies on the surrounding TVs.
Once you can feel your fingers again, head to the local pop-up shops aligning the Square where you can find hand-crafted jewelry, Detroit themed apparel, baked goods, and much more. End your trip with a horse-drawn carriage ride around the city as you admire the holiday lights mixed with the architecture. Before you plan your visit, learn more about official hours for the lodge, shops and carriage rides.
Eastern Market is not only for warm summer days and colorful flowers. Come with the family to choose the perfect Holiday tree to decorate. Shop local and support nonprofits as you find the perfect gifts for family and friends. Over 30 local artists and vendors are selling their work at the indoor market.
The Holiday Market is open Sunday December 17 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday December 19 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Broadway in Detroit
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has many holiday themed performances for everyone. Watch Macaulay Culkin perform on the big screen to an orchestra score of the holiday classic with Home Alone in Concert on December 13. For a more traditional holiday feel, check out the Home for the Holidays series with multiple performances the weekend of December 15 – 17. Visit the DSO calendar for the full list of holiday performances!
Support local students from Wayne State as they perform the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. There are multiple show times December 15 – 17. Local talent will perform the 75-minute show at the Bonstelle Theatre. Free parking is available adjacent to the theater.
Buddy the Elf will be making his way through the Candy Cane Forest to the Fox Theater for performances running from December 20 – 24. Based on the Will Ferrell and Zoey Deschanel movie, Elf, is a family friendly musical that will fill you with holiday cheer.
Through the winter months, Beacon Park is featuring many different holiday light displays, but that is not all they offer. Throughout December they are hosting a myriad of events for everyone.
For those over 21, sample some winter themed beverages on December 15 at the Detroit Beer and Wine Festival: Winter Edition. The indoor/outdoor festival offers different sampling options from local breweries, and includes live entertainment. This all takes place in the new heated pavilion. There are many ticket options that offer samples, a commemorative pint glass, and a keepsake photo.
Cheer on the Lions vs. the Chicago Bears at the Family Friendly Tailgate December 16, from 1:30 pm. – 4:30 p.m. Bring the kids before kickoff and enjoy giant classic games, like Jenga and Connect Four. Grab a picture with Santa before heading to Ford Field. Santa will be making a special visit to the park December 16 from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. and December 17 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Whether you are a holiday lover or an Ebenezer Scrooge, Detroit has the holiday events for you. With all of these options, grab friends and family and begin enjoying these wonderful activities. Please comment below about your holiday festivities in Detroit! Happy Holidays!