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Holiday Displays and Tree Lightings in Southeast Michigan

Holiday Displays and Tree Lightings in Southeast Michigan




It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Pack up the family and head to these 2016 holiday events in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

Wayne County Lightfest

Nov. 17-Dec. 31, 2016 (closed Dec. 25)

  • Address: 7651 Merriman Road, Westland
  • Times: 7-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays
  • Cost: $5/car
  • Phone: 734-261-1990

Four miles of twinkling lights are ready for you to drive through until New Year’s Eve. Pictures with Santa and concessions (Nov. 18-Dec. 23) provide even more Christmas magic. Don’t forget to bring your letters to Santa; you can mail them outside of Santa’s Workshop.

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Nov. 18-20 and 25-27, Dec. 1-4, 8-11, 15-23 and 26-31, 2016

  • Address: 8540 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Time: 5:30- 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $10/advance, $13/at gate
  • Phone: 248-541-5717

Five million lights shine bright at the Detroit Zoo for 29 days this holiday season. LED lights illuminate trees and building, plus there’s 200 illuminated animal sculptures scattered throughout the zoo.

The Big Bright Light Show, Rochester

Nov. 21, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017

  • Address: Downtown Rochester, Main Street from South Bridge to Romeo Road and Fourth Street from Walnut to Water streets
  • Time: 7 p.m. Nov. 21; then buildings illuminated 5 p.m.-midnight Nov. 22-Jan. 1
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-656-0060

Downtown Rochester is decked in 1 million-plus lights, brightening up buildings every evening. It all kicks off Nov. 21 with “Lagniappe” (Creole for “a little something extra”), which includes activities like strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, gifts from merchants, roasted almonds – and, of course, Santa.

Birmingham Santa House
Nov. 23-Dec. 24, 2016 (Santa House, Nov. 23 and Fridays-Sundays)

  • Address: Shain Park and Birmingham Principal Shopping District, Bates Street between Martin and Merrill streets
  • Time: 6 p.m. Wednesday
  • Cost: $5 donation/Santa House
  • Phone: 248-530-1200

Visit Birmingham’s Shain Park Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. for a tree lighting spectacle. On weekends, kids also can visit the Santa House – till Dec. 24. In addition, the family can take an old-fashioned carriage ride during the season.

Holiday Walk at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester

Nov. 25-Dec. 22, 2016

  • Address: Meadow Brook Hall, 480 S. Adams Road, Rochester
  • Time: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; call ahead for evening hours on select dates
  • Cost: $20/adults, $5/ages 17 and under, free/2 and under
  • Phone: 248-364-6200

Fireplaces ablaze, ornament twinkling trees and a live organ playing festive tunes are all part of the annual holiday magic. There are various Santa events, too, on select days. Reserve your spot sooner than later!


Livonia City Tree Lighting & Caroling Ceremony

Dec. 6, 2016

  • Address: South side of Livonia City Hall (33000 Civic Center Drive) and Civic Center Library (32777 Five Mile Road), Livonia
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 734-466-2200

Sing some holiday tunes with the Livonia Civic Chorus, visit Santa, make holiday crafts, watch a magic show and top it off with some hot chocolate and cookies at the library.

Tree Lighting Event in Canton

Dec. 7, 2016

  • Address: Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton
  • Time: 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • Cost: $2.50-$3/residents, $3.50-$4/non-residents,
  • Phone: 734-394-5460

Kick off the holiday season at this annual township event including indoor and outdoor festivities, seasonal entertainment, refreshments and visits with Santa. The actual lighting occurs at 6:30 p.m.

City of Troy Christmas Tree Lighting & Winter Wonderland

Dec. 9, 2016

  • Address: in front of City Hall, downtown Troy
  • Time: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-524-3392

Kids are invited to visit with Santa Claus after he lights up the city tree, enjoy live holiday entertainment and sweet treats, too. Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.

Family Holiday Fest & Mill Lighting

Dec. 10, 2016

  • Address: Nankin Mills Interpretive Center, 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland
  • Time: 4-6 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Holiday fest: $6/kids, $2/adults (add $1 for non-residents), free/3 and under; free/Santa visit and tree lighting
  • Phone: 734-261-1990

Kids can enjoy activities and holiday games (fees apply), then join in a singalong and check out the annual tree lighting with a special visit from St. Nick.

Holiday Lights Parade and Tree Lighting in Clarkston

Dec. 10, 2016

  • Address: Downtown Clarkston
  • Time: 6 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-625-8055

Check out the Holiday Lights Parade at 6 p.m.; then hoof it to Depot Park. Here, Santa will lead the community in a tree lighting ceremony. Kids can give him their wish lists and have some hot chocolate, too.

Chanukah Wonderland in West Bloomfield

Dec. 25-28, 2016

  • Address: Orchard Mall, northwest corner of Orchard and Maple roads, West Bloomfield
  • Time: noon-5:30 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m.-noon and 3-5:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday
  • Cost: $5/donation
  • Phone: 248-207-5513

Activities include an Olive Press Workshop, doughnut baking, a ping a Chanukah mug activity, bounce house, Tot Town and more.

Menorah in the D in Detroit

Dec. 27, 2016

  • Address: Campus Martius, 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 3-8 p.m. Tuesday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-788-4000

This event kicks off with a family festival including a zip line, marshmallow roasting and more. The Menorah Lighting (5 p.m.) features the lighting of the candles on an impressive 26-foot-tall menorah, plus fire jugglers and acrobats. There’s also an after-party at the Cadillac Square Heated Tent.

This post was updated for 2016 by Christina Clark of MetroParent Magazine


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