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Holiday Displays and Tree Lightings in Southeast Michigan

'Tis the season for family fun! Gather the kids and head to these 2013 holiday events in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties to make it merry.

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Tree Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Open House, Lake Orion

Dec. 7, 2013

  • Address: downtown Lake Orion
  • Time: 5 p.m. tree lighting kickoff
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 248-693-9742

You'll find caroling, hot chocolate, Mrs. Claus and a big community tree decorated with ornaments that are made by local kids.

Tree Lighting Ceremony, Chesterfield Township

Dec. 7, 2013

  • Address: Township offices grounds, 47275 Sugarbush Road, Chesterfield Township
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 586-949-0400

Swing by for Christmas caroling, Santa's arrival by fire truck and a holiday craft project. Cookies and cocoa are available at the Weller School (in the Historical Village). Plus, enjoy vocal performances by area school and Scout groups. Note: Kids must be in line by 7:30 p.m. to visit Santa!

Holiday Lights Parade, Berkley

Dec. 7, 2013

  • Address: gazebo at City Hall, 3338 Coolidge Highway, Berkley
  • Time: about 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 248-658-3300

It's a full Saturday of fun, with horse-drawn carriage rides, free trolley (1:30-4:30 p.m.) and a petting zoo (both 2-5 p.m.) and parade at 12 Mile Road and Bacon Avenue (5:30 p.m.). The tree lighting happens right after the parade – along with Dinner at Farina's (reservations required at 248-546-7800) and evening horse-drawn carriage rides.

Gibraltar Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting & Kids Christmas Party

Dec. 7, 2013

  • Address: Gibraltar Community Center, 29340 S. Gibraltar Road, Rockwood and city hall, 29450 Munro St., Rockwood
  • Time: 5:30 p.m. parade, followed by lighting and party
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 734-671-1466

The city hosts Santa, a petting form, kids crafts, a food vendor, kettle corn, face painting, a balloon maker and a few crafters outdoors – as well as cookies and hot cocoa inside (a kids' craft, too) at this event that also features a parade and holiday tree lighting.

Trenton Light the Night Santa Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony

Dec. 7, 2013

  • Address: downtown Trenton; lighting at the clock tower at West Road and West Jefferson Avenue
  • Time: 6 p.m. parade, 6:30/7p.m. tree lighting (at parade's conclusion)
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 734-675-7300

Kick off the season downriver-style with this annual event. The streets are aglow with handheld candles, and the tree lighting tops off the fun. Don't miss the afterglow and awards.

Noel Night, Midtown Detroit

Dec. 7, 2013

  • Address: Midtown Detroit, up to 70 cultural institutions
  • Time: 5-10 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 313-420-6000

Detroit's art museums, science institutions and other cultural centers collaborate for the 41st annual, including 120-plus local theater, music and dance groups, horse-drawn carriage rides and entertaining crafts. A traditional community sing-along led by the Salvation Army Band ends the night.

Jaycees Tree Lighting, Farmington

Dec. 7, 2013

  • Address: Gov. Warner Mansion, 33805 Grand River Ave., Farmington
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 248-474-5500

Swing by for this annual community family-friendly event. The house, which is decorated for Christmas, also will be open from 5 to 7 p.m.

Holly Days, Farmington

Dec. 7, 2013

  • Address: downtown Farmington
  • Times: event times vary; tree lighting is at 5:30 p.m. (see previous listing)
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 248-473-7276

Farmington is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with its own North Pole at Sundquist Pavilion (33113 Grand River Ave.). Swing by, at various times, for ice carving demonstrations, Santa snapshots, Santa's workshop, a kids holiday craft area, free gift wrapping, stories and cookies with Mrs. Claus, free holiday movies and shows at the Farmington Civic Theatre (33332 Grand River Ave.) – and, of course, the Farmington Area Jaycees Holiday Tree Lighting, happening at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 7 at the Gov. Warner Mansion (33805 Grand River Ave.).

Tree Lighting and Sing-Along, Dearborn

Dec. 9, 2013

  • Address: Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Time: 6-9:30 p.m.; Tree lighting at 6:35 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 313-943-2285

Santa always shows up at this community event. The Dearborn Big Band will be performing. Anyone who attends is also welcome to visit the Festival of Trees for free this night. Light refreshments are served, too.

Holiday Ice & The Saucy Social, Ferndale

Dec. 14, 2013

  • Address: downtown Ferndale
  • Times: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 248-546-1632

Find 50 "sub-zero super hero" ice sculptures on display, plus free photos with Santa at Schiffer Park (10-11:30 a.m. and 2-4 p.m.), live reindeer (11 a.m.-4 p.m.), free trolley rides (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) and lunch with Santa at Buffalo Wild Wings (noon-1:30 p.m.).

Family Holiday Fest & Tree Lighting

Dec. 14, 2013

  • Address: Nankin Mills Interpretive Center, 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland
  • Time: 3:30-6 p.m.
  • Cost: crafts and games: $6/child, $2/adults, free/3 and under; free/Santa visit and tree lighting
  • Phone: 734-261-1990

The 26th year of old-time activities and fun events includes the favorite "Fruitcake Bowling," "Reindeer Antler Toss" and "Pin the Nose on Rudolph" games. Kids also can participate in a sing-along, decorate their own tree and tell Santa what they want most for Christmas. Followed, of course, by a tree lighting.

Holiday Lights Night, Clarkston

Dec. 14, 2013

  • Address: downtown Clarkston
  • Time: starts at 6 p.m.; tree lighting about 7 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 248-625-8055

Check out the Holiday Lights Parade at 6 p.m.; then hoof it to Deport Park. Here, Santa reads a story and lights the tree. Kids can give him their wish lists, see live reindeer, make a s'more and have some hot chocolate, too.

Kwanzaa Celebration, Wright Museum, Detroit

Dec. 26-29, 2013

  • Address: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Times: call ahead for times
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 313-494-5800

Join the museum to celebrate this holiday's rich cultural heritage with storytelling, crafts, a Kwanzaa marketplace and traditional African dance and fashion shows.

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