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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 2014 holiday events in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

The holiday season is here. Add a new tradition or carry on an old one with your family in November and December by heading out to one of these fun events sure to illuminate the spirit. Metro Parent has gathered a list of some of the most merry and bright tree and menorah lightings, along with lots of other joyful jollies here in southeast Michigan.

The Big Holiday Reveal in Milford

Nov. 20, 2014

  • Address: Downtown Milford
  • Time: 6:30-8 p.m. Nov. 20
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-684-9719

Local kids "unwrap" all the storefronts on Nov. 20 to reveal their holiday displays. Come downtown for the fun – and come back for the festive deals. Displays remain up through the holiday season. Check out the Huron Valley Annual Holiday Parade at 10 a.m. Nov. 29, too.

Wayne County Lightfest

Nov. 20-Dec. 31, 2014 (closed Dec. 25)

  • Address: 7651 Merriman Road, Westland
  • Times: 7-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays
  • Cost: $5/car (Toy Night Tuesdays are Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9 and 16: Families are asked to bring a new unwrapped toy in lieu of the $5/car fee; toys will be donated to the Wayne County Family Center)
  • Phone: 734-261-1990

Four miles of twinkling lights are ready for you to drive through! The grand opening is Nov. 20; then, visit until New Year's Eve. Pictures with Santa and concessions (Nov. 26-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.

Wyandotte Tree Lighting

Nov. 21, 2014

  • Address: Downtown Wyandotte, Biddle Avenue
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 734-324-4502

Music and merriment await you and your family as this city lights up its Christmas tree.

Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting at Campus Martius in Detroit

Nov. 21, 2014

  • Address: Campus Martius Park, 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 5 p.m.-midnight
  • Cost: Free; $6-$7/skating, $3/skate rental
  • Phone: 313-963-9393

Visit Campus Martius Park for Detroit's 11th annual signature tree lighting event. This event kicks off the opening of the skating rink for the 2014-15 season.

Holiday Hoof, FestivALE and Tree Lighting in Ferndale

Nov. 22, 2014

  • Address: West Troy Street, downtown Ferndale
  • Cost: Free
  • Time: Noon-midnight
  • Phone: 248-546-1632

There's a big tree lighting (7:30 p.m.) – but that's not all! Swing by the FestivALE at One Eyed Betty's (noon-midnight) for family-friendly music, cold-weather comfort food, street performers and 30 pinball machines, all in a tented area (and, of course, beer for parents). There's also the Holiday Hoof, featuring an obstacle run (about four miles, 5:30 p.m.) and fun walk for kids ages 10 and under (about 2 miles; 5:30 p.m.).

Festival of Trees in Dearborn

Nov. 23-30, 2014

  • Address: Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Times: 2-7 p.m. Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 24-25, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Nov. 26, closed Nov. 27, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 28-29, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 30
  • Cost: $5/adults, $3/kids, free/under 2
  • Phone: 248-336-2331

Check out the enormous public display and sale of trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, Christmas stockings, gifts and more.

The Big Bright Light Show, Rochester

Nov. 23, 2014-Jan. 4, 2015

  • Address: downtown Rochester, Main Street from South Bridge to Romeo Road and Fourth Street from Walnut to Water streets
  • Time: 7 p.m. Nov. 23; then buildings illuminated 5 p.m.-midnight Nov. 25-Jan. 4
  • 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. 23 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.

Holiday Tree Lighting in Madison Heights

Nov. 24, 2014

  • Address: Civic Center Plaza, City Hall, 300 W. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-588-1200

Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrive to power up the lovely lights – and the mayor personally hands Santa the key to the city. Hot chocolate and holiday cookies are served.

Birmingham Tree Lighting & Santa House

Nov. 26, 2014 (lighting)
Nov. 26-Dec. 24, 2014 (Santa House, Fridays-Sundays)

  • Address: Shain Park and Birmingham Principal Shopping District, Bates Street between Martin and Merrill streets
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-530-1200

Visit Birmingham's Shain Park Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. for a tree lighting spectacle. On weekends, kids also can visit the Santa House – all the way 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. 28-Dec. 23, 2014

  • 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 Dec. 6, 7, 13 and 14; check out the calendar listing (click the link above) for details. Reserve your spot sooner than later!

Holly Dickens Festival

Nov. 28-30, Dec. 6-7 and 13-14, 2014

  • Address: Downtown Holly
  • Times: 7 p.m. Friday, 1-8 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-328-8191

Holly Dickens Festival celebrates its 41st year! The England from the days of yore comes to life Charles Dickens-style with horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling and old-fashioned games. The festival kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday with a tree lighting and holiday parade.

Holiday Tree Lighting, Singalong and Bonfire in Taylor

Nov. 29, 2014

  • Address: Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Garden, 22314 Northline Road, Taylor
  • Time: 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 888-383-4108

This nature spot lights up the holiday season with an old-fashioned ceremony featuring a 20-foot Christmas tree under the conservatory dome. Refreshments and cookies provided. Nearby Heritage Park also is officially lit up tonight.

Kerrytown Market & Shops Tree Lighting in Ann Arbor

Nov. 30, 2014

  • Address: 407 N. Fifth Ave. at Kingsley Street, Ann Arbor
  • Time: 5-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 734-662-5008

Kerrytown kicks off the season with annual flair in its courtyard, complete with Christmas carolers and candle luminaries – and Santa will be there to light the tree.

Waterford Tree Lighting and Santa Celebration

Dec. 2, 2014

  • Address: Waterford Town Hall, 5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford
  • Time: 6-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-674-5441

Visit for crafts, a chance to visit Santa, a Christmas singalong, food concessions and more at this 28th annual event.

Livonia City Tree Lighting & Caroling Ceremony

Dec. 2, 2014

  • Address: South side of Livonia City Hall, 33000 Civic Center Drive, Livonia
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • 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 (refreshments are at the nearby Civic Center Library).

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Wayne

Dec. 2, 2014

  • Address: Wayne Historical Museum, 1 Towne Square St., Wayne
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 734-721-7400

Come see the tree lighting and take pictures with Santa. Enjoy cookies and hot cocoa and holiday music from the St. Mary Catholic Church Youth Choir.

Tree Lighting and Afterglow in Macomb Township

Dec. 3, 2014

  • Address: Township Hall, 54111 Broughton Road, Macomb Township
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 586-992-2900

Head to Macomb Township for this 10th annual holiday happening, complete with crafts, Santa, holiday dance performances and refreshments at multiple stations.

City of Troy Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Dec. 3, 2014

  • Address: Veterans Plaza, City Hall, 500 W. Big Beaver Road, Troy
  • Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 248-524-3392

Kids are invited to visit with Santa Claus after he lights up the city tree. Then, the Athens High School Choirs (Magic! and Concert Choir) lead the caroling. Enjoy hot cocoa and holiday sweets, too. Sponsored by Genisys Credit Union.

Tree Lighting Event in Canton

Dec. 3, 2014

  • Address: Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton
  • Time: 6-8:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $5/family
  • Phone: 734-394-5460

Kick off the holiday season at this 36th annual township event including indoor and outdoor festivities, seasonal entertainment, refreshments and visits with Santa. The actual lighting occurs at 6:30 p.m.

Christmas Aglow Tree Lighting in Shelby Township

Dec. 4, 2014

  • Address: Shelby Township Municipal Grounds, 52700 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township
  • Time: 7 p.m. (lighting around 7:15/7:30 p.m.)
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 586-731-0300

The Eisenhower High School choir and band lead the community in Christmas carols. Plus a marshmallow roast, horse-drawn carriage rides and kids craft area. Meet Olaf the snowman too. And after he lights the tree, Santa meets kids over in Historic Hope Chapel.

Tree Lighting Ceremony in Royal Oak

Dec. 4, 2014

  • Address: Near Royal Oak Farmers Market, 316 E. 11 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Time: 6:15-8:50 p.m. (7 p.m. tree lighting)
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-246-3280

This 33rd annual community shebang kicks off with refreshments at 6:15 p.m. and caroling lead by Stagecrafters and the Royal Oak Salvation Army Band. Then, hear the city's children's choir at about 6:30 p.m., followed by the tree lighting at 7 p.m. – and Santa sticks around to visit after the ceremony. Also includes the Holiday Magic Marketplace (4-8 p.m.) and goodies like cocoa, hot dogs coffee and candy canes.

Wixom Tree Lighting

Dec. 5, 2014

  • Address: Wixom Community Center, 49015 Pontiac Trail, Wixom
  • Time: 6:15-8 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-624-2850

City hall lights up for the holiday season and starts with a celebration featuring a visit from Santa and his reindeer. Bring the whole family to this event, which includes free refreshments.

Light Up the Night in Novi

Dec. 5, 2014

  • Address: Novi Civic Center, 45175 W. 10 Mile Road, Novi
  • Time: 6-9 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-347-0400

Indoor and outdoor activities abound, including seasonal entertainment, kids' activities, ice carving, marshmallow roasting, a craft show and, of course, Santa and the tree lighting event (6:15 p.m.). Visit the nearby library, too, for a magic show, crafts and activities – and ride the children's train behind the civic center.

Auburn Hills Tree Lighting

Dec. 5, 2014

  • Address: MOMS' World War II Memorial at Auburn and Squirrel roads, downtown Auburn Hills
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-370-9400

Even Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for this 21st annual community tradition. Write a letter to Santa and bring it to mail to the North Pole. Or swing by for horse-drawn wagon rides or s'mores and holiday crafts.

Saline Tree Lighting Ceremony

Dec. 5, 2014

  • Address: Key Bank, 100 W. Michigan Ave., Saline
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 734-429-4494

This festive community event kicks off the holiday season with a tree lighting, a few Christmas carols and cups of hot chocolate.

Heritage Holidays at Wolcott Mill Historic Center in Ray Township

Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 2014

  • Address: Wolcott Mill Historic Center, 65775 Wolcott Road, Ray Township
  • Times: 6-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
  • Cost: $5/person; $5/vehicle entry fee
  • Phone: 586-749-5997

Make old-fashioned crafts, check out historic displays from the 1840s to 1960s and take the kids for a visit with Santa that will wrap them in the holiday spirit. Bring a blanket and enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride, too (weather permitting).

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

Dec. 5-7, 12-14, 18-23, 26-27, 2014

  • Address: Greenfield Village, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Times: 6:30-10 p.m.
  • Cost: $22/adults ages 13-plus, $16/kids ages 5-12, free/ages 4 and under (less for members; more if you add-on Holiday Dining in Eagle Tavern)
  • Phone: 313-982-6001

Walk the candle-lit village streets to see costumed characters, live entertainment, shops decked out for the holidays and Santa with his sleigh and reindeer. Plus take a Model T ride, go ice skating and watch the marvelous fireworks display.

Tree Lighting Ceremony in Chesterfield Township

Dec. 5, 2014

  • Address: Township offices grounds, 47275 Sugarbush Road, Chesterfield Township
  • Time: 6:30
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 586-949-0400

Swing by for Christmas caroling, Santa's arrival by fire truck and a holiday craft project. Cookies 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 8:30 p.m. to visit Santa!

Christmas Aglow in Clinton Township

Dec. 6, 2014

  • Address: Clinton Township Civic Center grounds, 40700 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free; non-perishable food item donations appreciated
  • Phone: 586-286-9336

Watch the decorations fill the grounds with light, visit with Santa, take a horse-drawn trolley ride, view ice sculptures, enjoy light refreshments and more. Dress for weather; most happens outside.

Holiday Lights Parade in Berkley

Dec. 6, 2014

  • Address: Gazebo at City Hall, 3338 Coolidge Highway, Berkley
  • Time: Parade: 5:30 p.m.; tree lighting to follow parade
  • Cost: Free/most activities
  • Phone: 248-658-3300

This lighting is part of the Hometown Holidays event. It's a full Saturday of fun, with a petting zoo (2-5 p.m.), free vintage trolley rides (1-5 p.m.) and parade at 12 Mile Road and Bacon Avenue. The tree lighting happens right after the parade – along with evening horse-drawn carriage rides (after the parade, small fee applies).

Gibraltar Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting & Kids Christmas Party

Dec. 6, 2014

  • 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; some specific events may have a cost
  • 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 Parade and Tree Lighting

Dec. 6, 2014

  • 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 in Midtown Detroit

Dec. 6, 2014

  • Address: Midtown Detroit featuring about 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 42nd annual, including 120-plus local theater, music and dance groups, horse-drawn carriage rides and entertaining crafts. A traditional community singalong led by the Salvation Army Band ends the night.

Holly Days & Light Up The Grand at A Holiday Lighted Parade in Farmington

Dec. 6, 2014

  • Address: Gov. Warner Mansion, 33805 Grand River Ave., Farmington and downtown area
  • Time: Holly Days: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; parade at 5 p.m.; tree lighting at conclusion of the parade
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-474-5500

Swing by for this annual community family-friendly event. The house, which is decorated for Christmas, is also open for you to visit.

Tree Lighting and Singalong in Dearborn

Dec. 8, 2014

  • 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. Light refreshments are served, too.

Holiday Ice Festival in Ferndale

Dec. 13, 2014

  • Address: West Nine Mile Road plus Planavon Street, downtown Ferndale.
  • Times: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-546-1632

Find 50 "wild things" 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 hay rides (11 a.m.-6 p.m.) and lunch with Santa at Buffalo Wild Wings (noon-1:30 p.m.).

Holiday Lights Parade and Tree Lighting in Clarkston

Dec. 13, 2014

  • 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 s'mores and have some hot chocolate, too.

Family Holiday Fest & Tree Lighting

Dec. 13, 2014

  • Address: Nankin Mills Interpretive Center, 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland
  • Time: 3:30-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Crafts and games: $6-$7/kids, $2-3/adults, free/3 and under; free/Santa visit and tree lighting
  • Phone: 734-261-1990

Kids can enjoy activities and holiday games like "fruitcake bowling" and "reindeer antler wreath toss," make crafts, join in a sing-along and check out the 27th annual lighting.

Chanukah Family Celebration in West Bloomfield

Dec. 14, 2014

  • Address: Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit, 6600 W. Maple Road, West Bloomfield
  • Time: 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
  • Cost: free
  • Phone: 248-432-5471 (talk to Marilyn)

The free family fun includes games, crafts, balloon animals, traditional Hanukkah treats, entertainment and more.

Menorah in the D in Detroit

Dec. 16, 2014

  • Address: Campus Martius, 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 5:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-788-4000

This fourth annual event features the lighting of the candles on an impressive 24-foot-tall menorah – and loads of free perks, including a hot soup bar, doughnuts, a band performance by Soul Farm Band – even parking (at Two Detroit Center Parking, 160 E. Congress St.).

Kwanzaa Celebration at the Wright Museum in Detroit

Dec. 27-28 & 30, 2014

  • Address: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Times: 6-9 p.m. each day (closed Monday)
  • 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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