November Family Fun Fairs & Festivals in Southeast Michigan

Thanksgiving is right around the bend. Kick off the 2015 holiday season with these events for kids and families in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties.

November Family Fun and Festivals

This month, visions of turkey, football and parades are dancing in many metro Detroit parents’ heads (not to mention that delicious hour of sleep we gain when we “fall back” in the wee hours of Sunday, Nov. 1!). And small wonder, too. November is a season rife with tradition and family fun here in southeast Michigan. From stage shows and nature fun to festive trees and several parades (including the Nov. 26 show stopper on Woodward Avenue in Detroit), here’s a little list of kid-pleasing delights sure to create a few memories this season.


Day of the Dead Celebration in Southwest Detroit

Nov. 1-2, 2015

  • Address: Near the Southwest Detroit Business Association, 7752 Vernor Highway, Detroit
  • Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Monday
  • Phone: 313-842-0986
  • Cost: free

The exploration of this holiday continues. Kids can learn about Dia de los Muertos through a self-guided family tour of ofrendas, or altars honoring deceased loved ones, in the Mexicantown area. Head back out on Nov. 7 for the 5k Run of the Dead.

Classic Cartoon Festival at the Redford Theatre

Nov. 14, 2015

  • Address: Redford Theatre, 17360 Lahser Road, Detroit
  • Time: 2 and 8 p.m.
  • Phone: 313-537-2560
  • Cost: $5

See some of your favorite classic cartoons like Bugs Bunny, Tom and Jerry and Mr. Magoo, on the big screen once again.

Holiday Lighted Parade in Northville

Nov. 20, 2015

  • Address: downtown area
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. step off Friday
  • Phone: 248-349-7640
  • Cost: free

Twinkling lights are not only on the streets but also in them at this downtown Northville community favorite. This year’s theme is “Dreaming of a White Christmas.” Line up on Cady, Wing, North and Linden Streets for the best views.

Thanksgiving for Nature at the Farmington Hills Nature Center

Nov. 21, 2015

  • Address: 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 1-3 p.m. Saturday
  • Phone: 248-477-1135
  • Cost: $5/per person, $15/family of four

Families can take a self-guided scavenger hunt – then listen to stories, play games and enjoy a campfire.

Canton International Festival at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill

Nov. 21, 2015

  • Address: Village Theater at Cherry Hill, 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton.
  • Time: 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
  • Phone: 734-394-5300
  • Cost: $2

Experience different cultures with displays in music, art, drama and dance. There’s cultural food and sweets for sale, too.

Downtown Rochester Festival of Trees at Rochester Community House

Nov. 21-22, 2015

  • Address: 816 Ludlow Ave., Rochester
  • Phone: 248-656-0060
  • Time: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; cocktail preview for adults on Friday, Nov. 20: 7 p.m.
  • Cost: $5/person, free/ages 10 and under; $50/adult cocktail preview

Explore a variety of festively decorated 4-foot-tall trees, plus enjoy live entertainment, kids activities and Santa visits.


Holiday Magic Parade in Royal Oak

Nov. 22, 2015

  • Address: Starts at Lincoln and Washington streets, downtown Royal Oak
  • Time: 2-3 p.m./parade; 3-5 p.m. Santa meets with kids
  • Phone: 248-246-3180
  • Cost: free

This tradition features more than 80 units, from marching bands and floats to circus floats for year 14. There’s also a chance to donate toys to kids in need and meet Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Festival of Trees at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

Nov. 22-Nov. 29, 2015

  • Address: 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Times: 2-7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, closed Thursday (Thanksgiving), 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Phone: 248-336-2331
  • Cost: $5/adults, $3/kids, free/under 2

Get in the seasonal spirit with professionally decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses, plus Santa and kids activities. It all supports the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation.

Birmingham Tree Lighting in Shain Park

Nov. 25, 2015

  • Address: Shain Park, Merrill Street, downtown area, Birmingham
  • Times: 6 p.m. Wednesday
  • Phone: 248-530-1200
  • Cost: free/general admission, $5/photo with Santa

You’ll be stunned when they flip the switch on this 35-foot blue spruce and all of the decorations and 40,000 LED lights turn on to ring in the holidays.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade

Nov. 26, 2015

  • Address: Kirby and Woodward Avenue to Congress Street, Detroit
  • Time: 8:50 a.m./step off, 10 a.m.-noon/TV time Thursday
  • Phone: 313-923-7400
  • Cost: free/general, $35-$60/grandstand seating (must secure in advance; act early, as it sells out fast!)

For its 89th romp, this big-time Detroit tradition features a procession of floats, balloons, Big Head Corps and, of course, Santa on Woodward Avenue. Catch it live on WDIV-Local 4, too.

Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade

Nov. 27, 2015

  • Address: Kercheval Avenue from Lewiston to Cadieux roads
  • Time: 10 a.m. Friday
  • Phone: 313-881-4722
  • Cost: free

It’s a local tradition, now 40 years strong, that brings the community together with floats, balloons and tons of fun, all themed to “A Storybook Christmas.”

Holly Dickens Festival

Nov. 27-29, Dec. 5-6, and 12-13, 2015

  • Address: Downtown area, Holly
  • Time: 6 p.m. (7:30 p.m./lighted parade) Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays
  • Phone: 248-431-1894
  • Cost: free

Inspired by the Charles Dickens classic tale A Christmas Carol, this 42nd annual festival revels in the writer’s era, compete with four stages of entertainment, festive food and more – even Scrooge himself.

The Wizard of Oz at the Encore Musical Theatre Company in Dexter

Nov. 27-Dec. 23, 2015

  • Address: 3126 Broad St., Suite A, Dexter
  • Time: 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays
  • Phone: 734-268-6200
  • Cost: $32/adults, $30/seniors/Encore members, $28/groups of 10-plus and under age 17

You know the classic flick, but have you ever seen it performed live on stage? Here’s your chance! There is also a 7 p.m. show on Wednesday, Dec. 23.

This article was originally published in November 2012 and has been updated for 2015.

Photo by Terry L. Connell


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