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 2017 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 holiday displays and tree lightings that are 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 – from Detroit to Milford to Ann Arbor and beyond.

The Big Holiday Reveal in Milford

Nov. 16, 2017

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

Local kids “unwrap” all the storefronts to reveal their holiday displays. Come downtown for the fun – and come back for the festive deals. Displays remain up through the holiday season.

Wayne County Lightfest

Nov. 16-Dec. 31, 2017 (closed Dec. 25)

  • Address: 7651 Merriman Road, Westland
  • Times: 7-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 6-10 p.m. Saturdays-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 on select days provide even more Christmas magic. Don’t forget to bring your letters to Santa; you can mail them outside of Santa’s Workshop.

Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting at Campus Martius in Detroit

Nov. 17, 2017

  • Address: Campus Martius Park, 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 5 p.m. Friday
  • Cost: Free/admission, fees apply for some activities
  • Phone: 313-963-9393

Visit Campus Martius Park for Detroit’s 14th annual signature tree lighting event. This event kicks off the opening of the skating rink for the 2017-18 season.

Wyandotte Tree Lighting

Nov. 17, 2017

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

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

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Nov. 18-19 and 24-26, Dec. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23 and 26-31, 2017

  • Address: 8540 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Time: 5:30- 9 p.m.
  • Cost: $10-$16, $7/parking
  • Phone: 248-541-5717

Five million lights shine bright at the Detroit Zoo for 24 days this holiday season. LED lights illuminate trees and building, plus there’s 200 illuminated animal sculptures scattered throughout the zoo.

Festival of Trees in Dearborn

Nov. 19-26, 2017 (Closed Thanksgiving Day)

  • Address: Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Times: 2-7 p.m. Opening Day, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday, 1- a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: $5/adults, $3/kids, free/under age 2
  • Phone: 248-336-2331

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

Tree Lighting and Singalong in Dearborn

Nov. 20, 2017

  • Address: Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Time: 5:45-9 p.m. Monday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 313-943-2285

Take part in a holiday singalong, visit Santa and watch the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree.

The Big Bright Light Show, Rochester

Nov. 20, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018

  • 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. 20 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 Walk at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester

Nov. 24-Dec. 23, 2017

  • 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, $7.50/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!

Holly Dickens Festival

Nov. 24-26, Dec. 2-3 and 9-10, 2017

  • Address: Downtown Holly
  • Times: 7:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-431-1894

Holly Dickens Festival celebrates its 44th year! The England from the days of yore comes to life Charles Dickens-style with horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling and old-fashioned games.

Tree Lighting in Ferndale

Nov. 25, 2017

  • Address: downtown Ferndale area
  • Cost: Free
  • Time: 6 p.m. Saturday
  • Phone: 248-546-1632

Kick off the holiday season with style with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree on Woodward in fashionable Ferndale.

Kerrytown Market & Shops Tree Lighting Festival in Ann Arbor

Nov. 26, 2017

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

Kerrytown kicks off the season with annual flair in its courtyard, complete with Christmas carolers led by Pioneer High School choir members and candle luminaries – and Santa will be there to light the tree.

Holiday Tree Lighting in Madison Heights

Nov. 27, 2017

  • Address: Civic Center Plaza, City Hall, 300 W. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights
  • Time: 6:30 p.m. Monday
  • 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, too.

Saline Tree Lighting Ceremony

Nov. 28, 2017

  • Address: Key Bank, 100 W. Michigan Ave., Saline
  • Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 734-429-4494

This festive community event kicks off the holiday season with a tree lighting, music and refreshments.

Waterford Tree Lighting and Santa Celebration

Nov. 28, 2017

  • Address: Waterford Town Hall, 5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford
  • Time: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-674-3111

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

Tree Lighting and Afterglow in Macomb Township

Nov. 29, 2017

  • Address: Macomb Township Recreation Center, 20699 Macomb St., Macomb Township
  • Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 586-992-2900

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

Tree Lighting Ceremony in Royal Oak

Nov. 30, 2017

  • Address: City Hall, 211 S. Williams St., Royal Oak
  • Time: 6:15 p.m. Thursday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-246-3276

This community shebang kicks off with refreshments and music by the Royal Oak Salvation Army band.Santa lights the tree and then sticks around to visit after the ceremony. Also includes the Holiday Magic Marketplace and goodies like cocoa, coffee and candy canes (event takes place at the Royal Oak Farmers Market).

Birmingham Tree Lighting & Santa House

Dec. 1 (tree lighting)- Dec. 24, 2017 (Santa House) 

  • Address: Shain Park and Birmingham Principal Shopping District, Bates Street between Martin and Merrill streets
  • Time: 6 p.m. tree lighting, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
  • Cost: Free/tree lighting, $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.

Christmas Aglow Tree Lighting in Shelby Township

Dec. 7, 2017

  • Address: Shelby Township Municipal Grounds, 52700 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township
  • Time: 7 p.m. Thursday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 586-731-0300

Join the community in singing Christmas carols plus enjoy a marshmallow roast, horse-drawn wagon rides, a kids craft area and more. After he lights the tree, Santa and Mrs. Claus meets kids.

Tree Lighting in Woodhaven

Dec. 1, 2017

  • Address: Woodhaven Community Center, 23101 Hall Road, Woodhaven
  • Time: 6 p.m. Friday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 734-675-4926

Kick it all off with a parade led by the Woodhaven Marching Band, starting at the fire department over to the Woodhaven Community Center. There will be plenty of activities and other fun for kids throughout the evening, too. Then, welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus and stick around for the fireworks display. Parents, don’t forget your camera for pictures with Santa!

Light Up the Night in Novi

Dec. 1, 2017

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

Indoor and outdoor activities abound, including seasonal entertainment, kids’ activities, ice sculptures, marshmallow roasting, a petting farm, a craft show and, of course, Santa and the tree lighting event.

Auburn Hills Tree Lighting

Dec. 1, 2017

  • Address: Downtown Auburn Hills
  • Time: 6-9 p.m. Friday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-370-9400

Even Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for this annual community tradition. Write a letter to Santa and bring it to mail to the North Pole. Or swing by for horse-drawn carriage rides and hot cocoa.

Tree Lighting Ceremony in Chesterfield Township

Dec. 1, 2017

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

Swing by to see Santa and his reindeer, take part in a free arts and crafts project at the Senior Center, listen to and sing along to Christmas carols, check out the ice sculptures on display and enjoy free coffee, hot chocolate and snacks.

Wixom Tree Lighting

Dec. 1-2, 2017

  • Address: Wixom Community Center, 49015 Pontiac Trail, Wixom
  • Time: 5-10 p.m. Friday, noon-10 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-624-2850

The city lights up for the holiday season – starting with a celebration featuring a visit from Santa and his reindeer. Bring the whole family to this event, which includes refreshments. Also check out the annual Holiday Markt on Dec. 1-2, featuring traditional crafts, art and holiday greens.

Heritage Holidays at Wolcott Mill Historic Center in Ray Township

Dec. 1-2, 8-9 and 15-16, 2017

  • Address: Wolcott Mill Historic Center, 64162 Kunstman Road, Ray Township
  • Times: 6-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays
  • Cost: $5/person; $10/vehicle entry fee
  • Phone: 586-749-5997

Make old-fashioned crafts, check out historic displays 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. 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 26-27 and 29-30, 2017

  • Address: Greenfield Village, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Times: 6:30-10 p.m.
  • Cost: $26/adults, $23.50/seniors, $19.50/ages 3-11, free/kids 2 and under, $6/parking; less for members
  • Phone: 313-982-6001

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

Noel Night in Midtown Detroit

Dec. 2, 2017

  • Address: Midtown Detroit featuring about 70 cultural institutions
  • Time: 5-10 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 313-420-6000

Detroit’s art museums, science institutions and other cultural centers collaborate for the 45th annual, including 200-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.

Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony in Wayne

Dec. 2, 2017

  • Address: Wayne Historical Museum, 1 Towne Square St., Wayne
  • Time: 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 734-722-2001

Come see the tree lighting and take pictures with Santa. Enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, a petting farm and holiday music from the Wayne Memorial High School marching band and choir.

Christmas Aglow in Clinton Township

Dec. 2, 2017

  • Address: Clinton Township Gazebo and Civic Center grounds, 40700 Romeo Plank Road, Clinton Township
  • Time: 6 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free; non-perishable food item donations appreciated
  • Phone: 586-286-8000

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.

Orion Christmas Lighted Parade, Lake Orion

Dec. 2, 2017

  • Address: Downtown Lake Orion
  • Time: 6 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-693-9742

This community tradition features more than 75 entries each year including dance groups, marching bands and more. Santa will make a special appearance at Village Hall after.

Trenton Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony

Dec. 2, 2017

  • Address: Downtown Trenton; lighting at the clock tower at West Road and West Jefferson Avenue
  • Time: 6 p.m. parade; tree lighting at parade’s conclusion Saturday
  • 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 at Trenton City Hall.

Tree Lighting Event in Canton

Dec. 6, 2017

  • Address: Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton
  • Time: 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • Cost: Free
  • 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. 8, 2017

  • Address: Civic Center Campus area, Troy
  • Time: 6:30-9 p.m. Friday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-524-3484

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

Family Holiday Fest & Mill Lighting

Dec. 9, 2017

  • Address: Nankin Mills Interpretive Center, 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland
  • Time: 4-6 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $4-$6
  • 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. 16, 2017

  • Address: Downtown Clarkston
  • Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: Free
  • Phone: 248-625-1559

Check out the Holiday Lights Parade and after watch the tree light up for the holiday season.

Chanukah Wonderland in West Bloomfield

Dec. 13-14 and 17-18, 2017

  • Address: Orchard Mall, northwest corner of Orchard and Maple roads, West Bloomfield
  • Time: noon-6p.m. Sunday, 3-6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday
  • Cost: $5/donation
  • Phone: 248-207-5513

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

Menorah in the D in Detroit

Dec. 12, 2017

  • Address: Campus Martius, 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 5:30 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 (6 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 originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly.