November Festivals in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Thanksgiving is coming up! Kick off the 2018 holiday season with one of these awesome November festivals in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor.

november festivals in metro detroit and ann arbor

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. 4!). 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. 22 show stopper on Woodward Avenue in Detroit), here’s a little list of kid-pleasing November festivals in metro Detroit and beyond, sure to create a few memories this season.

Canton International Festival 

Nov. 3, 2018 

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

Celebrate different cultures from all over the world through food, dance, music, shopping and more.

East Michigan VegBash 

Nov. 4, 2018 

  • Address: Packard Proving Grounds, 49965 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township
  • Time: noon-5 p.m.
  • Phone: 810-908-9976
  • Cost: $10/person
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Vegans and vegetarians gather to sample a variety of plant-based food, cruelty-free goods and more.

Stars and Stripes Forever Celebration 

Nov. 9, 2018 

  • Address: Costick Center, 28600 W. Eleven Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Phone: 248-473-1800
  • Cost: $8/advance, $10/at the door

Honor the services and sacrifices of our nation’s veterans at this 22nd annual.

Royal Oak Market: Art Fair Edition

Nov. 15-16, 2018 

  • Address: Royal Oak Farmer’s Market, 316 E. Eleven Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Time: noon-10 p.m. daily
  • Phone: 248-246-3276
  • Cost: Free/admission

See artwork by 65 artists at this third annual juried art event.

Wayne County Lightfest

Nov. 15-Dec. 31, 2018

  • Address: Merriman Road between Warren Ave. and Ann Arbor Trail, Westland
  • Time: 7-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 6-10 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, closed on Christmas Day
  • Phone: 734-261-1990
  • Cost: $5/vehicle, $8/photos with Santa

Drive through this family-favorite to check out some 50 giant animated lighted holiday displays.

Holiday Lighted Parade in Northville

Nov. 16, 2018

  • 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.

Lighted Christmas Parade in Allen Park 

Nov. 16, 2018 

  • Address: downtown area
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Phone: 313-928-1400
  • Cost: free

Floats and performers brightly lit for the holidays make their way through the downtown area.

Christmas Parade 

Nov. 17, 2018 

  • Address: Downtown Wyandotte area
  • Phone: 734-324-7283
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: free

This annual procession features 90 floats full of festive holiday cheer.

Downtown Rochester Festival of Trees at Rochester Community House

Nov. 17-18, 2018

  • Address: 816 Ludlow Ave., Rochester
  • Phone: 248-656-0060
  • Time: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Cost: free/Saturday-Sunday

Tons of 4-feet, 6-feet and even 7-feet-tall trees are festively decorated for families to explore. There’s live entertainment, kids’ activities and visits with Santa, too.

Wild Lights

Nov. 17-Dec. 31, 2018 

  • Address: Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Phone: 248-541-5717
  • Time: 5:30-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and select Sundays, 5:30-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday
  • Cost: $11/online, $17/gate, $8/parking

Get festive and take in twinkling light displays on the zoo’s trees, buildings and 265 animal sculptures.

Festival of Trees at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

Nov. 18-25, 2018

  • Address: 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, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, closed Thanksgiving
  • Phone: 734-748-3822
  • Cost: $5/adults, $3/ages 3-16, free/under 2

Support the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and get in the holiday spirit at this family-favorite, which features professionally decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses, visits with Santa, kids’ activities and more.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade

Nov. 22, 2018

  • Address: Woodward Avenue between Kirby and Congress streets, Detroit
  • Time: 8:50 a.m./step off, 10 a.m.-noon/TV time Thursday
  • Phone: 313-923-7400
  • Cost: free/general, fees/ VIP seating

For its 92nd 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.

Classic Cartoon Festival at the Redford Theatre

Nov. 22, 2018

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

See some of your favorite classic cartoons like Popeye, Superman, Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny and many others – all on the big screen again. Rated G.

Thanksgiving for Nature at the Farmington Hills Nature Center

Nov. 23, 2018

  • Address: 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 2-4 p.m. Friday
  • Phone: 248-477-1135
  • Cost: $3/person, free/kids 3 and under

Families enjoy a self-guided scavenger hunt around the grounds followed by stories, games and a campfire.

Holly Dickens Festival

Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1-2 and 8-9, 2018

  • Address: Downtown area, Holly
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays
  • Phone: 248-431-1894
  • Cost: free

Inspired by the Charles Dickens classic tale A Christmas Carol, this 45th annual festival revels in the writer’s era, compete with four stages of entertainment, festive food and more – even Scrooge himself.

Santaland Parade 

Nov. 24, 2018 

  • Address: Downtown Garden City area
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: free

Santa Claus and all his pals make their way through the streets of Garden City accompanied by local bands and floats.

Annual Christmas Parade

Nov. 24, 2018 

  • Address: Downtown Milford area
  • Time: 10 a.m.
  • Phone: 248-684-9719
  • Cost: free

Line the streets of the downtown area to watch local bands and floats celebrate the incoming holidays.

Holiday Tree Lighting and After Glow 

Nov. 27, 2018 

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

Watch the city’s tree light up for the holidays and then head inside for visits with Santa, crafts, carol-o-ke and more.

Hometown Holiday 

Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2018 

  • Address: Downtown Chelsea area
  • Time: times vary daily, check ahead
  • Phone:
  • Cost: free

Celebrate the season with a tree lighting, caroling concert, gingerbread house decorating and a lighted parade, too.

Photo from International Festival in Southfield 

This post was originally published in 2012 and is updated regularly.