November Family Fun Fairs & Festivals in Southeast Michigan


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. 6!). 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. 24 show stopper on Woodward Avenue in Detroit), here’s a little list of kid-pleasing delights in metro Detroit and beyond, sure to create a few memories this season.

Day of the Dead Celebration in Southwest Detroit

Nov. 1-2, 2016

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

Continue the exploration of this Mexican tradition with a self-guided tour of ofrendas, or altars honoring deceased loved ones, in the Mexicantown area; plus workshops, and more.

Wayne County Lightfest

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Nov. 17-Dec. 31

  • Address: Starts at Hines Drive and Merriman Road in Westland
  • Time: 7-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays, closed on Christmas Day
  • Phone: 734-261-1990
  • Cost: $5/vehicle

Drive through this family-favorite to check out more than 47 giant animated lighted holiday displays.

Holiday Lighted Parade in Northville

Nov. 18, 2016

  • 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 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Line up on Cady, Wing, North and Linden streets for the best views.

Canton International Festival at the Village Theater at Cherry Hill

Nov. 19, 2016

  • Address: 50400 Cherry Hill Road, Canton
  • Time: 11:30 a.m. Saturday (runs approximately six hours)
  • Phone: 734-394-5300
  • Cost: $2/person; tickets not sold in advance

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

Thanksgiving for Nature at the Farmington Hills Nature Center

Nov. 19, 2016

  • Address: 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 1-3 p.m. Saturday
  • Phone: 248-477-1135
  • Cost: $5/person, free/ages 2 and under

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

Downtown Rochester Festival of Trees at Rochester Community House

Nov. 19-20, 2016

  • 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: $5/person, free/ages 10 and under; $50/adult cocktail preview

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.

Southfield International Festival at the Southfield Pavilion

Nov. 19-20, 2016

  • Address: 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield
  • Phone: 248-796-5130
  • Time: noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
  • Cost: $3/two-day pass, $5/family, free/parking

Since 1926, this annual has been bringing folks together to experience Polish, Indian, African, Chinese, Irish and tons of other cultures through authentic food, dance, crafts and more.

Holiday Magic Parade in Royal Oak

Nov. 20, 2016

  • Address: Washington Avenue, downtown Royal Oak
  • Time: 2-3 p.m./parade; 3-5 p.m./Santa
  • Phone: 248-246-3180
  • Cost: free

This annual procession features 80-plus marching bands, floats and performances; plus visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and a chance to donate toys to needy kids.

Festival of Trees at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

Nov. 20-Nov. 27, 2016

  • 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, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, closed Thursday (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.

Birmingham Tree Lighting in Shain Park 

Nov. 23, 2016

  • Address: Shain Park, Merrill Street, downtown Birmingham
  • Times: 6 p.m. Wednesday
  • Phone: 248-530-1246
  • Cost: free/general admission, $5/photo with Santa

Prepare to be stunned when they flip the switch on the 35-foot blue spruce that is decorated with holiday ornaments and more than 40,000 LED lights. Visit the Santa House from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade

Nov. 24, 2016

  • 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, $35-$60/grandstand seating (must secure in advance; act early, as it sells out fast!)

For its 90th 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. 26, 2016

  • 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.

Holly Dickens Festival

Nov. 25-27, Dec. 3-4, and 10-11, 2016

  • Address: Downtown area, Holly
  • Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, 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 43rd annual festival revels in the writer’s era, compete with four stages of entertainment, festive food and more – even Scrooge himself.

Winter Fantasyland

Nov. 26-Dec. 24, 2016

  • Address: Kennedy Memorial Building, 3240 Ferris Ave., Lincoln Park
  • Time: 5-8 p.m. Nov. 26, 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 2-8 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, closed Mondays-Tuesdays; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Christmas Eve
  • Phone: 313-386-0140
  • Cost: $1/person, $3/photo with Santa, $5/two photos

Watch how Santa’s elves work to make Christmas a success, and visit with the big guy himself at this annual community event.

This post was originally published in 2012 and has been updated for 2016 by Christina Clark.