Thanksgiving Events and Activities in Southeast Michigan

In November 2017, Macomb Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are packed full of all kinds of Thanksgiving events to make your pre- and post-Turkey Day tons of fun.

Thanksgiving is the official kick-off of the holiday season – and while it can be stressful for families, it’s still the perfect time to head out to local events Detroit, Ann Arbor and other towns are hosting to make memories with your wee ones.

From huge parades to intimate events, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties are chockfull of things to do to fill your Turkey Day with serious fun. Metro Parent has all of the details to help you find one of these fests. So, dress for the weather and head out to one of these local Thanksgiving events.

Livonia Turkey Trot

Nov. 4, 2017

  • Address: Bicentennial Park, Seven Mile and Wayne roads, Livonia
  • Phone: 734-466-2200
  • Times: 8:30 a.m./check-in, 9:30 a.m./start
  • Cost: $15/person

This 12th annual walk/run returns. Proceeds go to benefit the Livonia Goodfellows.

Thanksgiving Story Time and Craft at the Dexter District Library

Nov. 18, 2017

  • Address: Dexter District Library, 3255 Alpine St.
  • Time: 11 a.m.-noon Saturday
  • Phone: 734-426-4477
  • Cost: free

Enjoy a story and music to celebrate Thanksgiving. There’s a craft after the story, too. Geared at kids ages 6 and under.

Tiny Turkey Trot at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

Nov. 18, 2017

  • Address: Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, 333 N. Hill Circle, Rochester
  • Phone: 248-656-0999
  • Times: 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $5/members, $6/nonmembers (be sure to pre-register in advance)

Spaces are filling up fast for this all ages program. You’ll learn about turkey, head out on a trail for an adventure course and play games, too.

Thanksgiving Heritage at Wolcott Mill Metropark

Nov. 18-19, 2017

  • Address: Wolcott Mill Metropark, 64162 Kunstman Road, Ray
  • Phone: 586-749-5997
  • Times: 1 p.m.
  • Cost: $5/person, $10/vehicle entry

Kids will learn about the history of the Thanksgiving holiday, including the food shared by the Native Americans and Pilgrims – and more. There’s a make-and-take craft, too. Advanced registration is required.

Bear Says Thanks Storytime at Barnes & Noble

Nov. 18, 2017

  • Address: Barnes & Noble, Huron Village, 3235 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-973-0846
  • Time: 11 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: free

Bear decides to throw a feast to thank his friends and while they all show up with food to share, Bear’s cupboards are empty. Find out what he does next and do a craft after the story.

Fabulous Thanksgiving with Cowboy Alex in Royal Oak

Nov. 18, 2017

  • Address: Royal Oak Community and Senior Center, 3500 Marais Ave.
  • Phone: 248-246-3180
  • Time: 11 a.m. Saturday
  • Cost: $5/child

Yee-haw! Celebrate the upcoming holiday with this 45-minute show packed with stories, puppets, magic and more. Good for kids ages 3-8. Advanced registration required.

Thanksgiving for Nature at the Farmington Hills Nature Center

Nov. 18, 2017

  • Address: Farmington Hills Nature Center, 24915 Farmington Road, Farmington Hills
  • Time: 1-3 p.m. Saturday
  • Phone: 248-473-1800
  • Cost: $5/person

Grab a list of clues and uncover all the reasons to be thankful for nature’s gifts in this self-guided scavenger hunt. Includes a craft, special guests, games and more.

Turkey Shoot at the Costick Center

Nov. 20, 2017

  • Address: Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
  • Phone: 248-473-1800
  • Time: 7-9 p.m. Monday
  • Cost: $5/residents, $10/non-residents

You must register in advance for this basketball free throw competition, which gives one lucky winner the chance to win a frozen Turkey for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Appreciation Day at 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks

Nov. 23, 2017

  • Address: All 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks in southeast Michigan
  • Phone: 800-47-PARKS
  • Times: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday
  • Cost: free

Take advantage of free park entry at the 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks.

Detroit Turkey Trot

Nov. 23, 2017

  • Address: Downtown Detroit area
  • Time: 7:30-8:30 a.m./start times Thursday
  • Phone: 313-247-4149
  • Cost: $28-$68; must register in advance

This annual offers a Mashed Potato Mile, the Stuffing Strut 5K and the Turkey Trot 10K – all before the big procession.

Thanksgiving Day Parade Breakfast and Benefit in Detroit

Nov. 23, 2017

  • Address: Ecumenical Theological Seminary, 2930 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Time: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Phone: 313-831-5200
  • Cost: $40/adults, $20/kids 6-10, $10/kids five and under

For the past 16 years, Ecumenical Theological Seminary has provided a prime location to view the Thanksgiving Day Parade and participate in the festivities. If you’re looking for the best spot to see the parade, and eat some yummy pancakes, join ETS this Thanksgiving.

Ann Arbor Turkey Trot

Nov. 23, 2017

  • Address: Corner of East Liberty Street and Fourth Avenue, downtown Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 248-929-9027
  • Time: 8:15 a.m./tot trot (ages 10 and under), 8:30 a.m./all ages
  • Cost: Trot: $19/by noon on Nov. 21, $25/after noon Nov. 21-23; 5K: $44/by noon on Nov. 21, $50/after noon Nov. 21-23

Jog this untimed 5K race for adults, and 1K race for kids, wear your favorite holiday costume. Prizes go to the top three ugliest sweaters and the top three best holiday themed costume.

America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit

Nov. 23, 2017

  • Address: Woodward Avenue between Kirby and Congress streets, Detroit
  • Phone: 313-923-7400
  • Time: 8:50 a.m./step off, 10 a.m.-noon/TV time Thursday
  • Cost: free/general, $40-$70/grandstand seating

Fans and families line Woodward Avenue to see their favorite floats, balloons, Big Head Corps and, of course, Santa at this 91st annual.

Lions Football at Ford Field in Detroit

Nov. 23, 2017

  • Address: 2000 Brush St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-262-2011
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. Thursday
  • Cost: $75-$403/tickets

It’s another Thanksgiving tradition – and this year, the Detroit Lions take on the Minnesota Vikings.

Holly Dickens Festival

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

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

It’s the annual celebration of Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol in the downtown village of Holly! Your family can take a trip back in time complete with old-fashioned entertainment, food and more.

Santa’s Arctic Landing at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn

Nov. 24-Dec. 23, 2017

  • Address: Henry Ford Museum, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Times: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
  • Cost: $22/adults, $20/seniors, $16.50/kids 3-11, free/kids 2 and under, $6/parking

Take a journey to the North Pole to learn about the early days of aviation, take a picture with Santa and more. Be sure to check out Greenfield Village, which is decked out for the holidays, too.

Winter Fantasyland in Lincoln Park

Nov. 25-Dec. 24, 2017

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

See a menagerie of classic and new holiday displays and visit with Santa, who will be here most days – occasionally joined by Mrs. Claus.

This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly. 

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