Best Things to Do with Metro Detroit Kids in December

Planning your family fun for the month? We've got you covered with the best upcoming events in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties.

There are always so many fun things to do with kids in southeast Michigan, so how is a busy parent supposed to keep track of it all? With our list of the best things to do this month, of course!

This December, we’ve found tons of family-friendly fun, including holiday lights and holiday tea experiences for you to check out with your kids. We also have plenty of other holiday fun such as magical holiday events, Hanukkah events and Nutcracker and holiday shows.

Here is our curated list of the can’t-miss activities for metro Detroit and Ann Arbor in December 2023.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a look and start the advanced prep for your next family outing.

Don’t see an event you love? Check out our online calendar for even more events and fun things to do. 

Macomb

Photo credit: Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill

Holiday Lights at the Farm at Wolcott Mill Metropark, Farm Center

Dec. 8-10, 15-17, 2023

Stroll through and enjoy traditional holiday decorations and thousands of sparkling lights. Write your letter to Santa and visit him in his workshop. Dress for the weather. Registration required.

Blake’s New Santa Experience at Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill

Dec. 10-11, 17-23, 2023

Tickets include a visit and photos with Santa, train ride, one doughnut and a cup of cider, bonfire at the Santa’s Stop, letter to Santa and a small toy to take home from Santa’s basket. Dress for the weather. Advanced tickets recommended.

Holiday Express Train Rides at Joy Park

Dec. 9, 16, 2023

Clinton Township Parks and Recreation and the Michigan Transit Museum team up to bring local families a holiday train ride complete with a reading of The Polar Express, hot chocolate, cookies, carols and more. The trains are enclosed but not heated so be sure to dress for the weather.

Oakland

Photo credit: Meadow Brook Hall

A Christmas Carol at Meadow Brook Theatre

Dec. 8-10, 15-17, 21-24, 2023

A crabby old man learns the true meaning of Christmas once he is visited by three ghosts the night before Christmas.

Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan

Dec. 1-26, 2023

Celebrate the holidays with themed builds, photo opportunities with life-sized Lego Santa and more. Visitors can try to find all the LEGO presents throughout the attraction for their chance to win an exclusive holiday prize!

Holiday Stroll at Canterbury Village

Dec. 8-10, 15-17, 21-23, 2023

Stroll through the quaint village that is glowing with almost a million festive lights, enjoy a seven-minute amazing light show choreographed to classic holiday songs, hear the sounds of professional carolers and see live Christmas performances.

Breakfast with Santa or the Grinch at Canterbury Village 

Dec. 9-10, 16-17, 21-23, 2023

This buffet-style breakfast will include all your favorite morning fare and visits with the big guy or the Grinch, too. Choose seating times online and make sure to reserve in advance.

Holiday Walk: Santa Saturday! at Meadow Brook Hall

Dec. 9, 16, 23, 2023

Visitors will take a self-guided walk through the mansion to view its holiday decorations and enjoy seasonal concessions. Advanced online tickets are required.

Royal Oak Children’s Choir Winter Concert at First Congregational Church

Dec. 5, 2023

Join the Royal Oak Children’s Choir for a winter concert. Enjoy the melodies and festive songs performed by the talented young singers.

Oh Deer, Santa’s Here! at Heritage Park

Dec. 6-7, 2023

Families can visit with Santa and get their photo taken at the holiday display in the Historic Red Barn. There will be holiday and deer-themed activities, s’more making ($1 each), hot cocoa, campfire, a self-guided winter scavenger hunt and more. Pre-registration is required.

Cookies with Claus at Orion Center

Dec. 8, 2023

Decorate holiday cookies, write your letter and visit with Santa Claus. For ages 1-8.

Milk and Cookies with Santa at Rochester Avon Recreation Authority

Dec. 8, 2023

Meet and have your picture taken with Santa Claus at RARA. Enjoy cookies, holiday crafts and coloring pages. Registration required.

Santa’s Candy Cane Trail at Indian Springs Metropark

Dec. 9, 2023

Meet the winter characters as you take a stroll down candy cane trail and get a chance to see Santa. Bring your cameras. Pre-registration is required.

Storytime with Santa at The Community House

Dec. 9, 2023

Hear a story read by Santa, make a holiday memory craft and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. Pre-registration is required.

Share the Light Community-Wide Chanukah Celebration at Congregation Shaarey Zedek

Dec. 10, 2023

Enjoy a Chanukah celebration with activities for kids, games, arts and crafts, face painting, circus entertainment, giveaways and more.

Chanukah Celebration at Chabad Jewish Center Of Commerce/Walled Lake

Dec. 12, 2023

See a grand menorah lighting, festive music, latkes, doughnuts, grand dreidel games, cards for Israeli soldiers and more.

Glenlore Trails Aurora at Glenlore Trails

Through Dec. 30, 2023

Enjoy an immersive wintery outdoor holiday experience at Glenlore Trails. This enchanted forest is filled with more than half a million holiday lights, displays, games, holiday music and more. Select nights will also have themed activities, storytelling, live music and visits from Santa.

Holiday Walk at Meadow Brook Hall

Through Dec. 30, 2023

Take a walk around the historic house and grounds to see more than 50 decorated trees, including a 10-foot tree made entirely out of poinsettias.

Magic of Lights at Pine Knob Music Theatre 

Through Dec. 30, 2023

Drive thru this holiday-themed light display with different characters and themes using the latest LED technology and digital animations. Purchase passes online.

Super Bounce Days at The Hawk – Farmington Hills Community Center

Dec. 30, 2023

Head to The Hawk on Super Bounce Days and jump around. Once a month on special mornings and afternoons the staff members set up the inflatable bouncers in the gym to make an arena of fun! Kids will enjoy the big bouncer, bouncer obstacle course and giant inflatable slide.

The Big Reveal at Indian Springs Metropark Environmental Discovery Center

Through Dec. 30, 2023

Enjoy Indian Springs Metropark’s festively decorated center, including holiday trees and lights, the “underwater snow globe” and more. Bring your own camera.

Winter Wonder Lights at Meadow Brook Hall

Through Dec. 30, 2023

Check out Meadow Brook’s Winter Wonder Lights and see an interactive light experience. Visitors can explore the National Historic Landmark at its most festive time. There will be seasonal beverages, bonfires, selfie stations and more.

The Big, Bright Light Show in Downtown Rochester 

Through Jan. 7, 2024

  • Address: Downtown Rochester area
  • Cost: Free

Downtown Rochester is decked in 1.5 million lights, brightening up buildings every evening.

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Through Jan. 7, 2024

The Detroit Zoo is aglow with millions of LED lights. Purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your experience. Dress for the weather.

Galileo at Cranbrook Institute of Science

Through June 2, 2024

Visitors will learn about Galileo’s groundbreaking discoveries through engaging artifacts and hands-on experiments. The interactive exhibit includes experiments in physics, mathematics, astronomy and natural sciences that even little ones can wrap their minds around.

Washtenaw

Photo credit: iStock/Wavebreakmedia

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at The Encore Musical Theatre Company

Dec. 7-10, 14-17, 2023

White Christmas tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. It is based on the classic film.

Yoga with Cats at Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center

Dec. 9, 16, 23, 30, 2023

Ages 12 and up can join Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center to practice yoga with the furry feline yoga masters on Sundays. You may bring your own yoga mat or borrow one of theirs. Pre-registration and advance payment required.

Yoga with Cats at Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center

Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28, 2023

Ages 12 and up can join Tiny Lions Lounge & Adoption Center to practice yoga with the furry feline yoga masters on Thursdays. You may bring your own yoga mat or borrow one of theirs. Pre-registration and advance payment required.

Fishville Farms 2nd Annual Christmas Craft & Vendor Show at Chelsea Community Fairgrounds

Dec. 9-10, 2023

Enjoy this family-friendly Fishville Farms 2nd Annual Christmas Craft & Vendor Show at Chelsea Community Fairgrounds. Shop from more than 40 small businesses and enjoy food trucks and a gift basket giveaway.

Santa’s Candy Cane Trail at Hudson Mills Metropark

Dec. 16, 2023

Meet the winter characters as you take a stroll down candy cane trail and get a chance to see Santa. Also, take a ride on the Holiday Carol Wagon Ride. Bring your cameras. Pre-registration is required.

UN/EARTH at University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Through Jan. 2, 2024

UN/EARTH explores science and art from a mile underground and features work by Gina Gibson.

Wayne

Photo credit: Bedrock Detroit

Towers of Tomorrow at the Michigan Science Center

Through-January 2024

This exhibit features 20 Lego skyscrapers from around the world, including the Empire State Building, Burj Khalifa, Willis Tower, Q1 and more.

Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village

Dec. 8-10, 14-17, 19-23, 26-28, 2023

Come to the village and view decorated shops and homes, live music, holiday cooking demos, free carousel rides, free ice skating and skate rentals, free horse-drawn carriage rides, free Model T rides, a fireworks finale and more.

Holiday Movies at the Redford Theatre

Dec. 8-10, 2023

See holiday classic movies including White Christmas on Dec. 8 and The Polar Express on Dec. 9, There’s even another holiday mystery movie on Dec. 10.

One Sleepy Night at Garden Theater

Dec. 6-9, 2023

Families can enjoy seeing a wonder-filled, Christmas musical that features 16 original songs, a 20-person cast and an exciting choir like no other.

Hanukkah Storytime & Craft at Detroit Public Library, Main Branch

Dec. 7, 2023

Families can enjoy a special Hanukkah story time and craft to learn about and celebrate the holiday. Reserve spot online.

Menorah in the D at Campus Martius Park 

Dec. 7, 2023

This annual event offers an in-person event that features a fire show, complimentary soup, snacks and cider, crafts, games, greetings with community leaders and the lighting of the giant menorah. RSVP required.

A Magical Cirque Christmas at the Fox Theater

Dec. 8, 2023

Enjoy this variety show full of nostalgia, charm and awe-inspiring performances for all ages.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker at the Fisher Theatre

Dec. 9, 2023

This holiday performance is a re-mixed and re-imagined version of the classic, and features hip-hop dance and Tchaikovsky’s timeless music together.

The Snowman at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center 

Dec. 9, 2023

Enjoy a screening of the Academy Award-nominated short film, The Snowman, accompanied by music performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet at the Fox Theatre

Dec. 10, 2023

Experience the extraordinary international cast and Ukrainian principal artists performing at the peak of classical European Ballet. NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet features jaw-dropping acrobatics, larger-than-life puppets and stunning hand-crafted sets and costumes.

Sunday with Santa at Oakwoods Metropark

Dec. 10, 2023

Every family will get their own private visit with Santa Claus in the “North Pole Room.” Also, sing Christmas carols, play games, make crafts, hear a story and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa. Pre-registration is required.

Chanukah Mission to the Moonbeams at Aish Detroit

Dec. 11, 2023

Enjoy a delicious Chanukah dinner and games. Then, take a bus to Beaumont Hospital for the mitzvah of Bikur Cholim bringing light and joy to the young patients.

Home Alone in Concert at the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Dec. 13, 2023

Enjoy a screening of the holiday classic accompanied by music performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Home for the Holidays at Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Dec. 15-17, 2023

Enjoy a celebration of the holiday season featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and an appearance from Santa Claus.

One Sleepy Night at Music Hall 

Dec. 15, 2023

Families can enjoy seeing a wonder-filled, Christmas musical that features 16 original songs, a 20-person cast and an exciting choir like no other.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – The Musical at Fisher Theatre 

Dec. 15-16, 2023

See all of your favorite characters from the movie, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph.

Santa Visit at Detroit Public Library, Redford Branch

Dec. 16, 2023

Meet Black Santa as he stops to visit the Detroit Public Library – Redford Branch. Bring your own camera. There will also be stories and crafts for children of all ages. Hip Hop Clown will make a special appearance, too. Reservations are required.

Motor City Brass Band “Sounds of the Season” at Ford Community & Performing Arts Center 

Dec. 17, 2023

Motor City Brass Band presents “Sounds of the Season” to welcome the holiday season with an afternoon of brass band music.

The Music of the Nutcracker with the DSO at Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Dec. 20, 2023

Celebrate the holiday season with the music and magic of the Nutcracker featuring music from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays at the Fox Theatre 

Dec. 21-23, 2023

This mind-blowing showcase, The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays features jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth.

Elf in Concert at Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Dec. 22-23, 2023

Enjoy a screening of the holiday classic accompanied by music performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Wayne County Lightfest at the Merriman Hollow Park Area

Through Dec. 24, 2023

The Wayne County Lightfest is a magical four-mile stretch of Hines Park, displaying nearly 50 animated themed displays and more than 100,000 lights.

WWE Live Holiday Tour at Little Caesars Arena

Dec. 27, 2023

Catch the last Detroit WWE wrestling show of the year as it stops on one of its 12 live events for the 2023 Holiday Tour.

Decked Out Detroit Winter Midway 2023 at the Monroe Street Midway

Through Jan. 7, 2024

Experience winter fun at the Monroe Street Midway this holiday season. Activities include bumper cars, arctic slide, puck-putt, an arcade, winter art experiences and more.

Mandela: The Official Exhibition at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Through Jan. 15, 2024

Mandela: The Official Exhibition takes guests on a journey through the life of the world’s most iconic freedom fighter and political leader, Nelson Mandela. This immersive and interactive experience features previously unseen film, photos and historical artifacts and personal effects on loan to the museum.

Lillian Schwartz: Whirlwind of Creativity at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Through March 1, 2024

See the works of multimedia artist, Lillian Schwartz at this career-retrospective exhibition. It features more than 100 artifacts and explores three core themes including, “Moving Forward,” “Making Art in a Science Lab” and “The Limits and Possibilities of Machines.”


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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.

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