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Holiday events in and around Oakland County

The Big, Bright Light Show

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

Holly Dickens Festival

Noel Night

Holiday Ice Festival

It's the most wonderful time of the year once again! Get in the holiday spirit with these events - including tree lightings, parades, holiday markets, theatre performances, and more - happening all over Oakland County and beyond all month long! 

Now – December 10 (weekends only)
Holly Dickens Festival, Holly

2017 marks the 44th year of the Holly Dickens Festival. Continuing momentum after a remarkably strong 2014 revival season and a spectacular 2015 and 2016, we're well on our way and continue as the official oldest, longest-running Dickens-themed event in the United States. 

Now – December 23
Meadow Brook Holiday Walk Tours, Rochester
Daily through December 17: 11am-5pm*
December 11 and December 18-23: 11am-9pm*
“Holiday Lights & Winter Nights” begins at 5:00p.m.
*Last admittance one hour prior to closing
On Saturday, December 9 due to a private event The Hall will be closing at 4pm*

Stroll through the elegant decor and sparkling lights of the Great Estate and experience the holiday magic of Meadow Brook. After the self-guided holiday tour, follow Candy Cane Lane to the Land of Santa and Sweets.

New this year:

    Experience the Landmark In Lights December 11 and December 18 – 23 during evening tours, the Great Estate will glow a little brighter this year. Guests will experience this National Historic Landmark trimmed in holiday lights, tour The Hall, then stroll down the lit path to the Land of Santa and Sweets to warm up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa.
    Throughout the Holiday Walk, kids of all ages can tour The Hall while looking for hidden sweets and treats along the way then collect their prize at the Candy Cane Cottage! Presented by Doc Sweets’ Candy Company.
    Santa will be at his workshop (located in Danny’s Cabin) on December 21 – December 23 from 1-4pm. Be sure to snap a selfie with Santa! Visits with Santa are included with your ticket admission only.
    A mailbox to the North Pole will be set up in Danny’s Cabin throughout the Holiday Walk so kids can write their wish lists to Santa.
    Guests will enjoy the opulent holiday decor displayed throughout The Hall while experiencing the ambient glow of fireplace flames and flickering candlelight during this special guided tour. Reservations are required. For more information click here.

Now through December 31
Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak
December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 26-31
The Detroit Zoo will light up the night again this holiday season with Wild Lights, a spectacular light display. For 24 nights, more than five million LED lights will illuminate trees, buildings and more than 230 animal sculptures throughout the front half of the Zoo. Experience the magic of the Detroit Zoo in winter as you take in the lights and the sights and enjoy holiday entertainment and special activities for guests of all ages. Children younger than 2 are admitted free.

Now through January 7
The Big, Bright Light Show, Rochester

The elaborate holiday lights display that lights up downtown Rochester's Main Street each year will be on from 5pm-midnight daily through January 7, 2018.

December 1-2

Kris Kringle Market, Rochester

Friday, December 1, 4–10pm
Saturday, December 2, 12–10pm

The Downtown Rochester Kris Kringle Market was inspired by the 700-year old tradition of the open-air Christmas markets throughout Europe. The event will feature one-of-a-kind shopping, specialty foods, fresh greens & wreaths and handcrafted gifts for the holiday. The event will be located on W. Fourth Street (between Walnut & Main).

December 1-3
The Nutcracker at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Township
Come celebrate the season with a holiday favorite. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker will be offered in collaboration with the Macomb Ballet Company, choreographed by artistic director Amber Megna Michalik, and assistant directors Sarah Boik and Mary Sherman. The Nutcracker will entertain and delight audiences of all ages from the moment they get caught up in the party scene to the final waltz with all the cast members. There is a cast “Meet and Greet” following the show.

December 1-9
A Christmas Story by The Avon Players, Rochester
Dec 1-2-3, 8-9
Friday/Saturday Performances 8pm

Special matinee performance on Saturday, Dec 2 at 2pm and Dec 9 at 3pm
Based on the motion picture "A CHRISTMAS STORY"

Ralphie dreams day and night about getting a Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Range Air Rifle and is determined to get one for Christmas. However, his 'Old Man' and his mother seem equally determined not to get him what he wants as he might "Shoot his eye out!": Travel with us back to Hohman, Indiana, circa 1940, to find out to what lengths one ambitious little boy will go to get his heart's desire. And, remember, Santa is watching!

December 1-2

Detroit Urban Craft Fair, Detroit

6-9pm Friday, December 1
10am-8pm Saturday, December 2
11am-6pm Sunday, December 3
The Detroit Urban Craft Fair (DUCF) is a three-day alternative craft fair held annually at the Masonic Temple in the city of Detroit. Now in its twelfth year, the 2017 fair features over 100 handmade crafters and indie artists. DUCF is a community market that encourages the interaction of maker and buyer. It is unique opportunity for shoppers to find one-of-a-kind items and meet the people who made them. Participating crafters have the chance to connect with a large, supportive audience. The Detroit Urban Craft Fair’s mission is to elevate handmade goods as an alternative to mass-produced items, support and elevate small craft business by providing a place for them to sell during the busy holiday shopping season, and raise awareness of handmade craft.

December 1-16
Heritage Holidays at Wolcott Mill Metropark, Ray Township

December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16
Cost: $5 per person. This is a pay at the door event and no registration is required.
Take a step back in time and experience the charm of holiday seasons past. During Heritage Holidays, at Wolcott Mill Metropark, the entire Historic Center is transformed into a magical holiday wonderland. The moment you step out of your car, you’ll stroll through a grove of twinkling trees that leads you to the wooden bridge decorated with archways of light and accompanied by holiday music. As you cross the Clinton River you’ll see our festival of trees and the Historic Center will be aglow with thousands of lights.

An exciting new addition to Heritage Holidays this year is Doc Pawlaczyk’s Medicine Man Show. The show is a mix of storytelling, magic, music and a lot of audience participation and miracle elixir. Shows will occur each evening at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30pm.

Returning for a second year are glorious, majestic Clydesdale horses! These beasts of grandeur will be on display throughout the night and available for families to even snap a few photos. In the holiday photo vignette barn, a mini horse named Kramer will be on site for a visit along with his donkey pal, Baron. Not to mention wagon rides for the entire family to enjoy.


Heritage Holidays boasts lots of fun festivities to help get you into the holiday spirit. Try out a two-man saw to cut your own wood for a log ornament to take home. Kids can play with old-fashioned wood toys and make holiday crafts. The Wolcott Mill Car Club will have their car barn decorated and their restored Model T Dump Truck on display.


And what holiday event would be complete without a visit with Santa Claus? Good ‘ol St. Nick will be spreading joy inside the mill, where parents can peruse items straight from the farm, like honey and wool yarn.


Heritage Holidays is the perfect way to kick off the yuletide season. Come share the feeling of old time traditions and make new memories this holiday season.


Also join us as we celebrate the season by participating in our annual Festival of Trees at Wolcott Mill Metropark! We will supply the tree, lights, and location. You supply the creativity, decorations, and helpers to get it done!


For more information, please contact Wolcott Mill Metropark, at (586) 752-5932 or Wolcott.Farm@metroparks.com

December 1-24
Birmingham Tree Lighting, Winter Markt, and Santa Haus, Birmingham

Tree Lighting and Winter Markt schedule:
Friday, December 1, 4-10pm (Tree Lighting at 6pm)
Saturday, December 2, 10am-9pm
Sunday, December 3, 10am-4pm
Santa Haus schedule:
Friday, December 1, 6:30*-8:30pm (*after tree lighting)
Saturday, December 2, 10am-8:30pm
Sunday, December 3, 10am-3:30pm
Saturday, December 9, 10am-3:30pm
Sunday, December 10, 10am-3:30pm
Saturday, December 16, 10am-3:30pm
Sunday, December 17, 10am-3:30pm

Saturday, December 23, 10am-3:30pm
Sunday, December 24, 10am-3:30pm

Get in the Christmas spirit as we light up the town at the Birmingham Tree Lighting event on Friday, December 1 at 6 p.m. in Shain Park. The community will come together with Santa and Birmingham’s Mayor for live caroling and the lighting of a 35-foot blue spruce with more than 40,000 LED lights!

Santa’s quaint “home” in Shain Park will be open. Children will be delighted to meet Santa, give him their list and have their picture taken. The Birmingham Lions Club will take photos with Santa for $5. Donations go to Leader Dogs for the Blind. You may bring your own camera to capture the moment too! Following opening night, the Santa Haus will be open on weekends through Christmas.
The Santa Haus is located under the pavilion in Shain Park.

Don't forget to catch a free horse-drawn carriage ride! It's a lovely way to enjoy the holiday lights as you make your way through Downtown Birmingham.

Shain Park will come alive with activity during the City of Birmingham’s eighth annual Birmingham Winter Markt event. Attendees will enjoy European food and drinks, gift items, holiday greens, crafts, ice carving demonstrations, live reindeer, warming stations, a Kinderhaus children’s activity area, the popular Santa House, horse-drawn carriage rides and live entertainment. More than 50 vendors will be at the event. Download the Entertainment Schedule here!

December 1
Light Up the Night, Novi
This is a free community event with fireworks, s'mores, ice sculptures, Santa visits, a petting farm, kids' crafts, a craft show, tree lighting, reindeer, train rides, and a magic show.

December 2
Holiday Lights Parade and MerriHometown Holiday Saturday, Berkley

A local favorite, the Holiday Lights Parade welcomes Santa to town! Watch the community Christmas Tree get lit.

  • Merchant Specials all day long
  • Fun for all ages! Kids’ MerriMaking Workshops @ Berkley First and Articipate activities at the Berkley Library (11 am to 2 pm)
  • Kids’ Petting Zoo @ Clark's Ice Cream sponsored by DTE (2 pm to 5 pm)
  • Holiday Lights Parade (5:30 pm along 12 Mile Road) presented by the Holiday Lights Parade Committee
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony @ the Berkley Gazebo presented by the Berkley Junior Women's League Club

December 2
Holiday Extravaganza & WinterFUN Festival & Annual Parade, Pontiac

WinterFUN Festival, 8-10:30am
Holiday Parade, 11am-1pm
The WinterFUN Festival is a great opportunity for families to come together to participate in several activities. There is a Gallery of Ice with live ice carving competition, a petting farm with adorable animals, live Santa reindeer, s’mores and much, much more. There is also a children’s WinterART Center that allows kids to participate in several different craft projects, get their face painted and much, much more. Don’t miss out … ALL EVENTS ARE FREE!!

The festivities for the 34nd annual Holiday Parade this year are bigger and better. There will be over 100 of your favorite costume characters handing out FREE hugs, beautiful professional floats from The Parade Company, professional balloons, marching bands, fire trucks and choreographed dancers all joining together to bring you a memorable parade. The parade route will begin on Cesar E. Chavez Ave at the Oakland Livingston Human (OLHSA) and continue down Saginaw Street and ends at the Pontiac City Square (Lot 9).

December 2
Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Farmington Community Main Library Auditorium, Farmington

Learn about Kwanzaa’s principles which build character and community, hear Rosie Chapman tell tales and enjoy light refreshments. For more information call (248) 848-4315.

December 2
Holly Days, Farmington

Get that warm, nostalgic feeling of old as you stroll through Downtown Farmington listening to carolers, sampling freshly baked cookies while sipping hot chocolate.

Bring family and friends to see the free Holiday Movies at the historic Farmington Civic Theater. Join the tree-lighting celebration at the Warner Mansion. There will be a visit from Santa and activities for all the kids to enjoy. Entertainment, food and lots of holiday spirit will be aglow.

December 2

Noel Night, Detroit

Over 100 participating venues, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Public Library, will open their doors to the public free of charge during the 45th annual Noel Night, a Cultural Center-wide holiday open house. Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by over 200 area music, theatre, and dance groups, and other special performances.

Noel Night headlining performers include: Afro Blue, Cantus, Sidewalk Chalk, The Cactus Blossoms, Les Nubians, Etienne Charles’ Creole Christmas, The Main Squeeze, The Tartan Terrors, the Rhythm Society Orchestra with Paul King, and Thornetta Davis.

PLEASE NOTE: The location for the community sing-along led by the Salvation Army has changed. It will now take place on Wayne State University's campus at the southwest corner of Woodward and Warren Avenues.

Noel Night is produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit community development organization that supports economic growth in Detroit's Midtown district. Call 313-420-6000 for additional information. 

December 2-24
Holidays at the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn

  • Santa is here 10am-4pm Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.
  • Weekday afternoons generally are the best times to visit Santa, when he may have more time to spend with each child.
  • Santa takes a break to feed his reindeer each afternoon. The time varies because Santa sees everyone in line before he leaves, so the line closes for a time. After his departure, the line reopens for guests wishing to wait for his return. Please check with Santa’s Greeter to confirm his return time.
  • Saturday and Sunday afternoons are our busiest times, so plan ahead. On these busy weekends, we often need to close the line as early as 3 pm to accommodate the long line of guests by 5 pm when the museum closes.

December 3
Hometown Christmas Parade, Rochester

Join us for the 66th annual Rochester Hometown Christmas Parade! This year's theme, Vintage Christmas, is honoring the Rochester bicentennial. The parade will be Sunday, December 3 at 2pm in downtown Rochester.

December 3, 19-20, 27, 29
Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village, Dearborn

Mingle with merrymakers amid the smells of roasting chestnuts and warm bonfires: the sounds of carolers, fiddlers and sleigh bells: and other yuletide activity during Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. Every lantern-lit path takes you to a new winter wonder to discover. Strap on a pair of ice skates, send a shout-out to Santa and his magnificent reindeer, find your reflection in a handcrafted ornament and nestle into a horse-drawn wagon for a sing-along through Greenfield Village.

Our 80 acres of living traditions etch America’s most heartwarming holiday experiences into your memories. Main Street brims with holiday goods, food and warm beverages. Historical home tours open the doors to centuries of favorite family holiday traditions. From the finest tinseled detail to the fireworks-filled sky that marks each evening’s finale, make our Christmas story a cherished part of your own.

  • Santa and Live Reindeer
  • Ice-Skating
  • Carolers and Live Musical Performances
  • Holiday Vignettes and Activities Featuring Costumed Presenters
  • Decorated Homes and Shops
  • Holiday Cooking Demonstrations
  • Historic Rides on Horse-Drawn Wagons, Model T’s and the 1913 Herschell-Spillman Carousel
  • Skilled Artisan Demonstrations
  • Christmas Trees and Greens Sale
  • Fireworks Finale and Sing-Along

December 8-18
Elf the Musical, Jr. at Stagecrafters at the Baldwin Theatre, Royal Oak

December 8-10, 14-17

Book By Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin, Music by Matthew Sklar, Lyrics by Chad Beguelin.

Based upon the NEW Line Cinema Film written by David Berenbaum

Raised by Santa at the North Pole, good-natured Buddy the Elf is filled with Christmas joy year round, though he’s not very good at making toys. When he learns he’s really a human, not an elf, he sets off to New York City in search of his father--who’s on the “Naughty” list. Based on the hilarious hit movie, Elf Jr is a holiday treat for the whole family, with songs and laughs sure to spread Christmas cheer.


ELF -THE MUSICAL JR is presented by youths, ages 8-18. For the enjoyment of all of our patrons, we request that children be age 3 and older to attend our performances. Children under three and babes-in-arms will be asked to leave.

December 9
Holiday Ice Festival, Ferndale

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means it’s time again for Downtown Ferndale’s annual Holiday Ice Festival, Saturday, December 9th from 10am to 4pm! Come for plenty of traditional holiday-time activities for the whole family to enjoy. Experience downtown as it transforms into a winter wonderland with nearly 50 magnificent ice creations lining streets! Watch the ice carvers as they chain saw, chisel and shape blocks of ice into magical holiday masterpieces.

Tentative Holiday Ice Festival Schedule of Events:
10am  Santa arrives at Downtown Ferndale’s North Pole (Planavon parking lot)
10am-Noon FREE photos with Santa, by Arthur Mize
11am-4pm Live Reindeer at DF’s North Pole
11am-4:30pm Urban hayrides, departing from DF’s North Pole
Noon-1:30pm Lunch with Santa
2-4pm FREE photos with Santa at North Pole by Larry Mills

All Day/At Planavon lot
• Sweet Treats in the Warming Ten by Ferndale Arts & Cultural Commission
• Send a Card to a Solider in the Warming Tent and Warm a heart

December 9
A Charlie Brown Christmas LIVE! on Stage at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Township
A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Emmy® and Peabody award-winning story by Charles M. Schulz, has warmed the hearts of millions of fans since it first aired on television over fifty years ago. Now the classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation featuring all of your favorite characters and classic Vince Guaraldi score.

December 9-11
Northville Tinsel & Treasures, Northville

Friday, December 8, 9am-8pm

Saturday, December 9, 9am-5pm

Sunday, December 10, 11am-4pm

Admission: $4, 12 & Under: Free


Ranked in the top 50 shows in the country, Tinsel & Treasures at the Northville Community Center is a must attend shopping experience. With handmade gifts for everyone on your list, you won’t want to miss the last and best show of the season!


December 10
Holiday Shopping Nights at the Oakland County Farmers Market, Waterford
Featuring gift items, holiday greens, wreaths, artisanal foods and more.

December 10-24

A Christmas Carol at the Meadow Brook Theatre, Rochester

Everyone's favorite holiday classic captivates audiences for the 36th year with the tale of a mean-spirited miser and the ghosts that haunt him. Celebrating 36 years of holiday magic!

December 13-18
Chanukah Wonderland and Grand Menorah Lighting Ceremony at Orchard Mall, West Bloomfield

Menorah lighting on December 18 at 5:30pm
Help construct a giant Menorah made of coins, to be donated to various local Charity organizations, with live entertainment from Detroit Marching Band, and delicious food and treats including soup, latkas, donuts and chocolate gelt. This event is free.

December 16
Clarkston Holiday Lights Parade, Clarkston

The Holiday Lights Parade is a community-based parade in Clarkston where floats follow a STEM-based theme. This year's theme is "A Galactic Holiday Celebration."

December 16
Breakfast with Santa at the Novi Civic Center, Novi
Santa loves pancakes! $5 per person. Register here.

December 19

Sister's Christmas Catechism at the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Township
It’s “CSI: Bethlehem” in this holiday mystery extravaganza, from the author of Late Nite Catechism, as Sister takes on the mystery that has intrigued historians throughout the ages – whatever happened to the Magi’s gold? With gifts galore and bundles of laughs, Sister’s Christmas Catechism is sure to become the newest addition to your holiday traditions.

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