Patch's Holiday Event Guide for Metro Detroit 2012

Looking for some holiday cheer within an hour's drive? We've got lights, Santas, parades and more happening in the greater Detroit area.

We combed our Patches for some great holiday events to put together this list of holiday happenings all over Southeast Michigan. Get out and have some festive fun!

Macomb County

Shelby Township

Breakfast with Santa and Friends: The Shelby Township Parks and Recreation Department will hold its annual breakfast with Santa and photo op for kids on Dec. 8 at the Shelby Township Community Center.  Breakfast will include pancakes, sausage and a photo with Santa for dessert. There will be two breakfast sessions. The first will be at 9:30 a.m. and the second at 11:30 a.m. The event sells out quickly, so reserve your spot. The event costs $7 per child ages two and above. The child must be from Shelby to receive that price. Non-residents will be charged $14.

Dinner and Dancing With Santa: Santa will strap on his dancing shoes Dec. 13 for the annual dinner and dancing with Santa and the Mrs. at Cherry Creek Golf Course. A buffet-style dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., with drinks and an enchanted evening of dancing will follow. Tickets are being sold for $18 for children and adults and $6 for children under 4. The Shelby Township Parks and Recreation Department is hosting the event. Tickets can be purchased over the phone at 586-731-0300.

Jingle Bell Run: The 3rd annual Jingle Bell Run is Dec. 16. The run will start at 9 a.m. and finish behind the Community Center/Senior Center/Court House at 51690 Van Dyke in Shelby Township. The course will go through Cherry Creek Golf Course and Mae Stecker Park.  The cost is $20/person prior to 12/16/2012, and $25 the day of the event. Each runner/walker will receive a t-shirt. 

Take Your Dog's Photo With Santa: Santa will visit the Dog Spa on Mound in Shelby Township Dec. 9 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. for a photo op with your pet.


Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony in Utica: City of Utica is holding its annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. The community will gather at 7609 Auburn Road for Christmas caroling and a chance to visit with Santa. Griswold Home Care is sponsoring "Santa's Workshop" where children can make crafts they can give as gifts or keep for themselves.  They will also have a bin available where new hats, gloves, scarves and socks can be donated to be given to the underprivileged.

Pioneer Christmas: Shadbush Nature Center in Utica is hosting an old fashion Christmas celebration Dec. 5 from noon to 4 p.m. Come out and discover how the pioneers and early settlers of our area celebrated the Christmas season. There will be crafts and activities for all ages, milled cider and cookies. The cost is $4 for children four and older.

Macomb Township

Holiday tree Lighting and Afterglow: Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. on the steps of Town Hall, 54111 Broughton Rd., off 25 Mile Road. After glow to follow in the neighboring Rec Center.

Chesterfield Township

Chesterfield Township Tree Lighting at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at Municipal Offices. Christmas caroling, Santa's arrival by fire truck, holiday crafts as well as cookies and hot cocoa at the Weller School. Vocal performances by local schools and scout groups. Dress warmly. 

Holiday House Decorating Contest in Chesterfield Township. Nominate any home within the township by calling 586-949-0400, extension 4 and leave an address. Awards will be presented Dec. 17 at the Board of Trustees meeting. Nominations are due by 3 p.m. Dec. 7. Contest hours are 6-10 p.m. Dec. 10.

New Baltimore

Pancake breakfast with Santa at New Baltimore Fire Department from 8 a.m. to noon Dec. 2. Proceeds to benefit the Anchor Bay Community Giving Tree Holiday Charity Program. Bring your camera for pictures with Santa.

New Baltimore Christmas Tree Lighting at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 on Washington Street in downtown New Baltimore. Join the sing-alongand bring a canned good or boxed food item to donate to the St. Mary's food pantry. See Santa in the recreation center, where there will be hot chocolate and donuts. Cameras are welcome. Dress warmly.

New Baltimore Parks and Recreation Commission Holiday Decorating Contest is from Dec. 1- 21. The Commissioners will be driving throughout the city picking their choices and will narrow down the three home winners and one business winner.  The winners will be announced at the first Parks and Recreation Commission meeting at 6 p.m.  Jan. 3.

Jingle Bell Run Dec. 9 at New Baltimore Recreation Center. Pre-registration pick-up and race day registration from 1-3:30 p.m. at the rec center. One-mile fun walk starts at 4 p.m. and 5K run starts at 4:15 p.m. Proceeds to benefit the Anchor Bay School DECA Chapter, A National Marketing Student Organization, Student Scholarships and M.D.A. Checks are to be made payable to Anchor Bay Roadrunners. Mail entries to: Jingle Bell Run, 6319 County Line, Fair Haven, 48023. For more information, call 586-725-0291.

Mount Clemens

23rd Annual Christmas Open House & Tree Lighting Ceremony: from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 16 in Downtown Mount Clemens. Free photos with Santa will be available from 6:30-9 p.m. "Santa Passes" for appointments can be picked up starting at 5 p.m. at the Fountain Stage. Other activities include free horse drawn trolley rides and children's activities at different Downtown businesses.

Macomb County Santa Parade: 10 a.m. Nov. 23 on Main Street in Downtown Mount Clemens. The parade steps off on Main Street at Church Street and will proceed north to Market Street.

Oakland County


Holiday Lights Parade and tree-lighting ceremony: Dec. 1 in Berkley. The festivities begin early in the day with a petting zoo, carriage rides, etc. and go into the night with the tree-lighting after the parade. Here’s a link to last year’s coverage: http://patch.com/A-pkHk


Light Up the Night: Friday, Nov. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Novi Civic Center. The event includes a tree lighting at 6:45 p.m., craft show, Santa visits (professional photos are $5 each), children’s activities, face painting, marshmallow roasting, hockey skills competition, live reindeer, miniature train rides and free food samples from several local restaurants. Live performances include a magician, festive choir, and an interactive Nutcracker performance. The event is free. 

Holiday Family Road Rally: Friday, Dec. 14 from 6-10 p.m. Teams of 4-6 people go on a scavenger hunt to find predetermined items to photograph. Teams can consist of adults and children, but need at least one adult 21 or older. Each picture taken with the team earns points, which can win you prizes. Teams must have their own vehicle and digital camera. The night ends at a local restaurant for appetizers and awards. Cost is $100 per team and you must register by Dec. 7. The event begins in Fuerst Park in Novi.


Holiday Lighted Parade: Friday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Northville. After the parade, the public is invited to gather in Town Square for a tree lighting ceremony, carol singing and appearance by Santa.

Jingle Bell Run: Saturday,  Dec. 1 beginning at 6 a.m. at Northville Downs. The 5K and 1 mile fun run benefit The Arthritis Foundation.

Winter Market: Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2 in Downtown Northville. The event includes horse and carriage rides, a live reindeer exhibit, carousel, ice carving demonstrations, treats, artisan and greens sale, and the Santa House.

Rochester/Rochester Hills

Santa’s arrival at The Village of Rochester Hills: Music, special guests and more from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the outdoor shopping center at the corner of Adams and Walton in Rochester Hills.

Lagniappe and the lighting of downtown Rochester: Businesses will give small gifts to customers from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 26; the lighting - and Santa’s arrival - happens at 7 p.m.

Hometown Christmas Parade: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. The parade starts north of town at the corner of Tienken and Rochester roads in dowtown Rochester and continues south on Main Street to downtown Rochester.

Royal Oak

Santa Scamper in downtown Royal Oak: The half-mile run along Washington Avenue on Nov. 18 is open to all walkers, joggers, and runners. The noncompetitive event takes place at 1:30 p.m.,  just ahead of Royal Oak's Holiday Magic Parade. Registration includes a race number, Santa hat, McDonald’s coupon and hot chocolate after the run to enjoy while watching the parade.

Holiday Magic Parade in downtown Royal Oak: Get into the holiday spirit along Washington Avenue with over 80 parade units, including marching bands, floats, musical performances, circus acts and Santa. After the parade, visit Santa at the Emagine Theatre from 3-5 p.m. or enjoy a stroll through downtown. The parade starts at 2 p.m. on Nov. 18.

Parade-A-Palooza in Downtown Royal Oak: Pick up your Prize Passport and map to huge savings and family-friendly activities at over 40 participating restaurants and retailers in downtown Royal Oak. This event is from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m on Nov. 18. (The Royal Oak Holiday Magic Parade is at 2 p.m.) Parking is free.

Holiday Marketplace at the Royal Oak Farmers Market: Get an early start on holiday shopping. Over 60 local crafters, artisans and Royal Oak merchants will be at the Royal Oak Farmers Market from 4-8 p.m. on Nov. 29 at 316 E 11 Mile Rd.

Tree Lighting CeremonyJoin carolers, the Salvation Army Band and the Royal Oak Children’s Choir while waiting for a visit from Santa. The jolly elf will flick the switch to light the holiday tree. This event takes place from 6:15-7 p.m.  Nov. 29 at the Royal Oak Farmers Market at 316 E 11 Mile Rd.

West Bloomfield/Keego Harbor

Chanukah Wonderland at Orchard Mall Shopping Center, Dec. 9-12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Includes live historical exhibit on how olive oil was pressed from raw olives during Temple period. Giant menorah lighting takes place Dec. 11, 5:30 p.m.

Holiday tree lighting at DPW building in Keego Harbor (Beechmont at Schroeder), Nov. 30, 7 p.m.

Farmington-Farmington Hills

Holly Days: Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Greens & Gifts Farmers Market, Santa Visit, ice carving and more at the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion; story time with Mrs. Santa and crafts at Mike Greer Photography, 33316 Grand River Ave.; free movies at the Farmington Civic Theater; holiday open house and tree lighting at the Governor Warner Mansion); Farmington Hills tree lighting Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m., at the municipal campus, 11 Mile and Orchard Lake Roads (visit from Santa and refreshments)


Holiday Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at Shain Park. That is also the first day for the Santa House in Shain Park (lasts through Dec. 24), and the first day for carriage rides around the city (through Dec. 22).

Magic of Birmingham: Shopping events takes place Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 at most downtown shops.

Winter Markt: (Yes, that’s how you spell it) takes place Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Shain Park. 

Wayne County


Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village: The 2012 dates for Holiday Nights are Dec. 1, 7-8, 14-16, 18-23 and 26-27 from 6:30-10 p.m. each night. Includes Santa and live reindeer, candle-lit paths, ice skating, model T rides, live 19th Century entertainment, and fireworks every night of the event. Supper with Santa available for members. Tickets for Holiday Nights range from $12.75-$72, depending on membership status, age and inclusions. PHOTOS HERE: http://patch.com/A-wJlS

Tree Lighting and Festival of Trees: Festival runs Nov. 17-25 at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center. Tree lighting and sing-a-long with Mayor Jack O’Reilly will be held on Nov. 20. Admission: Adults: $5, Children: $3, under 2 years - free Photos here: http://patch.com/A-nVCD

Grosse Pointe

37th annual Grosse Pointe Santa Claus Parade will take place Friday, Nov. 23, at 10 a.m. at the Village in Grosse Pointe.


Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in downtown Wyandotte, featuring a holiday sing-a-long with the Roosevelt High School choir and the First United Methodist Church Bell Choir. The tree lighting is in conjunction with the city's Third Friday celebration, where downtown merchants stay open later and offer discounts and specials.

Holiday Parade: 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, along Biddle in downtown Wyandotte.

Livingston County


Holiday Glow: Sat. Nov. 17 at 4 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Brighton. Brighton’s Holiday Glow launches the holiday season with live entertainment and dance performances from local companies, free hay rides, choo-choo train rides, a nativity petting farm, a station to write letters to Santa, pictures with reindeer, tasty holiday treats and special seasonal sales by local merchants. Santa and Mrs. Claus will join the Mayor of the City of Brighton at approximately 5:45 p.m. at the Mill Pond in downtown Brighton where Santa will be presented a key to the city and magically light the trees to orchestrated synchronized music. 


Fantasy of Lights parade with the Cyldesdale horses: Friday, Nov. 23, in downtown Howell. Kick off the holiday season with the Fantasy of Lights Parade as it marches down Grand River Avenue in historic downtown Howell before a crowd of thousands. This traditional event features a spectacular nighttime parade, marching bands and musical entertainment, a 5K run, children's activities, and of course, Santa Claus.


Warm N Cozy Bazaar: Saturday, Dec. 1. 32nd Annual Holiday craft bazaar.

Black Sheep Weavers Guild Holiday Sale: Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. 30th annual holiday sale. All handmade/woven items.

Washtenaw County


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Nov. 29-30 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 1-2 at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Stone Arch Arts & Events, 117 S. Ann Arbor St. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, directed by Kara Williams and Elizabeth Champion, is based on the book of the same name.  

Saline Tree Lighting Ceremony: Nov. 30 at 7 p.m., KeyBank, 100 W. Michigan Ave., Saline

Saline Holiday Parade: Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m., 141 E. Michigan Ave., Saline

Santa’s Village in Saline Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 3-4 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Stone Arch Arts & Events, 117 S. Ann Arbor St., Saline

Fiddlers ReStrung Toys for Tots Hometown Concert: Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. at Saline High School, 1300 Campus Parkway, Saline. Special Guests include 6th Grade & 7th/8th grade Fiddle Clubs, Varsity Blues, and SHS Drumline.  Tickets are $10 for Adults, $5 for Seniors & Students and are available at www.fiddlersReStrung.com Call 734-663-8923 (8am to 8pm) or at the door.  Please bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate!

1930s Christmas on the Farm: Dec. 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 9 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Rentschler Farm Museum, 1265 E. Michigan Ave., Saline.  See how farm families coped at Christmastime, when faced with a tight money situation during the Great Depression years. Our 12-room farmhouse will be decorated with natural things that might have been found on the farm. A live tree will grace the parlor with genuine 1930s ornaments and lights. Simple decorations, good aromas throughout the house, and pleasing sights and sounds will greet visitors as they enter the front door.


Winter Festival: The Dexter Winter Festival takes place downtown on Nov. 24. Events include a holiday wreath auction, caroling at Monument Park, and the annual lighting of the village Christmas tree. Time: TBA

Home for the Holidays Dec. 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in downtown Dexter. The event includes Breakfast with Santa, craft bazaars, Christmas at Gordon Hall, and the annual Holiday Hustle 5K. Participants in the 5K can register online at www.runholiday5k.com.

Hudson Mills Metropark Santa Central: Children can vist Santa Central and play reindeer games, enjoy a hayride and snack and share their wish list with Santa. You may bring your own camera, purchase a photo for $2 or bring a new toy for Toys for Tots and receive a photo free. Admission is by advance ticket purchase only. Tickets are available for purchase at the park office. Sunday, December 11 at 10 am, 12:30 pm & 2:30 pm
Hudson Mills Activity Center. Event fee $6 per child.


Hometown Holiday: Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Hometown Holiday takes place the first weekend of December each year. It is a fun filled weekend celebration which marks the beginning of the holiday season. Ushering in the festivities will be a tree lighting ceremony and visits with Santa, plus lots of other holiday activities and entertainment at our many great merchants and historic locations in Chelsea, Michigan. To view a complete schedule of events, visit http://chelseafestivals.com/

Did we miss your favorite holiday event? Tell us in comments!


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