The holiday season is upon us, and in Michigan, it’s a time when the entire state transforms into a festive wonderland. Silver bells chime, holiday music fills the air, and the magic of Christmas is everywhere. From downtown Detroit to the serene beauty of Marquette and from the picturesque Traverse City to the corners of southwest Michigan, the state offers a diverse range of holiday attractions for everyone to enjoy.

There’s something particularly special about the holiday season in Michigan, and one of the key ingredients in stirring up the Christmas spirit is holiday light displays. Whether it’s a pre-Christmas gathering with loved ones or a peaceful holiday stroll under the twinkling lights, Christmas activities foster a sense of warmth and wonder.

In addition to the captivating light displays, Michigan’s December weeks offer an excellent opportunity to explore the state’s charming towns, each of which goes to great lengths to create a welcoming and festive atmosphere. These towns aim to make visitors feel not just merry but truly uplifted. As you explore these communities, you’ll have the chance to create cherished memories and gather stories that will last a lifetime. The welcoming ambiance and festive spirit of these towns provide an opportunity to escape from the routine and immerse yourself in the holiday magic.

Michigan truly comes to life during the holiday season, with its enchanting lights, festive décor, and the general spirit of celebration. Festive events and activities, including tree-lightings, Santa Claus appearances, parades, and craft shows, offer a wealth of options for enjoyment throughout Michigan during the Christmas and holiday season. To help you start your preparations for this joyous time of year, we’ve compiled a list of places to capture the holiday magic in Metro Detroit.

  • Detroit Zoo Lights

    The Detroit Zoo welcomes back Wild Lights until January 7, featuring an extensive display of millions of lights illuminating your path as you stroll through the zoo. This event also offers a light projection show, Toyland, an enchanted trail, the Wild Lights Lodge, and a wishing tree for visitors to enjoy. For added amusement, carousel rides are available. You can find the Detroit Zoo at 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak.

  • Downtown Detroit

    Downtown Detroit offers a wide range of holiday activities. You can start at Campus Martius, where a beautifully decorated tree is on display, and you can enjoy ice skating on the rink. Next, make your way to Cadillac Square, where you can shop at local businesses and enjoy food and beverages at the Cadillac Lodge. You can also walk along Woodward Ave. to admire the holiday lights. Additionally, Beacon Park has been transformed into Toyland, creating a winter wonderland that lasts until mid-January. Here, you’ll find a choo-choo train, a giant teddy bear, nutcrackers, walk-through ornaments, LED light displays, and more.

    On December 18th, you can participate in the Menorah in the D celebration, featuring the lighting of the Detroit Menorah, a fire show, hot soup, cider, and other activities.

  • The Big, Bright Light Show Rochester Hills

    The Big, Bright Light Show illuminates Downtown Rochester from just before Thanksgiving until the start of the new year. This event blankets the buildings of the downtown area with more than 1.5 million points of light, transforming the city with a mesmerizing array of vibrant colors. Now in its 15th year, this display is not only a fantastic spot for capturing stunning photographs but also for showcasing the beauty of metro Detroit. The Big, Bright Light Show is open to everyone and is free of charge.

    Close-up woman's hands in warm gloves taking picture of illuminated green Christmas tree using mobile phone in city at night.

    iprogressman/ Getty Images

    Close-up woman's hands in warm gloves taking picture of illuminated green Christmas tree using mobile phone in city at night.

    iprogressman/ Getty Images


  • Blake's Winter Wonderland

    North of Detroit in Armada, Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill undergoes a festive transformation during the holiday season. One of its main attractions is a 2,000-square-foot synthetic ice rink that provides a skating experience, no matter the weather. Visitors can also enjoy food and beverages in heated igloos or choose to select their own Christmas tree from the expansive 100-acre farm, which boasts a wide variety of over 10,000 trees to choose from.

    Tractor parked and lighted for the holidays

    Stacey Smith/ Getty Images

  • Canterbury Village Holiday Stroll

    In Lake Orion, Canterbury Village undergoes a festive transformation, becoming a winter wonderland adorned with nearly 1 million holiday lights. The historic village offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy more than just the captivating lights. You can also listen to professional carolers, witness live Christmas performances, and experience a choreographed light show for the season. For younger visitors, there’s the chance to meet and greet popular characters such as Frosty the Snowman, Buddy the Elf, The Grinch, Olaf, Jack Frost, Anna, and Elsa, and many others. After your visit, head to the C-Pub outdoor patio, where you can choose from a variety of beverages, including beers, hard ciders, wine, cocktails, and more. Canterbury Village is conveniently located at 2359 Joslyn Ct, Orion Twp.

    Close-up front view image of a young cheerful couple in winter clothing having warm drink at night during winter holidays. Luminous decoration background

    mastermilmar/ Getty Images

  • Glenlore Trails

    Located in Commerce Township, Glenlore Trails Aurora offers a fun winter experience for all ages. This illuminated forest presents a one-mile outdoor trail adorned with interactive storytelling moments and various forms of entertainment. Within this captivating setting, visitors can find food and beverage vendors and enjoy the wintry forest alongside light displays.

    Illuminated blue tunnel of millions of Christmas lights at Trail of lights in Austin , Texas at Zilker Park

    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/ Getty Images

Sign me up for the 105.1 the Bounce email newsletter!

Stay locked in with everything 105.1 the BOUNCE and become a BOUNCE VIP! VIP members can win prizes, concert tickets & get updates on everything Detroit!

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.