Lights, Santa, 'Messiah' and more: 19 holiday events in Metro Detroit

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

It's coming full steam ahead, so embrace the holiday hoopla and make plans to immerse yourself in it with friends and family. 

Metro Detroit is chock-full of events over the next few weeks that give folks a chance to enjoy the holidays with bright lights, live music, family-friendly winter fun and more entertainment.

Events are listed by start date. 

America's Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit: Come downtown and see it in person, or watch from home on WDIV-TV (Channel 4). This nationally broadcasted procession steps off at Kirby and Woodward at 8:45 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. Visit 

Wild Lights at Detroit Zoo: This ongoing holiday spectacular features 280 light sculptures and more than 5 million LED lights. Food, skating and other entertainment packages available. Runs through Jan. 5. $11 and up. 8450 W. 10 Mile, Royal Oak. (248) 541-5717 or

Wayne County Lightfest: This west-side tradition returns with colorful light displays and an opportunity to get your photo taken with Santa Claus. The Lightfest will also collect unwrapped toys for needy children on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 in exchange for admission fee. 7-10 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and 6-10 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 31. $5. (Closed Dec. 25.) Enter at Merriman Hollow Park in Westland. (734) 261-1990. 

U-Cut Tree Farm at Blake's Orchard & Cider Mill: Get into the spirit by shopping for your own tree this year on Blake's 100-acre farm with Douglas firs, white pines, Scotch pines and more. Saw down your own or choose from a pre-cut tree. There's also an Apple Barn Holiday Market with gift and decor ideas. All this is open now, and Santa visits noon-4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 15. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Dec. 23. 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada. 

Holiday Belles House Tour at Ford House: Step back in time to December 1969 and see how this historical locale was decorated back when Lynn and Sheila Ford were teenagers. Get an informative tour of the house, and take a lap around the pop-up shop featuring the Detroit boutique Peacock Room, which will have vintage and vintage-inspired accessories, jewelry and other items. Friday-Jan. 5. Noon-7 p.m. Wed.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 24 and 31. Tours are sold in advance, $12 for adults, $11 seniors and $8 ages 6-12. 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores. (313) 884-4222 or 

Lynn and Sheila Ford in their grandmother's house. The Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores will be decorated to match the glory of the 1969 party for this year's holiday tours.

A Drag Queen Christmas at Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts: Infuse some glamour, glitter and sass into the holidays with this high-energy drag show hosted by Nina West, a season 11 contestant on "RuPaul's Drag Race." 8 p.m. Fri. $35 and up. 350 Madison, Detroit.

"The Nutcracker" at Detroit Opera House: The Michigan Opera Theater orchestra brings Tchaikovsky's score to life for this Christmastime classic. The matinee shows includes family-friendly activities. 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sat. and 2:30 p.m. Sun. $29 and up. 1526 Broadway, Detroit. (313) 237-7464 or 

West Park Winter Social in Grosse Pointe Park: This sixth annual event has something for the whole family with a tree lighting, heated beer tent, marshmallow roasting, kids activities and more. Hear the Docksiders from Milwaukee play yacht rock in a 6,000-square-foot tent. 4-11 p.m. Sat. Free. Kercheval between Wayburn and Maryland, Grosse Pointe Park. 

Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village: Wholesome season fun will be abound on lantern-lit paths guiding revelers to ice skating, magical reindeer, horse-drawn wagons and carolers over this 80-acre attraction. Sensory-friendly offerings available. 6:30-10 p.m. Dec. 5-8, 12-15 and 26-28. $30 for non-members, discounts for members and different age groups. 20900 Oakwood, Dearborn. (313) 982-6001 or 

Detroit Urban Craft Fair at Masonic Temple: Capture the gifts you won't find at any mall at this annual indie market. From artwork to bath products, jewelry, textiles, chocolates and more, the DUCF is packed with good ideas. 6-9 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 8. $10 on Dec. 6, free Dec. 7-8. 500 Temple, Detroit. 

The 1946 holiday classic "It's A Wonderful Life" shows at the Redford Theatre Dec. 20-21.

Holiday classic films at the Redford Theatre: Settle into a chair with some popcorn and relive holiday warmth of years' past this December when this historic neighborhood theater shows some holiday films. "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is 8 p.m. Dec. 6-7 and "The Muppet Christmas Carol" is 2 p.m. Dec. 7 (Santa will be present for photos for the latter). For even older classics, "White Christmas" is 8 p.m. Dec. 13-14 and "It's A Wonderful Life" is 8 p.m. Dec. 20-21. Tickets to all shows are $5. 17360 Lahser, Detroit. (313) 537-2560 or 

Noel Night in Midtown: One of the longest-running holiday events in the city, Noel Night will see more than 100 shops, galleries, museums and other venues open their doors for a Midtown-wide open house. The free event is split into daytime and evening events. Visit north of Warren 1-7 p.m. Dec. 7 and south of Warren 5-10 p.m. (313) 420-6000 or 

Cirque Dreams Holidaze at Fox Theatre: This feast for the eyes and ears has singers, dancers, acrobats and other performers decked out in more than 300 amazing costumes. 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and 1 and 6 p.m. Dec. 15. $34 and up. 2211 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 471-7000 or 

"Too Hot to Handel" at Detroit Opera House: A rendition of "Messiah" like no other, this annual Gospel jazz show from the Rackham Symphony Choir features Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke, Karen Marie Richardson, Marion Hayden, Alvin Waddles, Dave Taylor and more. The performs runs about 2 1/2 hours. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14. $33 and up. 1526 Broadway, Detroit. (313) 237-7464 or Hear the traditional version of Handel's "Messiah" at 3 p.m. Dec. 7-8 at Fort Street Chorale in Detroit or when the DSO performs it Dec. 13-14 at Orchestra Hall. 

“Too Hot To Handel” meshes “Messiah” with jazz and gospel influences.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra "Home for the Holidays" at Orchestra Hall: The ensemble's last performances of 2019 are filled with holiday joy and seasonal melodies. Dee Donaso is the featured vocalist and Stuart Chafetz conducts the DSO. 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 20, 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 21 and 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22. $10 and up. 3711 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 576-5111 or 

A Dickens Christmas at Canterbury Village: Plunge into a storybook world as you stroll through the Village with Dickens characters and carolers all about, followed by a buffet dinner in the King's Court Castle Restaurant. 5-10 p.m. Dec. 21. $25-$50. 2325 Joslyn, Lake Orion.  

Black Christmas at Majestic Detroit: A punk rock holiday tradition, this annual smorgasbord of rock, hip-hop, alternative, metal and noise bands returns with headliners the Suicide Machines, Esham, Anti-Flag, Mustard Plug, Koffin Kats and many more. 6 p.m. Dec. 21. $25 and up in advance, $35 day of. 4120-4140 Woodward, Detroit. 

Stilt walker Eric Baker of Detroit Circus poses with a giant dreidel during the 7th annual Menorah in the D celebration.

Menorah in the D at Campus Martius: Celebrate the lighting of the city's menorah with marshmallow roasting, balloon sculptures, kosher food trucks, horse-drawn carriage rides, strolling entertainment and other holiday fun. 4:30 p.m. Dec. 22. Free. 800 Woodward, Detroit.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra at Little Caesars Arena: Turn holiday music up to 11 with this annual touring show. "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" is the name of the tour and a triple-platinum rock opera album. This is typically one of the top-grossing tours of the year. It's also one of the most charitable, having donated around $16 million from ticket sales over the past several years. 3 and 8 p.m. Dec. 28. $49.50 and up. 2645 Woodward, Detroit. (313) 471-7000 or 

For more upcoming events, holiday and otherwise, visit

Twitter: @melodybaetens