2019 Guide to Tree Lighting and Holiday Lights In and Around Detroit


Detroit Mom is here to deliver your 2019 Guide to Tree Lighting and Holiday Lights in and around Detroit. It’s Christmas time, and that calls for a celebration of lights! From tree lighting lights and holiday lights to the light we feel in our hearts, Detroit lights up for the Holidays.

Looking to share the magic of holiday lights with your little ones this season? We are, too! We’ve rounded up the events in and around Detroit, closest to you! Click your county below and then scroll along to see all the places you can take in spectacular displays and get into the holiday spirit.

Maybe you’ll go to one, maybe you’ll hit them all, or maybe you’ll pick out your own tree and light up the space in your every day life. Wherever you go this season, enjoy a traditional tree lighting with your loved ones; its good, cheap fun!

Did we miss a tree lighting or Holiday lights event? Comment below, so we can add it to our list!

November 21 – December 31 (closed December 25!)
Wayne County Lightfest
Hines Drive, Westland
Time: 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. (Monday through Thursday) or 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. (Friday through Sunday)
Cost: $5 a vehicle

Enjoy a five-mile drive through an animated holiday lighting display along Hines Drive, featuring more than one million lights! Visit Santa’s Workshop at the end of Warrendale Park starting November 19 until December 23. Don’t forget to bring your letter to Santa; you can drop it in the giant mailbox!

November 30
Winterfest Parade and Tree Lighting
Heritage Park, Taylor
Time: 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Be part of the Winterfest fun that includes a 5K run/walk and the opening of Santa’s Magic Forest. You’ll love this old-fashioned Christmas tree lighting ceremony that will light up a 20-foot Christmas Tree under the conservatory dome. Enjoy singing your favorite Christmas songs inside the Petting Farm visitor center while sipping on hot cocoa and cider.

December 22
Menorah in the D
Campus Martius, Detroit
Time: 4:30 p.m.

Cost: Free 

Menorah in the D is a community-wide menorah lighting event in downtown Detroit taking place this Chanukah. This event is full of inspiration and pride for our entire community and local Jewish families throughout metro Detroit. The 26-foot Menorah was designed and built by artists Erik & Israel Nordin of the Detroit Design Center in Corktown. Enjoy a concert with the Soul Farm Band along with lots of family fun, including strolling jugglers and acrobats, roasted marshmallows, the Detroit mascot “Paws,” as well as a free food court serving traditional Chanukah doughnuts (“sufganiot”), hot soup bar, hot apple cider, snacks, and lots more!

December 2
Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting
Livonia City Hall and Civic Center Library, Livonia
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

The big parade is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. at Frost Middle School and should last about an hour. The parade ends at at City Hall and the Livonia Civic Center Library, just in time for the annual tree lighting ceremony.

November 25
Tree Lighting + Sing-Along
Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, Dearborn
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

This long-standing Dearborn tradition will feature the adored Christmas tree lighting and sing-along event, as well as feature visits with Santa and the lighting of the City Christmas tree.

December 4
Annual Tree Lighting Celebration
Summit Park, Canton
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Kick off the holiday season with the annual Township Tree Lighting Event. The ‘official’ tree lighting will be in front of the Summit on the Park, and special festivities will take place both indoors and outdoors. Join us for seasonal entertainment, crafts, activities, refreshments, and visits with Santa!

November 16- January 5
Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo
Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak
Time: Time varies with various packages; full details are here.
Cost: Prices will vary for subject and time; see different price points here.

Experience the magic of the Detroit Zoo lit up with more than five million LED lights illuminating trees, buildings, and more than 100 animal sculptures. There will be live entertainment, arts and crafts, ice carving, holiday lights and train displays, and an exhibit featuring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

November 25-January 5
The Big, Bright Light Show
Downtown Rochester, Rochester
Time: 5:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

You’re invited to brighten your holidays in Downtown Rochester with The Big, Bright Light Show, celebrating its 10th Anniversary of holiday lights! The buildings in downtown Rochester will be covered with more than one million points of glimmering holiday light.

November 25
Holiday Tree Lighting
Civic Center Plaza, Madison Heights
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

The mayor will welcome Santa and present him with the key to the city. Watch Santa and Mrs. Claus at the tree lighting where they will turn on the holiday lights for city to see. Come enjoy cookies and cocoa while listening to your favorite holiday music.

December 3
Waterford Tree Lighting + Santa Celebration
Waterford Town Hall, Waterford
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Celebrate the season enjoying a variety of activities including crafts, cookie decorating, and Pontiac-Waterford Big Chief Chorus. Take in the holiday lights and enthusiastic spirit on Christmas, performance by the Waterford Mott Jazz Band, a letter writing opportunity to write a soldier a letter and Santa, a photo opportunity with Santa Claus, and your chance to see a reindeer up close. Don’t be late for this Christmas tree lighting!

December 6
Auburn Hills Tree Lighting
The corner of Auburn and Squirrel roads, Auburn Hills
6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Join for an evening of holiday celebration as Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the mayor stop by for the Christmas tree lighting! Stop by the DEN for pictures with Santa, take a carriage ride through Downtown while enjoying the holiday lights, indulge in s’mores around the fire pit, and see an amazing performance by the Avondale High School Choir.

December 6
Birmingham Tree Lighting
Shain Park, Birmingham
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Shain Park will come to life with activity during the City of Birmingham’s annual Birmingham Winter Market event taking place weekends through December, following the Christmas tree lighting. Attendees will enjoy European holiday lights, food and drinks, gift items, holiday greens, crafts, ice sculptures, live reindeer, warming stations, a Kinderhaus children’s activity area, the popular Santa House, horse-drawn carriage rides and live entertainment. More than 60 vendors will be at the event.

November 30
Light Up the Night
Novi Civic Center, Novi
Time: 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Enjoy an evening of fun including roasting marshmallows, ice sculptures, live reindeer, train rides (behind the Civic Center), and FREE refreshments and holiday lights. Don’t miss an appearance by everyone’s favorite guy, Santa, and the main tree lighting event, which will happen at 6:15 p.m. followed by fireworks!

December 3
Tree Lighting + Afterglow
Steps of Town Hall, Macomb Township
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Department is ready to welcome the holiday season. It’s their 15th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony! Enjoy caroling, a greeting from township officials, the arrival and greeting of Santa, and concludes with the lighting of the tree. Check out the recreation center for a warm festive celebration that includes visits with Santa, refreshment stations, children crafts and activities, and “carol-o-ke” entertainment.

December 6
Heritage Holidays
Wolcott Mill Metropark Historic Center, Ray Township
Time: 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Cost: $5

This special celebration is something the whole family is sure to love. You can enjoy a stroll through the park, admiring all of the holiday decorations and twinkling lights. Stop by and visit Santa in the mill and make a festive holiday craft. Don’t forget your blankets to snuggle up with while riding a horse-drawn wagon. Warm up with a delicious cup of hot chocolate by the bonfire.

December 7
A Sterling Christmas
Recreation Center/Dodge Park, Sterling Heights
Time: 5:45 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Enjoy a variety of family fun activities like tree lighting, holiday music and caroling, visits with Santa, horse-drawn wagon rides, petting farm, refreshments, pony rides, carousel, train rides, ice skating, warming fires and more! Santa will arrive, rain or snow! They will be collecting canned and boxed food items for those in need. 

December 5
Christmas Aglow Tree Lighting
Shelby Township Municipal Grounds, Shelby Township
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Christmas Aglow is one of the oldest and largest events in Shelby Township. Santa will light the town tree! There will be arts and crafts for kids in addition to horse-drawn carriage rides. Don’t forget to stop by the campfire to warm up and roast marshmallows.

December 6
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Pierce Park, Chelsea
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

Sounds of the holiday season will be performed by members of the Chelsea Middle School Choir. The tree lighting will follow with a visit by a very special guy in the big red suit to add to the holiday festivities! Santa arrives on the Chelsea Fire Authority Ladder truck at approximately 6:00 p.m.

December 3
Saline Tree Lighting Ceremony
Corner of Downtown N. Ann Arbor St. and Michigan St, Saline
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: Free

The tree lighting is celebrated with festive music, holiday lights, and cookies from Benny’s Bakery. Continue the fun on Saturday, December 7 at 5:30 p.m. when the 44th Annual Christmas Parade will take place downtown. The parade will make its way down Michigan Ave. from Davenport St. to Lewis St. In the parade, there are floats, vehicles (including a hot air balloon!), bands, twirlers, dancers, and animals being followed by the man in red himself.


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