Holiday lights, sites & sounds in Metro Detroit – The Detroit News

Lights, Santa, action! The holidays have arrived in Metro Detroit, bringing weeks’ worth of events, displays and performances to delight the whole family. 
Those wanting to be dazzled can find holiday lights throughout the region, including grand displays in Glenlore Trails, the Detroit Zoo and Beacon Park. 
For those who want some Christmas nostalgia, the historic Meadow Brook Hall and the Ford House bring back early 20th-century splendor with ornate, traditional decorations. 
If a visit to the theater is in order, catch a classic Christmas movie on the big screen at the Redford Theatre, or experience “The Nutcracker” in a different way with “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” at the Detroit Opera House.
Here’s a list of 10 holiday events: 
18th annual Detroit Tree Lighting: A 65-foot Norway spruce will light up downtown Detroit with an event that includes live performances from Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner and singers Cam Anthony, Thornetta Davis and Ryan Neal, among others. There also will be horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, hot chocolate giveaways, food trucks and visits from Santa. 5-9 p.m. Friday, Campus Martius, 800 Woodward.
“Light Up Beacon Park”: Families can enjoy a smaller children’s tree lighting at “Light Up Beacon Park,” as well as the opening of the park’s Holiday Lighting Spectacular featuring more than 125,000 LED lights. Santa and his reindeer will visit and there’ll be food trucks and live music, headlined by Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Devon Gilfillian at 5-11:59 p.m. Friday, 1901 Grand River Ave., Visit
Get Wild at the Detroit Zoo: Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo features millions of LED lights and 280 sculptures that will light up the zoo. The event will also include festive vignettes, seasonal treats and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition featuring award-winning photography. The Polar Patio package includes a private dining experience with all-you-can-eat food and dessert, hot cocoa in a souvenir cup and a cash bar.  5-9 p.m., Saturday-Jan. 9., 8450 W. 10 Mile, Royal Oak. Tickets start at $17; Polar Package tickets start at $30. Children under 2 get in free; parking is $8 per vehicle. Visit
Swing Bells at Beacon Park:  Beacon Park’s new interactive art installation invites visitors to play with five larger-than-life swinging bells. Each bell features a unique song and colorful light display that activates when swung. 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, Thursday-Jan. 9. 1901 Grand River Ave. Free. 
Christmas Fairytale at Canterbury Village: Canterbury Village transforms into a magical winter wonderland during its Holiday Stroll. Families can wander through the quaint village, enjoying dazzling lights, professional carolers and recreations of favorite holiday scenes. In addition to visits with Santa, guests can meet live holiday characters like Frosty, Buddy the Elf, the Grinch and Jack Frost, as well as Anna, Elsa and Olaf from “Frozen,” among others. The village will also have a singalong Children’s Caroling Corner with classic songs on a large screen to enjoy with s’mores and hot chocolate, as well as the outdoor C-Pub patio with adult drinks. The Holiday Stroll kicks off with a tree lighting ceremony Nov. 20 and is open Nov. 24, 26-28 and Dec. 3-5, 10-12, 17-19 and 23. Tickets are $14.99. It is located at 2359 Joslyn Court, Orion Township.
Take a Walk Through a Lighted Forest at Glenlore Trail’s “Aurora”: The trees come to life – literally – at Glenlore Trail’s “Aurora,” an immersive winter walk and light show. The trail is over a mile long and features interactive displays of light and sound through the forest, plus live performances along the trail. Aurora takes place from 5 – 9:30 p.m.  Thursdays – Sundays from Nov. 26 – Jan. 2 at Glenlore Trails, 3860 Newton Road, Commerce Township. Tickets are $25 for those 13 and up, $15 for youth 4-12, $20 for seniors 65+ and free for children under 3. Discounted group rates are available between $18-$22.
Celebrate Hanukkah  at Menorah in the D: Celebrate Hanukkah with the 11th annual lighting of the Menorah in the D in Detroit’s Campus Martius. In addition to the ceremonial lighting the 26-foot menorah, the event will feature a live concert by the Soul Farm Band, Detroit Circus performers and dancing dreidels and Torahs, as well as free soup, hot cider, fruit, hummus, s’mores and sufganiyot. The event begins at 5 p.m. Nov. 28 with the ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Detroit’s Campus Martius Park, 800 Woodward Ave. RSVPs are required to attend in-person, the event will also be livestreamed.
Watch Christmas movies at the Redford Theatre: See your favorite Christmas classics on the big screen throughout December at the Redford Theatre. The films include “Die Hard” Dec. 3., “A Christmas Story” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” Dec. 4, “It’s a Wonderful Life” Dec. 10-11 and “White Christmas” Dec. 17-18, as well as a holiday mystery movie on Dec. 19. Redford Theatre is located at 17360 Lahser Road, Detroit. Matinees start at 2 p.m., evening shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5.
« The Hip Hop Nutcracker »: The classic Christmas ballet is re-imagined with “The Hip Hop Nutcracker” at the Detroit Opera House. The performance features the iconic Tchaikovsky score, paired with hip hop dancing and music from a DJ, a violinist and rapper MC Kurtis Blow. The story follows the same adventure of Marie-Clara and the Nutcracker Prince to the land of sweets but features digital graffiti and visuals that set the story in modern day New York City. Adult guests must show proof of full vaccination with a government ID or proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the performance. All guests must also wear masks while in the theater. Tickets start at $29. The show takes place at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 5 at the Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway, Detroit.
Celebrate Kwanzaa at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History: This is a weeklong celebration of Kwanzaa, which explores one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa each evening and will feature songs and dances, storytelling, poetry reading and a vendor marketplace. Kwanzaa with the Wright! will take place every evening from 7-9 p.m. Dec. 26 – Jan. 1 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History at 315 E Warren Ave., Detroit.   


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