Guide to Tree Lightings & Holiday Light Displays {In + Around Detroit}

Looking to share the magic of Holiday Lights with your little ones this season? We’ve rounded up the events closest to you, click below on your county and then scroll through to see all the places you can take in spectacular displays and get into the holiday spirit a little more each time. Did we miss an event? Comment below so we can add it to our list!

Auburn Hills Tree Lighting | Auburn Hills

Friday, December 1, 6:00 p.m.
At the corner of Auburn and Squirrel roads, downtown Auburn Hills.

Free | This Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony is sure to dazzle the downtown area of Auburn Hills. Enjoy a joyous festival centered around the arrival of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and lighting an enormous Christmas tree. Your child can write a letter to Santa and send it to the North Pole by dropping it into Santa’s mailbox. Bundle up and take a ride through downtown on a horse drawn carriage. Take the time to send a special note to a soldier and donate hats, scarves and gloves to local charities in need.

Birmingham Tree Lighting Birmingham

Friday, December 1, 6:00 pm
In Shain Park

Free | This tree lighting with over 40,000 LED lights will start the festivities. Santa’s home in Shain Park will open for the season and kids can get photos taken for $5 donations to Leader Dogs for the Blind. There will also be free carriage rides during the event.

Tree Lighting | Farmington

Saturday, December 5, Immediately following the parade

Governor Warner’s Mansion, 33805 Grand River Ave

During Holly Days at the Governor Warner Mansion you’ll enjoy watching the tree-lighting celebration to kick off the holiday season in Farmington. Enjoy listening to carolers and sampling freshly baked cookies while sipping hot chocolate, yum!!!


Holiday Tree Lighting | Madison Heights

Monday, November 27, 6:30 p.m.
Civic Center Plaza, City Hall, 300 W. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights

Free | The Mayor will welcome Santa and present him with the key to the city. Watch as Santa and Mrs. Claus turn on the holiday lights for city to see. Come enjoy cookies + cocoa while listening to your favorite holiday music.

Light Up the Night | Novi

Friday, December 1, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Novi Civic Center, 45175 Ten Mile Road

Free | Come enjoy an evening of fun roasting marshmallows, ice sculptures, live reindeer, train rides (behind the Civic Center) and FREE refreshments. Don’t miss an appearance by our favorite {jolly} guy, Santa and the main tree lighting event happening at 6:15 p.m.

The Big, Bright Light Show | Rochester

November 21st – January 7th, every evening 5pm to midnight
Debut on November 21st at 7:00pm

You are invited to brighten your holidays in downtown Rochester with The Big, Bright Light Show, celebrating its 10th Anniversary! The buildings in downtown Rochester will be covered with more than 1 million points of glimmering holiday light. As a BONUS, the lights will continue through all weekends in January, through the Fire & Ice Festival.

Tree Lighting Ceremony | Royal Oak

Thursday, November 30, 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Outside of the Farmer’s Market

Free | Royal Oak’s Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will include caroling, refreshments, and a special visit from Santa! Hot dogs, hot chocolate & coffee are complimentary. The Farmer’s Market will be also be hosting the Holiday Magic Marketplace, featuring over 60 local artisans and crafters, starting at 4:00 p.m.

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo | Royal Oak

November 18-19, 24-26; December 1-3, 8-10, 15-17, 20-23, 26-31| 5:30 – 9 p.m.

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 craving, holiday train displays and an exhibit featuring the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Advance purchase per person/$10-$16, $16 at the gate.  Parking $7/car

City of Troy Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony | Troy

Friday, December 8, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

City Hall

Free |  The FREE campus-wide event returns this year, with new special features!  Start the night at the south entrance of City Hall for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at 6:30 pm. Throughout the evening, move on to the Library and Community Center for activities for the whole family.  Special this year, activities geared for ages 5 and under will take place at the Library and activities for 5 and above will take place at the Community Center.

Waterford Tree Lighting + Santa Celebration | Waterford

Tuesday, November 28, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Waterford Town Hall

5200 Civic Center Drive, Waterford

Free |  Grab a non-perishable food item or unwrapped toy and head down to Waterford Township Hall. Get ready for cookie decorating, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, children’s crafts and performances by Waterford Mott Jazz band and Pontiac-Waterford Big Chief Chorus. Refreshments will be sold.

Christmas Aglow | Clinton Township

Saturday, December 3, 6:00 p.m.
Clinton Township Parks and Recreation, Township Gazebo, 40700 Romeo Plank Rd

Free | Kick off the holiday season with this long standing tradition in Clinton Township. Santa will be present to hear what boys and girls have on their Christmas list. You and your family can enjoy music, ice sculptures, horse drawn trolley rides, and light refreshments. While this is a free event, they are accepting donations of nonperishable foods to be given to local families in need.

Tree Lighting | Fraser

Saturday, December 3rd, 5:30 p.m.

Free | This event will kick off the holiday season with caroling and your favorite Christmas music, a visit from Santa, holiday treats, and the iconic tree lighting ceremony.

Tree Lighting + Afterglow | Macomb Township

November 29, 7:00 p.m., 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Steps of Town Hall, 54111 Broughton Rd.

Free | Join in on caroling, watch the arrival of Santa, and the lighting of the tree. Refreshments and children’s crafts and activities will be inside the recreation center as well as visits with Santa.

Heritage Holidays  | Ray Township

Friday and Saturday evenings, December 2 & 3, 9 & 10, 16 & 17, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Wolcott Mill Metropark Historic Center, 64000 Knustman Road, Ray 48096

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. Ready to make a holiday memory with your loved ones?

Tree Lighting + Holiday Party | Romeo

Friday, December 4, 7:00 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Main Street to Romeo Village Park  

Free |Kick off the official Christmas Season with the annual tree lighting at Romeo Village Park. Immediately following, the Washington Lions invite you to attend a Christmas party including visits with Santa, hot dogs, refreshments and entertainment.

Christmas Aglow Tree Lighting | Shelby Township

Thursday, December 1, 7:00 p.m.

Shelby Township Municipal Grounds

Free | Christmas Aglow is one of the oldest and largest events in Shelby Township.  Santa will light the town tree, and then make his way to the historic Hope Chapel where he will join Mrs. Claus to hear the children’s holiday wish lists. There will be arts & crafts for the kids and horse-drawn carriage rides. The Shelby Township Lions Club will provide coffee & cookies. Don’t forget to stop by the campfire to warm up and roast marshmallows. The Eisenhower High School Choir will perform.

A Sterling Christmas | Sterling Heights

Saturday, December 3, 5:45 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Recreation Center/Dodge Park, 40620 Utica Road, Sterling Heights

Free | This family fun holiday event – in its 39th year – is filled with caroling and holiday music,  horse-drawn carriage rides, wagon + pony rides, a petting farm, campfires, the annual tree lighting ceremony, refreshments and more!

Tree Lighting Ceremony | Warren

Saturday, December 3, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

City Square

Free | You’ll enjoy a day of ice skating absolutely free! If you don’t have skates, don’t worry – rent them for $3. Stop by the petting zoo to see your favorite animals. Photos with Santa and see live reindeer with your own two eyes. Other activities include an ornament give-a-way, caroling, horse-drawn carriage rides, stage entertainment and hot chocolate to warm up. If you’re stopping to see Santa, please support the Salvation Army and bring a canned food item.


Tree Lighting Ceremony | Chelsea

Friday, December 1, 6:00 p.m.

Free | The Chelsea Area Girl Scouts will kick off this event with a dedication of a new holiday tree. The sounds of the holiday season will be performed by members of the Chelsea High School Choir followed by the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Santa will arrive on the Chelsea Fire Authority Ladder truck at approximately 6:00pm.

Saline Tree Lighting Ceremony | Saline

Tuesday, November 28th, 6:30 p.m.

KeyBank corner of Downtown N. Ann Arbor St. and Michigan St.

Free | This tree lighting ceremony will bring joy to all with a Christmas Carol sing-a-long, hot chocolate to warm your soul, and delicious cookies.

Annual Tree Lighting Celebration | Canton

Wednesday, December 6th, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

Summit Park, 46000 Summit Pkwy

Free | Along with a visit from Santa the Tree Lighting Festivities include seasonal entertainment, holiday themed crafts and activities! The actual tree lighting will begin at 6:30pm. Located at Summit on the Park

Tree Lighting + Sing-Along | Dearborn

Monday, November 20th, 5:45 pm- 9:00pm

Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave.

Free | This annual Christmas tree lighting and sing-along event will feature visits with Santa and the lighting of the City Christmas tree!

Menorah in the D | Detroit

Tuesday, December 12th, 5:30 pm

Campus Martius, Detroit

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 ft 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, roasting marshmallows, pose with the Detroit Mascot Paws, as well as a free food court serving traditional Chanukah doughnuts called sufganiot, hot soup bar, hot apple cider, snacks and lots more!

Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting  | Livonia

December 3, 4:00 p.m.

Located at the Livonia City Hall and Civic Center Library.

The parade is scheduled to start at 4:00pm 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.

Main Street Tree Lighting | Downtown Plymouth

November 10 – January 1 | 6:30 pm- 7:30 pm

Kellogg Park, Plymouth

Free | Join the community Friday, November 10th in Kellogg Park as the downtown lights and Salvation Army kicks off their Red Kettle Campaign. Free hot chocolate and cookies provided by community partnerships.

Winterfest Parade and Tree Lighting | Taylor

Saturday, November 25, 2017, 4:00 pm- 7:00pm

12111 Pardee Road, next to Heritage Park Petting Farm

Free | 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 light ceremony that will light up a 20-foot Christmas Tree under the conservatory dome.  Enjoy singing your favorite Christmas songs inside the Petting Farm Visitors center while sipping on hot cocoa and cider.

Holiday Fest + Mill Lighting | Westland

Saturday, December 9, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

$3/adults, $6/children, 3 & under Free |  This 30th annual Annual Mill Lighting will add more lights to the already beautiful and festive Hines Drive. From 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. children can make holiday crafts and play games with prizes. Families can participate in holiday games such as “Fruitcake Bowling”, “Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt”, and “Reindeer Antler Wreath Toss”. You can visit Santa Claus. during the Nankin Mills Traditional Mill Lighting and Sing-A-Long.

33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland

**No Strollers Please**

*Registration required! Call 734.261.1990 for more information. Limited spots available.

Wayne County Lightfest | Westland

November 16th – December 31st (closed December 25th!) | 7 – 10:00 pm (Monday thru Thursday) 6:00 – 10:00 pm (Friday thru Sunday)

$5 a vehicle. Enjoy this drive through an animated holiday lighting display along Hines Drive, featuring more than 1 million lights!  Visit Santa’s Workshop at the end of Warrendale Park starting November 19th until December 23rd.  Don’t forget to bring your letter to Santa, you can drop it in the giant mailbox!

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2 Responses to Guide to Tree Lightings & Holiday Light Displays {In + Around Detroit}

  1. Amy November 20, 2016 at 2:44 am #

    Birmingham has tree lighting too.

    • Heather Todero November 20, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

      Thanks, Amy! I have added it to the list.

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