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Metro Detroit Events and Things to Do in December, 2013

Events, Festivals, Attractions, Shows, Walks and Marathons


The Metro-Detroit area welcomes the holiday season in December with festivals, ice skating, tree-lighting ceremonies and football. Whether your pleasure is a Christmas concert or down-hill skiing, there is something for everyone this month. To help you schedule your activities, here is a list of Metro-Detroit Events and Things to Do in December, 2013.

If you are looking ahead to January and beyond, check out the Yearly Calendar of Events for Metro Detroit.

Detroit Christmas Guide

Tree Lighting Celebration at Campus Martius, 2007
Photo © Linda Benedict

When: The weeks leading up to Christmas
Where: Throughout the Metro-Detroit area

The Christmas season is not all about shopping and gift giving. It is also about football, light displays, turkey dinners and holiday shows and concerts. Need a place to keep track of it all? Check out the Detroit Christmas Guide for 2013.

Campus Martius Ice Skating

Skating and Campus Martius
Photo &Copy; Jeff Widen

When: All month
Where: Woodward Avenue, Downtown Detroit

The Park at Campus Martius was designed to be the central square of Detroit. During the winter months, the park keeps people coming by offering a venue for ice skating, and the nearby cafe offers hot chocolate to keep Detroiters warm and toasty.

Wayne County Lightfest

Dragn light display at the Wayne County Lightfest, 2007
Photo © Laura Sternberg, Licensed to About.com

When: 11/14/13 through 12/31/13
Where: Hines Drive and Merriman, Westland

The Wayne County Park celebrates the holidays with an annual Lightfest consisting of over four miles of displays and approximately a million lights. Admission is by car and at minimum $5. There are also several Lightfest events at Merriman Hollow Area in 2013, including an 8K Fun Run/Walk on November 12th and a "Bike through the Lights" on November 13th. The Opening Night Celebration, which includes live entertainment and fireworks, starts at 6 PM on Thursday, November 14th.

Dickens Festival

Village of Holly Dickens Festival, 2007
Photo © Bill Mattocks

When: Three weekends (11/29-12/1, 12/7-8, 12/14-15)
Where: Village of Holly

Holly utilizes its Victorian architecture to great effect in its 40th annual Dickens Festival. The schedule of events includes characters from Dickens' novels, music from the Festival Singers, crafts, and pictures with Santa!

Noel Night

Noel Night at the Detroit Institute of Art, 2007
Photo © Liza Lagman Sperl

When: 12/7/13, 5 to 10 PM
Where: Midtown Detroit

Essentially an open house to 75 of Detroit's cultural institutions, the 41st annual event includes free entry to the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Science Center, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Public Library, and the Detroit Historical Museum. There will also be over 200 live acts, shopping, carriage rides and a sing-along along Woodward Avenue.

Geminid Meteor Shower

Geminid Meteor Shower, Arizona (12/14/06)
Photo © Ethan Miller / Getty Images

When: Peak visibility mornings of 12/13/13 & 12/14/13
Where: Northwest / North of the Metro-Detroit area

The Geminid Meteor Showers take place annually in mid December, but the peak viewing of the Geminid Meteor Shower in the Metro-Detroit area will be at the time between when the moon sets and dawn on 12/13/13 and 12/14/13 because the waxing gibbous moon may be bright enough to interfere with viewing.

Holiday Ice & The Saucy Social

Ferndale Ice Festival, 2007
Photo © Zina Denevan

When: 12/14/13, 10 AM to 6 PM
Where: Downtown Ferndale

The Holiday Ice & The Saucy Social includes over 50 super hero ice sculptures, live reindeer, trolley rides, music, and photos with Santa.

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl

Ford Field
Photo © Laura Sternberg, Licensed to About.com

When: 12/26/13, 6 PM
Where: Ford Field

The Little Caesars Pizza Bowl will match up top teams from the Big Ten and the Mid-American Conference. The game will be televised on ESPN.

New Year's Eve Family Fun Run/Walk

Belle Isle NYE Fun Run, 2007
Photo © fabulii

When: 12/31/13 at 3:30 PM & 4 PM
Where: Belle Isle Casino

The New Year's Eve Family Run/Walk attracts thousands of participants each year. It is actually a series of events. In addition to the 5K run, there is a 5K Racewalk / Fitness Walk, as well as two "fun" walk/runs -- one for children, one for adults -- on a one-mile course.

Downhill Skiing

Skiing at Pine Knob
Photo © John Wills

When: Throughout the Winter
Where: Throughout the Metro-Detroit area and beyond

Michigan winters give us plenty of opportunity for ice skids and snow shoveling, but they also give us a unique set of outdoor sports, including downhill skiing. There are four skiing resort in and around the Metro-Detroit area.

Shows and Concerts

Jersey Boys, Recording Studio Scene
Photo © Joan Marcus

When: Throughout the next couple of months
Where: Detroit-area theaters

At any given time, Detroit hosts a variety of shows and concerts, including music concerts, Broadway plays, comedians, rodeos and circuses.

Detroit Institute of Arts

Prentis Court balconies at The Detroit Institute of Arts
Photo © The Detroit Institute of Arts

When: Throughout the year
Where: Detroit Institute of Arts, downtown

Arts Alive!: After six and one-half years of renovations, the New Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) opened its doors in 2007 to show off its new design and galleries. The DIA is always brimming with events, including films, exhibits and music.

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