Ann Arbor Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights definitely add some brightness to the short winter days. They make it so much easier to come home in the dark at 5:30p. If you’re looking for Ann Arbor Christmas Lights, we’ve got a list of what to see.

Ann Arbor Christmas Lights

I was quite surprised to hear from colleagues in other cities about homes that have admission fees, donation suggestions, and musical tracks for their Christmas light displays. I’ve never heard of anything like this in Ann Arbor. When I think of Ann Arbor Christmas lights, there is no one destination that springs to mind as the “Griswold” house like in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. However, new for 2018 I have heard someone describe a display as a “Griswold House”


Ann Arbor Christmas Lights: Free Displays to Walk/Drive-By

Thank you to our readers and local Facebook groups for helping with this list of Ann Arbor Christmas Lights.

If you have seen a great display, add it in the comments, on Facebook, or send it to me by e-mail.

2018 Confirmed Displays:


  • House at the southwest corner of Textile Rd and Lohr Rd (actually the house is on Mallard Cove Dr)
  • Essex St near Independence Blvd (near Allen Elementary School) – 2 trees completely covered in lights
  • Hampshire Rd – House wrapped in lights, lights above driveway, and items in yard.
  • Pamela in between Maple and Center Drive by Abbot Elementary
  • Stadium & Arella
  • Calvin & Hobbes House – Instead of lights, this house features large Calvin & Hobbes cutouts enjoying the snow. It is on Main St just north of Pauline.



  • Ann Arbor Bed & Breakfast – 921 E. Huron St – They always have lights and inflatables in the yard.
  • Easthaven Animal Hospital – 2140 S. Huron Parkway – It’s covered in green lights.
  • Lewis Jewelers – 2000 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor
  • IHA on Jackson Rd – 4350 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor

Displays Beyond Ann Arbor

See Christmas Lights Near Me

Ann Arbor Christmas Lights: Paid Admission

There are several impressive light display events as you travel beyond Ann Arbor. The only one we have attended before is the Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas. Our December is usually really busy, so it is hard to fit everything in.

Wayne County Lightfest

The Wayne County Lightfest is a drive-through light viewing experience. There are more than 47 giant animated holiday displays with more than a million lights. The Lightfest opened on November 15th and runs through December 31 (closed on Christmas). The Wayne County Lightfest is open from 7-10p on Monday-Friday and 6-10p on Saturday-Sunday. Santa will be at his Workshop through December 23. Admission is $5/vehicle (cash only), Santa photos are $8. We have never been, but it is on my list to check out. I love that you stay in your vehicle and don’t have to freeze to see the lights.

Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo

The Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas started November 23 and runs nightly through December 31 (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day). The trees in the Zoo are covered with lights and the big tree is amazing. Also not to be missed is the dancing lights behind the Carnivore Cafe. We have attended Lights Before Christmas several times, particularly when my daughter was younger and we were zoo members. The 2018 Lights Before Christmas will include an Ice Slide and Arctic Blast Snow Ball Launcher at an additional cost. Admission is $18/Adults, $15/Kids & Seniors. Zoo members receive unlimited weeknight visits and 1 free weekend visit.

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo also offers a Christmas light show, Wild Lights. We have never been to the Detroit Zoo’s show since we live closer to the Toledo Zoo and were members there for several years. Wild Lights began on November 17 and runs on Friday-Sunday through and nightly December 26-31. They also offer the Polar Express 4-D Experience film during Wild Lights (a 15 minute 4-D version of the classic holiday special). Prices are $11-17/person in advance and $17 at the gate (if tickets are available). Parking is $8.

Jackson Nite Lites

Nite Lites is another drive through lights display which has moved to the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn this year. The display opened on November 22 and runs through December 30. Join them at Winter Wonderland to visit Santa, see a puppet show, take a train ride, and enjoy food and drink. Live reindeer will also be there on Friday nights. Winter Wonderland is held on November 30-December 2, December 7-9, 14-16, and 21-23. The display is open 5:30-9p Sunday-Thursday and 5:30-10p Friday & Saturday. $25/vehicle admission (mini-bus and buses additional) on nights with Winter Wonderland.


Any Others?

2017 Displays not confirmed for 2018

  • Canterbury & Hampshire near Platt
  • Huron St in Ypsilanti at I-94 – Incredible light display at the Huron St. exit off of I-94 (heading toward Ypsilanti). It looks like a gas station converted into a health dispensary. Entire building and parking lot illuminated
  • Livonia Lights is taking 2018 off due to family obligations and logistics created by traffic congestion.

So, what light displays have I missed? Where does your family like to go to see Holiday Light Displays? As you see new holiday lights, comment below or email them to me!

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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

Anna Mae

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