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.


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

Be sure to check back after Thanksgiving. That’s when we typically start to get reports on impressive local displays. In the meantime, 2018 displays are noted.

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 – House at the southwest corner of Textile Rd and Lohr Rd (actually the house is on Mallard Cove Dr)
  • 2018 – Essex St near Independence Blvd (near Allen Elementary School) – 2 trees completely covered in lights
  • 2018 – Hampshire Rd – House wrapped in lights, lights above driveway, and items in yard.
  • 2018 – Pamela in between Maple and Center Drive by Abbot Elementary
  • 2018 – Stadium & Arella
  • 2018 – 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.


  • 2018 – Ann Arbor Bed & Breakfast – 921 E. Huron St – They always have lights and inflatables in the yard.
  • 2018 – Easthaven Animal Hospital – 2140 S. Huron Parkway – It’s covered in green lights.
  • 2018 – Lewis Jewelers – 2000 W Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor
  • 2018 – IHA on Jackson Rd – 4350 Jackson Rd, Ann Arbor

Displays Beyond Ann Arbor

See Christmas Lights Near Me

This map will be updated for 2019 after Thanksgiving.

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.

The listings below have been updated for 2019.

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 opens on Thursday, November 21st 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 from November 22nd through December 23rd. Admission is $5/vehicle (cash only). 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 starts November 22 and runs nightly through December 31. New for 2019 they are open from 3-8p on 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.

New for 2019 is seasonal beverages and treats in the newly reopened Museum and an LED Display to show light silhouettes in the Amphitheatre.

The 2019 Lights Before Christmas also includes an Ice Slide and Arctic Blast Snow Ball Launcher at an additional cost. Admission is $20/Adults, $17/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 begins on November 16 and runs on Friday-Sunday through December 15 and nightly December 19-January 5 (except Christmas Day & New Years Day). They also offer the Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 4-D Experience film during Wild Lights (a 15 minute 4-D version of the classic holiday special). Prices are $11-18/person in advance and $19 at the gate (if tickets are available). Parking is $8. The Rudolph Package is an additional $5. They also offer ticket packages that include skating on the Winter Rink or all you can eat on the Polar Patio.

Jackson Nite Lites

Nite Lites is another drive through lights display at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. The display opens on Thanksgiving – November 28 and runs through December 31. $25/vehicle admission.

Join them at Winter Wonderland to visit Santa, see a puppet show, take a train ride, and enjoy food and drink. Winter Wonderland is held on November 29-December 1, December 6-8, 13-15, and 20-22. The display is open 5:30-9p Sunday-Thursday and 5:30-10p Friday & Saturday. There will be live Reindeer on Fridays in December (6th, 13th, & 20th).


Any Others?

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.

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