Holiday Events Guide Presented by Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation

First, I would like to start the Holiday Event Guide by thanking Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Leslie Science & Nature Center, and Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra for their sponsorship of this guide. All have great events planned for the holiday season. There are also lots of other great activities in Ann Arbor and Beyond.

Holiday Events

Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation Events

Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation is holding a number of special events over the holiday season. They have the winter themed Frosty on Ice Skate at Veterans Park. Topping my daughter’s personal list of their activities is Dive-In Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy on December 27. They are also offering special school break swimming and skating hours.

Frosty on Ice

Hands-On Holidays at Hands-On Museum

After Christmas the Hands-On Museum will be holding Hands-On Holidays with special activities exploring the science of toys. They also have special events each weekend in December. My daughter loves visiting the Hands-On Museum!


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Hands on Holidays at Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Leslie Science & Nature Center Events

Leslie Science & Nature Center is hosting a special guest this December…Alternative Environmental Claus celebrating the natural gifts that we all have. Other Leslie Science & Nature Center events in December include Backyard Winter Birding, and Nature Tales.

AE Claus

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Concerts

The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has two holiday concerts on the schedule. Their Family Concert Series is Sing Along with Santa on December 6. My daughter and I really enjoyed the Sing Along with Santa last year. Their Holiday Pops concert is on Friday, December 13 and will feature songs from Frozen as well as several guest choral groups.


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Holiday Pops

Other Events in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor has plenty of other holiday events. Downtown Ann Arbor offers Midnight Madness on December 5 and Festive Fridays on other Friday nights in December. Kerrytown Market & Shops has Kindlefest on December 5, and visits with Santa on Saturdays. Other events include Holiday Classic Movies at Michigan Theater and Rave Cinemas, Storytimes at Barnes & Noble, and much more. See the events list below for the full holiday event calendar.

Ann Arbor Activities

Besides the specific events, there are other activities that can be done anytime throughout the holiday season. For example, Santa is at Briarwood Mall daily through Christmas Eve. Last year my daughter loved getting a Christmas manicure at Zoey+Joey. This year they are offering a discount on the combination of a mini-manicure and a girls haircut. I have to make an appointment for my daughter.

The Main Street Area Association’s Santa Mailbox is in front of Conor O’Neill’s and will be there through the holiday season. Macy’s also has a mailbox that benefits the Make a Wish Foundation. You can also drive around to see Holiday Lights any evening. As you are decorating of the holidays, you can find Where to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in our tree farm guide.

Holiday Events Beyond Ann Arbor

Beyond Ann Arbor, there are two activities that we have traditionally attended, Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village and Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo. Other events beyond Ann Arbor include Wild Nights at the Detroit Zoo and the Wayne County Lightfest.

Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village

We love Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village and are currently checking our schedule for which night works best this year. During Holiday Nights, the historical houses are all setup to celebrate the holidays. Each home represents the holidays in that particular time and location. Santa greets guest from the rooftop of one home. Carolers are strolling the streets and there are horse drawn wagon rides, ice skating, caroling, and end of the night fireworks. Holiday Nights is being held December 5-7, 12-14, 18-23, and 26-27. Read our review from the 2010 event.

Lights Before Christmas at the Toledo Zoo

Lights Before Christmas is a fun event to look at all of the lights through the Toledo Zoo. Not to be missed is their Christmas Tree in front of the Conservatory and the dancing light in Cheetah Valley. Lights Before Christmas is held nightly through January 4th with the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Day. After a few trips in the past and a couple of years off, we are talking about returning this year.

Wild Lights at Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo holds Wild Lights. We’ve never visited Wild Lights, but it also sounds fun. Wild Lights is held December 5-7, 11-14, 18-23, and 26-31.

Wayne County Lightfest

Earlier this season, one of my readers told me about the Wayne County Lightfest. It is now on my event list for this season. We’re pretty busy, but I’m hoping we can make a trip. Wayne County Lightfest is held nightly through December 31 (except Christmas night).

Holiday Events:

Sponsoring Events:

 Zingerman's Deli Pot Pies  Early Learning Center Ann Arbor Nursery Triangle Cooperative Preschool National Geographic - Symphony for the World 

All Holiday Events:

No Events
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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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