Don’t let the chilly weather keep you indoors this winter. Bundle up and head downtown for some family fun!
- Light Up the City @ Detroit’s Tree Lighting – 11/22: Ring in the holiday season as you watch Detroit flip the switch and light up their tree!
- Welcome Santa to Detroit @ Thanksgiving Day Parade – 11/28: Wave to Captain Underpants, catch some candy and beads from the clowns, and welcome Santa to Detroit at this Thanksgiving Day tradition
- Catch a Holiday Play @ Detroit’s Theatres: There’s no better time to share an unforgettable memory with your kids, than taking them to a holiday show at one of Detroit’s many beautiful theatres.
- How The Grinch Stole Christmas Musical @Fox Theatre, Detroit: November 20-23
- Disney Jr. Holiday Party @ Fox Theatre, Detroit: Wednesday, November 27
- The Illusionists: Magic of The Holidays @ Fox Theatre: November 29 & 30
- The Nutcracker @ Detroit Opera House: Saturday, November 30
- Rudolph The Musical @ Fox Theatre, Detroit: Sunday, December 1
- A Christmas Carol @ Bonstelle Theater, Detroit: December 4-15
- Uncle Gerry and Friends @ Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Saturday, December 7
- Winter Wonderland @ Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Saturday, December 7
- Cirque Dreams Holidaze @ Fox Theatre, Detroit: December 13-15
- Mannheim Steamroller Christmas @ Fox Theatre, Detroit: Saturday, December 21
- Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker @ Fox Theatre: Sunday, December 22
- Hop Hop Nutcracker @ Masonic Temple, Detroit: Monday, December 23
- The SpongeBob Musical @ Fox Theatre, Detroit: December 26 – January 5
- Noel Day & Night @ Midtown – 12/7: Explore over 100 participating venues throughout Midtown, Detroit for a FREE day of live entertainment, family craft activities, music and more.
- Celebrate Christmas @ Historic Fort Wayne – 12/7: Meet with soldiers from the Revolutionary era and see how the holidays were celebrated hundreds of years ago.
- Pick Out Some Greenery @ Capitol Park: There’s fresh cut trees, wreaths and garland ready and waiting for you to take home for the holiday.
- Put a Little Jingle in your Run @ The Corner Ballpark – 12/7: The Jingle Bell Run is a festive race for all ages with special seasonal guests!
- WinterFest @ Palmer Park – 12/8: Head to the historic Log Cabin for a multi-cultural holiday celebration!
- Have Supper with Santa @ The Whitney – 12/9 & 12/16: Have a magical evening in the Midtown castle and enjoy dinner with Santa!
- Holiday Stroll @ Belle Isle – 12/13: Escape to an island for holiday fun! There will be cocoa, cookies, crafts and more!
- Get Gingerbread house decor @ Rocky’s: Get just enough candy or all kinds and colors for your gingerbread house or a weekend treat!
- Drink Hot Cocoa and Play Some Games @ Cadillac Lodge: Find the perfect present at the glass hut pop-ups in Cadillac Square before grabbing a bite to eat at the cozy Cadillac Lodge.
- Take a Selfie with Santa @ Beacon Park 12/15: Put on your best holiday outfit and head to Beacon Park Detroit to see Saint Nick.
- Watch a Holiday Classic @ Old Redford Theatre: $5 movie tickets are hard to beat, so is the beautiful interior of the vintage movie theatre.
- Celebrate Kwanzaa @ The Wright: All cultures are invited to experience the music, dance, ceremonies, and fun of African culture.
- New Year’s Eve Kids Countdown @ Beacon Park – 12/31: Celebrate 2020 in time for bedtime at Beacon Park with family fun and games.
- New Year’s Eve Matinee Looney Tunes Classics @ Detroit Film Theatre – 12/31: Start a new decade with some old fashion laughs.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR 2020
- Let it Snow for Winter Blast – January: Skate at The Rink, zip line across Woodward, ride the big slide for a weekend of icy fun!
- Put on Green and White for Detroit’s St. Patrick’s Parade – March 15: Come down to the oldest neighborhood in Detroit and enjoy Corktown hospitality and fun!
- Come Out To See the Nain – March 22: New Orleans has Mardi Gras and Detroit has the Marche Du Nain Rouge, bring your littles down to experience the Cass Corridor tradition.
- Show Your Motor City Pride @ The Auto Show – June 13 to 20: From muscle cars to electric minis and full-size trucks – little ones will love to see all the autos on display.
- Kick-off Summer @ The Ford Fireworks – June 22: Find a seat on the Riverfront and take in an amazing fireworks display.
PLAN A DAY DOWNTOWN
- Go Ice Skating @ Campus Martius: Bring your skates or rent them and come slip and slide with the city skyline surrounding you.
- Take a Carriage Ride Around Town: Enjoy the sights and sounds of downtown from an old-fashioned horse drawn buggy on Fridays & Saturdays from 6pm to midnight starting November 16th.
- Enjoy a family meal @ Cadillac Lodge: This isn’t your average pop-up, order a meal and play some games in a cozy winter lodge in the middle of downtown!
- Scream Opa! @ Greektown: The lights are always strung and the music is always playing in the lively Greektown district, so head down for a family fun and saganaki!
- Take a Ride on the People Mover: See the city from up high and inside the city’s ‘train’. The 3 mile circular loop takes about 20 minutes and offers little kids LOTS of fun for $0.75.
- Hop on the QLine: Go for a longer ride on the QLine. Hop on in New Center (the iconic Fisher Building) and head downtown for winter fun!
- Taste Test Coneys @ American & Lafayette: Do a taste test and judge for yourself who has the best coney in Detroit.
- Go Swimming @ Boll Family YMCA: Visit this state of the art facility and take a swimming class, rock climb or join their summer camps for kids.
- Plan a Staycation @ Shinola Hotel: The boutique hotel is located in the center of the city next to family-dining destinations, the QLine and retail shops.
- Snap a Selfie @ the Hudson site: The tallest building is Detroit is being built so don’t miss your chance to snap a picture of your little ones in front of the building before it grows from the ground.
- Learn to Play Chess @ The Detroit Institute of Arts: The museum is open late on Friday nights. Explore the art exhibits and join the Detroit City Chess Club for a drop-in play session and/or lessons.
- Visit the Fish @ Belle Isle Aquarium: This historic aquarium recently reopened to the public, with lots of exhibits and events to celebrate it’s revival.
- Enjoy Nature @ Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory: Warm up in the greenhouse! The conservatory is undergoing upgrades this winter but will remain open to the public.
- Bowl & Play Football @ Fowling Warehouse: For those with kids 10+, come on down for a sport that is unique to Detroit – football meets bowling. Kids 10+ are allowed to play on the weekends from noon to 6pm.
- Have an ‘Outdoor Adventure’ Inside: The Michigan DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center allows you to experience the joys of the Mitten’s recreational fun without the coat, gloves and mittens.
- Go Bowling @ Garden Bowl: Hit the lanes in America’s oldest active bowling center.
- Go to a Reading @ Detroit Public Library: Wander the halls or stop in for storytime at Detroit’s Public Library.
- Battle It Out @ Detroit Dart Club: Fight off the winter blues with a friendly Nerf competition.
IT’S SHOWTIME! GET TICKETS NOW
- Detroit Opera House
- Detroit Symphony Orchestra – Kids Programming
- Fisher Theatre
- Wild Kratts Live – May 20
- Ford Field
- Fox Theatre
- Little Caesars Arena
DISCOVER SOMETHING NEW AT THE MUSEUM
- Detroit Institute of Arts: The DIA is FREE for Wayne, Macomb and Oakland county residents. Explore the galleries, drop-in for a craft or stay for a show.
- Belle Isle Nature Center: Get an up-close view of Michigan wildlife inside and outside at the nature center.
- Charles H Wright Museum: Learn about the history of African Americans from the colonial era to present day.
- Michigan Science Center: Let your littles enjoy hands-on fun at the Science Center. See the stars at the planetarium, burn some energy on the STEM playground and visit Kids Town.
- Motown Museum: Dance in the street and sing like the Temptations at the former home of Berry Gordy and original studio of Motown Records.
- Detroit Historical Museum: Walk the streets of old Woodward, see what life was like when Detroit was the arsenal of Democracy and make music in Kid Rock’s Music Lab.
- Dossin Great Lakes Museum: Head to Detroit’s island, Belle Isle, and hop aboard some old ships at the Great Lakes Museum.
FAMILY MEAL & FOODIE TREATS
- Find Fresh Produce @ Eastern Market: Eastern Market isn’t just a summer time destination. The ‘outdoor’ market (some of the sheds are fully enclosed) is still open every Saturday morning, rain or shine, sleet or snow!
- Grab a Dutch Girl Donut: Dutch Girl does not disappoint! Get a melt in your mouth donut anytime of day!
- Eat Authentic Mexican @ Mexicantown: Head to Bagley Street in Southwest Detroit and take your pick of amazing Mexican restaurants!
- Play Arcade Games & Eat Pizza @ POP + Offworld: Take your kids downtown and back to the 80s and at this retro second floor pizza arcade.
- Have a Party @ Punch Bowl Social: No reservations needed – bowl, sing karaoke or play table games before or after dinner.
- Play a Boardgame and Have a Beer @ Eastern Market Brewing Company: Detroit has a great beer scene and EMBC is fun because you can bring your own food, grab a game and indulge in a grown-up drink in a family-friendly environment.
- Sip Hot Cocoa @ City Bakery: Have a big city morning a New York City’s famous City Bakery located inside the Fisher Building – order hot cocoa with a homemade marshmallow and a pretzel croissant!
ROOT FOR THE HOME TEAM!
- Detroit Lions
- Detroit Red Wings
- Detroit Pistons
- Detroit Roller Derby
Photo credit: Facebook
About Carrie Budzinski
Carrie Budzinski is the Vice President of LittleGuide Detroit. She grew up in Livonia and Detroit and continues to live life in both cities. Carrie loves exploring the city and finding hidden gems in the suburbs..