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Top Things to do with KIDS in December

a family spends the day ice-skating outdoors

Between holiday shopping, cookie baking, school parties and obligatory family gatherings, don’t forget to have fun with your kids! There’s so much to do and so little time before the end of the year, so end 2018 on a high note and start making plans.

 

WAYNE COUNTY LIGHTFEST

Thursday, November 15 – Monday, December 31

@ Merriman Hollow Park, Westland

Put on your favorite Christmas music and cruise down Hines Drive while you admire the festive light show with your family.

 

JINGLE BELL RUN DETROIT

Saturday, December 1 / 7:30 am – 10:30 pm

@ The Corner Ballpark, Detroit

Get in the spirit on race day by wearing a costume and tying jingle bells to your running shoes. Mom and Dad can do a 5/10k while the littles sprint a quarter mile for fun!

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 1 / 9:00 am – 11:00 am

@ Summit Canton

Breakfast with Santa Bring the entire family to enjoy a wonderful breakfast with Santa Claus! During the breakfast, kids can share their wish list with Santa, create a winter craft, and enjoy a Christmas story time. All children will receive a holiday souvenir, crayons, and placemat. 

 

HOLIDAY SPLENDOR: SANTA SIGHTING

Saturday, December 1 / 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Cranbrook House and Gardens, Bloomfield Hills

Bring your family out for a visit with Santa Claus in the enchanted setting of Cranbrook House while it’s decorated for the holidays. Children of all ages will be entertained with a scavenger hunt while waiting for their turn to see Santa. Families will also enjoy viewing a variety of trees, trains, and other holiday displays in the charming manor.

 

PANCAKES AND PAJAMAS

Saturday, December 1 / 9:00 am – 11:00 am

@ Northville Community Center

Welcome Santa to town with a rise and shine pancake breakfast. The holly, jolly event will include Pictures with Santa, breakfast, crafts, sing-alongs and goodies. 

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 1 / 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Gerry Kulick Community Center, Ferndale

Step into Santa’s sleigh and travel to different countries around the world while you learn what Christmas means to them! As you visit each Country, you will create a themed holiday decoration that represents their tradition to fill your goodie bags and decorate your home.

 

VISIT WITH SANTA AT HENRY FORD MUSEUM

Saturday, December 1 – Monday, December 24

@ Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn

Christmas Time is Here, so come visit The Man with All the Toys in a mid-century modern photo-op inspired by the work of Charles and Ray Eames. While visiting Santa, discover a typical Christmas morning scene from the 1960s, complete with the latest toys and a sparkling aluminum Christmas tree. Bring your own camera to capture memories. 

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 1 / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Meadowbrook Hall, Rochester

Children of all ages will enjoy this wonderfully festive event. Don’t forget to bring your appetite, your Christmas wish list, and your holiday spirit, because Santa would love to have breakfast with you.

 

BIRMINGHAM SANTA HOUSE

Saturday, December 1 – December 24

Shain Park, Birmingham

Throughout the entire holiday season, children are invited to visit Santa in his quaint “home” under the pavilion in Shain Park! 

 

COCO & CRAFTS WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 1 / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Troy Historic Village

New in 2018, families are invited to register for a fun-filled morning of Christmas craft-making, plus holiday matching game, festive story with Cheddar the Mouse, sweet treats, and of course, a special visit with Santa Claus for each child. 

 

MICHIGAN SCIENCE CENTER FREE DAYS

Saturday, December 1 / 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

@ Michigan Science Center, Detroit

Enjoy free general admission at the Michigan Science Center! General admission includes 250+ hands-on exhibits, live stage shows, Spark!Lab from the Smithsonian, Kids Town gallery, STEM Playground space and more. Planetarium theater tickets will be available for purchase online and at the box office during your visit.

 

FISH-MAS WEEKENDS

Saturdays & Sundays thru December 23

@ Sea Life Michigan Aquarium, Auburn Hills

Experience an underwater winter wonderland at SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium during Fish-mas, select weekends in December! Along with festive décor, little elves can write and deliver holiday cards to their favorite fishy friend and look for our Elf on the Shelf!

 

VISIT SANTA AT VILLAGE CENTER MALL

Saturday, December 1 – December 22

@ Village Center Mall, Milford

Santa’s Coming to Visit at Village Center Mall and get some shopping done in downtown Milford!

 

HOLIDAY BRICKTACULAR WEEKENDS

Saturdays & Sundays thru December 23

@ Legoland, Auburn Hills

It’s the most Bricktacular time of the year! Build holiday memories in our mind-bopping, winter wonderland! Your little LEGO® lovers will have festive FUN FUN FUN all season with LEGO holiday activities

 

LUNCH WITH THE CLAUSES AT THE PETTING FARM

Saturday, December 1 / 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

@ Heritage Park Petting Farm, Taylor

Get in the spirit of the holidays by having lunch with Santa and Mrs Claus at the Petting Farm! 

 

NOEL NIGHT

Saturday, December 1 / 11:00 am – 10:00 pm

@ Midtown Detroit

With over 110 participating venues and 150 free performances and activities, five hours of fun just doesn’t cut it anymore. Noel Night’s is extending the long-standing tradition with new daytime and nighttime hours. Participating daytime venues such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Public Library, Detroit Historical Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum, College for Creative Studies, and Michigan Science Center will feature family friendly performances and activities. All Cultural Center venues will be open free to the public.

 

HOLLY DICKENS FESTIVAL

December 1, 2, 8 & 9

@ Holly Dickens Festival

Don’t miss a historic Dickens themed festival, that the entire family will enjoy in Historic Downtown Holly.

 

BOWL WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 1 / 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

@ Wonderland Lanes, Walled Lake

Ho-ho-ho, boys and girls, it’s Christmastime! Before Santa has to jet around the world and deliver gifts, spend an afternoon with him and his friends from WB Parks at Wonderland Lanes. See if you can beat Santa in a game, get your picture taken with him, collect a goodie bag and have some great family fun!

 

THE NUTCRACKER BALLET WITH DETROIT SYMPHONY YOUTH ORCHESTRA

Saturday, December 1 / 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

@ Ford Community and Performing Arts Center

Enter the world of the timeless yuletide fantasy. Accompanied by the Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra.

 

A VISIT WITH SANTA AND MRS. CLAUS

Saturday, December 1 / 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

@ Lake St. Clair Metropark, Harrison Charter Township

Tired of waiting in long lines during the holiday season? No lines here – join us for this unique event where games are played, crafts are made and snacks are served while you get to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Santa’s helpers will take your photos, but you are welcome to bring your own camera and snap as many photos as you please.

 

SANTA’S MAGIC FOREST

Sunday, December 1 – December 23

@ Heritage Park, Taylor

Santa’s Magic Forest — Downriver’s finest holiday display — is open weekends from Thanksgiving Weekend through Christmas in the Heritage Park Activity Building. The magical winter wonderland includes hundreds of animated characters, dozens of Christmas scenes and beautiful holiday light displays. Visitors have an opportunity to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

 

CHRISTMAS AT THE FORT

Saturday, December 1 / 1:30 pm – 7:00 pm

@ Historic Fort Wayne, Detroit

Christmas at the Fort is a day of guided tours providing a glimpse of Christmas traditions throughout American History. Meet soldiers and civilians from the Revolutionary War to the Spanish-American War and learn how Christmas was celebrated in their eras.

 

THE NUTCRACKER

Saturday, December 1 & Sunday, December 2

@ Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Township

Come celebrate the season with a holiday favorite. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker will be offered in collaboration with the Macomb Ballet Company. The Nutcracker will entertain and delight audiences of all ages from the moment they get caught up in the party scene to the final waltz. There is a cast “Meet and Greet” following all five shows.

 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Saturday, December 1 – Sunday, December 23

@ Meadowbrook Theatre, Rochester

Everyone’s favorite holiday classic captivates audiences for the 37th year with the tale of a mean-spirited miser and the ghosts that haunt him. Celebrating 37 years of holiday magic!

 

TINKERBELL VISITS STORYLAND

Saturday, December 1 – January 27

@ Northville Marquis Theatre

Join Tinkerbell as she visits classic storybook lands and characters, and helps save the day when friends are in need. 

 

HOLIDAY NIGHTS SUPPER WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 1 – Thursday, December 27

@ Greenfield Village, Dearborn

Following your horse-drawn ride to A Taste of History Restaurant, your family will partake in a casual buffet-style holiday turkey dinner perfect for kids! Each family will have the opportunity to meet and take your own photo with Santa.

 

WILD LIGHTS AT THE DETROIT ZOO

Weekends thru December 31

@ Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak

The Detroit Zoo will light up the night again this holiday season with Wild Lights, a spectacular light display. Experience the magic of the Detroit Zoo in winter as you take in the lights and the sights and enjoy holiday entertainment and special activities for guests of all ages.

 

HOLIDAY LIGHTED PARADE

Saturday, December 1 / 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

@ Downtown Lake Orion

Lake Orion is the home of one of the only nighttime holiday lighted parades in Michigan. In fact, it’s the second largest lighted holiday parade in the nation!

 

CHRISTMAS AGLOW

Saturday, December 1 / 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm

@ Clinton Township Civic Center

Clinton Township is officially “Aglow” at this event. This long standing tradition of the Township will once again mark the opening of our holiday season.  Bring your whole family and join neighbors from across Clinton Township at a night full of fun. Boys and girls will have a chance to personally visit with Santa and give him their Christmas list. Enjoy the music of the season, ice sculptures, horse drawn trolley rides, and light refreshments as we usher in the holiday season.

 

HOLIDAY NIGHTS IN GREENFIELD VILLAGE

Saturday, December 1 – Thursday, December 27

@ Greenfield Village, Dearborn

Mingle with merrymakers amid the smells of roasting chestnuts and warm bonfires: the sounds of carolers, fiddlers and sleigh bells: and other yuletide activity during Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. Every lantern-lit path takes you to a new winter wonder to discover. Strap on a pair of ice skates, send a shout-out to Santa and his magnificent reindeer, find your reflection in a handcrafted ornament and nestle into a horse-drawn wagon for a sing-along through Greenfield Village.

 

KIDS NIGHT OUT

Saturday, December 1 / 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

@ Troy Gymnastics, Troy

Kids can tumble, jump & play while their parents are away! Shop, dine, or catch a movie while your child is supervised in a safe environment and meeting new friends!

 

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER

December 1 & 2, 6-9 and 13-16

@ Stagecrafters, Royal Oak

Peter and the Starcatcher is the fantastical adventure about how Peter Pan came to be. On a ship bound for the island of Rundoon, three orphan boys befriend Molly, daughter of Starcatcher Lord Aster, who is on a secret mission for the Queen of England. Their precious cargo is starstuff, powerful magical dust that must not fall into the wrong hands. When the villainous Black Stache and his band of pirates attack the ship, one orphan finds his courage and a legend is born.

 

HAPPY HOLIDAY HULLABALOO

Sunday, December 2 / 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

@ Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve, Rochester Hills

The Happy Holiday Hullabaloo – With the holidays right around the corner it’s time to ring in the new year and celebrate our families by taking everyone out to Lost Lake Nature Park for an afternoon of ornament making, carols, popcorn-stringing, refreshments and more! We will be taking hikes out into the woods to collect natural materials to turn into hanging ornaments inside, playing some festival holiday games, and even going on a scavenger hunt outside for missing prizes!

 

WHOVILLE 5K

Sunday, December 2 / 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

@ Northville High School

The Mayor of Whoville is coming to Northville, and he’s bringing the Mrs., the Things, the Cat in the Hat and more! Compete with a 5k run/walk, a kids’ fun run and all the characters you love from your favorite Christmas story! PLUS… there will be enough hot chocolate and treats for everyone (even the Grinch!)

 

ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER

Sunday, December 2 / 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

@ Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor

Ms. Greer’s classroom includes three inquisitive out-of-the-box thinkers. Rosie Revere has big dreams, Iggy Peck has a relentless passion for architecture, and Ada Twist’s curiosity can drive her teacher crazy. A fun new Theatreworks USA musical based on the books Rosie Revere, Engineer, Iggy Peck, Architect and Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty which spotlights the STEM curriculum (focusing on science, technology, engineering and math).

 

FAMILY YOGA

Sunday, December 2 / 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

@ Detroit Mama Hub

Family yoga invites the whole family – moms, dads, caregivers, babies and toddlers to join us for family fun on the mat.

 

MENORAH IN THE D

Sunday, December 2 / 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

@ Campus Martius Park, Detroit

The Menorah In The D is a 26′ menorah which stands in downtown Detroit during Chanuka. The evening of festivities include strolling entertainment, Chanukah Gelt for the children, dancing dreidels & dreidel mascot, Mitzvah station and horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

 

INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER DAY

Wednesday, December 5 / 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit

Volunteering is the perfect act of kindness that also deepens the understanding of why we volunteer. At the DNR, there are several volunteer opportunities all over Michigan for everyone. We’ll also share volunteer opportunities found at Belle Isle and The Detroit Zoological Society.

 

COOKIES WITH SANTA

Wednesday, December 5 / 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm

@ The Longacre House, Farmington Hills

‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas, when all through Longacre House, children sat for songs led by Santa in his red blouse. The cookies were decorated by children with care, in hopes that Santa would still be there. They get in line to meet Santa before bed, while visions of Christmas dance in their head.

 

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Thursday, December 6 – Sunday, December 9

@ Wild Swan Theater, Ann Arbor

Based on the novel by Charles Dickens and adapted for Wild Swan by Jeff Duncan with original music by composer Tom Schnauber, Wild Swan’s version of this wonderful holiday classic has been especially created for family audiences. “A Christmas Carol” tells of the astonishing transformation of miserly old Ebeneezer Scrooge after he is visited by three spirits on the night befor

 

HIP HOP NUTCRACKER

Thursday, December 6 / 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

@ Masonic Temple, Detroit

A holiday mash-up for the entire family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary work set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, embarks on an international tour on the strength of last December’s sold-out performances of the world premiere at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) in New York City.

 

CHRISTMAS AGLOW

Thursday, December 6 / 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

@ Shelby Township Municipal Grounds

Welcome Santa, sing carols and join us to share in the spirit of Christmas as we light the big township tree. Visit with St. Nick afterwards to deliver your wish list, enjoy kids’ crafts and partake in delicious cookies, hot chocolate and a marshmallow roast. We’ve even got horse-drawn wagon rides and food trucks like Crepe-Day Twah and Mac Shack for feasting. This year’s theme is “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” so expect a fun guest.

 

ROYAL OAK HOLIDAY GLOW

Friday, December 7 – Saturday December 8

@ Downtown Royal Oak

The Royal Oak Holiday Glow will feature traditional holiday activities like photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, live reindeer, horse drawn carriage rides, letters to Santa and caroling. A warming tent on Fifth Ave will house a Winter Market, hot beverages, bar and music. There will be live ice carvings each day of a life size sleigh and reindeer.

 

HERITAGE HOLIDAY AT THE HISTORIC CENTER

Friday, December 7 – December 15

@ Wolcott Mill Metropark, Ray

Create or continue a wonderful family tradition. Stroll through the park and enjoy the holiday decorations and spectacular lights, visit with Santa and make holiday crafts. Enjoy a cup of hot cider or cocoa as you watch the blacksmith working in his shop. Cut a log cookie with a two man saw to make an ornament. Photo vignettes will help you create memories. Visit the Clydesdale horses in their show stalls and enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride. Vote for your favorite decorated tree at the Festival of Trees. Dress for the weather.

 

THE SANTA CLAUSE

Friday, December 7 / 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Redford Theatre, Detroit

Divorced dad Scott Calvin has custody of his son on Christmas Eve. After he finds a Santa suit, they are magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. Scott thinks he’s dreaming, but over the next several months he gains weight and grows an inexplicably white beard. Starring Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson and Eric Lloyd. 1994, rated PG, digital presentation.

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 8 / 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak

Enjoy breakfast with your favorite holiday friends at the 15th annual Breakfast with Santa at the Detroit Zoo’s Wildlife Interpretive Gallery.

The buffet-style waffle breakfast also includes a special gift for each child, arts and crafts, photo opportunities and a visit from Santa.

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 8 & Sunday, December 9

@ Longacre House, Farmington Hills

Santa Claus is coming to town for breakfast at the historic Longacre House. What do you know about Rudolf? Santa will share the secrets and sing songs. Come with Christmas lists ready to share with the jolly man himself and make sure to bring a camera to capture the special moment. Registration is required for both adult and child.

 

HOLIDAY BREAKFAST

Saturday, December 8 / 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit

The holiday season is a time for good food, great quality time with friends and family, and lots of joy! Join us for a family friendly breakfast that features all three! We will have breakfast foods, crafts, games & a holiday magic show featuring Bafflin’ Bill!

 

KIDS CHRISTMAS PARTY

Saturday, December 8 / 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

@ Fraser Parks & Recreation

Children ages 5-11 are invited to join us for a little elves Christmas party! No parents allowed (so parent’s you’ll need to find something else to do!). We will be making crafts, playing games, watching a movie and more!

 

STORYTIME WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 8 / 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

@ Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

Did you ever wonder how Santa gets his reindeer to travel so fast?  Like, how does he know who is naughty or nice? Does he ever get a tummy ache from too much sugar? Well, why not ask him?  Believe it or not, Santa will be at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve on December 8th to answer all your questions.

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 8 / 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

Shelby Township Senior Center

Enjoy “Breakfast with Santa” at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 8 at the senior center. Tickets are limited for this annual family-style breakfast event that features pancakes, sausage and a beverage. Kids will also have a chance to meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Breakfast is served by volunteers from the Eisenhower High School Key Club. Santa is a busy man, so meals begin at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. sharp. 

 

JAZZ MEETS DR. SEUSS / THE DSO

Saturday, December 8 / 10:00 am – 11:00 am

@ Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit

Back by popular demand! Sean Dobbins and friends return to the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. There is fun to be done as we explore the rhyming and rhythm of Dr. Seuss through the world of jazz music.

 

MICHIGAN SCIENCE CENTER FREE DAYS

Saturday, December 8 & Sunday, December 9

@ Michigan Science Center, Detroit

Enjoy free general admission at the Michigan Science Center! General admission includes 250+ hands-on exhibits, live stage shows, Spark!Lab from the Smithsonian, Kids Town gallery, STEM Playground space and more. Planetarium theater tickets will be available for purchase online and at the box office during your visit. Visit Mi-Sci.org for showtimes.

 

HOLIDAY ICE FESTIVAL

Saturday, December 8 / 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

@ Downtown Ferndale

Ring in the holidays with Downtown Ferndale’s annual Holiday Ice Festival, Saturday, December 8th from 10am to 4pm! Come for plenty of traditional holiday-time activities for the whole family to enjoy. Experience downtown as it transforms into a winter wonderland with nearly 50 magnificent ice creations lining streets! Watch the ice carvers as they chain-saw, chisel and shape blocks of ice into magical holiday masterpieces.

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 8 / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Orchard Mall, West Bloomfield

Come enjoy Breakfast with Santa & Mrs. Claus at Orchard Mall, located on the Northeast corner of Maple Road and Orchard Lake in West Bloomfield! Must register in advance. No ticket sales at the door. Everyone 1 year old and older will require a ticket. Breakfast will be served buffet style, compliments of Zoes House of Pancakes, located in the mall! Santa & Mrs. Claus will be the guests of honor for pictures!

 

THE SNOWMAN

Saturday, December 8 / 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit

Based on the award-winning children’s book by Raymond Briggs, The Snowman comes to life on the big screen! The DSO performs Howard Blake’s memorable soundtrack while the animated classic plays above the orchestra. Come inside from the cold to enjoy this and other musical winter favorites!

 

REINDEER DAYS AT THE PETTING FARM

Saturday, December 8 – Sunday, December 9

@ Heritage Park Petting Farm, Taylor

Enjoy Santa Claus and yes, real reindeer at the Heritage Park Petting Farm! 

 

LUNCH WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 8 / 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

@ Livonia Community Recreation Center

Join us for a Livonia holiday tradition. The annual Lunch with Santa will take place at 11 a.m. This event includes lunch, crafts and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

 

CORKTOWN-A-GLOW

Saturday, December 8 / 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

@ Corktown, Detroit

Join us for our 3rd Annual Corktown Aglow Saturday, December 8th starting at noon and going into the evening. Stop by Corktown all day on Saturday, December 8th for heaps of holiday fun and family friendly festivities throughout the neighborhood including time with Santa and a tree lighting ceremony.

 

PIONEER CHRISTMAS

Saturday, December 8 – Sunday, December 9

@ Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, Shelby Township

Whether you’re looking for a new family tradition, some crafts to make or you just appreciate homemade baked goods, Pioneer Christmas at the nature center is a must-see event. Come celebrate the way the pioneers and early settlers of the area would have. Visit our pioneer cabin and see the time-appropriate decorations and even make some of your own. We will be offering warm cups of hot chocolate to go with your holiday cheer.

 

HOLIDAY EXPRESS

Saturday, December 8 / 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm

@ Joy Park, Clinton Township

The Polar Express story will be read as the train begins its journey, while families feast on hot chocolate & cookies, sing carols and more!  The train boards at Joy Park on 24001 Joy Boulevard, south of Hall Road and east of Gratiot. Be sure to bring your camera for capturing those special moments with our favorite holiday guests!  

 

S’MORES AND SANTA

Saturday, December 8 / 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

@ Kensington Metropark, Milford

Visit with Santa, make s’mores around the campfire, drink hot chocolate, hear a story and create some crafts. Program is geared toward small children. 

 

KIDS NIGHT OUT SNOWPOCALYPSE

Saturday, December 8 / 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm

@ Franklin Athletic Club, Southfield

The weather outside may be frightful, but our indoor pool will be delightful. Come chill with us for a night full of bounce houses, swimming, indoor snowball fight, pizza, hot chocolate, and more.

 

HOLIDAY SPLASH BASH

Sundays December 9 & December 30

@ Ferndale High School

The month of December will be a fun month, Ferndale Parks and Recreation has partnered with Ferndale High school to offer a few swim sessions over the holiday! Sunday, December 9th and 30th will be a themed party for 1.5 hours. and the remaining time will be open family swim.

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Sunday, December 9 / 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

@ Shelby Township Community Center

Enjoy pancakes, sausage and a drink at our family-style breakfast and give children the chance to meet Santa Claus without having to wait in line at the mall. Mrs. Claus and her friends will be there to visit and entertain while guests enjoy crafts. Our wait staff is made up of Eisenhower Key Club student volunteers so don’t keep them waiting and get here on time.

 

SANTA CENTRAL

Sunday, December 9 / 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

@ Hudson Mills Metropark, Dexter

Join us for Santa’s visit to Hudson Mills! Kids (and adults) can visit with Santa, go on a hay ride, and make seasonal crafts.  Don’t stand in line at the mall- we have small groups, and you can use your own camera for that perfect Holiday moment.

 

SNACKS WITH SANTA

December 9, 15 & 16

@ Kensington Metropark, Milford

A holiday season tradition at the Farm! Each visit includes a horse-drawn hayride or sleigh ride, a holiday sing-a-long, (complete with cozy blankets, song sheets, and jingle bells), snacks, (fruit, cookies, juice, hot cocoa, and coffee), and most importantly, a visit with Santa by the Christmas Tree!

 

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS FAMILY PARTY

Sunday, December 9 / 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

@ Arab American National Museum, Dearborn

It’s time to celebrate! Revel in the spirit and joy of the season at AANM’s FREE Countdown to Christmas Family Party featuring seasonal crafts, cookie decorating, Maples Elementary Arabic Music Ensemble performance and a visit from Santa Claus!

 

WINTERFEST: MULTI-CULTURAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION IN THE LOG CABIN

Sunday, December 9 / 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

@ Palmer Park, Detroit

Bring your whole family for an afternoon of old-fashioned holiday fun at WinterFest, a multi-cultural holiday festival at the historic Log Cabin. Enjoy Christmas magic with Santa and Mrs. Claus, horse and carriage rides through the woods (suggested donation $5per adult or family, $2 per child), sweets, treats and hot cocoa, holiday ornament making and music as well as Hanukkah with the Downtown Synagogue and Kwanzaa with the Wright Museum of African American History.

 

SUGAR PLUM TEA PARTY

Sunday, December 9 / 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

@ The Community House, Birmingham

Take a trip to the Land of Sweets with The Community House Dance Academy!  You and your little one will have the chance to dance alongside our ballet ensemble, make custom holiday crafts, and enjoy exquisite tea and punch fit for a prima ballerina!  Fancy dress is welcome and encouraged.

 

THE CHANUKAH BASH

Sunday, December 9 / 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

@ Congregation Shaarey Zedek, Southfield

We hope you’ll join us for the 8th night at our first annual Chanukah Bash! It’s the perfect way to celebrate the holiday for families with children ages 0 to 4 with something for every kid and kid at heart!

 

SUPPER WITH SANTA

Sunday, December 9 / 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

@ Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester

Couldn’t make breakfast, why not join him for dinner? Children of all ages will enjoy this wonderfully festive event. Don’t forget to bring your appetite, your Christmas wish list, and your holiday spirit, because Santa would love to have supper with you.

 

CORNMAN FARMS HOLIDAY LIGHTING CEREMONY

Sunday, December 9 / 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

@ Cornman Farms, Dexter

Get into the holiday spirit at the Cornman Farms’ Holiday Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, December 9th from 5-7pm!  Featuring holiday carols by University of Michigan’s Dicks and Janes a cappella group, signature Cornman Farms’ snacks, including sweet and savory pancakes, mini savory pies, hot chocolate and a cash bar for the adults. We hope you join us for this casual, family-friendly evening.

 

PNC TINKERING FOR TOTS

Monday, December 10 / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn

Little learners get a head full of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) with our hands-on program. Designed for curious preschoolers, our inspired yet playful activities focus on themed materials and then expand outward with storytelling, crafting, building and artifact exploration.

 

YOGA PLAY DATES WITH MS. KATHY

Monday, December 10 / 10:00 am – 11:30 am

@ Franklin Athletic Club, Southfield

Come interact with your little one, breathe, stretch, and play. After yoga there will be open gym with the bounce houses.

 

SUPPER WITH SANTA

December 10 & December 17

@ The Whitney, Detroit

Bring the kids and spend some special one on one time with “The Big Guy”.   Reservations for this event are limited, and must be completed over the phone by calling 313-832-5700.  We will be serving our regular ala carte and kid’s menus for this event.

 

DISNEY’S ALADDIN

Wednesday, December 12 – January 12

@ The Detroit Opera House

From the producer of The Lion King comes the timeless story of ALADDIN, a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and breathtaking spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.

 

DINNER & DANCING WITH SANTA

Thursday, December 13 / 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

@ Cherry Creek Golf Club, Shelby Charter Township

Join Santa and his friends for a family event at the Cherry Creek Banquet Center in Shelby Township. Arrive at 6 p.m. and get ready to dance with a festive DJ. A delicious buffet dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. and soon after you can meet Santa and his friends Frosty and Rudolph the Reindeer. Children will receive a small gift so remember your camera. Seating is reserved and no tickets will be sold at the door. The evening will conclude at 8:30 p.m.

 

JURASSIC QUEST

Friday, December 14 – Sunday, December 16

@ Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi

Jurassic Quest brings a dinosaur adventure for the entire family, returning to Novi! An all new event featuring over 80 LIFE SIZE Dinosaurs! Green screen photography and face painting are extra. All tickets are subject to sales tax. Socks are REQUIRED on all inflatable “bounce houses”.

 

BELLE ISLE HOLIDAY STROLL

Friday, December 14 / 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

@ Belle Isle State Park, Detroit

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is pleased to partner with the Belle Isle Aquarium and the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory for the 5th annual Belle Isle Stroll. Families are invited to visit all three attractions for good holiday fun. At the Dossin, families can enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, holiday music and free winter-themed crafts.

 

DINNER WITH SANTA

Friday, December 14 – Sunday, December 16

@ Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak

Celebrate the holiday season with a feast at the Detroit Zoo’s Dinner with Santa at Wild Lights. This event takes place in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery during our spectacular holiday light display. The buffet-style dinner also includes a special gift for each child, arts and crafts, and a visit from Santa as well as admission to Wild Lights.

 

HOLIDAY FUNTASTIC NIGHT

Friday, December 14 / 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

@ Northville Community Center

Tis the season to enjoy a night of cookies, hot chocolate, and a classic holiday movie. Kids will also make crafts and write letters to the North Pole. You never know who may stop by and visit… A guest appearance by Santa!

 

A NIGHT IN WONDERLAND: DADDY / DAUGHTER DANCE

Friday, December 14 / 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

@ Recreation Authority of Roseville & Eastpointe

Our themed evening will transport you and your “special date” to a time of wonder and enchantment!  Registration will include a buffet dinner, dancing, group photo and a special gift for each girl at the end of the magical night.

 

BREAKFAST WITH MINIFIGURE SANTA

Saturday, December 15 / 9:00 am – 10:00 am

@ Legoland, Auburn Hills

Join us for Breakfast with Minifigure Santa at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center for food, fun & photo ops! This special HO-HO-HO-liday event will have limited tickets, so book yours today to guarantee entry!

 

DONUTS WITH DINOSAURS

Saturday, December 15 / 9:00 am – 10:00 am

@ Sloan Museum, Flint

Visit with a friendly T. Rex, enjoy donuts and milk, and explore the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit!

 

PJS & PANCAKES WITH SANTA

Saturday, December 15 / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Franklin Athletic Club, Southfield

Come spend your morning with us at Franklin! Celebrate the Holiday season with a visit from Santa during story time, games pancakes, crafts, and more!

 

SELFIES WITH SANTA AND FAMILY FUN

Saturday, December 15 / 1:00 pm – Sunday, December 16

@ Beacon Park, Detroit

Put on your best holiday outfit and head to Beacon Park Detroit to see Saint Nick. Don’t forget to snap a few photos with the larger-than-life holiday light installations that transform the park into a winter wonderland!In addition to selfies with Santa, come enjoy activities for the whole family to enjoy, including make and takes.

 

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS LIVE ON STAGE

Saturday, December 15 / 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

@ Fox Theatre, Detroit

This touring production of A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage by Charles M. Schulz features everyone’s favorite Peanuts gang – Linus, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and more, all led by the lovable Charlie Brown – as they discover the true meaning of Christmas.

 

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT / LSNC: WILD WINTER WOODS

Saturday, December 15 / 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm

@ Leslie Science & Nature Center, Ann Arbor

It’s a night out for grown-ups while the kids enjoy an exciting evening at LSNC. Explore how animals survive in winter and test your own survival skills through games and challenges. Meet an expert hibernator up close and personal. Activities will be outside as much as possible, so please come dressed for the weather!

 

KIDS NIGHT OUT

Saturday, December 15 / 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm

@ Troy Gymnastics

Kids can tumble, jump & play while their parents are away! Shop, dine, or catch a movie while your child is supervised in a safe environment and meeting new friends!

 

DETROIT PISTONS HOME GAME

December 15, 17, 23, 26 & 30

@ Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

Get ready for some DEEEETROIT Basketball! Cheer on Griffin, Drummond and the rest of the Pistons at Little Ceasars arena.

 

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Sunday, December 16 / 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

@ Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester

Children of all ages will enjoy this wonderfully festive event. Don’t forget to bring your appetite, your Christmas wish list, and your holiday spirit, because Santa would love to have breakfast with you.

 

SANTA BRUNCH

Sunday, December 16 / 10:30 am – 2:00 pm

@ The Foundation Hotel, Detroit

You better not pout, you better not cry, you better watch out I’m tellin’ you why — Santa Claus is comin’ to town!!! We will be hosting a very special Santa Brunch on Sunday , December 16th from 10:30a-2p, featuring our normal brunch menu. Our VERY special guest, Santa Claus himself, will be on site, as well as a a special pop up shopping experience with our friends from LEGO!!

 

AFTERNOON TEA WITH PRINCESS & SANTA

Sunday, December 16 / 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

@ The Townsend, Birmingham

Our Children’s Princess Teas are Interactive for the First 45 Minutes with Singing and Dancing. We Will Have Food Stations and Fun for All Throughout….And Yes, Boys and Men love to Attend. Drinks are Available Upon Request. Enjoy Our Chilled Champagne or Mimosas

 

SANTA VISITS THE NATURE CENTER

Sunday, December 16 / 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

@ Burgess-Shadbush Nature Center, Shelby Township

Our animals are excited for Santa’s yearly visit to the nature center. Have you sent Santa your wish list yet? Give it to him in person right here. He may even bring Mrs. Claus with him to help give out treats.

 

THE NUTCRACKER

Sunday, December 16 / 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

@ The Community House, Birmingham

Spend the Holidays with The Community House Dance Academy for this time-honored classic! The Nutcracker is a beloved tradition that is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Join Clara on her magical journey through the Land of Sweets, featuring an eternal score from Tchaikovsky.

 

FAMILY NIGHT OUT

Sunday, December 16 / 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

@ Goldfish Swim School, Macomb

Join us for Family Night Out, we’ll have crafts, food, open swim and raffles! 

 

A CHRISTMAS STORY THE MUSICAL

Thursday, December 20 – Saturday, December 22

@ Fox Theatre, Detroit

From the songwriting team behind the smash hit Tony Award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen and the Academy Award-winning film La La Land, A Christmas Story, The Musical, brings the classic 1983 movie to hilarious life on stage!

 

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Friday, December 21 / 10:45 am – Sunday, December 23

@ Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Share Detroit’s favorite holiday musical tradition with family and friends and thrill to the spectacle of the season. Lawrence Loh leads a sparkling celebration with carols and classics that sells out year after year – and yes, Virginia, there will be a Santa Claus!

 

KIDS NIGHT OUT – LIVONIA

Friday, December 21 / 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

@ Livonia Community Recreation Center

FRIDAY NIGHTS ARE BACK! Parents, enjoy a night to yourselves while we provide food and entertainment for your children. Every 3rd Friday of the month your kids will have a blast in the leisure pool, eating pizza & pop, rock climbing, playing board and video games and watching a movie. Send your kids off to have fun while you relax and take a much-deserved break. 

 

FAMILY NIGHT OUT

Friday, December 21 / 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

@ Goldfish Swim School, Canton

Join us for Family Night Out, we’ll have crafts, food, open swim and raffles! 

 

INDOOR SNOWBALL FIGHTS & ICE FISHING

Saturday, December 22 – December 30

@ Outdoor Adventure Center, Detroit

Michigan is well known for its snowy & frigid winters. Come experience some of winter’s favorite activities – but in the comfort of a warm building! Prizes are included for participants. Happens intermittently throughout the day.

 

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS

Saturday, December 22 / 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

@ Macomb Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Township

New Production! One of the most popular family holiday classics of all time! This timeless production tells the story of a miraculous encounter between Amahl, a boy with a lame leg, and the Three Kings. Menotti’s opera presents an inspiring message of how faith, charity, and love can work miracles.

 

KID’S NIGHT OUT

Saturday, December 22 / 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

@ The Robot Garage, Rochester Hills

Register to bring your kids to The Robot Garage for a Kid’s Night Out and they will LOVE that you’re leaving them behind for a night to yourself. Our amazing staff will lead LEGO and robotic activities for ages K-8.

 

MOSCOW BALLET’S GREAT RUSSIAN NUTCRACKER

Sunday, December 23 / 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

@ Fox Theatre, Detroit

Experience Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker – Dove of Peace Tour at the Fox Theatre for three performances on Sunday, December 23. Presenting world class Russian artists, hand-painted sets, Russian Snow Maidens, and a two-dancer Dove of Peace with a 20-foot wingspan – the Great Russian Nutcracker brings the Christmas spirit to life for all ages.

 

CARNEVALE DELLA SCIENZA

Wednesday, December 26 – Sunday, December 30

@ Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills

There will be a host of science experiments and activities based on the musings of the Renaissance Man himself, Leonardo da Vinci. In addition, celebrate 16th century Italian style with crafts, dancing, and games all inspired by the great flowering of culture enjoyed by Europe at the time. Make jewelry, learn a new dance, and try your hand at cards or chess – both exotic new pastimes in Renaissance Europe!

 

TEA-TIME THEATRE: THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG

Friday, December 28 / 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

@ Detroit Film Theatre

Disney’s return to traditional hand-drawn animation features award-winning music, irresistible characters and a modern twist on a classic fairy tale. Set in New Orleans in the 1920s, our heroine Tiana, a hard-working, determined girl, meets a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again.

 

MICHIGAN SCIENCE CENTER FREE DAYS

Saturday, December 29 & Sunday, December 30

@ Michigan Science Center, Detroit

Enjoy free general admission at the Michigan Science Center! General admission includes 250+ hands-on exhibits, live stage shows, Spark!Lab from the Smithsonian, Kids Town gallery, STEM Playground space and more. Planetarium theater tickets will be available for purchase online and at the box office during your visit.

 

NOON YEAR’S EVE

Monday, December 31 / 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

@ Detroit Historical Museum

Save the date for our family friendly New Year’s celebration! Preschool and elementary-aged children and their families can make their own noisemaker, write a time capsule letter, enjoy cookies and hot cocoa, and most importantly, ring in the New Year with a countdown to noon!

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE KIDS COUNTDOWN

Monday, December 31 / 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

@ Beacon Park, Detroit

10…9…8… Let the countdown begin until the new year, with a family friendly event at Beacon Park. The New Year’s Eve Kids Countdown will offer all the fun and excitement of a traditional New Year’s Eve party while allowing you and the kiddos be be home and tucked safely into bed long before the clock strikes midnight.

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE IN NEVER NEVER LAND

Monday, December 31 / 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm

@ Downtown Mount Clemens

Family fun and fireworks in downtown Mount Clemens.

 

NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY

Monday, December 31 / 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

@ Livonia Community Recreation Center, Livonia

Get your family and friends together for a New Year’s celebration you won’t forget! Enjoy an evening of swimming, playing on the giant inflatable, climbing the rock wall, holiday crafts and face painting, dodgeball, food, music and more. 

 

NEW YEARS EVE SLEEPOVER

Monday, December 31 / 6:00 pm – 11:59 pm

@ Franklin Athletic Club, Southfield

We’re throwing a party, you’ll have such a blast; as we ring in the new year and say goodbye to the last! Time to celebrate at FAC! Spend the night staying up late, having a glow party, watching the ball drop, bounce, swim, and so much more!

 

DETROIT CIRCUS

Monday, December 31 / 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

@ The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, Canton

Back by popular demand, audience members will be amazed by high-flying aerial antics on fabric and trapeze, fire dancing, stilt walking, acrobatics, and more! These jaw-dropping performances are sure to thrill fans of all ages. There will be a pre-show sparkling grape juice toast in the lobby with activities suitable for all ages 6 pm – 6:40 pm. Following the performance there will be an early kid-friendly countdown to 2019! Please note that this is an animal-free circus.

 

Wait there’s more!

Check out these FREE Family-Friendly Events in Metro Detroit in December.

 

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Chrissy

About Chrissy Hartig

Chrissy Hartig is a recent graduate of Wayne State University and contributing writer for Little Guide Detroit. Born in the Metro Detroit suburbs, she moved to Midtown to be closer to the excitement of the city. She loves spending her time outdoors and enjoying nature in places like Belle Isle and the Riverwalk.

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