Tree Lightings, Downtown Rochester Aglow, and Other Holiday Events Nearby

Looking for some holiday cheer within an hour's drive? We've got lights, Santas, parades and more happing in the greater Detroit area.

Other than shop and eat, there's more to do this holiday around town.

Of course, on Thanksgiving, there's the Turkey Trot and America's Thanksgiving Parade downtown Detroit. Here's a roundup of other events in and around Oakland County Thanksgiving week.

Coming Soon:


Holiday Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at Shain Park. That is also the first day for the Santa House in Shain Park (lasts through Dec. 24), and the first day for carriage rides around the city (through Dec. 22).

Farmington Hills

Holiday lighting ceremony: Nov. 27, 6:30 p.m., at the municipal campus, 11 Mile and Orchard Lake Roads. Watch the unity candle and tree lights come on and enjoy a visit with Santa and refreshments. 

Rochester/Rochester Hills

Lagniappe and the lighting of downtown Rochester: Businesses will give small gifts to customers from 5-9 p.m. Nov. 26; the lighting - and Santa’s arrival - happens at 7 p.m.

White Lake

Milford Christmas Parade: 10 a.m. Nov. 24 on Main Street in downtown Milford. This is one of the longest-standing Main Street traditions around. It's a wonderful holiday event for the entire region. Come early! Main Street fills up fast.

Later This Season:


Holiday Lights Parade and tree-lighting ceremony: The festivities begin early in the day Dec. 1 with a petting zoo, carriage rides, etc., and go into the night with the tree-lighting after the parade, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Here’s a link to last year’s coverage: http://patch.com/A-pkHk


Magic of Birmingham: Shopping events takes place Dec. 8 and Dec. 15 at most downtown shops.

Winter Markt: (Yes, that’s how you spell it) takes place Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Shain Park. 


2012 "Gingerbread House Brunch": the Friends of Preservation Bloomfield will present their fifth annual Gingerbread House Brunch on Friday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. at Oakland Hills Country Club. This event will be preceded by the third annual “Family Hour” preview evening on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 5-8 p.m. Both events will showcase whimsical gingerbread houses created by local professional and non-professional pastry chefs, which will be reviewed by judges and awarded ribbons for the ‘best of the best.’ Both events are open to the public. See coverage of last year's event.


Tree Lighting: 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Blair Memorial Library. Santa arrives by firetruck at this annual event co-sponsored by the Clawson/Troy Optimist Club. Refreshments following at Clawson Middle School.


Holiday Ice and Winterfest Market: Dec. 9, 10 and 11 in downtown Ferndale. Enjoy an outdoor market with unique gifts, ice sculptures, photos with Santa, children's activities and more.

Farmington-Farmington Hills

Holly Days: Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Greens & Gifts Farmers Market, Santa Visit, ice carving and more at the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion; story time with Mrs. Santa and crafts at Mike Greer Photography, 33316 Grand River Ave.; free movies at the Farmington Civic Theater; holiday open house and tree lighting at the Governor Warner Mansion).

Lake Orion

Tree Lighting: 6 p.m. Nov. 28, Downtown Lake Orion, across from CJ's Lakeside restaurant. Features the tree lighting ceremony, carolers, Mrs. Claus, and free hot cocoa.

Holiday Lighted Parade: 6 p.m. Dec. 1. A nighttime light parade. This year's theme is "Magic on Broadway!" Christmas lights illuminate floats and vehicles. Community groups, marching bands and Santa join in the procession.

Holly Jolly Folly: Nov. 30 at Golling Buick GMC. Community fundraiser for the light parade, includes dinner, a silent auction, entertainment and the Lake Orion High School Choir. $33 admission; table of 10 for $300. Cash bar. Tickets are at Golling Buick GMC, 1491 S. Lapeer Road, Lake Orion.

Lake Orion Lighted Holiday Village Shopping Event: All day Dec. 8. Look for
horse-drawn carriage rides, reindeer petting stations, ice carvings, carolers and more during this all-day festive shopping extravaganza.


Light Up the Night: Friday, Nov. 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Novi Civic Center. The event includes a tree lighting at 6:45 p.m., craft show, Santa visits (professional photos are $5 each), children’s activities, face painting, marshmallow roasting, hockey skills competition, live reindeer, miniature train rides and free food samples from several local restaurants. Live performances include a magician, festive choir, and an interactive Nutcracker performance. The event is free. 

Holiday Family Road Rally: Friday, Dec. 14 from 6-10 p.m. Teams of 4-6 people go on a scavenger hunt to find predetermined items to photograph. Teams can consist of adults and children, but need at least one adult 21 or older. Each picture taken with the team earns points, which can win you prizes. Teams must have their own vehicle and digital camera. The night ends at a local restaurant for appetizers and awards. Cost is $100 per team and you must register by Dec. 7. The event begins in Fuerst Park in Novi.

Rochester/Rochester Hills

Hometown Christmas Parade: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. The parade starts north of town at the corner of Tienken and Rochester roads in dowtown Rochester and continues south on Main Street to downtown Rochester.

Royal Oak

Holiday Marketplace at the Royal Oak Farmers Market: Get an early start on holiday shopping. Over 60 local crafters, artisans and Royal Oak merchants will be at the Royal Oak Farmers Market from 4-8 p.m. on Nov. 29 at 316 E 11 Mile Rd.

Tree Lighting CeremonyJoin carolers, the Salvation Army Band and the Royal Oak Children’s Choir while waiting for a visit from Santa. The jolly elf will flick the switch to light the holiday tree. This event takes place from 6:15-7 p.m.  Nov. 29 at the Royal Oak Farmers Market at 316 E 11 Mile Rd.


Santa at The Somerset Collection: He will be there daily through Christmas Eve (closed on Thanksgiving). Click here for the full schedule.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony: 7 p.m. on Dec. 5. at Troy City Hall. There will be caroling, hot cocoa and holiday sweets.

Third Annual Indoor Walk-through Display of over 300 Nativity Sets from Around the World: Held at Bridge Community Church from 1-9 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 7, and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Dec. 8. For all ages; light refreshments provided.

West Bloomfield/Keego Harbor

Chanukah Wonderland at Orchard Mall Shopping Center, Dec. 9-12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Includes live historical exhibit on how olive oil was pressed from raw olives during Temple period. Giant menorah lighting takes place Dec. 11, 5:30 p.m.

Holiday tree lighting at DPW building in Keego Harbor (Beechmont at Schroeder), Nov. 30, 7 p.m.

White Lake

Highland Tree Lighting: 7 p.m., Dec. 3, at Veterans Park and Highland Station House in Highland. There will be caroling, cookies and cider. Come watch Santa light the Highland Christmas Tree using Christmas magic. Santa will then move to the Highland Station House where kids can visit with him and share what they want for Christmas.

White Lake Tree Lighting: 6 p.m.-8 p.m., Dec. 5 at the Village Lakes Shopping Center off M-59 in White Lake. Come for a night of activities including local choir groups, dance troupes, ice sculpture creations, children's crafts, gingerbread house displays, reindeer and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus.

For a complete list of events, check out our guide to holiday events in 2012 all around Metro Detroit.

Did we miss your favorite holiday event? Tell us in comments!


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