Places for family fun this holiday season.
Now Through Dec. 20
Birmingham Santa House
Open weekends through Christmas. The Santa House is located under the pavilion in Shain Park. Children may give Santa their list and have their pictures taken. A $5 donation goes to the Birmingham Lions Club and Leader Dogs for the Blind. Hours are available at www.enjoybirmingham.com.
Birmingham Carriage Rides
Enjoy the beauty of downtown Birmingham aglow for the holidays on a quaint carriage ride offered weekends through Dec. 20. The complimentary carriages are first-come first-served; carriages load at the corner of Henrietta and Merrill.
Holidays At The Henry Ford
Check out the giant Christmas tree, historic toy train display, Lego display and more. Santa is on site, too. (10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends). Cost: $18/adults, $13.50/ages 5-12, free/under 4; $5/parking. The Henry Ford Museum is located at 20900 Oakwood Blvd. in Dearborn. For more information, call (313) 982-6001.
The Big Bright Light Show
Downtown Rochester features 1 million lights 5 p.m.-midnight on Main Street from South Bridge to Romeo Road and Fourth Street from Walnut to Water streets in Rochester. Free. For more information, call (248) 656-0060.
Wild Lights At The Detroit Zoo
More than 5 million LED lights cover trees, buildings and statues at the zoo. Live entertainment, crafts, storytelling and ice carving add to the festivities, plus photos with Santa “Paws” (till Dec. 23). Note: This event does not take place on Thursday Dec. 4. Cost: $8/advance, $10/gate, free/under 2, $6/parking. The Detroit Zoo is located at 8450 W. 10 Mile Road in Royal Oak, For more information, call (248) 541-5717.
The Ice Palace Featuring Frozen At Twelve Oaks Mall In Novi
Twelve Oaks Mall presents a Frozen Ice Palace experience. The Ice Palace will feature elements from the No. 1 animated film of all time. This interactive holiday display features the art of Anna, Elsa and their friends Olaf, Kristoff and Sven, plus a 30-foot ice palace with falling snow, a light show and other activities for the whole family. Free at Twelve Oaks Mall, Center Court, 27500 Novi Road, Novi.
All Aboard The Polar Express, Dec. 5
From 7-9 p.m. at Red Oaks Nature Center. Enjoy an evening of winter magic on a trip on The Polar Express — no passport needed! Craft some decorative holiday bells and watch the family-friendly movie. A snack will be provided. $3/person. Call (248) 858-0916 weekdays for information.
2014 Birmingham Winter Market
Friday, Dec. 5, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shain Park will come alive with activity. Attendees will enjoy European food and drinks, gift items, holiday greens, crafts, ice-carving demonstrations, roaming Elsa princess (Saturday afternoon only), live reindeer, warming stations, a Kinderhaus children’s activity area, the popular Santa House, horse-drawn carriage rides and live entertainment.
Holiday Walk At Meadow Brook Hall
This 43rd annual event sets a 110-room Tudor revival-style mansion aglow with holiday decor and historic fun. Note: Also, enjoy a Santa visit (noon-4 p.m. Dec. 6 and 13, donations welcome), breakfast (10 a.m.-noon Dec. 7 and 14, $25-$30) or supper (5-7 p.m. Dec. 7, $25-$30); with meals, general tour tickets are only $12.Note: Call ahead for evening hours on select dates. Cost: $20/adults, $5/ages 17 and under with adult, free/2 and under. Meadow Brook Hall is located at 480 S. Adams Road in Rochester. For more information, call (248) 364-6200.
Breakfast With Santa, Dec. 6
From 9-11 a.m. at the Community House in Birmingham. Enjoy music, clowns and animal balloons. $19. Reserve tickets by phone at (248) 644-5832.
A Christmas Carol At The Meadow Brook Theatre In Rochester
The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge returns to the stage for a 33rd year. Ages 5-plus. Times are Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays-Sundays, 2 and 6:30 p.m.
Additional dates/times; Thursdays (starting Dec. 4), 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2 p.m.; Wednesday, Dec. 10 and 17, 8 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 16, 8 p.m. $16.50-$42/tickets at Meadow Brook Theatre, Oakland University, 207 Wilson Hall in Rochester. For more information call (248) 377-3300.
‘Twas The Night Before Christmas At The Plymouth Historical Museum
Through Dec. 14; 1 p.m. This exhibit features vignettes of popular Christmas movies and stories. Cost: $2-$5 at the Plymouth Historical Museum, 155 S. Main St. in Plymouth. For more information, call (734) 455-8940.
Michigan Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker
Dec. 12- 21, show at 7 p.m. Michigan Ballet Theatre brings the magic of The Nutcracker to Oakland County. The holiday classic will run over two weekends in December at the Oxford High School Fine Arts Center and the Avondale High School Performing Arts Center. Show times are as follows: Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m. Cost: $32/adults, $28/seniors; 50 percent discount pre-sales. At Oxford High School and Avondale High School, 745 N. Oxford Road or 2800 Waukegan St., Oxford Township and Auburn Hills. For more information, call (248) 652-3117.
‘Tis The Season For Christmas, Carols And Classics! at Birmingham Seaholm High School
Dec. 20. The Zone Dance Center LLC presents ‘Tis The Season for Christmas, Carols and Classics! Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. Cost: $15/advance, $18/at door. Birmingham Seaholm High School is located at 2436 W. Lincoln Road in Birmingham. For more information, call (248) 353-9663.
Storytelling Performance: Hanukkah Stories, Dec. 2 at the DIA
Join award-winning storyteller, author and teaching artist Judy Sima at 2 p.m. for “Storytelling: Hanukkah the Festival of Lights” as she lights up the holiday season with Hanukkah stories of miracles, menorahs and magic dreidels. Info at www.dia.org/calendar.
Chanukah Wonderland, Dec. 9-12
Bais Chabad Torah Center’s annual Chanukah Wonderland event at Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield. Kids may make a gemstone Chanukah mug, participate in a Chanukah trivia game show or play in a dreidel-shaped inflatable playhouse. Guests may watch the demonstration of an olive press, or eat free fried foods like potato latkes or jelly-stuffed doughnuts. On Tuesday, guests may witness the official lighting of a 13-foot-tall menorah and watch a children’s musical and a klezmer band. Orchard Mall is located at 6445 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield. Hours are noon-6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.-noon and 3-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. Admission is free. Learn more at www.baischabad.com or at (248) 855-6170.
Menorah in the D, Dec. 16
From 5-7 p.m. at Campus Martius in Detroit. Now in its fourth year, Menorah in the D is an annual community-wide menorah lighting event in Downtown Detroit. The Shul, in partnership with NEXTGen from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and Chabad in the D, are hosting the event to bring Judaism to Downtown Detroit and welcome people of all ages, religions and backgrounds to the city for a night of celebration. The public is invited to celebrate the Festival of Lights by coming to enjoy the grand menorah lighting ceremony as well as a concert, family entertainment and a full free food court.
JPI Chanukah Event, Sunday, Dec. 18
The Jewish Parents Institute will host its annual Family Chanukah Celebration from 10:15 a.m-12:30 p.m. at the Beverly Prentis Wagner Teen Center in the Jewish Community Center, 6600 W. Maple Road in West Bloomfield. The program will include entertainment, a talent show, candle lighting, food, crafts, songs, games and more. The celebration is free and open to the community, but participants are asked to bring in as many pennies as possible to be used for charity. For information, contact Marilyn Wolfe at (248) 432-5471 or email@example.com. NS