DETROIT --Fall is an exciting time to be in Detroit. With a wealth of autumn and holiday-themed events, the return of professional basketball, football and hockey seasons plus a new roster of fine art exhibits, it’s time you start planning your Fall trip to The D.
Bring the kids for a frightful night at Hallowe’en at Greenfield Village, catch a holiday performance at the beautiful Fox Theatre or cheer on the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. See why you should spend these chilly months in metro Detroit.
Chilly weather, crunchy leaves, hot cider and delicious doughnuts makes a trip to the cider mill the perfect fall to-do. Enjoy the autumn air at Romeo’s Westview Orchards & Adventure Farm, a 188-acre farm in Washington Twp. home to an old-fashioned cider mill and brand new winery, with a menu of hard cider, small plates and house-made wines. Take a guided tractor tour, visit the petting farm or pick up homegrown fruits and vegetables from their market. For more information, visit westvieworchards.com.
The Detroit Lions are back and spirits are high after earning last year’s playoff spot under new coach Jim Caldwell. This year’s big news? The Lions schedule features six nationally-broadcasted games, putting Detroit sports in front of the whole country. Their home-opener is Sept. 27 against the Denver Broncos and the annual Thanksgiving Day game will be played against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 26. For more information, tickets and this season’s schedule, visit detroitlions.com.
Eleven-time Stanley Cup champions, the Detroit Red Wings play their last season at Joe Louis Arena this year, before the opening of their new arena in Detroit’s new entertainment district in 2017. The Wings kick off their season with a home opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 9, with a warm welcome to coach Jeff Blashill in his first year with the franchise. For more information, tickets and this season’s schedule, visit redwings.nhl.com.
The Detroit Free Press Talmer Bank Marathon is a unique experience, taking runners across an international border twice and boasting the only international underwater mile in the world. Since 1978, athletes from all walks of life look forward to competing in this race, whether it’s to raise money, qualify for the Boston Marathon or honor a loved one. This year’s marathon is Oct. 17-18. For more information, go to freepmarathon.com.
Detroit loves its craft beers and breweries. The Michigan Brewers Guild will host its 6th annual Detroit Fall Beer Festival at Eastern Market Oct. 23-24. Enjoy the company of friends or like-minded strangers sipping on suds from more than 75 Michigan breweries. The largest of all-Michigan beer tastings will feature more than 600 brews, live music and local food. For more information, go to mibeer.com/detroit-fall-festival.
More than 1,000 carved jack-o’-lanterns line the spooky streets and alleys at Hallowe’en in Greenfield Village, where 20th century Halloween traditions are brought to life by costumed characters and interactive fun. Bring the whole family to dance with witches and wizards the weekends of Oct. 9-11, 15-18 and 22-25. Keep an eye out for the Headless Horseman! For more information, visit www.thehenryford.org/halloween.
Looking for more Halloween family fun? Explore our auto mansions. The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House presents an evening of spooktacular fun with Little Goblins’ Night Out. On Oct. 25, bring your little goblins for a night out on the grounds for some growling, kid-friendly entertainment. On Oct. 26, kids can Trick or Treat in the Garden of Dearborn’s Henry Ford Estate, looping through ten stops in the beautiful gardens. For more information, visit fordhouse.org and henryfordestate.org.
Another “merry-not-scary” Halloween option is Zoo Boo at the Detroit Zoo, a half-mile walk for costumed little ones to collect treats, dance with live music, play games or make arts and crafts. Kids will love the ghoul and goblin decorations, carousel rides and unforgettable spooky activities. Plus, who doesn’t love the zoo? For event dates and more information, visit detroitzoo.org.
Three-time NBA champions the Detroit Pistons are one of the several Detroit sports teams under new ownership. Just like the city itself, the Pistons are ready to take advantage of a fresh start, especially with newly-acquired center Marcus Morris. They kick off their 75th season away against the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 29 and bring it back to The Palace for a home-opener against the Brooklyn Nets on Nov. 1. For more information, tickets and this season’s schedule, go to nba.com/pistons.
Giant floats, colorful balloons and characters, marching bands and specialty acts parade down Woodward Avenue Thanksgiving morning for America’s Thanksgiving Parade, an annual event celebrating its 89th magical march this year on Nov. 26. Hundreds of thousands gather to see favorites such as the Big Head Corps papier-mâché heads and local leaders dressed as Distinguished Clowns in an iconic community celebration as classic as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For more information, go to theparade.org.
There is no shortage of shopping in metro Detroit, especially come holiday season. With Black Friday and Christmas right around the corner, you’re sure to find deals at some of your favorite stores. Enjoy hundreds of retailers at Somerset Collection in Troy, Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights and the Mall at Partridge Creek. Bundle up and stroll through the walkable downtowns of Birmingham or Royal Oak for unique boutiques, gift and antique shops and specialty retailers. For more information, go to visitdetroit.com.
Campus Martius, located in the heart of downtown Detroit, is a hub of holiday activity and it all kicks off with the Campus Martius Tree Lighting. The park turns into a winter wonderland when the annual Christmas tree, towering dozens of feet high, is lit aglow with thousands of multi-colored lights. Visit the ice skating rink or walk around Woodward and Jefferson avenues to see the intricate lights and feel the holiday spirit. For event date and more information, visit campusmartiuspark.org.
The Fox Theatre stages a number of festive events during the holiday season. Shows include classics such as Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical on Nov. 10, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical Dec. 5-6, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis on Dec. 18 and Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker on Dec. 20. Don’t miss Neil Berg’s Broadway Holiday Dec. 12, and the amazing acrobatics of Cirque Dreams Holidaze Dec. 22-27. For more information on holiday shows at the Fox, visit olympiaentertainment.com/fox-theatre.
Detroit theater entertainment doesn’t stop there. Feel the festive spirit in the cozy venue of City Theatre, located in Hockeytown Café. Holiday performances include Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas and Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold. For more information, go to olympiaentertainment.com/city-theatre.
The Midwest’s largest light show is Wayne County LightFest and you can enjoy it without ever leaving your car. This drive-through holiday display brings Christmas cheer to four miles of Hines Park Nov. 19-Dec. 31. More than one million lights make up dancing displays and dazzling light shows – all you need are some holiday tunes. For more information, visit waynecounty.com/dps/2017.htm.
Beginning Nov. 20, more than six million LED lights adorn trees, buildings and sculptures for Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo. Festivities include 24 days of live entertainment, arts and crafts, ice carving and a photography exhibit sure to create a magical holiday experience for the entire family. Kids can get their photos taken with Santa “Paws” or take home a souvenir of their favorite animal. To learn more about lighting up the night, go to detroitzoo.org/events/wild-lights.
Downtown Rochester presents The Big Bright Light Show, a beautiful way to light up your holiday season Nov. 24 through Jan. 4. Lovely downtown Rochester will remain aglow with more than a million lights every evening from 5 p.m.-midnight. Most shops in the area are open Mon.-Sat. until 9 p.m., granting you plenty of time to stroll through the stores for some holiday shopping or festive eats. For more information, visit downtownrochestermi.com.
The magnificent Meadow Brook Hall Holiday Walk allows you to explore the Dodge and Wilson families’ winter traditions by offering daily self-guided and guided evening tours through the Meadow Brook Hall mansion. This 110-room house is the fourth largest house museum in the U.S., and is full of history. Tours are available Nov. 27-Dec. 23 and special events include Breakfast with Santa, Holiday Tea and Starlight Stroll. For more information, visit meadowbrookhall.org/visit/holidaywalk.
The beautiful and historic Edsel & Eleanor Ford House is home to several holiday events. Twinkling lights, carolers, hot chocolate around a fire and a Santa workshop makes Winter Wonderland a magical celebration of the season, taking place Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19 and 26. Nutcracker Tea is a child-friendly service with hot drinks and tasty treats made complete by a visit with Santa, Dec. 7-9, 13, 15-16 and 20. The house also offers daytime tours for a look into the lives of the beloved families and their holiday traditions, Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sun. noon-4 p.m. For more information, go to fordhouse.org.
Imagine stepping into a Christmas card from the past — the golden glow from candlelit windows, the scent of roasting chestnuts, the sound of carolers in the distance, the jingle of sleigh bells. Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village takes you back in time with lantern-lit paths, costumed presenters, horse-drawn wagons and Model T rides, plus Santa with live reindeer and evening fireworks. Experience this premier holiday celebration, voted Top Holiday Event by USA Today and Reader’s Digest, Dec. 4-6, 11-13, 17-23 and 26-28. For more information, go to thehenryford.org/holidaynights.
More than 70 institutions such as the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Michigan Science Center and the Detroit Institute of Arts open their doors for a night of free, festive fun on Dec. 5. Midtown Detroit’s 43rd annual Noel Night features holiday activities including carriage rides, family crafts, shopping and live music, theater and dance. The evening ends in a traditional Woodward Avenue sing-along with the Salvation Army Band. For more information, go to midtowndetroitinc.org/noel-night.
Beautiful downtown Plymouth transforms into a winter wonderland with world-class ice sculptures, festive food and live entertainment Jan. 8-10, 2016 for the Plymouth Ice Festival. Expect fun on the ice for the whole family with slap shot shooting, interactive ice carvings, cross-country skiing and a dazzling fire and ice display. Warm up with two for one admission to the Plymouth Historical Museum and grab some drinks at the awesome ice bar. For more information, visit plymouthicefestival.com.
For more than a century, Detroit has hosted the North American International Auto Show – and rightfully so, considering the Motor City is home to all Big Three auto companies. NAIAS is one of the largest auto shows on the continent and features both national and international dealers’ newest automotive innovations. This season’s event takes place Jan. 11-24, 2016 at the newly-remodeled Cobo Center. For more information, visit naias.com.
Roadside America: From the Lens of John Margolies is an unforgettable exhibit running now through Jan. 24, 2016 at the Henry Ford Museum, featuring quirky photography documenting roadside architecture and design from the back roads of America. John Margolies highlights small-town entrepreneurialism in a humorous and emotional manner in this fascinating showcase. Visit thehenryford.org for more information.
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History celebrates its 50th anniversary with I, Charles H. Wright: My Story, an exhibition honoring Dr. Wright and his accomplishments on display now through March 10, 2016. Wright was a physician, institution builder, philanthropist, author and moviemaker committed to advocating freedom and equality. For more information, go to thewright.org.
Now through Dec. 13 at the Detroit Institute of Arts is Rembrandt Guest of Honor, one of Rembrandt van Rijn’s 40 self-portraits – all of which remained undiscovered for more than 300 years. Self-Portrait with Shaded Eyes was painted in 1634 and discovered in 1995 and is on loan from the Leiden Collection, New York. For more information, go to dia.org.
The installations of 30 Americans, an exhibit featuring more than 70 paintings, photographs, videos and sculptures, examine issues of racial, political, historical and gender identity in contemporary culture. This dynamic showcase, completed by some of the most influential African American artists over the past 30 years, is on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts Oct. 18, 2015-Jan. 18, 2016. For more information, go to dia.org.
Cranbrook Art Museum’s new exhibition, Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Trio: The Creation of the Universe is open Nov. 21, 2015-March 26, 2016. The audio installation of Reed’s double-album, Metal Machine Trio, is an immersive, 3-D sound lab featuring over an hour of complexly-mixed guitar effects and over-modulated feedback. Reed intended for visitors to experience the same acoustic perspective he experienced onstage. For more information, visit cranbrookart.edu/museum/future-exhibitions.
Liz Cohen, known for her 10-year project BODYWORK, utilizes interviews, photographs and videos from her recent collaborative research project to create textile, sculptural and image-based versions of her experience. Cohen has been the Artist-in-Residence and Head of the Photography Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art since 2008. Her exhibit Liz Cohen will be on display Nov. 21, 2015-March 6, 2016. For more information, visit cranbrookart.edu/museum/future-exhibitions.
The Cranbrook Salon is on display Nov. 21, 2015-March 13, 2016 as part of an ongoing series exploring the history of Cranbrook collections’ exhibition design. This work focuses on 19th-century salon as both a hanging technique and social space. The museum will also host a conversational public program alongside local dancers, musicians, poets and scholars in the exhibition space. For more information, visit cranbrookart.edu/museum/future-exhibitions.
The exhibit Simple Forms, Stunning Glazes: The Gerald W. McNeely Pewabic Pottery Collection features art from Detroit’s own Pewabic Pottery, including pieces from founder Mary Chase Perry Stratton and more than 117 works in a never-before-seen collection. It also contains pottery from Cranbrook founder George Gough Booth’s lifetime collection. Don’t miss this incredible debut, on display Dec.12, 2015-Aug. 28, 2016. For more information, visit cranbrookart.edu/museum/future-exhibitions.
The Detroit Historical Museum presents several new exhibits this fall. Fashion D-Fined: The Past, Present and Future of Detroit Fashion showcases 20th-century fashion design alongside today’s innovative Detroit designers such as John Varvatos and Tracy Reese. Start the Presses: 50 Years of the Fifth Estate celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Fifth Estate, a publication serving as a counterculture outlet for stories of “new journalism,” stories other papers couldn’t write about. Automotive Showplace: the Stout Scarab displays Detroit’s first “mini-wan,” the Scarab. Documenting Detroit is a photography exhibition focusing on Detroit architecture. For more information, visit detroithistorical.com.
Now through 2016, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum invites you to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the United States Coast Guard and welcome the Navy’s newest vessel, the USS Detroit, with Guardians of the Great Lakes – an exhibit honoring naval history. Also on display are new additions to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Ship Model Showcase, installations including artifacts representing magnificent ships. For more information, go to detroithistorical.org.
Details: visitdetroit.com 1-800-DETROIT for more information about The D.