It’s the most wonderful time of the year the song says. Yes, we’re ready to kick off the holiday season with the 10th annual tree lighting in Campus Martius Park and the opening of The Winter Magic season, which brings thousands of people Downtown for festivities and holiday gift shopping.
The Detroit tree lighting ceremony will begin at 6:20 p.m. November 22. The tree will come to life with the help of “IKEA D-Light!,” an energetic five-minute audio/visual experience featuring holiday music classics from Detroit artists synchronized with the tree’s 19,000 LED lights. This year’s spectacular 60-foot tree weighs in at 10,000 pounds with more than 3 miles of twinkling LED lights wrapping it from top to bottom.
“We can’t wait to celebrate the start of the holiday season with the Detroit tree lighting. On top of that, this year’s Winter Magic celebration has even more activities everyone can enjoy,” said Robert Gregory, president of The Detroit 300 Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that oversees Campus Martius Park.
Once the tree is lite there will be skating shows and musical performances by local and international celebrities including 12-year-old Ethan Bortnick, Damian McGinty from FOX Television’s smash hit Glee, folk music icon Peter Yarrow and Olympic skater Kimmie Meissner.
Here’s a quick roundup of fun activities for all ages:
- The Rink at Campus Martius Park Young and old alike can take to the ice daily from Friday, November 22 through Sunday, March 2. Skate rental is $3 and admission is $7 for adults, $6 for children (12 and under) and seniors (50 and older). Broomball also will be offered Tuesday nights in January and February.
- Holiday Marketplace and Beer Garden More than 30 specialty artisan, boutique and local food vendors will open up shop in Cadillac Square, adjacent to Campus Martius Park, weekends from Friday, November 22 through Sunday, December 22. The Marketplace also will feature a Beer Garden with craft beers, warm winter cocktails, live entertainment and TVs for those who wish to watch sporting events.
- Rink Side Lounge New to the festivities this year is a cozy outdoor seating area with heaters, a bar and panoramic views of the activities in the park. The Rink Side Lounge will be open weekends and holidays.
- Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides Families can snuggle up and enjoy a ride through the magically decorated streets of downtown Detroit. Rides are offered weekends starting Friday, November 22 through Sunday, December 29. Rides are priced at $5.
- Street Performances Jugglers, stiltwalkers and fine artists are just some of the street performers who will be entertaining Campus Martius visitors on weekends from Friday, November 22 until Sunday, December 29.
There will also be shopping galore on the 1200 block of Woodward, between Grand River and Gratiot now through Thursday, December 21. Retailers popping up downtown this holiday season include:
- The Detroit Shoppe – Showcasing people, places and products that have shaped Detroit
1201 Woodward Avenue; Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Rock Paper Scissors – Offers personalized stationery, paper, home goods and gifts
1213 Woodward Avenue; Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- The Handmade Company – Michigan-made products from a variety of Detroit retailers
1219 Woodward Avenue; Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Spielhaus Toys – A handmade specialty toy shop
1249 Woodward Avenue; Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Somerset Collection City Loft – Somerset Collection retailers in Detroit
1261 Woodward Avenue; Hours: Thursday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. beginning Thursday, November 21.
- Moosejaw – National outdoor retailer
1275 Woodward Avenue; Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
(Open Tuesdays beginning December 3)
For more Winter Magic information, please visit www.campusmartiuspark.org