Your Guide to Detroit’s Tree Lighting Tradition

As the chill of winter embraces Detroit, the city comes alive with the spirit of the holidays, epitomized by the enchanting tree lighting ceremony in Campus Martius Park. This event isn’t just a display of lights; it’s a cherished tradition, weaving together the community in a tapestry of shared joy and festive celebration. The moment the colossal spruce bursts into light marks the beginning of a season filled with wonder in the Motor City.

The heart of Detroit’s holiday festivities beats in Campus Martius Park with its much-anticipated annual tree lighting.

This year, the Downtown Detroit Partnership announces the event for Friday, November 17, from 4 PM to 9 PM. As the evening unfolds, attendees are immersed in a world of holiday enchantment.

What Awaits Under the Glimmering Lights

  • Melodic Euphoria: The air resonates with the sound of local artists and choirs, their voices weaving a tapestry of holiday tunes, perfectly setting the scene for the lighting countdown.
  • Family Fun Galore: Engage the young ones with various activities, including face painting and crafts, complemented by the fancy of a carousel ride.
  • Gastronomic Delights: Satiate your festive cravings with an assortment of treats and warm beverages offered by local vendors.
  • The Highlight of the Night: The atmosphere thickens with anticipation as dusk turns to night. Then, in a moment of collective awe, the towering tree dazzles in a spectacle of lights, bathing the crowd in a warm, festive glow.

Tips for an Unforgettable Detroit’s Annual Tree Lighting

  • Plan Ahead for Convenience: Consider public transportation or carpooling for a stress-free experience with parking and viewing spots in high demand.
  • Stay Cozy: Embrace Michigan’s crisp winter by dressing warmly. Comfort is key to enjoying the outdoor festivities.
  • Embrace the Festive Spirit: Don your holiday-themed attire, join in the carol singing, and immerse yourself in the joyous atmosphere.
  • Capture the Moments: Keep your camera ready to preserve memories of the radiant tree and the smiles it brings.

Accommodations for a Hassle-Free Experience

As you plan your visit to Detroit’s enchanting tree lighting ceremony, considering where to stay is key to a seamless and enjoyable experience. To ensure you’re at the heart of the holiday festivities, here’s a guide to some of the best accommodations near Campus Martius Park.

Each offers unique amenities and easy access to the event, making your stay both comfortable and convenient.

Fort Pontchartrain Detroit

This hotel is conveniently located in the financial district and is a short walk from Campus Martius. It boasts an array of room options, breathtaking views, and dining experiences, including the unique “Top of the Pontch” restaurant.

Detroit Foundation Hotel

Situated in a refurbished fire station, this distinctive hotel offers various room types, modern amenities, and a notable on-site restaurant, The Apparatus Room, just a stroll away from the festivities.

Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center

Nestled in Detroit’s tallest building, this hotel offers panoramic city and river views. Its central location makes it an ideal choice for those attending the tree lighting, with easy access to Campus Martius.

Culinary Experiences to Enhance Your Visit

The city’s vibrant dining scene offers various options to satisfy your taste buds and enhance your holiday experience. Here’s a selection of top-notch eateries near Campus Martius Park, each promising a memorable meal that perfectly complements the season’s magic.

Grand Trunk Pub

A short walk from Campus Martius, this pub offers a local-centric menu featuring Michigan beers and dishes like the Eastern Market-sourced Reuben and the grilled beer cheese.

Central Kitchen + Bar

Steps away from the tree lighting, this establishment is perfect for pre- or post-event dining, offering an array of cocktails and hearty dishes like the filet and frites or the Bahn Mi Turkey Burger.

San Morello

Inside the Shinola Hotel, San Morello provides a warm retreat on a cold night. From casual pizzas to freshly-made pasta, complement your meal with a dessert like pistachio cake and a cup of coffee.

Beyond the Tree Lighting Ceremony: the holiday fun doesn’t stop there!

Post-lighting, Campus Martius Park transforms into a holiday wonderland:

  • Ice Skating: Glide on the picturesque rink under the stars.
  • Holiday Beverages: Sip a spiked hot chocolate or mulled cider at a nearby cafe.
  • Holiday Markets: Browse unique gifts and festive decorations.
  • Take a selfie with Santa: Capture a moment with Santa for a memorable holiday keepsake.

Experience a Detroit holiday illuminated by the radiant tree lighting ceremony. Let this event kindle your festive spirit, guiding you through a season filled with joy, laughter, and community warmth.

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About the author
Growing up in Detroit, Lindsey is a Michigan State University alumnus. She feels incredibly lucky to live in Detroit, and much more, to spend her days promoting the Detroit area as a travel destination.