Everything You Absolutely Must Do in Detroit This Winter

Published On 12/01/2016 Published On 12/01/2016
North American International Auto Show
North American International Auto Show | Courtesy of NAIAS
detroit urban craft fair
detroit urban craft fair | Flickr/just_a_cheeseburger
Friday - Sunday
Dec 2-4
The Masonic Temple
Arguably the best place to pick up some locally made goodies for those on your holiday shopping list, this is the 11th year of the Detroit Urban Craft Fair which couldn’t be held in a lovelier spot. You can get something for everyone here, including your four-legged friends and discerning ultra-hipsters who already seem to have everything before it’s cool. Expect lots of Michigan-themed crafts and feel good about supporting your metro Detroit comrades.
Dec 2
Tangent Gallery
Are you up to your scarf-laden neck with holiday cheer? We suggest you check out the other side of Christmas, that being Krampus. The legend of Krampus -- who's basically a super gnarly goat-type fella from Eastern Europe that terrorizes children -- is the backdrop to this "Not-So-Holiday" charity benefit featuring art and music that has more to do with being naughty than nice.
Friday - Friday
Dec 2-30
Greenfield Village (Dearborn)
If you’re entertaining kids, you should probably hit Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village that runs every Friday through Sunday in December. You can beat the cold by having fun in it, and one way to do it is wander around this “living snow globe” which features skating, caroling, and fireworks (why not?). It’s heartwarming and G-rated.
Dec 17
Gaelic League Irish American Club of Detroit
This event involves dozens of inebriated Santa Claus doppelgangers dashing through the city’s watering holes after meeting at the Gaelic League Irish American Club of Detroit. Santarchy has been going on for years, and we assure you, it makes for some pretty interesting mugshots around town. JK, the Santas are usually on their best behavior, provided the drinks keep flowing.
Dec 17
The 11:11 Warehouse
This isn't the Festivus you know -- this is all about… glass blowing? Detroit’s best glassblowers will be here providing all kinds of lovely entertainment and selling their glorious glassware. Live music is also to be expected to accompany your buying spree.  
Dec 31
Campus Martius is a jewel in the city and the perfect spot to ring in 2017. The New Year countdown event will feature food vendors, live music, and of course a NYC-style ball drop at midnight, all in the sparkling atmosphere of downtown Detroit’s holiday glee.  
 Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Ann Arbor Folk Festival | Courtesy of the Ann Arbor Folk Festival
Sunday - Sunday
Jan 8-22
Cobo Center
Want to see if they’ll actually make a Delorean before the world ends? The North American International Auto Show is the place to stay on top of all the auto world’s trends. This is about as red carpet as Detroit gets, attracting visitors from all over the world.
Jan 21
Royal Oak Farmers Market
If there’s one thing that helps the winter go by, it’s beer. Glorious, sudsy, exotic, mind-altering beer. Polar Beer Club gives you the chance to sample more than 100 local and regional craft beers. With live music and plenty of grub, here’s one solid way to keep warm in the dead of winter.
Friday - Saturday
Jan 27-28
Hill Auditorium (University of Michigan campus)
Hippies and folksters unite! Featuring well-known as well as up-and-coming talent, the Ann Arbor Folk Festival has been around the block. The two-night event has been running since 1977, and this year’s headliners include Kiefer Sutherland (gah!), Margo Price, and Jenny Lewis. It takes place in one of the best-sounding venues this side of the Crofoot. West-siders and otherwise should make certain to hit this fest at least once.
Jan 28
Lake St. Clair Metropark
Hosted by classic rock station WCSX, you can and should expect lots of Foreigner blasting out of Big 3 pickup trucks, Budweiser, and, of course, some fishing. Lake St. Clair may be the most epic of all ice shantytown locations. See who takes home “the big one” this year, and freeze your tush off while doing it.
the lion king
The Lion King Musical | EQRoy/Shutterstock
Wednesday - Sunday
Feb 1-26
Detroit Opera House
The Lion King, the six-time Tony award winning Broadway musical, is fun for everybody and it’s being held in one of Detroit’s loveliest theaters. Bring your inner child out and witness the glorious creations of director Julie Taymor. We suggest you even dress up in your favorite Detroit Lions gear and look the part (har, har).
Friday - Saturday
Feb 10-18
Russell Industrial Center
The 18th annual erotic art gathering features performances and lots of genitalia-shaped memorabilia. Not sold yet? There’s also cocktails (heh) and plenty of one-of-a-kind works of art for you to gawk at, or better yet, buy.
Feb 14
Detroit Symphony Orchestra
For all you lovers out there (film-lovers especially), Casablanca is, ya know, just one of the most romantic pieces of cinema to have ever existed. And for one day only -- one very special, consumeristic, gluttonous, commercial day -- you can enjoy it in the classy Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall to the sound of the film’s original soundtrack being effortlessly played by the DSO. Sounds a lot better than Chinese take-out, doesn’t it?