Times are different this year, but no need to fret, the holidays are still here! We’ve had to get creative this season now that our usual holiday events have been cancelled. Unfortunately, many indoor events will not be happening but restaurants are remaining open with outdoor seating, Christmas lights are now up, and retail shopping is still open (just make sure you wear your mask). Even though some of your holiday traditions might be on a break this year I have some other ideas and ways for you to embrace this time of the year.

Below are eight holiday things to do around the Metro Detroit area. Some consist of staying at home while others have you moving around and burning all those holiday calories that I know at least I’ve been guilty of eating:) Since times are different and many businesses are experiencing some hardships, I encourage supporting local businesses and restaurants in your area. This is an important time to show your support and contribute to their ability to stay open! I’ve included some shops that I love but please comment and let me know some that you like to shop at and want to share.

1. Support Local Businesses

One of the best ways to shop for a unique, one of a kind gift is by shopping at local businesses. I love exploring new little shops around the Metro Detroit area. They always have the cutest items that are exclusive to that store and most likely can’t be seen anywhere else. If you’re looking for a special gift check out some of the stores I’ve listed below. They have the perfect knick knack items along with clothing and plants. Who wouldn’t want to receive one of those items?!

  • Bird Bee, Detroit
  • Rail & Anchor, Royal Oak
  • Pitaya, Royal Oak
  • Leon & Lulu, Clawson
  • Caruso Caruso, Birmingham
  • Stem & Stone, Birmingham

2. Visit the Rochester Lights

An activity that can be done either in the warmth of your car or on foot! Explore the lights in downtown Rochester. Main Street is lined with beautifully colored Christmas lights from University Drive to Second Street. Each store and restaurant is strung with lights making for a wonderful light show to go and see! This is a great picture opportunity for anyone looking for cute holiday pictures and it allows you to enjoy some fresh air at night. Be sure to stop by Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters or Bean and Leaf for a nice hot drink to enjoy while you walk around. If you decide to enjoy the site from your car, simply drive up Main Street to experience the lights on both sides of the street. Driving it takes just minutes but I highly recommend jamming out to some Christmas music if you decide to see the lights this way!

3. Get Coffee & Visit the Tree at Campus Martius


A holiday favorite in the city of Detroit is the giant Christmas tree at Campus Martius. It’s such a beautiful sight to see and can often be enjoyed alongside the skating rink. Before you go walk around Campus Martius I would suggest grabbing a coffee from one of the surrounding coffee shops. Some great places to stop are below. Ask them for their holiday menu, many of them have delicious holiday drinks!

  • Madcap
  • Ashe Supply Co.
  • Dessert Oasis
  • Roasting Plant
  • Populace

Make sure you check their store hours. Many are now limited.

4. Mulled Wine & Charcuterie Boards

One thing I have been dying to make every holiday season is mulled wine. I don’t know why I have a fascination with it, but it just seems so perfect for the holiday season. This will be one thing I will for sure be doing and I can’t wait! I also thought, why not add in a little cheese to go with the wine? Have some fun this season by getting creative and making a charcuterie board that you can enjoy with your mulled wine. There’s really no perfect or right way to make these boards, so I say go look at Pinterest for some inspiration and start making one!

5. Bake Some Sweets

There is never a bad time of the year to make sweets, but an especially good time is during the holidays! One of my favorite holiday activities is baking with my mom. We always love to make an assortment of cookies that we can enjoy up until Christmas day. An elf also told me that Santa loves them too, so better get baking if you want to stay on the nice list;) Some of my favorite cookies to bake include sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies. Another great sweet to make is peppermint bark. It would look great on a holiday charcuterie board too!

6. Shop at Holiday Markets

Like I’m sure you’ve heard me say before, this year is different. Campus Martius usually has cute pop-up shops that showcase local businesses, however, this year they are moving to Eastern Market. To shop local for holiday gifts make sure you head over to Eastern Market on 12/13, 12/20, and 12/23. The holiday markets will be alongside the normal market and will have all of the great gifts you’ve seen in previous years and more! This is another reminder to shop and support local businesses:)

7. Decorate a Gingerbread House


Another fun activity you can do in the comforts of your home is decorating a gingerbread house. If you love getting creative and have an eye for design this is perfect for you! Purchase a pre-made kit or make your own and add as much candy as you want. I love only using frosting and going for more of a winter wonderland look.

8. Have Lunch or Dinner in an Igloo

Restaurants have been forced to get creative this year with outdoor dining options. Although some just have outdoor tents, others have heated igloos! Igloos are such a fun idea to enjoy any meal and not to mention, they are great for social distancing. These intimate spots allow you and whoever else joining you to eat out for a fun outdoor holiday experience while also staying warm. Below are several places that offer igloos to eat at.

  • Royal Oak Brewery
  • Brown Iron Brewhouse
  • Kouzina
  • Detroit Fleat
  • Bobcat Bonnie’s
  • Clarkston Union
  • Fenton Fire Hall
  • Vinsetta Garage
I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season. Stay tuned for more holiday content! 

See ya later! 

Jacqui M. Green

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