Places for Kids to Go in Detroit in December

The temperature outside may be descending in December in the Motor City, but you can be sure to find places to take the kids. The metro Detroit area is not only filled with indoor playground and museum options, but it also features many holiday events and celebrations that are sure to please your young ones 5.

Places to See Santa

If you have children who count on visiting with Santa once a year, you have several places you can find Saint Nick. Through Midtown Detroit Inc., there is an annual celebration near the beginning of the month called Noel Night 1. The night includes several shopping vendors, carriage rides, family craft activities and, of course, Santa Claus visits.include:

  • The night includes several shopping vendors
  • carriage rides
  • family craft activities and
  • of course
  • Santa Claus visits

The Detroit Zoo, located 14 miles from downtown in Royal Oak, hosts a Breakfast with Santa event several times throughout the month 2. You and the kids can enjoy a buffet-style waffle breakfast, participate in crafts and visit with Santa and even a few of the furry residents of the zoo 2.

Holiday Events

There are all kinds of exciting holiday celebrations around Detroit that the kids would enjoy. At The Campus Martius Park in the heart of downtown, you can attend the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Party as the 60-foot tree is lit. An ice skating rink is there as well and is open all winter long. Twelve miles from downtown in the suburb of Dearborn, you can also attend the Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village 3. Activities for kids include:

  • horse-drawn wagon rides
  • model-T rides
  • live musical performances
  • ice skating
  • bonfires
  • artisan demonstrations
  • a fireworks display


Museums are an excellent option during cold weather. The Henry Ford Museum is 13 miles from downtown in Dearborn 5. It features interactive kiosks, vintage automobile displays and many other interesting historical exhibits. During the holidays, the museum has special offerings such as decorated train displays and story readings for kids 5. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit features many art exhibits, performances and educational activities for children 45. Kids can gain a better appreciation of the arts with a visit to the MOCAD. At the Motown Museum you and the kids can learn all about how the sound of Motown became famous 5. You can stand where many artists such as The Temptations and The Supremes got their start.

Family Fun Centers

Taking kids to a nearby family fun center is an excellent way to stay active during December. Galaxy Zone is 8 miles from downtown in Dearborn 6. It features a multi-level laser tag arena complete with glowing towers and bridges. You will also find an abundance of arcade games, including Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution. In Farmington, just 24 miles from Detroit, you can check out Zap Zone 7.