The best places to visit during the winter season

Bree Soule, Writer

As the snow begins to fall and winter season approaches, families are looking for areas to visit during the holidays. Listed below are five popular winter destinations including the Detroit Zoo Wild Lights, Canterbury Village, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, Eastern Market and Campus Martius.

Detroit Zoo Wild Lights

Throughout the front half of the Detroit Zoo are more than five million LED lights illuminating trees, buildings and animal structures for 24 nights. The light show will go on for about an hour and a half. Parking costs $8 per car and tickets are $17 at the gate. Tickets are also available in advance for between $11 and $17, prices depend on hour of the day and date. On select nights, live entertainment will be provided along with ice carvings, an exhibit featuring the work of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Marsel van Oosten, as well as arts and crafts.

Wild Light Hours:

Dec 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 20-23, 26-31

5:30 -to 9 p.m. select weeknights and Sundays

5:30 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays


Canterbury Village

After a visitor walks up the red and green painted stairway, a five-foot Santa Claus greets guests at the entrance of Aldridge’s Always Christmas store, which is in Canterbury Village. Canterbury is located in Lake Orion, about 45 minutes away. Some of the structures were built as far back as the late 1800s and the original buildings have all been restored to preserve a chapter in Michigan’s history. The Department 56 Store is also located in Canterbury Village. This store has many holiday decorations to give as gifts. There are year round displays that include; Dickens, Christmas in the City, North Pole, New England, Snow Village, Alpine Village, the Disney Village, A Christmas Story, Peanuts, The Grinch, and Winter Frost.

Village Store Hours:

Closed Monday through Tuesday

Open Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

**No photo available for Canterbury Village.

Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland

With Christmas spirit present all year round, Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, located in Frankenmuth, has the same square footage as one and a half football fields, and is entirely Christmas-themed.  Anything Christmas-related, from lights to trees, are available to purchase. Bronner’s is about 45 minutes from Fenton and includes an eating area. About 100,000 lights are illuminating the half-mile-long Christmas Lane, the road leading up to Bronner’s, every evening until midnight.

Store Hours:

Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Friday – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday – 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sunday – Noon to 5:30 p.m.



Eastern Market, Detroit

Located in Detroit, Eastern Market is exploding with activity all year long, especially around the holiday season. On Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, the holiday markets are open. Tuesdays feature foods from holiday meals while the holiday markets (open on Saturday) feature trees, carolers, and locally sourced gifts. On Dec. 15, fall cooking classes will be held at 10 a.m..

Holiday Market Hours:

Tues. 11/20 and 12/18 and Sun. 11/25, 12/2, 12/9, 12/16, and 12/23.


Campus Martius

In the heart of downtown Detroit, Campus Martius Park has an ice skating rink located in the park. An annual tree lighting takes place at the rink from November to the beginning of March. Prices range from $8 to $10 per person. The outdoor rink is open daily until March 3. Within walking distance are many eateries, such as Starbucks and Parc, for when people are craving food.

Rink Hours:

Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m. – midnight 

Saturday: 10 a.m. – midnight

Sunday: noon – 10 p.m.

Christmas: noon – 11 p.m.

New Year’s Eve: 11 a.m. – midnight