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14 Delightful December 2021 Events in the Ann Arbor Area

‘Tis the season for craft markets, festive concerts, Santa sightings and more holiday cheer! 

This December, join the fun at our region’s favorite holiday events, which includes seasonal virtual classes, book festivals, tree lightings and more. Let us know which ones you plan to attend in the comments below!

Arts + Culture

Where: Online 

When: November 21-December 16 

Starting on November 21st and running through December 16th, this multi-week festival celebrates culture and arts—specifically Jewish books and authors. Most of this year’s online events are free to attend! Click here to view the 2021 schedule and to check out the books that will be discussed this year.

When: December 3, 10 p.m. 

Catch the holiday classic Love Actually on the big screen this season! The Michigan Theater will be holding a special showing on December 3rd at 10 p.m. They’ll also be offering special showings of A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life and Frozen throughout December. Click here to view their calendar and to purchase your tickets. 

When: December 4-5, Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 

December Events in Ann Arbor, Michigan

If you’re on the hunt for locally made gifts, you’ve come to the right place! This holiday art fair will be held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds on the first weekend of December, featuring more than 100 artists, authors, specialty food, crafts, art activities, food trucks and much more. You can purchase your $5 ticket in advance on their website

Holiday Pops | Ann Arbor

Where: Hill Auditorium 

When: December 10, 8 p.m.

This Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra tradition returns to Hill Auditorium on December 10th. The community’s favorite choruses will come together with orchestral instruments to present all our favorite classical and pop melodies of the season. And some say Santa may even make an appearance!

When: December 10-12

For its 42nd year, the Handcrafters Tinsel and Treasures Market is returning to Northville. Enjoy shopping for holiday décor and handmade gifts for everyone on your list from local artists and makers. 

Where: 100 Market Place 

When: December 18-19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 

December Events in Ann Arbor, Michigan

If you still haven’t gotten your holiday market fix this season, don’t miss this new one in Ypsilanti! The first ever Ypsilanti Holiday Extravaganza will feature crafters, makers, holiday cookie bakers and much (much) more.

Community Celebrations

Midnight Madness | Ann Arbor

Where: Downtown Ann Arbor 

When: December 3 

Every year, just in time for the holiday shopping season, downtown Ann Arbor businesses stay open late for one of our community’s favorite shopping events. Main Street Ann Arbor’s Midnight Madness includes holiday specials inside shops and restaurants, performances by various entertainers, and visits by Santa Claus and Miss Washtenaw County. Click here for the 2021 shopping guide.

Moonlight Madness | Ann Arbor

When: December 3 

Moonlight Madness

Photo courtesy of the State Street District

Enjoy a fun night out while checking some items off your holiday shopping list! Businesses in the State Street District will be offering amazing deals as they gear up for the holidays while restaurants will be staying open late, giving you the chance to support our local businesses this holiday season. 

Where: Downtown Chelsea 

When: December 3-5 

In Chelsea, the holiday kick-off lasts an entire weekend. The activities start with Santa lighting the Christmas tree at Pierce Park on Friday night and continue through the weekend with a light parade, a live nativity scene, gingerbread house displays, a festival of trees and more. To see the full activity schedule, click here

Christmas in the Village | Manchester 

When: December 3-4

An amazing hometown celebration every year, Manchester’s Christmas in the Village includes a Christmas parade, business decorating and tree decorating contests, carriage rides, a scavenger hunt, cookie sale, home tour, pop-up market, pajama movie party and more! Follow the team on Facebook for updates.


Jingle Bell Run | Belleville

Where: 337 Main Street 

When: December 5, 8:30 a.m. 

Belleville Jingle Bell 5K Run

Photo courtesy of the Jingle Bell Run

Join the Van Buren Public Schools Education Foundation for their annual Jingle Bell Run 5K and 1K kids fun run! This year’s event will start at 4 p.m. on Main Street and will take you along Belleview Bridge Road and into Van Buren Township. For more information, visit their Facebook event page

Holiday Hustle | Dexter

Where: Monument Park 

When: December 11, 4 p.m.

This one-mile fun run and 5K in Dexter has become one of our favorite family traditions in the area! The dash through the community allows participants to take in the neighborhood light displays and run in festive costumes, too. Five dollars from each registration will be donated to local charities and race day participants can bring non-perishable food items to receive free raffle tickets. Register early for the chance to get some flashing or jingle flare to wear during the race. 

Food + Drink

Cranberry Christmas | Ann Arbor

Where: Online 

When: December 9, 5:30-7 p.m. 

It’s cranberry season! Learn how to make cranberry everything—like Cranberry Salsa, Cranberry Orange Meatballs, Turkey Cranberry Risotto and Cranberry Pistachio White Chocolate Truffles—during this online class from Fustini’s. You can learn more and register on Fustini’s website

Holiday Sweet Breads | Ann Arbor

When: December 10, 12-4 p.m. 

December Events in Ann Arbor, Michigan

If you’ve missed out on Zingerman’s famous Fancy Schmancy Holiday Cookies class, don’t worry. There are other festive cooking classes you can take in the Ann Arbor area. Just take Zingerman’s Holiday Sweet Breads class for instance, where you’ll learn how to make traditional German Stollen, Hungarian Walnut Beigli and Swedish Pain d’Epices. Tickets are going fast, so be sure to purchase yours soon! 

Have a fantastic December. 

What are your plans for December 2021? Let us know in the comments below.

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