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14 Delightful December Events in the Ann Arbor Area 2022

December may be the last month of the year, but it is no less exciting than the rest! In fact, this chilly month is always packed with exciting holiday events of all kinds, from artisan markets to festive concerts, and tree lighting ceremonies to holiday parades.

There’s no shortage of holiday cheer on our list of December events in the Ann Arbor area! Add a few of these to your calendar for an extra magical end to 2022.

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Arts + Culture | Community Celebrations | Sports | Food + Drink


Arts + Culture

Ann Arbor Holiday Art Fair | Ann Arbor

Where: Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds 

When: December 3–4

Get your holiday shopping done early at the Ann Arbor Holiday Art Fair! This lively art fair is held at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds on the first weekend of December each year. Here, you can shop locally made gifts from more than 75 artists and 25 authors, and enjoy specialty food, crafts, art activities, food trucks and more. Admission is $5 for adults, free for kids under 12, and $10 for the entire family.


Handel’s Messiah | Ann Arbor

Where: U-M Hill Auditorium

When: December 3–4

Handel composed Messiah over the course of a single month in 1741, and nearly 300 years later, his renowned oratorio will fill Hill Auditorium with two special performances on the first weekend in December. The concert will be conducted by music director Scott Hanoian and performed by the UMS Choral Union and the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. The Saturday performance will be preceded by a special talk on “Society of Disobedient Listeners” by Doyle Armbrust in the lower lobby of Hill Auditorium. Get your tickets for this annual holiday tradition here.


Ypsilanti Artisans Holiday Market | Ypsilanti

Where: Ypsilanti Freighthouse

When: December 4, 11, 17 + 18

Ypsilanti Artisans Holiday Market Ypsilanti, MI
Photo Courtesy of Destination Ann Arbor

Shop from more than 40 local crafters, artisans and food vendors at the Ypsilanti Artisans Holiday Market, which is popping up at the Ypsi Freighthouse over the course of several weekends in December. Enjoy live music and other festivities while you shop for unique and handmade gifts created by makers of all kinds! Admission to the market is completely free.


Holiday Pops | Ann Arbor

Where: U-M Hill Auditorium 

When: December 9

This Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra tradition returns to Hill Auditorium on December 9th. The Holiday Pops concert offers a sleighful of classic hits plus new orchestral performances, featuring special guests, Measure for Measure, Ann Arbor Youth Chorale, and members of the Huron and Pioneer HS Choirs. Get your tickets for this exciting community tradition here!


A Joyous Celebration | Dexter

Where: Dexter Center for the Performing Arts

When: December 11

Take part in the joyous celebration of the holiday season with the Dexter Community Orchestra’s A Joyous Celebration. The concert will feature violinist and winner of the 2022 Youth Artist Competition, Ella Saputra. Enjoy Quinn Mason’s Christmas Eve Festivities, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Suite from The Snow Maiden, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, 1st Movement, and other assorted holiday selections.


Béla Fleck My Bluegrass Heart and Punch Brothers | Ann Arbor

Where: U-M Hill Auditorium

When: December 16

Béla Fleck My Bluegrass Heart and Punch Brothers Ann Arbor, MI

Bluegrass fans, rejoice! Béla Fleck and Punch Brothers are teaming up for a special double-bill evening at U-M’s Hill Auditorium! In addition to the 13 Grammys and Genius Grants between them, the two groups bring unmatched talent and musicality. Although both Punch Brothers founder Chris Thile and Béla Fleck have made several UMS appearances in recent years, this is Punch Brothers’ first time back at UMS since 2009! Purchase tickets for this special evening here.


Community Celebrations

Midnight Madness | Ann Arbor

Where: Downtown Ann Arbor

When: December 2

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 from Santa Claus. Click here for the 2022 shopping guide.


Moonlight Madness | Ann Arbor

Where: State Street District

When: December 2

Enjoy a fun night out while checking some items off your holiday shopping list at Moonlight Madness! 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 shop local this holiday season. This is the perfect opportunity to Show Your Love for downtown and support our amazing local businesses and re-invited Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair fine artists!


Christmas Village | Northville

Where: Mill Race Historical Village

When: December 2 + 3

Christmas Village Northville, MI
Photo Courtesy of Mill Race Historical Village

Step back in time to experience an old-fashioned Christmas at the charming Mill Race Historical Village in Northville. The buildings will be beautifully decorated for the season and there will be a Christmas market, holiday inflatables, Christmas music, and much more, at this magical, family-friendly event!


Hometown Holiday | Chelsea

Where: Downtown Chelsea

When: December 2 + 3 (And Throughout December!)

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, gingerbread house displays, a hometown holiday concert, and more. Plus, there are more events happening all month long! To see the full activity schedule, click here.


Winter Wonderland | Saline

Where: Downtown Saline

When: December 2 + 3

Saline’s Winter Wonderland is back for December 2022! Saline Main Street and the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce are teaming up for a two-day event filled with downtown merriment and fun activities for all ages. Enjoy fire pits, caroling, music, reindeer games, cute animals, and shopping and dining along Main Street! Admission to Winter Wonderland is completely free.


Christmas in the Village | Manchester

Where: Downtown Manchester

When: December 2 + 3

Christmas in the Village Manchester, MI
Photo Courtesy of Christmas in the Village

An amazing hometown celebration every year, Manchester’s Christmas in the Village includes a Christmas parade, a lighting contest, Santa visits, carriage rides, a scavenger hunt, a cookie sale, a home tour, a pop-up market, and more! This year, it’s going to be a Candyland Christmas! Follow the team on Facebook for updates.


Christmas Parade | Saline

Where: Downtown Saline

When: December 3

Stick around Saline for the 47th Annual Holiday Parade, featuring lots of lights, music and entertainment, including a visit from Santa himself. People from all over the area come together and line the streets of downtown Saline to admire the more than 100 parade participants, including animals, dancers, musicians, and even a hot air balloon!



Holiday Hustle | Dexter

Where: Monument Park

When: December 10

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. $5 from each registration will be donated to local charities and race day participants can bring non-perishable food items to receive free raffle tickets. The 1-mile and 5K races start at 4 and 4:30 p.m., respectively, and there’s also a half marathon at 11 a.m. if you’re looking for more of a challenge! Click here for all the details about registration and pricing, including the new a la carte pricing model for 2022.


Happy December!

We hope you and your family have a delightful December!

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