Design + Living, Food, Holidays
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A Winter Guide to Detroit

Did you know that Lonely Planet ranked The D No. 2 in the top 10 cities and is the only continental U.S. city on the list? With our recent move to Detroit from Texas during the winter, you would think I’d be hiding in the attic wrapped in a warm blanket from the snow. Not this busy-bee! I have since explored the D and may I say that I love this city more than I did when I first came.

I know a lot of folks are always looking for suggestions on what to do during the winter, so I did a little research for us ladies! Without further ado, here are a few holiday fun, restaurant, activities and so much more. All 10 of them. Feel free to add yours.

1. Wander Downtown: Want to feel the festivity in the air; with an overdose of holiday lights, décor and awesome stores, you can never go wrong. Simply wander through neighborhoods within your area, or load the car (with warm winter gear of course) and drive around down. May I suggest going to the Downtown Detroit Winter Market? With over 30 local vendors enclosed in a transparent/heated booth. Locations include: Spirit Plaza, Cadillac Square, Capitol Park and inside the 1001 Woodward building. While you are there, visit the Parc Restaurant, their happy hour sliders are amaze-balls!

2. Go Ice Skating: Right across from the Winter Market in Campus Mauritius, this ice skating rink is amazing. We are yet to try it out because I am absolutely terrified of skating in my sub-par winter clothes. We will be making our way back there now that I have my act together. There are plenty of ice skating rinks across the city as well, here are some of our favorites, 

3. Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village: Are you guys kidding? Why didn’t anyone tell me about this winter wonderland? I had to find out myself for the parenting group I help out with at work. Seriously mama’s, get your whole family out there. Surround yourself with true holiday spirit in what Reader’s Digest and USA Today call “one of the Top 10 Christmas experiences” in the country. Looking for specifics, check out a full review of the Village and 10 Unique Things to do here.

4. Visit the Parks: I love walking through parks at this time of the year. They are always decorated, and full of fun activities for kids especially on weekends. The Downtown Detroit Parks are simply gorgeous right now, and with various shops, markets, stores, restaurants, Qline, stadiums, opera houses, theatres and museums nearby – this one will always be a huge hit for the family. My personal favorite is the newest Beacon Park. The park infuses light, energy and motion to create a distinctive gathering place and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. The circular, open lawn is the largest of any downtown Detroit park and gives visitors room to run, play, relax and recharge. With year-round programming, interactive light installations and a contemporary restaurant with a rooftop garden and dining space for panoramic views of the park and city skyline – this park is beaming with eye-catching, Instagram-worthy moments to share with friends and family.

5. Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo: I visited the Zoo two weeks ago and can I say that this was a show-stopper. The lights are simply gorgeous and the holiday spirit was top notch. There were marshmallows, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and folks hugging, smiling, kissing and just having great conversations along the walking tour. My favorite was the hummingbird lights, simply stunning. Take the kids; this will totally make their night. Check out their website before going, as some nights are not available for viewing.

6. Christmastime in Frankenmuth: My boss is German and he mentioned this to me when I was asking for advice on what to do over the weekend with my daughter. I am dying to go here, but the drive is actually not my favorite thing to do this time of the year. But off we go this weekend, so wish us luck. There are a great number of things for you and your family to do in Frankenmuth. With festivities year round, the town welcomes visitors with Bavarian hospitality regardless of the season. Whether it’s a day trip for the family or a weekend retreat with friends, Frankenmuth is the perfect destination to recharge, renew and refresh. From fantastic festivals, eclectic shopping and wonderful indoor waterparks, to rich historical beauty and culture, it’s the ideal departure from the ordinary every day.

7. See the Nutcracker: We never miss the Nutcracker. Unfortunately the classic Nutcracker at the Michigan Opera House concluded thanksgiving weekend, however, there are tons of Nutcracker shows around the city. I took Camille and her friend this year and they absolutely enjoyed it. This year they hosted the Cincinnati Ballet House and the performance was simply splendid.  We had warm hot chocolate right across the street during the break and came back to cozy up to finish the second half.

8. Holiday Market at the Eastern Market: I love Eastern Market and I can seriously say it is by far the most organized farmers market I have ever been to. My daughter looks forward to our stroll one Saturday a month at the market where we stock up on produce, meat, fish and healthy snacks. The Holiday Market is certainly one we are looking forward to participating in. In addition to the Saturday market, they added a Tuesday market which features food vendors, so you can stock up on ingredients for your holiday cooking. There was a Santa Appearance last week, not sure if that will happen again, but definitely worth going.

9. Cozy Up at Blake’s Farm: I am not a farm girl at all, and I just tasted my first apple cider this year, so that should tell you something. However, I simply cannot get Blake Farm off my mind. They are so legit. They offer Christmas trees, holiday activities, Santa Appearances, and their café is always offering fantastic meals for the holidays. Of course there are lots of produce to stock up on as well while you are there. And for my girlfriends who love wine, go for the wine.

10. Visit Santa: There are so many opportunities to see Santa. At malls, parks, theatres, zoos, etc. Our favorite place thus far is the Somerset Collection Mall, Birmingham Shain Park, Downtown Royal Oak  and more here .

What would you love to add to the list? We’d love to hear your recommendations. Perhaps, we can make this the best winter yet!

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