Ann Arbor Christmas Light Displays

I love looking at Christmas Lights each winter. I can’t wait to turn mine on tomorrow, the day after Thanksgiving. They definitely add some brightness to the short winter days.



When I think of Ann Arbor Christmas light displays, there is no one house that jumps to mind as the “Griswold” house that you must see. I was quite surprised to hear from colleagues in other cities about homes that have admission fees, donation suggestions, and musical tracks for their Christmas light displays. I’ve never heard of anything like this in Ann Arbor.

Holiday Light Displays: Residences

For the best Ann Arbor Christmas Light Displays, I rely on my readers to provide recommendations. Without a true destination residence, we tend to stick with driving our neighborhood or others that we are passing by.

Since lights are just starting to be turned on for 2016, I will keep this list updated as I hear of displays.

2016 Confirmed Displays:

  • Pamela in between Maple and Center Drive by Abbot Elementary – Note, I saw this display on November 30, but on December 6 a reader said they went by and it was not on. I wonder if rainy weather had something to do with the lights off.
  • House at the southwest corner of Textile Rd and Lohr Rd (actually the house is on Mallard Cove Dr)
  • Ann Arbor Bed & Breakfast – 921 E. Huron St – They always have lights and inflatables in the yard.
  • Easthaven Animal Hospital – 2140 S. Huron Parkway – It’s always lit up in green.
  • Calvin & Hobbes House – Instead of lights, this house features large Calvin & Hobbes cutouts enjoying the snow. It is on Main St just north of Pauline.
  • 5th & Liberty – I am guessing this is 5th Street which is residential and not 5th Avenue (post office)
  • Huron St in Ypsilanti at I-94 – Incredible light display at the Huron St. exit off of I-94 (heading toward Ypsilanti). It looks like a gas station converted into a health dispensary. Entire building and parking lot illuminated 
  • Livonia Lights – 34836 Bridge Street, Livonia – Tune the radio to 88.5 as you drive by to see the lights dance to the music
  • Bazillion Lights – 29718 Robert Dr, Livonia

Some houses that have had good light displays in the past, that I have not verified this year:

  • Wallace St in Saline (there was controversy last year when they had to remove arches over the sidewalk and lights in the easement)
  • 440 Argyle Court in Milan. A 2014 recommendation stated that they have an “awesome display.”

I will update this list as I hear of more fun residential holiday light displays. If you find another spectacular display in your area, you can leave it in the comments (you can comment anonymously if you wish), on Facebook, or by email

Holiday Light Displays: Beyond Ann Arbor

There are several impressive light display events as you travel beyond Ann Arbor. The only one we have attended before is the Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas. Our December is usually really busy, so it is hard to fit everything in.

Wayne County Lightfest

The Wayne County Lightfest is a drive-through light viewing experience. There are more than 47 giant animated holiday displays with more than a million lights. The Lightfest opened on November 17th and runs through December 31 (closed on Christmas). The Wayne County Lightfest is open from 7-10p on Monday-Thursday and 6-10p on Friday-Sunday. Santa will be at his Workshop through December 23. Admission is $5/vehicle (cash only). We have never been, but it is on my list to check out. I love that you stay in your vehicle and don’t have to freeze to see the lights.

Lights Before Christmas at Toledo Zoo

The Toledo Zoo’s Lights Before Christmas started last weekend and runs nightly through December 31 (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day). The trees in the Zoo are covered with lights and the big tree is amazing. Also not to be missed is the dancing lights behind the Carnivore Cafe. We have attended Lights Before Christmas several times, particularly when my daughter was younger and we were zoo members. The 2016 Lights Before Christmas will include an Ice Slide and Ice Bumper Cars.

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo also offers a Christmas light show, Wild Lights. We have never been to the Detroit Zoo’s show since we live closer to the Toledo Zoo and were members there for several years. Wild Lights began on Friday, November 18 and runs on Thursday-Sunday through December 18 and then it runs nightly through December 31 (except Christmas Eve and Christmas). They also offer the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D Experience film during Wild Lights (a 10 minute 4-D version of the classic holiday special).

Jackson Nite Lites

Nite Lites is another drive through lights display held at the Jackson County Fairgrounds. The display opened on November 24 and runs through December 31. Join them at Winter Wonderland to visit Santa, see a puppet show, and enjoy food and drink. Live reindeer will also be there on select nights. Winter Wonderland is held on December 2-4, 9-11, and 16-23.  The display is open 5:30-9p Sunday-Thursday and 5:30-10p Friday & Saturday. $20/vehicle admission (mini-bus and buses additional) on nights with Winter Wonderland. Discounted rates of $15/vehicle are valid on other nights.

Winter Wonderland at Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House will host Winter Wonderland on Friday and Saturday nights beginning December 2 and running through December 17. 

Any Others?

So, what light displays have I missed? Where does your family like to go to see Holiday Light Displays? As you see new holiday lights, comment below or email them to me!

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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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  • Katherine Montemayor

    Heritage park in adrian mi has really good drive thru display off 52 across from movie theater its open from dusk till 10

  • Anna

    5th and Liberty has some nice lights

  • Christmas Elf 1

    Incredible light display at the Huron St. exit off of I-94 (heading toward Ypsilanti). It looks like a gas station converted into a health dispensary. Entire building and parking lot illuminated – spectacular.

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