Kid-Friendly Activities to Make the Most of Winter Break

Explore the family-friendly events and exhibitions Detroit has to offer this December.

Looking for ways to entertain your kids while they’re off on winter break? Take advantage of the cultural institutions right here in Detroit. 

From Belle Isle to Midtown, virtual events to in-person celebrations, there’s sure to be something for everyone. 

Kwanzaa With The Wright

Dates: Dec. 26-Jan. 1 | Cost: Free

Explore the seven principles of Kwanzaa and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (or virtually). Over the course of seven nights, the museum will celebrate Kwanzaa through songs and dances, storytelling, poetry reading and more.

Detroit Historical Museum

Dates: Dec. 27-30 | Cost: $6 – $10 per person, free for children under 6

The Detroit Historical Museum will have special holiday hours from Monday, Dec. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Visitors can enjoy drop in tours of the Hudson’s Holidays exhibit at 1 p.m.

Belle Isle Attractions

Dates: Dec. 27-30 | Cost: Free

The Belle Isle Aquarium and Dossin Great Lakes Museum will be open for special holiday hours from Monday, Dec. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 30, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, respectively. While you’re on the island, make sure to stop by the Belle Isle Nature Center, which is hosting outdoor programs while the facility is closed for renovations, and enjoy a winter walk along the Nashua trail, Iron Belle trail or in Oudolf Garden.

Gems: The World’s Wisdom Stories

Dates: Dec. 29- 30 | Cost: Free with admission (Free for residents of Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties)

Doug Berky inspires both laughter and reflection in “Gems” at the Detroit Institute of Arts, presenting stories from around the world by weaving together the illusions of a mime, antics of the clown, original masks, good storytelling and improv into a full stage show. Stories include ancient Greece’s Aesop’s Fables as well as folklore and mythology from Asian, African, Middle Eastern and First Nations peoples. 

NYE Kids Countdown

Date: Dec. 31 | Cost: Free

Ring in 2022 on the early side New Year’s Eve at Beacon Park. Don your festive attire and enjoy live music, free kids activities, food trucks and more, all before 5 p.m.

Downtown Carriage Rides

Dates: Dec. 31-Jan. 1 | Cost: $10 per person or $40 for a private carriage

Behold the beautiful lights in Campus Martius by taking a horse-drawn carriage ride around the park.

Swinging Bells

Dates: Ongoing | Cost: Free

Inspired by bells as a symbol of celebration, artists Amigo and Amigo have created five larger-than-life, colorfully lit swinging bells throughout Beacon Park. Check out this interactive art installation.

Winter at Valade

Dates: Ongoing | Cost: Free

Every weekend through Feb. 27, you can enjoy winter fun at Valade Park, including giant fires, marshmallow roasters, sledding, hot drinks and winter games.

Rink at Campus Martius

Dates: Ongoing | Cost: $11 for adults, $9 for children (12 and under), $5 skate rental

‘Tis the season to skate! Head to Campus Martius for the area’s premier family-friendly outdoor skating rink, in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.

WDET strives to make our journalism accessible to everyone. As a public media institution, we maintain our journalistic integrity through independent support from readers like you. If you value WDET as your source of news, music and conversation, please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.