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One of Detroit’s biggest holiday traditions is right around the corner. The 44th…and biggest…annual Noel Night and Cultural Center-wide Open House kicks off at 5 p.m. and goes until 10 p.m. on Dec. 3. The free event is scheduled each year to celebrate Detroit’s diverse holiday traditions and some of Michigan’s premier arts and cultural institutions, churches, galleries, small businesses, restaurants and more. Over 100 venues are participating in this year’s Noel Night and over 200 performances are scheduled to entertain throughout Midtown – and we have your guide to it all!


  • 5:15 and 7:30 p.m. @ Detroit Institute of Arts: The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre’s presentation of The Snow Maiden Snehurka, The Stingy Tailor and The Twelve Months.
  • 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. @ Detroit School of the Arts Students showcase – DSA Lady Achievers, the DSA Vision Male Ensemble, Jazz Band, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and orchestra.
  • 5 to 9:15 p.m. @ Cathedral Church of St. Paul: Live Animals of the Nativity.
  • 7 and 8:15 p.m. @ Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Sonny Knight & The Lakers, original tunes and holiday favorites.
  • 9 p.m. @ Cass Corridor Commons: Thornetta Davis, R&B soulstress.
  • 9:30 p.m. Community sing-along led by the Salvation Army Band, Woodward Avenue Bandstand, corner of Woodward Avenue and Kirby Street. *This one is a Noel Night tradition, where thousands of metro Detroiters gather to sing Christmas carols.
  • All day: The Ice Scraper Challenge, where students from Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies transform blocks of ice into ice sculpture creations throughout the day, DIA Plaza, 5200 Woodward Ave.


  • Wayne State University Winter Art & Retail Market *NEW* @ the corner of Woodward and Warren, featuring artists and local businesses, where Reclaim Detroit will offer a holiday wreath sale and the TechTown Detroit’s annual Reindeer Run Scavenger Hunt will begin.


With over 100 venues participating in this year’s Noel Night and over 200 area music, theatre, and dance groups, and other special performances, there’s something available for everyone! To view all of the venues and performances, click here.


Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, music, dance, theatre, children’s make and take activities, shopping, delectable treats and visits with Santa.


Activities for Noel Night are scattered around Detroit’s Midtown district, from Ferry Street to the north, Edmund Place to the south, St. Antoine to the east and Third Avenue to the west.

Woodward Avenue itself is closed to traffic between Antoinette Street to the north and Warren Avenue to the south. A free shuttle service runs between parking decks and participating venues during Noel Night.


Noel Night visitors can utilize Wayne State’s Parking Structure 1, located at the northwest corner of Cass and Palmer, Parking Structure 2, on Anthony Wayne north of Warren Avenue, Parking Structure 6, on Putnam, or Parking Structure 8, located on West Forest between Woodward and Cass Avenue.

Lyft is the official ridesharing partner of Noel Night. New users can download the Lyft app and apply the code NOELNIGHT16 for $20 in credit or by visiting

Before heading out for Noel Night, check the website for road closures, detours, shuttle routes and recommended parking:

For more information and a full list, visit or call 313-420-6000.

Photo credit: Midtown Detroit Inc.

Erica N. Rakowicz/After 5



Since 2013, Warby Parker has had their eyes on Detroit. And now, as of Thanksgiving week, the designer eyewear brand has finally opened their doors on Woodward Avenue.

Their insanely chic venue is quite the sight (these puns are just too easy!) with original artwork by Detroit artist David Rubello, walnut shelving filled with books, tiled flooring, a 16-foot domed ceiling, globe lighting and brass details, all to make it feel like a cozy little library.

In fully embracing the library theme, the space incorporates a Reference Desk, where customers can try on and get fitted for frames, learn more about the products, pick up orders and receive style advice.

They also offers eye exams via their optometrist and appointments can be booked online in advance.

Once you’ve selected your cool pair of eyewear or shades, you can feel good about your purchase, knowing that with each pair of sun or prescription glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. To date, through Warby Parker’s nonprofit partners, they’ve distributed over 2 million pairs to people in need!

The storefront is in the old Vernor’s Pharmacy where James Vernor concocted Detroit’s favorite ginger soda – and so naturally, as a nod to the history of the space, Warby Parker will serve the ginger ale on tap at their grand opening party on Nov. 26.

Detroit’s Warby Parker store is located at 1449 Woodward Ave. 

Follow them @warbyparker and visit them online here.

Photo credit: Bedrock Detroit and Facebook

Erica N. Rakowicz/After 5