2023 Detroit Tree Lighting Schedule at Campus Martius Park This Christmas + Light Up Beacon Park | Map, Dates, Where To Park, Things To Do in November

2023 Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony Schedule at Campus Martius Park This Christmas + Light Up Beacon Park | Map, Dates, Parking, Things To Do in November

By: Sherry Trautman | Travel-Mi.com | Updated November 10, 2023

Chris and I are so excited for this year's 20th Annual Detroit Tree Lighting! If you didn't know, it's THE downtown Detroit Michigan event that kicks off the happy, sparkly Christmas season! 

  • This year, the Detroit tree is a majestic 64-foot Michigan-grown Norway spruce decked out with ornaments. This Detroit Christmas tree will be sparkling with thousands of shimmering LED multi-colored Christmas lights.

And the best part? Santa, you know-the big man himself, will initiate the countdown to the glorious tree lighting! (Can you hear the angels singing?)

When is the Annual Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony? What time is the tree lighting Detroit?

Friday, November 17, 2023 at 4:00 pm - 9 pm.

In 2023, the theme is "Merry & Bright: 20 Years of Holiday Lights.” This is a free annual Detroit event that kicks off the holiday season and will feature performances by Olympic figure skaters, the best skaters in metro Detroit and live musical acts, holiday shopping, food trucks, unique lighting attractions across Downtown Detroit and more!

Downtown Detroit Tree Lighting Information

Where is the Detroit tree lighting? Campus Martius Park, 800 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI

When is the Detroit tree lighting? Friday, November 17, 2023 

What time is the tree lighting in Detroit? 4:00 pm - 9 pm.

The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and DTE Energy Foundation are to thank for this fantastic downtown Detroit Christmas event.  I can't imagine how much work it would be to put on an event of this magnitude! 

The downtown Detroit Christmas tree lighting will be a night of fun including:

  • Sparkly light attractions
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides
  • Christmas shopping
  • Food trucks
  • Santa and live reindeer! 
  • Live Entertainment including singing, figure skating and more!

Map of the Annual Detroit Tree Lighting + Where To Park

Downtown Detroit Tree Lighting Frequently Asked Questions

Where did the Christmas tree for Detroit come from? This year's tree came from Lake City, Michigan which is locally known as the 'Christmas Tree Capitol.'

How tall is Campus Martius tree? The Christmas tree downtown Detroit is a Michigan-grown, 64-foot Norway spruce! 

How Many People Attend the Downtown Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting?  Approximately 40,000 will people gather together in downtown Detroit for this sparkly Christmas occasion! As such, it may be wise to arrive at least an hour early to find parking, walk and arrive at Campus Martius Park.  Prepare for street closings.

Are the Downtown Detroit tree lights on all the time or only at certain hours?  Since the official Tree Lighting in November, the tree's 20,000 LED lights will be on 24/7! They will continue to sparkle and brighten our holidays through the first week of January 2024.

Who Decorates the Downtown Detroit Christmas Tree and How Long Does It Take? The tree takes about 7 days to place and construct and 4-5 days to decorate and test to make sure all the lights are ready to dazzle on "go day!"  This special Christmas task is performed by a specialized Downtown Detroit Partnership crew of contractors - about 10 folks altogether! I like to think of them as a special division of Santa's elves! 

How On Earth Do They Get the Decorations All the Way to the Top of the Tree? Well, Santa's elves use a crane and several bucket lifts to decorate our lovely Detroit Christmas tree at Campus Martius Park.

Are There Restrooms? Yes! There is a luxury restroom trailer on-site near The Rink and the Christmas tree in Campus Martius Park!

Grab Dinner and Drinks at Detroit's Food Trucks During the Detroit Tree Lighting!

Don't worry about being hungry while enjoying the Detroit Tree Lighting! Several Detroit food trucks will be ready to serve delicious drinks, snacks and meals.  There will be everything from Jamaican to Mediterranean cuisine, burgers, pizza, lobster, chicken, mac and cheese and so much more! So bring your taste buds!   

Did You Know You Can Watch The Detroit Tree Lighting At Home, Too?

If you can't make this Detroit Christmas event in person (or prefer to watch it at home in your PJs, tune in to WXYZ-TV Channel 7.  They will broadcast complete coverage of the tree lighting event during their live special, “Light Up the Season,” airing at 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. Watch it on your TV, from your computer online and streaming devices.

"Light Up Beacon Park" Is Also November 17, 2023 

When is Beacon Park's “Light Up Beacon Park?” November 17, 2023 from 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm

  • 5 pm to 9 pm: See the 20-foot, sparkling Michigan-grown Children’s Tree! 
  • 6:00 pm: Tree lighting ceremony, see Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, see live reindeer! (keep an eye out for Rodolph!)
  • Choo Choo!! Embark on a fun train ride, the  “Polar Express" which is FREE for all!  
  • Nosh on yummy food truck food, and see live performances, too!
  • See the stunning “Northern Lights” that is larger-than-life!

Oh, and there will be food trucks so you won't go hungry!

  • Don't worry, you can attend both the Detroit Tree Lighting at Campus Martius Park AND Light UP Beacon Park! 

Where To Park for the Detroit Tree Lighting

See our map above.  These are two ideas, of course there are other lots and choices in the area. 

  1. One Campus Martius Garage - 1188 Farmer Street, Detroit, MI. With over 1,750 parking spaces, the One Campus Martius Garage is located at 1188 Farmer Street and is connected to both One Campus Martius and the People Mover. Amenities including a complimentary air pump, window washing stations, bicycle parking and electric vehicle parking/charging stations. 24/7 Security, Daily rate parking available.
  2. The Kennedy Square Garage at 720 Griswold Street is also one block away. Convenient and secure garage in downtown Detroit, across the street from Campus Martius Park. 


Go Ice Skating at The Rink at Campus Martius Park!

The Rink at Campus Martius Park presented by Visit Detroit opens immediately after the incredible Detroit tree lighting November 18, 2022!  Enjoy ice skating until March 5, 2022. 

By the way, if you love ice skating, check out our Detroit Ice Skating Rinks and dozens of super fun Michigan Ice Skating Rinks!

Note: Tickets and skate rentals may be purchased onsite at the park and are offered on a first come, first serve basis.

Are There Restrooms? Yes! There is a luxury restroom trailer on-site near The Rink and the Christmas tree in Campus Martius Park!

Start Your Holiday Shopping at the Downtown Detroit Markets!

When: Open November 10, 2022 and will be open during the Detroit Tree Lighting!

The Downtown Detroit Markets will be open until January 1, 2022.

Where: Cadillac Square

What are the Downtown Detroit Markets?  The Downtown Detroit Markets are a great chance to shop local small businesses selling their items in a pop-up style.  Eighteen curated local retailers will set up shop for the holiday season. These shops feature great gift items such as apparel, jewelry, candles, pet toys and treats, books, board games, fine cheeses, chocolates and more!

Go On a Romantic (or FUN!) Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride!

What a way to ignite your Christmas spirit!  Embark on a cheerful horse-drawn carriage ride! 

Where: The Woodward Esplanade next to Campus Martius Park (see our map above).

Horse-drawn carriage rides are available on Fridays and Saturdays through December 30, 2022. Chris and I can't wait to go this year!

Relax, Warm Up and Play Games in the Nearby Cadillac Lodge!

When: Open November 10, 2022 and will be open during the Detroit Tree Lighting!

The Cadillac Lodge will be open until January 2, 2022.

What a cozy, family-friendly space located right next to the Downtown Detroit Markets! Grab a table and enjoy a yummy snack or light lunch with a happy festive drink! The Cadillac Lodge has the comfort and style of a ski lodge setting, so come in to warm up, play games and enjoy a cocktail. 

Sherry Trautman Bio Picture

About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

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We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "Travel-mi.com." A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of Travel-MI.com. This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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