Dear Crabby, Where is the Best Place in Michigan to Go Make My Spirits Bright?

Dear Crabby,

Between this pandemic and the lack of snow in our area, I’m having trouble finding my Christmas spirit. Do you have any fun suggestions on what my family and I can do around town that would help us feel jollier?


Cindy Lou Lumos

Dear Cindy Lou Lumos,

Your conundrum makes me think of that song from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas, “Where Are You Christmas?” Even if you celebrate Hanukkah or something else, or nothing at all, you get the gist of the song’s sentiment – what in the tarnation has happened to the holiday season as we know it?! You are wise to ask me if I know of a way to make this season jollier. By golly, I sure do. Let there be lights!

Nearly 15 years ago, downtown Rochester decided to put some lights on the storefronts. Since that light bulb moment (get it?), The Big Bright Light Show has gotten well, bigger and brighter. Every year at the beginning of October, two crews work seven days for eight weeks putting up over a million lights on both sides of Main Street. Usually, the lights get turned on during Thanksgiving weekend and stay up well into January. This event has gotten so popular that fancy magazines like House Beautiful say downtown Rochester is one of the best places to see Christmas lights in the United States. And the best part? It costs nothing to look at! Now, perhaps you have a ‘been there, done that’ mentality with The Big Bright Light Show. Don’t worry. I have other illuminating options for you to try.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop
Dear Crabby Gives Advice

If you feel like heading south, you can check out the glowing lights and other old-timey festiveness until December 28 at Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village in Dearborn. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to pay and book your time slot in advance. And I’m guessing they’re keeping the crowds smaller this year too, so don’t dilly-dally. Another festive option is Wild Nights at the Detroit Zoo, which is actually in Royal Oak. This event also gets the House Beautiful seal of approval. It’s a good thing Rochester doesn’t mind sharing. From now until January 3, 2021, take a stroll through more than five million LED lights covering trees, buildings, and 265 sculptures of mostly animals. Hey. At least they won’t smell. But like Greenfield, you will have to pay and reserve your tickets before you go. If neither of these options is ringing your jingle bells, head north to Clarkston to check out DTE Energy Music Theatre’s Magic of Lights. Finally, a light show where you can sit in the comfort of your vehicle and casually cruise over a mile of LED holiday light displays that have themes ranging from the 12 Days of Christmas to The Night Before Christmas. Again, you have to pay either in advance or at the gate, and the lights only last until January 2, 2021. If you feel like heading out to the boonies, the Michigan Renaissance Festival in Holly is debuting Hollydazzle! Make sure you wear your sturdiest shoes or boots to walk this three-quarter-mile outdoor trail featuring more than a dozen lighted Christmas scenes and more! Just like the other events, tickets are needed, but hey, at least the parking is free.

Hopefully, one of these alternatives will help you find your Christmas spirit. And if you haven’t put any lights up at your place yet, perhaps taking your family to one of these illuminating spectacles will get you out of the task. That is of course you want to be the Clark Griswold of your neighborhood.

Here’s to hoping your holiday experience is merry and bright!

Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Then email me your question at You can also head on over to my Facebook page and tell me how wonderful I am.

About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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