What To Do This Weekend In Detroit For December 11-13, 2015

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We’ve entered the heart of the holiday season, the time when folks start to feel the pressure of months of shopping procrastination.

If you’re like me, you’ve been holding out until now to dive into the grueling world of holiday shopping, and it’s finally time to scrape what’s left of the shelves and make your best attempt at manipulating wrapping paper and tape to get your mediocre gifts into proper form for giving.

That’s why this week’s list is almost all about shopping. One fantastic part of Detroit is its crafty culture, which provides ample ways to impress everyone on your list with a boutique selection of gifts, all while supporting local artists and craftsmen.


Belle Isle Holiday Stroll – Friday – 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. – Detroit

Ok, so this first event isn’t actually a market, but it seemed like such a good time I couldn’t resist. On Friday night, grab your parks pass and make your way over to Belle Isle for the Holiday Stroll.

You’ll enjoy a beautiful walk around the island, as well as special access to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Belle Isle Aquarium and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum.

In addition to the natural wonder of Belle Isle, you’ll be treated to holiday music, free mulled cider and Dutch Girl Donuts at the Conservatory, and hot cocoa, cookies, and free winter crafts at the Dossin.

You can also donate a new teddy bears to the Michigan State Police “Trooper Teddy” program, or new toys for the “Toys for Tots” program. The event runs from 5 pm to 8 pm and is free with your Michigan parks pass, so don’t miss out!


2015 Holiday Makers Market at Ponyride – Saturday 12p-10p – Detroit

On Saturday, saddle up and make your way down to the 2015 Holiday Makers Market at Pony Ride for a dynamic holiday market featuring more than 70 designers and makers from Detroit and beyond, displaying a variety of high quality handcrafted products.

Thanks to a special collaboration with Rebel Nell and 4731 Gallery, the day also will feature open studios and Michigan Made gifts, food, and drinks.

The event is spread across three locations:

– Ponyride at 1401 Vemont St.
– Rebel Nell Studio at 4731 Grand River Ave.
– Ford Resource and Engagement Center (FREC) at 2826 Bagley (Family friendly activities)

The all ages event also offers a shuttle service for those traveling between all three locations.


Southwest Holiday Fest – Saturday – 3 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Detroit 

If you don’t find what you’re looking for at Pony Ride on Saturday, then make your way over to Southwest Detroit for the Southwest Holiday festival.

This community event is an opportunity for residents to explore Southwest Detroit’s growing entertainment district around the Bagley and Vernor area.

Guests will enjoy live dance, theatre, and musical performances, gift shopping, local food and crafts, and more. When you’re through shopping, don’t miss the chance to visit one of the many outstanding Mexican restaurants in the area, likeTaqueria El Ray, or Nuesta La Famillia.

The event runs from 3-9 on Saturday and is all ages.


Russell Industrial Center Winter Open Studios – Saturday – 4 p.m. – 10 p.m. – Detroit

On Saturday from 4p-10p don’t miss the seasonal open house at the famed Russell Industrial Center in Detroit.

You’ll get the a rare look inside the studios that some of Detroit’s finest artists call home, as well as the opportunity to purchase their work.

This is also a great way to entertain guests who are visiting for the holidays, and show them one of Detroit’s most iconic spots.

For more information on the event, log onto facebook and search Russell Industrial Center Winter Open Studios.


Holiday Sunday Market and Wellness Center Opening – Saturday – Detroit

Alright folks, this last one is a double whammy of holiday goodness.

On Sunday head down to Eastern Market for two great events – the final Holiday Sunday Street Market of the season and the grand opening of the Eastern Market Wellness Center.

The market takes place in sheds 3, 4, and 5 and features 150+ local and small business vendors, each offering a wide variety of creative gift items of all kinds. You can also fill up on great food truck grub and even get the kids some pictures with Santa.

When you’re done shopping, take a moment to check out the brand new Eastern Market Wellness Center.

The Wellness Center is a private co-working space where holistic practitioners build their individual practices within a network of like minded folks, while offering holistic wellness options for Detroiters.

You’ll have the chance to meet independent Massage Therapists and book your first appointment, while enjoying healthy hors d’oeuvres and beverages, and even a relaxing chair massage.

What better way to unwind from the shopping stress this season?

The market runs from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and the wellness center will be open from 12-6. Both events are free to attend and are sure to be a blast for the whole family.

For more information, head over to www.easternmarket.com.

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