Holiday Food, Fun & Shopping: December Events in the D

By: Toni Cunningham | December 3, 2014

While it’s easy to utter the words, “I’m bored,” it’s not so easy to do so this time of year in Metro Detroit. Whether you’re in Midtown or Royal Oak, there is always something festive going on!

Food, beer, wine and shopping events are all over the place this month, as well as a few eagerly anticipated venue openings. Since there are still a few weeks in between now and when Santa Claus shimmies down the chimney, let’s fill our calendars with fun and exciting events to keep us busy and full of holiday cheer until then.

Shops & Pops: A Champagne Shopping Event, takes place tomorrow night in downtown Royal Oak. The ladies’ night event includes discounts from participating retailers, plus special holiday activities. Tickets cost $7 a pop, which includes three champagne samples. A portion of your ticket price will be donated to Gilda’s Club.

Participating local businesses include Black the Salon, Simply the Best Boutique, The Accessories Shop (which will be providing Mary Kay giveaways and chair massages), Infinity Jewelers and more. Plenty of retailers will be giving away food and drinks, and champagne sampling locations include Café Muse, Fifth Avenue and Town Tavern.

The 42nd Annual Noel Night, a holiday tradition in the city of Detroit, will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6. Throughout the evening, over 70 different establishments, including the Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Public Library and Michigan Science Center, will open free of charge. From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy carriage rides, crafts, holiday shopping, dance groups, theater performances and more.

The evening’s festivities are free of charge, and Noel Night includes a sing-along on Woodward Avenue at the end of the night, courtesy of the Salvation Army Band. Check out the brochure here for the full itinerary!

Punch Bowl Social Detroit, 1331 Broadway St., Detroit, a place to eat, drink and play games all under one roof, is finally opening its doors and celebrating with a grand opening party on Wednesday, Dec. 10! The event will feature live music by local band Kaleido, complimentary menu samplings, punch tastings, activities and more from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The party continues at 10 p.m., but keep in mind that the free punch, snacks and games only go until 9 p.m., and after 10 p.m., you must be 21 and up to be there. Tickets cost $10, and all proceeds will be donated to the Salvation Army. This is one grand opening party/good cause I think we can all get behind.

The Holly Hotel, 110 Battle Alley, Holly, is holding a special, one night only, Vegetarian Christmas Feast on Thursday, Dec. 11. Veggie lovers, rejoice! No longer do you have to worry about packing your plate full of veggies and skipping out on the Christmas ham: this dinner is for you.

The four-course meal includes Broccoli and Roasted Pear Soup, followed by Spinach Salad with Gorgonzola, Cranberries, Almonds and Local Honey Vinaigrette. For the entrée, you have three different options: Portobello Wellington with Vanilla Glazed Baby Carrots and Roasted Red Potatoes; Eggplant and Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Horseradish Mash; or Kale and Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese.

Dessert consists of Honey and Greek Yogurt Cheesecake with a Semolina Crust. All of this can be yours for just $34.75 per person. I don’t know about you, but I’m not even a vegetarian, and this meal sounds fantastic!

DXF’s Drink Detroit: Holiday Edition, a special event put on by the Detroit Experience Factory, will be held on Friday, Dec. 12. For just $10, join the downtown Detroit bar tour that begins at Firebird Tavern, heads to Delux and ends at Campus Martius Park for Showcase D’Holidays. The latter is Campus Martius’ new holiday feature every Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight, which includes live bands and tastings from restaurants like The Whitney and Slows Bar BQ.

All participants must be 21 and up, and you may be able to snag some free drinks and snacks along the route, along with the guaranteed fun Detroit facts and discounts.

The Detroit Made Holiday Pop-Up Shop, which is hosted by the Detroit Design Festival and runs from Friday, Dec. 12 through Saturday, Dec. 13, is a gift in and of itself to holiday shoppers. Forget the mall, instantly regret that time you wasted Black Friday shopping, and get the rest of (or all of) your holiday shopping list taken care of in one place.

Over 20 local crafters, designers and makers will be present at D:hive to sell handmade products including ceramics, prints, perfume, candles, fibers and more. Participating businesses include Rebel Nell, Homes Eyewear, Adora Bella Ceramics, One Custom City, Firebrand Candle Company and Tree Trunk Arts.

HopCat, 4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit, was supposed to open earlier than December, but we can all finally breathe a collective sigh of relief because this beautiful beer emporium will be open for business as of 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 13. Three cheers for free Crack Fries!

Not only that, the first 200 people in line will receive free Crack Fries every week for an entire year. While that will certainly put you in the red zone for your health, hey, you win a tasty and delicious prize! The grand opening party also includes a World Record tap takeover courtesy of Short’s Brewing Company, complete with 101 different Short’s beers on tap, as well as a free live show in the Huma Room at 8 p.m.

Please keep in mind that HopCat is a 21 and up only establishment, with minors allowed in only before 10 p.m. if accompanied by a parent (and not a 21 or over friend).

The Rattlesnake Club, 300 River Pl. Dr., Detroit, is a great place to enjoy a classy dinner, and on Saturday, Dec. 20, you can take advantage of “Enjoy Detroit: Home for the Holidays,” a dinner and show package. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra teams up with choirs from Grosse Pointe South High School and Bloomfield Hills High School for a performance at 3 p.m. or 8 p.m. (your choice) and dinner at 5:30 p.m.

The four-course meal is prepared by chef Chris Franz, and tickets cost $91.40 per person for adults, $61.40 per child for children ages 12 and under.

The Detroit Zoo, 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, provides a great family-friendly dinner option in the form of Dinner with Santa! Take the kids to the zoo to enjoy a buffet-style dinner and story time with Santa Claus from Friday, Dec. 19 through Tuesday, Dec. 23.

The doors open at 6 p.m. each night, and dinner is served promptly at 6:15 p.m. The menu includes Cider Brined Turkey with Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Mac and Cheese, Baby Iceberg Salad, a Fresh Fruit Display and more. You and your children will also have the opportunity to enjoy Wild Lights at the zoo! Tickets cost $39 for adults (ages 15 and up) and $34 for children (ages 14 and under).

Whether you’re looking for a great family activity, a way to get some shopping done without heading to a crowded mall, or a unique dinner date for you and your sweetie, there are plenty of fun and festive events happening in Detroit this December. Happy holidays!