As the holiday season rolls around, Michigan transforms into a picture-postcard scene. You’ll see people bundled up in scarves and mittens, strolling through the snow-covered streets and drinking hot chocolate by the fireplace. While many festivals can get you into the holiday spirit and fill you with glee, nothing comes close to the magic of a Christmas light display.
From the bustling city of Detroit to the charming town of Frankenmuth, every corner, walkway, and driveway of the state sparkles with twinkling lights and festive decorations. For those worried about accessibility or navigating the crowds, we’ve jotted down some of the most accessible Christmas light displays in Michigan that’ll leave you feeling jolly and bright.
Top Accessible Christmas Light Shows in Michigan
Below are some top accessible Christmas light shows in Michigan:
The Big, Bright Light Show, Rochester, MI
If you’re planning to cruise around Michigan between November 20 and January 21, you simply cannot afford to miss out on the dazzle of The Big Bright Light Show in Downtown Rochester. With over one million glimmering holiday lights covering the buildings and boutique shops, you’ll find yourself gazing in awe.
The Big Bright Light Show is not just about lights but also includes many Christmas holiday activities. You can indulge in mouth-watering cookies while humming with street carollers or meet Santa Claus and his trusty reindeer.
And if you’ve been too busy to finish your gift shopping (let’s face it, who isn’t?), fear not. The charming boutiques scattered around the lit-up town are chock-full of unique last-minute stocking stuffers that will surely be a hit with your loved ones.
Locals can also participate in the Neighborhood Light Fight or bring out their inner artists with the Holiday Window Contest. After all, what’s Christmas without a little bit of fun?
Nite Lites, Jackson, MI
Nite Lites is an animated light show held at the famous Michigan International Speedway, turning this race track into a race of lights! There you’ll find millions of lights arranged into more than 65 themes, from jolly ol’ Santa to dancing fairies. Since this light show is spread across a 250-foot tunnel, you might have to go twice to see everything!
This vibrant celebration of lights offers not one but two exciting ways to take in the spectacle: through a drive-through experience or hopping on a festive train ride. The drive-through experience lets you get up close and personal with the lights, while the train ride is for adventurous souls who want to feel the crisp winter air on their cheeks and enjoy hot chocolate and holiday music as they take in the sights. The best part? The entire path is paved, making every step of your journey seamless.
This epic light saga kicks off on November 17 and runs through January 7! Sunday to Thursday, you can catch the show from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Plus, you can enjoy the lights until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights!
Christmas Lite Show, Grand Rapids, MI
With over 26 years of experience, the Christmas Lite Show in Grand Rapids provides a heartwarming adventure for all ages. The main attraction is, without a doubt, its drive-thru component. As you wind your way along the two-mile route, you’ll encounter over one million Christmas lights dancing in the dark, illuminated figures, and creative displays.
If you don’t feel like driving all the way, you can stoke up your Christmas spirit and board the Memory Lane Train, where hot cocoa is optional, but a joyous holiday spirit is a must!
This light festival starts on November 22nd and ends on December 31st. On select days, the Christmas Lite Show will host Santa’s House, where kids can enjoy chatting with Santa, exchange wish lists, and even take Instagram-worthy snapshots perfect for hanging above the hearth,
Wild Lights, Royal Oaks, MI
If you’re looking for an outstanding holiday light display with a distinctly wild twist, the Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo should be right up your alley.
Starting on November 24 and continuing till January 7, the front half of the Zoo displays over 280 spectacular, luminescent sculptures in an array of fascinating shapes and designs. Your favorite animals come to life in glowing form, setting the stage for a truly unforgettable holiday journey.
When it comes to events, nothing beats the magic and beauty of the “Field of Light,” where the lights don’t just glow; they swirl and change color to the beat of holiday melodies. Or, you can wander through an enchanted trail of trees and animals with a fairy by your side. There’s also an illuminated underwater trail with an interactive wall that lets guests play with water.
As for accessibility, the zoo provides drop-off and pick-up areas right in front of the main gates. There are also affordable wheelchair rentals starting from a mere $10 and ECV rentals for just $28. If, at any point, the vibrant festival becomes overwhelming or tiresome, you can escape to the quiet zone tucked inside the Ford Education Center.
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Tips for Enjoying Accessible Christmas Lights Displays
With the crowds, bright lights, and seasonal frenzy at their peak, disabled individuals may find it hard to enjoy Christmas light displays. However, these tips can help you make the most out of your festive adventure:
- When selecting an accessible light display to visit, take notes of features like wider paths, ramp access, smooth surfaces, and lower viewing areas.
- Pre-plan your visit. Choose a date and time when the crowd is predicted to be less populous. Many accessible light displays kick on their bulbs as early as when the sun goes down, so your best bet for avoiding the crowds would be around 5 p.m. Not to mention, you get first dibs on the best holiday cookies!
- Factor in the weather conditions, and try to choose a clear night. Also, bundle up in your most festive Christmas sweater, mittens, and fuzzy socks to stay warm and comfortable.
- Upon arrival, take time to locate appropriate seating areas, accessible restrooms, and other essential features.
- If you’re having trouble navigating, spotting displays, or just need an extra pair of hands, don’t hesitate to ask staff members for help. That’s what they’re there for!
- You might not believe it, but bringing your flask filled with hot chocolate (or coffee) can radiate as much warmth and comfort as any Christmas light.
- Festive light attractions with holiday music can be visually stimulating and physically demanding, especially for people with sensory sensitivities. Look for ‘quiet areas’ to take a holiday from the holiday, or bring earplugs or earmuffs to avoid sensory overload.
Get in the Holiday Spirit With Clock Mobility
Whether you plan on rolling up to the most extravagant citywide light shows or just marveling at your neighborhood’s display, having a wheelchair-accessible vehicle can remove a whole set of transportation hurdles.
At Clock Mobility, we have a wide range of specially designed, wheelchair-accessible vehicles that can accommodate your needs and maneuver through snow and ice without compromising your safety or comfort. If you’re visiting Michigan from another state during the holiday season, you can also rent our premium wheelchair vans for a couple of days or your entire trip to explore the area’s festive decor.
We also provide top-notch maintenance and repair services, including winterizing preparations, so you don’t have to worry about missing any magical moment during this holiday season. For more information about our vehicles, rentals, and service, call us at (866) 380-3326 or visit one of our four locations in Michigan.