Friday, December 6, 2019


Christmas will be here before you know it, and even sooner, Ann Arbor will soon start to glow with Christmas lights. While you can drive through the residential streets of Ann Arbor and see beautiful yard displays of Christmas lights, sometimes you want to see the big showings. Ann Arbor provides these, too, throughout the city. Here are a few places where you can find Christmas lights in Ann Arbor or in nearby areas.
Concordia University
While the University of Michigan may be the university that primarily drives people to Ann Arbor, the smaller Concordia University certainly knows how to do Christmas lights. They have a display every year, beginning December 4. You’ll find beautifully lit nativity scenes or Christmas light angels playing on trumpets. This year, enjoy the first Lighting of the Green. The students and faculty decorate ten Christmas trees and light them on the night of the 4th. There’s a vote for the best tree, and rumors that even Santa will make an appearance.
Downtown Ann Arbor
A drive through Downtown Ann Arbor may be enough to put you in the Christmas mood. While you probably won’t find elaborate displays here, the streets will be alive with Christmas-lit tree canopies and even some of the local businesses deck their offices out in Christmas lights. Take your time rounding the corners or even explore downtown by foot so you can take in the crisp early winter air and the twinkling Christmas lights at the same time.
Toledo Zoo Lights 2019
Technically, this one’s not in Ann Arbor but it starts in Ypsilanti. On December 6 at 5pm, gather at the student center of Eastern Michigan University to take a trip to the Toledo Zoo, about an hour away. The Lights Before Christmas event is spectacular, showing off light displays that are made to look like alligators, elephants, and more. This is also the perfect trip for students looking for a break from finals and getting ready to get into the Christmas spirit before winter break.
Wayne County Lightfest
In nearby Westland, you’ll find the largest light display in the Midwest. It runs from November 21 through December 31, covering five miles full of bright Christmas lights. When you want to stop to really take it in, you can visit Santa’s Shelter at Warrendale Park. There you’ll find refreshments and even an opportunity to take photos with the big man himself. The cost is $5 per vehicle, but you can also donate an unwrapped toy to waive the entrance fee.
Christmas is a beautiful season throughout Ann Arbor and even in nearby areas. Want to see it for yourself? First, find a place to stay. When you stay at the University Inn of Ann Arbor, you can find discounts for students and parents visiting the University of Michigan college campus, as well as for parents of UM or EMU student-athletes. However, these discounts are only available when you book with us directly. Contact us today to get started.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Thinking of attending the University of Michigan at the start of the next fall? Maybe you have a student graduating high school who has their eyes set on UM? Even if you’re just briefly considering it, it’s a good idea to visit the campus to get a sense of what it has to offer to you or your child. Check out the facilities, the culture, and meet the professors to see if it’s the right fit for you.
When visiting the University of Michigan, it can sometimes seem like there’s so much to do you’ll never get to it all. While you may have to do some research on your own to fully plan your trip, here are a few Can't-miss stops.

The Diag

If you want to get a sense of the culture at the University of Michigan, check out the Diag. “The Diag,” short for the Diagonal Green, is at the center of campus in more ways than one. It’s a large open space at the center of the central campus, and it’s a favorite place for students to gather and socialize on a nice day. If the campus has an outdoor concert going on, a fundraiser, or other exciting events, chances are you can find them at the Diag. You’ll also find the large brass M at the center of campus — but make sure not to step on it. Local superstition has it that a student who steps on the M before taking their first bluebook exam will likely fail the exam.

The Law Quad

Interested in studying law? Maybe just a fan of gothic stone architecture? The law quad is one spot you’ll need to see. The stone arches and towering structures here look reminiscent of Hogwarts and give you the sense of having been transported to somewhere older and statelier. The library is more than just an architectural marvel — it’s also held as one of the world’s best law libraries. It brings in legal professionals from all over, adding expertise both within and without the pages. And coffee shops and restaurants nearby will ensure that you get the refreshments you need in between sight-seeing and studying.

“The Big House”

Michigan Stadium, or “The Big House” is the largest stadium in the United States and the second-largest stadium in the world. It has an official seating capacity of 107,601, but in actuality, it’s held crowds of more than 115,000. Needless to say, it’s a sight to see. If you can catch a game at Michigan Stadium to get a sense of the energy, that’s ideal, but even without a game going on, simply seeing the enormity of the stadium can be both humbling and exciting.
Looking for a place to stay while you visit the University of Michigan? At University Inn of Ann Arbor, we’re conveniently located close to campus. We also offer a 10% discount for parents and students visiting the University of Michigan when you book with us directly. Contact us today to get started.