Detroit is a city of amazing resiliance and fascinating American history. Known as the “Motor City” for its rich history in the automobile production it’s a city that embraces its past as it drives to the future. I was once told there’s not a lot to do in Detroit (by someone who had never actually been there) and are they ever misinformed! There’s a ton of excitement in Detroit with or without the kids and something to appeal to everyone.
The History and Car Lovers!
Have some car lovers in the family? You’ve come to the right place! Everyone visiting Detroit should check out Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation. The museum holds a lot more than just cars. You will be able to board the same bus that thrust Rosa Parks into the civil rights movement, learn all about the achievements of the Wright brothers, see the motorcade vehicle in which President Kennedy was shot. The museum features the history of motorized equipment in agriculture, steam engines, flight, and of course a lot of automobiles from as early as the 1860’s. There are attractive and interactive exhibits that diagram how the mass production of cars let to drive-in restaurants and more. Just think: no cars = no McDonalds! Once you have gotten your fill of the museum you can head outside to explore Greenfield Village where you will go back in time to learn more about American heritage that this great nation was built. See the lab where Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb and the workshop where the Wright Brothers created their flying machine. Take a ride in a Model T or browse the work of modern day artisans. For those interested in a more in-depth look at manufacturing, you’ll want to do the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.
Legoland Discovery Center and Sea Life Aquarium are about 45 minutes outside the city. They are in the same vicinity, however if you chose to do them both you are looking at a pretty expensive day for a family of four. The Legoland is geared toward smaller kids and is certainly far from the Legolands in Orlando and Chicago. I recommend checking some online reviews to see if you think Legoland is right for your family. The Sea Life Aquarium is small in comparison to some other aquariums but it is still a nice aquarium and a great way to spend the afternoon. For the curious kiddos, you will also want to check out the Michigan Science Center and don’t forget about the Detroit Zoo. It is a nice zoo with reasonable prices and a great penguin exhibit.
The Sports Lovers!
If you like sports then check out the professional sports teams in Detroit by catching a baseball game with the Detroit Tigers, a basketball game with the Detroit Pistons, ice hockey with the Detroit Red Wings, or football with the Detroit Lions. Grab a meal at the Hockeytown Café where you can eat traditional American cuisine while admiring some great sports memorabilia. You might also want to check out Campus Martius Park, the first-ever winner of the prestigious, international Urban Land Institute Urban Open Space Award. The park offers ice skating in the winter, basketball courts and a beach in the summer. 4OO, statesOOO pounds of sand and colorful, comfortable lounge chairs offer a relaxing atmosphere for playing in the sand, enjoying concerts, or just chillaxing.
The Outdoor Lovers!
The Outdoor Adventure Center is a really different experience and shouldn’t be missed if visiting the area. The concept of the center is to bring the gorgeous outdoor beauty of Michigan into the city (and indoors). These interactive exhibits allow you to learn all about the state of Michigan from their native wildlife state’s love of snowboarding. Once you are done learning about the outdoor adventures in Michigan, head outside for real and rent bikes along the Detroit waterfront where you can take in the views of Canada right across the water. Take the kids to the spray pad at Mt. Elliott Park or enjoy the playgrounds at one of the citys’ many parks.
If you are planning to spend some time in Detroit make sure to check out their D Discount Pass. It’s FREE and will safe you up to 20% on area attractions! For more information and to get one, click here.