Between automobiles, art, and music, Detroit is full of history, but taking the kids to museum after museum may be more snooze-inducing than fulfilling. Detroit makes it easy for kids of all ages to love learning and adventuring through the area, so the next time you’re in the mitten state, check out these great family friendly spots.
Discover the place that made history cool again
What’s not to love about a place with the Oscar Meyer Weiner Mobile, an IMAX theater and historical reenactments? No visit to The Henry Ford is complete without a trip to Greenfield Village, where the entire family can ride a Model T and wander through notable homes and workshops like Thomas Edison’s. With so much to do and tours of the Ford Rouge Factory also available, The Henry Ford is more than a place for old car enthusiasts and a good way to pass a few hours.
Become an artist for the day at Detroit Institute of Arts
At first glance, spending a day at an art museum doesn’t sound like something the kids like, but the DIA intends to change that with their Family Sundays program. Whether it’s letting the kids make their own art in one of the galleries or watching a live performance, the Detroit Institute of Arts has been helping kids of all ages get cultured since 1927.
Treat yourself at Westview Orchards and Adventure Farm
Fall weekends in Michigan mean hot apple cider, hayrides, and a trip to Westview Orchards and Adventure Farm. To picture what it’s like at Westview, take your favorite orchard and multiply it by 10 because there’s much more than the standard corn maze, apple picking and cider mill setup. Westview Orchards has an indoor maze in addition to a corn maze, a pumpkin patch, a playground, a 40-foot slide and plenty of “black holes.” Don’t leave without trying the delicious homemade donuts and cider in addition to the onsite wine tasting room for those over 21.
Embrace the city’s biggest sports teams
The people of Detroit support their home teams like no other— and making time for a game while you’re in town is an activity the whole family can enjoy. Baseball and football fans know Comerica Park is the place to be for a Tigers or Lions game in late fall or winter (win or lose). But the real must-see is the hometown tradition of throwing octopi (yes, really!) on the ice while watching the Red Wings play.
Spend the day at Belle Isle
Detroit isn’t necessarily known for it’s arts and sciences scene, but Belle Isle is a good reminder that maybe it should be. The place to be on a rainy or snowy day, just take a quick drive across the McArthur Bridge to see this island turned state park bursting with historic attractions that have been around since the early 1900s. While most closed for a brief period in the early 2000s for repairs, the Belle Isle Conservatory, Aquarium and Great Lakes Museum are still open. Walking from building to building and admiring the skyline doesn’t hurt either.
Stuff your face
Is there any better way to pass the time than by making your own food crawl? Found only at mom and pop ice cream shops across the Midwest, Superman ice cream is a mix of vanilla, bubblegum and cotton candy flavors in a colorful red, yellow, and blue swirl. Another ice cream delight, one bite of Saunder’s Hot Fudge and you’ll never go back to store bought toppings again. This gooey fudge cream puff sundae is a Michigan classic big enough for two (and sometimes even three). For a healthier (ish) treat, Michiganders love their cherries and while most claim the best cherry pie is four hours from Detroit in Traverse City, any cherry pie made with real Michigan cherries is a sweet and delicious treat.