Detroit: 50 things to do with kids before they grow up

This post is originally by Melissa Summers of – see the original post here.  A few things I would add to it are the endless numbers of festivals in the city of Detroit itself, not the suburbs, Canada, or Ohio, but some of those are less kid-oriented.

1. Eat a meal (or just dessert) the Coach Insignia at the top of the Renaissance Center and enjoy the view.

2. Visit the Day Of The Dead Festival in Mexican Town, grab a bag of Tamales at Evie’s.

3. Rent a Canoe at Gallup Park. Bring a picnic lunch for the halfway point.

4. See how cider is made at Yates Cider Mill

5. Pick your own blueberries in Howell. Read Blueberries For Sal before you go.

Things to Do With Kids in detroit

6. See the Detroit Fireworks, hopefully you have a friend with a rooftop view downtown.

7. Attend the Thanksgiving Day Parade, pray it isn’t freezing.

8. Visit The Henry Ford to see an amazing collection of artifacts, including the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated and trains up close in person.

9. Visit the zoo on Animal Enrichment Days to see how zookeepers keep the animals happy and challenged with different toys, treats and games.

10. Detroit Science Center

Things to Do With Kids in detroit

11. See a game at Comerica Park. Ride the Ferris Wheel and the Carousel all before viewing a single inning.

12. Visit The African American History Museum

13. Visit the newly remodeled Detroit Institute Of Arts. Make sure you attend one of the evening kid’s concerts in the main hall surrounded by suits of armor.

14. Cranbrook Science Museum. Make sure you view the giant T Rex model, the Wooly Mammoth and best of all the Bat Zone.


15. There’s no fifteen! Oops!

16. See the Bassett Hounds Waddle through Birmingham in May.

17. Just an hour away, the Toledo Museum of Art has a wonderful Family Center.

18. After the museum, visit Tony Pacos for dinner before your drive back. The kids will love all the autographed hot dog buns lining the walls.

19. Visit the Cobblestone Farm

20. See the toy trains and old time streetscape at the Detroit Historical Museum.

21. Take the train from Royal Oak to Ann Arbor

22. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. Bring lots of quarters and make sure to use the photo booth before you leave.

Things to Do With Kids in detroit

23. Spend a few hours on Detroit’s River Walk. Ride the carousel and play in the water fountain, preferably while in clothes. It’s a lot more fun that way.

24. Visit The Ann Arbor Hands On Museum.

25. Visit the Museum of Natural History at University of Michigan. Ever since Night At The Museum my kids have been dying for a visit to New York, this will have to fill in for now.

26. Watch blocks of ice become amazing sculptures at The International Ice Sculpture Spectacular in Plymouth.

27. You can’t be in the Motor City without developing at least a little interest in the history of cars. The Walter P Chrysler Museum is a small exhibit, perfect for short attention spans.

28. Red Oaks Water Park offers hours of fun.

Things to Do With Kids in detroit

29. Pack a picnic for the summer concert series at the Detroit Zoo.

30. Visit Greenfield Village at Christmas time or during any of their special events. Visit the Eagle Tavern to warm up, have hot cider (with a historically authentic hollow noodle as a straw) for the kids and spiked hot cider for the grown ups.

31. Hike Through Cranbrook, watch for sculptures, wildlife and beautiful gardens. If you can find the Greek Theater your kids will feel like real archaeologists.

32. Dally In The Alley is a great street fair in Detroit. It hasn’t been over-run by corporate tents and a lemonade doesn’t cost $15.

33. See The Nutcracker at The Detroit Opera House

34. Yale Bologna Festival. Yes, it’s really a thing. I’m not sure the kids will love it, but I really want to see the Bologna Queen.

35. The Michigan State Fair.

36. See a kid’s play at the Greek Theatre at Cranbrook.

37. Visit the conservatory at Bell Isle.

38. Visit Guernsey Farm Dairy. Take the tour and finish it off with an ice cream cone made by the Guernsey cows.

39. See the stars at the Cranbrook planetarium.

40. Go Ice Skating at Campus Martius.

41. Take your kids to another country, and back, all in one day.

42. Visit Troy Daze, a huge community fair.

43. Ride the Paint Creek Trail.

44. Take a boat ride on the Detroit River.

45. See the baby animals in the spring at Upland Hills Farm

46. Attend Oktoberfest at Clarkston Union. A Kid-Centric festival that’s fun for adults? It just seems wrong.

47. See a Candy Band concert.

48. Ride The People Mover just for fun. The best 50 cents you’ll spend.

49. Take a candy factory tour.

50. Visit Henry Ford Estate, Fair Lane, specifically the miniature farmhouse.

Things to Do With Kids in detroit

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