Entertaining your kids over the winter season doesn’t have to revolve around playing in the snow every day or staying inside and watching Frozen for the 26th time. There are plenty of activities you and your family can do in Detroit, both indoors and outdoors. Banish any winter boredom with ice skating, museums, festivals, and sports. With all the events to keep your kids busy, you may never have to watch Frozen again.
Escape to Belle Isle
Looking to travel somewhere tropical for the winter? Check out the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A pleasantly balmy environment, the conservatory is home to tropical plants, including a magnificent orchid collection. A short walk from the conservatory is the Aquarium. Until 2005, it was the oldest operating aquarium in North America. Reopened in 2012, the Aquarium accepts visitors on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Another exciting activity on Belle Isle is the Nature Zoo, where families can participate in the Deer Encounter. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Nature Zoo is a great way to entertain your kids over winter break.
Belle Isle Conservancy
8109 East Jefferson, Detroit, MI 48214
Visit the Detroit Historical Museum
Show your kids how Detroit has changed over the years with a trip to the Detroit Historical Museum. Walk through the Streets of Old Detroit and view the city during three different time periods: the 1840s, 1870s, and 1900s. Afterwards, explore the “discovery room” where your family can enjoy hands-on activities that will help them understand what daily life was like for Detroiters in the nineteenth century.
Go to a Game
Let your kids exercise their lungs at a sporting event. Football fans can cheer for the Lions at Ford Field and watch them demolish their opponents. If hockey is more to your liking, root for the Red Wings, Detroit’s 11-time Stanley Cup champions, at the Joe Louis Arena. Tickets for the action-packed matches are still for sale.
Detroit Lions – Ford Field
2000 Brush St, Detroit, MI 48226
Tickets – Nov 15-Jan 30
Detroit Red Wings – Joe Louis Arena
19 Steve Yzerman Dr, Detroit, MI 48226
Tickets – Nov 14-April 11
Enjoy Family Sundays at the Detroit Institute of Arts
Lazy Sunday afternoons don’t have to be boring. Experience the fun of storytelling, live performances, and craft workshops at the Detroit Institute of Arts. On Sunday, November 16 from 2 pm to 3 pm, watch Native American Champion Dancer Reg Pittibone and members of the Ho-Chunk Nation as they teach children about Native American culture through song, narration, and dance. If Sundays don’t quite work for your family, don’t despair. The DIA has two puppet performances that span entire weekends. Blair Thomas and Company Puppet Theater will perform The Selfish Giant at 2 pm and 4 pm on Friday and Saturday, November 28 and 29. The final performance is at 2 pm on Sunday, November 30. At 2 pm and 4 pm Friday and Saturday, December 26 and 27, the Oregon Shadow Theatre will tell the story of Puss in Boots. The final performance is scheduled for 2 pm Sunday, December 28.
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward AvenueDetroit, Michigan 48202
Plan your visit
Blair Thomas and Company Puppet Theater (Nov 28 and 29, 2 pm and 4 pm; Nov 30, 2 pm)
Oregon Shadow Theatre (Dec 26 and 27, 2 pm and 4 pm; Dec 28, 2 pm)
Ice Skate at Campus Martius Park
What better way is there to spend a pleasant winter afternoon than ice skating at Campus Martius Park? Preview Weekend starts Friday, November 14 at 5 pm and ends Sunday, November 16 at 8 pm. The rink officially opens on Friday, November 21 from 9 pm to midnight. Rink hours for November 22 – January 3 are 11 am -10 pm Monday through Thursday, 10 am to midnight on Saturday, and noon to 8 pm on Sunday. From January 4 to March 1, the rink scales back its hours. If you get hungry during your trip, stop by the Fountain Bistro and take in the beautiful views of Campus Martius Park while enjoying fine French dining in a relaxed atmosphere. See the restaurant’s menu, calendar, and list of events at its website.
Get Inspired at the Henry Ford Museum
Encourage your kids to unleash their imagination as they discover the different American inventions and ideas housed in the Henry Ford Museum. The sprawling nine-acre building offers exciting exhibits that explore various aspects of American life. From October 3 to January 4, visitors can explore Gridiron Glory, a 6,000 foot exhibit that celebrates the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 50th anniversary. Kids can test their jumping abilities, gawk at the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and See an authentic instant replay booth.
Take a Walk at Meadow Brook Hall
Stay warm as you stroll through Meadow Brook Hall, a beautiful 110-room Tudor-revival mansion. Already lovely rooms are enhanced with the glow of Christmas cheer: Christmas trees, garland, ornaments, and lights greet visitors in many of the rooms. Don’t miss a chance to join the 43rd annual Holiday Walk. Daily tours run from 11 am to 5 pm November 28-December 23. However, there are a few evening tours available from 5 pm to 9 pm on December 15 and 21-23.
Meadow Brook Hall
480 South Adams Road, Rochester, Michigan 48309-4401
Experience Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village
Just one of the many parts of the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village enables families to step into the past and explore seven different historic districts. Holiday Nights is a spectacular celebration featuring fireworks, ice skating, horse drawn wagons, Model T rides, carolers, and santa. Delicious food, unique shopping options, and craft demonstrations also abound. The excitement begins December 5-7, and it continues on the 12-14, 18-23, and 26-27. The festivities start at 6:30 pm and end at 10 pm. Holiday Nights is your last chance to visit Greenfield Village before it closes for the winter season.
See Sesame Street Live at the Fox Theater
If you’ve got younger kids who can’t get enough of the lovable Sesame Street characters, take them to the Fox Theater and watch them sing, giggle, and dance to the fun-filled escapades on stage. With interactive learning opportunities, a witty script, and high tech staging, Sesame Street Live is great entertainment for the entire family.
Michigan Science Center
Entertain your budding scientist with a trip to the Michigan Science Center. Check out Ice Age Unfrozen, one of the center’s temporary exhibits. Learn about what life was like in Michigan 12,000 years ago, and attend the Hunting Mastodons Workshop to discover the tools and theories surrounding the relationship between humans and these huge beasts.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to discover the unique events that take place in Detroit during the winter. From sports fans to history buffs, there’s an activity for every member of your family!