Get nose-to-nose with sharks, stingrays, and a Giant Pacific Octopus in interactive, engaging exhibits, including a dazzling 180-degree ocean tunnel, and a hands-on touch pool at the new Sea LIfe Michigan Aquarium. The 25,000-square-foot attraction, located in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, take visitors on an awe-inspiring, highly themed educational journey through an amazing underwater world featuring more than 5,000 incredible creatures including jellyfish, eels, seahorses, tropical fish, a Giant Pacific Octopus and fish native to Michigan’s own lakes and rivers. Owned and operated by U.K.-based Merlin Entertainments, Sea LIfe Michigan Aquarium is Michigan’s largest, the 7th Sea Life attraction in the United States and the 42nd in the world. For more information, go to visitsealife.com/Michigan.
Explore more than 40 motors that changed the world in the new exhibit, Engines Exposed at the Henry Ford Museum now through March 15. The museum will raise the hoods of some of the most iconic cars ever made, including a 1907 White Model G, 1919 Ford Model T, 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air and 1963 Chrysler Turbine. The exhibit also features hands-on demonstrations, daily shows in the Douglas Drive-In Theater, presentations on alternative fuel sources, and more. Go to thehenryford.org for more information.
Experience the real-life factory floor where the all-new aluminum Ford F-150 is made, and get set for some eye-opening encounters at the newly reimagined Ford Rouge Factory Tour. Along with a look at the final stages of assembly, the tour gives a look inside the environmental sustainability of manufacturing with a look at one of the largest living roofs in the world and an Outdoor Living Lab. Experience the new Manufacturing Innovation Theater filled with jaw-dropping special effects, from “floating” 3-D laser projection mapping and high-energy audio to a breathtaking behind-the-wheel finale. Inside the Legacy Theater, audiences will get an updated and in-depth look at the Rouge Plant’s beginnings from being Henry Ford’s unbridled vision to becoming an unparalleled automotive complex on which the entire process of manufacturing automobiles is achieved. For more information, visit thehenryford.org/rouge/index.aspx.
Shift gears and head to Cobo Center March 6-8 for AutoRama. Watch exhibitors show off their custom-built hot rods and compete for awards such as the Detroit Autorama Ridler Award and the Legend Cup. Don’t miss guest appearances by WWE Superstar Big Show, Peyton List from the Disney show “Jessie,” Richard Rawlings from Discovery’s “Fast N’ Loud” and Danny Koker and Kevin Mack from the History Channel’s “Counting Cars.” For more information, go to autorama.com/attend/detroit.
More than 400 exhibitors will help you tee off the golf season with great deals on every aspect of the game at the 25th Annual Michigan Golf Show at the Suburban Collection Showplace March 6-8. There will be plenty of hands-on activities to get you ready for the season, including a Closest to the Pin Contest and a Long Putt Contest. For ticket information, go to michigangolfshow.com.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Detroit style, by lining Michigan Avenue in Corktown for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 15. In its 57th year, the parade takes place in Detroit’s oldest surviving neighborhood, which was where the majority of Detroit’s Irish newcomers settled, most of them from County Cork. Be sure to grab a bite or brew from one of the many restaurants in the area. For more information, go to detroitstpatricksparade.com.
Learn about the tumultuous and highly productive year that Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in Detroit through the exhibit Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit at the DIA March 15-July 12. The ticketed exhibit will feature approximately 70 works of art and will examine the economic conditions of the era, the industrial life of Detroit and its workers and the controversy that surrounded the Detroit Industry murals. For more information on this must-see exhibit, go to dia.org.
For die-hard Detroit Tigers baseball fans Opening Day is essentially an unofficial holiday. The Tigers home opener on April 6 against American League Central rivals, Minnesota Twins, is just the start of another exciting year for the team and their fans. For a complete schedule, go to detroit.tigers.mlb.com. And, Go Tigers!
Don’t miss one of metro Detroit’s most legendary music events, the Metro Times Blowout, April 29-May 2 at multiple locations in Detroit, Hamtramck and Ferndale. In its 18th year, the Blowout has showcased thousands of bands from every genre imaginable who have played everything from large music venues to the back rooms of dive bars. Bands have not yet been announced, so stay tuned to the Metro Times Blowout Facebook page for the latest information.
Come to the city where electronic music originated and get the complete underground party experience at Movement Electronic Music Festival in Detroit this Memorial Weekend, May 23-25 in Hart Plaza. This year's event will feature the usual excess of dance music royalty, underground favorites and newcomers, with Richie Hawtin, Dog Blood (AKA, Boys Noize and Skrillex) and Movement first-timers Disclosure among the confirmed headliners. Keep posted to movement.us as more acts will be announced closer to the festival.
The Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix returns to the Motor City with three days of world-class auto racing, live music, interactive games and displays on beautiful Belle Isle Park May 29-31. The weekend of racing includes the Verizon IndyCar Series, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the Pirelli World Challenge Series and the high-flying trucks of the SPEED Energy Formula Off-Road Series presented by Traxxas, Free Prix Day returns with all fans admitted to the venue free of charge on Friday, May 29. National and local acts will also perform including 3 Doors Down and Smash Mouth. For more details on race weekend activities, go to detroitgp.com.
Save 20 percent or more on popular Detroit attractions with The D Discount Pass. Current participants include the Arab American National Museum, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, The Henry Ford, Michigan Science Center, Motown Museum and Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. The D Discount Pass will be accepted at participating venues through Dec. 31, 2015. To take advantage of these offers, go to visitdetroit.com/discount.
WYCD Downtown Hoedown, June 5-7, 2015, wycd.com
Motor City Pride, June 6-7, 2015, motorcitypride.org
Detroit River Days, June 19-21, 2015, detroitriverfront.org/things-do/river-days
Ford Fireworks, June 22, 2015, theparade.org
Maker Faire at The Henry Ford, July 25-26, 2015, thehenryford.org
Orchard Lake Fine Art & Craft Show, July 25-26, 2015 hotworks.org/orchardlakefineartshow
Concours d’Elegance of America, July 26, 2015, concoursusa.org
Arab and Chaldean World Festival, Aug. 1-2, 2015, arabandchaldeanfestival.com
African World Festival, Aug. 14-16, 2015, maah-detroit.org
Woodward Dream Cruise, Aug. 15, 2015, woodwarddreamcruise.com
Detroit Sports Commission Prep Kickoff Classic, Aug. 27-29, 2015 detroitsports.org
Michigan Renaissance Festival, Weekends Aug. 22-Oct. 4, Labor Day and Oct. 2, 2015, michrenfest.com
Arts, Beats & Eats Festival, Sept. 4-7, 2015, artsbeatseats.com
Detroit Jazz Festival, Sept. 4-7, 2015, detroitjazzfest.com
Michigan Peach Festival of Romeo, Sept. 4-6, 2015
Michigan State Fair, Sept. 4-7, 2015, michiganstatefairllc.com
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If you need a direct connection to Amtrak, make your way to the Weiser Railroad at Greenfield Village, one of a few heritage railways to have such a modern-day link.