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Spring Flings and Family Fun in The D

Family Fun Riverfront bicycles

With spring upon us, warmer-weather activities like biking, boating and outdoor events start to populate Detroiters’ to-do lists. As you start scribbling down ideas on your what-to-do-while-in-The-D itinerary, scan our suggestions of some of the city’s best “spring things." 

Polk Penguin Detroit Zoo

Stop Hibernating and Visit the Animals

No better place to start celebrating spring than at the new penguin exhibit at the Detroit Zoo. The Polk Penguin Conservation Center officially opens on April 18. Home to more than 80 penguins of four species – gentoo, macaroni, rockhopper and king – the arctic dwelling has a chilled, 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area where visitors can watch penguins above and below as they explore their new digs and deep-dive. (O)

Sea Life Michigan Aquarium in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is still as exciting as ever, presenting new aquatic exhibits such as Claws. Here you can see the creepy crawly things that live in the ocean along with the sharks and stingrays. (O)

While you're at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, be sure to stop by Legoland Discovery Center Michigan, a truly massive Lego experience for kids and adults who like to play with the infamous interlocking blocks. It opens on March 25. Build like a Lego Master, hop on the Lego ride and experience the awesome Miniland. (O)
Need more Lego love? Head to Dearborn and check out the Lego display in Henry Ford Museum that replicates downtown Detroit in 1925. (DW)

Comerica Park Detroit hot dog

Go on a Train and See a Game

The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village reopens April 15. Make sure to take the kids to see Thomas the Train of book and TV fame as he makes his annual chug through the village. See the available Day Out with Thomas dates. (DW)

If you're a sports fan, spring in The D brings events of all kinds.
Get your playoff tickets for the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena (DD) and the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. (O)

It's also time to start singing about peanuts and Cracker Jack. We love when the Detroit Tigers come back to Comerica Park (DD), but the metro area is also opening a new baseball stadium in Utica for semi-pro ball. Jimmy John's Stadium opens May 30 and will be home to the Utica Unicorns as part of the United Shore Professional Baseball League. The venue will also hold concerts and other outdoor events. (M)

And no matter if you decide on sports, the zoo or Greenfield Village, if it's warm enough outside, add dining al fresco to your daily menu. Check out some of our favorite restaurants with patios and outdoor seating.

Milliken State Park

Exercise on the Waterfront or Park It and Picnic 

If you find yourself in downtown Detroit, there are plenty of things to spring you into the warmer weather. Want to get some exercise? Bike, blade or run along the Detroit riverfront. Sit and enjoy the view when you jump on the People Mover, ride the carousel on the RiverWalk or go for a ride on the Detroit Princess Riverboat. P.S.: Add biking or walking the Dequindre Cut to your list. It will celebrate the completion of a much-anticipated expansion in late April, making the trail nearly two miles long. (DD)

Newer to the downtown to-do docket is the Outdoor Adventure Center, always a fun and exciting trip for the kids. Or you can go traditional and head to Belle Isle. Stop by the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, fish off the pier or visit the Belle Isle Nature Zoo. (DD)

And when it comes to parks and picnics, you're never hurting for options in metro Detroit. Just search out our 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks.

Michigan Science Center

Learn about Science or Dress Up as a Superhero 

If you've gotta take it inside this spring, we suggest investigating the Spark!Lab at Michigan Science Center, opening April 2. This invention space encourages out-of-the-box thinking for the younger generation. (DD)

The Henry Ford's theater reopens this spring after a complete renovation and will be renamed the Giant Screen Experience, featuring state-of-the-art 4K digital projection, sound and seating. The lineup of films is sure to be just as giant in scope and entertainment value. (DW)

Not toting kids but always the kid at heart, feel free to dress up like your favorite comic book character or superhero at the annual Motor City Comic Con at the Suburban Collection Showplace, May 13-15. (GN)

Want more springtime ideas? Check out the blog entry, Things to Do in March in Metro Detroit.


Save with The D Discount Pass

Save 20 percent or more on some of Detroit's best attractions, many of which are featured above. All you have to do is print off The D Discount Pass or download the digital barcode from Visit Detroit and present it upon admission to a participating member.

Current participating member attractions:
•    Arab American National Museum
•    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
•    Comedy Sportz Detroit
•    Detroit Princess Riverboat
•    Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
•    Ford Piquette Avenue Plant
•    The Henry Ford
•    Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus


District Key

(DW) Dearborn/Wayne
(DD) Downtown Detroit
(GN) Greater Novi
(M) Macomb
(O) Oakland

Detroit Districts map 


Destination District All Metro Detroit
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To Do

Travel Tip

“Roast is fantastic, and has the best dessert. Beer and Pretzels is Guinness ice cream with caramel foam and chocolate covered pretzels. So good!” – Bean S.

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