Spend the Day at The Henry Ford
Connect with America’s history at this national historic landmark consisting of three unique venues and more than 26 million artifacts on 200 acres, or take in a film at The Henry Ford Giant Screen Experience.
Experience the sights, sounds and sensations of 300 years of American history. Take a ride in an authentic Model T, visit Thomas Edison’s lab and see world-class artisans at work.
Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation
From race cars and freedom rides to modular houses and microprocessors, experience the breakthroughs, big and small, that have made our world what it is today. Highlights include the Driving America exhibit, President Kennedy limousine, Rosa Parks bus, President Lincoln chair, DC-3 airplane, and more. (mention new racing exhibit)
Don’t Forget Lunch
Grab lunch at the Michigan Café or Lamy’s Diner in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, or A Taste of History or Eagle Tavern in Greenfield Village. Snack your way through the offerings throughout Greenfield Village, such as Mrs. Fisher’s Southern Cooking (barbecue stand) or Cotswold Cottage (tea and sweets near the garden).
Ford Rouge Factory Tour
Put yourself at the center of sheer manufacturing might. See the history of the complex, the world’s largest living roof on this “green” plant and watch the action of the real-life factory floor where the Ford F-150 is made.
Tour and Dine at the Ford House (Edsel & Eleanor Ford House)
Experience the elegant lifestyle of a bygone era at the Ford House in scenic Grosse Pointe Shores. At the home of Henry Ford’s only child, Edsel, you’ll see original antique furnishings, an impressive collection of fine and decorative art and much more in a breathtaking 60-room Cotswold mansion. Dine in the Cotswold Café, and then take a stroll on 87 acres of gorgeous lakefront gardens and grounds. No trip to the Ford House is complete without a visit to their brand new visitors center!
Take a driving tour of downtown Detroit. Be sure to check out the new Little Caesars Arena and The District Detroit – just a few walkable blocks from the city’s signature sports stadiums Comerica Park and Ford Field — as well as Campus Martius Park, the Joe Louis Fist, the Spirit of Detroit and the fabulous Fox Theatre. Take in the wide variety of architecture in the city — from the towering Renaissance Center to the Guardian Building, Detroit’s “Cathedral of Finance.” Or, hop aboard the Detroit People Mover — a one-way, raised light-rail system with 13 stops at key downtown attractions. At just 75 cents a ride, the People Mover isn’t just a great way to get a handle on where things are downtown, it’s also an arts attraction — the stations feature more than $2 million in mixed-media artwork by renowned artists (go ahead and touch!). You can also ride Detroit’s new streetcar, the QLine, a 6.6 mile loop on Woodward Avenue that runs from Congress Street downtown to West Grand Boulevard.
Visit the Detroit Historical Museum
The Detroit Historical Museum is the only museum dedicated to telling our region’s history, with permanent exhibitions such as America’s Motor City and the Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and The Underground Railroad. Stroll along the Streets of Old Detroit, an exhibit that recreates Detroit street scenes from the 1840s, 1870s and early 1900s.
Tour Fantasy Land at the Parade Company
Visit the working studio of one of the largest, oldest and most spectacular parades in the country, America’s Thanksgiving Parade. Wander through the wonderland of fantasy and floats, and marvel at the world’s largest collection of antique papier-mâché heads. See the Costume Department where characters come to life, and meet award-winning artisans who bring the parade magic to you.
Cruise the Detroit River Aboard a Diamond Jack Riverboat
Enjoy a two-hour narrated Detroit River sightseeing tour and cruise between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada, aboard a Diamond Jack vessel. Entertaining for all ages, cruises give passengers the opportunity to learn the history and historic sites of the Detroit River. Drift among giant freighters and get picture-perfect views of the Detroit and Windsor skylines as well as the mighty Ambassador Bridge, which links the U.S. and Canada, as you pass beneath. Special group tours are available for senior and school groups.
Stop “In the Name of Love” at the Motown Museum
Go back in time by standing in the original recording studio, Studio A, where Motown’s greatest hits were recorded by legends like Diana Ross and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye. See original stage uniforms worn by famous Motown artists, sheet music, early promotional materials, rare photos and other significant Motown artifacts.
Explore the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
The largest museum of its kind, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History houses outstanding collections and innovative exhibits celebrating significant events and accomplishments of African-Americans. Key Detroiter’s are hailed, and the long-term exhibit, And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture, features more than 20 galleries that transport visitors through time and across geographic boundaries to experience the horrors of slave transport, the Underground Railroad and the victories of emancipation. Every August, the Charles H. Wright hosts the African World Festival, a three-day party attracting more than 150,000 people with music, performances, art, dance, food and more.
Get Lost in the Detroit Institute of Arts
The DIA has been a beacon of culture for the Detroit area for well over a century, with more than 658,000 square feet including more than 100 galleries. The DIA’s collection ranks among the top six in the United States and is a must-see when visiting, particularly the stunning Rivera Court, featuring Detroit Industry murals by artist Diego Rivera, painted from 1932-33. Take a quick jaunt across the street for a visit to the Detroit Public Library’s main branch and view the spectacular entrance and mural halls in this stately Italian Renaissance structure.
Roar with the Detroit Lions at Ford Field
Home to the Detroit Lions, Ford Field was completed in 2002, seats 65,000 and hosts events such as concerts, conventions, trade shows, competitions and more. An hour-long tour gets you a behind-the-scenes look at this impressive stadium, including an athlete’s view of the field as you come through the tunnel to stand on the turf.
Get Your Final Shopping Hurrah at Great Lakes Crossing
Blending the hottest concepts in entertainment and dining with an unparalleled offering of more than 200 exciting, value-oriented and regular-priced stores, Great Lakes Crossing Outlets boasts six themed and architecturally distinctive areas in a 1.4 million-square-foot structure. Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is the largest enclosed outlet mall in metro Detroit and brings numerous “firsts” to Michigan, including Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World (five football fields worth of outdoor gear and shopping fun), Legoland Discovery Center Michigan, Sea Life Michigan Aquarium, Disney Store Outlet, Rainforest Café, Steve Madden, J. Crew Factory, Coach Factory and Victoria’s Secret Outlet — just to name a few.