Daycations in The D

Modified: July 21, 2022 | Story by Lori Bremerkamp | Photos by Michigan Science Center, Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

While vacations are amazing, the planning, packing and unpacking required can be a lot of hard work! That’s the beauty of a daycation — it’s a quick escape without all the added hassle.

No matter whether you yearn to learn, crave culture or just want to kick back outdoors, there are plenty of places to day-trip in and around Detroit. Below are a few of our favs. 

If you’re looking to learn…

  • Mix live shows with more than 250 hands-on exhibits for a full day of discovery at the Michigan Science Center.
  • Step inside Historic Fort Wayne to see what life was like for the soldiers stationed there. Spread over 80-plus acres, you can explore the barracks, an old guardhouse and more.
  • Discover America at The Henry Ford, which offers 300 years of history and 26 million artifacts across four unique attractions.

If you crave culture…

  • Explore the more than 100 galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where drop-in weekend workshops also give young artists a chance to create their own masterpieces.
  • Check out the incredible collection of works in the Cranbrook Art Museum vault during a scheduled Collections Wing Tour.
  • Discover the private estate of one of America’s most iconic automotive families at the Ford House (Edsel & Eleanor Ford House). The stunning architecture, expansive lakefront gardens and historic cars give a glimpse into the Ford family’s life at the estate.

If you need nature…

  • Enjoy Belle Isle Park. Accessible by a bridge at the foot of East Grand Boulevard, this 1,000-acre island park features a zoo, aquarium, conservatory, Great Lakes museum and plenty of room to hike, barbecue, watch boats, bicycle and more.
  • Spend the day at Stony Creek Metropark. Take an exhilarating self-guided journey through the forest canopy at Go Ape! Treetop Adventure, rent a stand up paddleboard or simply picnic with family and friends.
  • Get the “Up North experience” downtown at the Outdoor Adventure Center. When you’re done, step outside and take a walk along the Dequindre Cut or enjoy the views of the Detroit River from Milliken State Park.

If you’ve got little ones with you…

  • Become a Master Builder at Legoland Discovery Center Michigan and explore water creatures at Sea Life Michigan Aquarium. Both are located inside Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, which is also great is you’re looking for some retail therapy.
  • Take your pick from 120 games inside and go-karts, a loop roller coaster and more outside at C.J. Barrymore’s Family Entertainment Center. New this year is the Soaring Eagle Zipline, which is more 650-feet long with just the right amount of scary.
  • Run through the pop jet fountains, climb around in the children’s play park, have dinner and then enjoy a show during the summer concert series at The Mall at Partridge Creek.


See more Detroit attractions.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Michigan Science Center
    5020 John R St., Detroit, MI 48202
  2. 2
    Historic Fort Wayne
    6325 W. Jefferson Ave., Detroit, MI 48209
  3. 3
    The Henry Ford
    20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
  4. 4
    Detroit Institute of Arts
    5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
  5. 5
    Ford House
    1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236
  6. 6
    Outdoor Adventure Center
    1801 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
  7. 7
    Legoland Discovery Center Michigan
    4240 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
  8. 8
    The Mall at Partridge Creek
    17420 Hall Road, Clinton Twp., MI 48038
  9. 9
    Cranbrook Art Museum
    Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI, United States
  10. 10
    C.J. Barrymore's Entertainment
    C.J. Barrymore's Entertainment, Hall Road, Charter Township of Clinton, MI, United States