Happy New Year, Southeast Michigan! The near year brings the opportunity to get out and explore our local attractions.
Here are 23 simple ideas for things to do in Oakland County during 2023:
Visit the Oakland County Farmers Market, in Waterford - Open all year, including every Saturday during the winter, here you’ll find vendors of winter produce, crafts, artisan products, and warm winter necessities.
Do private room karaoke at 168 Crab and Karaoke, in Madison Heights - Get your own private KTV (Karaoke Television) room where you select the songs, only your friends sing with you, and enjoy delicious seafood and drinks brought right to your room.
Embrace your inner-nerd at Gatekeeper Games, in Berkley - Where else can you roll a d20 to determine what drink you’ll be ordering but, Gatekeeper? This retail game store also features a full bar with craft beer and open play for everything from your favorite board games to Warhammer.
Explore the outdoors at Addison Oaks, in Leonard - for hiking, mountain biking, camping, snowshoeing, or whatever is appropriate for the weather. Even their disc golf course is open through the winter. The park is open 30 minutes before sunrise and after sunset.
Bowl at Bowlero Lanes, in Royal Oak - Walk in here and you’re transported back 50 years to the 1970s, cocktail lounge and all. The aesthetic makes this my favorite bowling alley in Metro Detroit. They’re open late and the prices aren’t too bad either. It’s worth your time to grab some ice cream from Ray’s while you’re in the area.
Revisit your Childhood at Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, in Farmington Hills - Part museum, part retro arcade, and part modern gaming experience, Marvin’s is a great way to make hours feel like minutes. The prices are great too and $20 should last you all afternoon. Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, @el_b_h
Ski or snowboard down Mount Holly - If you don’t have the time for a trip to New England or the Rockies, Mount Holly offers a fun day-trip with some basic routes at a fraction of the price. Warm up afterward at the River Rock Bar and Grill.
Mount Holly, @cheyennenworth
Go Ziplining at TreeRunner, in West Bloomfield - With 45 ziplines and 6 levels of difficulty, this aerial adventure park will keep you entertained for hours. If you tire of flying around obstacles, relax with some mini golf before you head home.
Have a coffee and pet some kittens at the Catfe Lounge, in Ferndale - For a small donation to this non-profit, you can meet and hang out with cats and kittens while you have some coffee, tea, or juice. If you’re hungry afterward, walk down Livernois to Ferndale Project and grab a burger.
Visit the Guernsey Farms Dairy, in Northville - The dairy store is right next to their processing plant and falls within that half square mile of Northville that’s in Oakland County. Enjoy some incredible chicken and grab a scoop of ice cream while you learn more about this staple of many Southeast Michigan households. Guernsey Dairy Farm, @laurensfoodfeed
Shop at Somerset Collection, in Troy - Michigan’s premier mall is located in Troy, and whether you’re here for shopping or dining, you’ll find some of the best in the entire state at Somerset. With three levels of retail at the North Collection and two at the South Collection, Somerset has enough retail to keep you occupied all day.
Rent a canoe or kayak and explore Kensington Metropark, in Milford - A metroparks pass gives you local access to the outdoors in Southeast Michigan and you’ll forget you’re in a major metropolitan area when you visit Kensington. You can rent a canoe or kayak at Maple Beach and carry it out into the water to explore the park at your own pace. Kensington Metropark, @highvibetrailrides
Visit the Michigan Renaissance Festival, in Holly Township - Take a step back into the 16th Century and experience a fantasy version of what Europe could have been like with all your fellow cosplay enthusiasts, costume optional, or visit in the winter for Hollydazzle!
Splash around at Lily Pad Springs, in West Bloomfield - This is Michigan’s largest splash pad with 5,500 square feet of adventure including sprayers, slides, a giant bucket which will dump hundreds of gallons of water on you, and plenty of tables and chairs to stay dry or rest. Lily Pad Springs, @wb_parks
Be inspired at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, in Bloomfield Hills - Whether you’re a museum member or you’re dropping by for the monthly “Free Friday,” Cranbrook’s science museum won’t disappoint. You can explore everything from mechanics, to geology, and even astronomy, in Cranbrook’s dome theater and public observatory. And why end your visit to Cranbrook here? Take a walk through the 319-acre campus and see the Cranbrook house and gardens, or visit the art museum while you’re here. Cranbrook Institute of Science, @mi_tiny_adventures
Defy gravity at Water Warrior Island, in Lake Orion - This inflatable water park features an obstacle course, inflatable slides, and rental options for kayaks or paddle boards. The inflatable park is located in Lower Trout Lake. Couple this with camping at Bald Mountain State Recreation area, and it will be one of the more memorable summer adventures you have this year.
Get your dose of Vitamin Z at the Detroit Zoo and grab lunch in Downtown Royal Oak - The Detroit Zoo values conservation, sustainability, and provides authentic habitats for its animals. After you visit the zoo, walk downtown or park at one of the downtown structures that provide free two hour parking, and spend your evening exploring one of the most walkable areas of Metro Detroit. Detroit Zoo, @metro.detroiter
Be entertained at the Birmingham Theater - Fifty years ago, nearly every community had a local theater. Most have been demolished or repurposed, but not in Birmingham! You can still catch a movie at the updated and reimagined Birmingham 8, now owned and operated by Emagine. Explore Downtown Birmingham while you’re here and enjoy one of Michigan’s more upscale districts.
Visit Yates Cider Mill, in Rochester Hills - Located along the Clinton River Trail, Yates offers my favorite cider in all of Southeast Michigan, while also being home to a beautiful trail, and plenty of photo opportunities to make your Michigan autumn feel complete.
Learn to Curl or Sweep at the Detroit Curling Club, in Ferndale - If you’re going to live in Michigan, you should explore winter sports. If skating isn’t your thing, curling can offer a unique way to enjoy the ice. The Detroit Curling Club offers an experience for anyone from beginner to pro, so come learn a new activity and find a way to enjoy the ice. Detroit Curling Club, @rumblestrip
Explore or enhance your golf game at TopGolf, in Auburn Hills - No matter the time of year or weather, you can visit TopGolf and play one of the dozen different games they provide. No skill level is required and the games range from casual to professional. You may bring your own clubs or use the ones provided in the rental fee. TopGolf is an adventure for everyone, regardless of skill level.
Tap into sorcery at Wunderground Magic, in Clawson - There aren’t many brick and mortar magic shops still in existence here in 2023, but if you venture onto Main Street in Clawson you’ll find one! Around the corner from Noble Fish, this shop offers everything from simple pranks to advanced illusion.
Visit Red Oaks County Park, in Madison Heights - Located atop Oakland County’s most important storm infrastructure systems, this 163-acre urban park complex punches above its weight with hiking trails, golf, youth soccer fields, a dog park, and one of the best water parks in all of Southeast Michigan. You’d never know where you’re recreating is also critical in preserving the Clinton River watershed and protecting the Great Lakes, but this park does it all. Red Oaks County Park, @watsonleaderdogs