Winter 2016 Tip Sheet

January 6, 2016  

The coming months are a spectacular time to be in Detroit. A major addition to the Detroit Zoo, new exhibits at our world-class museums, concerts, car shows, the return of baseball and the allure of a Detroit winter are excellent reasons to plan your next trip to The D. Feast your eyes on stylish cars at the North American International Auto Show, experience some wintry pleasure at the Meridian Winter Blast or catch opening day at Comerica Park with the Detroit Tigers. Come see for yourself why you should spend some time in metro Detroit. The DMCVB hosts individual writers on assignment on a regular basis. If you are interested in planning a visit in 2016, please contact Deanna Majchrzak, Manager, Media Relations, at dmajchrzak@visitdetroit.com or 313-202-1999.

Detroit will soon be home to the world’s largest penguin facility, home to more than 80 penguins of four species – Gentoo, Macaroni, Rockhopper and King. Construction for the 33,000 square foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center (PPCC) at the Detroit Zoo is in progress and is scheduled to open in April. The ice-cold, 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic zone where penguins can be seen exploring their habitat and deep-diving will surely be one of the most vivid features of the PPCC, and the animal habitat will ensure an optimal environment for the welfare of penguins.

For more than 60 years, Lego has been nourishing the imaginations of young kids and soon kids of all ages will be able to experience the ultimate Lego experience right here in metro Detroit. The new Legoland Discovery Center will open in spring 2016 at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The new discovery center is a two-to-three-hour experience that will offer numerous interactive educational features such as a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, a 4D cinema and, of course, the popular MINILAND area found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction. This will be the state’s only location and the eighth Discovery Center in the United States.

The Michigan Science Center (MiSci) is a dynamic museum that encourages learning through activities and in 2016, it will headline the year with some fresh exhibits and shows.

  • Toytopia, an interactive display that focuses on the relationship between learning and fun, is a 9,700 square-foot exhibit that showcases life-sized toys, antique games and more. Toytopia allows curious minds to run wild with their imagination now through March 31.
  • MiSci celebrates the U.S. National Park Service’s 100th anniversary with the film National Parks Adventure. The visually remarkable film will feature the National Park Service’s dedication to the preservation of wildlife. It will be shown in MiSci’s IMAX Theater starting in February 2016.
  • Spark!Lab is an exhibit that encourages inventiveness in children ages six through 12. This exhibit opens in spring 2016 and will emphasize the process behind any genius invention!

A dynamic showcase of African-American contemporary art is on display now through Jan. 18 at the Detroit Institute of Arts in the 30 Americans exhibit. Immerse yourself in the exhibit that features 55 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and videos by many prominent African-American artists. Among the artists are the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, Nick Cave and Carrie Mae Weems.

The Plymouth Ice Festival is one of the most elegant ice displays around. Spectators will be able to enjoy the setting in gorgeous downtown Plymouth Jan. 8-10. On Saturday, Jan. 9 don’t miss the Dueling Chainsaws competition where skillful ice carvers are given 15 minutes, one block and their chainsaws to create a masterpiece. The fire and ice display is sure to astonish. This marvelous spectacle features a collaboration of two of the world’s basic elements to create a luminous display. The festival also features live entertainment, delicious eats and warming stations to help beat the cold weather.

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) rolls into the newly renovated Cobo Center, Jan. 11-24 with more than 500 vehicles on display representing the most innovative designs in the world. Get up close to the vehicles and technologies that are shaping the future automotive landscape. NAIAS is the premier automobile exhibit in the world.
For more information, visit naias.com.

Fat Tuesday also known as Paczki Day falls on Feb. 9 this year. A paczki is a mouthwatering cream-filled donut that has been satisfying bellies since the Middle Ages. Hamtramck is the place to be on Paczki Day where the city’s best Polish bakeries are located.
For more information, visit hamtramck.us/about/festivals.php.

Experience Detroit’s winter like never before at the Meridian Winter Blast, Feb. 12-14 at Campus Martius Park. Take a ride down the Meridian Health Plan Snow Slide or a spin on the ice skating rink. You can also soar over the city with the brand-new Bedrock Zip Line Adventure. Detroit’s music scene will also be on display with more than 50 live performances. When you are ready for a break from the chilly wonderland, warm up at one of the Tim Hortons comfort zones located every 150 feet. And if you get hungry food vendors from local restaurants will have scrumptious food available at the Taste of Detroit Tent.

Detroit never disappoints when it comes to their automotive displays and Autorama at Cobo Center Feb. 26-28 will be quite the show. Motor lovers will pile in to view some chic custom automobiles and contestants will compete to win the Don Ridler award for the most outstanding car.

Corktown will be cloaked in green for the 58th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Mar. 13. Thousands line Michigan Avenue to cheer on the marching bands and bagpipers.
For more information, go to detroitstpatricksparade.com/index.html.

Roisterers from all over will fill the streets of Midtown to celebrate Detroit’s freedom from the harbinger of doom at Le Marche Du Nain Rouge on Mar. 20 (tentatively) from 1-3 p.m. Le Nain Rouge translates from French as ‘red dwarf’ and the city has been fighting this legendary figure for more than 300 years. Each year people gather to celebrate Detroit’s future prosperity. However, revelers are advised to cloak their true identity with a disguise just in case the Nain Rogue reveals himself and tries to get revenge.
For more information, visit marchedunainrouge.com.

The 2015 American League batting champion Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers will look to rebound following a season where injuries limited their potential. Fans from all over will fill Comerica Park on Apr. 8 for their home opener against the New York Yankees. Get to the game early and grab a bite at one of the many dining venues in the park or visit the Comerica Carousel featuring 30 hand-painted tigers. For schedules and ticket information, visit detroit.tigers.mlb.com.

The Metro Times Blowout is a fast-paced, dynamic, four-day music festival April 29 through May 2. In its 18th year, the event will feature live performances from hundreds of bands from every genre imaginable, playing in three cities. Performances will take place at legendary Detroit music venues such as St. Andrews Hall, Majestic Café, Smalls, Woodward Avenue Brewers and Rust Belt Market. For more information, visit mtblowout.com.


The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities.
More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB’s membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world’s first convention and visitors bureau. visitdetroit.com