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North American International Auto Show in Detroit

The public show returns Jan. 18-26, 2014 with interactive car demos, fun for kids and family and, of course, a chance to sit at the wheels of 500 new vehicles!

There's a chill in the air – and a rev in car lovers' engines. It's that time of year, as the 107th annual North American International Show steers back into Cobo Center in Detroit.

This year's public show opens its doors from Saturday, Jan. 18 through Sunday, Jan. 26. Packed inside are more than 500 vehicles by big-name automakers around the globe, boasting high-tech "smart" bells and whistles, fuel economy perks and the latest in electric and hybrid innovation. Kids can sit behind the wheel of many brand-new (non-running!) models. So be sure to fire up that camera.

Parades are a great way to see the snazzy rides in action. These spectacles feature cars, special guests and Detroit Parade Company clowns, who stroll around with smiles and giveaway coupons. Of the nine total dates, five feature parades. Catch them at both 3:30 and 7 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 18, Tuesday Jan. 21, Thursday Jan. 23 and Saturday Jan. 25. There's also one at 3:30 p.m. only Friday, Jan. 24.

That date – Friday, Jan. 24 – is a prime day to bring the kids. This is when the WXYZ TV Channel 7 Family Day happens! Activities include live music, special giveaways and even a chance to meet some of anchors who deliver the news.

Family-friendly interactive fun is a tradition at many manufacturers' displays, NAIAS organizers say. Watch for them as you explore. Expect plenty of virtual demonstrations and even video gaming fun. A few highlights:

  • Chevrolet: Hosts the Greenbrier Photo Booth/Flip Book, where kids can create and share a personalized animated flip book inside a retro-style vehicle. Scoop up trading cards, too, and commemorative Chevy buttons to wear. Want to meet two NASCAR drivers? Visit between noon and 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, when Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick are signing autographs.
  • Hyundai: Check out its featured vehicles, the 2015 Genesis 3.8 and 5.0 sedans, featuring some high-tech safety devices – plus about 16 other autos. Test your skills in a Gran Turismo 6 video gaming system, too, that lets you take a Genesis or 2014 Veloster for a virtual drive. Watch for giveaways and other demos, too.
  • Cadillac: This line is weaving the "institute control" of smartphones and tablets into its cars. Get a taste with a demo of the Cadillac CUE infotainment system, which boasts everything from GPS to easy music navigation.
  • GMC: As the official sponsor vehicle of the NFL, this brand is letting visitors play the new 25th Anniversary Madden video game by EA Sports at its area.

Another day when you're sure to see a load of kids is Education Day, which runs from about 9 a.m. till noon on Wednesday, Jan. 22. This special event features hands-on learning and fun for kids who arrive with participating schools (it's open to all levels). This is only for pre-registered schools, but the show floor will still be open to the public during this time.

Ready to visit the 2014 NAIAS? The public show dates are as follows:

  • 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Jan. 18-Jan. 25 (Saturday-Saturday); no admittance after 9 p.m.
  • 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Jan. 26 (Sunday); no admittance after 6 p.m.

Tickets cost $13/adults and $7/kids ages 7-12 and seniors ages 65-plus. Children ages 6 and younger get in free with a paying parent or guardian.

To get directions to Cobo Center and a few other details on the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, visit the Metro Parent calendar listing.

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