Historical Attractions in Southeast Michigan
Music, barns, art, cars, arcades and more! Here's the Metro Parent family guide to the best museums and other spots where kids and parents can get a taste of history.
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How's a mom or dad bring history to life for a plugged-in kid? Fortunately, in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor, you'll find a plethora of places that specialize in just that! From museums to collections of oddities, there are plenty of ways to get in touch with local heritage here in southeast Michigan – not to mention bust a case of "I'm bored" complaints from the kids.
Take a look at this list of historic sites here in town, and get some ideas brewing for a family fun afternoon of exploration!
- Address: 15 Union St., Mount Clemens
- Phone: 586-465-2488
- Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; plus first Sundays (except holidays). Closed January and February
- Admission: By donation; $3/adult, $1/child, fees vary/programs
This Italianate home, dating to 1869, was built by the first mayor of Mount Clemens: Joshua Dickinson (it's actually named after the second mayor). The Macomb Count Historical Society preserves local history through artifacts and rotating exhibits and educational programs.
- Address: 312 S. Division St., Ann Arbor
- Phones: 734-994-4898
- Hours: 1-4 p.m. Sundays, groups tours by special arrangement
- Admission: Donations welcome
Tour this 1953 Greek revival home to see how the musical German American Kempf family lived and worked in the 1890s. Take a tour of the restored rooms, including the music studio where the 1877 Steinway Concert grand piano remains as it has for over 100 years.
- Address: 31005 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills
- Phone: 248-626-5020
- Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
- Admission: Free; coins needed to operate some machines (money changer on site)
No hands-off policy at this menagerie of memorabilia. Marvin's been collecting vintage coin-operated machines since 1960, and kids can dabble with the games and goodies at this abracadabra-meets-animatronics oddity.
- Addresses: Commandant's Quarters, 21950 Michigan Ave.; McFadden-Ross House & Richard Gardner House, 915 Brady St.; McFadden Ross House
- Phone: 313-565-0844 (Commandant), 313-565-3000 (Ross)
- Hours: Quarters: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. Ross: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Gardner: By request.
- Admission: $2/person suggested donation
Triple your historical discovery at these three spots dating back to the 1830s. Military is the theme at the Brady Street homes, part of the former Detroit Arsenal in what was then Dearbornville. Exhibits at the McFadden Ross House include photos, books and artifacts that reflect local families and changes in the community.
- Address: 2781 Packard Road, Ann Arbor
- Phone: 734-794-6230
- Hours: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursdays tours: By appointment only.
- Admission: Free; suggested donations: $1.50/kids, $2/adults, $5/family
Take a peek at mid-19th century living while touring an 1840s farmhouse, a log cabin, barn, homes, gardens and history aplenty. Throughout the year there are craft shows and old-fashioned holiday celebrations.