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Historical Attractions in Southeast Michigan

Travel back in time at these cool, kid-friendly places in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties – great for family fun. Updated for 2013-14.

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Bring those bland history book lessons to life! From museums and outdoor destinations to places featuring art, cars, planes and much more, there are many ways to give kids a fun taste of our local past (bonus: many of these spots offer hands-on exhibits and features). Create a few memories together, all while your children get an interactive history lesson. Here's a list of happening historical lures in metro Detroit, Ann Arbor and beyond. Check it out, and start exploring!

Arab American National Museum

  • Address: 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-582-2266
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday, Tuesday and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day
  • Admission: $8/general, $4/students, seniors and children ages 6-12, free/ages 5 and under

Visit the first and only museum in the United States devoted to Arab-American history and culture. Throughout the year there are performances, films, children's craft classes and cultural presentations.

Automotive Hall of Fame

  • Address: 21400 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-240-4000
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; closed some holidays
  • Admission: $8/adults, $6/seniors and students (ages 13-18), $4/ages 5-12, $2/school groups, free/under 5

Find plenty of automotive history here. In addition to the 65-foot Hall of Honor mural, you can see a replica of the first gasoline-powered automobile – and a replica of Walter Reuther's dining room.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

  • Address: 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-494-5800
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday; closed most Mondays and major holidays (note: open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays during February for Black History Month)
  • Admission: $8/adults, $5/ages 3-12 and seniors 62-plus, free/under 3

This mecca to African-American culture packs many activities and exhibits into its 125,000 square feet. The permanent A is for Africa exhibit is perennial fun for kids. Also watch for monthly family events, ongoing temporary exhibits – and explore the 22,000-square-foot interactive core area that extends through 20 galleries.

City of Wayne Historical Museum

  • Address: 1 Town Square, Wayne
  • Phone: 734-722-0113
  • Hours: 1-4 p.m. Friday and Saturday
  • Admission: free

Formerly the village hall, this spot also served as a police station, fire station, junior achievement offices and the chamber of commerce before being restored to its original condition. These days, visitors find more than 100 displays including extensive early maps, documents and photos, plus a display of the Civil War, industry school and early home and village artifacts.

Cobblestone Farm Museum

  • Address: 2781 Packard Road, Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-794-6230
  • Hours: office: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursdays; tours by appointment
  • Admission: $1.50/kids, $2/adults, $5/family, free/under 3

Take a peek at mid-19th century living while touring an 1840s farmhouse, log cabin, barn, homes, gardens and history aplenty. Throughout the year, there are craft shows and old-fashioned holiday celebrations.

Crocker House Museum

  • Address: 15 Union St., Mount Clemens
  • Phone: 586-465-2488
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, plus 1-4 p.m. first Sundays (except holidays); closed January and February; open for other special events (listed on official website)
  • Admission: check for ahead for costs

This Italianate home, dating to 1869, was built by the first mayor of Mount Clemens: Joshua Dickinson (it's actually named, however, after the second mayor). The Macomb County Historical Society preserves local history here through artifacts and rotating exhibits and educational programs.

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