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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- Addresses: Commandant's Quarters, 21950 Michigan Ave.; McFadden-Ross House & Richard Gardner House, 915 Brady St.
- Phone: 313-565-0844 (Quarters), 313-565-3000 (Ross)
- Hours: Quarters: by request; Ross: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 8 a.m.-noon Thursday; Gardner: by request.
- Admission: donation only
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: 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-833-1805
- Hours: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, closed Monday
- Admission: free; $5/vehicle parking
Nothing takes you back in time quicker than a visit to the Streets of Old Detroit – just one part of the 80,000 square feet of preserved history. If you've ever wondered about the intricacies of an assembly line, check out The Motor City. Watch for favorite annual kids events throughout the year, from Halloween to Black History Month to Easter.
- Address: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
- Phone: 313-833-7900
- Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; closed Monday, call for holiday hours
- Admission: free/residents and school students of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties; others $8/adults, $6/seniors, $5/college students (with valid school photo ID), $4/kids (ages 6-17), free/ages 5 and under
This art collection is one of the top six in the United States and includes more than 100 galleries and the spectacular Detroit Industry fresco by Diego Rivera – plus Vincent van Gogh's Self Portrait and much to explore in the General Motors Center for African American Art. The DIA is open late every Friday night with live music, and on Family Sundays you'll find family performances, storytelling and art-making workshops.
- Address: 100 Strand Drive, Belle Isle, Detroit
- Phone: 313-833-7935
- Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; otherwise, closed to public (appointments for group tours welcome) and major holidays
- Admission: free but donations welcome; event prices may vary
Dossin enjoyed a big renovation, completed in spring of 2013. Built by the River, a new permanent exhibit that explores Detroit's waterways, joins favorites like the Miss Pepsi 1950s championship hydroplane and the William Clay Ford Pilot House.
- Address: 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores
- Phone: 313-884-4222
- Hours: house tours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, April-December
- Grounds: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, April-December; 11:30-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, January-March
- Admission: $12/adults, $11/seniors, $8/kids ages 6-12, free/5 and under; includes guided house tour, access to grounds and outer buildings
Guided tours of the Albert Kahn-designed house take about an hour. Then, guests may explore the grounds and outer buildings including the Powerhouse, Play House, Pool House (open seasonally) and South Cottage exhibit and Different by Design Garage exhibit. There's also an iPod touch tour of the grounds, giving a narrated tour filled with home movies of the Ford family, their home and interviews. Situated on Lake St. Clair, the estate spans 87 acres of gardens and grounds.
- Address: departs from The Henry Ford, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
- Phone: 313-982-6001
- Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday (last tour leaves at 3 p.m.)
- Admission: $15/adults, $11/kids, free/under 2
See historic footage and vehicles, learn about how cars are made, peer out to see the world's largest living roof and watch Ford F-150s being assembled in a plant walking tour.
- Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
- Phone: 313-982-6001
- Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily April 15-Nov. 3, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Nov. 8-Dec. 1; also open select December nights (call ahead for 2014 hours; typically reopens in mid-April)
- Admission: $24/adults, $22/seniors 62-plus, $17.50/ages 5-12, free/under 5
This working village is a living history lesson that recreates everyday activities in the 18th and 19th centuries. The village is divided into seven historic districts investigating railroads, working farms, Thomas Edison's "idea factory," home life, craftworks, Main Street America and a peek at the farmhouse where the Model T was born. Lots of demos in blacksmithing, typesetting, farming and even vintage 1860s baseball games.