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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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Lorenzo Cultural Center

  • Address: Macomb Community College campus, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township
  • Phone: 586-445-7348
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday; exhibits typically run between October and May
  • Admission: free; fees may vary/programs

This Macomb County center provides interactive programs that explore the influences and experiences that shape the community heritage, along with educational and entertaining events. The schedule usually features kids' activities to complement the main exhibit. Check ahead to see what's up.

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum

  • 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-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday; open later, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, during summer
  • 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.

Mill Race Historical Village

  • Address: 215 Griswold Ave., Northville
  • Phone: 248-348-1845
  • Hours: buildings: 1-4 p.m. Sundays, June 9-Oct. 20, 2013; grounds: dawn-dusk daily
  • Admission: free; event prices may vary

These 19th-century Victorian buildings, set on 12.5 acres, preserve the architectural styles popular in the area. Visitors can get an up close look at an inn, blacksmith shop, school church, gazebo, wooden bridge and interurban station giving them a taste of a time gone by.

Michigan Firehouse Museum

  • Address: 110 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti
  • Phone: 734-547-0663
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday
  • Admission: $5/adults, $3/ages 3-16, free/2 and under

Each year, 10,000 people visit this museum that's near a historic firehouse built in 1898. Check out its impressive display of fire vehicle sirens, lights and hand-pulled ladders from 1910. Enjoy the August fire truck muster.

Michigan Transit Museum

  • Address: 200 Grand Ave., Mount Clemens
  • Phone: 586-463-1863
  • Hours: museum: 1-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday year-round; train: June-October and December, times vary
  • Admission: museum: free, donations welcome; trains: contact for costs

Plan a short train ride when you visit this museum. Opened in 1973, it takes you through the history of mass transportation using historical equipment and artifacts. The Holiday Express typically returns in December.

Model T. Automotive Heritage Complex, Inc.

  • Address: 461 Piquette Ave., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-872-8759
  • Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, April-October
  • Admission: $10/person

Check out antique Model T cars in the plant they were originally made in and see an award-winning video about 1904-10 Detroit life in this restored historic place.

Motown Historical Museum

  • Address: 2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-875-2264
  • Regular hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday (last tour at 5 p.m.), closed Sunday-Monday and most major holidays
  • Summer hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday (last tour at 5 p.m.), 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday (last tour begins at 7 p.m.); closed Sundays
  • Admission: $10/adults, $8/ages 5-12 seniors 62-plus, free/ages 4 and under

Trace the roots of Motown's story that began at Hitsville USA and created a sound that influenced generations of music lovers throughout the world. The exhibits include historical photographs, artwork, music, costumes and other memorabilia from this musical era that included the Temptations and Diana Ross and the Supremes.

Pine Grove Historical Museum

  • Address: 405 Cesar Chavez Ave., Pontiac
  • Phone: 248-338-6732
  • Hours: office: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday (or by appointment); call ahead to book group tours
  • Admission: $5/adults, $3/ages 12 and under

Gov. Moses Wisner's former estate is now 4 1/2 acres of history prime for your family to explore. Check out a one-room schoolhouse, pioneer museum, smokehouse, root cellar and more. Events pop up throughout the year.

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