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Top 10 Spots for Grandparents and Grandkids

Celebrate Grandparents Month in September – or anytime! – with these fun southeast Michigan family destinations for the young and young-at-heart

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September is Grandparents Month. Why not celebrate by taking grandma and grandpa somewhere they and the kids will enjoy? We combed southeast Michigan for cool destinations that serve up treats for the entire family – whatever the age.

1. Henry Ford Museum

  • Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Phone: 313-982-6001
  • Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
  • Admission: $15/adults (ages 13-61), $14/seniors (ages 62-plus), $11/kids (ages 5-12), free/under 5 and members

Grandparents will love pointing out planes, trains and autos from an earlier era to their grandkids – who are sure to dig the vast assortment of historic gadgets and mechanisms on-hand (they may even teach their grandparents a thing or two!). There's plenty to browse, from the Wright Flyer Replica, cylindrical Dymaxion house and Rosa Parks bus to intricate dollhouses and presidential limos – not to mention special traveling exhibits. Wheelchairs and electric scooters can be rented for a fee (arrive early for the scooters, though, as supplies are limited).

2. Blake Farms Apple Orchard and Cider Mill

  • Address: Almont Garden Center: 5590 Van Dyke Road, Almont; Blake's Orchard & Cider Mill: 17985 Armada Center Road, Armada; Blake's Big Apple: 71485 North Ave., Armada
  • Phone: Almont: 810-798-3251, Orchard: 586-784-5343, Big Apple: 586-784-9710
  • Hours: Almont: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, Orchard: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, Big Apple: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (u-pick orchard closes at 5:30 p.m.)

With September comes chillier weather – ideal for apple picking and pumpkin patches! With three spots, Blake has all ages covered with hayrides, corn mazes, a haunted barn, train ride tours, farm animals and more. Pick your own farm-grown fruits and vegetables. Time for a break from the outdoor fun? Stop inside the Orchard Cafe to watch cider being made and enjoy a fresh-made doughnut. Remember to take lots of pictures to save the memories! Attractions vary by location.

3. Detroit Science Center

  • Address: 5020 John R St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-577-8400
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday
  • Admission: $13.95/adults (ages 13-59), $11.95/seniors (ages 60-plus), free/under 2 (includes hands-on exhibits, planetarium shows and one IMAX movie; prices slightly more to include special exhibits)

If your grandkids are scientists in the making, visit this favorite destination to foster their curious minds (and enrich your own!). With 200-plus hands-on exhibits, young and old will get charged up while learning about everything from robots and nutrition to space travel and dinosaurs. Be sure to check out a show at the planetarium or IMAX theater. Bonus: Your admission also gets you into the Detroit Children's Museum, operated by the DSC, for up to a month following your visit (just keep your receipt!).

4. The Detroit Zoo

  • Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Phone: 248-541-5717
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 1-Labor Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. day after Labor Day-Oct. 31
  • Admission: $12/adults (ages 15-61), $10/seniors (62-plus) and active military with ID, $8/kids (2-14), free/under age 2 and zoo members (add $5/parking, $4/Wild Adventure theater or ride, $3/railroad, $5/giraffe food)

Autumn is prime time for grandparents and grandchildren to go wild at the zoo. Sure-fire must-sees include the Wild Adventure 3-D/4-D theater and ride and Giraffe Encounter (open until the weather gets too cold). Keep your eyes peeled for its cool chill-season events, like an annual October Zoo Boo (it runs several weekends), a breakfast with Santa and Wild Winter Weekends, running January, February and March.

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