Spark some family bonding with the ultimate childhood checklist.

Where to go, what to do and ways to unlock a memorable Michigan childhood: It’s all waiting for you in our FREE guide!

Dear Southeast Michigan Parent,

Remember being a kid? Hop into your time machine and zoom on back. Now, think about what pops out as being a banner day or incredible experience. If you had to pick one or two things that were truly unforgettable – or just really freaking cool – what would make the cut?

It’s a tough question, isn’t it? Maybe it was getting your first pet. Whooshing down a roller coaster. Or making a best friend on a sports team or in dance class. Truth is, there are heaps of fun things to do in southeast Michigan – and really, things are always extra-special when kids are trying them for the very first time. Still, somehow, it’s so easy to get bogged down in the stress and busyness of parenting. We swore we wouldn’t, but we lost a little of the magic.

Fortunately, it’s easy to reclaim that spark. And you can consider Metro Parent your own personal Harry Potter! With a wave of our wand – and plenty of input from a boatload of creative and clever local parents who are truly wizards, in our minds – we conjured up the FREE Bucket List for Kids: 101 Things Your Kids Should Do Before They Grow Up. The result is some spellbinding stuff.

We bet you’ve heard of a “bucket list” in the context of grownup goals – stuff we absolutely must do before we kick the, well, bucket. We thought, hey: Childhood is finite too, right? Every day, each experience, no matter how mesmerizing or mundane, fills it up a bit more. Kind of like sand in a beach pail.

Sure, in some ways, the bar’s lower: There’s no pressure for kids to scale the Great Pyramid of Giza or soar over the North Pole (though, if you can swing it, take our word: Do Disney World!). But so much makes childhood memorable – from the frivolous and fun to the sobering and self-building.

That’s exactly what we found out from moms and dads in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Their answers are merry and messy and sometimes even mud-caked – and they’re yours FREE with Bucket List for Kids: 101 Things Your Kids Should Do Before They Grow Up.

One thing’s for sure: These parents know a thing or two about fun things to do in southeast Michigan. For starters, if you’ve only seen the region’s most famous fireworks show or November parade on TV (see No. 20), get your butt out to Detroit! How about an Amtrak train trip – or a drive down one of the region’s most famous roads (No. 63)?

When’s the last time you took a road trip, anyway? This is the Motor City after all, and a Birmingham mom some great tips on classic car games to play (No. 89). If your travels take you up north – another must – maybe board a boat to Mackinac Island (discover a few things to try on this small car-free wonderland, too – it’s No. 87).

Closer to home, an Ann Arbor dad argues why you should definitely see a U of M home football game (No. 65), while a father in Royal Oak makes his case for Comerica Park in Detroit (No. 14) – and a Grosse Pointe mom rounds it off with some old-fashioned roller skating (we also hook you up with our roundup that answers, “where are roller skating rinks near me?” – see No. 78).

Besides ice skating at Campus Martius and jumping into one of the Great Lakes (talk about cool!), this guide is also your gateway to more fun. That’s because when you download it, you can also get a FREE subscription to Metro Parent magazine. In each monthly issue, our calendars boast at least 100 family events. Which is upwards of 1,200 additional ways per year to create memories – and always know what to do in Detroit today!

Of course, big-ticket events, vacations and day trips are definitely part of a fun childhood – but they’re far from the only components. Have you ever dug into your family history? Or made a random video with your smartphone? Our guide is also picked with ways you can preserve and create family memories.

Little things can be a big deal to kids! Your own yard is a great place to begin. Whether it’s making mud pies or building a fort, the lawn transforms with a dash of imagination. And be sure to see tip No. 9 for one Detroit mom’s awesome, unexpected advice on what your kids should try drinking while outdoors.

Even difficult times can hold silver linings. Breaking a bone, going through loss – and even wanting something badly and not getting it – it all builds kids’ resilience.

And that’s another hidden perk to the Bucket List for Kids: 101 Things Your Kids Should Do Before They Grow Up – it’s packed fun things to do in southeast Michigan with kids that teach important life skills, too.

Has your kid ever learned how to sew on a button or build a campfire? Even if your chops aren’t up-to-snuff, you can learn with your kid (the web puts oodles of tutorials at your fingertips). Unleashing their inner artist (see No. 68 for a great tip from a Ferndale mom) and just getting crafty in general (No. 73 hooks you up with loads of crafts for kids) are also great ways to get kids to be creative thinkers.

We borrow some tips from the past, too. Why not share something with your kids from your childhood (see No. 8 for a few ideas)? Or learn how to properly cut a rug, as they used to say (No. 71)? We even had one local teen chime in with her suggestion for an old-school movie kids should see at some point (No. 23).

There are so many fun things to do with kids in Michigan. From eating Mitten-made food (see No. 32) to the joys and tears of owning a pet (No. 12) to silly dares (No. 83) and the thing you gotta do the next time the power goes out (No. 80) – and even why it’s important for kids to learn how to create a little quiet time (No. 94) – this guide is guaranteed to get you inspired.

We want to give our kids the world, right? Yet those wonder years only last so long – and can only contain so much. With Bucket List for Kids: 101 Things Your Kids Should Do Before They Grow Up, parents have 11 pages packed of exciting, reinvigorating and just plain fun things to do in southeast Michigan with kids.

And Metro Parent is proud to be able to offer you this robust resource, filled with tips from local parents just like you, for FREE. In addition, you’ll get a FREE subscription to Metro Parent magazine, which has even more awesome things to do with your kids every month. Whether it’s events and festivals (always know what to do in Detroit today!), awesome attractions in southeast Michigan or hot parenting topics, crafts for kids and recipes, we’re your reliable companion in all of your parenting adventures.

It’s all waiting in your FREE copy of Metro Parent’s Bucket List for Kids: 101 Things Your Kids Should Do Before They Grow Up. From hidden gems to innovative tips, this info-packed PDF is ready and waiting to get you motivated to rekindle some of the magic of childhood with your kids.

So whether you’re in in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties (or anywhere in southeast Michigan!), join in and unplug (No. 84), spontaneously bust a move (No. 88) and just “let it go” (as a Dexter mom explains in No. 26). It’s as simple as getting your mitts on this marvelous guide.

PS: How often do we talk about wanting to spend more quality time with our kids? This is seriously your ticket. Don’t delay a second longer: Download your FREE copy of Metro Parent’s Bucket List for Kids: 101 Things Your Kids Should Do Before They Grow Up – and FREE subscription to Metro Parent magazine – now.

PSS: There are so many fun things to do in southeast Michigan, and this list is custom-tailored for southeast Michigan families with kids looking for a little jumpstart. Our local parent sources were pumped to share their favorite activities and experiences their families have enjoyed. Use their tips to get going. Grab that shovel and starting filling your child’s “bucket list” up today!

  • Leah H.

    Did you read this before printing it? “Break a Bone”? Seriously, you are recommending that a child have a broken bone as a valuable childhood experience? Where was your brain? Your editor?

  • I am having a hard time downloading the bucket list for kids. I supposedly have a password, but have no idea what it is. When I click on the “forgot my password”, the link sent to my e-mail to reset my password does not work.


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