The Tiny D
Michigan has so much to offer, from cars and sports to music and nature. But only one place makes it all pint-sized and plops it under one roof – ready for instant kids fun no matter how chilly it gets outside.
And this month, it’s birthday time at Detroit Kid City: It’s been two years since its Clinton Township location hit the scene, joining the original Southfield locale. Both spots are based on a simple concept: “Creating a space where families and communities have the chance to unplug from the everyday distractions and enjoy time together,” says Laura Lewis, event and party coordinator. This kid magnet beckons little visitors ages 1-8 to pretend play in distinctively Detroit style.
There are toys and dress-ups so kids can be part of an automotive factory or bank, a music studio or mini baseball stadium – even an “Up North” story area. Plus find Michigan-made snacks, fruit smoothies and freshly roasted coffee for sale.
“Adults love that they can grab our ever-so-popular Motor City Mocha or Caramel Collision from our full café to help keep up with the little ones,” Lewis says. “And most of the time, they can’t help but join in on all the hands-on fun.”
An insider tip? Get half-off admission when you wear a Detroit Kid City T-shirt.
Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Cost: $10/admission, free/12 months and under, adults who buy a drink
Time to Explore!
You might have a hard time tearing your kids from the life-sized Lite Brite at Skokie Park District’s Exploritorium just north of Chicago. But if you can, your next stop should be the Engineering Megastation, where they can tinker with big and small magnets – building impossible towers and seeing how many they can link together. There are also plenty of props for wannabe actors and places to play with water (no swimsuits required), create music, go climbing and scoot through a mini maze of tubes and tunnels. Tickets are $5.
Ready to go on a triple-loop roller coaster – inside? The Mindbender is one of 27-plus rides and play areas at Galaxyland, the world’s biggest indoor amusement park. For younger riders, try the slower-pace Solar Spinner. Or the Space Shot will make thrill seekers happy. Located in the ginormous West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, admission runs $27-$45.
This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly.