Readers Share the Safest Places for Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Families to Visit

We asked, you delivered. Find out which metro Detroit and Ann Arbor attractions' COVID-19 safety protocols scored the high with local parents, like you.

As Michigan works to get the coronavirus pandemic under control, and as things start to re-open, families are naturally being a bit more cautious with their fun.

That said, some local parents have ventured to local attractions with new COVID-19 safety protocols in place, so we asked them what they thought about their visits to these local spots — and put together this list of attractions that are knocking safety out of the park this summer.

Take a look at what they had to say to help prepare for your first forays. And don’t forget to share your thoughts about other local attractions by taking our survey — we’ll update this post periodically to add new submissions.

Detroit Institute of Arts

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The time has come: we're re-opening! After an unprecedented four-month shutdown of the museum due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, we will officially re-open our doors to the public on July 10, 2020, in collaboration with museums, arts, and cultural organizations at the heart of the district. Under the guidance of Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) and the National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF), we plan to re-open safely and welcome visitors and employees back into the museum. Every aspect of our normal operation has undergone a thorough evaluation by the NSF, and where needed, modifications are in place and will continually be updated to keep staff and visitors safe. Visitors can expect: • Expanded cleaning and disinfection of public spaces and work areas. • Frequent hand-washing is encouraged and abundant hand-sanitation dispensers will be made available throughout the museum. • To be required to wear masks inside the building (guests aged 3 years and older). • Cashless and touchless transactions will be made available wherever possible. • Changed entry procedures and door-access points at the museum. • Limited hours and reduced occupancy loads to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. • New wayfinding around the building and guidelines for physical distancing to safely navigate the museum. Our hours of operation are as follows: Wednesday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (9 a.m. to 10 a.m. for at-risk visitors) and Saturday-Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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  • Address: 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Overall score: B

The DIA is currently opened on a shortened schedule to make room for cleaning during the day; because of this, tickets are temporarily free to all patrons through Labor Day. Expect to have to have your temperature checked at the door. Social distancing and the use of face masks is required. One reader says to make sure you make an appointment before heading out and that you bring your own masks and hand sanitizer.

Detroit Zoo

  • Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Overall score: A

The zoo opened way back in June with a limited capacity, social distancing protocols, mask requirements and extra sanitation stations.

It scored high with those that took our survey, who recommend that you bring your own mask and hand sanitizer — and that you make an appointment.

Greenfield Village

  • Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
  • Overall score: A

This outdoor historical hub opened in early August following all state-mandated COVID-19 safety guidelines and enforcing social distancing protocols, limited guest capacity and the use of face coverings. Guests must also purchase tickets online for quick, touch-free entry and will see consistent cleaning throughout the day.

Visitors who have recently visited the museum suggests families bring their own masks and sanitizers and remind them to make appointments. One also added, “Don’t expect the full village experience, (we) but still enjoyed getting back to somewhere that feels ‘normal!'”

Grosse Pointe Public Library

  • Address: Central Branch, 10 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms
  • Overall score: A

Missing your local library? Grosse Pointe locals enjoy an online selection of reads they can pick up curbside and by appointment. The guests did not submit which libraries in the system they visited (there are three total). Love what your local library is doing? Let us know in the survey!

Howell Nature Center

  • Address: 1005 Triangle Lake Road, Howell
  • Overall score: A

As of July 7, the Wild Wonders Wildlife Park, Alexandria’s NatureScape and the new Ambassador Trail are open by reservation only while other areas of the park remained closed.

Guests were particularly impressed with this spot because of the limited guest capacity, extra hand washing/sanitizing stations and the social distancing indicators up throughout the grounds.

Michigan Science Center

  • Address: 5020 John R. Road, Detroit
  • Overall score: A-

Mi-Sci opened in early July with social distancing and mask protocols in place — along with free admission through Aug. 9.

One recent visitor said that the museum pulled out all the stops by limiting total capacity, providing hand washing stations, laying down social distancing indicators, installing plexiglass between lines and requiring masks.

One recent visitor who works with Wayne County Parks and Recreation said that she noticed that the “staff was continually cleaning surfaces and bathrooms during the visit.”

San Morello

  • Address: 1400 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Overall score: B

“Great food” and “great atmosphere” were what really impressed one local parent who went out to this urban Italian eatery in Detroit. As for suggestions for others who want to visit: bring your own mask and hand sanitizer, visit in the afternoon or evening and make a reservation before heading out.

Summer Drive-In at USA Hockey Arena

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Act natural

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  • Address: 14900 Beck Road, Plymouth
  • Overall score: A-

Families missing the theater can take in a show at this local drive-in where cars park in spaces 8 feet apart in between indicators. Parking is supervised by the staff.

Guests who answered our survey were impressed by the limited capacity and social distancing indicators and also recommend that you bring your own mask and hand sanitizer.

One guest also mentioned that families should be aware that “this drive-in is more like a pop-up drive-in located in the parking lot of an ice arena. Bathrooms are located inside of the ice arena, within walking distance but not close by.”

Thelma Spencer Park

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Evening walk at Spencer Park

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  • Address: 3701 John R Road, Rochester Hills
  • Overall score: A-

This Oakland County park really impressed survey-takers by limiting guest capacity and social distancing indicators and sanitization stations.

Guests who have visited the park recommend that you bring your own masks and one suggests visiting in the morning. Looking for even more coronavirus information and resources? Check out our COVID-19 Help page.

Metro Parent Editorial Team
Metro Parent Editorial Team
Since 1986, the Metro Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for metro Detroit families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.


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