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The Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in Detroit, founded in 1965, is the world’s largest institution devoted to African-American history and culture. It aims to provide learning opportunities through its over 30,000 artifacts and 125,000 square feet.
Can’t miss staples for families? Kids exhibit A is for Africa! has 26 hands-on and interactive stations that allow small children to learn through the people, places and events of the past. Discover notable African-Americans in S.T.E.M. fields, too, in Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology, an exhibit that has interactive computer kiosks, activities, play areas and a touchscreen video wall.
A great time to explore is during Charter One Free Family Second Sundays. During these events, which fall the second Sunday of every month, visitors get free admission to the museum and special family-friendly programs, often featuring story times, music, dancing, occasional craft projects and more.
But the biggest day of the year, by far, is MLK Jr. Day in January. Open 9 a.m.-7 p.m., on this date, you’ll find kids’ workshops, arts and crafts, music, story telling, video tributes and artifacts related to the civil rights leader, including a scale model of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C. Hungry? Start the day with a special commemorative breakfast that happens before the museum opens.
February is another fantastic time to visit, for Black History Month. 2014 marks the Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary, and theatrical production Jordan Anderson Writes a Letter, geared at young audiences, brings it to life 11 a.m.-noon Tuesdays-Fridays, Feb. 4-March 21, 2014. Saturdays, watch for a make-and-take play hour for little ones; tweens and teens can “meet the scientist” select Saturdays, too, when presenters delve into the tales of trailblazing inventors.
Make it a museum-filled day, suggests Ted Canaday, the director of marketing: “The Wright museum is situated right next the Michigan Science Center and just one block from the Detroit Institute of Arts.”