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Best Free Attractions Near Detroit

Detroit always has something going on, including a number of attractions that are free to the public. Watch artisans create handcrafted tiles, steer a ship along the Detroit River, experience the culturally significant murals that Diego Rivera painted or discover the night sky as explained by experts in the field of astronomy. These attractions and more prove that the best things in life are indeed free and are just waiting to be discovered.
Dossin Great Lakes Museum
Belle Isle Park
100 Strand Drive
Detroit, MI 48207
(313) 833-5538

Located on Detroit's picturesque Belle Isle Park, The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is by far one of the most interesting attractions in the city. There is no admission fee to enter and explore this historical museum. The museum explores the area's maritime history, while contemporary displays depict the various chapters in Detroit's story as it pertains to its waterways. The museum contains interactive exhibits, restored antique relics and detailed model ships, perfect for young and old visitors alike. One of the coolest features allows guests to stand at the helm of a retired ship and pretend they are the captain of the vessel.

Related: Best Free Winter Activities For Families In Metro Detroit

Pewabic Pottery
10125 E. Jefferson Ave.
Detroit, MI 48214
(313) 626-2000

Artisan tiles created at Pewabic Pottery can be found throughout Detroit. This unique style of tile is created right here in Detroit by skilled craftspeople. Housed in a historic tudor-style manor, the studio welcomes visitors daily, and there is no admission charge to explore the facility.  Learn about the process during a free guided studio tour, or browse through the collection of work in the retail space. Don't forget to check out the adjacent showroom or take a peek at the gallery upstairs. The space features provocative artwork from an evolving roster of talented artists.

Detroit Institute Of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 833-7900

The Detroit Institute of Arts houses one of the finest collections of art in the world. The world-class museum features more than one hundred galleries filled with unique Asian, African and Native American artifacts. The stunning building boasts noteworthy pieces created by important artists, spanning the range from European and American to ancient and contemporary works. The expansive museum is varied enough to spend an entire day taking it all in. Special programs are held on scheduled dates, so there is always something new to see. Stop by the cafe and enjoy a leisurely brunch or charcuterie plate. Admission is free to residents of Oakland, Macomb and Wayne Counties.

House Of Pure Vin
1433 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 638-2501

House of Pure Vin is a contemporary wine boutique, complete with its own climate-controlled champagne room. This recent addition to Woodward Avenue offers something just about anyone will love- wine tastings. Learn all there is to know about wine and the regions grapes are grown in, how to discover new flavors, the proper way to sip and swirl, culminating in the newfound ability to confidently select a bottle you'll love. Best of all, the tastings are complimentary on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a wonderful way to meet new people interested in fine wine and to expand your knowledge on the subject.

Related: Best Places For Port Wine In Detroit

Wayne State University Planetarium
Old Main Building
4841 Cass Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 577-1813

Fridays at the Wayne State Planetarium are spectacular for stargazers, even when skies are cloudy. Expert professors share their time and knowledge with an intimate crowd in a theater setting, teaching different aspects of the solar system, constellations and the galaxy above. There is an interactive demonstration, including audience participation and a lesson about how to "read" the night sky, culminating in a projection that is shown on the dome above the audience. Stargazing shows are held on campus, and each has various segments to introduce students and residents to the night sky. The presentations are free to the public and are open to all interested parties on a first-come, first-served basis.

After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at and

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