Free Fall Activities For Families In Detroit
It's officially fall, and there are many activities and events for families to attend in the Detroit area. Check this list for the best free events.
Morley Candy Factory Tours
23770 Hall Road (M-59)
Clinton Township, MI 48036
If you and your kids love chocolate, this is a great tour: you get to learn about the history of chocolate, see how Morley/Saunders makes their candy and even receive a free sample at the end of the tour. Morley offers both guided and self-guided tours, Monday through Friday, and reservations are required. The one-hour guided tours are available at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and self-guided tours are available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Families will also be able to watch Sanders treats being made in the 100-foot "observation hallway."
Cranbrook Institute of Science
39221 Woodward Ave.
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
Cranbrook normally charges a museum admission, but thanks to the MASCO Corporation Foundation, you can visit it on the first Friday of every month after 5 p.m. for free, until June 2014. Cranbrook offers unique experiences such as a live bat show, an observatory and a planetarium show, in addition to its usual museum exhibits, which range from dinosaurs to jewels. You can even bring a picnic lunch to eat outside if the weather is nice, or choose to experience "space ice cream" in its cafe. Cranbrook also has a "Discovery Center" for children ages three to eight that provides an interactive experience, although it is only open on Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
The DIA offers free admission for Oakland, Wayne and Macomb county residents, and it's a great place for families and kids. It offers "Family Sundays" where storytellers and puppet performers entertain and sometimes provide artist demonstrations. It also offers drop-in workshops where kids will learn to make different projects. Drop by on October 26 to make sugar skulls for Halloween or on October 27 and Fridays in November to make flip books. The DIA also features "Friday Night Live!" with live music, although the next event will not be until December 27th, when it presents music from the movie "Fantasia."
Related: Top Arts & Crafts Classes And Activities for Kids in Detroit
Warren Civic Center Library
1 City Square, Suite 100
Warren, MI 48093
On November 19th from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the Warren Civic Center Library will have a live turkey on hand to "introduce" to kids. Its program is ideally for kids ages three to 11, and you must call the library beginning October 29th to make a reservation. The Warren Library has four locations, but this program will be held at the Civic Center location. It also offers story time for children through November 16th. Check the website for full details, and reservations are required, with Warren residents receiving priority.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
The Matthaei Botanical Gardens, owned by the University of Michigan, are open daily with no admission charge, and you can also venture into its conservatory for free on Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m. Parking is $5 for the day or $1.20 per hour. In October and early November, the gardens will feature the "Legacy of the Land through Art" exhibit, and there's also a kids' area in the gardens. The Botanical Gardens also has children-friendly events for a fee. On October 26, it will feature "Halloween Spectacular: Vexing Vines and Batty Flowers" for $8 per child, including materials.
Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at Examiner.com and yesnofilms.com.
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