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binz1Detroit Attractions for Kids




Never thought about a family vacation in Detroit?  Well think again!  Detroit has fantastic things to do for kids that both educate and entertain.  Below we've listed some of the best attractions in the area.  You will find that the destinations are a bit spread out -- some in the city, some in the suburbs.  So we recommend combining a visit to each of with them with another activity to make it a full day.  In the destination descriptions below, we suggest additional activities to consider.  Beware…  Your kids may not want to leave these awesome attractions!





Belle Isle:  Nature Zoo, Conservatory, & Great Lakes Museum

Bridge off of Jefferson Avenue at East Grand Boulevard, Detroit

Full Tour Page


Belle Isle is a 982-acre island and park in the Detroit River managed by the Detroit Department of Parks and Recreation.  The island has been subjected to significant budget cuts recently, resulting in the closing of America's oldest public aquarium (opened in 1904).  Nevertheless, Belle Isle still has many excellent attractions to offer, including the Belle Isle Nature Zoo (operated by the Detroit Zoological Institute), the Anna Scripps Whicomb Conservatory, and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum to name a few.  Consider packing a lunch and enjoy great views of Detroit and Windsor (Canada) while you relax on Belle Isle's half-mile beach (the only beach in the City).  Belle Isle has something for kids of all ages!


MatelliCranbrook Art Museum & Institute of Science

39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills



Cranbrook is an internationally acclaimed center of education, art, and science in the northern suburb of Bloomfield Hills.  The campus is comprised of a graduate Academy of Art, contemporary Art Museum, House & Gardens, natural history museum, Institute of Science, and Pre-K through 12 independent college preparatory schools.  The Art Museum houses the work of world-renowned architects and sculptors and the Insitute of Science features eleven permanent galleries, a state-of-the-art planetarium and observatory, and an outdoor science garden with nature trails.  The institution was founded in 1904 by Detroit philanthropists George and Ellen Booth and was named a National Historic Monument in 1989.  A perfect blend of culture, education, and entertainment for the entire family!  Although there is more than enough to occupy an entire day, we recommend a visit to Birmingham if you would like to combine Cranbrook with another activity (see the Experience Detroit Specialty & Boutique Shopping Tour page for more information).


Science Center -- wayneMichigan Science Center

5020 John R, Detroit



In the early 1970s, Detroit banker and philanthropist Dexter Ferry believed Detroit's youth lacked the same learning opportunities available in other major cities and led efforts to establish a major science center in the City.  Construction on the original science center began in 1976 and a major renovation and expansion was completed in 2001.  Today's Michigan Science Center encompasses over 110,000 square feet and offers Michigan's only IMAX Dome Theatre, a state-of-the-art digital planetarium, and multiple exhibit laboratories and learning environments.  Given its location in the heart of Detroit's Cultural Center, consider combining your visit to the Science Center with a trip to the nearby Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Library, or Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (see the Experience Detroit Museums page for more information).

kidsinpassagenbearDetroit Zoo

8450 West Ten Mile Road, Royal Oak



With kids, a zoo is always a sure bet.  Add to it the  outstanding attractions and exhibits the Detroit Zoo has to offer, and your kids are sure to be completely fascinated.  See animals in free-ranging natural habitats, amphibians from around the world, the country's first zoo-based virtual reality simulator, and the world's largest polar bear exhibit.  In addition to educating and entertaining families for generations, the Detroit Zoo has a history of responsibility.  The Zoo began this philosophy many years ago as one of the first in the world with cageless exhibits and most recently as the first U.S. zoo to give up its elephants on ethical grounds due to the harsh Michigan winters.  Despite its location in the suburb of Royal Oak, the Detroit Zoo is actually an agency of the City of Detroit and draws thousands of visitors from the entire Southeastern Michigan region.  Consider a stop in Ferndale or Royal Oak before or after your visit to the zoo (see the Experience Detroit Specialty & Boutique Shopping Tour for more information).


tsm2Henry Ford Museum

20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn



The Henry Ford Museum, along with the other attractions on the campus of The Henry Ford, provides an unparalleled chronicle of American life and of the people and ideas that changed lives through innovation.  The museum houses an array of exhibits showcasing the results of American genius at work.  In addition to one of the finest automotive history collections in the country,   exhibits include the world's most accurate replica of the Wright brothers' Flyer, the only remaining prototype of the Dymaxion house, and John F. Kennedy's fateful Dallas limousine.  Time permitting, visit Greenfield Village, the Benson Ford Library, IMAX theater, and the Automotive Hall of Fame (all are located adjacent to the museum).  See the Experience Detroit Automotive Heritage Tours page for more information.  A must-see for anyone visiting Detroit and a tremendous experience for all ages!


Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum

31005 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills



Your kids will grin ear-to-ear when they walk through the doors of this incredible museum.  Marvin's houses hundreds of vintage magic, neon, antiques, posters, airplanes, robots, animation, and unusual coin operated games. The coin operated games are all operational and range from the oldest gypsy fortune telling machine of the early 1900's to the latest video games.  The place is so cool that even hip-hop Detroit Music star Eminem has dropped in for some fun!




More Information

The list above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to attractions for kids in metro Detroit.  Click on the links below for additional attractions, tours, and retail shops in the area.


Art & Culture

Automotive Heritage Tours

Belle Isle

Cultural Center

Detroit Children's Museum

Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop

Festivals & Events


Olde World Canterbury Village



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