Just because it’s Spring Break doesn’t mean you have to fly off to Florida. Instead, consider Spring Break in Detroit. It’s has one of the best come back stories for a city, Detroit has exploded on the scene of one of the best cities to visit in the U.S. Stop spending money on airfare (and in fact make some money–more on that soon) and visit this incredible destination right here in Michigan.
I’m sharing 25+ great reasons why you should consider Detroit for your next Spring Break destination. There are activities for every age group, incredible food, luxurious to budget hotels, and more fun than you can have in a week.
Here’s how to have the best Spring Break in Detroit!
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WHAT TO DO ON SPRING BREAK IN DETROIT
FEED YOUR MIND
Detroit Institute of Arts is rated as one of the top 10 museums in the country. Three levels of incredible art entice visitors to this museum. Interactive activities keep the kids entertained while the adults enjoy the works of art from around the world. Standing in the incredible Rivera Court filled with Diego Rivera art is worth the price of admission.
Across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts is the Detroit Historical Museum that shows the history of southeastern Michigan. The best part and the exhibit that you’re going to want to see and photograph for all your Instagram shares is the Streets of Old Detroit. This exhibit has recreated historic street scenes from the 1840s, 1870s and early 1900s and is a colorful display worthy of a few dozen photos.
Head to the Motown Museum where you’ll stand exactly where some of the greatest musicians of all time recorded their hit songs. Take a tour and perhaps have a chance to sing a hit in the same recording studio as the greats!
Enjoy an evening at the theater. Detroit has a number of theaters that host everything from Broadway to community theater. If you have the opportunity take in a show a the historic Fox Theatre or the stunningly beautiful Fisher Theater (usually free parking at Fisher).
In our minds, the only “real” movie theater worth going to is an Emagine Entertainment theater. Emagine in Royal Oak not only offers all the current blockbuster movies but it also has a full-service bar (you’re welcome), a full-service restaurant and bowling. The cherry on top of all this goodness is the luxury power reclining seats with full back & footrests in select theaters. You will fall in LOVE!
Henry Ford Museum brings past innovations to today. Step inside Rosa Parks bus, pretend your a pilot flying a Wright Brothers plane, see the science behind Pixar and so much more. Plan at least a half of day here.
Michigan Science Center offers up 250+ hands-on exhibits, lab activities, a planetarium, special exhibits and something new every month. Easily spend the day exploring all that the science center has to offer.
Third Man Records has the first vinyl pressing plant to be opened in over 35 years. Stroll through the store and watch through large windows to see the pressing plant in action.
MOVE THAT BODY
Talking about bowling, what if you could use a football instead of a bowling ball? That’s right, bowling with a football is a thing called Fowling and it’s right here in Detroit. Head over to the Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck to try your arm at this new sport. Note: Family friendly hours are only 11am – 6pm, Saturday & Sunday, and kids must be 10 to play.
Just when you thought Detroit couldn’t top Fowling let me introduce you to Feather Bowling. Yes, you read that correctly. Feather. Bowling. and Cadieux Cafe is the only place in the United States that you can play this historic Belgian pastime. You’ll want to call ahead for reservations!
If you just want some good old traditional bowling you’re in luck because Detroit has the perfect lanes. Head over to the Garden Bowl, the oldest active bowling center in the United States and, because Detroit is anything but boring, home of Rock n’ Bowl, that includes glow in the dark lanes, disco lights, and some rock n roll!
Get a taste of all that Michigan’s great outdoors has to offer at the Outdoor Adventure Center located at the corner of Atwater and the Dequindre Cut Trail. Stand under a waterfall and virtually experience everything from fishing to flying to snowmobiling. This is the perfect place to visit on a rainy/snowy (it’s Michigan during Spring Break, it could really go either way) day.
Depending on when your Spring Break is you may be able to head out to a ball game. The Detroit Tigers opening day is March 29th. If hockey is more your style the last home game for the Red Wings is April 7th.
Take a spin on the Detroit People Mover, the cheapest fun in town at 75 cents per person you can ride it for as long as you like.
Watch the kid’s eye light up in amazement as they get up close and personal with parade floats from Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The Parade Company gives you a behind the scenes look at how artists bring these one-of-a-kind floats to life.
Have some good old arcade fashion fun at a number of joints around town. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum has thousands of mechanical oddities and rare collectibles. C.J. Barrymore’s offers up more current arcade games, outdoor entertainment, and a full-service restaurant.
GET OUTSIDE & ENJOY NATURE (Yes, even in the city!)
Belle Isle Aquarium: When the Belle Isle Aquarium opened it was the third largest Aquarium in the world with salt water being shipped directly in from the ocean. Today, it is home to a unique collection of fish. With one of the largest collections of air-breathing fish in the world, they house the only known collection of all 7 species of gar in North America.
Belle Isle Nature Center located on Belle Isle State Park lets visitors get an insider’s view of an actual beehive and get an up-close view of Michigan wildlife. There is a bird observation window, deer encounter, other small animals and nearby nature trails.
Before heading back to the hotel stop at Cranbrook Observatory on Friday or Saturday for some old-fashioned star gazing.
Sea Life Michigan Aquarium, located in one of the largest outlet malls in the state, is a great stop for younger children. 12 interactive exhibits will keep them entertained for quite a while.
Open year round the Detroit Zoo has a number of major exhibits, but it’s most recent addition is the Polk Penguin Conservation Center. Note that you’ll have to pay for parking, but don’t let that deter you from going. The zoo is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon.
No trip to Detroit is complete without a visit to Eastern Market. The largest outdoor farmers market in the nation has an incredible selection of foods, products and experiences. The best day to go is bright and early on a Saturday morning. Grab a freshly baked pastry from a local vendor and wander around the market and the surrounding shops for a unique, one-of-a-kind experience.
Stroll around Midtown–eclectic shops, delicious food and one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city. A must visit when you’re in Detroit.
Rent a bike from Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop and peddle your way around town.
WHERE TO EAT ON SPRING BREAK IN DETROIT
There are way too many places to list here, but I’m going to call out some favorites. You can find an extensive list on the VisitDetroit website that includes everything from coney dogs (a Detroit tradition) to five-star dining. Corktown, Greektown, Midtown, Downtown, and the suburbs, I could go on and on. Heck, where to eat in Detroit could be its own book and very well may be.
Green Dot Stables is the home of sliders and truffle fries at jaw-dropping, affordable pricing. Enough said.
The Hudson Cafe is located right downtown and has fabulous breakfast offerings. Order the chicken and waffles and toffee coffee.
Clique diner bring you tasty classic American diner fare served in a midcentury-modern setting
Xochimilco located in a nondescript brick building serves up delicious Mexican food.
La Lanterna is an easygoing spot for housemade pastas & Neapolitan-style pizzas, plus craft beers, in modern digs.
Mexican Village has villa-style dining area & lounge offering Mexican fare with hefty toppings.
WHERE TO STAY ON SPRING BREAK IN DETROIT & EARN MONEY BACK!
disclaimer: Dosh provided hotel nights for our visit to the city, all thoughts and opinions are our own.
There are loads of great hotels for every budget. I have a couple faves, but most important is that you grab your phone and download the Dosh App. Book your hotel stay via the app and earn CASH BACK on your hotel stay. Yep, that’s right. You can earn money back after you complete your stay and the cash is paid out almost immediately. Read how much we earned back here, I was surprised!
Detroit Foundation–Carved out of the city’s former Fire Department Headquarters, and today presents guests with a remarkable mix of iconic design and modern luxury. From the minute you pull up to the door to the moment you drive away you will be steeped in the luxury that is the Detroit Foundation hotel. Complimentary house car service is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Atheneum Suites Hotel–A short walk to Ford Field with spacious rooms. Each well-appointed suite features traditional décor with modern Greek flair, fantastic city views and our signature oversized marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs or whirlpools. Shuttles are provided for major downtown concerts and sporting events.
Need even more ideas for things to do? Pick up 100 Things to Do in Detroit Before You Die!