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Rainy days in Detroit: What to do when the weather goes bad

Grey skies and rainy days are no reason to stay huddled up at home! There are plenty of things to do in Detroit where you can stay warm and dry when the skies open up and pour all over your previously laid out plans.

Get your culture on!

Detroit has amazing museums, from the Detroit Institute of Arts to the Motown Museum, The Henry Ford to the Detroit Historical Museum, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, The Arab American National Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Center.

Rivera Court at the DIA and the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile at The Henry Ford.

A museum that often gets overlooked is the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex. Visit the birthplace of the Model T at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit.

Rainy days are also a good time to revisit the Museum Adventure Pass, which gives you free admission to many cultural institutions. Check out participating institutions and stop by your local library to pick up the passes.

Book it!

Speaking of libraries, the main branch of the Detroit Public Library is a beauty in its own right. Be sure to stop by the Harwell Room, which houses the Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, and the genealogy section for a glimpse into your past.

Game on

When my husband is in a funk or bored I take him to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. This place is sure to spark a smile. It works on kids and rainy days too, just bring plenty of quarters.

How about lawn bowling? Indoors! Palazzo di Bocce is known for its world-class indoor bocce courts. They also have an Italian restaurant and bar.

How do they make that?

The Ford Rouge Factory Tour is a self-guided tour where you can see how they make the Ford F-150s. You can also view the largest living roof, a 10.4-acre garden.

Find out how teddy bears are made at The Chelsea Teddy Bear Company. 100,000 teddy bears in one place! They offer free public tours on Saturdays and also house a Toy Museum.

Detroit’s own chocolate factory? Yes, Morley Candy offers free factory tours, advance reservations required. You even get a sample at the end!

Yes, today we’re complaining about rain and unseasonably cold weather for May. In a few months it’ll be too hot and everyone will be clamoring for air conditioning. We’re sure to get our share of bad weather days here in Detroit so be prepared and have fun!

What are your favorite indoor destinations in Detroit?

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Reader Comments (7)

This is great! I will have to refer to this list the next rainy day. For some reason Charlie thinks we can do the zoo on a rainy day since it has indoor displays. I, however, completely disagree. Still need to go to Marvin's Magical Emporium...

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElena

So glad you find this helpful. You must get to Marvin's but I fear that Charlie will enjoy it more than the kiddos. And I totally agree with you, the zoo isn't meant for rainy days.

May 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

I see someone else has the wienermobile on their mind today :lol:

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Love this list! I've been meaning to check out a Museum pass - thanks for the reminder. And how have I lived in metro Detroit my entire life and never heard of the Chelsea Teddy Bear Co? Adding that to my list of things to do :)

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaurenWeber84

Great job digging up some off-the-beaten path places to check out during crappy weather. Born & raised a Metro Detroiter, I'm happy to say I've been to many of the spots you've mentioned. And, every year the day before Thanksgiving we take our 4 kids + grandpa on a cultural day adventure somewhere in/around the D. So, although our kids have been raised in mid-Mich, they've had opportunity to experience some of the good stuff in the D.

May 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkathy backus

I was looking through my already edited pics from the Photowalks Detroit event at The Henry Ford and there it was! You ladies certainly put it in my head, though.
Thank you! I hadn't heard of The Chelsea Teddy Bear Factory until a year ago when I was doing research on factory tours in the area. I pulled it out for a rainy day. Sorry, that was bad. I bet Kinley would love the teddy bears!
Thanks! I tried to give a good mix of places people might not have heard of and a gentle reminder to visit the more obvious places too. It's great that your kids have experienced the cultural gems of Detroit even though they don't live in the metro area.

May 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

I love this list, beautiful! I miss the D big time, I'm gonna get back soon to see my teams play and watch some Go Detroit Lions football!!!

May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikel

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