101 Things Every Detroiter Must Do



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(page 4 of 5)

61 Go Dally in the Alley 

How can you not attend an event that is the self-proclaimed "Last Party of the Year," took its name from a medieval drinking song, encourages imbibing in the streets, celebrates terrific art and music - and gives back to the community? That's a sketch of what you'll find at Dally in the Alley, the annual bash (this year on Sept. 10) that turns the Cass Corridor on its head. Local music acts are the main attraction at the party, but there's plenty of art to see and vendors to visit in the streets. www.dallyinthealley.com.

62 Enjoy a Big-Screen Buzz 

Those who've ever spirited a bottle of booze into the local cinema (or thought about it but chickened out) will love Brew 'n View at the Magic Bag. On Wednesday and Thursday nights, the Ferndale nightspot known for great live music clears out the bands, fires up the movie projector and turns the taps wide open. Crowds enjoy first-run films, along with a big drink selection. The show starts at 9:30 p.m., but the doors open at 8. This may be your rowdiest movie experience. But at least you won't hear a cell phone ring. 22920 Woodward; 248-544-3030, www.themagicbag.com.

63 Make Tracks to the Zoo 

Technically located in Royal Oak, the Detroit Zoo is the envy of cities across America. Beyond award-winning exhibits (including the world's largest for polar bears), it also boasts a pioneering director, Ron Kagan, who made international news for sending the zoo's elephants to California because Detroit is too cold (rhinos are taking their place). Buying a membership is the way to go. 8450 W. 10 Mile Rd.; 248-398-0903, www.detroitzoo.org.

64 Lose Your Mind at a Lions Game 

It's been 48 years since they won the Championship and 12 since they took the NFC title, but Detroiters are unfailing - if masochistic - believers in the boys who wear Honolulu blue. Every fall, rabid fans storm gleaming Ford Field to cheer the Detroit Lions, and they're still there in late winter, long after the season has gone south. Face paint is not required for admission, but screaming for a touchdown (and barking instructions to Joey Harrington from the cheap seats) is. Get your tickets now because this season will be something special. Or was that last season? Whatever. The tailgate party in Eastern Market rocks. 313-262-2003, www.detroitlions.com.

65 Roam the A2 Art Fairs 

Widely considered the best in America, the Ann Arbor Art Fairs pull around 500,000 people into the streets every July. Yes, it's madness. But your reward for braving the crowds and well over 1,000 booths is great. You'll see imaginative work in every media under the sun, you'll talk with the artists themselves, and you'll enjoy watching the craziest collection of people in the Midwest. Don't forget the sunscreen and walking shoes. The A2 visitors bureau has all the info. 734-995-7281, www.annarbor.org.

66 Go Nuts at Rocky Peanut Co. 

Longtime Detroit Tigers fans may not know it, but back in 1969 one of the guys supplying all those ballpark peanuts was Rocco Russo, otherwise known as Rocky. The business has grown quite a bit since then, and today the Rocky Peanut Co. is an Eastern Market anchor. Step inside and you'll find countless varieties of nuts, dried fruits, candy and chips - pretty much anything that could tempt you between meals. Despite all those warnings, even Mom won't be able to resist these treats. 1545 Clay; 313-871-5100, www.rockypeanut.com.

67 Behold the Diego Rivera Murals 

You'll find Detroit's most famous artwork - and one of America's most renowned murals - in the aptly named Rivera Court of the Detroit Institute of Arts. The famed Mexican muralist was commissioned by Edsel Ford in 1932 to create Detroit Industry, three sets of images that depict the diversity of North America, the automobile industry and other industries that shaped the Motor City. Smaller images capture life at the Ford Rouge Plant. 5200 Woodward; 313-833-7900, www.dia.org.

68 Roll a Frame at Garden Bowl 

It's hard to know if metro Detroit is, as some still claim, "the bowling capital of the world." But Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties have more bowling alleys than Dunkin' Donuts. The best of the bunch - and the funkiest - is Detroit's Garden Bowl in the Majestic Theatre complex. It's America's oldest active bowling center - and the home of "Rock 'n' Bowl." Drop by for glow-in-the-dark bowling or roll under disco lighting. Even your gutter balls will look great here. 4120 Woodward; 313-833-9700, www.majesticdetroit.com.

69 Step Back in Time 

For a city founded more than 300 years ago, it should be no surprise that 206 sites in Detroit are on the National Register of Historic Places. But did you know you can see them all? Preservation Wayne (313-577-3559) offers five distinctly different tour downtown; the Detroit Historical Museums (313-833-4727) tours churches, Belle Isle and Fort Wayne; and WSU professor Stewart McMillin (313-922-1990) leads a number of terrific tours. To see what's new, take the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau's (313-202-1800) "D-Tour."

70 Experience History 

No museum in America comes remotely close to delivering the experience you'll have at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit: Its $12-million core exhibit puts visitors inside a ship to teach the horrors of slavery. Certainly, the nation's largest African-American history museum also has plenty to inspire visitors - and it rotates exhibits of both world-famous and up-and-coming artists. The museum is a popular field trip for school kids, but every parent should stop by, too. Check out the museum's store for clothing and jewelry from Africa. 315 E. Warren; 313-494-5800, www.maah-detroit.org.

71 See TV Stars at Work 

To see a little bit of Hollywood right here in Detroit, head to the Michigan Humane Society's headquarters near I-75 and East Grand Boulevard. It's the home base of Debby, Shawn, Mark, Mike and company, the real-life stars of cable TV's Animal Cops: Detroit. The show, among the highest rated on the Animal Planet network, follows the team of investigators as they check out reports of animal abuse and save creatures of all stripes and sizes. Drop by at the right time and you might see them in action. You may also find the perfect pet. 7401 Chrysler Dr.; 313-872-3400, www.michiganhumane.org.

72 Plug Your Ears at Thunder Fest 

The Motor City loves any engine, as long as it's loud - and can go fast. If it's too powerful for the road, that's even better. Every July, Detroiters flock to the river to see Gold Cup hydroplane racing, a sport born of the adventurous move in the early 1900s to drop an airplane engine into a boat. Today's hydroplanes fly at speeds up to 200 mph as drivers battle for the Gold Cup, the oldest active trophy in motorsports. The best place to hear the roar and see all the action is at the Roostertail. 100 Marquette; 313-822-1234, www.roostertail.com.

73 March to the Parade 

You may have to dress the kids to survive arctic-cold weather, but there's no better way to see America's Thanksgiving Day Parade than from a curbside seat with more than a million die-hard Detroiters. Paradegoers rise before dawn and line Woodward with chairs, blankets and breakfast spreads large enough to feed famished Turkey Trot runners. www.theparade.org.

74 Ride the Day Away 

For generations of Detroiters, amusement park memories are summed up in one hyphenated word: Bob-Lo. But alas, it's long gone. Today, for an adrenaline and sugar fix, boatloads of kids beg and plead with Mom and Dad to pilot the family cruiser to Sandusky, Ohio, for a day at Cedar Point. It boasts more roller coasters (16) than any park in the world. All told, Cedar Point has 68 rides, two water parks and an endless array of games. C'mon. Please. Say yes. You'll feel like a kid again. Swear. 419-627-2350, www.cedarpoint.com.

75 Rock at Lager House 

If hordes of Gap-wearing Detroiters start showing up, this live-music spot on the scrappy edge of Corktown may lose its edge. So dress down and keep your crew small when you hit the Lager House to hear the next big thing in Detroit rock. Any band that wants to make it big has to win this crowd first. So you've never heard of The Hard Lessons or Tiny Steps? You may soon. Live on the edge and hear them here first. 1254 Michigan Ave.; 313-961-4668, www.lagerhousedetroit.com.

76 Do the Rouge 

Since Ford Motor Co. threw open the doors of the modernized Rouge Factory in Dearborn, more than 200,000 have flocked to what was once the world's largest industrial complex - and is still cranking out vehicles. Watch F-150s roll down the assembly line, check out eco-friendly factory features such as the "living roof" and learn Motor City history. 313-982-6001, www.hfmgv.org.

77 Get Kicks with the Rockettes 

New York imports rarely fly in Motown, but the Rockettes of Radio City fame have kicked conventional wisdom. In the eight years since the Christmas Spectacular arrived at the Fox, it's become a holiday tradition. So maybe a stunning cast with great legs made folks take a good long look, but it's the story lines, terrific production and - holy cow - real animals that keep kids and families coming back for more. And yes, they are real Rockettes. Radio City has a team in NYC and others across the U.S. who perform in road shows. Keep an eye out at the grocery store; some Rockettes live in metro Detroit. www.olympiaentertainment.com.

78 Fire Up Your Appetite 

It's flaming cheese called saganaki (with the accompanying shout "Opa!") that sizzles rafters and delights Detroiters. But Greektown boils down to much more than cheese. Sample stuffed grape leaves or spinach pie at Pegasus Taverna (313-964-6800), and stop by Astoria Pastry Shop (313-963-9603) for baklava. Then try your luck at the Greektown Casino.

79 See Acres of History 

Among American history buffs,it is a well-known fact: To see the greatest single collection of U.S. history, go to Dearborn. From the Rosa Parks bus to J.F.K.'s limousine to the chair in which Lincoln was assassinated, you'll find many of the nation's most important artifacts in The Henry Ford Museum. The transportation collection alone will leave your head spinning. 20900 Oakwood Blvd.; 313-982-6001, www.hfmgv.org.

80 Have an Appetizing Adventure 

Home to the largest population of Middle Easterners outside the Middle East, metro Detroit also claims America's best selection of food from the region. For an out-of-this-world culinary adventure, La Shish (313-441-2900), with its 14 area locations, is a mandatory stop. Spend the rest of your time on Warren Avenue in Dearborn sampling from spots including Al-Ameer (313-582-8185), Amani's (313-584-1888), Cedarland (313-582-4849) and Tuhamas (313-581-0714). Get dessert at the New Yasmeen Bakery (313-582-6035) or Afrah Bakery (313-582-7878).

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