Pure Michigan Indoor Fun

Spring is just around the corner, but there’s still that lingering chance of chilly days where you’d rather stay inside. We all know there are tons of fun things to do outside in Pure Michigan, but there are also great places to go for some indoor fun throughout the state.

We’ve put together a roundup of just some of Michigan’s best things to do indoors below.


A visit to Michigan’s art, science and history museums can be a great way to spend the day, and with over 400 museums in Michigan one may be closer than you think. There is also plenty of variety in the types of museums across the state. Many areas have local history museums like the Marquette Regional History Center/Marquette County History Museum that showcases the Marquette area’s rich history. Children’s museums like the Grand Rapids’ Childrens Museum are educational but also hands-on, which can be fun for both children and their parents. The Motown Historical Museum located in Detroit is devoted to the legendary music that was started right in “Hitsville USA,” where the museum is located. Also in Detroit is the world class Detroit Institute of Arts, which features over 100 galleries with art from ancient to modern times. And we can’t leave off The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn – America’s greatest history attraction and the #1 cultural vacation destination in Michigan.

Indoor Water Parks

With a number of exciting indoor water parks right here in our state, there’s no need to travel far for some fun! Whether it’s a day trip or a full weekend getaway, nothing brings families closer together than a Pure Michigan water park adventure. Just a few of the indoor waterparks in Michigan include the Fairview Beachfront Inn & Waterpark in Mackinaw City, The Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City and Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark in Frankenmuth.


Photo credit: John Robert Williams

Catching a flick is a great way to spend the day, and there are many movie theaters around Michigan to choose from. If heading to the normal theater isn’t your thing, Michigan is home to several classic movie houses that aren’t your normal cinema. The State Theatre in Traverse City was originally built in 1918 and rebuilt in 1923 after a fire. It showed the first talking movie seen in Northern Michigan in 1929 when it was known as the Lyric Theatre. Now it is home to the Traverse City Film Festival and is open year round showing art house films. The Redford Theatre is Detroit was opened in 1928 and shows “classic movies the way they were meant to be seen,” accompanied by organ and all. 

For more ideas, visit michigan.org. Where’s your favorite place to visit for a day of indoor fun?

What To Do in Detroit While at The Auto Show 2012

The 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) officially opens to the public tomorrow, January 14th and runs through January 22nd. If you’re heading down to the show, make a day of it and enjoy what Detroit has to offer. Here are a few activities to check out in the city.

Explore over one-hundred galleries at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), the country’s fifth-largest fine arts museum. Several exhibitions are currently taking place, including Detroit Revealed: Photographs 2000-2010, where contemporary artists present photographs and video inspired by the city of Detroit and its people.

Visit the skating rink at Campus Martius Park, “Detroit’s town square,” for some winter fun! The skating rink is open every day of the week for people of all ages. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, enjoy the open fire, where you can purchase S’more kits at the Arctic Zone for your roasting pleasure.

Stop by Pewabic Pottery, a national historic landmark where the unique art form was developed in 1903. The pottery houses a museum, gallery of contemporary pottery, learning center and gift shop.

Score tickets to Green Day’s American Idiot, now playing at the Detroit Opera House. This award-winning musical tells the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia.

See why visitors from near and far rave about the barbecue at Slows Bar BQ in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood. Beyond barbecue ribs, pulled pork, several sandwiches and a variety of comfort food side dishes, Slows also serves a selection of Michigan wine and beers.

Nothing says “Detroit” like a Coney dog! Try one at the legendary American Coney Island, then head next door to Lafayette Coney Island to see how they compare.

Try your luck at one of Detroit’s casinos including MotorCity Casino and Hotel, Greektown Casino-Hotel and MGM Grand Detroit. Beyond luxurious hotel accommodations, each features celebrity chef restaurants, spas, nightlife and 24-hour gaming.

For more ideas on things to do in the Detroit area, visit www.michigan.org.

Time to Do The D

It’s time to “Do The D,” according to Inside Detroit—this downtown welcome center offers tours that can be tailored to any interest, including African American history, churches, architecture and pub crawls. Tina Lassen, a contributing writer for Michigan Travel Ideas, writes about her tour that inspired Motown Remastered, a feature in this year’s guide.

Flickr photo credit - MI Travel

Campus Martius

Our tour starts in Campus Martius Park (less than two blocks from Inside Detroit’s headquarters) on Woodward Avenue. This green space sports plenty of cafe tables and chairs—popular with the lunchtime crowd—and a stage for musical entertainment. Many of the buildings in the downtown area are treasures, but you wouldn’t necessarily realize that from walking past. The Guardian Building, on Griswold, between Larned and Congress, is an Art Deco marvel of tile and Tiffany glass.

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