Summer is a time for having adventures, and there are plenty to be had in the Detroit area. You may be thinking, “Well, I’ve already been to Comerica Park and the DIA and Bucharest Grill and Belle Isle, so really, what else is there for me to do in Detroit?”
Think outside the box, that’s what! I think you’d be surprised to learn how many unusual, fun and under the radar activities the Metro Detroit area has to offer. Whether you’re looking to take a fun and remarkable tour or you just want a new activity to try, keep the following in mind:
André’s Carriage Tours, LLC. allows you to see Detroit from a whole new perspective. Hitch a ride on an old world carriage and take a spin around the city. Your carriage attendant will be decked out in a full white-tailed tuxedo, complete with hat, gloves, shoes and cane. They don’t mess around with authenticity here!
André’s carriages are neither horse drawn nor operated with gasoline. They’re the only ones in the world to be completely electrically powered with zero emissions. Your tour around the city will be in no way harmful to the environment! For a quote, visit the official website.
Detroit Segways, headquartered at 100 Renaissance Center, Detroit, offers two different guided tours that allow you to see the city with fresh eyes. The Lower Downtown is offered at 10 a.m. in July and August on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and includes sites like the Guardian Building, Downtown Library and Bricktown.
The Upper Downtown tour is held at the same time in July and August on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, and covers Woodward to Campus Martius Park, including Cliff Bell’s, Comerica Park, Greektown and more.
Segway rentals are available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Garden tours are a great way to spend a summer afternoon because a) you get to spend time outdoors and b) you get to look at pretty things. Matthaei Botanical Gardens at the University of Michigan (go green!) offer walking tours throughout the summer. Try the Herb Garden Walking Tour on Monday, July 7 at 7 p.m. During the two-hour tour, you’ll be able to go through the Alexandra Hicks Herb Knot Garden, which is at its peak during July. Check out the Matthaei calendar, because there are plenty of other garden tours as well.
If you attend one such garden tour and find yourself fancying the idea, you might enjoy the 7th Annual Garden Cruise, presented by Detroit Garden Works, taking place on Sunday, July 20. The idea is that each participant will receive a ticket with addresses and maps to each garden, and from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., he or she is welcome to view each garden in whichever order they choose. It’s sort of a garden crawl, if you will. Tour tickets cost $35/person, and tour with evening cocktail reception held at Detroit Garden Works costs $50/person.
If a tour isn’t your idea of a good time, you might enjoy an activity of sorts. How about featherbowling?
Cadieux Café, 4300 Cadieux Rd., Detroit, is the only featherbowling establishment in the United States, and we’re lucky enough to have it in our own backyard. The idea is, you and your teammates are in a trench of sorts, and you roll six cheese-wheel shaped wooden pieces down the lane, trying to get them as close as possible to a feather sticking out of the ground. If this sounds at all confusing, which it probably does, direct yourself to the café’s website, where you can watch a video to give yourself a visual to go along with that description.
Lanes are open for public rental, and if you and your pals really enjoy it, you can form a featherbowling league!
Fowling is another hybrid sport that you may not be familiar with. However, if you can bowl and/or throw a football, you’ll do just fine with the sport of fowling, as it is a combination of the two. At Hamtramck’s Fowling Warehouse, the goal is to knock down all 10 of your opponent’s pins by tossing a football at them. If you’ve ever played cornhole at a tailgate, you can get your fowling on. The sport was invented in Detroit, so you’ll be a natural!
For more details on the rules and pricing, check out Fowling Warehouse’s Facebook page.
If you’re someone who likes to be spooked all year round, and not just in October, you might want to partake in a ghost hunt investigation with the Motor City Ghost Hunters. While the organization is based in Dearborn Heights, its members investigate creepy happenings all throughout the area. And you can, too!
The MCGH hosts public events where attendees can hunt Casper right alongside the organization’s members. Upcoming adventures include a Flat Rock Historical Village Ghost Hunt on Saturday, July 12, which costs $40 for adults 18 and over—who need to sign a release form. Hunt at your own risk! And in case you missed it, I tagged along on an investigation with the Motor City Ghost Hunters last spring, all in the name of journalism.
Do yourself a favor and keep all of the above tours and activities in mind the next time you find yourself looking for something fun and unusual to do in the Metro Detroit area. Sometimes all you need to do is think outside of the box!