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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

For a good time, head for The D, the Motor City



   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 24/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   For a good time, start your engine and head for Detroit, the Motor City.
   These days it can be called America’s Great Comeback City after speeding away from several years of economic woes.
   “Detroit’s restaurant scene is thriving, our museums are hosting new exhibits and new retail continues to open throughout metro Detroit,” said Larry Alexander, president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
   “We welcome our Canadian neighbors to visit Detroit and experience the comeback firsthand,” he added.
   There is plenty to see and do – as well as the popular favourite of shopping and attending sports events – throughout the area.
Checking out the latest models at the North American International Auto Show gala in Detroit. (Jim Fox photo)
   “Fall is an exciting time to be in Detroit,” said Deanna Majchrzak, the bureau’s manager of media relations.

   “There’s a wealth of autumn and holiday-themed events, the return of professional basketball, football and hockey seasons plus a new roster of fine art exhibits,” she added.

   What’s hip and happening?
   Celebrate Thanksgiving all over again, American style, with giant floats, colourful balloons and characters, marching bands and specialty acts.
   For the 89th year, America’s Thanksgiving Parade moves along Woodward Avenue on Nov. 26, watched by hundreds of thousands of people.
   There are such favourites as the Big Head Corps papier-mache heads and local leaders dressed as “distinguished clowns.”
    The next day is the infamous “Black Friday” shopping extravaganza popular at the hundreds of retailers at Somerset Collection in Troy, Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights and the Mall at Partridge Creek.
   Also check out the walkable downtowns of Birmingham and Royal Oak for specialty boutiques, gift and antique shops, and specialty retailers.

   Shark alert!
   Go nose-to-nose with sharks, stingrays and a giant Pacific octopus in interactive, engaging exhibits, including a 180-degree ocean tunnel and hands-on touch pool at the new Sea Life Michigan Aquarium.
An ocean tunnel highlights the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.
   The huge attraction at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets is an “awe-inspiring, highly themed educational journey” through an underwater world featuring more than 5,000 creatures.
   These also include jellyfish, eels, seahorses, tropical fish and species native to Michigan’s lakes and rivers.
   Speaking of critters, starting on Nov. 20 more than six-million LED lights will adorn trees, buildings and sculptures for Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo.
   There are 24 days of entertainment, arts and crafts, ice carvings, a photography exhibit and photos with Santa “Paws.”
   At the Michigan Science Center in Detroit is Toytopia, all about play and the importance of invention with some of the most iconic toys including a giant LEGO wall, life-sized doll house, classic arcade games and an over-sized Etch-a-Sketch.
Checking out the latest rides at the auto show (Jim Fox photo)
   Kids big and small can experience the real-life factory floor where the F-150 pickup truck is made during the “newly reimagined” Ford Rouge Factory Tour.
   Along with seeing the final stages of assembly, the tour gives a look inside the environmental sustainability of manufacturing with special theatre effects while learning about auto baron Henry Ford’s vision.
   This is a big sports town with the NFL Detroit Lions in the annual Thanksgiving Day game against the Philadelphia Eagles, while NBA’s Detroit Pistons’ home-opener against the Brooklyn Nets is Nov. 1.
   Stanley Cup champs, the Detroit Red Wings, play their last season at Joe Louis Arena before relocating to their new home in Detroit’s entertainment district .
   Getting ready for the “holiday season,” the Fox Theatre presents Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical on Nov. 10 and other shows throughout December.
Model T rides are offered through Greenfield Village during Holiday Nights. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Step into a Christmas card from the past at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village, weekends in December.
   There are lantern-lighted paths, costumed presenters, horse-drawn wagons and Model T rides as well as Santa with live reindeer and evening fireworks.
   Fitting for the Motor City is the famed century-old North American International Auto Show with all the latest in automotive offerings from Jan. 11 to 24 at the lavishly renovated Cobo Center.

   If you go:
   To plan a Metro Detroit getaway: visitdetroit.com; 1-800-DETROIT
   Save 20 per cent or more on attractions with the D Discount Pass available at visitdetroit.com/discount

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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