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Ice Skating, Getting Hands-On, Thanksgiving Day in Detroit, Family Sundays, and the Marquis Theatre

Ice Skating at Campus Martius Park
Opening this month, the Rink at Campus Martius Park is Detroit’s answer to Rockefeller Center. Located in the heart of downtown, the rink sits square (or oblong, in this case) in the median of Campus Martius, adjacent to the Compuware Building. With the scrumptious Fountain Bistro cafe there, too, make it a double treat with some hot cocoa and yummy coffee cake (from Detroit’s own Avalon Bakery) aprês skate.
Pre-season Rink Opening:
Nov. 12: 5 p.m. – midnight
Nov. 13: 10 a.m. – midnight
Nov. 14: noon – 8 p.m.
Official Opening Day:
Nov. 19: 9 p.m. – midnight
Winter Season Hours (Nov. 20-Jan. 2, 2011):
Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Friday, 11 a.m.–midnight
Saturday, 10 a.m.–midnight
Sunday, noon–8 p.m.
Fee Schedule:
Adults: $7 (ages 13-49)
Children: $6 (12 and under)
Seniors: $6 (50 and up)
Skate Rental: $3
Shoe Check (available for people with their own skates): $2
Skate Sharpening: $10
(313) 963-9393;

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
Like its mission statement says, “Science is for everyone!” We love this interactive museum. A place to whet your kids’ curiosity for math, science and technology, the venue is small enough to not feel overwhelming, yet offers scores of activities to guarantee hours of fun for kids.
Museum Hours:
Monday–Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday: noon–5 p.m.
Rise and Shine Time: opens early every Tuesday at 9 a.m.
Ages 2 and Up: $9; Under 2: Free
220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104; (734) 995-5439;

Thanksgiving Day in Downtown Detroit
84th Annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade
It’s a one-shot deal every year — the Thanksgiving Parade — and it’s something everyone should go check out. We mean, who doesn’t love a parade? Held each year on Thanksgiving, the parade is one of Detroit’s few storied traditions that transcends the Eight Mile and Eastside-Westside divides.
And, while we sympathize with your aversion to traffic jams, parking and other related annoyances, the kids will go batty with gratitude! (And, if you haven’t seen it in person, you will, too.)
This year’s theme: “Celebrate the Spirit.”
The parade kicks off at 9:20 a.m., at the intersection of Woodward and Mack, concluding at Woodward and Congress, downtown, on Thursday, Nov. 25. Hundreds of thousands of revelers will be watching as the floats, bands and color guards make their way down Detroit’s most famous avenue.
Find your own spot to stand or sit on the curb; or be a macher and purchase Grandstand seats. For more information, go to the Parade Company website at
Meet & Greet with Parade Characters
Grand Circus Park: 7 a.m.–noon
At Parade Plaza, bring the kids to this free event along the parade route to meet and greet parade characters like Clownie, Victor the Highpower Tower, Michigan State University’s Sparty and more. You know you’ll be a hero to your kids if you make this extra effort.
Turkey Trot
For the zealous Thanksgiving Day riser — (and who doesn’t want to get up extra early on a day off?) — consider participating in the 28th annual Turkey Trot, sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. Whether you’re an overachiever (10 km), laudable effort maker (5 km) or leisurely stroller (Mash Potato Mile-One Mile Fun Run/Walk, beginning at 7:30 a.m. and fun for kids 12 and under), you may as well make the most of your trek into the city.
For more information (including individual start times and fee information) and registration, go to the Parade Company website at

Family Sundays at the Detroit Institute of Arts
An old standard for us at Red Thread, we knew this was a “must share” with readers. There is something awe-inspiring about the DIA (it probably has something to do with the art collections); even the youngest kids recognize the special place that is Detroit’s cultural heart.
Every Sunday, the museum plays host to a variety of family-oriented performances, storytelling, art-making workshops and more.
Free with museum admission, children 12 and under (accompanied by an adult) get to be the artist at the drop-in workshops, held in the DIA loggia student lunch area at the John R entrance.
DIA Hours of Operation:
Wednesday-Thursday: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Fee Schedule:
Adults: $8; Seniors: $6; Youth (ages 6–17): $4
Children (ages 5 and under): Free
Members: Free
5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit, Michigan 48202; (313) 833-7900;

Northville’s Historic Marquis Theatre
Live theater is a unique experience that should not be the exclusive purview of adults. The Marquis Theatre in downtown Northville has been playing to diminutive audiences for more than 30 years, and beginning the weekend of Nov. 13-14 will open its winter performance of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, and popularized by kiddie impresario Walt Disney, the story of a young woman whose natural beauty forces her to flee into the forest, or risk death at the hands of her evil stepmother, is a classic tale for kids of all ages (and their parents, too).
Performances are every Saturday and Sunday, running through the last weekend in January 2011. The curtain rises at 2:30 p.m. The theater also has scheduled a select few weekday performances at the end of the year, Monday-Thursday, Dec. 27-30, when the curtain also rises at 2:30 p.m.
$8.50 each
(The theater kindly requests no children under age 3 attend.)
135 E. Main St., Northville, MI 48167; (248) 339-8110;



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