Cirque D’Or, Green Street Fair and a Family Hootenanny…
This is not your run-of-the-mill, daring young man on the flying trapeze-kind of show: The Golden Dragon Acrobats, representing the best of a tradition dating back more than 25 centuries, scale poles, spin umbrellas with their feet, build human pyramids on moving bicycles and more; there are only two performances of Cirque D’Or at the Meadow Brook Music Festival.
Combining award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance and spectacular costumes — for an edge-of-your-seat performance of spellbinding skill and beauty — the Golden Dragon Acrobats are in their 32nd year of continuous touring and made their sold-out Broadway debut to adoring families in 2005. $17-$22. 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 28. Meadow Brook Music Festival, 6 Championship Drive, Auburn Hills. (800) 745-3000; palacenet.com.
Detroiters, get your wig on! For its third year, the Detroit Wig Out (held April 30, at the Magic Stick Lounge) lets charity-minded revelers don their favorite coif benefiting workshops at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.
Wait! There’s still time for your little wiggies to strut their colors, too, from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, May 1, for a Wig Out Family Hootenanny at the Garden Bowl in the Majestic Theatre complex. Live music by local family favorites Mr. Seley, the Aprons and Academy of Music Performance, plus a musical instrument demo; bowling; arts and crafts provided by MOCAD; and, of course, super-fun wig-wearing. $10/adults; kids are free. Garden Bowl at the Majestic Theatre, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. mocadetroit.org; detroitwigout.com.
It’s been more than 65 years since the Island of Sodor — the fictional home to a group of anthropomorphized railway cars and their ilk — began capturing the imagination of children in The Railway Series; and from that collection of stories came Thomas the Tank Engine. Oh, Thomas! For three Saturdays and Sundays only, April 30-May 1, May 7-8 and May 14-15, Thomas, Sir Topham Hatt and the rest of the Sodor-ites will call Greenfield Village their home, offering rides around the village, storytelling, live music, arts and crafts, shopping and more at Day Out With Thomas. (Trains leave every half hour from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; $11.75-$33.75.) Reservations and tickets for all events are required. Greenfield Village, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn. (313) 982-6001; thehenryford.org.
GREEN STREET FAIR
Get your family’s carbon footprint to downtown Plymouth on May 6-8 for the fourth annual Green Street Fair to enjoy some family-friendly fun; and, since you’re there, educate and inform yourself about the benefits of green, organic and eco-friendly products and services. Enjoy performances by the “Pickle Boys,” who will give the gherkin-ders in the crowd a lesson in homemade instruments out of recyclable materials — craft a canjo, a Mom’s Day maraca, a kazoo and more. Noon-7 p.m. Friday, May 6; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, May 7; noon-5 p.m. Sunday, May 8. Visit greenstreetfair.com for details and specific event times.
MATTHAEI BOTANICAL GARDENS
AND NICHOLS ARBORETUM
Created more than a century ago, the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum — just a few blocks from U-M’s central campus — today provides hundreds of secret spots for families to discover in its more than 700 acres. Bursting to life in springtime, Matthaei is rich with trails to explore. In the Gaffield Children’s Garden, designed from a kid’s-eye view, children can climb into an oversized bird nest, explore a fairy and troll knoll and dart through a maze. Enjoy monthly Sensational Nature activities and classes, like scavenger hunts; the little ones will love the Children’s Tea Party with a garden story, cookies and tea, and a wind chime and clay pot to craft (10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 14). Also not to be missed is Behind the Scenes at Matthaei, where little green thumbs can learn the secrets of the gardens (10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, May 21), $2-$5. (734) 647-7600; mbgna.umich.edu. RT