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Five Things Your Kids Will Love This Month

There are seriously spectacular water parks aplenty within only an hour’s drive from Metro Detroit. Here are two of our favorites:

Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center Two water slides, a lazy river, a Spray-scape with a 300-gallon dumping bucket and a zero-depth-entry pool make this water park, part of the Lower Huron Metroparks, a fan favorite. The on-site Turtle Cove Grille gives easy access to snacks. Open through Labor Day, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and holidays. Call for rates. 17845 Savage Road, Belleville. (734) 697-9181;

Red Oaks Waterpark Voted “Best Michigan Waterpark” last year by Daily Tribune readers as well as winner of the 2010 Gold International Aquatic Safety Award, Red Oaks features a wave pool and triple-flume waterslide, plus SplashTown with Soak Station water playground, River Ride tubing adventure, Spray ’n Play for little splashers and plenty of picnic space. Open through Labor Day, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday; Weekends: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Call for rates. 1455 E. 13 Mile Road, Madison Heights. (248) 858-0918.

Venues around town are picking up on local parents’ longing for this favorite activity of their days of yore, and now we can share the retro magic with our progeny. Find first-run, family-friendly features like Rio, Kung Fu Panda 2 and more at these hot spots:

Compuware Arena Drive-In Movie Theatres Housed in Compuware Arena’s parking lot, it offers three screens, every night through Sunday, Sept. 4. Try Dinner & Movie (entree, drink and double-feature on the on-site CJ’s Brewing Co.’s patio), pizza delivered to your car or treats at the full-service concession stand. 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m.$9/adults, $6/kids 4-12, free/kids 3 and under (all tickets are double features). 14900 Beck Road, Plymouth. (737) 927-3284;

Silverdome Drive-In Three screens show double features through Tuesday, Sept. 6. Concession offers nachos, popcorn and more. Gates open 8 p.m. $8/adults, $6/children. 1200 Featherstone Road, Pontiac. (248) 630-7013;

Ever dream of joining the circus (if it weren’t for the carnies)? Here’s your big chance — for a day, anyway. The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) presents its second Family Day event of the summer, Wildly Circusly Times. Learn aerial tricks from Detroit Flyhouse Circus School, become a pro hula-hooper with Audacious Hoops, rock out to old-time favorites performed by the Kent County String Band and much more.

Noon-4 p.m. Sunday, July 15. Admission is free and all ages are welcome. MOCAD, 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit. (313) 832-6622;

Take a guided tour of the Grosse Pointe lakefront Edsel & Eleanor Ford House (where the only child of Henry and Clara Ford and the niece of J.L. Hudson raised their own four children). Designed by Albert Kahn to resemble a cluster of Cotswold village cottages, with all the modern amenities of 1930s style (see the built-in radio in the Boys’ Sitting Room), the home is surrounded by lush grounds designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen. (Before you go, download the Ford House app free on iTunes for a guided tour of the grounds and a look at historic photos and home movies.)

The kids will love the 2/3-scale Tudor-style playhouse on the grounds, built in 1930 for Josephine Ford’s seventh birthday. Break for lunch at the Cotswold Cafe — and from July 16-Sept. 18, visit the exhibition Fairy Tale Art, displaying 59 original illustrations from well-loved classic fairy tales. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday. $5-$12. 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores. (313) 884-4222;

Pack a picnic, grab a blanket and take in some family-friendly slapstick in the midst of Royal Oak’s tree-filled 28-acre Starr-Jaycee Park with The Commedia Aladdin. Rounding out Water Works Theatre Co.’s 11th annual outdoor Shakespeare in the Park festival, Lane Riosley’s version of Aladdin offers laugh-out-loud commedia dell’arte antics and larger-than-life props and costumes.

7 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. Saturday-Sunday, July 29-Aug. 7. $6. Water Works Theatre Co. at the Starr-Jaycee Park, 13 Mile Road, east of Crooks, Royal Oak. (248) 399-3727;



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