If you’re anywhere in the Mitten right now, or Midwest for that matter, you’ve probably stopped to scratch your head in wonder over the cold shoulder Mother Nature has given us the past few days. Um, this is not Pure Michigan because this rain and gray sky is Pure Torture! Icky temperatures aside, I prefer to squeeze every single ounce of summer until the last drop is gone, and unless you’re actually a polar bear or some other arctic creature, I’m sure you share that notion with me. Why don’t we revel in the last days of the season with fabulously fantastic activities that won’t burn a hole in our fake-designer wallets?
Yup, you guessed it. I’m going to recommend that you spend your cherished last days of summer fun in and around our marvelous Motor City. Just imagine all the flaming heat you could watch Verlander throw while at Comerica Park. Or you can picture yourself cheering on the Lions towards a Super Bowl victory this year (hey, let’s have faith people! If you don’t, check out St. John’s Episcopal on Woodward, where – according to their sign out front – you can pray for the Lions). Many tickets are reasonably priced and have great views, but listen to my sage, Yoda-like wisdom: avoid spending $50 at the Coney dog and beer stands.
If you prefer jungle cats that neither wear tight pants or score touchdowns and home runs, why not hit the Detroit Zoo while it’s still warm? Kids get in for just $8 and adults can check out the furry creatures for $12. For my friends that like the greener side of things and enjoy urban agriculture at its finest, the Lafayette Greens community garden is a true sight to see. Located on the recently demolished Lafayette Building, the space was transformed into a sustainable vegetable patch. What’s that you say? You don’t want to go and admire some organically grown crops and have a picnic of healthy foods there? You’ll thank me later when all has frozen over and your summer staple of locally grown produce is now being shipped from somewhere south of the Equator.
There are plenty of other things to do in Detroit - the city that hustles harder. When you get hungry, you must resist the urge to yet again order the baby back ribs at Chili’s and instead, explore the culinary cornucopia of the D. If you haven’t chosen your turf on the Detroit feud that’s as old as time, head on over to Lafayette and American Coney Islands and do a taste test that will only set you back a few bucks (my hands-down favorite is… oh, my keyboard seems to be malfunctioning and won’t let me type the correct letters. What a shame!). I’ll tell you what I do enjoy though: a nice stroll through Greektown - a great little district with an array of dining possibilities. There’s Mosaic (upscale American), Red Smoke Barbeque, PizzaPapalis, Pegasus Taverna (Greek), Fishbone’s Rhythm Kitchen Café (Creole), and much more! Since we’re talking about staying on a budget here, just avoid playing anything besides the penny slots at the casino, okay?
And the part you were waiting for, suggestions of a few great local bars and dives for the end of summer fun. While you’re in Greektown, do an Irish jig down to the Old Shillelagh. If you decided to still go in after you danced like a fool, take the few flights of stairs up to their awesome rooftop venue for a great view of Motown while enjoying their wallet-friendly pitcher specials. Another nifty hole-in-the-wall for tasty spirits is Foran’s Grand Trunk Pub, where they support the D by serving up the always delicious Faygo and preparing meals with fresh ingredients from Eastern Market! If you venture out into Midtown, be sure to visit the Bronx Bar, Motor City Brewing Works (try their own Ghettoblaster brew – I’ve never had it but I just wanted to say it for fun), and the Traffic Jam and Snug. If you want to stay on a budget while at the bar, a little shameless flirting never hurt anyone and often results in a free round. Just kidding! I would never do that…
Now, if you want to keep things completely gratis, here’s an idea I’ll kindly suggest: put the windows down (since you won’t want to be riding around like that in oh, a month or two?), blast “All Summer Long” by none other than the king of the D, Kid Rock, while taking in the gorgeous sights of the city where you can look south to our Canadian friends. Bring your last days of summer from yo town to Motown!
Stephanie Koske is a writer for Quicken Loans, an amazing place to work. Find out more about being a part of our team at Quicken Loans and learn how we Amaze our clients.