The Social Connection scans the cultural horizons of Detroit and plots to add an extra dose of fun to all it has to offer. One example: Gears and Beers Tours take participants around the city's bars and historic neighborhoods. For more than a decade, The Social Connection has been putting together viewing parties all across the city, in glamorous spots such as chartered yachts, rather than just in houses with their roofs sawed off. The other 364 days of the year, the team stays just as busy putting together network-expanding events such as dinner parties, pub crawls, and craft-liquor tastings.
SemSeg's Segway experts equip urban explorers to cruise through Detroit at up to 12.5 miles per hour during self-guided tours. A brief orientation covers proper techniques for turning, stopping, and impromptu jousting. Then, motorists hop aboard scooters and travel up to 24 miles on a single charge. The long battery life allows motorists to cruise down the Riverfront, circle 14-acre Hart Plaza, and crisscross the Rivard Plaza in a single trip. Though SemSeg encourages DIY tours, their guides lead weekend tours through downtown and down the Riverwalk.
The Detroit River's international waters stretch out for miles in either direction, winding along the Detroit skyline and kissing the Canadian border. As ships snake their way through the current, they pass lighthouses on small green islands, bridges stretched across overhead, and workers milling about on the riverside docks. Building on 20 years of boating, the captains of the Diamond Jack, Diamond Belle, and Diamond Queen let passengers take in these sights to the tune of guided narration as their ships' white and sea-foam green hulls slice through the water. The three ships have proven impervious to squalls and Poseidon's road-construction crews since their maiden voyages in the mid- to late 1950s, and safely gather up to 250 passengers on their panoramic upper decks or in protected lower cabins. Today, passengers on these storied steel decks can sip beer, wine, and soft drinks or nibble on snacks from an on-board snack bar during tours. Captains also pilot each ship on private group excursions, as well as school field trips past the river's ships, yacht clubs, parks, and docks.
Through public science forums and more than 200 interactive exhibits, Canada South Science City hopes to foster an excitement for science that helps families understand their relationship to the universe and inspire children to work towards Science-based careers. The 30,000-square-foot facility houses attractions such as Dinosaur Alley, where a model T-Rex skeleton looms as kids dig for prehistoric bones and fossilized cassette tapes. Live snakes, turtles, and tree frogs send a symphony of hisses and warbles from the Big Lagoon, an exhibit that offers up fun facts about biodiversity. Elsewhere, models of Jupiter and Saturn overhang an open-gym area that demonstrates the properties of sound and space.
Canada South Science City also hosts special events including science panel discussions and educational programs for students. These include workshops that challenge kids to solve problems, such as keeping a dropped egg from breaking or a black hole from opening in their lunchbox.
Regardless of which tour you crawl along with, you'll be traveling under the flapping jaw and friendly wings of a veteran Inside Detroit guide. Along the way, your guide will help arrange personal time with each bar's staff and pull a few strings designed to shower you in a few complimentary surprises (complimentary surprises vary by tour and do not involve pulling shiny pennies from behind your ear). Fill your cranial cup with local Detroit history and culture while enjoying each brew house's distinct lineup of taps and tipplers. While you're at it, strike up a conversation with fellow tour goers, who may be presumed to have at least four common interests—bars, tours, stuff that is "pretty neat," and conversation.
There are a lot of things going on at Drive Table Tennis Social Club, but it all works toward the same goal: make people happy. Founded in 2012, the club now resides inside the famous Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit. Here, strangers become friends while racking up points during games of table tennis, munching on snacks, and sipping on specialty wines and beers. Music also pumps through the club's speakers, making it impossible for opponents to hear your embarrassing grunts.