As the sun rises and sets on the shore of Lake St. Clair, it illuminates a historic mansion surrounded by 87 acres of gardens, meadows, and lagoons. The light catches the elm and sugar maple trees, blue lilacs, and other local florae, treating guests to the same idyllic views that Edsel Ford—the only son of Henry Ford—used to enjoy with his wife, Eleanor Clay Ford, and their children. Built in 1929 and now open to the general public, this historic house and its surrounding grounds give visitors a glimpse into the everyday lives of one of America's most prominent families.
Edsel and Eleanor Ford were renowned for their progressive design tastes and support of the arts, and these forward-thinking sensibilities are readily apparent throughout their Gaukler Point home. Detroit architect Albert Kahn chose to characterize it as a cozy escape from city life by recreating the aesthetic of a Cotswold village cottage, complete with stone roofs, vine-covered walls, and lead-paned windows. But the Ford's decidedly modern style is still visible—for every antique and stuffed and mounted Model T, guests can also spot the sleek, custom-made furnishings and leather-paneled walls recommended by interior designer Walter Teague. The acres outside those walls were shaped with equal care by renowned landscape architect Jens Jensen, who chose to accentuate the area's natural beauty without giving any indication of manmade interference.
Of course, the Ford House would be incomplete without the invention that made the Ford name—the automobile. Reflecting that legacy and Edsel's own passion for designing vehicles, the garage houses a 1934 Brewster Town Car, a 1938 Lincoln K Brunn Brougham, and a 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet, each of which was customized to Edsel's specifications. The crown jewel of the exhibited collection—when it is not being displayed at car shows and museums across the country—is Edsel's treasured 1934 Model 40 Special Speedster, a vehicle that he personally spent years conceptualizing and then refining into a sleek, aluminum-bodied roadster.
The buttery smell of freshly popped corn, the waves of excited whispers, and the dimming of the lights blend into a sensory symphony of anticipation before each film at Lakeshore Cinemas. Then the darkness settles and the screen lights up in silver, bathing awestruck audiences in the 2-D and 3-D sights of first-run blockbusters whose actors have just been taken out of their packaging. Yet despite its lengthy roster of recently released flicks, Lakeshore still embraces old favourites. Occasionally the screens pay homage to the history of film by showing classics. The theatre also steps up its celebratory power for birthday bashes that dish up pizza in a party room or entice gamers with Xbox game play on an auditorium’s massive screen.
Housed in an open, peaceful space, Serendipity Yoga offers a variety of classes for yoga enthusiasts or for those hoping to increase flexibility without the negative back talk of a medieval stretcher. Vinyasa classes focus on the inhalation of oxygen with each movement, creating a coordinated dance between breathing and posing. Traditional ashtanga yoga enhances concentration and calm with a series of linked postures, whereas hot vinyasa yoga places students in a heated room to release toxins, increase flexibility, and keep ice-cream trucks in business all winter long. Because there are no prerequisites for any of Serendipity's classes, the expert instructors will tailor each movement to the individual student's level. Check out the schedule for class times.
C.J. Barrymore's encompasses 25 acres brimming with energetic laser tag, a vast arcade, and various other attractions for the young, young-at-heart, and young-at-spleen. With four laser-tag tickets, tyke clans ages 7 and up can simulate battle tactics through fog and pylons in 15-minute team-based matches that, much like court hearings, come enhanced by a roaring sound system and spectacular light shows (a $24 value). Meanwhile, joystick junkies can feed their 132 tokens to myriad arcade games in the neon-lit game room, including old-school favorites such as Ms. Pac-Man and the hands-on sportitude of basketball and air hockey (a $25 value). After all tokens have been spent, gamers can redeem their earnings at the prize counter, choosing from hundreds of rewards to take home, and become the envy of all the neighborhood playground pals and reclusive Peter Pans.
At Universal Lanes, digital scoreboards keep track of points as players strive for strikes in regular or glow-in-the-dark lighting. Between games, bowlers can meander over to the lounge and rack up pool balls or order pretzels, soft-serve ice cream, or pizza from the grill. They can also perch at the stone bar to sip beer while telling a tall tale about bowling a 300 with a very ripe cantaloupe.