The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History showcases a wealth of knowledge about the living world with focus on anthropology, zoology, and paleontology. On the Museum's second floor, the hall of evolution houses fossils and dioramas of dinosaurs, prehistoric whales, and mastodons. On the third and fourth floors, a wildlife gallery explores Michigan's native flora and fauna through taxidermy mounts and habitat scenes, anthropology displays feature archeological finds from around the world, and geology exhibits highlight colorful amethyst clusters and sparkling pyrite crystals. The butterfly garden provides a living example of the natural world. Its 55 herbaceous perennials—including goldenrod, black-eyed Susan and spicebush—attract butterflies through all four of their life stages, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to fully grown winged beauties.
Extending its reach beyond the galaxy, the Museum's recently renovated planetarium projects the night sky on a dome. Sitting under the curved screen, visitors can travel to the most distant reaches of the universe. As part of its efforts to get families involved in hands-on learning, the Museum also runs weekend demonstrations, leads dinosaur tours, and partners with local libraries for its family reading and science program.
One hundred fifty years in the making, the permanent collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Art now totals more than 19,000 pieces. Displayed throughout the museum's galleries, those collected masterpieces include canvases by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, as well as a 1638 self-portrait by Rembrandt. Far from a narrow representation of the art world, the museum asks questions about the global nature of art by juxtaposing the aforementioned artists alongside African work, Indian bronzes, and Chinese ceramics.
After exploring the museum's permanent and special exhibitions, visitors can decompress at the DialogTable. Not only does the interactive table show guests films about the art they've seen, but it can also answer the age-old question "what is being a table like?" To supplement its exhibits, the museum hosts numerous programs and events every year, ranging from student programming and a reading series to artist talks and art-making workshops. The artistic attractions even spill through the museum doors with seven sculptures surrounding the building.
The Bogey Golf Tour grants golfers a chance to take to the links and compete against fellow amateurs in tournaments scheduled at some of the finest courses in the London, Windsor, Detroit, and Kitchener/Waterloo areas. At each event, scratch golfers compete in the Birdie division, 0–15 handicaps square off in the Par division, and 16+ handicappers trade pinpoint approaches and sequined divot tools in the Bogey division. The top five finishers in each division receive prize money—which can be paid out in gift certificates or cash—and the Tour also holds prize competitions for longest drive, closest to the pin, and 3-iron jousting. The Tour publishes the results from each tournament in local newspapers, and players can chart the peaks and valleys of their careers on the Tour Members list, which compiles all of their tournament results. Along with providing an outlet for amateur golfers to exercise their long-suppressed competitive side, the Tour and its sponsors have raised $74,000 for various area charities since 2003.
Named one of the city's best cultural museums by CBS Detroit, the Holocaust Memorial Center is among America’s first Holocaust museums. For more than 25 years, the HMC has memorialized the senseless murder of millions, promoting tolerance while sending out a call to action to prevent future discrimination, hate crimes, bullying, and genocide by keeping alive the memory of the Holocaust and the lives it claimed.
Starting near the museum's lobby, an illustrated timeline tracing 4,000 years of Jewish history leads into The Museum of European Jewish Heritage, which highlights Judaism through artifacts and displays. From there, a ramp descending beyond a 22-foot window display of Nazi propaganda leads into an exhibit on The Final Solution. Here, displays and audiovisual installations usher visitors toward the Survivors' Theater, where live presentations by Detroit-area survivors illuminate the atrocities' personal costs. Daily tours are led by the museum's caring, expert educators, who guide guests through the exhibits while encouraging them to internalize the lessons for use in their own lives.
New to the museum is the Weisberg Gallery, where a Holocaust-era boxcar stands as a reminder of the scale of the period's atrocities. The museum also welcomes traveling exhibits such as Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow, a collection depicting the story of Jewish professors fleeing Nazism and finding teaching positions at historically black universities. The exhibit explores the encounter between these scholars and their students, the impact the relationships had on one another, and the effect on the Civil Rights Movement and American society.
Post-war exhibits cover the Nuremberg Trials, honor the righteous individuals who risked their lives to resist the Nazis or save Jewish lives during the war, and pay homage to those who perished with a memorial flame. The museum also houses a well-stocked library, where guests can research their genealogy with materials dedicated to European Jewish history. Beyond its core exhibits, the HMC hosts special exhibits encompassing photographs, art, and history, in addition to sending survivors to speaking engagements throughout the city and hosting the Kindertransport Memory Quilt, whose patches represent the experiences of Jewish youth rescued from Eastern Europe.
Marvin Yagoda, the owner of Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, has amassed mechanical oddities and coin-operated machines since 1960 and regularly updates his collection of curiosities with new additions. A champion of all things outlandish, Marvin ensures that no nook or cranny in the 5,000-square-foot space remains unembellished with treasures such as P.T. Barnum's famous Cardiff Giant, as featured in RoadsideAmerica.com, or the AutoWed, America's first and only coin-operated wedding-ring dispenser for on-the-fly unions, replete with wedding music and an AutoDivorce voucher. Rafters atop 40-foot ceilings anchor low-flying model planes, and walls cloak themselves in vintage photos and pictures. Modern machines mingle with antique contraptions, whose old-timey noises and quaint images whisk visitors away to days of yore as effectively as a coal-powered wormhole.
A concession stand ensures that players remain sated and hydrated, and a prize shop enables guests to trade in their hard-earned game tickets for rewards such as figurines, toys, and yacht cruises with the Pac-Man family. To share its quarter-munching contraptions with as many visitors as possible, the museum remains open 365 days a year and offers free admission.