The Dearborn Chamber of Commerce helms the annual Taste of Dearborn festival, amalgamating local eateries to dazzle townsfolk and visitors alike with culinary concoctions and lively libations. Each purchased ticket includes a map of the grounds and one wrist band that allows for unlimited access to a multitude of local grub hubs, including Crave, Bangkok 96, and Tria. Throughout the event restaurants will sling out complimentary samples as local bands treat hungry hoards to rich rhythms and scholarly lectures on Einstein's theory of close-mouthed mastication. Each eatery also serves drink specials at the cash bar for an additional cost. As an added bonus, Taste of Dearborn provides free gas-powered transportation to and from participating snack stations, saving guests the hassle of learning how to quantum leap.
The Haunted Kingdom sprawls across 65,000 square feet, with DJs, fortunetellers, and local celebrities shambling about an eye-defying dance floor flush with thousands of revelers dressed in their best getups. Lights pulse to body-shaking bass as silk dancers twist like spiders from the ceiling above dramatically lit skeletons.
It's dark within Scare House Windsor, and visitors never quite know what lurks down the next hallway or within the next room. A maniacal clown might elicit screams, or a madman may wield his chainsaw until he's offered a job as a lumberjack. Or maybe visitors will run into Shawn Lippert, one of Scare House Windsor's sinister creators. Along with a band of volunteers, Mr. Lippert has crammed horror into every inch of the 20,000-square-foot haunted house, which has become an annual Halloween staple. Mr. Lippert's creation is so authentically spine-tingling, in fact, that he's using it as the setting for a horror film of the same name.
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.
Preservation Detroit, founded in 1975, is Detroit's oldest group dedicated to historic preservation. Over the past three decades, the architectural preservation organization has become a leading advocate for the protection and rehabilitation of Detroit's historic abodes, skyscrapers, and culturally rich sites. They have used a variety of educational and research programs, along with advocacy and awareness campaigns to help grow support for the conservation Detroit's built heritage. Part of this mission includes encouraging the redevelopment of neighborhoods throughout the city around these historic structures, providing an anchor for residential areas and helping increase economic investment.
An all-volunteer organization, Preservation Detroit's staff continues to nurture their community's passion for historical treasures through lectures, seasonal newsletters, and tours. The organization continues to live up to its name; in addition to advocating for preservation of historic buildings and sites, Preservation Detroit recently undertook the digitalization of its archives, ensuring that the rich collection will be around to educate future generations.
Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams—comprised of at least two people—vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race–style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.
Droves of Segways meander past historic homes, factories, and miles of parks during Seg Adventures's Plymouth Area tours. On the list of sites to see is the Wilcox House, whose scandalous history is revealed during guided tours. Segway riders can free roam as well, exploring the city's attractions, markets, and public restrooms with a self-guided tour that lasts 60 minutes. Free roam sites include the Daisy Air Rifle–headquarters or the Alter Motor Car–factory.