DETROIT (CBS Detroit) There are so many things to do on Labor Day weekend in metro Detroit — consider Ford Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal Oak, the Hamtramck “Blue Collar” Labor Day festival, and the Romeo Peach Festival, just to name a few.
But there’s also something a little off the beaten path to consider: your nearest metropark.
Huron-Clinton Metroparks has a bevy of events for people of all ages to kick back and celebrate the end of all labor — at least for the day.  With more than 25,000 scenic acres among 13 metroparks in the five-county region, Labor Day weekend is an excellent time to go for a hike, enjoy a picnic, hit the beach or take one last dip in the pool.
Some facilities are free with park admission, and many facility fees cost less than $20 for a family of four, with twilight rates offering even more savings. Boaters will have quick access to the water using the multiple-lane boat launches at Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie Metroparks, and can also enjoy the parks’ amenities, including picnic areas and swimming.Want to sleep under the stars?  Camp close to home Lower Huron Metropark’s Walnut Grove Campground and Stony Creek Metropark’s Ridgewood Campground. Walnut Grove is open daily through mid-October, and Ridgewood has two special camping weekends left, Aug 31 – Sept 3 and October 12 – 14. Reservations are recommended and camping fees apply at both facilities. Call Lower Huron at 734-697-9181 or Stony Creek at 586-781-4242.

All Interpretive Centers (nature, farm, historic and environmental) are open for the holiday weekend.  Put a little wild in your holiday weekend:

  • Explore miles of foot trails while looking for wildlife in the nature study areas.  Watch the turtles, amphibians or fish on display at the nature centers. Visit the animals at the farm centers at Wolcott Mill and Kensington Metroparks, or go back in time with a visit to Wolcott Mill Historic Center. All free with park admission.
  • Discover something new at one of the interpretive programs offered during the holiday weekend at Hudson Mills, Indian Springs, Kensington, Lake Erie, Oakwoods and Stony Creek, some of which are free or cost up to $4 per person.

Keep your cool at any of these facilities:

  • Splash ‘n’ Blast and Martindale Beach at Kensington Metropark, near Milford/Brighton – The Splash ‘n’ Blast (sprayground and two waterslides –  riders must be 48 inches) is open 11 am – 7 pm through Monday, September 3, weather permitting.  A family of four can play at the Splash ‘n’ Blast for $14. Fee: $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and children 2-15, children under the age of 2 are free.  Twilight rates start at 5 pm. Facilities at Martindale Beach are open daily through September 3.
  • Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center at Lower Huron Metropark, near Belleville – This facility (waterslides, lazy river, pool, dumping bucket and sprayscape) is open 11 am – 7 pm weekdays, 11 am – 8 pm weekends through September 3. Waterslide riders must be 48” tall. Admission: $8 per person 48” and taller, $6 per person under 48”, free for children under 30”, plus a twilight rate of $5 per person after 5 pm.
  • Swimming pool, beach and Squirt Zone at Lake St. Clair Metropark, near Mt. Clemens – The pool and Squirt Zone sprayground are open 11 am – 7 pm through September 3.  The 600-foot long sandy beach on Lake St. Clair is open, without lifeguards, through September 30. Squirt Zone is free.  Pool fee:  $3 per person.  A family of four can enjoy the pool for just $12.
  • Pool at Willow Metropark, near New Boston – Kids can race together down the 10-foot high wide slide into the pool, splash in the waterjets and fountains or slam-dunk the basketball hoops.  Open weekends through September 3 from 11 am to 8 pm. The Willow Pool is closed on weekdays after August 19. At just $4 entry per person, and a $3 twilight rate, a family of four can chill for $16, even less after 5 pm.
  • Great Wave Pool, Lake Erie Metropark, in Brownstown – The wave pool is open 11 am – 8 pm weekends/holidays, and 11 am – 7 pm weekdays through September 3.  Fee:  $7 per adult, $5 per child 15 years and under and senior citizens, plus a twilight rate of $4 per person after 5 pm.  Children less than 30” tall are free.
  • Spray ‘n’ Play, Indian Springs Metropark, near White Lake – The ground sprays, climbing area, chain-link fence maze and toddler play area is free with park admission.  Ground sprays will be on through September 3.
  • The Rip Slide inflatable waterslide at Eastwood Beach within Stony Creek Metropark will be open through September 3. Hours of operation are noon – 7 pm weekdays and 11 am – 7 pm weekends.  The cost to use the slide is $1 per ride, $7 per hour, or $20 for the day.
  • Beaches at Stony Creek Metropark, Washington Township/Rochester – Baypoint and Eastwood Beaches are open through September 30, swim at your own risk.

In addition to these facilities, regulation golf courses are open at Lake Erie, Stony Creek, Indian Springs, Kensington, Huron Meadows, Hudson Mills, Willow and Wolcott Mill Metroparks.  Par-3 courses are available at Lake St. Clair and Lower Huron Metroparks. Weekend golf rates are in effect on Labor Day.  Call 1-800-23-GOLF-4 for tee times.  A limited number of picnic shelters can still be reserved for gatherings of friends or family at most of the parks during Labor Day Weekend.

A vehicle entry permit is required to enter any Metropark and is only $25 annually for regular admission, $15 annually for seniors, or $5 daily.  General information can be found at or by calling 1-800-47-PARKS.


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