DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – Looking for something to do Friday that doesn’t involve shopping? Check this out: The doors are reopening to the new Detroit Historical Museum at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 23.
The grand opening event includes free admission and non-stop, free programming through 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25. Raffles, refreshments and giveaways will fill the weekend with family-friendly fun.
The Detroit Historical Museum is emerging from six months of construction and the completion of its first major renovations since the 1960s. More than 70 percent of the museum’s exhibitions have been re-imagined and will be unveiled the weekend following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Visitors are welcome to explore the brand new galleries and exhibits and experience the remarkable stories of the people, places and events that define Detroit.
Night owls are encouraged to take in a classic Detroit flick Friday and Saturday in the Booth Auditorium, while Buddy’s Pizza provides refreshments. Enjoy slices of GQ or Detroiter style pizzas, beginning at 10 p.m., while they last on Friday and Saturday nights. Movies include:
- 10 p.m. “Detroit Rock City”
- 12 a.m. “Robocop”
- 2:30 a.m. “8 Mile”
- 5 a.m. “Out of Sight”
- 7:30 a.m. “Grosse Pointe Blank”
At 9 a.m. on Sunday, visitors can meet local television legend, Bill Bonds, as he casts his hands and signature in cement to joining a roster of notable stars of screen, stage, sports and more in the Legends Plaza. And sports fans won’t want to miss the Detroit Tiger’s own Paws, appearing at the museum from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25.
“This is the moment we’ve been waiting for at the Detroit Historical Society,” said CEO and Executive Director Bob Bury. “The renovations, made possible through the ‘Past>Forward’ campaign, allow us to share our region’s stories in new and exciting ways while creating memorable experiences through interactive, experiential exhibits. Additionally, we are pleased to make the museum more accessible than ever, by providing free admission to all visitors, giving them a chance to share in Detroit’s story.”
Among the museum’s brand new exhibits:
- “The Allesee Gallery of Culture” highlights pop culture and sports artifacts of the last century.
- “The Kid Rock Music Lab” includes more than 100 years of Detroit music history and interactive exhibits.
- “Detroit: ‘The Arsenal of Democracy’” explores the ways Detroit shaped the outcome of World War II.
- “The Gallery of Innovation” highlights the city’s most celebrated inventors.
- “Legends Plaza” includes more than 25 Detroit celebrity handprints featured outdoors in the growing collection.
The Detroit Historical Museum’s most familiar galleries have received significant facelifts as well:
- Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad has expanded significantly into an experiential walk-through exhibit that allows visitors to explore the Anti-Slavery movement and its stories in Detroit.
- The Streets of Old Detroit welcome newcomers with both a Sanders Confectionary and the Grand Trunk Railway Station waiting room.
- America’s Motor City still houses the Clark Street Cadillac Plant body drop, but it also features an automotive showplace.
- Frontiers to Factories remains the museum’s core exhibit, which along with Glancy Trains, received interactive enhancements.
For more information on the Detroit Historical Society, visit detroithistorical.org.