Best Activities For Kids In Detroit Over Thanksgiving Weekend

November 22, 2013 7:00 AM

NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 28: The Jimmy Neutron balloon waits to be deflated during the 76th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade November 28, 2002 in New York City. There were a total of 13 giant character balloons in the parade. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo By Steve Wiseman / CBS Detroit)

(Photo By Steve Wiseman / CBS Detroit)

After the Thanksgiving feast, it will be time to find some fun for the family over the weekend. And with the events listed below, you will not be disappointed. From the oldest parade in the nation to the movie “Avatar” in 3D, there is something for everyone of every age.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade
Presented by the Parade Company
Woodward Ave. from Kirby to Congress Beginning 8:45 a.m.

The premier place for children and adults to be on November 28, Thanksgiving Day, is in downtown Detroit to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Beginning at 8:45 a.m. at Woodward Avenue at Kirby Street, there will be a myriad of floats, marching bands and giant balloon characters, to name just a few of the attractions to be seen. Over the following two hours, the parade will make its way down Woodward to the heart of downtown where Santa will arrive and receive the key to the city. Now known as America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, this is one of the oldest in the nation, having taken place for the past 87 years. As always, it promises to offer sights and sounds that will not be soon forgotten.

Related: What To Do With One Day In Detroit

A Day In Paradeland
9500 Mt. Elliott, Studio A
Detroit, MI 48211
(313) 923-7400

After spending a day at the parade, or even if you didn’t have the time to make the Thanksgiving Day parade, more fun can be had. Take the kids out for A Day in Paradeland. On Saturday, November 30, beginning at 10 a.m. and running until 5 p.m., you will be able to walk among the floats and other attractions that took part in the Thanksgiving Day parade. There will be entertainment, a opportunity for the little ones to get a photo taken with Santa, arts and crafts, face painting and much more, all for an entry fee of $6.

Michigan Science Center
The Light Before Christmas Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre
5020 John R St.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 577-8400

The classic holiday film “The Light Before Christmas” is a favorite for young and old each year, but this year it can be seen on Michigan’s only IMAX® dome theatre, a 70-foot-wide, five-story-high screen that will make the world of the movie seem real. The story is about a pair of young children who lose their way on a cold Christmas Eve, but their friend the Candleman comes to the rescue and through stories and “holiday magic,” he brings the true meaning of the holiday to life. The movie plays daily through the end of the year.

The Henry Ford
3D IMAX Theater
20900 Oakwood Blvd.
Dearborn, MI 48124
(313) 982-6001

If the kids are looking for some Sci-Fi excitement, consider heading over to The Henry Ford and the massive IMAX 3D Experience where you will find the much bigger-than-life presentation of the “Avatar” Special Edition. According to The Henry Ford, the movie, other than being in 3D, will be presented in “classic 15-perforation/70mm IMAX.” To the average person, what this means is that it is presented in super high resolution that will make you feel as though you have truly traveled to another world. Seeing a film as deep and breathtaking as this on the IMAX screen is truly an experience not to be missed.

Detroit Zoo
Wild Lights At The Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 541-5717

If the outdoors are calling your and your children’s names during the Thanksgiving weekend, head over to the Detroit Zoo for the Wild Lights At The Zoo experience. There will be over one million LED lights covering buildings, trees and animal sculptures that will bring a glow to the zoo like never before. Entertainment will be on hand and includes carolers, a bell choir and bands along with arts and crafts for the children, a holiday train display and refreshments fit for the season. This event will offer a view of the zoo as never seen before and also offers the chance for a photo with Santa. Wild Lights will take place on each weekend through January 5.

Related: Best Pet-Friendly Getaways Near Detroit

Award winning freelance writer and photographer Lawrence DiVizio is based in Southeast Michigan and works to convey in words and images the world around us. His work can be found at

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