Grandparents today are an active group, taking advantage of their golden years to visit historical sites and museums, take in plays, enjoy great meals and explore all the Detroit area has to offer – at a discount, of course! These local attractions are sure to appeal to your grandparents’ nostalgic side, and won’t break the bank in the process.
Cranbrook House & Gardens Auxiliary
380 Lone Pine Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
General Admission: $10 House/$10 Garden
Senior Admission: $8 House/$5 Garden
As the oldest manor house in southeast Michigan, Cranbrook House is steeped in the history of early Detroit. The house was built in 1907 for George and Ellen Booth; George was co-founder of Booth Publishing Company and Ellen was the daughter of James Scripps, founder of The Detroit News. The success of the combined publishing empires allowed the Booths to purchase a 174-acre farm and build a country estate there, eventually opening the grounds up to public use and establishing various schools and learning institutions. The Booths had a love of landscape gardening and were prominent supporters of the American Arts and Crafts movement, and this passion is still evident today. Grandparents and youngsters alike will enjoy a trip back to an earlier time as they tour the house and gardens, celebrating the interweaving of artistry, nature and decor. The garden can be difficult to navigate with a wheelchair or walker; assistance is recommended and Cranbrook provides a map with the most accessible route.
Detroit People Mover
1420 Washington Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48226
General Passes: $0.75/ride, $10/month, $100/year
Senior Passes: $10/year for Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park residents; other seniors receive a 50 percent discount on tokens and passes
The Detroit People Mover allows seniors access to the best of Detroit without having to worry about parking or taking the bus. Stations are strategically located around the city’s central business district, within an easy walk of Ford Field and Comerica Park; Hart Plaza or Campus Martius; Joe Louis Arena and Cobo Center; the Detroit Opera House, Fox Theater and Gem Theater; and Greektown, Riverwalk and the Renaissance Center. All stations are wheelchair accessible except Grand Circus Park, which is accessed via stairs only. The People Mover allows kids and grandparents to spend the day downtown, taking in the sights along the river in the morning, lunching at one of the many restaurants downtown, enjoying the afternoon’s fresh air at a plaza or park and even taking in dinner and then a performance at one of the city’s historical theaters.
1842 Monroe St.
Dearborn, MI 48124
Senior Discount: 10 percent
Consistently rated as one of Detroit’s best, Mati’s Deli has been serving up top-quality sandwiches for over 25 years. Whether it’s an over-stuffed pastrami on rye, a hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy or an irresistible fresh-baked brownie, Mati’s is known for good food at good prices. The converted gas station provides an old-school feel and brings back memories of a simpler time. Mati’s is not stuck in the past, however. Catering to its busy lunch-hour clients, Mati’s allows customers to order and pay online, so they have only to run in and get their food – which also cuts down on crowding the 29-seat, 900-square-foot space. Outdoor patio dining during pleasant weather also eases congestion and may be more comfortable for diners in wheelchairs.
2648 W. Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48208
General Admission: $10 per person
Senior Admission: $8 per person
Many of today’s grandparents were around for the birth of Motown, Berry Gordy’s brainchild that gave the world such stars as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, and countless others. More than just a record label, Motown was a social movement that helped to unite a racially and culturally divided nation. Visit the Hitsville USA building where it all began, and stand among the recording equipment in Studio A where the label’s earliest hit songs were recorded. Grandparents will thrill in reliving the memories of that golden era of Detroit history, while younger guests will enjoy the historical artifacts, photo collection and numerous props and costumes in the gallery – including Michael Jackson’s famous black fedora and single jeweled glove. The museum features a ramp and elevator for wheelchair accessibility.
Purple Rose Theatre
137 Park St.
Chelsea, MI 48118
Regular price: $27-$42
Senior discount: $3 off
The Purple Rose Theatre is a Chelsea fixture, providing provocative and ground-breaking entertainment for over 20 years. With modest ticket prices and intimate seating, the audience doesn’t just watch a play at the Purple Rose – they experience the play in a way that’s impossible with large-scale productions. The company’s focus on “theater for everyone” and offering opportunities to newcomers is not only philanthropically appealing, it also keeps the productions fresh and inviting. Audiences young and old are sure to be impressed by the show, whether it’s a light-hearted comedy or a compelling drama. The Theatre meets ADA standards and offers reserved wheelchair spaces, with companion seats available.
Related: Detroit Museums for a Cultural Fix
Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.