21 socially-distant things to do outdoors in metro Detroit this spring

Can you hear that, folks? The sound of snow melting and dripping gently down eaves, people taking to the streets to soak in the sun, and so many really horny birds? Ah, yes — spring is springing in the metro Detroit area, and we could not be more ready to hop off our Pelotons,  bust out of the confines of our homes, swap our puffy coats for lighter layers, and move our frozen bones out in the world to thaw. Wait, what was that? The pandemic is still happening? Um, well. Shit. Well, we're staying positive on all fronts so we can enjoy springtime in Michigan. Whether you need a trail to hike, a place to buy weed to smoke on said hike, or maybe you're just in need of some fresh ideas as to how and where to get some fresh air, here are 21 things to do in the metro Detroit area — and a few activities worth the drive — for when the weather stops sucking.

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Get tiki tipsy on an Aloha Tiki tour
Sindbad’s Marina, 100 St. Clair St., Detroit | St. Clair Shores Public Dock, 24800 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-980-1619; alohatikitours.com
All aboard the crazy tiki boat? Two years ago, a fleet of tiki boats landed in metro Detroit and though it costs a whopping $275-$325 per two-hour tour for you and six of your guests, this is one way to socially distance from, well, just about everyone not on your tiki boat, all while soaking up some serious rays. The BYOB ride (yes, that means you have only two hours to go from full Margaritaville to responsible adult) launches from two points: Detroit River or St. Clair Shores. Tours are available starting in April.  
Photo by Noah Elliott Morrisson

Get tiki tipsy on an Aloha Tiki tour

Sindbad’s Marina, 100 St. Clair St., Detroit | St. Clair Shores Public Dock, 24800 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-980-1619; alohatikitours.com

All aboard the crazy tiki boat? Two years ago, a fleet of tiki boats landed in metro Detroit and though it costs a whopping $275-$325 per two-hour tour for you and six of your guests, this is one way to socially distance from, well, just about everyone not on your tiki boat, all while soaking up some serious rays. The BYOB ride (yes, that means you have only two hours to go from full Margaritaville to responsible adult) launches from two points: Detroit River or St. Clair Shores. Tours are available starting in April.

Photo by Noah Elliott Morrisson
Kick the winter blues to the curb and take a hike
The minute the grey clouds take a hike, so should you — but, you know, out in the world on one or more of metro Detroit's many scenic nature and hiking trails far away from Zoom calls, that jar of Nutella you insist on eating spoonfuls of, and the persistent temptation of post-morning naps. Put on some real pants (if you feel so inclined, of course) and pick a dang trail. Your body will thank you.
Photo via Ken Lund/Flickr Commons

Kick the winter blues to the curb and take a hike

The minute the grey clouds take a hike, so should you — but, you know, out in the world on one or more of metro Detroit's many scenic nature and hiking trails far away from Zoom calls, that jar of Nutella you insist on eating spoonfuls of, and the persistent temptation of post-morning naps. Put on some real pants (if you feel so inclined, of course) and pick a dang trail. Your body will thank you.

Photo via Ken Lund/Flickr Commons
Avoid getting murdered at these off-the-grid modern tiny cabins
Grand Junction; getaway.house/chicago
Ah, to be freed from the oppressive red iPhone notification bubbles, social media pings, and unnecessary work emails recapping meetings you were just at. Well, add fresh air, a lush forest, and a sprinkling of intrigue (and by intrigue, we mean, avoiding murder) and you'll get a stay-cation courtesy of Brooklyn-based start-up Getaway, which now has an unplugged outpost in western Michigan. All cabins, of which there are 31, range from 140 to 200 square feet and start at $129 per night, and also include air conditioning, heat, a private bathroom, shower, running water, two-burner stove, pots and pans, a fire pit and grill grate, picnic table, and optional cell phone lockbox. You can also add the sustenance box for $30, which comes with snacks, cans of soup, beef jerky, pasta, and pasta sauce, which would also be perfect for anyone looking to stage a tangy tomato-based murder. Currently, Getaway Barber Creek is accepting reservations from April 1 and beyond.  
Photo courtesy of Getaway

Avoid getting murdered at these off-the-grid modern tiny cabins

Grand Junction; getaway.house/chicago

Ah, to be freed from the oppressive red iPhone notification bubbles, social media pings, and unnecessary work emails recapping meetings you were just at. Well, add fresh air, a lush forest, and a sprinkling of intrigue (and by intrigue, we mean, avoiding murder) and you'll get a stay-cation courtesy of Brooklyn-based start-up Getaway, which now has an unplugged outpost in western Michigan. All cabins, of which there are 31, range from 140 to 200 square feet and start at $129 per night, and also include air conditioning, heat, a private bathroom, shower, running water, two-burner stove, pots and pans, a fire pit and grill grate, picnic table, and optional cell phone lockbox. You can also add the sustenance box for $30, which comes with snacks, cans of soup, beef jerky, pasta, and pasta sauce, which would also be perfect for anyone looking to stage a tangy tomato-based murder. Currently, Getaway Barber Creek is accepting reservations from April 1 and beyond.

Photo courtesy of Getaway
Kick it old school with a trip to Greenfield Village
Greenfield Village, Dearborn; 313-982-6001; thehenryford.org/visit/greenfield-village
Let's do the time warp again, y'all! Starting April 17 (meaning, you have time to get your petticoats pressed), Greenfield Village will reopen for its regularly scheduled glass blowing, butter churning, and horse and buggy hoopla. For the uninitiated or for those who think of it only as an elementary school field trip destination, Greenfield Village in Dearborn is actually pretty lit. A time capsule of early America, G-Vill (you can call it that) features reenactments, demonstrations, and Model Ts. 
Photo via The Henry Ford/Facebook

Kick it old school with a trip to Greenfield Village

Greenfield Village, Dearborn; 313-982-6001; thehenryford.org/visit/greenfield-village

Let's do the time warp again, y'all! Starting April 17 (meaning, you have time to get your petticoats pressed), Greenfield Village will reopen for its regularly scheduled glass blowing, butter churning, and horse and buggy hoopla. For the uninitiated or for those who think of it only as an elementary school field trip destination, Greenfield Village in Dearborn is actually pretty lit. A time capsule of early America, G-Vill (you can call it that) features reenactments, demonstrations, and Model Ts.

Photo via The Henry Ford/Facebook
Go full zen at the Cranbrook Gardens
380 Long Pine Rd., Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-3149; housegardens.cranbrook.edu
While we are sort of exiting several nightmares — a pandemic and a Michigan winter — what better place to cool down than Cranbrook’s sunken garden? Or how about the Japanese Garden or Reflecting Pond? This shady (not, like, suspicious, but actual shade) and dreamy spot is the perfect place to cool off and, well, reflect on your useless and very expensive college degree. If the shade and gardens and ponds aren’t enough to lower your temps, stay tuned to Cranbrook’s social media as they're gearing up to reopen the art gallery and science museum. After all, air conditioning is both a work of art and a scientific marvel, and for that we are #blessed.  
Photo via Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research/Facebook

Go full zen at the Cranbrook Gardens

380 Long Pine Rd., Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-3149; housegardens.cranbrook.edu

While we are sort of exiting several nightmares — a pandemic and a Michigan winter — what better place to cool down than Cranbrook’s sunken garden? Or how about the Japanese Garden or Reflecting Pond? This shady (not, like, suspicious, but actual shade) and dreamy spot is the perfect place to cool off and, well, reflect on your useless and very expensive college degree. If the shade and gardens and ponds aren’t enough to lower your temps, stay tuned to Cranbrook’s social media as they're gearing up to reopen the art gallery and science museum. After all, air conditioning is both a work of art and a scientific marvel, and for that we are #blessed.

Photo via Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research/Facebook
Enjoy the fickle spring weather by eating indoors while outdoors
Yeah, yeah, so you can eat indoors now. So what? It's still super risky to be in a space without masks with other maskless folks, so why not take advantage of metro Detroit's many outdoor/indoor dining options. Plus, we know that Michigan weather, uh, has a mind of its own, so just because the sun is out it doesn't mean it's warm enough to sit outside without some mild protection from the elements. Now comes the hard part: picking your igloo, tent, or patio of choice.
Photo via Watermark Bar and Grill /Facebook

Enjoy the fickle spring weather by eating indoors while outdoors

Yeah, yeah, so you can eat indoors now. So what? It's still super risky to be in a space without masks with other maskless folks, so why not take advantage of metro Detroit's many outdoor/indoor dining options. Plus, we know that Michigan weather, uh, has a mind of its own, so just because the sun is out it doesn't mean it's warm enough to sit outside without some mild protection from the elements. Now comes the hard part: picking your igloo, tent, or patio of choice.

Photo via Watermark Bar and Grill /Facebook
Get a brain freeze while nomming on ice cream 
It's socks and sandals weather, y'all. You know what that means: eating ice cream without enduring a full-body freeze. All you have to do is pick your frosty poison; whether it be a custard, cream, or non-dairy treat, metro Detroit is a frozen treat lovers paradise. Do one better and treat yourself to your own ice cream tour — just remember to pack some Lactaid.  
Photo via Bob Jos Frozen Custard/Facebook

Get a brain freeze while nomming on ice cream

It's socks and sandals weather, y'all. You know what that means: eating ice cream without enduring a full-body freeze. All you have to do is pick your frosty poison; whether it be a custard, cream, or non-dairy treat, metro Detroit is a frozen treat lovers paradise. Do one better and treat yourself to your own ice cream tour — just remember to pack some Lactaid.

Photo via Bob Jos Frozen Custard/Facebook
Connect with our animal brethren at the Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-541-5717; detroitzoo.org
Feeling downright feral? You're not alone. To quote the Killers: “Coming out of my cage and I've been doing just fine.” So, start your path to fine-ness by taking a walk on the wild side where the deer and antelope roam — the Detroit Zoo. Though some of the zoo’s indoor exhibits are unavailable for guests, why not soak up the start of some decent-ass weather with some furry, feathery, and, uh, scaly friends? 
Photo via Patti Truesdell/Detroit Zoological Society

Connect with our animal brethren at the Detroit Zoo

8450 W. 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-541-5717; detroitzoo.org

Feeling downright feral? You're not alone. To quote the Killers: “Coming out of my cage and I've been doing just fine.” So, start your path to fine-ness by taking a walk on the wild side where the deer and antelope roam — the Detroit Zoo. Though some of the zoo’s indoor exhibits are unavailable for guests, why not soak up the start of some decent-ass weather with some furry, feathery, and, uh, scaly friends?

Photo via Patti Truesdell/Detroit Zoological Society
Catch a drive-in movie with the windows down
Ford Wyoming Drive-In, 10400 Ford Rd., Dearborn; 313-846-6910; forddrivein.com | Monroe Street Drive-In powered by Emagine, 32 Monroe St., Detroit; emagine-entertainment.com
If you haven't noticed, there haven't been as many new movies hitting our big screens as usual due to the pandemic, which could easily rival any blockbuster supervillain because, honestly, fuck that guy. But that hasn't stopped metro Detroit drive-ins — some new, some temporary, and some totally and perfectly retro — from firing up their projectors just in time for spring, which means we won’t have to crank our car’s heater to the max which will dry out your make out lips. Isn’t that what drive-ins are for? Oh, right. Films. 
Photo courtesy of Emagine Entertainment

Catch a drive-in movie with the windows down

Ford Wyoming Drive-In, 10400 Ford Rd., Dearborn; 313-846-6910; forddrivein.com | Monroe Street Drive-In powered by Emagine, 32 Monroe St., Detroit; emagine-entertainment.com

If you haven't noticed, there haven't been as many new movies hitting our big screens as usual due to the pandemic, which could easily rival any blockbuster supervillain because, honestly, fuck that guy. But that hasn't stopped metro Detroit drive-ins — some new, some temporary, and some totally and perfectly retro — from firing up their projectors just in time for spring, which means we won’t have to crank our car’s heater to the max which will dry out your make out lips. Isn’t that what drive-ins are for? Oh, right. Films.

Photo courtesy of Emagine Entertainment
Grace the historic grounds of Fair Lane, Home of Henry and Clara Ford and Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
1 Fair Lane Dr., Dearborn; 313-668-3200; henryfordfairlane.org and 1100 Lake Shore Dr., Grosse Pointe; 313-884-4222; fordhouse.org 
Historical importance? Check. Located in the metro Detroit area? You bet. A scenic place to let the inspiration flow or let the motivation go? Absolutely. Spring has sprung at both the Fair Lane estate on the Rouge River in Dearborn, which was Henry and Clara Ford’s 15th and final home where they hosted lavish parties and notable visitors like Thomas Edison. Yes, that Thomas Edison. Though the home itself is closed for a massive restoration effort, the stunning grounds are open for visitors, including the gardens which were designed by famed architect Jens Jensen. Meanwhile, over in Grosse Pointe along Lake St. Clair sits the sprawling estate known as the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, which also offers scenic grounds and multiple gardens designed by Jensen. 
Photo via Edsel & Elenor Ford House/Facebook

Grace the historic grounds of Fair Lane, Home of Henry and Clara Ford and Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

1 Fair Lane Dr., Dearborn; 313-668-3200; henryfordfairlane.org and 1100 Lake Shore Dr., Grosse Pointe; 313-884-4222; fordhouse.org

Historical importance? Check. Located in the metro Detroit area? You bet. A scenic place to let the inspiration flow or let the motivation go? Absolutely. Spring has sprung at both the Fair Lane estate on the Rouge River in Dearborn, which was Henry and Clara Ford’s 15th and final home where they hosted lavish parties and notable visitors like Thomas Edison. Yes, that Thomas Edison. Though the home itself is closed for a massive restoration effort, the stunning grounds are open for visitors, including the gardens which were designed by famed architect Jens Jensen. Meanwhile, over in Grosse Pointe along Lake St. Clair sits the sprawling estate known as the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, which also offers scenic grounds and multiple gardens designed by Jensen.

Photo via Edsel & Elenor Ford House/Facebook