1321 Watson St., Detroit; 313-674-6424; detroitflyhouse.com
Ever had thoughts of joining the circus? Tucked away off a side street in Detroit's Eastern Market, the Detroit Flyhouse has been making that dream a reality since 2008. There's a vast array of classes, including aerial silks, aerial ring, fire performance, and, if you want to force your significant other into it, a partner class. The Flyhouse says their teachers are accomplished circus artists, and they know how to piece together a fun class for all students. As the company's website puts it, "No one escapes our Circus School without having fun!"
Seriously, have you been to a DCFC game? We've never seen so much team spirit. While soccer hasn't really caught on on a national level, Detroiters are enamored with the sport, especially when it's played by our National Premier Soccer League team. During each game, locals sporting the team's rouge and gold pack the stands, brandishing scarves that read, "Detroit City FC" and "Come and get it." The team even has its own color guard team. Forget the World Cup, we've got Detroit City Football Club.
Owner-operator Chris Hutt is living the dream. After he and his friends cooked up a hybrid sport in which teams throw footballs at bowling pins, he became the sport's chief advocate, entrepreneur, and historian. Now he operates the 34,000-square-foot Fowling Warehouse in Hamtramck, a massive space with two bars, a stage, an outdoor patio, and even locker rooms. All it takes is a decent arm, a few beers, and a couple friends to experience this triumph of screwball creativity.
Though the University of Michigan touts one of the biggest college football programs in the nation, a trio of Jeopardy contestants were stumped by this clue: "In September 2013, a record crowd of more than 115,000 saw host Michigan beat Notre Dame in this football-crazy city." Well, as mostly anyone who has dared to step within this city's limits on a Saturday during football season will tell you, it's obviously the Wolverines' hometown of Ann Arbor. Whether the candidates hate football or not, it's best to become aware of even the most obvious answers. Or else, you'll be stumped by an easy question on Jeopardy.
Many residents of greater downtown Detroit have likely experienced a summer day in the city along the Dequindre Cut, a 1-mile greenway that spans the River Front to basically Eastern Market. The path has been rejuvenated into what happens to be the most enjoyable place to ride your bike in downtown. If you come into the city to visit the market on a Saturday, perhaps consider towing along a bike rack. It's a sound way to kill some time, relax, and cruise.
We boosted this suggestion in our guide earlier this year on how to do Detroit with $10 or less. If you can't afford a ticket to a ballgame, there's still a way to watch some live action. Stroll along Comerica's outskirts toward right field, and chances are, you'll see a group of fans standing on a three-foot ledge peeking in. Sure, it's not for everyone — standing three hours straight can buckle the strongest of legs — but everyone seems to dig it. Even if you don't have plans to attend a game, drop by for an inning the next time you're downtown.
Davison Freeway and Klinger Street, Hamtramck; facebook.com/rideitsculpturepark
Back in 2012, husband-and-wife artists Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert scored a $30,000 grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation to transform four vacant lots in their north Detroit neighborhood into a skate park. While construction is still underway — there are plans for an adjacent "Skate House," a miniature indoor park that could also house visiting skateboarders — the park has already established itself as a hangout for neighborhood youth. But it's not just for the kids — Reichert told MT a lot of older skaters dig the park's old-school '70s California pool aesthetic. Since the artists collaborated with avid skaters to build the park, the result is a quirky, unusual space that has even become an international destination for riders.
Maybe this is the only DIY BMX park in the city. Actually, this park is the first of its kind. After all, not everyone has the guts to pirate a public playground and just start digging, redefining the space for another purpose. Started in 2013, the park has seen a huge transformation, and volunteers have done all the work. The only rules of the park? Dig to ride, respect the neighborhood, and be the change. Sounds good to us.