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Family Vacations In Detroit: A Huffington Post Travel Guide

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Family vacations in Detroit can be rewarding experiences or absolute disasters — it all depends on pre-trip homework. To make planning easier, we've done all the preparation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on traveling with children, here are recommended attractions for those planning Detroit family vacations.

Henry Ford Museum

Located on the Ford Motor Company's sprawling campus in Dearborn, Mich., the Henry Ford Museum offers a fun and interactive run through the history of the automobile, aviation and other forms of transportation. Sensory overload is easy to come by in a huge, one-floor display space with 40-foot ceilings. The Automobiles in American Life exhibit is closed through December 2011 for a makeover, but other exhibits make the Henry Ford Museum well worth a long visit. The Heroes of the Skies exhibit highlights famous planes, aviators and artifacts — like the chair President Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated — and automobile enthusiasts will love seeing the collection of presidential limousines exhibited here.

Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: 313-982-6001 or 800-835-5237
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas
Price: Adults, $15; seniors 62 and over, $14; youth ages 5 to 12, $11; children under 5 years old, free. Members free

Comerica Park

A relatively new jewel in the downtown Detroit skyline, Comerica Park, home of Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers, is a must-see for baseball fans — even when the team is out of town. During the summer, the ballpark offers scheduled tours which include the visitor's clubhouse and dugout, the Ernie Harwell Media Center, the Detroit Tigers Walk of Fame, the party suite and the batting tunnel. zzzthe Tigers play 81 home games per year — even more if the team does well enough to make the American League playoffs.

Address: 2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
Phone: 313-962-4000
Hours: Tours available June through September at 10 a.m, noon and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays when no games or other events are scheduled
Price: Adults, $6; children ages 4 to 14, $3; children under 4 years old, free

Motown Museum

A tour of the Motown Museum is fun and informative given the rich history of the former headquarters of the record label. Music legends such as Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and many others launched their careers here and recorded their top hits in the now-famous Studio A. The iconic "Hitsville U.S.A" sign on the front of the modest structure is a Detroit landmark.

Address: 2648 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI 48208
Phone: 313-875-2264
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday
Price: Adults, $10; seniors and children ages 12 and under, $8

Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo offers a well-landscaped, naturalistic 125 acres filled with 1,500 animals of 260 species. Highlights include the Arctic Ring of Life, the largest polar bear exhibit in North America. It features a 70-foot-long, 12-foot-wide and 8-foot-tall clear tunnel from where visitors can view polar bears and seals frolic in their vast underwater environment. Red pandas and huge Amur tigers highlight the Asian Forest, while the rockhopper, macaroni and king penguins greet visitors at the Penguinarium.

Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
Phone: 248-541-5717
Hours: April 1 through Labor Day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Open Wednesdays in July and August until 8 p.m. Day after Labor Day through Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 1 through March 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day
Price: Adults ages 15 to 61, $12; children ages 2 to 14, $8; seniors ages 62 and over and active military with ID, $10; children under 2 years old, free

Detroit Children's Museum

After closing abruptly in August 2009, the Detroit Children's Museum is back with new and refreshed exhibits and numerous interactive activities. Now under the management of the Detroit Science Center, the third-oldest children's museum in the country is now home to more than 100,000 artifacts. With free parking, low admission rates and frequent indoor and outdoor specials events and block parties, the Detroit Children's Museum is one of the most accessible and affordable tourist treats in Motown.

Address: 6134 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: 313-873-8100
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday
Price: Adults ages 13 and over, $4; children ages 2 to 12, $2; children under 2 years old, free

Detroit Science Center

Evolving quickly from its original 1970 storefront digs, the Detroit Science Center now offers numerous family friendly, interactive exhibits and special events. The center includes the four-story, 67-foot-wide Chrysler IMAX Dome Theatre, which shows films such as "Dinosaurs Alive!" and "Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure." A single admission includes the museum's hands-on exhibits, entry into the center's high-tech planetarium and one IMAX film.

Address: 5020 John R St., Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: 313-577-8400
Hours: 9 a.m to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday; 10 a.m to 6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m Sunday. Summer hours as of June 20, 2011: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Price: Adults ages 13 and over, $13.95; seniors ages 60 and over, $11.95; children ages 2 to 12, $11.95; children under 2 years old, free

Ford Rouge Factory Tour

The Ford Rouge Factory Tour is more than just a walk around an auto plant — it actually consists of multiple segments, all of which children should find fascinating. The Legacy Theatre offers historic films which track the factory's history, and the Art of Manufacturing Theatre offers a 360-degree view of how cars are made. The 80-foot-high Observation Deck Tour provides a view of the world’s largest living roof and the Assembly Plant Walking Tour lets visitors watch from the safety of an elevated walkway as Ford F-150 pickup trucks are assembled.

Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, MI 48124
Phone: 313-982-6001 or 800-835-5237
Hours: 9:30 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Last tour leaves at 3 p.m.
Price: Adults, $15 (members $12.75); youth, $11 (members $9.25); seniors, $14 (members $12); children ages 2 and under, free

Have you been to Detroit? What's your favorite attraction?

CHECK OUT MORE FAMILY TRAVEL GUIDES.