Please note the World War II & Veterans Weekend at Metro Beach Metropark has been cancelled.
With gas prices climbing as the weather warms, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks offer a summer full of exciting, quick getaways, all affordable, and close to home. This year, the Metroparks kick off the 2011 season with a packed events schedule aimed at providing low cost fun for a wide variety of interests. All pools and water facilities open Memorial Day weekend; some beaches are already open.
“Families can discover hundreds of great events and fun activities at 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks, without the cost of a trip up north,” said David Moilanen, director, Huron-Clinton Metroparks. “Our spectacular lakes and rivers, paired with well-kept facilities, offer fantastic places to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, without spending hundreds of dollars on gas and lodging. For only a $5 entry fee, a family can enjoy an entire day of adventure.”
New events and activities offered this year include “No Child Left Inside Week” with programs at all interpretive centers, a 7.5-mile canoe/kayak race and a concert by the Michigan Philharmonic. Also new, interpretive centers within the Huron River watershed join Ann Arbor and the Huron River Watershed Council in celebrating Huron River Day on July 17.
A full schedule of events is at www.metroparks.com. Our “best bets” include:
• “Hot Rod Magazine Power Tour®,” Friday, June 10, Metro Beach Metropark. Stop in to see over 3,500 street rods, muscle cars and classics that made some, or all, of the entire seven-day 1,616-mile trek from Florida in this travelling car show sponsored by GM Performance Division and the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.
•CANCELLED “World War II & Veterans Weekend,” Saturday and Sunday, June 18 & 19, Metro Beach Metropark CANCELLED
• Fireworks - Kensington Metropark’s annual fireworks will be held on the Metroparks’ Salute to America Appreciation Day, Saturday, June 11. Fireworks will light up the sky on separate dates during the Fourth of July holiday weekend at Stony Creek, Hudson Mills, Willow and Lake Erie Metroparks.
• “No Child Left Inside Week,” Sunday, June 19 – Sunday, June 25, Metropark Interpretive Centers. Metropark interpreters host special programs and events that invite families to spend time together while enjoying the outdoors.
• “War in the Wilderness Encampment,” Saturday and Sunday, June 18 & 19, Stony Creek Metropark. See 18th century life in an American Indian village and a military encampment in Michigan during the conflict between Woodland Indians and the British and French nations.
• “Michigan Philharmonic Pops Plus Concert” Friday, June 24, 8 pm at Maple Beach, Kensington Metropark. The Michigan Philharmonic presents this fun, family-friendly concert celebrating our nation’s birthday with great classical works as well as fun works by American composers.
• “Rustic Camping,” Families can go camping five weekends at Stony Creek Metropark and two weekends at Lower Huron Metropark. Campers can take advantage of the amenities in the park along with a community bonfire each night and special interpretive programs. $
• “Summer Discovery Cruises,” Lake Erie and Metro Beach Metroparks. Take a two- or four-hour cruise aboard the “Clinton” to explore the waters and islands of the lower Detroit River or Lake St. Clair. Co-Sponsored by Michigan Sea Grant Extension. Advance reservations required. $
• “Huron River Day,” Sunday, July 17, Selected Interpretive Centers. Metropark interpretive centers within the Huron River watershed host programs celebrating our water resources.
• “Canoe & Kayak Race,” Sunday, July 31, Kensington Metropark. Bring your kayak or canoe, or rent one to participate in this 7.5-mile race around Kent Lake. Novice/youth, experienced and single-paddler classes make the event open to all levels of ability. The event is sponsored by Heavner Canoe and REI. $
• “Monster Truck Event,” Sunday, August 7, Willow Metropark. See monster trucks up close and personal, and even take a ride in one! Fee for rides.
In addition to these events, car shows, historic re-enactments, festivals and concerts fill up weekend schedules. The Metroparks will not be hosting any Detroit Symphony Orchestra concerts this summer, but plan to host them in 2012.
Three “Appreciation Days” will offer free use of selected facilities or special programs this summer: “Salute to America Day,” Saturday, June 11; “Children’s Day,” Sunday, July 17; and “Senior Day,” Wednesday, August 10. Free park entry and free boat launching is offered on “Senior Day.”
The swimming beach at Metro Beach Metropark is open; lifeguards are provided May 28 – September 5. Kensington Metropark’s Martindale Beach (with lifeguards) and the Splash ‘n’ Blast open Saturday, May 28; Maple Beach is open, without lifeguards, the Fourth of July weekend only. The swimming pools at Metro Beach and Willow Metroparks, along with the wave pool at Lake Erie Metropark, Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center at Lower Huron Metropark, and Baypoint and Eastwood beaches at Stony Creek Metropark, all open Saturday, May 28. In addition to these facilities, free spraygrounds at Metro Beach Metropark’s “Squirt Zone” and Indian Springs Metropark’s “Spray ‘n’ Play,” open Saturday, May 28.