Winter 2019/Spring 2020 Detroit Tip Sheet

Modified: February 20, 2020

More to Explore in Detroit this Winter & Spring

Detroit has captured the attention of not only domestic travelers, but international visitors as well. Publications in the U.K., Germany and China recently listed Detroit as a travel destination to watch and visit. Now’s the time to see for yourself what all the excitement is about.

What’s New?

In 2020 the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) makes its transformational move to June, spreading out downtown and utilizing the riverfront. NAIAS is going to be a bigger, more immersive experience than ever before, with a host of new attractions, including outdoor entertainment and exclusive ride and drive opportunities. Public show days are June 13-20.

Buddy’s Pizza, home of the Original Detroit-Style Pizza, is now open in the Madison Building in downtown Detroit. The restaurant offers a quick-service area to grab favorite square slices, sandwiches or wraps to have on-the-go and can accommodate up to 225 sit down customers. A patio will be open in the summer.

Highlands, a dynamic social and culinary destination featuring three unique concepts is now open atop the General Motors Renaissance Center.

H & M, Hennes and Mauritz Inc., one of the world’s largest fashion retailers famous for offering fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way is now open on Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

Detroit’s first Cambria Hotel broke ground in November. Cambria Hotel Detroit-Downtown is slated to open by the end of 2020 as part of an adaptive reuse of the historic Walker-Roehrig Building. It will feature locally inspired design, 158 guest rooms, an onsite restaurant by Fabio Viviani, multi-function meeting space and a grand ballroom.

In August 2019, Detroit’s world-class convention center (formerly Cobo Center) was officially renamed TCF Center. The center, which recently underwent a $279 million renovation, welcomes 1.5 million visitors annually for meetings, conventions and events.

Wayne State University (WSU) is building a new $25 million basketball arena in Detroit’s Midtown. The 70,000-square-foot facility will seat 3,000 fans. The arena will host WSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams. The university is partnering with the Detroit Pistons to host the team’s NBA G League Affiliate games, as well as other basketball-related events. The new arena is projected to be ready for the 2021-22 basketball season.

Preschoolers love Peppa Pig World of Play, a new family attraction at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills. Play areas inspired by the hit TV series include: Peppa’s Treehouse, Rebecca Rabbit’s Underground Adventure, George’s Fort, Granddad Dog’s Garage, Madame Gazelle’s School Bus and more.

Read more about new developments in Detroit, including a list of new hotel projects, an update on The District Detroit, the Michigan Central Train Station and the Hudson’s site development.

Embrace All Things Winter

Detroit transforms into a winter wonderland during Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekend February 7-9 in Campus Martius Park. Stroll through an ice sculpture garden, learn to ski and snowboard, enjoy roasted marshmallows, a polar plunge, live music, a food truck rally, winter slide, zip line and free ice skating. For more frozen fun, visit the Aqua Freeze Festival on Lake St. Clair’s Nautical Mile in St. Clair Shores, Feb. 8. Diehard winter fans take the annual Polar Plunge and dive into the frigid lake water.

Art to Admire

Special exhibits at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) include From Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Prints and Drawings from 1550 to 1700, Feb. 15-July 26. This exhibition from the DIA collection will include more than 70 works on paper, highlighting prints by Pieter Bruegel I, Hendrick Goltzius and Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as drawings by Bartolomeus Breenbergh and Esias van de Velde. Also of note: Guests of Honor: Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí, Feb. 8- Sep. 27. Three important works by Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali will be presented along with historic photos of the artists from the DIA collection. Also on exhibit are Guests of Honor from the Musée du Louvre: Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Portraits of Americans in the Age of Enlightenment through May 3 and Bruegel’s “The Wedding Dance” Revealed through Aug. 30.

Public Shows

Public shows throughout metro Detroit keep things interesting this winter. TCF Center has a robust lineup, with the Detroit Boat Show, Jan. 18-26 and Autorama, Feb. 28-March 1. At the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, prepare to hit the links at the Michigan Golf Show, March 6-8, explore all things nautical at the Novi Boat Show, March 12-15 and get your fan on at Motor City Comic Con May 15-17. At Macomb Community College’s Warren campus, Great Lakes Comic Con, a comic, toy and collectible event, runs Feb. 21-22 and the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo comes to town March 14-15. Get inked at the Motor City Tattoo Expo at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Feb. 28-March 1. There will be lots of laughs at the LGBT ComedyFest, at Dearborn’s Ford Community & Performing Arts Center April 25. For additional events and expos, check out visitdetroit.com.

Thrilling Theater and Concert Lineup

This season’s Fisher Theatre season will keep audiences coming back for more. Shows include Fiddler on the Roof, March 10-15, the critically acclaimed Dear Evan Hansen, March 25-April 5 and Beautiful—The Carol King Musical, May 5-17. Coming to the fabulous Fox Theatre: Nick Jr. Live! March 6-8, Theresa Caputo, April 26 and David Foster’s Hitman Tour May 8. Upcoming hot tickets at Little Caesars Arena include Chance the Rapper, Feb. 6; Disney on Ice Presents Road Trip Adventures, Feb. 13-16; Blake Shelton, March 21; Billie Eilish, March 23; and Elton John May 1-2. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the new musical, will play the Detroit Opera House Feb. 18-March 1 and Sting stars in The Last Ship, April 22-26.

Cheer on Detroit Sports Teams

The Detroit Red Wings regular season wraps up April 4, when they face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Little Caesars Arena. The state-of-the-art stadium is also home to the Detroit Pistons, whose final home game of the regular season is April 13 against the Boston Celtics. The Detroit Tigers usher in spring with their home opener April 30 at Comerica Park, versing the Kansas City Royals.

The NCAA Men’s Frozen Four returns to Detroit April 9 and 11, 2020 as Michigan State University and the Detroit Sports Commission host the premier college hockey event in the country at Little Casears Arena. Tickets are on sale now.

Talk to the Animals

At the Detroit Zoo, the Devereaux Tiger Forest is now open after a major expansion and renovation to the former habitat. Amur tigers Nikolai and Aleksei, 2-year-old brothers, have joined 16-year-old female Kisa, in the new digs. Several unique observation and photo opportunity areas have been added.

Happenings at The Henry Ford

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation inspires year-round with the stories of America’s greatest inventors. Celebrate Black History Month with museum programming throughout February.

Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes makes its Midwest debut March 28, 2020 – September 7, 2020. From comics to film, the exhibit features more than 300 artifacts, including some of Marvel’s most iconic and sought-after pages, costumes and props. Spectacular artifacts thrill both avid collectors and casual fans, while immersive set pieces, soundscapes and interactive elements bring the Marvel Universe to life.

The museum recently acquired one of the most comprehensive collections of Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. Dating from 1973 to 2009, the 6,600 ornament collection includes Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Collectors Club, miniatures and lighted ornaments. The collection is currently at The Henry Ford with plans to exhibit it in its entirety in 2020, dates TBD.

The Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village, 80-acres of immersive American history, reopens for the season April 18, 2020.

Signature Special Events

The internationally recognized Movement Electronic Music Festival, May 23-25, converges on Detroit’s Hart Plaza. The PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic returns to the Detroit Golf Club May 25-31, after a successful inaugural year in 2019. Finally, rev up for summer and experience racing in the Motor City at the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, May 29-31.

New Participants added to the D Discount Pass in 2020

Save 20 percent or more on popular Detroit attractions with The D Discount Pass. Current participants include Antique Touring, Automotive Hall of Fame, The Carr Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, City Tour Detroit, Dearborn Recreation & Parks, Detroit Experience Factory, Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Repertory Theatre, Ford House, Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, The HandleBar, The Henry Ford, Legoland Discovery Center Michigan, Lexus Velodrome, Meadow Brook Hall, Michigan Science Center, Motown Museum, Outdoor Adventure Center, Peppa Pig World of Play, Riverside Kayak Connection, Sea Life Michigan Aquarium and Ste. Anne de Detroit Catholic Church. The D Discount Pass is accepted at participating venues through Dec. 31, 2020. To take advantage of these offers, go to visitdetroit.com/discount.

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Media Contacts –
Domestic media please contact:
Renee Monforton, Director, Marketing & Communications, 313-202-1951. rmonforton@visitdetroit.com  
Deanna Majchrzak, Media Relations Manager, 313-202-1999, dmajchrzak@visitdetroit.com.
Samantha Scott, Media Relations Manager, 313-202-1987, sscott@visitdetroit.com

International media please contact:
Jennifer Ollinger, Manager, Domestic & International Tourism, 313-202-1931, jollinger@visitdetroit.com

Access the best images, videos or latest press releases to help you write your story, create a video spot or promote an event at visitdetroit.com/media. Publish or broadcast our visitdetroit.com web address and 800-DETROIT phone line for those wanting more information about The D.


The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to market and sell the metropolitan Detroit area on a worldwide basis as a destination for leisure and business travel including conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, tours and incentive travel to maximize additional visitors, visitor expenditures, state and local tax revenues and job opportunities.
More than 700 businesses are represented in the DMCVB’s membership. The DMCVB was founded in 1896 as the world’s first convention and visitors bureau. visitdetroit.com


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