Winter Blast, Auto Show and MLK Activities

Metro Parent’s Julia Elliott tells us what to get into this weekend.

Winter Blast

This is the last year families can check out the North American International Auto Show in the winter time.

Metro Parent Magazine Editor Julia Elliott suggests families take advantage of that. But, she also recommends another annual downtown event now called the Quicken Loans Winter Blast Weekends.

“So that’s going on throughout January and actually February,” Elliott says.

The Winter Blast runs the next four weekends at Campus Martius. Each weekend has its own theme and activities, including free ice skating, a winter slide, zip-lining and ice sculptures.

The festival is free this year and starts this long MLK Holiday weekend.

With many schools and workplaces closed Monday, families can find special programming at many museums, including the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Henry Ford.

But, Elliott says anyone who has not experienced the permanent exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History should. She says the And Still We Rise offers a particularly important lens for viewing the history of race, civil rights and social justice in America.

“I don’t think any textbook can quite give you that experience,” Elliott says. “I’ve been through it before with people and they walk out in tears. No matter who they are, they’re in tears.”

Elliott says the 22,000 square foot exhibition puts a painful past in a powerful package.

“Because although you know it and it’s not necessarily a surprise to you to be in these replicas of these ships, to feel the tight quarters and to experience it on that level I think is really edifying and spiritually important for people and for parents to pass on to their children.”

Elliott says the exhibit may not be appropriate for young children. Find more information about these events and all of Julia Elliott’s picks for free and cheap events in January, here.


  • Sascha Raiyn
    Sascha Raiyn is Education Reporter at 101.9 WDET. She is a native Detroiter who grew up listening to news and music programming on Detroit Public Radio.