Detroit Bucket List For Wayne State Students
Start writing a post

Detroit Bucket List For Wayne State Students

You won't want to miss out on these uniquely Detroit experiences.

Detroit Bucket List For Wayne State Students

We all get caught up in our piles of homework, the rush of our everyday schedules, and the stress of just being college students. This bucket list serves as a reminder to take time for yourself, enjoy life, and seek new adventures. Don't bypass the amazing experiences that await you in Detroit. Live them. Love them. Repeat.

1. 36th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival (September 4-7)

It’s all FREE (I know, I’m excited too). One of the world’s premier jazz festivals, the Detroit Jazz Festival has five stages and 100 acts over four days, fireworks, late-night jam sessions, rare opportunities to meet the artists, and many more activities. Free shuttles depart from Wayne State campus, and, although the event is free, I definitely suggest bringing enough money for fish and chips and an ice cold lemonade.

2. Study in the Detroit Public Library

It’s quieter than the UGL and the architecture is beautiful. If you have time, you can even check out the historic documents. Very old, very cool.

3. Buy something at Wayne State University Farmer’s Market

Yes, they do hand out free samples of kettle corn. And yes, I’ve gotten enough free samples to fill an entire bag for free, but I plan on buying a bag this year to make up for a year of mooching.

4. Visit the planetarium in Old Main

Stargazing without going outside? Sounds perfect. Shows are usually toward evening hours and only happen on certain nights of the week. The times and dates are posted in Old Main.

5. Get lost in Old Main

It’s not just a freshman thing. There’s a reason people call it the “Hogwarts of Wayne State.”

6. Watch a Weekly Movie Series Film

Comfy seats, new movies, free admission...what’s not to like? Upcoming movies this fall include "San Andreas," "Jurassic World," "Inside Out," "Minions," "Ant-Man," and "Self/less."

7. See the Art Exhibits in Old Main

I’ve seen some very cool, very strange things there. I recommend it.

8. Attend 45th Annual Global Festival (September 23, 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.)

Wayne State University and the Detroit community celebrate cultural diversity through this 45th annual event. Feel free to stop by and sample various ethnic foods and learn about the international organizations on Wayne State's campus!

9. Homecoming Game (October 10)

Show some Warrior spirit! Festivities include a poster contest, face painting, a photo booth, the Homecoming court announcement of King and Queen, and after-game activities. The game against Grand Valley State begins at 6 p.m.

10. Detroit Fall Beer Festival (October 23- 24)

Held at Eastern Market, the 7th Annual Detroit Beer Festival boasts over 600 craft beers from over 75 Michigan breweries. Tickets are now on sale, so grab a cold one and enjoy some incredible food from local restaurants!

11. Go to Greektown!

If you’re old enough to gamble, coming here is a must (but don’t worry if you’re not 21 yet). There’s free parking at the casino, a streetful of fabulous restaurants within walking distance from the casino, and over 100,000 square feet of non-stop gaming action. For the under-21-ers or those who don't drink, come to Greektown for a night out with friends, catch a bite, and get some froyo. It’s a win for everyone.

12. Walk to Whole Foods

Pick a nice fall day and walk down Woodward to Whole Foods. It’s totally worth getting a hot (and healthy!) meal at least once a semester. Or you can get something like organic flax milk and vegan soy puffs. They have all your organic needs.

13. Detroit Artist Market

Also located on Woodward Ave, DAM showcases Detroit’s talent. As a nonprofit gallery for contemporary art, it shows the work of emerging and established Detroit and Michigan artists through exhibitions, sales, and related programs.

14. Eat at Slows Bar-B-Q

With multiple locations in Detroit, Slows is a staple of Detroit culture. Get the apple barbecue sauce with any sandwich of your choosing, and buy a huge mac and cheese. Enjoy!

15. Drink Starbucks While Window-stalking Passersby in Student Center

This is perfect for any season. There's only one rule: if someone sees you staring, look away quickly.

16. Visit Mexicantown

Right at Bagley Street and Vernor Street, Mexicantown has amazing restaurants and bakeries. I definitely recommend La Gloria Bakery which features tamales, burritos, and (my favorite) churros.

17. Relax near the Wayne State's Yamasaki Reflecting Pool

Sit on one of the huge stone slab benches, or you can even walk along it and peruse the sculptures. Think about life and such.

18. Gorge yourself at the Taco Truck

The Taco Truck is convenient, relatively cheap, and always there. The Korean beef tacos are great, and if you need an alternative, the Mac Shack truck is usually parked nearby.

19. Join an organization at Student Org Day

Just do it. Sign up for an organization that interests you and don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone!

20. Thanksgiving Day Parade (November 26)

There are very few places you can see an 80-foot floating clown (and very few places where you’d want to), but the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit is always entertaining. But be sure to wear layers and bring hats and gloves.

21. Noel Night (December 5)

Well if you’re not sold on free cider and donuts, a myriad of artwork and creations by local artists, and the joy of the holiday season all in lovely Midtown, then I don’t know what to say.


Although not a major fan of modern art myself, I recommend swinging by the MOCAD (and bring an open mind).

23. Debate Over American/Lafayette Coney Island

Do you know which one is better? Find out!

24. Dally in the Alley (September 12)

Come enjoy life in the Cass Corridor with a free street fair in celebration of local musicians, artists, restaurants, and vendors! Check out more details here.

25. Ice Skate at Campus Martius Park

The winter season in Detroit is not complete without a night out in Campus Martius. You can skate, walk around Campus Martius, and buy a hot chocolate to fend off the winter weather.

26. Detroit Institute of Arts

I go to the DIA at least six times a year, and it never gets old. Only a short walk from campus, the DIA is one of the best museums in the country, and it’s right outside our door!

27. Tigers Game

Even with the (severe) losses we’ve suffered this season, it’s still fun to go to a Tigers game and cheer on our boys. Wayne State students even get discounts and free shuttle services to certain games!

28. Red Wings Game

Although the new $450 million arena won’t be completed until 2017, don’t miss out on a chance to see the Red Wings this season. Like certain Tigers games, student discounts exist for Red Wings games. Now go cheer on the Wings!

29. Lions Game

Although you might not be able to nab some great seats for the Thanksgiving game (come on, we’re poor college students), you should tailgate and support our team during the regular playing season. Plus, Ford Field is amazing.

30. See a Play or Musical at the Bonstelle/Hilberry

I saw “Boeing, Boeing” last season, and it was hilarious, perfectly cast, and overall brilliant. With the great student discounts, there’s no excuse for skipping out on performances this season. The 2015-2016 seasons at the Bonstelle and the Hilberry include performances of “One Man, Two Guvnors,” “The Great Gatsby,” “James and the Giant Peach,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” and “Oklahoma!” Check out the website for a more detailed list.

31. Detroit Historical Museum

Want to walk to streets of old Detroit, but you weren’t born in the 1800s? That’s all right! You can still do it at the Detroit Historical Museum. It allows you to journey through time, beginning at Detroit’s inception, and it answers any historical questions you may have about Detroit. You will be even more proud to call Detroit your home.

32. Visit MBAD's African Bead Museum

A "major repository for African artifacts—including sculptures, textiles, pottery, and bead works dating back hundreds of years," the African Bead Museum showcases countless cultures throughout Africa. There are even three art installations outside.

33. Michigan Science Center

You want to learn while having fun? Inspiring “curious minds of all ages,” the Michigan Science Center uses interactive programs, hands-on exhibits, and engaging activities to spark a lifelong appreciation of science, technology, engineering, and math.

34. Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Featuring music from timeless Sinatra, the legendary composer John Williams, and U2, to classical performances of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms, the DSO is sure to appeal to all types of audiences. WSU students can even get a Soundcard for $25 and get free access to concerts all season long!

35. Walk the RiverWalk

Staring at Canada is totally free, and you can do it all the time while walking the RiverWalk. Paved and friendly to bikers, joggers, and anyone who wants a peaceful day along the waters, the RiverWalk includes areas with a carousel, ice cream parlour, stone map of the world, and water fountains.

36. Hang Out on Belle Isle

There’s something for everyone on Belle Isle! The island is home to the Belle Isle Aquarium, a conservatory, a nature zoo, the Detroit Yacht Club, the James Scott Memorial Fountain, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and a golf course. Not to mention the amazing paths for biking and walking, Belle Isle even has a half-mile swimming beach. It’s the perfect place for a picnic, and you won’t be disappointed.

37. John K. King Used & Rare Books

If you’re a bookworm like me, this is the place for you. Be sure to visit the main store (of the three), which is a four-story warehouse full of cheap and used books. With books of every subject, it’s the perfect place to spend a day (yes, a full day). With over a million books in stock, John K. King books has become a favorite of celebrities like Jay Leno and Teller of the magic duo of Penn and Teller.

38. GM Renaissance Center

One of my favorite buildings in Detroit, the Ren Cen is host to a multitude of restaurants, the Marriott Hotel, and a car show that graces the first floor. Enjoy a spectacular view of the riverfront after riding the elevator up 72 floors to Coach Insignia (it’s expensive, so riding up the elevator for the view will suffice).

39. The Heidelberg Project

Created in 1986 by Tyree Guyton and his grandfather, the Heidelberg Project is an outdoor art project that aims to breathe life back into the abandoned buildings in their neighborhood. The project spans two blocks and displays houses decorated in a variety of manners, including one covered in colorful polka dots, another painted with numbers of varying sizes, and one adorned with hundreds of records.

40. Watch a Film at the Redford Theatre

First opening its doors in 1928, the Redford Theatre showcases old movies throughout the year. With Japanese-esque style architecture, a star-filled sky that gives the appearance of a movie in the night air, and the last remaining neighborhood theater with its original organ, the Redford Theater has earned its spot on the Wayne State Bucket List.

41. Spend a Day at Eastern Market

The largest historic market in the country, Eastern Market is home to 4.5 acres of the “freshest, most wholesome fruits, vegetables, specialty foods, art, and music— all undeniably Detroit.” If you like free samples, an open-air environment, tons of friendly people, and knowing that you’re supporting the local economy, this is the place for you.

42. Mercury Burger Bar

Offering over a dozen burgers, sandwiches of every variety, hot dogs, poutine, craft beers, and hand-made milkshakes, Mercury Burger Bar is the place for any foodie in Detroit.

43. Hart Plaza

Thousands of people come together for celebrations, concerts, and festivals held throughout the year at Hart Plaza. Check out the Horace E Dodge and Son Memorial Fountain in the center of the plaza, and be sure to take the short walk to the Spirit of Detroit and the Monument to Joe Louis (“The Fist”).

44. Go Antiquing

I recommend Eastern Market Antiques, the two-story antique store with about five or six rooms on each floor, or Showcase Collectibles, a vintage and curio shop in the Cass Corridor.

45. Green Dot Stables

With over 20 sliders to choose from (each $3 or less), you can mix and match your burger choices and choose from a wide array of cocktails, drafts, beer, and pops (also priced around $3 each).

46. Theatre Bizarre (October 17)

Step right up and buy your ticket to the self-proclaimed “singular, must-see annual event...unlike anything else on earth.” After finding it’s permanent home at Detroit’s Masonic Temple, Theatre Bizarre draws thousands of attendees for its costumed Halloween spectacular. Sound mysterious? Check out more here.

47. Find Detroit’s “Point of Origin”

Search for the bronze medallion embedded in the walkway. This marks the point of origin of Detroit’s coordinate system. (Hint: check out Campus Martius Park)

48. Bike the Dequindre Cut

Just over a mile long in downtown, the Dequindre Cut Greenway is a paved path that allows pedestrians and bicyclers alike to admire the often overlooked beauty and unique culture of Detroit.

49. Volunteer at a Detroit Non-Profit

With over 120 non-profits organizations to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem picking one and volunteering! A complete list can be found here.

50. Go Geocaching

Want to live out your “National Treasure” dream? Geocaching is a modern day active treasure hunt that allows you to use a GPS to locate hidden “caches,” or containers hidden by other participants. It’s free, and you’re not obliged to steal the Declaration of Independence.

51. Drive the Grand River Creative Corridor

Known as “GRCC Detroit,” the Grand River Creative Corridor is an art corridor and neighborhood revitalization project that highlights over 100 murals on 15 buildings. With over 45 volunteer artists from across the globe, who says graffiti can’t be art?

52. The Carr Center

This community-friendly center of arts and culture is "dedicated to making the arts an integral part of life in Metro Detroit." The Carr Center promotes youth education, highlights gallery exhibits, and hosts private events.

53. Bowl at Garden Bowl

Built in 1913, this is one of America’s oldest active bowling centers. With 16 lanes and all original machines still in place, Garden Bowl is a must-see for all Detroiters.

54. Fowling

Fowling is a football bowling pin game that combines elements of bowling, football, and horseshoes. To answer all your Fowling questions (because I’m sure you have many), check out the website.

55. Eat at Buddy’s Pizza

Praised as selling Detroit’s #1 Square Pizza, Buddy’s has been a staple among Detroiters since it first introduced the original Detroit-style pizza in 1946. I recommend the barbecue chicken pizza with an antipasto salad.

56. Ride the People Mover

Ride just for the heck of it! Encircling Downtown Detroit, the People Mover is an easy and inexpensive ($0.75 fare), albeit not necessary, way to get around the Downtown area.

57. Meridian Winter Blast (February)

Held in Campus Martius Park, this event features winter activities, live entertainment, and local Detroit restaurants for all ages. For more information about the event this coming February, here’s the website.

58. Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History

Come visit one of the world’s largest institutions dedicated to the African-American experience. Their mission is to “open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African-American history and culture.” Don’t miss out on this experience!

59. Tour the Model T Automotive Heritage Complex

Ranked one of the top things to do in Detroit by TripAdvisor, this center marks the birthplace of the Model T. The heritage complex tells the story of Ford’s Piquette Avenue Plant where he designed the Model T and built the first 12,000 “Tin Lizzies.”

60. Take a Selfie at the Russell Industrial Center

The Russell Industrial Center showcases the state’s largest spray paint mural, conceptually described as a “Chimera composed of elements of each of the four major sports teams and aspects of Detroit industry.” The mural is amazing.

61. City Bird

This retail store is located in the Cass Corridor and is mere steps away from Traffic Jam and Snug. They carry housewares, jewelry paper goods, clothes, and home decor from hundreds of featured independent artists and designers. Also, check out Nest, which is located right next door.

62. Motor City Brewing Works

Selling a host of beers, ciders, wines, and sodas, Detroit’s oldest operating brewery is committed to producing hand-crafted superior quality beer. You can even take a tour of the facility!

63. Enjoy the Snow on Campus

Instead of bundling up and hurrying to class in the winter, enjoy the weather! Make a snow angel, build a snowman, throw a snowball at your friend (strangers don't appreciate those type of gestures, however innocent), catch snowflakes on your tongue, etc. After that, you can continue to complain about the weather.

64. Traffic Jam and Snug

Established in 1965, Traffic Jam and Snug is one of Detroit’s favorites. It’s known from its in-house bakery, microbrewery, multi-level dining rooms, and a menu that features made-from-scratch dishes and award-winning cheeses and beer.

65. Jolly Pumpkin

This pizzeria and brewery presents hand-crafted artisan ales and eclectic pub fare that will satisfy any hungry student.

66. Sy Thai

With generous portions and affordable prices, Sy Thai is perfect for anyone who loves Thai food.

67. Source Booksellers

Self-described as a “unique niche of non-fiction books and unusual sidelines,” Source Booksellers hosts Mind/Body/Spirit classes, Tai Chi, belly dancing, book and author talks, poetry readings, and local plays.

68. Fio Boutique

Come out and support this locally-owned boutique that, in turn, supports and stocks items from multiple independent Detroit clothing and jewelry designers.

69. Third Man Records Store

Slated to open the day after Thanksgiving, Jack White’s Third Man Records is finally coming home to Detroit. You’ll have to wait a few months, but I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait.

70. Show Your Love for Wayne State

Say "hi" to friends, talk to new people, spend a day sitting in Gullen Mall and read a book, work out at the Rec Center, browse through Barnes & Noble, or hang out in the new Student Center. Show your love in little ways, and always be proud to be a Wayne State Warrior!

Well, these are just a few of the hundreds of things to do in Detroit. With this great start to your personal bucket list for Detroit, phrases like "I'm bored" or "I don't know what to do this weekend" shouldn't be part of your conversations. Discover hidden gems, add your own favorites, and pass on your intimate knowledge of Detroit to fellow students and your friends and family. Now, get started and fall in love with Detroit!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments