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8 ways to get out and enjoy Metro Detroit this holiday break

Staying in town for the holidays this year? As an antidote to your tendency to spend the week cleaning out closets or "Netflix and chill"-ing, here are some ideas to get you out of the house and into the community.

1. Visit a downtown

Metro Detroit is full of vibrant, historic downtowns. We've written about many of them in 2016, and there are much more to choose from. Check out Clawson's restaurant and retail scene, Mount Clemens' historic business district, legacy businesses like Chester Boot Shop in Roseville, boutiques in New Baltimore and bakeries and museums in Wyandotte. Many other towns (Rochester, Milford, Plymouth, Ann Arbor, Romeo...the list goes on and on) await.

2. Go cross-country skiing (or snowshoeing)

The forecast shows a warm up on Christmas day, so the white stuff may not be sticking around. But this weekend you might be able to get some good skiing in on any one of the region's trails. Many parks, including Maybury State Park and Huron-Clinton Metroparks, offer groomed trails. Up-to-date ski conditions can be found here.

3. Visit a museum... or the zoo

Take some time to visit the Detroit Institute of Arts (residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties are admitted free) or the Cranbrook Art Museum. Check out some history at the Henry Ford Museum. Learn about the local cultures and ethnicities at the  Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus and the Arab American National MuseumAnd the Detroit Zoo is open.

4.See a film at an independent theater

Metro Detroit has several independent movie theaters dedicated to showing indie and art films. Catch one at Cinema Detroit, the Maple Theater, the Main Art Theater, Birmingham 8, the Redford Theater, or the Michigan Theater.

5. Try a new restaurant… or an old one

There are plenty of lists of Detroit's hottest new restaurants. But you might consider visiting the old and venerable ones. T Grab a burger at Miller's in Dearborn. Enjoy some fried chicken in the rough at Krystal Bar in Port Huron. Dig into pierogi at Hamtramck's Polish Village Cafe. Yell "Opa!" at Pegasus in Greektown. Enjoy an old-school Italian dinner in Detroit at Roma Cafe or Mario's. Want to try a new ethnic cuisine? Check out this list.

6. Tour a historic district

Winter is a great time to enjoy the architectural treasures of Metro Detroit's many historic districts.  In Detroit, take a drive through Corktown, Boston Edison, Palmer Woods or Indian Village. In the suburbs, check out the historic homes in Romeo, Mount Clemens, Milford, Port Huron and Plymouth.

7. Go for a winter hike in the woods

The peace and quiet of winter in the woods is unparalleled, as are your options for enjoying them in local parks. For remarkable winter nature and solitude, check out Belle Isle, Algonac State Park, Bald Mountain State Recreation Area, Proud Lake State Recreation Area, Lower Huron Metropark or Hines Park. Find more options here.

8. Check out some ice fishing

Lake St. Clair is an ice fishing hotbed. No bad pun intended. You can get the latest fishing reports here, then head out to see what they're pulling up through the ice.
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