In addition to rafts of outdoor recreation opportunities, the Ypsilanti area drives away boredom with activities for all ages and interests. Here’s a list of the top 10 things you can do during your visit to Ypsi. Have fun!
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum
No matter what you drive, your car embodies the evolutionary history of the automobile. For more than a century, thousands of people and companies worldwide have contributed innovations and design enhancements, including Ypsilantians. Located in a 1927 Hudson dealership, the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage museum rounds up a ride variety of vehicles and automotive memorabilia. It focuses on Ypsilanti’s contributions to the automotive saga, including the Chevy Corvair and Ypsi’s own auto entrepreneur, Preston Tucker.
Michigan Firehouse Museum
Want to see red? The Michigan Firehouse museum is the place to indulge your inner firefighter. The museum is an education treasure trove with 26,000 square feet of fire trucks, early horsedrawn firefighting rigs, an original 1898 firehouse, and the largest collection of fire truck bells in the country.
Ypsilanti Historical Museum
Get a glimpse of 19th-century Ypsilanti at the Ypsilanti Historical Museum. Asa Dow built the brick mansion with four elegant fireplaces in 1860. After more than 100 years of occupancy by several families, the Dow house was purchased by the city in 1966, and, in 1970, was offered to the Ypsilanti Historical Society for use as a museum.
Ypsilantians built more than 20 distinct, nationally recognized styles of architecture between 1830 and 1940. Successful through pioneering resourcefulness and industry, citizens expressed their tastes, prosperity, and local pride in the structures build for their families, churches, and businesses. From them, we inherited a rich array of historic architecture. Stop by our office or visit us online for a complete guide to historic architecture in Ypsilanti.
FLY Children’s Art Center
Creativity. It’s the spark behind every new idea. It’s the essence of innovation. And it’s in every kid. That’s the motto of FLY Children’s Art Center. Make your own kite, make your own zine, make your own poster, make stuff out of duct tape. Paint, cut, glue, weave, get creative. FLY turns schools and libraries around Southeast Michigan into mobile art enters, and offers workshops at FLY’s downtown Ypsilanti location. And watch for FLY’s fun special events throughout the year.
Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard
Since its founding in 1837, Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard has grown more than 7 million apples and made more than 3 million gallons of cider. In addition to the sprawling orchards and mill, this operation includes u-pick apples, a u-pick pumpkin patch, and a seasonal corn maze. Wiard’s Country Fair area has family-friendly features such as giant inflatables, pony rides, a petting farm, miniature golf, children’s play areas, and hot food.
Major Annual Events
Ypsilanti is more than just a college town – it’s an event town. ElvisFest celebrates its 15th year in Riverside Park this year. The Michigan Brewer’s Guild is once again calling Ypsilanti home for its biggest event: the Summer Beer Festival. Camaros and Volkswagens will roll into Ypsi car shows this summer, and the DIYpsi indie art fair will once again fill the Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery in December with unique handmade gifts. From regular weekly affairs to major annual events, you’ll find plenty to do during your visit.
First Fridays provides Ypsilanti’s rich community of local artists, business-venues, and citizens the invigorating opportunity to cross-promote each other on a monthly basis. Participating business include FLY Children’s Art Center, Bona Sera Cafe, The Ugly Mug, Beezy’s Cafe and more.
Yankee Air Museum
For an unforgettable visceral experience and a great view of Detroit, book a flight on the Yankee Air Museum’s “Yankee Warrior,” the only WWII B-25D bomber still flying, or “Yankee Lady,” the museum’s B-17 Flying Fortress. Both aircraft fly out of Willow Run Airport from May through October. Seating is limited, and preregistration is required. The museum features aviation exhibits, restoration projects, a store, and a theater. It’s open Tuesday through Saturday year-round (no pre-registration required)
Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849 and opening its doors in 1853 as Michigan State Normal School, Eastern Michigan University is now home to over 23,000 students and offers 200+ majors and minors in five colleges, plus the Honors College. A flurry of activity takes place on and off campus from sporting events, concerts, art exhibits, recitals and more are weekly features of campus life.