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Museums were meant for rainy days

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As Hurricane Sandy barrels up the Eastern Seaboard, blustery and rain-soaked days abound for many. And although we here in Metro Detroit escape the firsthand affects of the torrential storm, colder temps and wetness loom nearby. So that begs the question—how do you to keep the kiddos entertained when outdoorsy activities just aren’t an option? If it’s still safe to drive (let’s avoid hydroplaning, please!), rainy days make the perfect excuse for a museum adventure. Here are three venues for families to frequent when a rainstorm comes rolling in.

1. Cranbrook Art Museum – When the sun ain’t shining, it’s smart to avoid the 40 acres of the Cranbrook Gardens (though they are oh-so lovely in the spring). But if you live nearby, the Cranbrook Art Museum boasts special third Sunday youth programs during the colder months. Beginning at 2 p.m. and ideal for museumgoers ages pre-K through pre-teen, kids can delight in a gallery tour spotlighting photography and sculpture. Free for young visitors under 12. Upcoming dates: November 18, December 16, January 20, February 17 and March 17.

2. Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum – Who said art has to have all the fun? This Ann Arbor family staple has made science cool (we’re talking the 250-interactive-exhibits-kind-of cool) since 1982. From using chimes to illustrate chaos theory to colors and alternative energy, your family will have no problem filling an afternoon here. Tip: Save a few bucks by visiting on a Thursday evening. Admission is only $5 from 5-8 p.m. Please note that the fourth floor is currently closed to make way for new exhibits.

3. Detroit Institute of Art – Sundays are also fun, family-oriented days at the DIA. From artist demos to kid-friendly entertainment, each week imparts a different artistic genre onto its wee guests. But if you happen to come during the week, take a leisurely stroll through the Picasso and Matisse: The DIA’s Prints and Drawings exhibition. Use the 100+ works to explore and teach your children about these fundamental 20th-century artists. November 4 from 12-4 p.m., Detroit native Charles Alexander will demo watercolors and mixed media collages.

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