10 Things To Do, See, Buy Before Summer is Over in Detroit

his month marks a sweltering countdown to the official end of summer (Sept. 23, if you're wondering), and we've got 10 things to do, see and buy to send it off in style.

10. Don't call it 'Italian ice'

The new Detroit Water Ice Factory (located at 1014 Woodward Ave., Detroit) is your avenue to a refreshing and philanthropic summer moment, straight outta Jersey. Not to be confused with Italian ice, water ice is its smoother talking paison in taste and texture. And the Ice Factory-founded by Detroit Free Press columnist and born New Jerseyan, Mitch Albom-puts a Motown spin on the South Jersey treat with proceeds directly benefitting Albom's charity S.A.Y. (Super All Year). Try Vanilla Temptations and Woodward Watermelon, or go tropical with Honolulu Blue Raspberry (pictured here with Tracy Garley of Zarkpa's Purses & Accessories in Detroit).

9. Let's ride!

No summer is complete without a scenic bike ride through Detroit, but don't go solo! Grab your helmet and prepare to make 3,000 new friends at the Sept. 14, 2015 10-mile Slow Roll ride culminating with a grand block party on Monroe Street in Greektown.

"The nice part about Slow Roll is that everyone can get something out of it," says co-founder Mike MacKool. "There's a social aspect (and) also the health benefits. You get a great chance to see all different types of people, bikes and to see the city. And having a good perspective on the city of Detroit is very important to us."

After the ride, grab a drink at a local venue (we recommend Harbor House) and toast to a good summer.


Slow Roll meets at 6 p.m. and takes off an hour later. Cost is $10 for membership.

8. Murals at Eastern Market in Detroit

The inaugural Murals in the Market Festival brings together 45 local and international artists as they make ongoing additions to the Eastern Market district's collection of street art, as part of a partnership between the market and local art publisher 1xRUN.

See the artists in motion Sept. 17-25, 2015 at Eastern Market at regular market days and other complementary events to get your summer fix of fresh food and fine art.

7. Alley Affair

Missed out on all the summer music festivals? The 38th annual Dally in the Alley street fair in Midtown Detroit (on Hancock Street between Second and Third streets) is the apex of it all, featuring a Detroit-centered variety of musicians, artists, food, trinkets and, of course, culture.

"Dally is arguably the dopest and most authentically Detroit party of the year," says Adriel Thornton, who chairs the event.

Come in the early afternoon for shopping and gourmet eats, or come late in the evening for dirty dancing in the street.

The celebration goes 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2015. Proceeds support the North Cass Community Union's projects in assisting local soup kitchens, city cleanups and music scholarships.

6. The Perfect Tank

You've spent the summer searching for the perfect tank, but look no further than the new Kit and Ace (located at 4240 Cass Ave., suite 106) store in Midtown Detroit.

What makes us so sure Kit and Ace is your best bet for acing the perfect summer look? It's all in the fabric-a comfortable blend of function and sophistication the brand calls "technical cashmere." It's soft and breathable for our last batch of blistering afternoons and fits more snug and than a summer fling.

Each Kit and Ace location is tailored to fit its city. And in the brand's Detroit space, local artists and Motor City-centered photography take the forefront, turning this showroom into a chic display of art and apparel.

5. Art Party

Art more your summer scene? The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit reopens for the fall with a bash. See its fresh exhibits the United States of Latin America and Detroit Affinities by Jonathan Hernández. Members of MOCAD get an early preview of the galleries while meeting the curators on Sept. 18, 2015. The public opening follows from 7 to 10 p.m., capped by live music from Burnt Sugar Arkestra. Grab your cocktail from Café 78 and bid summer adieu with a night of fine art with friends-because Earth without art is just "eh." Free for members; $10 for nonmembers after 9 p.m.

4. Cosmic cuisine at Laika Dog in Corktown

The new Laika Dog (located at 2110 Trumbull Ave.) in Corktown's UFO Factory is an ode to fancy yet fun American fare with a taste that's out of this world.

Try Laika's signature Bahn-Mi (pickled carrots, radishes and red onion plus fresh cucumber and spicy vegan mayo) or Nacho (housemade vegan nacho "cheese" sauce, pickled red onion, jalapeno and avocado slivers) on a hot dog or grilled cheese, or get crazy and build your own. Want the full outer-space experience? Come during live entertainment hours nights for some cosmically cool music.

3. Make a splash !

Have one last aquatic affair this summer with kayaking at Belle Isle Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015. It's the final BLISS – Belle Isle Summer Saturdays – event of the season, and theme is arts, culture and, of course, the great outdoors. Don't know how to kayak? Don't worry: The Riverside Kayak Connection offers free land demonstrations for kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboats and more from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (rentals run $10-$15).

After your lesson, follow the tour around Belle Isle by water or bike (11 a.m.-1 p.m., $20-$40). BLISS also offers yoga in the garden (10:30-11:30 a.m.), Painting with a Twist demos (10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.), music, food and fun in the sun.

2. Play the markets in Detroit

Detroit is fertile with farmers markets-and the city's newest addition is in Corktown.

The Corktown Farmers Market (located at 1236 Michigan Ave.) is a one-stop shop for a curated selection of Corktown-sourced goods, including preserves and pickled vegetables from Gold Cash Gold, ice cream from Uncle Bug's Organic Creamery, macaroons from The Blu Kitchen and fresh fare from Brooklyn Street Local.

The market is open 4-7 p.m. Thursdays until Oct. 29, 2015. Bon appetite!

1. End the summer with a shrub cocktail

More important than what you did this summer: What did you drink? Enter shrubs-the vinegar-based drink mixers that lend a kick of cool to any cocktail.

"(Shrubs) add a layer of complexity to your cocktails that you can't find with any other drink mixer," says Jess McClary of McClary Bros. Drinking Vinegar & Shrub Sodas. "With their interesting blend of sweet, sour and acid, nothing else comes close to bringing so much to a drink with so few ingredients."

Available in a variety of flavors, including Pineapple & Fennel Seed and Apple Pie, shrubs are a tart and tangy way to finish off your cocktail ingredients, and your summer, strong.

Try the Pineapple Express

  • 1/2 oz. McClary Bros. Pineapple & Fennel Seed Drinking Vinegar
  • 1.5 oz. Journeyman W.R. Organic Whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. honey simple syrup
  • 1 oz. pineapple juice
  • Splash of Chambord

Shake all ingredients with ice and serve in coupe (or go mod with a mason jar). More recipes at McMClaryBros.com.

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