By Elizabeth Ann Morabito
Many of you would likely agree Ann Arbor is a pretty interesting and exciting place to live or visit. It’s consistently ranked in the top 10, not just in Michigan but across the country, on various sites such as Livability and Niche. Cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities abound in this beautiful town of trees.
A Fun-Filled Fall Day in Ann Arbor
But, locals could understandably get stuck in comfortable habits needing new ideas for inspiration or a visitor just might hope to see all their options in one place.
Well, look no further. While there are dozens of local activities in Patricia Majher’s book, 100 Things to Do In Ann Arbor Before You Die, she specifically suggests the following four as we enter cooler weather. And, when visited in the right order, they make for a well-rounded, fun-filled fall day.
This 3-mile round-trip excursion is easily walkable if you park somewhere between the museum and Yost Ice Arena, like the Republic Parking structure on S. Forest Ave. Otherwise, street and lot parking is available at or near each location.
- Looking for a quirky cultural experience? University of Michigan’s campus boasts a dozen museums, but I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard of the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry. I hadn’t! Opened in 1992, current exhibits include Tooth Fairy Magic which looks at the history of the tooth fairy and different customs around the shedding of baby teeth and St. Apollonia, the Patron Saint of Dentistry. The museum’s doors open at 8:00 am every weekday, making this the perfect first stop. Note: The museum is housed within the Kellogg Building of the School of Dentistry. Exhibits span the first and ground floor lobby areas, the Sindecuse Atrium, and the G500 corridor.
- Looking at and learning about teeth will surely make you hungry, so of course, the second stop involves some scrumptious food. I wholeheartedly agree with Majher that these chilly autumn days call for a warm and cozy restaurant that transports you to another time and place. Amadeus on E. Washington offers this and more with a Central European menu boasting hearty food such as pierogies, savory sausages, and traditional dill pickle soup. They open at 5:00 pm so you can catch an early meal and refuel before hitting the last two stops.
- Four Directions specializes in geology offering rocks, minerals, fossils, and semi-precious gems from right here in Michigan, across the United States, and even around the world. But, they are more than just a rock shop and also offer jewelry, artwork, home decor, and gift items.
- Afterward, Majher suggests “working off some of the calories by cheering on U-M’s hockey team at the historic — nearly 100 years old — Yost Ice Arena.” She also forewarns, “It gets pretty raucous near the student section, so prepare yourself for some choice chants.
When asked why she decided to write this book, Patricia Majher explained, “…I’ve lived in this area for more than 40 years. So I’ve enjoyed a LOT of what Ann Arbor has to offer…” She also has three books to her name and once edited Michigan History magazine. “Put that all together and you can see why I thought I could write this book. But I also consulted others in my research, from “real” natives to younger friends who had a very different idea of what’s fun to do in A2. I think the resulting travel guide is pretty well-rounded!”
Although she has a few ideas relating to Michigan history for a next project, her “job as the administrator at the Hamburg Township Historical Museum — just north of Ann Arbor in Livingston County — is keeping [her] very busy at the moment.”
Majher suggests her book would make “a great gift for the holidays, or a resource to keep on hand if visitors come to you!” and, it would be a great gift exchange item.
Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry, 1011 N. University – G565, Ann Arbor, 734-763-0767, www.sindecusemuseum.org, M-F: 8 AM – 6 PM (check website for holiday closures)
Amadeus Restaurant, 122 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, 734-665-8767, www.amadeusrestaurant.com, T-Th: 5 PM – 8 PM, F: 5 PM – 9 PM, Sat: 12 PM – 9 PM
Four Directions by GeoScape Rock Shop, 211 S Main St, Ann Arbor, 734-996-9250, www.fourdirectionsa2.com, M-Sat: 11 AM – 7 PM, Sun: 12 PM – 5 PMYost Ice Arena, 1116 S State St, Ann Arbor, 734-764-6400, Hockey Tix: mgoblue.com/sports/2017/6/16/tickets-ihm-index-html.aspx