More than 70 ways to have an unforgettable, design...

More than 70 ways to have an unforgettable, design-filled September in Detroit

Detroit Month of Design is upon us… and there are enough events exploring the city’s design legacy and future to fill your entire month. But there’s so much else out there! Read on to plan out a jam-packed September… we’ve selected some of the design happenings we’re most excited about, plus dozens of other ideas to get active, inspired, cultured, entertained and — of course — well fed.


♨️ As the weather gets chilly, steam up at a Schvitz night — the bathhouse is reopen following renovations. Recommended by Detour member Kim Long. (Hours five days a week starting Sept. 3, North End, $30 entry, info)

🌳 Walk the Nashua Creek Trail with an expert, and keep your eye out for beavers and migrating birds. BYO bug spray. (Sept. 4, Belle Isle, free, register)

🌊 Get an immersive education on pollution in local waterways with Dr. Tracie Baker, Wayne State University professor and director of the Baker WATER Lab, along with a demonstration of contaminants in the Rouge River with colored lanterns. (Sept. 4, Eliza Howell Park, free, RSVP)

🔮 See more than 75 innovative design projects from Detroit, all in one place, at the opening of the “Inclusive Futures” exhibit. (Sept. 5, Downtown, free, register)

🎙 Spin a tale about a hard-learned lesson at the Moth storytelling night. (Sept. 5, New Center, $15, tickets)

💵 Support Livernois Avenue businesses during construction at the second monthly Cash Mob. (Sept. 6, Livernois, free to attend, info)

🖼️ Check out the second installment of the Halal Metropolis exhibition, exploring the facts, fictions and imaginaries of local Muslim populations. Recommended by Detour member Sharon Buttry. (Sept. 6, Hamtramck, free, info)

Featured event from our content partner, the Detroit Free Press Wine & Food Experience:

Join us in Cadillac Square on September 14 for the Detroit Free Press Wine & Food Experience! We’ll be chatting up the newest stars of Detroit’s restaurant scene and indulging in the rich traditions of the city’s culinary traditions! This year’s tasting will include big names like Cameron Rolka (soon of Mink), Mike Ransom (Ima), Thomas Lents (Detroit Foundation Hotel), April Anderson (Good Cakes and Bakes), Maxcel Hardy (River Bistro) andJohn Vermiglio and Joe Giacomino (Grey Ghost).

Meet your favorite local chefs at the Grand Tasting and sample off-menu specialties from your favorite restaurants. Lively cooking demonstrations, chef meet & greets, and seminars allow you to deepen your understanding of cooking, the restaurant industry and all things wine. And make sure you come thirsty for the unlimited wine tasting throughout the day!

Fill out the form here for a chance to win TWO free Grand Tasting tickets to the Detroit Free Press Wine & Food Experience (valued at $170! ) And click here to buy your tickets now, just in case you don’t win!

📚 Spark some back to school excitement with new books at Pages Bookshop’s sale on kids and YA books, with treats from Good Cakes and Bakes. (Sept. 7, Grandmont Rosedale, free to attend, books 10% off, info)

💃🏽 Join Big Red Wall Dance Company for a place-based performance about the relationship between black women’s bodies and Detroit green spaces. (Sept. 7, Eliza Howell Park, free, info)

🎸 Meander through performances from local bands, food stalls, art and more at the 42nd Dally in the Alley. (Sept. 7, Midtown, free, info)

🚌 Learn about how black architects shaped the city landscape on a bus tour around Detroit, (Sept. 7, Midtown, $45, tickets)

🏮 See history come alive as reenactors guide you through the nighttime Detroit Underground Railroad Lantern Tour. (Sept. 7, Downtown, $36, info)

🍳 Join a community feast and learn tips on reducing food waste, with a cooking competition from youth chefs, discussion with James Beard Chefs Action Network Chefs Hari Pulapaka and Jennifer Hill Booker and more to learn and eat. Recommended by Detour member Mia Zavalij. (Sept. 8, Eastern Market, free, info)


🔐Learn about the Freedom of Information Act (you know, the law that gives citizens like us the right to know what our government is doing), and get one-on-one advice to filing a FOIA from legal experts and Free Press journalists. (Sept. 9, North Rosedale, free, register)

🐕 Learn to read your dog’s body language and cut down on conflict at a one-day workshop. (Sept. 9, Ferndale, $25, tickets)

âš“ Raise the mainsail, cut through the waves, and learn the history of tall ships on Michigan waters at special river cruise on the The Appledore IV. (Sept. 9, Downtown, $79, tickets)

🏛️ Hear from a panel of black women architects with the founders of Noir Design Parti and others.  (Sept. 10, Downtown, free, register)

🌙 Access an eerie universe at “A Spy in the Desert,” a live show from the “Welcome to Night Vale” crew. (Sept. 10, Downtown, $27-$63, info)

📖 Read the Flint water crisis book What The Eyes Don’t See: The Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, then hear from author Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha. (Sept. 10, Cultural Center, free, register)

🐝 Get some inspiration for your vacant land at a discussion about how community members are using side lots to create social spaces, manage stormwater, attract pollinators and more. (Sept. 10, Morningside, free, info)

🏘️ It’s called PechaKucha, and it’s an informal learning convening where participants present short slideshows on a topic close to them. This night’s stories focus on housing, public spaces, economy, neighborhoods and city systems to tackle the big question of how to build an inclusive future. (Sept. 11, Downtown, free, info)

⚙️ Ready to skate into Derby? Get the deets on joining up with the Detroit Roller Derby crew. (Sept. 11, Cass Corridor, free, info)

🌒 Go dark and dramatic at a talk on Caravaggio in the historic, private Detroit Club. (Sept. 11, Downtown, $20-$25, info)

🥨 Bite into the flavorful history of Detroit’s most iconic snack and the chiprepreneurs that made Better Made, with author Karen Dybis. (Sept. 12, Milwaukee Junction, $6-$12, tickets)

🥫 Preserve that autumnal harvest at a demonstration on pickling and canning. (Sept. 12, Islandview, free, info)

🎬 See the best of female-led movies all in one place — in genres ranging from music videos to thrillers — at the Detroit SheTown Film Festival. (Sept. 12-15, Midtown, $10/festival passes $70, info)

🎵 Don’t miss Black Milk’s local stop, with band Nat Turner. (Sept. 12, Southwest, $20-$25, tickets)

💬 Hear how the national security state targets Islamic institutions at the 9/11 Anniversary Town Hall — and how targeting affects communities, with keynote by Dr. Debbie Almontaser and personal storytelling from local residents. (Sept. 13, Dearborn, $10-$15, info)

🎨 Black migration is a point of departure for a performance with the multidisciplinary exhibit, “FLY I DROWN,” with work by Bree Grant, Sterling Toles, Sabrina Nelson, Isabelle Molnar and Devin A. Drake. (Sept. 13 and recurring events, Midtown, free, RSVP)

🦞 Tie on a bib and chow down at the Great American Lobster Fest. (Sept. 13-15, Hart Plaza, free to attend, food packages $39/$89, info)

🎭 Tap into your mysterious side for Soirée on the Greenway, a moonlight masquerade, strolling dinner and live art show to support the Dequindre Cut and Riverfront. Recommended by Detour member Stephan Bobalik. (Sept. 13, Dequindre Cut, $50/$60, info)

🧙‍♀️ Make it a Friday the 13th to remember at the Harvest Moon edition of the Witches Night Bazaar, with esoteric wares, metaphysical workers and a communal midnight ritual to plant the seeds of your intentions. (Sept. 13, Milwaukee Junction, $11.11, info)

🚴‍♀️ Make the streets your own on the citywide Tour de Troit bike ride, a leisurely 25 mile circuit starting from the historic train station — or 62 miles if you’re really ready to pedal. (Sept. 14, Corktown, $55+, info

🎉 Check out the cultural legacy and community-led development of the North End at a block party with entrepreneurs, artists and imagineers. (Sept. 14, North End, free, info)

🇧🇷 Celebrate Brazilian Day at a family-friendly street fest — watch dance performances and take a workshop to learn some Samba steps yourself. (Sept. 14, Conner Creek Industrial, free, info)

🧵 Tie up your whole weekend at the Textile Takeover, with dozens of artisans, workshops exploring different methods of working with fabric, demonstrations, and a craft fair. (Sept. 14-15, Kercheval and Chalmers, free to attend, info)

📜 Learn about African American Muslim history in Detroit at breakfast with Aprille McKay, archivist at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library. (Sept. 15, Dexter-Linwood, $7, info)

🇲🇽 Mark Mexican Independence Day with a celebration in the park. (Sept. 15, Clark Park, free, info)


✍️ Learn about building a writing freelance business through the power of customer referrals, with instructor Laura Khalil. (Sept. 16, Downtown, $47-$65, info)

🎶 Prepare to sing a tune or come for the good vibes and to maybe discover your next favorite musician at Ghost Light’s weekly Songwriter Open Mic Night. (Sept 17, Hamtramck, free, info)

🧪 Skip the airplane food jokes as comedians bring their most cerebral material and academics tap into their funny side at Stand Up Science with Shane Mauss. (Sept. 17, Royal Oak, $20, tickets)

🧘Rest the mind at The Unwind — meditate, draw, write and otherwise chill out with new friends and peaceful music. (Sept. 18 and weekly, North LaSalle, donations welcome, info)

🕺 Heat up your fall at an Afro Cuban dance class with Iyawo Dance Theatre Folkloric Women’s Vocal Ensemble. (Sept. 18 and repeats, Cultural Center, $68 for 6 weeks, info)

🔩 Hear about the future of upcycled design from craftsman, inventor, and collector Carlos Nielbock, as he gives a tour of his Detroit Gallery of Metals. (Sept. 18, Eastern Market, $10, tickets)

🎹 If transcendent vocals in a swampy Southern soul bed doesn’t intrigue you, maybe the Ike and Tina Turner comparison will? Michael and Tanya Trotter’s The War and Treaty is the duo to check out. Recommended by Detour member Colleen Robar. (Sept. 19, Midtown, $29, tickets)

🎭 See the outer limits of grassroots theater at the Detroit Fringe Festival, now in its sixth year. (Sept. 19-22, various Detroit and Hamtramck venues, ticket prices TBD, info)

🌃 It’s Eastern Market After Dark, the most can’t-miss Month of Design event. Head to the market for a big arty party, with late night hours for shops and galleries, installations, djs, food and more. (Sept. 19, Eastern Market, free, info)

📖 Learn the history of Conant Gardens at a talk with Orin Jones, who lived in the northwest Detroit Neighborhood and cowrote a book about it. (Sept. 19, Cultural Center, free, register)

🏒 Get a status update on neighbor concerns with the Little Caesars Arena at the last Neighborhood Advisory Committee meeting for the arena district. Recommended by Detour and NAC member Francis Grunow. (Sept. 19, Midtown, free, info)

🌿 This isn’t a victory lap: discuss how African Americans are still facing barriers in the burgeoning cannabis industry and how they’re breaking in, with Melek Dexter, founder of pot investing startup Re-Up Holdings. (Sept. 19, Eastern Market, free, register)

🎁 Take your pop-up biz to the next level with a workshop on design and merchandising best practices — or come later to shop the retail pop-ups’ revamped displays. (Sept. 20, TechTown, free, register)

🍾 Party with Moodymann and friends in honor of Marble Bar’s 4th anniversary. (Sept. 20, New Center, $10-$20, info)

🎈 Shop and meander as the streets close off to cars at the Ferndale DIY Street Fair. Recommended by Detour member Alex Dimitrijeski. (Sept. 20-22, Ferndale, free to attend, info)

🧰 Open the door to a world of design for a creative kid, with workshops on shadow puppets,  biomimicry, upcycled furniture, terrariums, leatherworking, jewelry and more for Youth Design Day. (Sept. 21, Cultural Center, first 600 tickets free, register)

🧵 Fill up your craft box at the Arts & Scraps Fall Fabric Sale. (Sept. 21 and three more dates, Morningside, free to attend, info)

🇩🇪 Drink up seasonally, with a bit of German flair, in the Parktoberfest Biergarten. Not a drinker? There’s also a Faygo Root Biergarten, with ice cream floats. (Sept. 21-22, Downtown, free to attend, info

🥡 Guerilla Food hosts the grand opening of Highland Park’s Pink FlaminGo to Go, featuring healthy carryout meals. The ticketed launch party features a photo booth, games and a brunch buffet! (Sept. 22, near Palmer Park, $20, details here)

🎨 Pop Art? More like Pup Art! Channel your inner Andy Warhol in this five-hour screenprinting class and create a modern masterpiece of your favorite furry friend. Price includes all materials. (Sept. 22, Jefferson Chalmers area, $110, tickets here)

🐶 What makes a walk for animal welfare more unique? A walk where dogs and horses get to join! Giddy Up Pup gathers riders, dogwalkers and their equine and canine friends for a stroll through Eastern Market. (Sept. 22, Eastern Market, $25-$65, tickets here).


🎙️ Local treasure and WDET radio host Ann Delisi hosts an essential conversation with NPR’s Don Gonyea on his experience as a presidential correspondent and his time at WDET. The ticket price includes complimentary appetizers and alcoholic beverages. (Sept. 23, Midtown, $101.90, tickets)

🏗️ Get the update on downtown Detroit’s biggest real estate projects and hobnob with the city’s movers and shakers at the Downtown Detroit Partnership’s Fall Stakeholder Meeting and reception. (Sept. 24, Downtown, $25, info here)

🏆 Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang… Bingo, that is. Enjoy a night of drag queen bingo. Prizes, drag awards and morally questionable comments are all promised. (Sept. 25, Ferndale, $35/$50, info)

🥂 Honor the Ruth Ellis Center’s 20 years supporting at-risk LGBTQ youth in Detroit at the 2019 Voices! Gala. (Sept. 26, Downtown, $195/$295, info)

🎸 That Hamtramck institution known as Small’s celebrates its 20th anniversary with a rollicking show by the Grande Nationals and more. (Sept. 27, Hamtramck, $12+, check it out)

🍳 At this monthly MOCAD brunch-and-listen, a local DJ takes eaters and listeners through the musical influences who shaped his or her artistic identity. September’s “Point of Influence” features DJ Delano Smith exploring his house and techno roots. (Sept. 28, Midtown, free with food for purchase, info)

📸 Fifteen Detroit photographers and 10 local kids are each handed a disposable camera. What they captured is the subject of “Disposable,” a new exhibit at Linwood Avenue’s Light Box studio that’s a meditation on the Motor City during the sweet summertime. (Sept. 28, North LaSalle, free, details)

🍻 Get your Oktoberfest on early at Atwater in the Park’s annual celebration, featuring a legit lederhosen contest, Bavarian-themed music, stein challenges for the männer und frauen and more. (Sept. 28, Grosse Pointe Park, free, info)

🍎 Head to Cider in the City to fill up on doughnuts and warm drinks, without making the trek to the orchard. (Sept. 28 and Saturdays through October, Downtown, info)

💡Celebrate the history — and future — of Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion at Light Up Livernois, featuring open studios, fashion vignettes, music and more. (Sept. 28, Livernois Avenue, free, deets here)

🏆 Interact with the three winning prototypes of the Detroit City of Design contest and their visions for the neighborhoods of Southwest Detroit, Hope Village and Grandmont Rosedale, at this Design Core celebration. (Sept. 29, Downtown, free, info)

🌳 We have not forgotten about the Joe Louis Greenway; which, when completed, will link Detroit, Hamtramck, Dearborn and Highland Park for hikers and bikers. If you’re as stoked as we are, get a sneak peak of the first completed 17 miles at this fundraiser, hosted by Wheelhouse Detroit and the Detroit Greenways Coalition. (Sept. 29, Riverfront, $45, tickets)

🚘 Wish the Model T a happy birthday with free admission to the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, free T rides, a classic car show, activities for kids and tasty treats. (Sept. 29, Milwaukee Junction, free, info

🌸 Eat up at a vegetarian potluck and a neighborhood celebration of the season’s dahlia flowers. Featuring live music and fun for kiddos. (Sept. 29, Jefferson Chalmers, free, details here)

📺 Put all those hours watching “Game of Thrones” to good use at a night of trivia for the late HBO show. Even if you lose, you’ll get to do it while drinking mead. (Sept. 30, Warren, free to attend, info)

Kate Abbey-Lambertz is the co-founder and editorial director for Detour Media. She leads editorial strategy for the signature Detour Detroit newsletter, The Blend and special projects, while shaping Detour’s membership program, audience development initiatives and design. Kate was previously a national reporter at HuffPost, where she covered equitable cities and urban issues. She launched HuffPost’s Detroit vertical, serving as reporter and editor, and has reported on Detroit for a decade. Follow her on Twitter: @kabbeyl