Things to do in Detroit before/after DUCF 2012

The Detroit Urban Craft Fair is this weekend! Two days, 100 vendors- it's definitely worth making the trip if you're not local. This is my fourth guide to Detroit for out-of-towners (or even distant Metro Detroiters) that could use a handy list of places to eat, things to do, and places to stay. Last year, a group of girls from Toronto came up to my booth at DUCF and told me they used my guide to have a great first time in Detroit; mission accomplished!

First, fair basics: the DUCF Facebook event page has everything you need to know. Saturday December 1st, 10am-7pm and Sunday December 2nd, 11am-6pm. It's at the Detroit Masonic Temple (at Cass and Temple) in the Drill Room. There are two lots to park in, parking is $6, and there's a lot attendant. Once you're inside the Masonic Temple, crafty signs will point you to the fair (hint, you'll have to take an elevator, and you'll probably want to get a little lost and check out the beautiful building).

photo by AlexaEats
 If you're an early bird and want to get breakfast before the fair, I recommend the Hudson Cafe. They have really good eggs benedict, amazing berry stuffed french toast, and red velvet pancakes!

If you just want to start your day with coffee, check out the new Great Lakes Coffee. They're open late, so if you need evening coffee, that's the place. Also new is Cafe con Leche del Este, a pop-up coffee shop in Lafayette Park. I know the Batata shop frequently sets up shop there, so you might get some sweet potato waffles if you're lucky.

Cass Corridor Museum
 If you need an afternoon break from DUCF (it's huge, you might need to go back), check out the Detroit Historical Museum. Even if you've been there before, they just finished a huge renovation that's worth another look. Then go to the Cass Corridor Museum. It's still a work in progress, but they're having an open house on Saturday. It will showcase the art/political activism of the area, which you definitely don't want to miss if you're into all that.

I could list a bunch of places to shop, because a bunch of them just opened up in the city, but I'm saving that for next week. The DUCF is only this weekend, are you kidding? Get back there!

If you want an evening adventure, Noel Night is happening on Saturday. It's like a giant Midtown open house. The streets are packed with people, and it shouldn't be too cold to walk around comfortably this weekend. Here's a schedule of every event happening, and if you're looking for a place to eat right in the epicenter, I would try Traffic Jam & Snug or Motor City Brewing Works. We tried to go to MCBW last year, and there was GIANT crown of people in the middle of Canfield St., following the the Detroit Party Marching Band making a lot of racket (and I mean that in the best way possible!), and it was a little too much excitement for this tired DUCF vendor, so we headed to the much calmer Mudgies, which a lot of people think of as a lunch place but don't realize that they have really good dinners too and are open until 9pm. But if you like all that excitement, I really recommend exploring Noel Night. The Detroit Bus Company will be shuttling people to various nightlife places from Noel Night, so if you still want more adventure, I would check out their schedule.

photo by David Lewinski

For a list of places to stay the night, refer to the 2011 guide, and for more places to eat/get coffee ect., here's 2010 and 2009.  Have an amazing time!


  1. I look forward to this guide every year! It's such a valuable service, and so well done.

    I'd like to add that the Trumbullplex is hosting an event on Saturday night, with live music, a DJ, puppets, a bonfire, poetry, zine readings, food, and yes: more local craft vendors! (Can you believe the craftiness of Detroit?)

    All proceeds from this event will support a hearing before the Supreme Court, appealing the Terrorism Enhancement law, which allows harsher sentencing for activists.

    The Trumbullplex is one of the most unique and lovable venues in Detroit. And that is really saying something! It's a housing collective and community showspace. It's a tangled complex of brick Victorian houses and lush urban gardens. It's a living, thriving example of a radical counterculture that predates Detroit's recent development. So if you like that current of community and creativity that you feel flowing through DUCF, and you want to trace it back to its source, the Trumbullplex is a pretty good place to start.

    Political Extravaganza Variety Fun-raiser
    Saturday, Dec. 1
    7 pm - 11 pm
    4210 Trumbull
    $5 - $10 suggested donation

  2. Thanks Ethan! If anyone has other suggestions, feel free to leave a comment; there's a ton of stuff going on that weekend. Someone else mentioned DIY ice sculpture carving going on during Noel Night, but I don't know anything else about it except that it sounds really fun (and maybe somewhat dangerous, haha).



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