1. Cranbrook House and Gardens
The gardens are a treat and never crowded! I am an avid gardener so I enjoy walking through gardens. My family and I walk at Cranbrook often and enjoy the winding, shady paths. The Japanese Garden is one of our favorites, however there are forty acres to explore. Admission to the gardens is free and tours of Cranbrook House are available on certain days for a small fee. Special events such as the Christmas Walk, Yoga in the Gardens, and presentations on the local flora and fauna require tickets as well as a small fee. Some of these events include tea and lunch, which makes the fee worth it!
2. Quarton Lake
Quarton Lake is a well kept secret in Birmingham with a gravel trail, a sculpture garden, plenty of benches, a waterfall and bridge over the River Rouge, and is dog-friendly. My dog really likes to walk here and her Amazon harness really makes it easy to guide her along.
It is located near Quarton and Woodward. The whole trail runs in a complete circle and is about 6,000 steps! It is also five minutes away from downtown Birmingham, which has plenty of restaurants and shops to check out as well.
3. Troy Farmer’s Market
Fridays from 3-7 pm, the Troy Library Parking lot becomes the Troy Farmer’s Market. On my most recent trip, I bought apple cider, fresh plums, and raspberries from Blake’s Orchard, homemade pasta from Pasta E Pasta, and several used books from the Friends of the Troy Library. Each week is different but count on music, food trucks and various vendors.
If you have library card, you likely have access to Hoopla. I learned about Hoopla when I was exploring cable alternatives. Hoopla is free and allows subscribers to rent five titles per month. It includes movies, TV shows, audiobooks, ebooks, and music. I stream movies and TV shows from my Nook to my TV via Chromecast. It is compatible with Android and iOS and allows downloads so that you can view the titles later when you do not have access to Wi-Fi. Hoopla is a great option for a rainy day!
Movies are always a fun activity and the deals at these local theaters are not to be missed. Both MJR and Emagine have $5 movie showings on Tuesdays. Emagine Theatres also have $8 movies on Wednesdays which include a small popcorn if you show your library card. A movie can be a low cost way to get out of the house with friends or family, enjoy a drink, and dive into another world.