There are so many great things to do in Detroit, but if you’re not local to the area, you might miss out on some of the best hidden gems Detroit has to offer. One of these Metro Detroit hidden gems is Hamtramck Disneyland. Tucked into the northeast corner of the I-75 and I-94 interchange, this little spot features intriguing folk art by Dmytro Szylak and is definitely a must-see.
About Hamtramck Disneyland in Detroit
You’ll see this little outdoor, folk art gem from the alleyway between Sobieski Street and Klinger Street. When you get there, look up, because most of the artwork at Hamtramck Disneyland is located on the rooftops of the two garages.
The towering structure that Dmytro built is made from various items that are all connected and flow piece by piece, one into the next. The effect this gives makes it feel like a giant Erector set. The items he put into his work vary from new, used, purchased, and hand-made.
In addition to all of this, you can view ground-level artistry too. It’s really fascinating to see how he turned his own backyard into a piece of art.
As you look around, you can see that this intertwining and colorful artwork is Dmytro’s playful interpretation of Disneyland. You’re even greeted by a fun, hand-painted sign that says “Welcome to Art Show”.
Since all of the pieces that you’ll see here are very colorful and visually stimulating, it feels like a collage of primarily red, yellow, and blue. Dmytro’s use of the colors yellow and blue was his way of bringing his Urakinian origin into the artwork. You won’t run out of things to admire here.
What inspired the creation of Hamtramck Disneyland?
Dmytro moved from Ukraine to the United States with his wife in the 1950s. After retiring from his 30 year career at General Motors, he began building Hamtramck Disneyland. Then, he spent almost 30 more years enjoying the making of his never ending project.
Until his death in 2015, Dmytro made additions, updates, and changes to the artwork. He was 92 years old when he passed away. The estate was then purchased in 2016 by Hatch Art, who now repairs and maintains the amazing structure.
Other Things to Do in Detroit Near Hamtramck
Metro Detroit is full of great things to do, hidden gems, and unique places to eat, and you don’t have to venture far from Hamtramck Disneyland to find some of them…
- Continue the artistic theme of your day into Hamtramck Street Art, which is just a few blocks south of Hamtramck Disneyland. Here you’ll get to see some beautiful modern graffiti and Polish hand-painted murals.
- The Motown Museum is another interesting place to go. During your visit, you’ll get to see Hitsville USA – the birthplace of Motown Records and some amazing music.
- About 10 minutes south of Hamtramck Disneyland, is the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant where you’ll learn about and see some gorgeous old cars. This spot is where the Model T began and is now transformed into a neat museum.
- Continue south to Dessert Oasis Coffee Roasters and grab a delicious cup of coffee plus a sweet treat to boost your day.
- The Greektown Casino is a lively place to go have some fun and enjoy some exciting games. It is located a little more than 10 minutes south of Hamtramck Disneyland, in Downtown Detroit.
- Also located in Downtown Detroit, Cornerstone Barrel House is a great spot for dinner. This restaurant offers fresh local food and a whiskey bar that serves special bourbon and whiskey drinks.
- If you’re in the mood for seafood in Detroit, Joe Muer Seafood is a tasty option. Plus you get to enjoy a view of the river during your meal.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to Le Detroit Macaron. Located a little over 5 minutes south of Hamtramck Disneyland, this is a perfect place to grab a treat for now (and later) that offers a wide variety of macarons.
Where to Stay Near Hamtramck Disneyland
Want to explore more Michigan bucket list items near Hamtramck this summer? Book a night or two at one of these local Detroit hotels, hostels, or vacation rentals:
- Hamtramck Hostel
- Detroit Vacation Rental
- Beautifully Designed Warm and Cozy Detroit Artist Hideaway
- The Inn On Ferry Street
- Modern Urban Escape