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Kid Rock’s part of refurbished Detroit museum

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Updated: December 3, 2012 8:29AM

Officials say 15,000 people visited the Detroit Historical Museum during its reopening this past week, after six months’ worth of renovations. The new-look DHM features expanded exhibits and technology upgrades. The half-year project marked the museum’s first major refurbishment since the 1960s. Additions include the Kid Rock Music Lab and the Legends Plaza. The interactive music lab exhibit allows guests to feel what it’s like to be on stage with artists such as Kid Rock. They also can mix their own music and test their Detroit music knowledge. The new outdoor Legends Plaza features handprints from a number of Detroit’s biggest names, including Barry Sanders, Alice Cooper and Elmore Leonard. Visit

Downtown Las Vegas to add more zip

Tourists will soon have a new way to see the lights of Las Vegas: By being spit out of the mouth of an 11-story slot machine and zinged down a five-block zip line past some of the city’s oldest casinos. Officials last week unveiled plans for a permanent zip line on the downtown Las Vegas promenade known as the Fremont Street Experience. The thrill ride has been dubbed SlotZilla. The monster zip line will cost $11 million to build and between $20 and $30 to ride. Construction is expected to start in January. The attraction, expected to open in June, is an expansion of a much smaller, temporary zip line that has for two years scooted families, newlyweds and Elvis impersonators beneath a long metal canopy that displays an hourly light show. Currently, riders launch four at a time from a 67-foot metal scaffolding and land 800 feet away near the Four Queens casino, halfway across the pedestrian mall that features the world’s largest video screen. The new tower will be twice as tall, feature twice as many lines, and will look like a giant slot machine spitting out disoriented tourists.

National Zoo opens carousel

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has opened a new solar-powered “conservation carousel” with hand-carved, hand-painted figures representing many endangered animals. The Speedwell Foundation donated $1.5 million of the $2.3 million cost to build the carousel; donations covered the remainder. Proceeds from ticket sales ($3 per person per ride) will support animal care and conservation research at the zoo. The carousel is powered by 162 solar panels and any excess energy is redirected to the zoo’s electrical grid. There are 58 animals represented on the carousel, including elephants, pandas, frogs, hummingbirds, blue crabs, lions and other critters. Visit www.

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