125 Things To Do In+Around Detroit This Summer

125 things to do this summer in and around detroit michigan

Summer is almost here!  Are you ready?!  I do love the seasons we have in Michigan but I really wish the summer would last longer than all of them combined.  The summer always seems to fly by and before you know it thoughts about back to school bring summer to an abrupt end.  One of my least favorite things about summer is listening my little guys say they are bored!  Really, oh please children, I know that is not the truth, we are constantly exploring or doing things outdoors which seems like good enough boredom busters to me!  Here is a list I can now turn to when I need an idea, it’s packed with 125 Things To Do In+Around Detroit this summer!  

The ULTIMATE Summer List – Pure Michigan!


……Summer Spent In Your Own Backyard……

1. Get outdoors everyday the sun shines! {enjoy walks to the park, playing catch, climbing trees, pool time}

2. Do an outdoor project, maybe plant flowers, car wash at home, or a bike wash, sensory play, transform a garden bed into a play scape {DIY idea here}, scavenger hunt}

3. Grow a garden big or small, if you don’t have a yard try container gardening! {gardening tips here, here and here}

4. Help your child learn to ride their bike1239614_10204106431047346_6618668636284868905_n

5. Make a giant bubble making experiment

6. Wash the car in the driveway or let the kids wash their own bikes or patio furniture

7. Have a water balloon fight

8. Fly a kite and maybe even try to make your own handmade kite!

9. Roast marshmallows and make s’mores or banana boats

10. Collect interesting rocks and start a rock collection

11. Search for a four-leaf clover, it’s a great way to pass time when waiting

12. Visit relatives or friends you don’t see often

13. Do something nice for a neighbor 

14. Make home-made ice cream in a bag recipe here or home-made ice cream sandwiches recipe herehomemade ice cream 6

15. Eat dinner outside as a family

16. Host a backyard BBQ with friends

17. Make home-made popsicles {DIY ideas here, here and here}

18. Show a movie outdoors with friends, set up the TV outside and have a movie night with popcorn + treats {DIY ideas here}

19. Watch the sunrise

20. Watch the sunset

21.  Grill a pizza, let the kids make their own mini-pizzas, recipe ideas here}

22. Catch fire fly’s + star gaze

23. Set up a tent on the deck or backyard and camp out

24. Engage the family in a pillow fight

25. Make a homemade photo booth {DIY ideas here}

26. Play in the rain and jump in puddles

27. Make a home-made banana split to share with the kidsIMG_8521

28. Make fresh squeezed lemonade, let the kids have a lemonade stand! {try this recipe}

29. Tie-dye shirts or pillow case, bed sheets, socks… {DIY ideas here}

30. Get outdoors and do summer crafts, less mess {DIY ideas here and here}

31. DIY twister in the yard  {DIY ideas here}

32. Build and watch an herb garden grow {kids DIY herb garden idea here}

33. Build a fort on the deck  {Simple DIY idea here}

34. Movie marathon on a rainy day 

35. Do a photo challenge or photo scavenger hunt {maybe chalk art, A-Z in nature or architecture, project life, Instagram challenge}

36. Run through the sprinklers

37. Take dad {or mom} a picnic lunch while they are at work

38. Try to fry an egg on the sidewalk on one of the hottest days of the summer

39. Do a progressive dinner with friends {visit different restaurants or set it up where each family hosts one course at their house}

40. Make an indoor fort and sleep under it with your kids

41. Hula hoop, hopscotch, jump rope, set up a maze, use sidewalk chalk, blow bubbles outside, the list of outdoor activities is endless!

42. Sleep in!!!

43. Remember to take time to relax too and enjoy media free days when the weather is nice!


……Summer In the City……

44. Attend a fair or weekend event {stay up to date this summer with DMB’s Weekend Happenings}

45. Visit the DIA {did you know that residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties can visit the museum and enjoy FREE admission?!}

46. Visit the Michigan Science Center 

47. Visit the Eastern Market 

48. Go to a Detroit Tigers Game 

49. Visit Belle Isle and explorekmbDDMBCG_comericapark2_resize

50. Visit one of Detroit’s Favorite neighborhoods – Mexicantown, Greektown, Midtown, Corktown, Riverfront

51. Go to a splash pad {free Detroit splash parks::  Palmer Park or Mt. Elliott Park}

52. Bike the RiverWalk and rent a bike from Wheelhouse Detroit 

53. Watch the Detroit Fireworks 

54. Visit one of Detroit’s Historical Museums – Detroit Historical MuseumMotown Historical MuseumCharles H. Wright Museum of African American HistoryHistoric Fort Wayne CoalitionFord Piquette Avenue Plant

55. Attend the Dream Cruise and admire some all- American muscle – Woodward Dream Cruise

56. Eat from one of these fab Detroit Food Trucks

57. Visit the Ren Cen and check out some amazing views of the city

58. Go on a date night, maybe check out one of the many great restaurants downtown {stay up to date this summer with DMB’s Weekend Happenings}


……Summer In Your Neighborhood……

59. Take the kids camping overnight at a local campground explore the great outdoors, spend time in nature, build a campfire, camping tips here

60. Visit the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak, the Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo or the Toledo Zoo in Ohio

61. Go to an outdoor concert {Our Concerts in Detroit, Free Family and Kids Concert Series or stay up to date this summer with DMB’s Weekend Happenings}kmbDDMBCG_detroitzoo_resize

62. Take advantage of the MAP {Michigan Activity Pass at your local library.  This is a cool program where library users with a valid library card from any one of Michigan’s nearly 400 public libraries can print a pass, either from home or at the library, to one of the 70+ participating cultural institutions that offer complimentary or reduced rate tickets!}

63. Pick our own fruit and veggies and learn how to can them 

64. Visit a local farm {Dominos Petting Farm – Ann Arbor, Kensington Farm Center – Milford, Maybury Farm – Northville}

65. Take local swim lessons

66. Go on play-dates with friends and familyIMG_8986

67. Attend a local fair {stay up to date this summer with DMB’s Weekend Happenings}

68. Go to an outdoor karaoke night or local trivia night

69. Swim in a lake {Huron-Clinton Metroparks}

70. Visit a farmers markets {Guide to Detroit + Metro-Detroit markets here}

71. Watch a local firework display {Guide to Detroit + Metro-Detroit fireworks here}

72. Go to a local splash pad {Guide to Detroit + Metro-Detroit splash pads and pools here}

73. Take a long nature hike {create a scavenger hunt to use!}  {Huron-Clinton Metroparks}

74. Go to a drive-in movie theater {Ford Drive-InDearborn, Summer Drive In at Compuware – Plymouth}

75. Play putt-putt, go go-carting, or batting cages! {Paradise ParkNovi}

76. Attend a local parade {stay up to date this summer with DMB’s Weekend Happenings}

77. Go fishing {Huron-Clinton Metroparks}

78. Visit the library for reading time, book club and other kids activities

79. Visit the new Sea Life Michigan AquariumAuburn Hills

80. Visit the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House – Grosse Pointe Shores

81. Take golf lessons

82. Go on a picnic 

83. Check out your local Home Depot or Lowes for free kids classes

84. Go on a paddle boat or take a boat ride 

85. Visit the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens or the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History and Planetarium – Ann Arbor

86. Try a new restaurant {date night reviews here}

87. Visit Sanders Chocolate Factory for a free tour with free chocolate – Clinton Township

88. Visit The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village – Dearborn

89. Visit Crossroads Village + Huckleberry Railroad – Flint

90. Visit the Ann Arbor Hands On MuseumAnn Arbor

91. Walk through the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair Ann Arbor

92. Walk through the Art in the Park – Plymouth

93. Walk through Arts, Beats + EatsRoyal Oak

94. Play baseball or kick the soccer ball together at a local park

95. Build a sandcastle

96. Get creative and paint pottery or paint a masterpiece!  {Bee’s Knee’s – Northville, Creative Arts Studio Royal Oak, The Painted Pot Rochester, Pottery CreationsWyandotte, CreatopiaPlymouth} or {Painting with a Twist – Farmington, Ferndale, Rochester Hills, Ann Arbor, Shelby Township}

97. Attend a family reunion, or make a family tree togetherD Historical Car

98. Go on an early morning picnic {pack up breakfast burritos or stop at your local doughnut joint first}

99. Stop at a local ice cream shop {my local favorite is Guernsey Farms Dairy Northville}

100. Visit Calder Dairy + FarmCarleton

101. Go to the movie theater, attend a play or checkout a local Imax theatre 

102. Go bowling! {here  and here are a Kids Bowl Free lists!}

103. Zip line at Adventure Park – West Bloomfield or burn some energy at Sky Zone trampoline park – Canton


……Summertime In Northern Michigan……

104. Visit northern Michigan and swim in one of the great lakes, we have the largest freshwater coastlines in the U.S.

105. Visit Mackinaw Island and cross the Mackinaw Bridge, ride your bike around the island and don’t forget to try some Mackinaw Fudge

106. Pick your own fruit and veggies and learn how to can them 

107. Visit a Michigan Lighthouse

108. Visit a city in Michigan we have never been to and enjoy their little shops and boutiques {take a road trip, tips here}

109. Take a long nature hike, pack a lunch and create a scavenger hunt to use  {Huron-Clinton Metropark, Northern Michigan Trails, Biking TrailsTraverse Area Recreation Trails}

110. Build a campfire and roast marshmallows {bonus:: make s’mores or banana boats}

111. Go fishing at one of the many lakes in Michigan or try charter fishing on a Great Lake

112. Watch the sunrise on Lake Huron

113. Watch the sunset on Lake Michigan

114. Visit the Soo LocksSault Ste. Marie

115. Go on a paddle boat or take a boat ride IMG_0633

116. Attend the National Cherry Festival – Traverse City

117. Kayak, canoe or tube down the Au Sable, PinePlatte, Crystal, or Boardman Rivers

118. Visit the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore one of the most beautiful lake shores in Michigan

119. Visit an indoor water park, Zehnders Splash VillageFrankenmuthKalahariOhio or Great Wolf Lodge Michigan + Ohio

120. Send the kids to an overnight camp 

121. Take the family camping and explore Michigan’s shore lines

122. Visit the U.P. {visit here for 1,000 things to do in the Upper Peninsula}

123. Visit a Michigan Winery {Both the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas have great wineries}

124. Visit the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore 

125. Golf at one of America’s favorite Golf Courses


I have made a printable version of this list to share with you!!  Hang it on the refrigerator door, share with your family, make your own bucket list, enjoy your summer!!!

DMB Summer Wish List Printable

DMB Summer Wish List Printable




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Hi Detroit Mommas!!! I'm Annette Rioux, co-founder of Detroit Moms Blog. I'm a work-at-home momma raising my family in Novi. I am passionate about creating a healthy + happy life for the ones I love most in this world, my husband Joel and our 2 boys JB + JJ. I am working on getting my small creative business off the ground {annette's creation's}, I homeschool our 2 boys {age 5 + age 3}, and help run this wonderful blog {DMB}! I was given this opportunity to stay home with my family when I was laid off from my Interior Design career mid-January 20-13. I was a stressed, unhappy mom wanting more freedom in my life at the time. We made many sacrifices to do this, we work everyday to keep me home raising our family. I love design, DIY, creating a healthy lifestyle, entertaining, reading, learning, coffee and just being a MOM. I'm learning how acceptance, letting go, and choosing happiness can lead me to where I need to be.



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