Finding affordable summer fun for the family is not only time-consuming, but costly. Luckily, we have a list of local Metro Detroit hot spots with family-friendly–and wallet-friendly–memberships to consider this summer and beyond.
13 affordable family summer memberships in + around Detroit:
You can access 13 different Metro Detroit parks for one annual cost. Residents of Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne County pay an annual rate of $40 per vehicle to access the Huron-Clinton Metroparks throughout every season. This summer, have fun at splash pads, beaches, trails, kayaking, disc golf, nature centers, and free events held at metroparks each week.
If you ever wondered if a membership to the Henry Ford in Dearborn is worth the cost, we can tell you it most certainly is!
This summer, visit Greenfield Village to enjoy a bit of American history. You can visit a working farm, ride in a Model-T, play at the all-abilities playground, and take a ride on the carousel or train. You can also visit the new Detroit Central Market shed and many other homes pulled straight from history.
A family membership costs $185 and includes member-only days and free entry or discounted tickets to the many special events happening at the village this season. They are open to the public Thursday through Monday, with member-only days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
If you go on a hot day, split your time between the village and the museum. Your membership to the village also includes free admission to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.
3. Maybury Farm
Guided tours, breakfast with animals, raw honey, a general store, and even a preschool program called “Watch Me Grow”–this farm has it all! This farm is located in Northville and open Tuesday through Sunday. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, join story time and wagon rides at 11:00 a.m. with your membership admission. It is also right next to the best playground in Maybury State Park, shared by a parking lot. Hop on over after your farm visit for no additional cost. Membership costs $75 for a family of four; $15 for each additional person.
4. Detroit Zoo
Everyone loves the Detroit Zoo, especially now that the Polk Penguin Conservation Center is re-opened. Located in Royal Oak and open seven days a week, a family membership for two adults and four children to the zoo costs $127.
Free parking, unlimited admission, discount on Zoo merchandise and education programs, as well as discounts to other zoos and aquariums nationwide are all included in this fee.
With over 100 parks to visit in Metro Detroit alone, one single purchase of a Recreation Passport provides endless possibilities for summer fun. Camping, beaches, trails, playgrounds, geocaching, archery, boating, and shooting ranges are all included. Even access to (at an additional cost) JUMP ISLAND–the first outdoor inflatable waterpark in Michigan.
My personal favorite is Belle Isle State Park. There is no cost to enter the island as a cyclist or pedestrian. Upon entry you have access to a slew of attractions including a swimming beach, a giant slide, playgrounds, picnic shelters, the Belle Isle Aquarium, and the Nature Center. For an additional cost you can visit the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Belle Isle Golf Center.
A recreation passport can be purchased for $12 at the time of a license plate renewal through the Secretary of State or at most Department of Natural Resources (DNR) customer service centers for $17.
Family memberships include year-round access to the Wild Wonders Wildlife Park, Alexandria’s Nature Scape, the DTE Raptor Center and Nature Zone, as well as 10% off gift shop purchases, private events, and facility rentals. Located in Howell and open seven days a week. A family membership costs $75.
Visit the animals, have a giraffe encounter, take a camel ride or train ride, and reach for the stars on the jumbo jumper trampolines. A family membership costs $110 and the zoo is open every day.
8. Domino Farms
Meet chickens, cattle, ducks, sheep, rabbits, and more any day of the week at this Ann Arbor petting farm. An annual family membership costs $85 and includes 12 months of admission to the farm. It also includes numerous discounts on animal feed, hayrides, and special events.
Explore the food garden, take a wagon ride, visit horses and ponies, or milk a goat Thursday through Sunday at this Bloomfield Township farm. A family membership costs $85. For an additional cost, your family could join kid-friendly programs and a monthly culinary workshop.
If you are looking for air-conditioned hot spots this summer, consider family summer memberships at the following places to stay cool on super humid days and still burn the kids’ energy on rainy ones.
With locations in Oxford and Sterling Heights and a location coming soon to Livonia, they are open seven days a week. Monthly memberships range from $14.99 to $17.99 depending on the location. Once-a-day access to the ropes course, tumble track, bumper cars, tubes playground, warrior course, indoor skydiving, and indoor trampolines are included. Additional fees may apply.
Open Wednesday through Sunday, the Science Center has loads of fun for science lovers seeking shelter from the sun this summer. Check out a show in the Planetarium or IMAX Dome Theatre included in the cost of a family membership for $99. Enjoy plenty of hands-on exhibits and live shows at the Science Stage and DTE Energy Sparks Theatre.
12. Sky Zone
With locations in Shelby Township and Canton, monthly memberships range from basic to elite at a cost of $24.99 to $34.99. Both locations are open every day of the week. This trampoline park has wall-to-wall aerial action.
The Shelby Township location is offering a summer pass for $54.99 which includes 90 minutes of jump time every day through August 31st, 2022.
The Canton location is also offering a summer pass for $59.99 which includes 90 minutes of jump time every day through August 31st, 2022.
Little Leapers toddler jump times are available on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. This time slot is not included in the monthly membership. It features weekly themes with fun familiar favorites like Sesame Street and Toy Story. At a cost of $12.99 per child ages seven and under at both locations, this is a little-kid-only time slot for fun.
With a host of interactive exhibits, like Michigan History and the Tree of Life DNA exhibit, this museum in Ann Arbor is worth spending a day or two in. See science at work and journey through evolution during open hours Wednesday through Sunday. A family memberships costs $70 and includes store and cafe discounts as well as free planetarium and dome theatre passes.
Whether you are spending the day across town at a new-to-you Metropark for a day full of adventure, or soaking up science and air conditioning this summer inside, these affordable family summer memberships will meet all your family’s summer needs.