Free and Cheap Activities In + Around Detroit


Summer is coming to an end, but we know your kids may still be looking for some fun! That’s why we’re sharing with you a whole list of free and cheap activities in and around Detroit. Older siblings back in school soon? Now is the time to hop in the car with the little siblings and catch up on all the fun around town that you may have missed while traveling. Looking for a family-friendly weekend idea? Our list has plenty of those!

Our list is sorted based on the type of activity, so you can quickly scroll through to find just what you’re looking for. If you don’t have anything specific in mind to do, then we suggest starting at the beginning and working your way through! You can even show the list to your kids and have them pick free and cheap activities in and around Detroit, but as a choose-your-own-adventure style.

Whichever way you go about it, we hope you have FUN!

Free and cheap activities in + around Detroit:


There are so many fun, educational, air-conditioned places to visit in and around Detroit! Here are a few we recommend:

  • 2 Dandelions Bookshop in Brighton: family story time every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Plus, it’s right by the farmer’s market and imagination station playground!
  • Detroit Institute of Arts: reservations are recommended, but it is FREE to visit for residents of Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties
  • Henry Ford Estate in Dearborn: tour the grounds for free Monday through Friday until 6:00 p.m.
  • The Ford House in Grosse Pointe: grounds passes are $10.00 per adult (and free for children five and under!) and they are open Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • The Ford House Explorers: an outdoor walking tour for parents and kids ages five to eight; cost is $2 per child and adults are free (through September 10)
    • The Ford House Story Studio: Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.; cost is $5 for children ($4 if you’re a Ford House member) (through August 30)
  • Planet Fitness: FREE memberships for ages 14-19 with a high school ID (ends August 31st)


You’ll want to check out these can’t-miss events taking place in and around Detroit. There are so many amazing options for music and art!

  • Movies in the Metroparks: FREE to attend, you just need a daily or annual entry pass. Make a day out of it with a picnic lunch, and end with a movie at dusk! The movies start in August and run through September; see website for more details.
  • Northville summer concerts: Fridays and Saturdays, through October
  • Partridge Creek Summer Sounds: taking place every Friday through Sunday, now through Labor Day. Grab dinner at the mall and then stay for a concert afterwards!
  • Partridge Creek Wellness Wednesdays: a FREE yoga class on Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m. through August 31st


Your local library is full of summer fun! So many libraries offer family story time and some are even outdoors. But did you know about these other fun library programs?


There’s nothing better than enjoying the great outdoors on a beautiful summer day. Be sure to check out these free and cheap summer activities in and around Detroit!

  • Belle Isle: there is so much to do! FREE entry if you are a pedestrian or cyclist; cars need a Recreation Passport
  • Farmers Markets: there are so many to choose from all around the area!
  • Maybury Farm in Northville: this place is so fun! Cost to enter is $7 per person and kids under two are FREE!
  • Nature Centers: Honestly, there are so many! Belle Isle, Howell, Sterling Heights, Troy . . . you could spend an entire day at each one and enjoy all they have to offer.
  • Local parks: go on a park hop in your area, or try somewhere new! Bring lunch and a blanket, let the kids play, and then eat before you head home!

Water Activities

For more summer activities in and around Detroit, check out our A to Z Summer Bucket List!


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