Things for Families to Do in Downtown Detroit Parks

Feeling a trip downtown that doesn't include a restaurant or shopping? Look no further than these six downtown Detroit parks for plenty of fun for the kids.

Family fun in downtown Detroit parks

Parks are a perfect pick for a day of family fun in all sorts of weather. And when it comes to urban downtown Detroit parks, you’ll find a variety of seasonal activities for the entire family to enjoy – from summer-night movies and a manmade beach to ice skating rinks and holiday popup shops.

It’s all waiting at a cluster of six parks. Check out a sampling of what these kid-friendly venues have to offer all year round. For further details, be sure to visit the Downtown Detroit Parks website. After all, these parks pack in more than 1,600 events and draw 2 million people!

In general, event times vary by date, month and whether or not they’re free (many are). To learn even more, including details on hosting an outdoor kids birthday party at a park, call the Downtown Detroit Partnership at 313-566-8250.

Beacon Park

  • Address: 1901 Grand River Ave., Detroit
  • Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Visit this park any time of the year to enjoy its expansive green (or snow-covered) space. Don’t forget Market Thursdays, which run 11 a.m.-2 p.m. from June to October, for fresh produce. Or bring the family out for big game days to tailgate.

Beacon also offers a wide variety of food trucks in its Downtown Street Eats series, which happens 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday – primarily in summer but also a bit of fall. If it’s a little too chilly out, check out the nearby Lumen Detroit for some new-American eats.

Cadillac Square

  • Address: 1903 Grand River Ave., Detroit
  • Hours: vary by attractions offered
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Right next to Campus Martius Park (more on that next) lies Cadillac Square. Let the kids run off some energy at the Quicken Loans Sports Zone, open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. every day in the summer.

Or wander about the food trucks nearby that also participate in Downtown Street Eats offerings in downtown Detroit parks – going as long as the weather holds up – and enjoy your food near the Bagley Memorial Fountain.

Campus Martius Park

  • Address: 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily
  • Costs: Ice rink: $8/adults, $7/kids 12 and under, $7/seniors ages 65-plus

Campus Martius is the hub of all things fun in downtown Detroit. In the summer, sit down at its manmade beach and build sand castles with the tots. The park also offers a free movie in the park series.

When it gets colder, enjoy the extravagant outdoor ice rink and giant Christmas tree with the family. The rink opens around mid-November and stays open till early March.

Capitol Park

  • Address: In the middle of Shelby Street, Griswold Street, State Street and Grand River Avenue, Detroit
  • Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Fun fact: This cozy park was once home to Michigan’s first state capitol building! These days, you can bring the family pup by (on leash) to enjoy a small dog park. In the summer, expect to see food trucks and tables sprawled out for lunch or dinner. In the winter, visit the holiday market where local shops pop-up.

Grand Circus Park

  • Address: On either side of Woodward and Park avenues, Detroit
  • Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Right off of a QLine stop sits Grand Circus Park – and this five-acre park lives up to its grandiose name. It’s a home to various fountains, public art pieces, monuments and even canines frolicking around its large year-round dog park.

Be sure to explore a variety of free pleasant-weather special events here, too, like live theater, opera, music, literary readings and street performances. It’s fitting for a park that’s right in the middle of Detroit’s entertainment district, right nearby the Fox Theatre, Detroit Opera House, Comerica Park, Ford Field and more.

Spirit Plaza

  • Address: 2 Woodward Ave., Detroit
  • Hours: vary by attractions offered

Bring the kids down to see the beautiful monument that is the Spirit of Detroit and capture that family photo you’ve always been meaning to get.

This up-and-coming “civic square,” opened 2017, hosts weekday activities during nicer weather. That includes a rotating schedule of lunchtime food truck service (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) and live performances featuring youth and established artists (11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

Photo from the Downtown Detroit Partnership Facebook Page

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