Best Things to Do with Metro Detroit Kids This Summer

outdoor-detroit-destinations
Photo credit: Monroe Street Midway/Bedrock Detroit

Here in Michigan, we know that summer just hits a little differently. Vibrant sunsets, all-day water activities in the sun, juicy berry picking and lively events around town are just a few of the things that give Pure Michigan its trademark name. 

This year, get ready to have the best summer ever! We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to summer fun in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor, from family vacation ideas to at-home activities to keep the kids entertained during summer break. Plus, we’ve included family guides for celebrating Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Pride Month and more summer holidays. 

Ready to have some family fun in the sun? Check out our suggestions for things to do with your family in southeast Michigan this summer.

JUMP TO

BACK TO TOP

SUMMER FAMILY ACTIVITIES

Photo credit: Rochester Hills TV Team

After being trapped indoors all winter (and, let’s face it, much of the spring), Detroiters hit the ground running in the summer, eager to soak in the vitamin D and make the most of their time outdoors. 

Take advantage of everything that’s going on around town from June to September, but remember to take some time to smell the flowers (literally!). From outdoor adventures to free community events, we have summer activities for every family.

Listen to live music

Kick up the jams! Detroit is one of the most influential cities in music, which means one of the best ways to experience a true Michigan summer is by catching a concert in the park. From symphonies to rock ‘n’ roll, make one of these kid-friendly concerts the soundtrack to your summer. 

Catch a free movie in the park

Towns all over southeast Michigan host free movies in the park every summer. Grab your chairs, blankets and picnic snacks and catch an outdoor flick while enjoying the outdoors. 

Visit a local outdoor attraction

It’s a beautiful day — don’t let it go to waste! From metroparks and nature centers to outdoor sporting centers, there’s so many ways to spend a free day outside. This summer, explore metro Detroit by venturing to an outdoor attraction

Ride a bike

Sure, riding your bike around the block is fun, but take your next family bike ride up a gear by exploring a new trail. These beautiful bike trails around southeast Michigan are great for kids and offer fresh summer views for the entire family. 

Check out a local farmer’s market

Turn grocery shopping into a summertime treat by visiting a local farmer’s market. Kids will love the sights, sounds and fun activities at these farmer’s markets, and you’ll love getting the freshest produce, tasty snacks and more for your family. 

Pick your own berries

Nothing tastes more like summer than biting into a juicy strawberry. This summer, turn enjoying fresh berries into a family activity by picking your own produce at one of these U-pick berry farms near metro Detroit.

Have a picnic

Whether you pick up snacks at a farmer’s market or pack your grocery store favorites, having a picnic at one of these family-friendly picnic destinations is an easy way to enjoy a perfect summer’s day with your loved ones. Plus, we have yummy picnic recipes and tips for packing your picnic basket

Score a hole-in-one

Let your competitive side show as you take to the mini golf course for the ultimate family showdown  — just kidding! Putt putt is a game best enjoyed with a bit of friendly competition. Ready to get your game on? Head to one of these outdoor mini golf spots in southeast Michigan

Take time to smell the flowers — literally

Take some time to appreciate the natural beauty of the season by frolicking through the flowers. These flower fields worth the drive in Michigan are picture perfect destinations that are guaranteed to add a little sunshine to your day. 

Splash and play at a sprayground

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing like cooling off at a splash park or sprayground. These cool-tastic spots in Michigan and beyond are made for soaking up fun and staying cool all summer long. 

Enjoy a tasty treat

If you’re not enjoying a tasty ice cream cone this summer, then can you really say you enjoyed your summer? Treat your child (and yourself!) to a yummy treat this summer at one of the independent ice cream shops in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor. 

Monroe Street Midway Returns for Summer 2023

Detroit's favorite outdoor attraction returns for the 2023 season.

Splash Pads and Spraygrounds in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Let your children cool off from the blazing heat at a spray ground this summer.

Music in the Park Events in Southeast Michigan

Catch your favorite tunes and make summertime memories at one of these music in the park events.

Movie in the Park Events in Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Movies in the park events are a fun family outing for all ages. Here are some happenings in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor for summer 2023.

BACK TO TOP

AT-HOME SUMMER ACTIVITIES

Photo credit: Lauren Jeziorski

You don’t have to be out on the town all season to create summer memories with your kids. Kick the good summer vibes into full swing with these at-home summer activities the kiddos will love.

Play in the backyard

Take backyard play up a notch with these fun outdoor ideas. From STEM-inspired bug hunts to fairy garden crafts and water sensory bins, these outdoor activities for kids are the perfect way to keep them entertained — and learning — all summer long. 

Make popsicles

Nothing says summer like sweet frozen treats and sticky fingers. Make these yummy popsicle recipes that are so easy, even the kids can help. The best part? You can customize them to your family’s flavor preferences (and even sneak in some hidden fruits and veggies!)

Start a garden

Gardens are nature’s playgrounds. Planting and maintaining a summer garden is a great activity to teach kids of all ages about where our good comes from and help them nurture a green thumb. Get started with these 5 simple plants that are easy for kids to grow

Take a dip in the pool

No room for an in-ground pool? No problem! Elevate your backyard pool game with these DIY pool hacks, water games and more! Before you get in the water, read up on how to prevent summer accidents at home and keep your family safe. 

Ditch the tech

Struggling to get your kids to unplug this summer? These ideas for tech-free fun will be such a hit, they’ll forget they have texts and DMs to reply to! 

Recreate summer camp

Your child doesn’t have to go to overnight camp to experience the fun of summer camp. From geocaching to firefly hunts, create summer camp fun at-home with these 10 ideas. 

Read a summer-themed children’s book

School may be out of session, but there’s plenty of creative ways for kids to have fun while combating summer brain drain. Spend some quality time together by curling up with a summer-themed children’s book.

Educational Outdoor Activities for Kids

Learn under the sun with these fun activities focused on math, science, art and more.

Kid-Friendly Popsicle Recipes You Have to Make This Summer

These homemade popsicles are the yummiest summer activity!

Easy Plants to Grow with Kids

Instill a green thumb in your child with one of these plants that are easy to grow with kids.
- Advertisement -

BACK TO TOP

SUMMER FAMILY VACATIONS

midwest-destinations-to-visit-with-your-family-illinois-office-of-tourism
Photo credit: Illinois Office of Tourism

Whether your family loves outdoor adventures and sightseeing or you’re more of an R&R beach family, everyone deserves a break during summer vacation. Take some time to experience something new together as a family with one of these vacation ideas. 

Take a family vacation 

The kids are off school which means it’s time to make summer memories they’ll remember forever. Why not take a beach vacay to Clearwater, or discover what there is to do in Orlando, you know, besides the theme parks.If you’ll be flying to your final destination, be sure to read our tips for traveling with kids in our family guide to DTW airport

Prefer to stay close to home? Visit one of these top Michigan destinations for kids and explore the Mitten State.  

Go on a road trip

Buckle up! Nothing says family bonding like a roadtrip to one of these Midwest destinations. Pack up the road trip snacks, then get ready to hit the road. Not sure where to go? Check out our Ultimate Family Road Trip Guide 

Before you pull out of the driveway, be sure to check out our tips for surviving your first family road trip. For extra fun, stop at a wacky roadside attraction.

Go camping

Experience the great outdoors this summer. These family-friendly campsites at Michigan state parks have plenty of amenities that kids will love like water play areas, beaches, trails and more. Nervous about surviving your family’s first real camping trip? Check out these simple survival tips, or spring for a glamping trip experience

Explore a new neighborhood

Stay local and explore Chicagoland with a day trip! Our family neighborhood guides make exploring new communities a breeze with suggestions on what to do, where to eat and must-see attractions. Check out our latest family guides to Ann Arbor, Shelby Township, Royal Oak and Wyandotte

Sign up for summer camp

Just can’t get away this summer? You can still help your kiddos create summer memories by sending them to camp.  From day camp to overnight sleepaway options, summer camp can teach kids some important life lessons, like responsibility, independence and friendship. Plus, it’s tons of fun!

Michigan State Parks Camping Sites in Southern Michigan

Want to go overnight camping in Michigan?

Exhilarating Midwest Outdoor Adventures to Try This Summer

Crank up the fun as a family with these exciting experiences worth the drive.

Best Places to See with Kids in Michigan

Michigan is home to tons of fun places to explore with kids before they grow up. Here are our must-see destinations in the Mitten State.

Tips for Families When Traveling Through DTW Airport

Traveling with kids can be hard. Use these tips for navigating DTW airport to ensure a smooth flight to your final destination.

BACK TO TOP

SUMMER HOLIDAYS

fourth-of-july-events-and-things-to-do-with-families-in-macomb-county-stock
Photo credit: iStock/xavierarnau

Six holidays fall during the unofficial summer months. That’s a lot of fun to pack in such a short time and you can find all the festivals, parades and celebrations offered in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties, here.

Plus, score books, crafts and other activities in our at-home guides, so that you can celebrate even if you don’t want to leave your home.

Memorial Day – May 29, 2023

Find ways to inspire patriotism in your little ones as you celebrate Memorial Day. Our Memorial Day Guide for Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Families is filled with local parades, red, white and blue craft and even patriotic desserts. 

Pride Month – June 2023

Get ready to show your LGBTQ+ pride all month long! These Pride events happening around metro Detroit are a great way to show your pride or support for members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Father’s Day – June 18, 2023

Move over, mom! (Just kidding!) In all seriousness, though, the dads and other male mentors in our lives deserved to be celebrated for all they do. Celebrate Dad this summer by attending one of these Father’s Day events in southeast Michigan.

Juneteenth  – June 19, 2023

The abolishment of slavery in the United States is celebrated on June 19 each year. We rounded up some of the best ways for kids to get in on the festivities, including kid-friendly Juneteenth events.  

Fourth of July – July 4, 2023

Cue the fireworks! Our Fourth of July Guide for metro Detroit and Ann Arbor families includes patriotic crafts, red, white and blue recipes and the best places around town to catch fireworks

Labor Day – September 4, 2023 

As summer winds down, have one last day of summertime fun with the family as you celebrate Labor Day with these local events and activities

Pride Events for Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Families

Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride at one of these 2023 Pride month events.

Pride Month Guide for Metro Detroit Families

Find local Pride events, crafts and books that celebrate and support the LGBTQ community.

Memorial Day Guide for Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor Families

We’ve put together a full day itinerary to help your family celebrate Memorial Day, from parades to patriotic desserts.
- Advertisement -

SIGN UP FOR LET'S GO

Looking for more things to do? Get the latest info in our weekly Let’s Go newsletter!