Dotted with parks, crisscrossed with streams and bordered by Lake Michigan and the Detroit River, there are plenty of picturesque picnic spots to choose from in southeast Michigan.
Note: Some parks may enforce social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols. Check with your chosen park to find out what they are before heading out.
- Address: 1480 W. Romeo Road, Leonard
Two lakes stretch across this 1,140-acre park in Oakland County’s northeast corner. Picnic spots are right along the beach. Swimming permitted; call for times. You might also want to bring a pair of sturdy shoes for hiking or bikes to check out the Fat Bike Mountain Bike route.
- Address: 1901 Grand River Ave., Detroit
This is the largest of the parks downtown and has plenty of room for you and your family to spread out and enjoy your spread. On warm days, there is cornhole, putt-putt and face painting.
- Address: 99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit
If you haven’t visited Belle Isle, the island park in the middle of the Detroit River, now is the time! Choose from an array of standard picnic tables or find your own spots and rent a bike to cycle through the island, visit the beach, go to the nature zoo, or make your way to the aquarium.
- Address: 1 Superior Blvd., Wyandotte
Located in downtown Wyandotte and along the Detroit Riverfront, this downriver city park is great for family picnics. It’s complete with a concession stand, picnic deck, tables and shelters, restrooms and — for added family fun — playground, basketball courts and fishing pier.
- Address: 1700 General Motors Road, Milford
This campground offers 626 acres of hills and lakes to picnic near, and after you have your meal, there’s plenty of amenities to enjoy, including mini golf, paddle boats and a playground.
- Address: 800 Woodward Ave., Detroit
The ice rink disappears in the summer and is replaced with a pop-up beach with sand and all. It’s the perfect spot to lay down your towel or blanket and have a meal. There’s also volleyball and shovels for the little ones.
- Address: Near the intersection of Rivard and Atwater streets, Detroit
Reaching more than five miles from the Ambassador Bridge to Belle Isle, you can stop and have your picnic with the Detroit skyline as your backdrop. The riverfront area includes a café, playscape, fountains to run through and a carousel, too. Parking is available near Cullen Plaza.
- Address: 4650 Elizabeth Drive, Trenton
This “island” park located on the shores of the Detroit River offers amazing views to enjoy on a lazy summer day. This happens to be the oldest park in Wayne County and the first county park in the state of Michigan.
- Address: 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
An extension of The Henry Ford Museum, this outdoor historic village includes old-time shops to visit, a carousel to ride, and other fun discoveries within the grounds. Family picnics are permitted. You might want to bring some extra cash, however, to buy ice cream cones for dessert. (Note: Outside alcohol not permitted).
- Address: 14555 Dixie Highway, Holly
Venture across the bridge to Groveland Oaks’ Paradise Island to spot your perfect picnic locale. Once you’ve put away the picnic fixings, visit the playground (the largest playscape in Oakland County!), try a round of mini golf or for the teens in the group, check out the skate park area.
- Address: 1150 S. Canton Center Road, Canton
An extensive wooden playscape beckons kids to play pretend and explore this park in Canton. There’s a lake nearby with a trail all around it and several spots to choose from to lay down a blanket for your picnic. Don’t forget about a kid favorite: the splash playground!
- Address: 8801 N. Territorial Road, Dexter
Northwest of Ann Arbor, this wooded 1,549-acre park includes several amenities besides just amazing picnic spots. Trek along the 2-mile Acorn Nature Trail. There are also soccer fields, softball diamonds, basketball, tennis and volleyball courts.
- Address: 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
If you’re making a day of your picnic, come with a blanket and use a spot in the grass or at a table. Or, use one of two fireplaces at the Twin Chimneys site to start an evening fire – time to roast marshmallows!
After your meal, play at the volleyball courts, visit the Wint Nature Center, head to the ball field, or watch the sunset at the gazebo.
- Address: 2800 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills
Enjoy your meal while viewing the water sculptures, rivers, ponds and a hiking trail. There are picnic tables, too.
- Address: 32481 W. Jefferson, Brownstown
The park has picnic areas, picnic shelters, playgrounds, a wave pool and more.
- Address: 601 S. Lake Dr., Novi
The amenities include a new large pavilion, outdoor grill, benches, tables and a Library kiosk.
Picnic beside the banks of Lake St. Clair at this 770-acre park. With the price of your vehicle admission, enjoy the paved trail, beach, sprayscape and more. For an additional fee ($5/person, free/30-inches tall and under) you can go for swim at the Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Has two universally accessible playgrounds, two sand volleyball courts, a soccer field, two ball fields, fishing pier and a picnic area.
- Address: 195 N. Main St., Milford
This 12-acre site has plenty of room for picnics. Located near a playground, basketball courts, tennis court and more.
- Address: North Rosedale Park neighborhood, Detroit
This four-acre park has a playground, soccer fields and a baseball diamond. There is a Community House that has, “Little Icy’s Luncheonette” available for you to purchase your lunch or feel free to bring your own.
- Address: 910 Merrill Plaisance St., Detroit
This city favorite is over 100 years old and has 281 acres. The park has a playground, biking trails, tennis courts, athletic fields, woodlands and meadows for the perfect picnic.
- Address: Brush St. & Frederick St., Detroit
This park has a playground with swings and has picnic tables or plenty of room for you to put down a blanket.
- Address: 46640 Ann Arbor Trail, Plymouth
This picnic spot has it all — and there’s no cost to go! Eat your picnic at the shelter next to the playground. Your kids will finish fast once they know they can go to the SprayScape afterwards, open dawn-dusk.
- Address: 7660 Stony Creek Road, Ypsilanti
This 439-acre park includes both paved and nature trails for your kids to explore before it’s time to pick your picnic spot. Bring your poles to try to catch a fish or two. Or, bring your swimsuits to visit the water park (additional fees apply; open Memorial Day through Labor Day).
What is your family’s favorite picnic spot? Did we miss it on this list? Comment and share your thoughts!
This post is updated regularly.
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