Summer is finally here. Leaving the house no longer requires “gear” and the days are long enough that by the time you have the little ones’ shoes laced, there’s still light outside.
Walk right through a painting, drive past a life-size dinosaur or try out puppeteering with the family this summer. Local museums and venues are open again with safety measures in place like social distancing rules and hygiene stations, so leaving the house with kids in tow doesn’t have to be a headache.
In order to allow visitors to maintain social distancing requirements, some locations require an advance registration. Be sure to check the website of the event or call ahead for more information.
Read on for exciting 2021 summer events, exhibitions and attractions in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor.
Events and Exhibits
Monroe Street Midway
May 28, 2021-Fall 2021
Address: Corner of Monroe St. and Randolph, Downtown Detroit
The site of last year’s drive-in theater in downtown Detroit has transformed into a roller skating and sports area in the heart of the city. Four local artists lent their help to create murals for the space, too. Be sure to register for a time slot before arriving.
The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited
June 5-Sept. 6, 2021
Address: Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
Jim Henson changed the world for children everywhere when he created The Muppets. Visit for interactive puppeteering, behind-the-scenes footage and more than 100 original artifacts, including 25 puppets.
June 11-July 5, 2021
Address: Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., Novi
An exciting drive-thru experience awaits at the Dino Safari. The accompanying audio tour on the Dino Safari app guides visitors through the enormous, lifelike dinosaur models.
Jurassic Quest Drive Thru
June 18-July 4, 2021
Address: DTE Energy Music Theater, 33 Bob Seger Drive, Clarkston
Up to 100 paleontologist-approved dinosaur models surprise guests at this dino drive-thru. Visitors can also choose to purchase add-on packages with take home dinosaur activities for kids. See baby and adolescent dinosaurs, too.
Bay-Rama Fishfly Festival
June 23-27, 2021
Address: Downtown New Baltimore
Ride the tilt-a-whirl, watch a parade and pick a few fishflies off your clothes at this long-running festival. Be sure to stay for fireworks over Lake St. Clair and get an elephant ear or two for the kids.
Beyond Van Gogh: An Immersive Experience
June 25-Aug. 15, 2021
Address: TCF Convention Center, 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit
More than 300 of Vincent Van Gogh’s beloved pieces of art surround visitors in this 3D art experience. Families can get up close and personal with the art without worrying about kids getting too close.
Ann Arbor Art Fairs
July 15-17, 2021
Address: Downtown Ann Arbor
The country’s largest juried art fair returns this year with more space between booths, hand sanitizer stations and masks encouraged. Walk through 30 city blocks filled with the creations of more than 1,000 participating artists.
Arts, Beats and Eats
Sept. 3-6, 2021
Address: Downtown Royal Oak
This end-of-summer festival is Royal Oak’s largest yearly celebration of art, music and cuisine. Enjoy music from dozens of musicians on multiple stages, food trucks, art vendors and more. Plus, kid-friendly rides.
The Discovery Center of Macomb
Address: 54 Cherry St., Mount Clemens
Formerly known as the Children’s Hands-On Museum, this new center with a fresh take will focus on events and exhibitions featuring world arts, space exploration, robotics and more. Opening late summer or early fall 2021.
Address: 3500 Orleans St., Detroit
Metro Detroit doesn’t have very many full-blown rock climbing gyms, but the recently finished DYNO Detroit climbing gym fills that gap. The gym, located in the Eastern Market district of Detroit, has climbing lessons for people of all ages, too.
Address: 29995 W. 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
The old Harrison High School located in Farmington Hills is now a community center featuring an impressive water slide, lazy river, zipline and climbing wall. Opening June 2021.
Normandy Oaks Park
Address: Delemere and Normandy Road, Royal Oak
This Royal Oak park project was delayed due to COVID-19, but is soon to be finished. The much anticipated new park will feature a splash pad, playground, picnic shelters and sledding hill. Expected opening July 2021.
Shelden Trails Redevelopment
Address: 4300 Main Park Road, Shelby Township
These popular trails at Stony Creek Metropark have been undergoing intensive redevelopments on different trail segments for the past year. This fall, all redevelopments will be complete for mountain biking and skiing in the winter. Opening fall 2021.
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