PHOTOS: Take a Look at Amazing Innovation Hills Playground in Rochester Hills

Twelve new play features and 100 plants were recently added to the one-of-a-kind park.

If you haven’t visited Innovation Hills in Rochester Hills in awhile, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the innovative park has already expanded since opening in 2021. 

Thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund along with other donations, the nature-themed playground now has 12 new play features, plus 100 shrubs and trees were planted around the park. 

This article was recently updated on March 21, 2024 by Metro Parent’s Audience Development Coordinator, Kari Zaffarano. The update included her experience when visiting Innovation Hills Playground to include her thoughts and tips for local families. Questions? Please reach out to kari@metroparent.com. 

“This addition to the playground only further enhances the vibrancy of Innovation Hills and reflects our commitment to fostering a community that brings people of all ages and ability levels together,” says Mayor Bryan K. Barnett in a press release.

Since the expansion was unveiled on June 7, many families have already brought their children to spin, climb, swing and slide on the park’s new features. 

Some of the new play features include a wheelchair-accessible We-Go-Round, a Cozy Cocoons space for kiddos who prefer a calm play area and a music area with hands-on opportunities for kids to get creative and make music.

Photo courtesy of City of Rochester Hills

Innovation Hills has drawn families from all over southeast Michigan due to its exciting features that you won’t find at just any other local park. The 110-acre green space offers a mile of paved trails, glowing sidewalks, a kayak launch, scenic gardens and an outdoor game area. You also can find many contemporary amenities, including evening solar lighting, a live roof structure and modern restrooms. 

When you’re ready to check out the Innovation Hills expansion with your kids, why not make a day out of the trip? Below you’ll find some details about the park, as well as our suggestions for making the most out of your day trip to Rochester Hills. 

Quick details about Innovation Hills

Photo courtesy of City of Rochester Hills

  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
  • Parking: This busy park is very popular, so the main parking lot may be full when you arrive. Parking is also available in the parking lot across the street. A crosswalk with flashing lights is available to walk to the park.

Is Innovation Hills worth it? 

@metroparent

We checked out Innovation Hills Park in Rochester Hills! 🌳 #MetroParent #MPMoment #MetroDetroit #SoutheastMichigan

♬ Let’s Go (feat. Ne-Yo) – Calvin Harris

Metro Parent’s Audience Development Coordinator, Kari Zaffarano, took her eight-year-old son, Jordan to play at Innovation Hills. Here’s what she thought:

This was one of the coolest parks I’ve ever been to. It was huge! There was so much to do and my son was so excited to play.

We went after an event at Canterbury Village, which is only about a 15 minute drive. If we would have planned this day out at the park, we would have packed a lunch and ate there at one of the many seating areas. There was a lot of seating under a shaded pavilion, which would be great on a hot, sunny day.

Jordan couldn’t narrow down exactly what was his absolute favorite part on the playground. Some of his favorites included the treehouse with the slide, the rope climbing jungle gym and one of the spinning areas.

Photos: Take a Look at Amazing Innovation Hills Playground 

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

Other fun things to do with kids in Rochester Hills

Photo credit: Kari Zaffarano

  • After a long day of outdoor play, relax with a movie at Emagine Rochester Hills, a theater with huge screens and luxury seating — including cuddle chairs that are built for two. 
  • Want to keep playing but need to take a break from the sun? Head to Boogie Babes, an indoor play space with a cafe, live shows and other kid-friendly events.  
  • Game on at Classic Lanes, a family-focused bowling alley with glow-in-the-dark bowling.
  • Open seasonally, the historic Yates Cider Mill offers families treats like delicious apple cider, ice cream and fudge, as well as a petting farm and scenic walking trails.
  • Stop by Honey Wings and grab a Korean corn dog in flavors like BBQ Ranch, Hot Cheetos and Rainbow (made with fruity pebbles). This spot is also known for their chicken bites, hence the name, and features flavors like cheesy bacon honey butter and BBQ cheesy bacon.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Metro Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for metro Detroit families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.

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