Kid-Friendly Summer Festivals Worth the Drive from Metro Detroit

Check out these fun fairs and fests happening this summer that are worth seeing with your family.

Are you trying to plan something for your family this summer that’s fun and exciting? Whether you’re looking for a fun day trip or looking to get away for a weekend, these midwest summer festivals should be on your bucket list.

All are within driving distance from metro Detroit and are sure to be something special to experience with your kids this summer. 

This article was written on March 20, 2024 by Metro Parent’s Audience Development Coordinator, Kari Zaffarano. Her work included her research in finding popular midwest summer festivals for families to check out, aligning with Metro Parent’s mission to provide the top parenting resources for local families. Questions? Please reach out to kari@metroparent.com.

The Grand Rapids Lantern Festival

Photos courtesy of John Ball Zoo

April 10-June 16, 2024

  • Address: John Ball Zoo, 1300 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids
  • Cost: $19/members on Wednesday-Thursday, $22/non-members on Wednesday-Thursday, $21/members on Friday-Sunday, $24/non-members on Friday-Sunday, free/ages 2 and under. There are ticket options for groups of 4 too.

This lantern festival will feature handcrafted lantern displays throughout the zoo. Each lantern tells a story and intersects Asian culture along with wildlife. The tour is one mile long and will operate in rain or shine. There will be food available to purchase throughout the park. The tour does not include viewing any actual animals. Advanced tickets are recommended.

Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival

June 6-9, 2024 

This German festival will feature polka bands and German entertainers, live bands, cornhole tournament, inflatable axe throwing, bounce house, rock wall, parade and fireworks. There will also be chicken dinners and American-German food at this event.

The Michigan Lavender Festival

Photo Credit: Jim Lewis Photography

June 28-30, 2024 

  • Address: Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds, 195 Midway, Imlay City
  • Cost: $15/all weekend wristband, free/kids ages 12 and under

This Lavender Festival has been around since 2002. Experience u-pick lavender at multiple Michigan Lavender Farms, vendors, outdoor kid zone, DIY workshops, speakers, food trucks and more.

National Cherry Festival

Photo credit: National Cherry Festival

June 29-July 6, 2024

This Cherry Festival is celebrating its 98th year. Families can enjoy an air show, classic car show, pet show, pie eating contest, orchard tours, parades, fireworks and more.

Cheeseburger Festival in Caseville

Aug. 9-18, 2024

This festival will feature burger stands on every corner, activities for all ages, vendors, live tropical music and a parade.


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Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano
Kari Zaffarano is a mom of one and Metro Parent's Audience Development Coordinator. She tracks down the best events every week and shares the inside scoop with families in print and online. She enjoys reading, traveling and exploring metro Detroit with her son.

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