It’s officially summer and we’re ready! Plan for outdoor adventures, make a splash, go to a ball game or festival and hit the road for a day (or two). Here’s the ultimate summer bucket list for metro Detroit families.
School is out and kids are home for the summer. Whether you’re home together every day or relishing in family time during the weekends, here are fun activities that are great for all ages. Find even more summer activities and events all in one place. Check out the FREE digital LittleGuide Magazine Summer Edition.
Splash & Play
Nothing says summer more than splash time. Splash pads, pools/waterparks, and beaches are open and we want to try them all. If you need ideas here are LittleGuide favorites:
- Splash Pads: Heritage Park (Canton/Farmington Hills/Taylor), Normandy Oaks (Royal Oak), Lily Pad Springs (West Bloomfield)
- Pools: Rolling Hills Waterpark (Ypsilanti), Troy Family Aquatic Center, Willow Park Pool (New Boston), Red Oaks Waterpark (Madison Heights)
- Beaches: Lake St. Clair Metropark (Harrison), Lakeshore Park (Novi), Dodge Park #4 (Waterford)
Find a Festival, Fair or Car Show
Summer is festival and fair season and there are plenty to chose from! From carnivals and car shows to touch-a-trucks and artisan markets, there’s something for everyone. Here is a complete list and a few top picks:
- Oakland County Fair (July 8th – 17th)
- Hot Wheels Legend Tour (July 9th)
- Detroit Kite Festival (July 10th)
- Blake’s Lavender Market (July 15th – 17th)
- Sterlingfest (July 28th – 30th)
- Belle Isle Art Fair (August 6th & 7th)
- Livonia’s Touch-A-Truck (August 27th)
Take A Road Trip
You don’t need to go far or take time off work to enjoy a nice family getaway. Here are our favorite places to spend a day or a weekend:
- Toledo – Toledo Zoo, Toledo Botanical Gardens, Cedar Pointe, Mudhens baseball game
- Flint – NEW Sloan/Longway Museum, Stepping Stone Falls, Bluebell Beach & Splash Pad
- Lansing – MSU Children’s Garden, Hawk Island, and Impressions 5
- Grand Rapids – Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Millennium Park, John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum
Sunny days and long nights don’t last in Michigan. Make the most of the them and try some of these activities or special events.
- Watch a movie outside – New Center Park hosts FREE movies every Friday night
- Discover your favorite playground – a cool new playgrounds to check out is Lawson Park (Royal Oak)
- Take a family walk or stroll somewhere new, here are the unique nature trails to try
- Attend an outdoor community concert
- Visit a local farmers market and make plans for a picture perfect picnic
- Plan a family camping trip close to home or sign up for a Family Camp Out at a local park
- Visit a u-pick farm and stock up on fresh produce – our favorite place to pick is Blake Farms in Armada
- Enjoy timeless fun and go fishing
Whether you’re watching or playing, Detroit is a sports town and it’s always a good idea to play.
- Root for the home team – Detroit Tigers, Toledo Mudhens, Detroit City Football Club, or United Shore Professional Baseball
- Try disc golf or play mini golf – Cranbrook On The Green is a fun temporary mini golf course on the beautiful Cranbrook campus
- Shoot hoops at a local court or the Monroe Street Midway
- Practice your swing at a batting cage
We’re party and whether it’s a family reunion, grad party, birthday party or national holiday. If you need ideas – here are a few more:
- Independence Day (July 4) – find a parade, do sparklers outside or find a fireworks show
- National Ice Cream Day (July 21) – visit your favorite ice cream shop (here’s a list of cool spots to try)
- Christmas In July – Take a trip to Bronner’s (Frankenmuth), check in on Santa’s Reindeer (Clare) or take a warm weather walk through a VERY special light show at the Toledo Zoo where you’ll find Frozen Sisters and the Grinch too!
Sign up for Summer Reading at your local library to track your hours and win free books! Show your littles how fun books can be with some of these activities.
- Find a Storybook Trail
- Attend an outdoor story time session – the Detroit Riverfront’s Reading & Rythm on the Riverfront returns in July
- Visit a new library – here are some of our favorites
- Shop local and treat your littles to a new book from a local shop – Correander’s Children’s Bookshoppe (Grosse Pointe Park), Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor), Pages Bookshop or 27th Letter Books (Detroit)
Things To Do At Home
You don’t need to leave the house to have fun. Play iSpy on a family walk, eat al fresco in the backyard, make and use puffy sidewalk paint, host a lemonade stand or hand out popsicles to passersby.
LittleGuide Detroit’s Stroller Roll
Meet up with friends and say hi to the LittleGuide Detroit team at one or both of our Stroller Roll events! This FREE family event is from 9am to 11am and no registration is required. Our friends from Laurel’s Princess Parties will be there with special guests and we’ll have plenty of fun things to giveaway.
- Saturday, July 16th @ Nankin Mills, Hines Drive (Westland)
- Saturday, August 20th @ Valade Park, Detroit Riverfront (Detroit)