30 Family-Friendly Downriver Destinations To Check Out This Summer 30 Family-Friendly Downriver Destinations To Check Out This Summer skip to Main Content

30 Family-Friendly Downriver Destinations To Check Out This Summer


Head Downriver this summer for family fun. From playgrounds and nature trails to waterparks and splash pads and more!



Make A Splash

  • If swimming in a Great Lake is on your summer bucket list, head to the beach at Sterling State Park. There are picnic areas, trails and a modern playground too.
  • Trenton’s Kennedy Aquatic Center offers a zero entry and lap pool, kids splash area and water slide.
  • Pick your preference – dive into the pool or let the kids race around the splash pad the City of Taylor offers both. Cool off at Lamarand Splash Field or lounge around at Northwest Park Pool.
  • We love FREE and the Woodhaven Civic Center splash pad is a perfect place to cool off after a day of play (the playground is awesome).
  • Thorn Park Splash Pad is a great space for kids to run around, the shaded park also has a large playground that is great for all ages.
  • Relax at the zero-entry pool with waterslide at Huron-Clinton Metropark’s Willow Park in New Boston.



Visit Animals

  • At Taylor’s Heritage Park Petting Farm you’ll find cows, horses, goats, pigs and more!
  • Go for a ride at Children’s Pony Ranch on Elizabeth Park. Children, 100lbs and less, can ride on a pony that is held by an adult for a 15 minute loop trail walk. Parents/gaurdians can walk next to the horse during the ride.  In addition to riding a pony, guests can visit with other animals including donkeys, goats and a llama.
  • Visit animals AND grab farm fresh ice cream at Calder’s Dairy Farm. Eat your ice cream while watching the animals on the farm, including the cows who made it possible.
  • Stop by the Gibraltar Bay Alpaca Farm to meet the animals and pick out items from the gift shop.



Playgrounds + Nature Trails

Soak up the sun and stroll the great outdoors. Take a nature walk at  Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, Grosse Ile Nature Trail or Elizabeth Park. Let your littles run around one of these top pick playgrounds.

  • Lake Erie Metropark (Brownstown) 
    • The Metropark has two modern playgrounds that have great views of the Great Lake.
  • Kiwanis Park (Southgate)
    • A train lovers dream, Kiwanis Park has a large, modern train playstructre and from May to October minature train rides one weekend a month thanks to the Great Lakes Live Steamers!
  • Thorn Park (Brownstown)
    • Thorn Park has something for everyone. An old school, minature town for littles to play pretend. Dedicated forest themed playgrounds for toddlers and big kids, a massive sand pit, swings and a splash pad!
  • Northwest Park (Taylor)
    • The new play structure is perfect for climbers of all ages, with two fast slides as the main feature. Enjoy permanent gaming stations, including foosball, basketball courts, and a paved trail to a second play structure.



Rainy Day Fun

Keep cool this summer and enjoy indoor fun at Rev’d Up Fun or Mandee’s Funtastic Play Center in Woodhaven, United Skates of America in Lincoln Park or Airborne Adventure Park in Taylor.



Outdoor Movies

Stay up past bedtime and watch a movie outside this summer.



Special Events


Photo credit: Taylor Lamarand Splash Pad



About Carrie Budzinski

Carrie Budzinski is the Vice President of LittleGuide Detroit. She grew up in Livonia and Detroit and continues to live life in both cities. Carrie loves exploring the city and finding hidden gems in the suburbs..

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