- Check Out the Art @ The Belt: Check out some world famous street art as you walk through this newly activated alley space and you just might stumble upon a concert or a gallery show (p.s. also an incredible place to take great pictures).
- Taste Test Coneys @ American & Lafayette: Do a taste test and judge for yourself who has the best coney in Detroit.
- Scream Opa! @ Greektown: The lights are always strung and the music is always playing in the lively Greektown area, so head down for a little “Opa”!
- Take a Ride on the People Mover: It may only go in a circle, but for kids, it’s an exciting ‘train’ ride up high enough for them to see the city surrounding them.
- Hop on Board the QLine: Liven up your meal with a train ride to and from lunch or dinner!
- Get Lost (on purpose) in the Renaissance Center: Detroit’s iconic building is perfect for a fun indoor scavenger hunt or meal at some of the top restaurants, and in the summer there’s free concerts on the riverfront and of course, the kids’ favorite, the splash pad fountain!
- Play Games @ Beacon Park: There’s always something fun happening in downtown parks and Beacon Park has lawn games, food trucks and it’s across the street from a castle!
- Take a Tour with Detroit Experience Factory: Learn more about the city, it’s history or plan a fun city scavenger hunt, they can do it all for you.
- Eat, Shop & Eat More @ Eastern Market: Join the thousands that descend on Eastern Market every Saturday morning, rain or shine, sleet or snow, the local farmers and artisans are there to greet their customers.
- Get a Sugar High @ Rocky’s: While in Eastern Market, make a pit stop into Rocky’s and follow the winding path to the candy section for kid (and parent) heaven!
- ‘Ride’ an Antique Car @ Ford Piquette Plant: Visit the birthplace of the Model T, in the former factory that is now a Ford car museum.
- Activities Abound @ Belle Isle State Park: You can kayak, play on the beach, play golf, tennis, softball, kickball and soccer, cross country ski or enjoy one of their many festivals out at Detroit’s favorite park.
- Visit the Fish @ Belle Isle Aquarium: This historic aquarium recently reopened to the public, with lots of exhibits and events to celebrate it’s revival.
- Enjoy Nature @ Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory: Step inside and feel like you’re in the tropics…year round, as you admire the amazing plants, flowers and greenery inside this city oasis.
- Enjoy a Festival @ Hart Plaza: There’s always a festival to catch or skateboarders to watch in the Detroit’s Hart Plaza.
- Cheat on Your Diet @ Dutch Girl Donuts: No diets allowed, just pure goodness in the form of donuts!
- Look Up @ Guardian Building: Get your little ones into architecture with a trip to Detroit’s landmark art deco skyscraper – head into the atrium, look up and enjoy!
- Eat Authentic Mexican @ Mexicantown: Head to Bagley Street in Southwest Detroit and take your pick of amazing Mexican restaurants!
- Pack a Picnic @ Milliken State Park: Come take a walk, check out the boats in the marina, take pictures of the lighthouse and picnic with the river view.
- Play Arcade Games & Eat Pizza @ POP + Offworld: Take your kids downtown and back to the 80s and this retro second floor pizza arcade.
- Marvel in the Ruins @ Roosevelt Park/Michigan Central Station: It may be known for its ruins, but it’s still a picture perfect backdrop and sight to see. Then head across the street for barbecue at Slow’s BBQ.
- Bike, Walk or Blade on the Detroit Riverfront: Bike, walk, run or blade along the beautiful riverside pathways that offer everything from splash pads and ice cream shops, to a carousel and sand volleyball courts.
- Play at Playpark @ Rivard Plaza: This colorful playpark has everything a kid could want – swings, monkey bars, a climbing wall, slides and a view of the riverfront for the parents to enjoy!
- See Some Funky Art @ Heidelberg Project: Spur some creativity in your little ones with a trip to this funky outdoor art space.
- Bowl & Play Football @ Fowling Warehouse: For those with kids 10+, come on down for a sport that is unique to Detroit – football meets bowling. Kids 10+ are allowed to play on the weekends from noon to 6pm.
- Enjoy the Great Outdoors While Inside @ Outdoor Adventure Center: Take a trip to the great outdoors…while indoors! With the many hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators, you can go fishing and reel in a fish, mountain bike, hop aboard a real airplane and more.
- Take a Boat Tour @ Detroit Princess or Diamond Jack’s River Tours: See Detroit from a different viewpoint as you take a boat ride aboard the Detroit’s river boats.
- Tour the City on 2 Wheels @ MoGo Bikes & Wheelhouse Detroit: Rent a bike for a few hours and tour the city on two wheels.
- Go Bowling @ Garden Bowl: Hit the lanes in America’s oldest active bowling center.
- Catch an Outdoor Movie @ New Center Park: This newly redeveloped park offers free movies, concerts and theatre shows all summer long!
- Bike with Hundreds @ Slow Roll: Take a ride with your family and hundreds of others and see the city on two wheels…trust us…it’s slow enough for kids.
- Go to a Reading @ Detroit Public Library: Wander the halls or catch a kids book reading at Detroit’s Public Library.
- Play with Puppets @ Detroit Puppet Theatre: Catch a puppet show or visit their collection of puppets and workshops.
- Go Swimming @ Boll Family YMCA: Visit this state of the art facility and take a swimming class, rock climb or join their summer camps for kids.
- Dine & Shop @ Midtown: Detroit’s top neighborhood is perfect for eating (Hopcat, Jolly Pumpkin, Motor City Brewing Works), shopping (Shinola, City Bird, Nora, Little High Flyers) and even grabbing some dessert (Treat Dreams, Avalon Bakery, Dangerously Delicious Pies).
- Visit Detroit’s Beach @ Campus Martius: Play in the sand at Detroit’s ‘beach’ in the city center.
- Cheer on the Home Team @ DCFC Soccer Game: Head to Keyworth Stadium, Hamtramck, and cheer on Detroit’s very own semi-pro soccer team…but be ready to cheer, because our fans are #1 in the league!
- Get Wet @ Mt. Elliott Splash Park: This renovated splash pad is perfect for kids to cool down on hot summer days. With water canons and fountains, be prepared to get wet and have fun!
- Splash Around @ Palmer Park Splash Pad: Open 7 days a week, this summer spot is perfect for cooling off and having fun.
- See the Sky Light Up @ Detroit Fireworks: Summer isn’t complete without seeing the biggest fireworks show of them all!
- Welcome Santa to Detroit @ Thanksgiving Day Parade: Wave to Captain Underpants, catch some candy and beads from the clowns, and welcome Santa to Detroit at this Thanksgiving Day tradition.
- Go Ice Skating @ Campus Martius: Bring your skates or rent them and come slip and slide with the city skyline surrounding you.
- Catch a Holiday Play @ Detroit’s Theatres: There’s no better time to share an unforgettable memory with your kids, than taking them to a holiday show at one of Detroit’s many beautiful theatres.
- Light Up the City @ Detroit’s Tree Lighting: Ring in the holiday season as you watch Detroit flip the switch and light up their tree!
- Noel Night @ Midtown: Explore over 100 participating venues throughout Midtown, Detroit for an evening of live entertainment, family craft activities, music and more.
Museums & Libraries – Get some culture or just escape the cold and head to one our many amazing museums and cultural institutions:
- Detroit Institute of Arts
- Charles H Wright Museum
- Michigan Science Center
- Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
- Motown Museum
- Detroit Historical Museum
- Detroit Public Library
Theatres – It’s showtime:
Sports – Catch a game, on a local or national level:
Just Outside of Detroit…But worth including
About Kerry Doman
Kerry Doman is the founder and CEO of LittleGuide Detroit and After 5 Detroit. She has lived downtown Detroit for 10+ years and still calls the city home with her husband and son. As a relatively new mom, she’s excited to explore downtown with her family and hopes you’ll enjoy doing the same!