As part of our Summer City Guide series- we are exploring 10 things to do in Detroit with kids! Detroit has undergone a major revitalization over the last few years and it’s an amazing place to visit. Detroit is home to world class museums, a thriving foodie scene, deep cultural and historic roots plus bustling markets and beautiful parks and outdoor spaces for walking and biking. It’s an affordable city to visit, which makes it a perfect weekend destination for families! If Detroit has been on your radar- now’s the time! We’ll even help you plan your trip with these 10 awesome things to do in Detroit with kids!
1. Hang Out at Campus Martius Park
Located in the heart of downtown Detroit, Campus Martius Park turns into a bustling beach scene every summer! The center of the park is filled with sand, sand toys, and beach chairs so kids can play while grown ups relax. There’s even a walk up bar right next to the beach- and food trucks frequent the area around lunch time so everyone can grab a bite to eat.
2. Bike the Riverwalk and the Dequindre Cut
The Detroit Riverwalk is a 5.5 mile multipurpose pathway that hugs the Detroit River and features fountains, a carousel, and multiple places to play as well as sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. The Riverwalk connects to the 2.2 mile Dequindre Cut which is an urban recreation path designed on a former railway located below street level. The area is now a popular street art sight, with numerous murals painted by some of the country’s top graffiti artists. You can rent bikes at Wheelhouse Detroit and pedal both paths for an afternoon of fun!
3. Explore Eastern Market
Eastern Market is the place to be on Saturdays in Detroit! The outdoor market is open Saturdays from 6am-4pm year round as well as Tuesdays from 9am-3pm and Sundays from 10am-4pm from June through September only. Saturday’s market is bustling with vendors from all over the state of Michigan. Load up on fresh fruits and veggies, handmade baked goods, plants and flowers and all sorts of treats from a variety of food trucks. Musicians and artists perform throughout the market, so it’s easy to spend an entire morning shopping and enjoying the entertainment!
4. Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts is a truly fantastic art museum for kids and families. Famous for it’s giant Diego Rivera murals that even kids will enjoy, the DIA also has a wonderful children’s art room know as the Art Making Studio with drop in arts and crafts sessions on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays that connect to various pieces on display in the museum. Kids and parents alike are encouraged to make and create while learning about various types of art and different artists.
5. See a Tiger’s Game
Catching a Tiger’s baseball game at Comerica Park is a great way to spend an evening in Detroit. Some of the best views of the Detroit skyline are from inside Comerica Park, and kids will love the larger than life tiger statues and the baseball Ferris wheel and the Tiger’s Carousel! There’s fantastic dining options just outside the park, so grab a bite to eat first and then enjoy the game!
6. Jam Out at the Motown Museum
Home to Motown’s first headquarters and recording studio, “Hitsville USA” is a great place to learn about the history of Motown music in Detroit. The Temptations, the Four Tops, Miracles and the Supreme’s all recorded albums right in this location! Museum tours will take you back in time as you listen and learn all about the impact Motown music had on Detroit and the whole country!
7. Visit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History features the world’s largest permanent exhibit on African American culture. The museum’s mission is to “open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture.” The museum is hosting a five week long summer camp sessions (both in person and virtual) titled Camp Africa 2021: Hidden Figures of the Diaspora. The camps, designed for ages 7-12 will explore and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals in a variety of fields and careers across the African Diaspora.
8. Take a Street Art Tour
Detroit has become a popular destination for street art. As part of the city’s revival, people are reclaiming empty spaces and filling them with art. The city has even commissioned murals by famous graffiti artists from all over the country. Curbed Detroit has mapped out some of the best murals in the city if you want to explore them on your own, or you can schedule a tour with Feet on the Streets Detroit for a guided street art tour!
9. Explore the Michigan Science Center
The Michigan Science Center is an entirely child-focused science museum with special science exhibits, daily demonstrations and live shows. You can also catch different movies and planetarium shows at the Toyota 4D Theater and the Planetarium. The science center is located near numerous other museum in Detroit so you can easily combine a visit here with another museum or two for a day full of fun and learning!
10. Ride in a Model T
You can’t visit the Motor City without riding on one of Henry Ford’s original Model T cars and there’s only one place you can do that! A visit to the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation and Greenfield Village will take you out of the city of Detroit and right next door to it’s nearest suburb- Dearborn, Michigan. People come to the museum and village from all over the world- and it’s easy to see why. Learn all about the life of Henry Ford as you explore the history of the automobile in the USA. Greenfield Village is a gorgeous outdoor space where you can experience living history- plus ride in a historic Model T. You can also ride around in a historic steam engine and take a spin on the beautiful Herschell-Spillman carousel before grabbing a cup of their famous frozen custard!
Be sure to check out the other cities in our Summer City Guide series!
- 10 Things to do in Chicago with Kids
- 10 Things to do in Atlanta with Kids
- 10 Things to do in NYC with Kids
- 10 Things to do in Los Angeles with Kids
- 10 Things to do in Seattle with Kids
- 10 Things to do in Boston with Kids
- 10 Things to do in Vancouver with Kids