15 Fun Things to Do in Detroit: Discover Detroit MI
The most fun things to do in Detroit run the gamut: from exciting to serene; from interesting to educational.
No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it in Detroit, one of the most underrated cities in America. There are so many things to get excited about in the Motor City, the biggest US city on the Canadian border.
I’ve spent my life exploring Detroit and put together a list of fun things to do when visiting Detroit. Whether you’re an Urban Explorer, Foodie, Sports Fan, Museum lover or just want to hear about exciting things going on in the city this list is for you.
Read on for my list of 15 fun things to do in Detroit, and use the interactive map to help you plan your trip to Detroit.
Explore 15 Fun Things to Do in Detroit MI
Where: 2934 Russell Street, Detroit MI 48207
Hours: Tuesday Markets 9 a.m. – 3p.m., Saturday Markets 6 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday Markets 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Eastern Market is not your typical weekend farmer’s market – it’s the largest open air farmers market in the country! In addition to tons of booths and stalls with all kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables, and plants Eastern Market is surrounded by good eats and cool shops.
Hungry in Eastern Market? Maybe give Bert’s (known for delicious soul food and live entertainment every day) or Supino’s Pizzeria a try.
In addition to the fabulous restaurants there are tons of shops selling everything including tons of locally made and sourced items. Eastern Market, especially on the weekends, is a Detroit staple, it’s almost impossible to not find something to do.
Cheer on Your Favorite Detroit Sports Team
Detroit is lucky enough to be the home of a representative in all four major North American sports Leagues. The Detroit Tigers, who are in the MLB, play at Comerica Park, which is in the heart of downtown, considered by many an underrated ball this a great place to take the whole family. The Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and the Detroit Pistons of the NBA share Little Caesars arena, The arena opened just 5 years ago and is state of the art. Finally, we have the Detroit Lions of the NFL playing at Ford Field, the former Superbowl host venue, it is a great atmosphere to take in a game.
Where: 99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
Hours: Open year-round from 5 a.m – 10 p.m.
Looking for a fun spot to picnic and adventure? Head to Belle Isle, located in the middle of the Detrit River. Located just outside of downtown is historic Belle Isle, home to spectacular views of an international skyline. You’ll catch views of Detroit and the Renaissance Center, the Ambassador Bridge and Canada, too.
Belle Isle is one of the coolest places in the city because you don’t feel like you’re in the city at all. Belle Isle is home to both a nature center and a newly renovated aquarium along with the countless picnic areas.
An amazing new perennial garden by famed designer Piet Oudolf (he designed the Highline in New York City and Lurie Gardens in Chicago’s Millennium Park) is a must-see. Use our Ultimate Guide to Belle Isle for more information on what to see and do here.
Belle Isle is a great place to spend a day with the family. There is a small fee to drive onto the island but it’s well worth it for what if done right can be a full day of fun things to do in Detroit.
Where: Located on Monroe Avenue between Brush and St. Antoine
Whether you’re looking for a fun spot to get drinks with some friends or a nice spot for date night, you’ll find it in Greektown, one of the liveliest areas of Detroit. Greektown is within walking distance of both Comerica Park and Ford Field, too, os its a fun spot to visit before or after a game!
In my opinion, there wouldn’t be 15 fun things to do in Detroit without Greektown. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s a spot that celebrates its rich Greek heritage with fabulous cuisine, entertainment and more. It’s truly one of the must-visit spots you have to experience in Detroit, and that’s not even including the popular Greektown Casino.
Home to delicious eateries like Pegasus Taverna and Astoria Pastry Shop, you’ll also find Fishbones (amazing Cajun food) and the iconic Old Shillelagh, a beloved Irish pub.
Riverfront and Detroit RiverWalk
Where: Along Detroit’s River Front
Looking for a place to stretch your legs and take in some of the best views in the city? Voted the number one river walk in the country, the Detroit Riverfront and Riverwalk is the place to be. This three mile plus stretch located on the Detroit riverfront is a hidden gem of the city.
Offering what seems like an endless riverfront for walking that’s not all, plenty of restaurants and stores now dot the riverwalk area. In addition, there is plenty of green space and parks along the riverfront for panicking or just enjoying a day out in the sun.
Be sure to take some time to explore the plazas. For a kid-friendly, family hangout spot, Cullen Plaza is the place to go. Cullen Plaza is where the Cullen Family Carousel spins with dancing swans and sea serpents and ecstatic kids riding their backs.
Where: 800 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
Ice skating in the winter and volleyball in the summer in the middle of Detroit? Yes, you read that right! Perfecting your double axel on skates and spiking the ball are just a few of the things that you can do in Campus Martius. You’ll also find food trucks, live music and entertainment, events and so much more.
This is the heart of the city. Surrounded by countless fine dining and cheap dining options this is a must visit place in the city. Located at the end of Woodward Ave, there may not be a truly more Detroit place to spend a day if you’re looking for fun thinsg to do in Detroit.
More Fun Things to Do In Detroit
Where: 10125 E Jefferson Detroit
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 AM- 5PM
Pewabic is one of the more unknown spots in the city, but it has amazing things to offer. Whether it’s spending potentially hours browsing through all of their in house made pottery or taking a class and making something yourself, Pewabic is entertainment for all.
My favorite thing is the Pewabic tiles. These beauties have some awesome designs of local landmarks and so much more. If you’re touring the city look for the tiles in older buildings, there everywhere and it’s stunning.
Grab a Bite to Eat in Mexican Town
Location: Southwest Detroit
Mexican Town, located in southwest Michigan near the Ambassador Bridge, is a Detroit gem. There are ethinic Mexican areas in cities throughout the country, but I think Detroit’s is one of the best. Rich with Mexican heritage, authentic Mexican food and unique shops, it’s a fun spot to explore any time of the year.
It’s also one of my personal favorite spots to get a bite in the city, with countless Mexican restaurants such as Mexican Village, Xochimilco, Los Galanes, Mi Pueblo and more. You’ll find laid back spots like to grab a tasty taco made with fresh corn tortillas, amazing Salsa Roja and sugary-sweet Churros.
In addition, there are tons of big and small Mexican markets around featuring all kinds of cool and exotic foods and treats. If you’re hungry in the city, this is the place to check out.
Fun Things to Do in Detroit That are Musts
Get an Authentic Coney Dog
American Coney Island: 114 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
Lafayette Coney Island: 118 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226
When you think Detroit, do you think Coney Dogs? If so, you’re not alone. Coney Dogs are
a Detroit staple, and a must-try if you are in the city.
It’s a pure Motor City delicacy: a hot dog with chili, onion, and mustard. Trust me, It really can’t be beat.
You can find coney’s all over the Detroit area, but if you want to do this the most Detroit way possible, then you go to the original coney spots in downtown Detroit, Lafayette and American Coney Island restaurants.
Sample one from each, but be warned: Detroiter’s take their Coneys seriously and this is Detroit’s Civil War. I’m team Lafayette but that’s a story for another day. Whether you’re going to one of the various coney’s in and around the city or to the heart of the city I’m not sure you can even say you visited Detroit with trying a coney.
Explore the City on a Pedal Bar
Where: Detroit Rolling Pub, The HandleBar Detroit, The Michigan Pedaler, Detroit Roll House Pedal Bar
See Detroit while manning your personal bar on wheels – that’s the Detroit pedal bar experience. Grab a group of friends or join someone else’s party and enjoy a slow cruise through Detroit while sipping on your favorite beverage. It’s a unique experience and a great way to see the city.
You get on the pedal bar at your selected starting point and there you’re off. The time you spend on the bike depends on how long you rent it for. With your time on the bike, you are taken on a bar tour usually stopping at 3 or 4 different spots in the city. This is a great way to celebrate an occasion or simply relax and enjoy the city.
Where: 2648 West Grand Boulevard Detroit Michigan
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
How can you be in the city that Motown was created in and not visit the museum. One of the most talked about and visited places in the city, the Motown Museum is a unique Detroit experience where you can see and hear about the amazing history of Motown Music.
Walk through the doors and walk back in time on a memorable Motor City musical journey that you’ll never forget. This historical site offers exhibits outlining the path to stardom for many of these famous musicians, and gives an in-depth look at the development of one of the most groundbreaking sounds in history.
Detroit Institute of Art
Location: 5200 Woodward Avenue Detroit Michigan
What might be the Crown Jewel of the Detroit museums is the Detroit Institute of Art. Also known as the DIA, the houses thousands of pieces of artwork from some of the biggest names from every period and style.
In addition to the amazing artwork that the Museum owns, it is often the host of major exhibits that are on loan from the biggest museums and private collections in the world.
The museum boasts one of the best collections in the country with pieces from Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Diego Rivera, Andy Warhol, and Picasso just to give you a taste of the variety and profoundness of the collection. Of the 15 things to do in Detroit, this may be number one.
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Location: 315 E Warren Avenue Detroit
Hours: Open Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursdays.
This is one of the most powerful experiences the city has to offer. The Charles Wright Museum houses one of the world’s largest permanent collections of African American culture and artifacts. The museum is a historic place having had Rosa Parks and Aretha Franklin both lay in state in the museum rotunda.
This building houses some of the stories and artifacts of the most impactful people and movements in human history. Some of the featured exhibits are about the Tuskegee Airmen and the underground railroad.
Michigan Science Center
Location: 5020 John R Street Detroit
Hours: Open Wednesday through Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
This is the most kid-centered thing that is on the list. But that doesn’t mean that anyone can’t go learn and use science for fun. Featuring multiple theaters and stages including an IMAX dome theater and a planetarium there is always a worthwhile show being put on.
Plus, there are tons of hands on and interactive displays that are great for your future little scientist.
Detroit Historical Museum
Location: 5401 Woodward Avenue Detroit
Hours: Open Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sundays from 1 – 5 p.m.
Interested in learning how this great city was shaped? The Detroit Historical Museum covers everything from the underground railroad to modern day. It’s a fascinating history, too, from Detroit’s humble beginnings as an industrial hub during the fur trading days its to the heyday of the automotive industry’s expansion, the Detroit Historical Museum is fascinating place to spend a day and learn something.
If You Go To Detroit: Where to Stay in the Motor City
Atheneum Suite Hotel in Greektown
1000 Brush Avenue, Downtown Detroit, Detroit, MI 48226
Located right next to the Greektown Casino, the Atheneum Suite Hotel is one of my favorite places to stay in Detroit. It’s an all-suite hotel, and the rooms are pretty spacious, with a comfortable layout and even comfier beds. It’s modern, updated and elegant, and just a short walk to Ford Field and Comerica Park.
The Detroit Club
712 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226
This special, elegant spot is one of my favorite places to stay in the city. You’ll find lovely, high-quality bedding as well as extra seating in each room, making the Detroit Club a very comfortable spot. Set in a historic building in the heart of the city, you’ll find a sauna and fitness center and billiards, too. There is an on-site spa that features a salt-water jacuzzi in the Grotto, dry saunas, lounges, fitness center, body, skin, and nail treatments. Choose from a mix of rooms and suites.
Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
400 Renaissance DR, Downtown Detroit, Detroit, MI 48243
The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center offers one of the best views in the entire city. Located right next to Hart Plaza on the RiverWalk, it’s so much fun to gaze across the river into Canada. The rooms are clean and pillows are quite comfrotable, and its a great jumping-off spot for exploring the city.
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Detroit Downtown – Fort Shelby
525 West Lafayette Boulevard, Downtown Detroit, Detroit, MI 48226
Located right in the heart of downtown Detroit, this is a very clean and comfortable hotel. LIke most Double Trees, the rooms are large and the beds are very comfortable. There are two restaurants and a bar on site, which makes it convenient for spending long days exploring this vibrant city. The Double Tree is a popular spot for couples and wedding parties.
Map of Fun Things to Do in Detroit
More Fun Things to Do in Michigan
About the Author-
Cy Nardone is a Content Creator for us here at MyMichiganBeach. He grew up in Grosse Pointe and attended Grosse Pointe South High School. He went on to attend Wayne State then Michigan State University where he majored in Sports Journalism. Cy is a lifelong Detroit sports fan who loves food. Cy looks forward to expanding our Metro Detroit content and hopes to turn you on to a new spot to adventure or eat.