23 Amazing Things to Do in Detroit with Kids
If you’re planning to visit Detroit with your family, you’re in luck: there are tons of fun and exciting things to do with kids in Detroit.
Kids activities in Detroit and the Detroit metro area are wide-ranging; you’ll find a mix of action and adventure to educational experiences rich with living history.
From splash pads and indoor play places to aquatic centers and outdoor adventures, there is no end to family-friendly activities in Detroit.
Why Visit Detroit With Kids?
Everyone knows Detroit as the Motor City. Also famous for its architectural feats, historical significance, and local entertainment values, Detroit is an accomplished and well-known city.
But Detroit is also known for its exciting family adventures. Looking for some kid-friendly fun in the D?
Here are the 23 best things to do with kids in Metro Detroit.
Get Curious at Michigan Science Center
5020 John R St Detroit, MI 48202
Do you have a curious child? They will enjoy all Michigan Science Center has to offer! With hands-on, minds-on interactivity and engaging exhibits, theater shows and programs to put kids in the center, this is one of the best things to do with kids in Metro Detroit.
The science center also hosts First Friday Late Nights, where kids and parents alike can catch theater shows and explore the museum’s galleries after hours. What kid doesn’t like staying up past curfew? Now they can learn while they do so, making this a top thing to do with kids in the D.
The Michigan Science Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. It’s open from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Fridays.
Also Consider: Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202
Become One with Nature at Belle Isle Park
Inselruhe Ave Detroit MI
Across a bridge at the foot of East Grand River Avenue is Belle Isle State Park. This space features a zoo, aquarium, conservatory, museum and plenty of hiking, barbecuing, bicycling and more, making it one of the best things to do with kids in Metro Detroit.
This ‘Jewel of Detroit’ is easily one of the best things to do with kids in Metro Detroit. On one side of the island is the famed Detroit River, where kids can watch boats sail on the water border between Canada and the U.S.
Tired of watching the water? The best things for kids to do is slide down the giant slide, watch birds in the conservatory or Great Lakes fish in the Belle Isle Aquarium, or take fun pictures at the James Scott Memorial Fountain. The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is a stunning botanical garden with exotic plants and tons of blooming plants that both you and your kids wil enjoy.
Belle Isle Park is open year-round from 5 a.m.-10 p.m.
Also Consider: Cullen Plaza, 1340 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207
Find their Creative Side at the Detroit Institute of Art
5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202
Stay with us here: an art museum can be lots of fun for the kids! Aside from looking through the exhibits in the historical building, the Detroit Institute of Arts offers many opportunities to sketch and draw in the galleries with graphite pencils! Maybe your kid can become the next Van Gogh? They’ll certainly remember the experience nonetheless.
Detroit Institute of Arts is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Also Consider: Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Explore Downtown Detroit on the Detroit People Mover
Visiting Downtown Detroit is already a fun thing to do with kids in Detroit but it’s more fun on the Detroit People Mover. Tour the city on the People Mover, zipping by Hart Plaza, Comerica Park, the Renaissance Center and shhh the Greektown Casino.
With stations throughout Downtown Detroit, kids can whip by landmarks like the Spirit of Detroit and the “Fist” before stopping at Campus Martius or Beacon Park to burn off some energy.
The Detroit People Mover operates Monday-Thursday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Fridays 7 a.m.-midnight, Saturdays 10 a.m.-midnight, and Sundays 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Also Consider: The Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202
Speaking of, Campus Martius…
Go Ice Skating at Campus Martius Park
800 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226
Coined Detroit’s official gathering place, this 2.5-acre year-round outdoor venue is home to beautiful gardens, performance space, and food, making it one of the best things to do with kids in Metro Detroit.
While Campus Martius is famous for its annual ice rink and tree lighting ceremony from November to March, Campus Martius hosts a city beach in the warmer months with lounge chairs, Friday Night Beach Parties and, of course, lots of sand castles.
Campus Martius is open 6 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week.
Play their Heart Out at Beacon Park
1901 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI 48226
One of the best things to do with kids in Metro Detroit is to visit the famous Beacon Park. Its expansive green space, year-round events, interactive light installations and rooftop restaurant are only some of the features that attract visitors near and far, young and old.
Some activities in the beautiful park include rock climbing, a large Jenga and a simple picnic as you watch the interactive lights in the sunset.
Beacon Park is open 24/7 though availability for different events varies.
Also Consider: Detroit Tigers Game, 2100 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Embrace the Great Outdoors at the Outdoor Adventure Center
1801 Atwater Street, Detroit, MI 48207
What better way to pull kids outside than to make an adventure out of it? Located on Detroit’s riverfront, the Outdoor Adventure Center gives you a taste of Detroit’s great outdoors in the heart of the city.
Boasting over 20 interactive and educational exhibits such as fishing, camping, or riding the trails, there’s something to appeal to all your outdoor interests at this adventure park.
Outdoor Adventure Center is open Wednesdays and Fridays 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m.-3 p.m.
4140 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Your older kids will love this 16-lane bowling alley at Garden Bowl in the Majestic building in Detroit’s midtown area. Glow-in-the-dark bowling lanes, disco lights and some really good pizza make this a winning choice no matter what how you bowl.
Drive an Antique Car at Ford Piquette Plant
461 Piquette Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202
Dedicated to the preservation of the Model T and the celebration of Detroit’s automotive heritage, taking a Ford Piquette Plant and Factory tour is one of the best things you can do with kids in Metro Detroit.
Families can tour the historical museum, marveling at the antique cars and historical facts of the Motor City. Get behind the wheel of a Model T and pretend you’re cruising into the sunset.
Ford Piquette Plant is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Relax on the Waves on the Detroit Princess
1 Civic Center Drive, Detroit, MI 4822
Who doesn’t love the water? Detroit’s own Detroit Princess offers many cruise dates and options, all providing a wonderful view of the Detroit and Windsor skylines along the Detroit River.
With Motown shows, murder mysteries, live bands and DJs onboard, this local cruise is easily one of the top things to do with kids in Detroit.
Booking can be scheduled by calling 517-627-2154.
Also Consider: Diamond Jack River Tour, 1340 Atwater St, Detroit, MI 48207
Experience Detroit on the Detroit Riverfront
588 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48207
You can’t end a “best things to do with kids in Detroit” list without the Detroit Riverfront. Arguably the pride and joy spot of Detroit, there is very little you couldn’t do with your kids here.
From hosting events like 5K runs and spring clean-ups to visiting the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater or Hart Plaza, to garden rooms and the Dequindre Cut Greenway, there’s no shortage of fun adventures for you and your family. Rivard Plaza on the Detroit International Riverwalk has bike rentals, a carousel and more.
The Riverfront is officially open from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday. It’s open 24 hours on Sunday.
Also Consider: Eastern Market, 2934 Russell Street, Detroit MI 48207
Best Things to Do with Kids in Metro Detroit
Step Back in Time at Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124
If you’re looking to pull kids away from Cocomelon, consider visiting Greenfield Village Dearborn. As one of the leading things to do with kids in Detroit, this living historical museum has enchanted kids and their parents for years.
Here, kids can explore the lab where Thomas Edison created the lightbulb, the workshop where the Wright brothers tested the first airplane or even take a ride on a real Model-T. Afterward, take a peek in the Greenfield Village Store for some antique finds.
Join your kids on the hand-carved Carousel or take a Steamboat Ride on the Suwanee Lagoon. Part of the Henry Ford Museums of American Innovation, this should be at the top of your Detroit Kids bucket list with school-aged kids.
Greenfield Village is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Also Consider: The Motown Museum, 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208
Immerse Them in History at Henry Ford Museum
20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124
You can’t have Greenfield Village on a list of top things to do with kids in Metro Detroit without having the Henry Ford Museum as well!
Henry Ford Museum hosts multiple exhibits, special events and hands-on activities for the kiddos to immerse themselves in American history. Henry Ford is currently hosting a Scooby-Doo Mansion Mayhem exhibit through April 9, so the family can unlock childhood memories to solve the mystery and crack the case. Jinkies!
Henry Ford Museum is open from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week.
Also Consider: Holocaust Memorial Center, 28123 Orchard Lake Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Build Lego Towers at Legoland Discovery Center Michigan
4240 Baldwin Road. Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Form future architects by taking your kids to Legoland Discovery Center Michigan. Hosting events such as the Detroit cityscape created with over 1 million LEGO bricks, a 4D cinema, a Duplo Farm for younger children, and a Lego City Play Zone, there are various Lego-based activities for all ages at one of the best things to do with kids in Metro Detroit.
Overwhelmed by all the choices? Legoland also offers an attraction map so you and your children can map your visit.
Legoland Discovery Center is generally open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday to Saturday. The last entry is two hours before close.
Also Consider: Sea LIFE Michigan Aquarium, 4240 Baldwin Road. Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Gaze at Sculptures at Cranbrook Art Museum
39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
With the mission of fostering inclusivity, creativity, and community, Cranbrook Art Museum is the perfect thing to do with kids in Metro Detroit. Kids and their families can golf on an artist-designed mini golf course over the summer or do self-guided artmaking activities in the Art Lab.
The best catch? There’s free admission on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cranbrook Art Museum is also open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Morley Candy Makers Factory
22800 Hall Rd, Clinton Twp, MI 48036
The next best thing to touring Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory are the Morley Candy factory tours. The largest candy maker in Michigan, head to this candy factory near the sprawling Mall at Partridge Creek and get a behind-the-scenes peek at how delicious chocolates are made. Detroit’s famous Sander’s chocolates are made here, so be sure to try some free samples.
Turtle Cove Family Aquatic Center
40151 E Huron River Dr, Belleville, MI 48111
There is so much to do at this waterpark in western Wayne County. You’ll find two waterslides, a meandering lazy river and a 300-gallon dumping bucket here, but that’s not all. Located near the Huron River, this more than 1200-acre park has paved hiking and biking trails as well as fishing and canoeing on the river.
Marvins Marvelous Mechanical Museum
31005 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
Marvins Marvelous Mechanical Museum is easily one of the top kid-friendly hidden gems in Michigan. Part arcade and part museum, you’ll find a fun and eclectic collection of animatronics, electric games and machines that will delight kids of all ages.
CJ Barrymores Family Entertainment
21750 Hall Road, Clinton Twp, MI 48038
You’ll find more than 20 indoor and outdoor attractions at this playground and sports center. Bumper cars, go karts, bowling and a golf dome are just some of the things to do with kids here. There’s also a sprawling arcade with more than 100 games and an on-site restaurant so you won’t have to cook when you get home.
8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067
One of the top zoos in the country, this is another must-visit spot with kids.
Since the zoo opened in the 1920s, the Detroit Zoo in metro Detroit has inspired wonder and captured the imaginations of its visitors. From polar bears and penguins to snake and lions, there is a lot of animals to see here.
The zoo is laid out in a very pleasant way, so it’s enjoyable to spend the day walking from exhibit to exhibit. Pay special attention to our monthly event calendars, the zoo has special holiday events throughout the year like Bunnyville at Easter, the Zoo Boo at Halloween and the very popular Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
42550 Executive Dr, Canton, MI 48188
Your kids can jump, spin, flip, and play to their hearts content at this amazing indoor trampoline park. From dodgeball and basketball on trampolines to a ninja wall course and an amazing “Foam Zone,” there is no end to the activities for kids here. The kids will love the indoor zip line, free climb and trapeze, and the drop slide is pretty cool too.
Detroit Kid City
37051 Southbound Gratiot Ave, Clinton Township, MI 48036
Currently Closed- Watch HERE for Updates
Fowling Warehouse Ann Arbor
3050 Washtenaw Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
What happens when you combine football and bowling? You end up with fowling, a family-friendly game where you use a football to knock down the pins. The fun is in its simplicity: anyone can play and have a good time with fowling.
More Things to Do with Kids in Michigan
About the Author-
SaMya Overall is a Content Writer at mymichiganbeach.com . She is a fourth-year graduating senior at Michigan State University. She currently works as Editor-in-Chief of The State News, Michigan State’s award-winning student media company. Prior to becoming EIC, she worked as a campus reporter and copy chief at The State News. She’s passionate about Detroit and its surrounding area, and is a low-key collegiate sports lover on her free time.