7 Fun Things to do in Detroit Before Summer Ends

There are so many fun things to do in Detroit. But where to start? The summer is my favorite time to get out on my bike and explore. Here are seven ideas to get you started. Trust me, there are a lot more!

Corktown Strut Festival

A music, art and food festival held in Detroit’s historic Corktown. The three-day festival will take place from July 1-3. Multiple venues in the neighborhood will host various DJs, bands, restaurants, tastings and more. Some sponsors include: Two James, Batch Brewing Co., and Tequila Cabresto.

Summertime Fun Things to do in Detroit

Photo Credit: Kyle Sammy


A Detroit gem and Michigan’s 102nd state park. Not only is Belle Isle a park, it is also a 987-acre island that includes a nature zoo, conservatory, golf facility, aquarium, soccer fields, bike paths, picnic areas, fishing, beaches, kayaking and more. This is a great place to visit any day of the week for a walk, bike ride or a picnic with family and friends! (Pro tip: If you bike on to the island, you don’t to pay the park pass fee.)

HydroFest / Detroit Boat races

This year’s Hydrofest is August 26-28 on Belle Isle on Detroit’s east side. Interested in checking out fast boats while getting a tan on the beach? This is your spot. There will be unlimited hydroplanes and Grand Prix sponsored hydroplanes. Trust me, this is a cool thing to see!

Haute to Death 

Haute To Death, Fun things to do in Detroit

Photo Credit: Haute to Death Facebook

A monthly (usually the third Saturday) party held at a local Detroit venue, typically Temple Bar (my favorite place to bust a move). The crowd is usually a very diverse mix of students, professionals and dancing fanatics. The founders, Ash Nowak and Jon Dones, are really good at mixing unexpected songs into a playlist that makes you never want to stop dancing. Can’t make it by the end of summer? Don’t worry – this goes all year long!

Detroit Riverfront & Dequindre Cut

Even though the Detroit Riverfront and the Dequindre Cut are two separate things, I’ve grouped them together because they’re best done paired. The riverfront goes from Corktown all the way to Belle Isle and is a fantastic ride/walk/run with a lot to do along the way.

Fountains on the Detroit Riverwalk

Photo Credit: Kyle Sammy

About half way through your ride along the river, the Dequindre Cut goes perpendicular starting at Chene Park. The Dequindre Cut Greenway is an urban recreation path for bikers, runners and walkers. It officially opened in 2009 and recently expanded to Eastern Market (a full 1.15 mile path). It is well known for its urban artwork and graffiti and serves as a pedestrian link between the riverfront and many residential neighborhoods.

Jazz Fest

Close out your summer with this awesome festival held in Hart Plaza. The 37th Annual Jazz Fest will be held on Labor Day weekend with an eclectic array of performers across varied styles and generations of jazz legends and new artists.

Patio hopping

Last but certainly not least, this is a multi-itemed “fun thing to do.” Patios! Who doesn’t love sitting on a patio on a beautiful day? Here are 6 awesome patios I definitely recommend.

    1. Motor City Wine Enjoy live music during the evenings, wine and a charcuterie board right in the Corktown neighborhood on Michigan Ave.
    2. La Dolce Vita – meaning “The Sweet Life,” this restaurant is in Palmer Park and offers classic Italian food in a secluded patio area.
    3. Northern Lights – located in New Center, this restaurant and local music venue has a relaxed outdoor setting and offers brunch, yum!
    4. Mudgie’s – Another Corktown location with some super delicious sandwiches and drinks. They recently did some major expansions and added a new, gorgeous patio area. Check it out for lunch or dinner.
    5. Old Miami – looking for a bar that reminds you of your grandparents basement? Old Miami in Midtown is the spot for you. This venue is more than a patio, it has an entire backyard!
    6. Traffic Jam & Snug – Another Midtown favorite. Traffic Jam & Snug has been around since 1965. Their award-winning cheeses and beers are a local favorite. Try some while relaxing on their outdoor patio. You can also browse some of the local shops like City Bird and Hugh.

Looking for other Detroit delights to enjoy? Check out our blog 13 of the Best Detroit Restaurants and Bars!

Detroit Delights

Celena Mancina

Celena has been a part of the Grand Circus team since 2014 and has enjoyed getting to know hundreds of students since then. In her spare time she enjoys being outdoors, biking, traveling, eating and dancing.

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