18 Most Fun Things to Do in Detroit | 2024 (with Photos)

Ata Ahmadi

Ata Ahmadi - Travel Writer

Published: June 29, 2023

Hey there! Ata here, your guide to the most exciting activities in vibrant Detroit. With my love for exploring new places and creating unforgettable memories, I've handpicked the top attractions and must-visit spots to ensure you have an amazing time in Motor City. Enjoy your trip to the fullest!

Detroit, MI has so much to offer a first-time tourist. From arts and culture to great food and a dramatic skyline, this city has it all.

Moreover, Detroit, Michigan (aka the Motor City) is the perfect place for car nuts. This city is riddled with amazing history about Henry Ford and cars in general.

Some of the best Detroit attractions are perfect for family fun. With the abundant parks and museums, there are so many fun things to do in Detroit.

So, let's explore the 18 most fun things to do in Detroit, Michigan. with another guide from the Travel-Lingual team.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts

Top Choice Hotel

Greektown Casino-Hotel

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Best Time to Visit

Summer months; June to August; pleasant weather.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Detroit, United States is...

Transportation Options

Buses, taxis, ride-sharing, bikes, electric scooters

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Take a stroll through the Motown Museum, where you can discover the birthplace of countless legendary artists and immerse yourself in the rich musical heritage that Detroit has to offer.

To truly experience the spirit of the city, head to the bustling Eastern Market, a vibrant hub of fresh produce, local artisans, and delicious food. Spend your morning getting lost among the aisles of colorful fruits and vegetables, and then indulge in a mouthwatering meal at one of the many food stalls offering diverse cuisine options, from Greek to Mexican

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Comfortable walking shoes
  2. Lightweight clothing for warm weather
  3. Sunscreen

What Not to Miss

  1. The Henry Ford Museum
  2. Motown Museum
  3. Detroit Institute of Arts
  4. Belle Isle Park
  5. Detroit Riverwalk

What to Avoid

  1. High crime areas
  2. Abandoned buildings
  3. Walking alone at night

1. Spend a Nice Day Along the Detroit River

Detroit River

One of the best and most beautiful ways to experience the Detroit River is along the Detroit Riverwalk. Visit the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, take in some live music, and experience the food trucks serving that delicious Detroit-style pizza in Hart Plaza and Gabriel Richard Park.

You can also experience the river from the Detroit Princess Riverboat. This cruise gives a nice view of Belle Isle and the city as you glide by. Grab a cocktail on the Detroit Princess Riverboat and enjoy the view.

2. The Michigan Science Center

Michigan Science Center

The Michigan Science Center is affiliated with the Smithsonian and is the perfect place for those interested in science, technology, and engineering. There are over 200 interactive exhibits to experience.

The Michigan Science Center's stated goal is to use STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to inspire creative minds. So bring along the whole family because this is a good hands-on experience for kids.

The Michigan Science Center boasts the Imax Dome Theater as well. See blockbusters on their giant screen that also has 3D capabilities.

3. The Many Museums of Detroit

Museum in Detroit

There are a wealth of museums to choose from in the Detroit area.

The Wright Museum of African American History holds the largest amount of African American cultural artifacts in the world. From letters from the Underground Railroad to correspondents from Malcolm X, pivotal moments in African American history are commemorated here.

The Motown Museum lies in the heart of Detroit, Michigan, just off Grand Blvd. The Motown Museum houses artifacts from musical history such as Micheal Jackson's famous black fedora and many gold-plated records from the recording label, Motown Records.

The Detroit Historical Museum is the best museum to explore the history of Detroit. Learn about the automotive boom and more at the Detroit Historical Museum, just a short walk from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Henry Ford Museum boasts antique cars and educates visitors on the history of the assembly line as well as Henry Ford himself. Moreover, the Henry Ford Museum provides insight into the life of people during the early 20th century.

4. The Detroit Zoo and Penguins Too

Penguins at Detroit Zoo

Need a good date spot or a place to bring the kids? The Royal Oak Detroit Zoo has so many varieties of animals, anyone can find an exhibit they will like.

The true gem of the Detroit Zoo is the Penguin Conservation Center. It is the largest penguin exhibit in the world with over 75 penguins. There are penguin shows regularly.

The Detroit Zoo is also the home of two gray wolves. The two wolves live in a 2-acre habitat with a stream and a den. The wolf exhibit also incorporates a historic wood cabin that existed before the Zoo was even a thought.

The Zoo is on Woodward Avenue, Royal Oak, so you will need to drive or call a taxi to get out there.

5. Summertime at the New Center Park

New Center Park

Are you visiting Detroit in the summer? If yes, then New Center Park is the place to go. It has night movies, live music, and a food festival.

Every year, around Independence Day, New Center Park hosts CityFest. This five-day food festival is the time to get a famous Detroit, MI hot dog.

Catch the family-friendly movie and the occasional performance at the park every Friday night. All of these events started out as just a couple of days during the summer.

Now, New Center Park has events all summer long, so pick a day and you are bound to have a good time.

6. Watch the Detroit Tigers Knock it Out of the Park

Comerica Park

The Tigers play out of Comerica Park in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Don't forget to get a picture with the over 15-foot tall tiger statue at the entrance of the park or 8 other smaller tigers are placed all around the park.

Comerica Park offers tours for all those sports fans out there. The tour is worth it just to walk out onto the field and feel the energy of the place.

7. Tailgating and Football with the Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions External Entrance

Right on the other side of Comerica Park is Ford Field, the home of the NFL's Detroit Lions. During football season, a home game at Ford Field is quite the scene.

When going to see a Lion's game, tailgating is a must. Grab some food and drinks and have a good time outside before the game.

A popular alternative spot is in the giant market area called the Eastern Market, as it has food and drinks aplenty.

There are also tours of the stadium. Get ready for the ultimate sporting weekend.

8. Movies and Music at the Fox Theater

Fox Theater

Right across the street from Comerica Park lies the Fox Theater, one of five movie theaters of its kind. This national historic landmark was built in the late 1920s and made it onto the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

The Fox Theater doesn't just have movies, it also holds live performances. Some of the musical greats performed at the Grand Fox Theater, including Elvis Presley, the King himself.

9. Downtown's Campus Martius Park

Martius Park

Campus Martius Park is in downtown Detroit, MI. It would be impossible to miss this park as it lies between the two major roads Woodward Avenue and Michigan Avenue.

Campus Martius Park houses a fountain, two stages, and a few sculptures. During the winter, there is even an ice skating rink. There is always bound to be some action in the park at any given time.

If Campus Martius Park wasn't enough park for you, then swing by the nearby Cadillac Square Park as well. It has a beautiful fountain called the Bagley Memorial Fountain and it is only a very short walk away.

10. Architecture in Downtown Detroit

Downtown Detroit

The downtown area has a lot to offer in the way of architecture. For instance, the Guardian Building. You can't miss it. The Guardian Building is a dramatic feature of the downtown skyline. Built in the 1920s, it exhibits the Art Deco style.

The seven gleaming towers of the Renaissance Center are another big feature of downtown Detroit. These seven skyscrapers all have interconnecting bridges and form the tallest structure in Detroit. The Renaissance Center has restaurants, hotels, and stores, so go in and find your own fun.

11. Make it Big in the Greektown Casino

Greektown Casino

The Greektown Casino is one of only three casinos operating in Detroit, Michigan and it is owned by the local Native American population.

This casino is located on Lafayette Blvd, giving it a direct line to downtown Detroit. You can also stay at the casino's hotel, the Greektown Hotel.

12. Midtown Detroit

Midtown Detroit

All along Warren Avenue in Midtown Detroit are art galleries galore. With the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Wright Museum, and Contemporary Art Detroit all together in one place, this is the art soul of Detroit.

The Detroit Institute of Arts has one of the largest art collections in the whole country. The over 100 art galleries throughout The Detroit Institute of Arts are of many art styles and eras.

Head to Contemporary Art Detroit and see the exhibitions live in the large black building. There is a mixture of art fixtures and live art performances that are always switching from week to week. This is part of the appeal because you never know what you will get at Contemporary Art Detroit.

Finally, check out Little Caesars Arena, home of two professional Detroit teams. The basketball team, the Pistons, shares this arena with the hockey team, the Red Wings. This location was previously the Joe Louis Arena until it got demolished and rebuilt into the arena it is today.

13. The Old Fisher Building

Old Fisher Building

Jutting out into the Detroit skyline, sitting off of West Grand Boulevard, is the historic Fisher Building. Similar to the Guardian Building, the Fisher Building has a stunning Art Deco design.

The Fisher Building houses the Fisher Theater, a theater that primarily hosts traveling Broadway performances. So grab some tickets to the latest famous Broadway show in a national historic landmark.

14. Structures of the Old Times

Old Times

A little bit outside of Detroit and just off the border of Canada is the Historic Fort Wayne. These limestone barracks are still original buildings built in 1848.

This was built as a deterrent to the British Empire which was in control of Canada at the time. Soon after, the U.S. and Britain came to an agreement, and the fort was decommissioned.

If Historic Fort Wayne isn't old enough, then go see the Commanding Officer's House. This house and the furnishings inside show what life was like in the mid-1770s.

15. Ride Over the River to Belle Isle

Belle Isle, Detroit

Do you need some more of the Detroit River in your life? Then go to Belle Isle right in the middle of the Detroit River and just North of the U.S. Canada border.

Take the Macarthur Bridge over the Detroit Riverfront and settle onto Belle Isle Park. The Belle Isle Golf Range is always in view of the river. You can see beauty on all sides as you putt.

Don't forget to swing by the Dossin Great Lakes Museum as well. This museum has one of the largest collections of model ships in the world. It even has a restored smoking lounge.

Belle Isle Park also has the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory (aka the Isle Park Conservatory). This conservatory houses a botanical garden and greenhouse specializing in tropical palm trees.

16. Fish and More Fish at the Belle Isle Aquarium

Belle Isle Aquarium

The Belle Isle Aquarium is worth seeing for its architecture and history alone. The basement was a Belle Isle speakeasy during Prohibition.

Don't forget about the fish too. The Belle Isle Aquarium primarily houses Great Lakes sea life, though occasionally takes on other regional fish.

Unfortunately, the Belle Isle Aquarium shut down for some years and the amount of fish has diminished. Luckily, there are still white-spotted bamboo sharks and many other fascinating species to see there.

17. The Eastern Market has Everything and More

Eastern Market

The Eastern Market is the largest market in the United States. There is so much to see here, from rows of flowers to meat as far as the eye can see.

There is every kind of food here, so be ready to eat, and then eat some more. Don't forget to

check out the art as well.

With the once-famous Detroit Antique Mall now closed permanently, Eastern Market has become the best place to hunt down antiques.

Go to the Eastern Market with only a loose plan and prepare to get lost in all the possibilities.

18. Activities at the Detroit Masonic Temple

Detroit Masonic Temple

Lastly, we have the Detroit Masonic Temple. The 16-foot building is made with primarily limestone. Like the Fox Theater, this temple was also put on the National Register of Historic Places.

This temple hosts a bowling alley, a swimming pool, and a gymnasium. Not in the mood for sports? See the neo-Gothic ballrooms, theaters, and banquet halls in the same building.

The Detroit Masonic Temple also has loads of sculptures and art pieces for the artistically inclined. The true beauty lies in the neo-Gothic arches that line the outside of the structure. Check it out and you will have so much fun with the whole family.

FAQs About Detroit Attractions

Let's look at some frequently asked questions about things to do in Detroit, Michigan.

Is there anything fun to do in Detroit, Michigan?

Yes, there are plenty of fun attractions in Detroit, Michigan. From the Motown Museum on West Grand Boulevard to Mexican Town over the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit Fort Wayne in West Jefferson, Detroit, MI is rich in fun attractions for people of all ages and tastes.

How can I spend a Saturday in Detroit, Michigan?

You can spend a Saturday in Detroit, Michigan walking in the parks, checking out the Detroit Historical Museum on Woodward Avenue, or the Henry Ford Museum, and exploring the Entertainment District.

Whether you want to visit a Michigan museum, sample some local food or get your step count up, your Saturday will fly by in Detroit, Michigan.

What is there to do in Detroit for 5 hours?

If you have five hours to spend in Detroit, you can take the time to learn some African American history at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, take a stroll down the Detroit Riverfront on the Detroit Riverwalk, and take some Motor City selfies at Hart Plaza.

Does Detroit have any nice areas?

Yes, Detroit has some nice areas. One of the nicest areas of Detroit is the Art Center where you will find the Detroit Historical Museum, the Wright Museum, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Royal Oak Zoo is also a nice spot for kids on your Detroit, Michigan vacation.

Summing Up: 18 Most Fun Things to Do in Detroit, Michigan

So, there you have it. Hopefully, this comprehensive list of places to visit in Detroit, MI has inspired you.

From the Detroit Historical Museum to the Motown Museum, Michigan Science Center and Henry Ford Museum, Detroit is the city that has it all.

As well as the museums, Detroit, MI has some open green space, great food, and comfortable weather. If that is not enough for you, there are plenty of things to do in Michigan.

Have a great time planning your Detroit itinerary. Just remember to buy all of your tickets and transport before things start to sell out.