2019 Blog Posts, DETROIT

A Few of Our Favorite Summer Things to Do in Detroit

How has your summer been so far? Have you been on a vacation yet or to any exciting festivals this summer? We have been busy enjoying our summer as a family in Detroit and the metro area. There are so many family-friendly things to do in Detroit in the summer. It’s hard to pick just one activity or event!

We don’t have a vacation planned for this summer, but we do plan to explore new (to us) places in Detroit and (hopefully) up north. Travis has been busy with full-time summer classes at the community college. This past May marked one year of college for Travis! 

I’ve been busy with creative projects and freelance work. I also just recently started homeschooling the kids again. We took a few weeks off for the summer and now we’re back to our school routine. I’ll have to write a blog post sometime about how we enjoy year-round homeschooling. 

Fun, Family Things to Do in Detroit

As for the teens, Elijah is working more hours at his part-time job and he’s also been connecting with a recruiter in hopes of joining the Marine Corps. (That’s a story for another day.) While Michala is working fewer hours at her job to focus on summer school studies. 

homeschooling in Detroit
Michala is working on summer school this summer.
Elijah is excited to work on his career goal to enlist in the military!

So things are a little busier this summer than it was for us last year. Not complaining about having paid work! And definitely not complaining about Travis having an opportunity to get his college degree.

It’s all been such a wonderful blessing, especially after we experienced two hard years of unemployment. Just saying how busy this summer has been!

Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
Travis and I with our three little ones at Concert of Colors in Detroit.
Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
Me with the kids at the Detroit Kite Festival.
planting an indoor garden
My little ones made an indoor garden by the window.

Thankfully, Travis and I are able to create flexible schedules to do all the things and keep balance with the family. We synced our Google calendars so we can keep up with everyone’s schedule and it has been a lifesaver! We even include fun events we’re interested in attending or activities we’d like to do together.

Travis and I on our way out on a date.
things to do when visiting detroit
Out for a stroll in Detroit.

Speaking of summer fun, I thought I’d share a few photos of how our summer has been so far. Let me know how you’ve been doing this summer, too! Xoxo

Belle Isle Detroit. Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
Chillin’ after the Detroit Kite Festival at the fountain on Belle Isle.
Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
My cousin and his family visited Detroit a couple of weeks ago.
Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
My cousin stopped in Detroit for a surprise visit.


We love hanging out at Beacon Park in Downtown Detroit. In the summertime, there are concerts and a lot of family-friendly games. Sometimes there is a night market and food trucks. It’s a great place to chill on a summer evening with family and friends.

The Detroit Kite Festival has become a family favorite. The kids love getting new kites each summer and taking them to the kite festival. Each year this event seems to grow and more people come out to celebrate! Plus, you can find yummy food from food vendors and cool, sweet ice cream from ice cream trucks.

The Detroit Kite Festival is free to the public and features live music, craft tents for making kites, food vendors (as I already mentioned), and fun family activities to keep the kids engaged.

P.S.– Don’t forget to stop by the Belle Isle Fountain. It’s a cool spot on a hot summer’s day.

Detroit Kite Festival 2019
Michala at the Detroit Kite Festival 2019.
Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
Zhen in front of the Detroit Institute of Arts at the Concert of Colors.
Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
Zhen and Zephaniah at the DIA for the Concert of Colors 2019.
Zechariah upside down in the grass at the Detroit Institute of Arts during the Concert of Colors 2019.
Stubbornly rolling around in the grass.

Concert of Colors is a new-to-us Detroit event, even though it has been around for over 28 years. The event is a BIG music festival that’s free to the public and features global music from many diverse cultures. According to the official Concert of Colors website, the music festival is the Midwest’s biggest diversity and arts festival.

Our first visit to Concert of Colors was at the Detroit Institute of Arts. We listened to jazz music while sitting outside on the lawn in front of the art museum. Next time, I’ll be sure to pack a picnic basket for us so the kids can enjoy snacks and fun games.

things to do when visiting detroit
Belle Isle Detroit
Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
Quick pic while going down Jefferson Ave. in Detroit.
Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
Zhen helping Zephaniah get his kite in the air at the Detroit Kite Festival 2019.
Detroit Kite Festival 2019
Michala and I at the Detroit Kite Festival 2019.
Detroit Kite Festival 2019
Selfie with my girls.

Hanging out in Mexicantown is another summertime favorite we like to do in Detroit. Located in Southwest Detroit, Mexicantown is known for its cultural events, mural art, delicious bakeries and ice cream shops, and traditional Mexican food.

It’s a small neighborhood in Detroit and a family-friendly spot to hang out with your family. We like to park off of the main road, Vernor Highway, and walk on the strip. This where you can find many restaurants and bakeries.

Sometimes in the evening Travis and I like to go to El Club. Every once in a while they also have music events that are teen-friendly. I’ve taken Michala to one before and she had a really good time.

Family-friendly Things to Do in Detroit in the Summer
Travis getting a taco in Mexicantown.
Mexicantown, Detroit
Taco trucks are my favorite!
La Fiesta Ice Cream Detroit
Discovered La Fiesta Ice Cream in Mexicantown and it is now my favorite spot!
La Fiesta Ice Cream Detroit
Travis enjoying an ice cream cone at La Fiesta Ice Cream in Southwest Detroit.


We’ve attended many Detroit events and visited a lot of places in the city. This list and my photographs would be endless if I featured them all. But here are a few more summertime events and places I recommend for summer fun in Detroit.

  • Jazzin’ at the Vanity: This two-day music event is held at the end of June in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood. It is also free to the public and a nice family-friendly event. The music festival features live jazz music from various bands and singers, food vendors, live art, and a kids section.
  • Belle Isle: There is A LOT of things to do at Belle Isle from swimming in the river to visiting the nature center and canoeing. We like to bring the kids to go swimming, play on the playground, and have a picnic.
  • Campus Martius: Sometimes they feature movies in the park and live music on Saturdays. We enjoy the music, the big sandbox, outdoor games, getting ice water from Detroit Water Ice Factory, and eating pizza in the park.
  • The Belt: My favorite time to go is in the evening because it’s cooler outside. I like looking at street art and getting ice cream.
Campus Martius is a popular hangout spot in the summertime in Downtown Detroit.
Jazzin’ at the Vanity two-day music event is held at the end of June in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood.
  • GM River Days: We’ve been a couple of times and it’s a lot of fun. It does get really busy, though, so make sure you come prepared for doing a lot of walking.
  • Detroit Institute of Arts: Friday night is our favorite day to go to the museum because it is open until 10 P.M. and features many different types of events and music!
  • Eastern Market: In the summertime, market days are on Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Saturday is the busiest market day so if you’re wanting a smaller crowd, then I recommend going on a Tuesday or Sunday. Here’s a post about our visit to the Tuesday Market.
  • Detroit African World Festival: We’ve been to two festivals so far and it is SO much fun! The festival is usually held for 3 days and it’s free to the public. From afternoon to night, there is live music, food vendors, a marketplace, a children’s stage and activities, and African dancing.
  • Detroit Public Library: The public library located downtown on Woodward Avenue is a great place to bring the kids. Sometimes there are family events, such as the family Sundays, and the children’s library has games and other activities for kids. I also like going to the DPL to cool off and admire the beautiful art in the library.
Detroit African World Festival is one of our favorite summer festivals to attend.
The Woodward Dream Cruise is another popular Detroit summer event.
  • Cass Avenue: There are quite a few restaurants on this strip. We like to go to Cass Avenue to get tacos and ice cream.
  • Michigan Renaissance Festival: This event isn’t located in Detroit, but it’s a BIG Michigan favorite! We’ve been one time so far. Also, the Ren-Fest holds a party in Eastern Market before its opening seasoning.
  • Woodward Dream Cruise: The Dream Cruise is a very popular Detroit event. People from all over the state and country come out to this big car festival. When we go, we like to ride along Woodward Avenue to see the cool cars and also park to sit and watch the Cruise. A lot of businesses also have parties and other special events for the Dream Cruise.
  • Hamtramck Labor Day Festival: We like going to the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival with the kids. It’s a 3-day festival located in Hamtramck. At this event, you will find a marketplace, live music, food vendors, and a carnival. The kids love the food and carnival, of course.
We LOVE the Michigan Renaissance Festival. Although it’s not located in Detroit, the festival is a big Michigan favorite.
Dally in the Alley is another Detroit summer event I recommend.
  • Dally in the Alley: Known as Detroit’s largest community festival, Dally in the Alley is held around the middle of September. It’s a one-day event so make sure you make plans to come out! At this event, you will find music (A LOT OF LIVE MUSIC), food vendors, live art shows, a marketplace for shopping, and a small children’s section.
  • Murals in the Market: Murals in the Market is also held around the middle of September. Each year a group of artists paint murals throughout the Eastern Market District. You can come to watch the artists paint, too. MINTM hosts a few events during their festival, but not all of them are for kids. The schedule of events changes every year so make sure you connect with their website to see what’s on the agenda.


All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

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