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Best Free Summer Activities For Kids In Detroit

It's getting hot out there, and your kids want to go do something fun. However, some activities can be expensive. Check out this list for the best free summer activities for kids in the Detroit area.
Summer Concerts

Detroit and the metro area have a ton of free concerts going on this summer, and Metro Detroit Mommy has the scoop on these for you. Some standouts include Eastpointe's "Music in the Plaza" (Wednesday nights, 6:30 p.m. to 8); Wild Summer Nights at the Detroit Zoo (free with zoo admission); and Sunday night concerts at St. Clair Metropark (Metro Beach, free with park admission). Some of these concerts are catered to the younger set, whereas some are just family-friendly in general. Check these out if you're looking to listen to some tunes this summer (for free!).

Park It! Family Fun Nights

Park It! Family Fun Nights include an outdoor concert plus kids' activities, a family-friendly movie on its large LED video screen, plus giveaways. You can find the 2015 Michigan schedule here (the Family Fun nights are hosted in Ohio, too), and locations range from Troy (8/18) to Sterling Heights (7/29) which is at Freedom Hill Amphitheater, to Royal Oak (August 20). There are a ton of locations/dates so make sure to check the schedule to find the closest venue to you.

Splash Pads/Parks

There are various "splash pads" and parks that are free for kids during the summer. These include City Square Park (Warren), Pop Jet fountains at Partridge Creek (Clinton Twp.), Heritage Park (Canton), and others; click here for the full list. Some waterparks too, such as the Fuller Park pool (Ann Arbor), include free admission for kids under 2-3 years old with paid adult admission.

Related:  Best Places for Kids' Summer Art Activities in Detroit

Kids Bowl Free (free bowling)

Parents can register their child at the Kids Bowl Free website and receive two free games of bowling, daily, for the entire summer! Make sure to first register your child on the site, and then check to see where the vouchers can be used. Michigan locations range from Super Bowl (Canton) to Classic Lanes (Rochester Hills) to Merri-Bowl (Livonia), and the list is quite extensive. Adults can also purchase a Family Pass to receive two games free all summer, for up to four adults, when your child uses his/her Kids Bowl Free pass.

Detroit Institute Of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 833-7900

If you live in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb County, admission to the DIA is free with a valid Michigan drivers license or state ID. If you don't live in those county but you're enlisted in the military, the DIA is also offering free admission for you and your family until September 5 of this year; children 5 and under, regardless of military affiliation, are always free, too. Start your child's art education early and check out the DIA's fantastic exhibits - this July, the DIA has its Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera exhibit through July 12, and the Rembrandt Guest of Honor exhibit through December 13. You can also check out the Paul McPharlin puppetry collection, which would be great for kids, through September 20.

Related: Best Summer Reading Events for Kids in Detroit

Liz Parker is a freelance writer and a University of Michigan graduate with a degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her work can be found at and
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