Ann Arbor Area’s Top 10 Items for Your Family’s Summer Bucket List

Get Ice Cream 

Blank Slate Michigan Creamery, Washtenaw Dairy, Dairy Queen (Two Locations: Stadium Blvd. & Packard St.), or Kilwin’s provide delicious ice cream owned locally.  Do this all while you enjoy a downtown walk during the hottest nights of the summer. Bonus points for feeding the tame-ish squirrels that frequent the Diag.

Photo courtesy Ann Arbor Art Fair website.

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival. 

A2SF, for four weeks in June to July, offers over 200 concerts, a variety of art exhibitions and kids’ activities, fitness classes, and film screenings outdoors. Most are FREE! This is  very popular in the Ann Arbor area each year, for good reason!

Ann Arbor Art Fair

The largest juried art fair in the nation, this famous Midwest tradition features approximately 1,000 artists and covers the downtown area. With lots of kid-friendly art and art tents, this is a fun place to bring your young folk for a few hours!

Argo Cascades

With 9 pools and drops, the Cascades are one of Ann Arbor’s delights. If you don’t have tubes or kayaks, you can rent them from the Argo Livery! It takes approximately 20 minutes to tube down the Cascades, and less than 5 minutes  to walk back up to the top.

Go on a Park Tour 

Ann Arbor boasts over 90 parks with a variety of playsets and nature spaces. To make it easy for you, we’ve even rounded up a list of the playground in all of Washtenaw County for you HERE

Photo of Bird Hills, courtesy of

Walk in Bird Hills 

At 146 acres, this is the largest nature area in Ann Arbor. Intersecting trails allow the opportunity to spend multiple hours, or just a short walk–whatever works for your family’s needs! Check out this printable brochure​ describing the various natural aspects of the park. 

Fairy door adventure

Try to find as many fairy doors, gardens, and villages as you can! Famous for its fairy doors that began popping up in 2000, they are scattered across downtown. 

Creature Conservancy

Take advantage of the Creature Conservancy weekend open hours and meet their variety of reptiles and mammals at their animal presentations and zookeeper talks! June’s featured animals are the African Crested Porcupine, the Pancake Tortoise, and the African Ridgeback Frog.

Border to Border Trail 

More than 40 miles of paved pathways, it stretches throughout Washtenaw County. If you prefer a trail that’s more rustic, check out the Pittsfield Preserve Nature Area.

Photo of Bird Hills, courtesy of

Visit a Farmer’s Market

On Wednesdays and Saturdays Ann Arbor hosts a huge farmers market, but keep in mind, Washtenaw hosts several farmers markets throughout the county!  Check out the list HERE, which includes farmer’s markets in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Dexter, Dixboro, Manchester, Pittsfield, Saline, St. Joe’s, Westside, Whitmore Lake, and Ypsilanti. Take your family to the farmer’s market; it’s a great way to talk about environmentally friendly choices, the importance of buying local, and living sustainably–pick up produce here to make for dinner tonight with your kids!

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