15 Family-Friendly Summer Festivals

Cotton candy bouquets, fun houses, Ferris wheel rides and games galore: There is nothing quite as quintessentially summer as the classic county fair. Families can create exciting summer memories at the many festivals and carnivals happening in Michigan this season. Here is a round-up of 15 fairs between July and September that are worth a visit:

Ann Arbor Jaycees Summer Carnival: June 20-23, 2024

The 71st annual Jaycee Summer Carnival offers everything a classic county fair should: food and games, traditional rides and of course, carnival food (elephant ears, anyone?). Purchase a $30 daily pass here.

Pioneer High School, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

National Cherry Festival: June 29- July 6, 2024

Celebrate the signature fruit with northern Michigan flair at the 98th annual National Cherry Festival! This event truly offers something for everyone, and is celebrated with great gusto in the cherry capital! Attendees will experience parades, a variety of family-friendly programming, concerts, and traditional festival programs such as the art competition and crowning of the national cherry queen. And of course, a chance to pick the juiciest cherries.

521 S. Union St. Traverse City, MI 49684

Salute to America: July 2-5, 2024

Visit the historic Greenfield village this Fourth of July. Salute to America stands out as a particularly unique Independence Day celebration. Families will enjoy an incredible orchestral performance, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and a real cannon that fires against the backdrop of a sparkling fireworks display.

Greenfield Village Dearborn, MI 48124

Battle Creek Air Show & Balloon Festival: July 3-7, 2024

This festival is the perfect place for airplane & flight enthusiasts! There is a wide assortment of events offered during the four-day event, including an air show with a thunderbirds jet demo, hot air balloon flights, carnival, kid’s day, a 5k run and even fireworks.

Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field Battle Creek, MI 49105

Lavender Festival: July 12-14; July 19-21, 2024

If strolling through a field of lavender flowers wavering in the wind seems like a dream come true, travel to Armada for the annual lavender festival. In addition to brilliant photo opportunities within the flowerbeds, visitors will also be able to partake in wellness workshops and purchase handiwork from local artisans. There are also kid-friendly arts and crafts, animal shows, train rides and a funland.

17985 Armada Center Rd. Armada, MI 48005

Plymouth Art in the Park: July 12-14, 2024

Art lovers should flock to Plymouth’s 44th annual Art in the Park. More than 400 talented sculptors, painters, ceramic artists, fiber artists, glass artists and jewelers will showcase their intricate designs. There are plenty of child-friendly activities, including candle making, mural painting and henna tattoo art.

Downtown Plymouth, MI

Michigan Celtic Festival: July 12, 2024

Held annually since 1996, the Saline Celtic Festival attracts those who wish to immerse themselves in the Celtic culture. The action-packed day presents Celtic music, traditional folk dance workshops, acrobatics, sword fights, crafts, storytelling, archery and games. There is also a beer garden for adults to enjoy.

Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

African World Festival: July 12-14, 2024

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History hosts the African World Festival each year. This ticketed festival showcases the vibrant African culture, featuring a kaleidoscope of colors, musical artists, food, visual arts and ethnic clothing vendors.

Hart Plaza, Detroit, MI 48226

Ann Arbor Art Fair: July 18-20, 2024

Ann Arbor comes alive each July during the nationally famed juried art fair, which draws 1000+ artists. Visitors can peruse three art fairs: the original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Guild’s Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and the Ann Arbor State Street District Art Fair. Plus, enjoy kid-friendly activities, food, music and special events.

Downtown Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Leonard Strawberry Festival: July 20, 2024

Families can visit the historic small town of Leonard for the Strawberry Festival. This one-day experience offers several kid-friendly activities, including a pancake breakfast, pie-eating contest, petting zoo, magic show, bake-off, car show and even a cornhole competition.

Downtown Leonard, MI 48367

National Blueberry Festival: August 8-11, 2024

South Haven is a charming lakefront beach town which hosts the annual National Blueberry Festival. The festival’s 3-day schedule is chock full of activities, including live music, farm day, a blueberry pie-eating contest, parade and carnival rides.

Downtown South Haven, MI 49090

Dexter Summer Festival: August 9-10, 2024

Families with youngsters will love the variety of activities at the Dexter Summer Festival. This year’s events will include comedy and magic shows, bubble shows, a ventriloquist act, musical concerts and a food truck line-up worth the wait.

Monument Park, Dexter, MI 48130

Blake’s Sunflower Festival: August 9-18, 2024

Across cultures, sunflowers represent happiness, optimism and good fortune. Bring the kiddos to enjoy these glorious blooms this August at Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill. In addition to picking sunflowers, families can also enjoy wellness workshops and gorgeous photoshoot opportunities amid the sprawling sunflower gardens.

17985 Armada Center Rd. Armada, MI 48005



Saline Fair: August 28-September 1, 2024

Kids of all ages will have a blast at the Saline Community Fair. This year’s festival features a range of engaging country activities, from animal and reptile shows, tractor pulls, comedy and magic shows, to barn games, a talent show and rodeo.

Michigan State Festival: August 29- September 2, 2024

Labor Day often marks the end of summer. Celebrate the seasonal transition by visiting the Michigan State Festival, an event with a storied history. The first Michigan State Fair was held in 1849. This year’s festival includes agriculture, livestock and vendor booths, entertainment, beer tents and shrine circus performances.

46200 Grand River Ave., Novi, MI 48374

Supriya Jalukar
Supriya Jalukar
Occupational Therapist and Blogger www.supriyatheexplorista.com

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