Things to do in Detroit

About Detroit

The Detroit Institute of Arts, with its extensive collection and the Detroit Industry Murals by Diego Rivera, is a must-see. The Henry Ford Museum offers a deep dive into American innovation, and Belle Isle Park provides a scenic natural retreat with multiple attractions, including an aquarium and a conservatory. The historic Eastern Market and the Motown Museum also top the list of iconic Detroit destinations.
Families with kids can explore the Detroit Zoo, with its wide variety of animals and interactive displays. The Michigan Science Center, equipped with hands-on exhibits, makes learning fun and accessible. Belle Isle Park is another family-friendly choice, offering outdoor play spaces and a nature center for educational entertainment.
Detroit's Riverwalk invites outdoor enthusiasts for biking, jogging, and sightseeing along the picturesque Detroit River. Belle Isle Park is perfect for hiking, kayaking, and exploring green spaces. Meanwhile, the Dequindre Cut Greenway offers an urban walking and biking experience through vibrant street art-lined pathways.
For indoor fun, the Detroit Institute of Arts boasts one of the largest art collections in the country, while the Motown Museum immerses visitors in the sounds of a musical revolution. The Michigan Science Center entertains with interactive exhibits, and for automotive enthusiasts, the Detroit Historical Museum's Motor Cities exhibit reveals a rich industry legacy.
The best Detroit tours include the immersive audio tours at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Motown Museum. Architectural tours of the city's historic buildings offer a look into Detroit's past splendor, while food tours of Eastern Market serve up local flavors. Riverboat cruises provide narrated tours along the Detroit River for a unique perspective of the city.
Popular museums in Detroit encompass the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Henry Ford Museum, and the Motown Museum. The Detroit Historical Museum offers insights into the city's diverse past, and the Michigan Science Center is celebrated for its engaging, family-friendly exhibits.
On rainy days, indoor audio tours at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Motown Museum offer rich cultural experiences. The Henry Ford Museum and the Michigan Science Center also provide extensive indoor tours, suitable for all ages and interests, ensuring a fulfilling and dry exploration of Detroit's attractions.
Shorter tours in Detroit that can be completed in one hour or less include quick guided visits to landmarks like the Guardian Building, a brief tour of the Detroit Historical Museum's signature exhibits, or a condensed, yet enlightening audio experience through the Motown Museum's hallowed halls.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

Discover the vibrant spirit of Motor City with a variety of attractions that showcase its rich history and cultural renaissance.

Detroit: The Guardian Building

What is it?
Architectural masterpiece and National Historic Landmark in the heart of downtown Detroit.
Why you should go?
The Guardian Building is a testament to Detroit’s architectural grandeur and is often regarded as one of the city's most breathtaking structures. Known as the “Cathedral of Finance,” this skyscraper boasts a lavish Art Deco interior rich in mosaics, murals, and a vibrant color palette. Visitors are invited to bask in its historic ambiance, marvel at the ornate design details, and learn about its significance to Detroit's skyline. Tours of this architectural jewel provide a unique cultural excursion for those intrigued by the city's storied past and commitment to artistic excellence.

Detroit: Fisher Building

What is it?
A landmark skyscraper and a shining example of Art Deco architecture.
Why you should go?
The Fisher Building stands majestically as a monument to Detroit's golden age of architecture. With its towering gilded ceilings, exquisite frescoes, and intricate artistry, the building captures visitors with its old-world elegance. Regarded as Detroit's largest art object, the Fisher Building is more than an office space—it's a hub of culture housing a theater, unique shops and presents breathtaking city views. As part of Detroit tours, experiencing the grandeur of the Fisher Building is considered a journey back in time to the city's most opulent era.

Detroit: Heidelberg Project

What is it?
An outdoor art installation transforming a residential area into a vibrant art space.
Why you should go?
The Heidelberg Project is a testament to the resilience and creativity of Detroit. Imagined by artist Tyree Guyton, this open-air art venue repurposes abandoned houses and items to make striking statements on community and urban living. As one of the most unique Detroit excursions, it challenges visitors to perceive the city through the lens of art and transformation. It’s a sparkling example of how creativity can revive and reshape the narrative of an urban landscape and is integral to understanding Detroit's diverse cultural fabric.

Detroit: Detroit Zoo

What is it?
A sprawling zoological park offering habitat-specific enclosures for a wide range of species.
Why you should go?
Spanning over 125 acres, the Detroit Zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals from habitats around the globe. It is admired for its commitment to conservation, animal welfare, and educational outreach. Visitors can enjoy captivating exhibits such as the Polk Penguin Conservation Center and the Arctic Ring of Life. For families looking for fun things to do in Detroit, the zoo is an all-encompassing experience, providing an engaging outing that educates on the importance of preserving our natural world.

Detroit: Michigan Science Center

What is it?
An interactive museum dedicated to inspiring an interest in science and technology.
Why you should go?
The Michigan Science Center offers hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, and planetarium shows that spark curiosity for visitors of all ages. It's a venue where scientific concepts are made accessible and entertaining, making it one of the best Detroit activities for educational enrichment. The center is a vibrant place, constantly evolving with new exhibits and presentations that reflect the advancements in technology and science. Engaging with the wonders of the universe, human anatomy, and physical phenomena, it's a must-visit for inquisitive minds drawn to the wonders of science.

Detroit: The Henry Ford Museum

What is it?
A monumental destination celebrating America's innovation and ingenuity.
Why you should go?
Immerse yourself in the saga of American history at The Henry Ford Museum. This Detroit cornerstone is not just a museum but a tribute to the pioneering spirit that fueled America's industrial revolution. Through exhibits like the Rosa Parks bus, visitors explore pivotal moments that have shaped the nation's fabric. Journey through halls filled with vintage cars, locomotives, and the reverie of inventors that left an indelible mark on the world. This is one of the essential places to visit in Detroit for history buffs and curious minds alike, guaranteeing an educational and inspiring experience.

Detroit: Comerica Park

What is it?
A baseball park that is home to the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball.
Why you should go?
Comerica Park offers more than just a typical baseball game; it is a cornerstone among Detroit activities, providing entertainment for all ages. From the roar of the crowd to the crack of the bat, experience the thrill of America's pastime. The park blends sports, history, and family fun with features like a Ferris wheel and a mammoth water feature in center field. Whether you're a sports enthusiast or looking for what to do in Detroit, Comerica Park hits a home run with its vibrant atmosphere and rich tradition.

Detroit: Detroit Historical Museum

What is it?
An immersive look into the rich tapestry of the city's history.
Why you should go?
Embark on a journey through time at the Detroit Historical Museum, where the city's vibrant past comes to life. Discover tales of innovation, challenge, and triumph that are woven into the city's fabric. From the legacy of the automotive industry to the sounds of Motown, the museum showcases the stories that have shaped Detroit into what it is today. Ideal for all ages, it's one of the most rewarding things to see in Detroit for anyone looking to understand the heart and soul of this resilient metropolis.

Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts

What is it?
An illustrious art museum with a diverse and extensive collection.
Why you should go?
As a beacon of culture in Detroit, the Detroit Institute of Arts is home to over 65,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to modern times. With its expansive galleries, visitors can wander through rooms teeming with creativity and human expression. The museum's crown jewel, the Detroit Industry Murals by Diego Rivera, offers a profound commentary on the city's manufacturing legacy. This institution represents the pinnacle of what to see in Detroit for art aficionados and casual observers alike, promising an experience that enriches and educates.

Detroit: Belle Isle Park

What is it?
A verdant island park nestled in the Detroit River, full of natural beauty.
Why you should go?
Belle Isle Park, a sanctuary of greenery and leisure, stands as one of the best things to do in Detroit. Amidst the urban hustle, the park offers a peaceful retreat with an array of attractions like the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, and stunning views of the downtown skyline. Whether you want to go hiking, kayaking, or simply relax, this urban oasis makes for a perfect day out. Nature lovers and those in search of tranquility will find Belle Isle to be an unmissable Detroit excursion.

TOP-5 Tours in Detroit for First Time Visitors

  • Explore the iconic Detroit Institute of Arts, where the self-guided audio tour highlights masterpieces spanning continents and centuries, offering one of the best things to do in Detroit.
  • Stroll the bustling Detroit Riverwalk on a guided audio experience, learning about the city's waterfront and its role in urban revitalization, a fun thing to do in Detroit.
  • Uncover the historical gems of the Motor City with a comprehensive tour in Detroit, including the Motown Museum, for an unforgettable journey through musical history.
  • Engage with the Detroit activities at Eastern Market through an audio guide, diving into the local food scene and artisanal crafts that draw visitors citywide.
  • Take a virtual guide through Belle Isle Park, a serene escape from the urban rush, and learn what to see in Detroit's natural beauty and recreational spaces.

Fun things to do in Detroit with kids

Detroit offers an abundance of activities that cater to families and children, ensuring that the youngest of travelers can also experience the excitement and learning opportunities that the city provides. The Detroit Zoo is a favorite, with its vast array of animals and interactive exhibits, such as the Butterfly Garden and the Australian Outback Adventure. It's the perfect place for hands-on learning and fun. Next on the list is the Michigan Science Center, which engages children with its dynamic and interactive displays, including a thrilling IMAX® dome theater, engaging them with the wonders of science in an entertaining environment. Lastly, the Belle Isle Aquarium, housed within the island park, is a hidden gem where kids can marvel at colorful aquatic life in a historical setting, making it an educational and visual treat. Each of these destinations is enhanced by self-guided audio tours that provide engaging storytelling and factual tidbits, tailoring the journey to the curious minds of young explorers.

Things to do in Detroit with family

The bustling city of Detroit is brimming with attractions that appeal to family members of all ages. For those seeking a blend of nature and wildlife, the Detroit Zoo is a quintessential destination offering a memorable experience with exhibits like the Polar Bear habitats and giraffe encounters. Science and technology come to life at the Michigan Science Center, where interactive exhibits and a state-of-the-art planetarium captivate curious minds and encourage hands-on learning. Families can also revel in the beauty and recreational activities at Belle Isle Park, a serene retreat featuring an aquarium, conservatory, and ample space for picnicking and outdoor fun. These enriching Detroit activities provide not only entertainment but also educational opportunities, ensuring that time spent in Motor City is as informative as it is enjoyable. With the added benefit of self-guided audio tours available, families can discover the best of Detroit at their own pace, making for an unforgettable visit.

Free things to do in Detroit

Detroit, a city rich in culture and history, provides a wealth of engaging attractions that won't cost a dime. Immerse yourself in the artistic haven that is the Detroit Institute of Arts, home to one of the largest and most significant art collections in the United States. With free admission for residents, it's a must-visit for art enthusiasts and culturally curious visitors alike. For a glimpse into the great outdoors, Belle Isle Park serves as a perfect family-friendly escape featuring picturesque trails, enchanting green spaces, and a stunning conservatory – all accessible without any fees. Lastly, delve into Detroit's historical narrative by wandering through the Eastern Market on market days, where the colors, sounds, and smells provide an atmospheric experience of local life and vendors showcase the city's vivid character. These places highlight what to do in Detroit with the added benefit of affordability, giving visitors a chance to explore and enjoy the city's treasures responsibly.

Cheap things to do in Detroit

Detroit offers a treasure trove of affordable attractions that promise adventure and discovery. The city's Riverwalk presents a scenic venue for leisurely walks or bike rides along the Detroit River, providing spectacular views of the skyline and an up-close look at the maritime activity. For art buffs and the creatively inclined, the Heidelberg Project is an open-air art environment that transforms urban spaces into a vibrant, interactive gallery, free to the public and ripe for exploration. Meanwhile, history enthusiasts can soak up local lore at the Detroit Historical Museum on Fridays, where admission fees are waived, offering a glimpse into the city’s storied automotive and music heritage. Each of these attractions highlights the fun things to do in Detroit without breaking the bank, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the unique experiences that the Motor City has to offer.

Things to do in Detroit for couples

Detroit brims with romantic and engaging activities that are perfect for couples. The Detroit Riverwalk offers an idyllic setting for partners to take a leisurely stroll, witness the calming waterways, and enjoy the picturesque skyline. It's an ideal spot for a sunset walk or a peaceful morning jog side by side. For a taste of culture and art, the Detroit Institute of Arts provides an inspiring backdrop for a date, featuring world-renowned collections that couples can explore while enjoying each other's company. The intimacy of shared artistic experiences is unmatched, offering conversation starters around every corner. Lastly, for those seeking a truly unique outing, the intimate jazz clubs of Detroit can't be missed. These venues, steeped in the city's rich musical history, offer an enchanting ambiance where couples can unwind and connect over live performances. Each of these experiences captures the essence of what to do in Detroit for couples looking to create memorable moments together.

Things to do in Detroit at night

When the sun sets, Detroit lights up with an array of nighttime activities that cater to diverse interests. For music lovers and night owls, the city's renowned jazz and blues clubs come alive, offering soulful sounds and a vibrant atmosphere well into the wee hours, making them a staple in Detroit's nocturnal scene. Trendy bars and breweries in the Midtown and Downtown areas invite couples and groups to savor craft cocktails and local beers, amidst sleek and often historically-rich backdrops. Additionally, the Motor City's casino scene provides an exciting option for those feeling lucky, with games, entertainment, and dining options available throughout the night. Each of these venues adds to the dynamic list of things to do in Detroit at night, promising memorable experiences filled with music, merriment, and the energetic pulse of the city after dark.