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The Top 7 Free Activities in Detroit


Now that you’re geared up and ready to start your new life in “The D”, it’s time to scope out the fun and free things to do in your new home. Moving to Detroit means you have access to a whole suite of cultural, recreational, and quirky activities to keep you — and your family if you have one — entertained for a long, long time. Here’s our list of some fantastic things to do in Detroit, for free.

  1. Go to the DIA

    For residents of Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb County, admission to this fantastic museum is free. The Detroit Institute of Art has a collection of art that ranks sixth in the nation, meaning you can see renowned and recognizable artists as well as rotating collections, Friday Night Live!, Family Sundays, and Sunday afternoon music bar where you can sip on coffee or an adult beverage and soak in some acoustic music. If you’re new to the city and dipping your toes into dating, this could be a perfect afternoon for some culture and conversation… in our opinion.

  1. Stroll through Eastern Market

    Definitely an activity for fairer weather, the Eastern Market is the place to go to take in the smells and sounds of market life. It’s been nourishing Detroit for 125 years and the city is invested in keeping it growing and thriving, so it has expanded beyond the usual Saturday markets to include Tuesday markets, flower markets, community events, craft cocktail nights, and really anything a community organization can think up to utilize the gorgeous space. Check out their events listings to see what’s coming up.

  1. Walk or Bike to Belle Isle

    Belle Isle is a veritable wonderland of all things nature-based. With an aquarium, nature zoo, athletic fields, a kids “playscape”, and an enormous slide (which costs $1 per ride), there is a never-ending supply of entertainment here. Admittance to the aquarium and zoo is free, and in the hot summer months, Belle Isle has the only public beachfront in the city of Detroit. History buffs can also visit Perry’s Victory Cannons, golfers can visit the putting greens, and the Isle is large enough that a walking or biking tour will keep you occupied and happy for the day as you cruise past the island’s many statues and structures.

  1. Sanders Candy Factory Tour will Satiate Your Sweet Tooth

    Be careful not to drool as you start with a video about the history of chocolate, and then watch how this historic candy factory makes their famous chocolates from their Observation Hallway — don’t worry, then you get to sample their wares before heading into the gift shop. You won’t see any Oompa Loompas but you may feel like you’ve arrived in Willy Wonka’s factory. Our advice? Don’t go when you’re hungry. Maybe wait until after lunch to peruse one of the sweetest things to do in Detroit.

  1. Walk or bike the Riverfront

    The city has been putting significant resources into revitalizing both the East and West riverfront greenways recently, bringing 3.5 miles of scenic waterfront trails, parks, and infrastructure spanning from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park into the modern era. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is focused bringing the city together to celebrate Detroit’s waterways and culture by beautifying spaces for outdoor events and races, as well as widening the pathways for walking, bicycling, and whatever other use you can imagine. If you’re moving long distance and are looking to cruise the waterfront and get some sunshine, or if you’re a serious runner looking for your new route now that you’re living in Detroit, look no further.

  1. Visit the largest Masonic Temple in the World

    This place is nothing short of huge. The original design included three theaters (one was never completed, but is sometimes used by movie production crews), a Shrine building, the Chapel, eight lodge rooms, a 17,500 square foot drill hall, two ballrooms, office space, a cafeteria, dining rooms, a barber shop, 16 bowling lanes–1037 rooms in total.  There are so many rooms and buildings in this complex that it has its own generator to supply its power. You can take a guided tour of the facilities, which we’d recommend to avoid getting lost and ensure you see all the best parts of the many, many rooms. Although the building’s lobby alone might stall you to gawk for a moment at the architecture and lighting fixtures…

  1. Hit the Detroit Historical Museum – Even the Kids will Like it

    A history museum may sound dry and boring, but this museum makes history accessible and interesting for all. The Kid Rock Music Lab showcases Detroit’s rich musical history as well as giving the opportunity for the kids to try their hand at mixing musical tracks on a touch-screen station. The Allesee Gallery of Culture takes you on a sensory tour of Detroit’s cultural history, from the sounds of a roaring crowd at a baseball game to a working Ford assembly line. Finally, an ever-rotating assortment of changing exhibitions means you can keep coming back again and again after relocating to Detroit.

All of this has you wondering if it’s time for you to move to a new city? Take a look at this blog post to see if the time is ripe for you.

Moving in Detroit? Then you must check out the top rated movers in Detroit. Happy Moving!

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Unpakt Team