As budgets get tighter more and more families are looking for free and cheap things they can do. If you live in or near Detroit this list of free and cheap things to do in Detroit will help you make the most of this summer without breaking the bank.
As a long-time Detroiter, I personally love going on bike rides around the area looking at all of the awesome street art.
Cheap things to do in Detroit
Play a game of Pokemon Go.
Downtown Detroit and the river walk are packed with Pokemon, poke stops, and gyms making it an ideal place to explore while playing Pokemon Go. When the game first came out my sister and I would walk around downtown to play with our dad. (Yes, as adults)
Find a car show to explore
Detroit and the surrounding area have hundreds of free-to-visit car shows. A quick event search will pull up a wide range of them all summer long making this a great free or cheap activity that is different every time you go to one.
Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts
The DIA offers free admission for residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. Explore the extensive collection of art from around the world, including works by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, and Diego Rivera.
Take a stroll through Belle Isle Park:
Belle Isle is a 987-acre park is located on an island in the Detroit River and offers stunning views of the city skyline. Enjoy the scenic views of the Detroit River and take a walk through the lush gardens and nature trails.
Stop by the nature center for a zoo experience or explore the aquarium. Both of these activities have free admission. You only need your park pass to get onto the island.
Explore the Eastern Market
This historic district is home to the largest open-air farmers’ market in the United States, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants, The Eastern Market.
Shop for fresh produce, baked goods, and handmade crafts at the weekly farmers’ market, or check out the local shops and restaurants in the area.
Check out the Heidelberg Project
This outdoor art installation features brightly-colored houses and sculptures made from found objects. Take a self-guided tour of the outdoor art installation and admire the colorful and creative sculptures made from recycled materials. Explore the Heidelberg Project and perhaps leave behind some art of your own.
Visit the Riverwalk
This scenic walkway runs along the Detroit River and offers great views of the city and the water. Take a leisurely walk along the riverfront and enjoy the views of the Detroit skyline and nearby Windsor, Ontario.
The Detroit Riverwalk was named the #1 Riverwalk by USA Today.
Take a bike ride on the Dequindre Cut
This 1.35-mile urban trail runs through a former rail tunnel and offers a unique perspective on the city. Rent a bike and explore this unique urban trail, which runs through a former rail tunnel and features colorful murals and art installations.
Visit the Detroit Historical Museum
This museum features exhibits on the history of Detroit, from its early days as a French settlement to the present. Learn about the history of Detroit and see exhibits on the city’s automotive industry, music scene, and more. The Detroit Historical Museum has great deals on admission.
Check out the Guardian Building
This art deco skyscraper is one of the most iconic buildings in the city and is open to the public for tours. Take a guided tour of this stunning art deco skyscraper and admire the intricate tilework and ornate details. Explore the Guardian building to see the beauty.
Walk through the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
This 5.5-mile stretch of public green space runs along the Detroit River and includes parks, plazas, and other outdoor spaces. Take a relaxing stroll along the riverfront and enjoy the public art installations, fountains, and other features. The kids love the play areas.
Check out the Detroit Public Library
This historic library is home to a collection of over 7 million books, manuscripts, and other materials. Explore the extensive collection of books and materials, attend a free workshop or event, or take a guided tour of the historic building.
Take a walk through the Russell Industrial Center
This former auto factory now serves as a creative hub for artists and makers, with studios, galleries, and workshops open to the public. Visit the galleries and studios of local artists and makers, attend an exhibition or workshop, or shop for handmade goods and crafts.
Walk around the Renaissance Center
The Renaissance Center is the home of general motors. The inside is full of walkways, cars, and displays ranging from classic cars to concept cars.