Best Cheap Activities To Do With Kids In Metro Detroit

May 23, 2014 8:00 AM

Even though Detroit isn’t exactly known as an expensive city, these days and in this economy, it never hurts to be frugal and smart with your money. The Motor City isn’t like Chicago, New York or even Los Angeles. Here, there’s plenty to do when you’re short on cash and you and the young ones are looking to go out and have a good time.
The Detroit Zoo
8450 W. 10 Mile Road
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 541-5717

At only $14 per adult and $10 per child, The Detroit Zoo could possibly be one of the cheapest activities in the Motor City. Think about it: all day long you can walk throughout the park with the little ones and “ooh” and “ahh” at the fascinating and interesting animals and never pay another dollar after admittance. With children around, you might end up spending a little extra on gifts and souvenirs, but being the community-supported and educational experience that the zoo is, you shouldn’t feel too bad about it. Complete price lists for all rides and attractions are available on the website.

farm Best Cheap Activities To Do With Kids In Metro Detroit

Hantz Farm in Detroit (Credit,Michael Ferro)

Tree Planting at Hantz Woodlands Detroit
17403 Mt. Elliott St.
Detroit, MI 48212
(313) 893-1937

Looking for a way to give back to the city this summer while getting out and enjoying the wonderful weather with your kids? Why not become a part of the new solution by volunteering your family’s time to help plant trees and other plants on the picturesque fields of Hantz Woodlands. This urban farm located within the heart of Detroit has garnered a lot of attention from the press lately for its incredible efforts to help beautify and strengthen the resolve of some of the Motor City’s hardest-hit areas with amazing beautification efforts. Best of all? It’s free. Please check out the website for upcoming opportunities to sign up and volunteer.

farmhowell Best Cheap Activities To Do With Kids In Metro Detroit

Howell farmlands where Hazen’s Farm is located. (Credit, Michael Ferro)

Hazen’s Farm Blueberry Picking
1144 Peavy Road
Howell, MI 48843
(517) 548-1841

There’s nothing cheaper and more relaxing that getting out and just enjoying the wonderful Michigan landscape when the weather is nice. One of the best ways to do this is to head out to a local farm and get pickin’. Hazen’s Farm, established back in 1955, has been inviting folks to come handpick their favorite crops right from the earth for decades now, and it’s well known for its incredible and delicious blueberries. Picking season for these wonderful little blue gems is slated for July and August, but by taking a look on the website for updated produce listings, you’re sure to find something wonderful to head out and pick this season whenever you and your children would like.

Related: Best Pet-Friendly Hotels In Detroit

Detroit Riverboat Cruises 
Detroit Princess
201 Civic Center Drive
Detroit, MI 48226
(877) 338-2628

If you’re looking for a more relaxed setting and wish to get the kids out on the water, there’s little else as exciting and informative as a trip down the Detroit River in the famed Detroit Princess Riverboat. Whether you’re aiming to entertain just a few children, or a whole school of up to a 1,000 people, the Detroit Princess is the place to do it. Offering a number of tours that are light on the wallet (between $25-$50 per person, with food and tips included) but extremely rewarding for the mind, everyone young and old is sure to enjoy a trip down the scenic Detroit River along our beautiful city skyline.

Campus Martius Bands and Gardens
800 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 962-0101

Campus Martius is so much more than just an ice rink in the winter. During the warm months, this city center park is home to a huge number of free (or cheap) outdoor events for people of all ages. Under the backdrop of Detroit’s tallest buildings, you can take the kids through a stroll through the Botanical Gardens and take in the sights and sounds of the bustling downtown. To make it complete, stop by any one of the outdoor restaurants and listen to a free concert put on by some of Motown’s best local musicians. New events are happening all of the time and more information can be found about upcoming items on the website.

Related: Guide To Ann Arbor’s Hands-On Children’s Museum

Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at

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