Ann Arbor has a variety of outdoor activities for all ages, abilities and interests. Here are five places you can go to enjoy the outdoors in Tree Town.
Argo & Gallup Parks
Ann Arbor has two canoe liveries located on the beautiful Huron River. Each livery offers different river trip and boat rental options; including boats, paddles, life jackets, van shuttles, river orientation and much more. Argo Livery opens May 3 weekends only from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Gallup Livery is open 7 days/week beginning April 19. Starting May 24 Argo will be open weekends 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and weekdays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. These two parks offer a river experience for everyone from first timers to professionals. Visit www.a2gov.org/Parks for more information.
Leslie Science and Nature Center
Situated on 50 acres of fields, woods, prairies, and ponds the Leslie Science and Nature Center has both indoor and outdoor activities. Most well-known for its live birds of prey in outdoor enclosures, it also has animals in the Critter House. This is a wonderful place to explore and get a close-up look at plants, flowers, trees, and birds in their natural habitat. There are programs for people of all ages, nature-themed birthday parties, weekend and special events, and nature day camps during the summer and school breaks. It is free and open to the public every day from sunrise to sunset. Visit www.lesliesnc.org for more information.
Fuller Park Outdoor Pool & Waterslide
Open daily May 24 through Labor Day, the Fuller Pool has something for everyone to enjoy. It includes a waterslide; 7-lane, 50 meter lap pool; shallow area w/ramp access; 12’ deep diving well and plenty of open space and lounge chairs to relax. The pool offers wonderful activities including public swim, lap swim, log rolling classes, water aerobics, tot splashes, summer splash days, and swim classes. Located just minutes from downtown Ann Arbor and the North campus of the University of Michigan, Fuller Pool is directly across the street from the university hospitals. Visit www.a2gov.org/Parks for more information.
Ann Arbor Farmers Market
The Ann Arbor Farmers Market is located in the historic Kerrytown neighborhood of Ann Arbor. With over 160 vendors, shoppers can find a wide assortment of local produce, artisans, and prepared food vendors. In operation for more than 90 years, the Wednesday and Saturday market takes pride in reaching customers both during the week and on the weekend, as well as during day and in the evening. Visit www.a2gov.org/Parks for more information.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum
Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two garden properties in different locations operating as one unit within the University of Michigan.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens provide a hands-on community for conserving, restoring, and celebrating the environment. You’ll find the conservatory; gift shop; classroom and meeting spaces; display gardens such as the Gaffield Children’s Garden, Bonsai & Penjing Garden, Great Lakes Gardens, and others; and many trails and natural areas. The Botanical Gardens are free and open 7 days a week.
Nichols Arboretum has extensive collections of native and exotic trees and shrubs. As you explore you’ll find one of the richest landscapes in the region. The Arborteum is a haven for students, hospital staff, and visitors year-round. It’s also home to the Peony Garden and several collections of historic or native plants such as the Julie Norris Post Collection of Ericaceous and Appalachian Plants, Centennial Shrub Collection, prairie, and others. The Arb is free and open 7 days a week sunrise to sunset.
Even though the University of Michigan campus clears out in May as students leave for the summer, it doesn’t mean that there is a shortage of activities and events in Ann Arbor. With a wonderful mix of city advantages and scenic beauty, Ann Arbor has endless opportunities for everyone to enjoy during the summer months.
Here are 7 fun and free things to so in Ann Arbor this summer:
Ann Arbor Art Fairs
Drawing over 500,000 visitors annually from Ann Arbor and across the globe, the Ann Arbor Art Fairs are a group of four award-winning art fairs that take place annually. For over 50 years, more than 1,000 artists practicing all mediums gather downtown the third week in July from Wednesday through Saturday. Art exhibits are accompanied by musical performances, outdoor dining, sidewalk sales, and children’s activities.
Click here for more information about the Ann Arbor Art Fairs.
Ann Arbor Summer Festival
Held for just over three weeks in late June and early July, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performance arts, indoor and outdoor entertainment and community spirit. In its 29th season, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival is offering visitors dozens of performances, activities, and exhibitions for people of all ages.
Click here for a complete schedule of events, performances and activities.
AnnArbor.com Summer Concert Series
Showcasing a diverse mix of local musicians, the AnnArbor.com Summer Concert Series is every Friday at noon on the patio at 301 East Liberty Street in downtown Ann Arbor. In its third season, the AnnArbor.com Summer Concert Series is jam-packed with incredible local talent preforming all summer long.
Canoe at Argo Park
A 22-acre riverside park in a quiet and natural setting, Argo Park has a new canoe livery with canoes, 1-person and 2-people kayaks available to rent. Argo Park also has several trails for runners, bikers and hikers alike to enjoy.
Explore Gallup Park
Ann Arbor’s most popular recreation area, Gallup Park is a 69-acre park along the Huron River. With scenic walkways, Gallup Park is a popular destination for runners, walkers, and hikers. The park also contains 2 playgrounds, a canoe livery, picnic areas, 2 picnic shelters, several grills, and an open field for playing.
Brought to you by Bank of Ann Arbor, Sonic Lunch is downtown Ann Arbor’s free lunchtime music concert series on Thursdays in Liberty Plaza from 12:00pm to 1:30pm. In its fifth season, Sonic lunch features returning local favorites as well as big names who are expected to draw large crowds.
Stimulate your senses at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum
Matthaei Botanical Gardens bursts into life in the spring, with over 20,000 daffodils. The fragrance that fills the air from the beautiful lilacs and the breathtaking view of thousands of flowers is an experience like no other. Nichols Arboretum, known as the “Arb” to Ann Arborites, has several trails that wind through exotic trees and shrubs. The Arb, which connects to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, is a popular place to run, bike, and hike.
What is your favorite thing to do in the summer in Ann Arbor?