12 Ways to Have Fun as Summer Ends in Metro Detroit

Detroit's August Festivals, Shows, Drives, Swims, Runs, and MLB Games

Detroit RiverWalk
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

If it's August, it's time for the ultimate Detroit celebration of the season: the annual classic car event, the Woodward Dream Cruise.​ The auto show is wedged between all the many festivals, shows, swims, runs, and sports during the month; there is no end of things to experience around the city.

To help you plan your fun in August, here are some classically Detroit things to fill those sweltering end-of-summer days.

  • 01 of 12
    Comerica Park, Home of the Tigers in downtown Detroit MI
      csfotoimages/Getty Images

    The Tigers battle it out in a busy August 2019 against the Reds, Twins, the White Sox, and the Cubs. There are 13 home games at Detroit's Comerica Park. Check out the August schedule online to see the multiple promotions available and to buy tickets.

  • 02 of 12

    Detroit's very own 2019 Highland Games start on August 3rd. The event is hosted by the city's St. Andrew's Society and take place at Greenmead Park.

    A Michigan tradition since 1849, Detroit's Highland Games try to preserve the customs and culture of the participants' Scottish heritage by showcasing authentic dress, games, literature, and art. Attendees get to watch live piping and drumming performances and competitions testing the guests' passion for tug of war and throwing heavy things, such as logs and hammers.

    Scotch tastings keep everyone in the mood. But the real tests will, of course, be highland dancing and stone put (a few degrees more difficult than shot put) with strong men wearing kilts and throwing 16–18 lb. stones.

  • 03 of 12

    "Milford Memories," a musical produced in Milford's Central Park back in 1991, has grown over the years into the Milford Memories Summer Festival, which runs August 9–11, 2019.

    The performance has evolved to include an art fair, 5K and 10K runs, two stages for performers, a beer tent, sand volleyball, a charity softball tournament, a euchre tournament, a blind canoe race, a fishing tournament, and a basketball tournament.

    All that in only three days!

  • 04 of 12
    Detroit Institute of Arts
      smontgom65/Getty Images 

    The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is always brimming with tours for adults and children, events, films, exhibits, and music.

    Notable in summer 2019 are the exhibitions "Humble and Human: Impressionist Era Treasures from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Detroit Institute of Arts, an Exhibition in Honor of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr." running through October 1st, and until September 15th, "Play Ball! Transforming the Game, 1876-2019" celebrating the great American pastime of baseball. 

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    The Woodward Dream Cruise

    The wildly popular Woodward Dream Cruise, August 17th celebrates its 24th year of classic cars, including every conceivable type and style. Cars and more cars cruise along a nine-mile stretch of Woodward Avenue from Ferndale to Pontiac.

    In addition to the ​many events hosted by communities and car companies along the cruise route, Autopalooza and several other auto-related events expand the celebration throughout the Metro-Detroit area. 

  • 06 of 12

    Sponsored by the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, where it takes place, the 36th annual African World Festival, August 67–18, 2019, is expected to bring in more than 150,000 people over three days.

    They'll be coming for the performances on three stages, poetry, arts and crafts, African drumming and dance, hundreds of marketplace vendors, ethnic foods, and much more for the whole family.

     

  • 07 of 12
    MacArthur Bridge, Detroit, Michigan, America, USA
      ApMadoc/Getty Images

    Detroit, Michigan's largest city, is situated on the Detroit River, which connects Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair, opposite Windsor, Ontario. 

    Downtown Detroit has RiverWalk, a wide, cement pathway for biking, skating, and walking with the Detroit River bordering one side and a greenway on the other. 

    But the real draw is the amazing number of park swimming holes and beaches, including the gorgeous, fine-sand along the Great Lakes. Either in the city itself or the metropolitan region, there are plenty of parks with rolling lawns of green, forested preserves, and playgrounds. Note that most beaches and parks in the Metro Detroit area require some kind of vehicle-entry permit.

    Michigan as a whole is blessed with sandy beaches and grassy dunes, thanks to its geographic location bordering four Great Lakes, from east to west: Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior.

  • 08 of 12
    Michigan Renaissance Festival
    Sue Talbert Photography/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

    At Michigan's long Renaissance Festival, Aug. 17–Sept. 29, 2019, in Holly, you can eat an enormous turkey leg, give a catcall to passing crowds, watch a joust, and generally get saucy as you go back in time to the Elizabethan era and experience life among the peasantry.

    Permanent buildings help create the illusion of 16th-century England, and jugglers, comedians, and sword swallowers help set the mood by contributing their own brand of entertainment.

    Theme weekends might reflect a slightly different era or culture, such as the Royal Pet & Ale Fest (Aug. 17–18), the Highland Fling (Aug. 24–25), High Seas Adventure (Sept. Aug 31, Sept. 1–2), Wonders of the World (Sept. 7–8), Shamrocks & Shenanigans (Sept. 14–15), Harvest Huzzah (Sept. 21–22), Festival Friday (Sept. 27), and Sweet Endings (Sept. 28–29).

    Tickets are available online.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Additional Festivals

    That's not all. Here are more festivals to keep you entertained in August:

    • Frankenmuth: The annual Summer Music Fest at Heritage Park includes a huge dance floor, country polka bands, the Fabulous Hubcaps belting '50s jitterbug hits, and Magic Bus oozing songs of the Woodstock era. The festival runs August 8-17, 2019. 
    • Northville: The Buy Michigan Now Festival takes place in downtown Northville from August 2–4, 2019. It's a marketplace of Michigan-made products mixed with sweet treats, live music, and children's activities.
  • 10 of 12

    At any given time in August, the Detroit area hosts a massive variety of shows and classical, jazz, and rock music concerts; Broadway plays; comedy shows; county fairs; and dance events.

    In 2019, performers like John Mayer, the Smashing Pumpkins, Beck, Gladys Knight, Heart, Santana, Chris Stapleton, and many more, are due in town. 

  • 11 of 12

    If natural ponds and lakes don't provide enough excitement for you this summer, check out the many Detroit-area water parks and slides in the city itself and the suburbs.

    The wet and wild amusement parks are open throughout the summer.

  • 12 of 12

    Thunder Over Michigan Air Show

    thunder over MI Mike Boening Photography
    Mike Boening Photography /Flickr  

    Thunder Over Michigan Air Show is an action-packed weekend, Aug. 3rd and 4th, at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti. 

    Book a ride in an aircraft such as a B-17, a B-25, or a Curtiss SB2C-5 and buy tickets to special seating areas. If you love to photograph the planes, there are special photo pass tickets as well.

Was this page helpful?