Everything You Need To Do in Detroit This Summer

Updated On 07/03/2018 at 06:26PM EST Updated On 07/03/2018 at 06:26PM EST
concert of colors
Marche du Nain Rouge | Courtesy of Concert of Colors
Tuesday - Monday
May 1-Oct 1
North Corktown
Eating al fresco is a highlight of the summer, and it’s an added bonus when the ingredients are light and refreshing. Seasonal pop-up eatery Pink Flamingo is a mobile kitchen set inside a vintage airstream trailer, specializing in local, seasonal, and healthful ingredients. Diners can find the trailer parked at an urban garden in North Corktown, and the menu changes week-to-week, depending on what’s growing.
Cost: Varies
Thursday - Sunday
Jun 14-Jul 15
Various locations
The World Cup only comes around once every four years, and it’s hard not to get swept up in the rest of the world’s footie mania. So what if team USA isn’t competing this time? Pick another country, and start rooting for ‘em at one of the city’s best bars showing the World Cup -- Hansa Brewery, Becky's and The Jolly Scholar are all solid options.
Cost: However much a beer costs
Friday - Wednesday
Jun 1-Sep 5
New Center
There’s something special about gathering a picnic blanket, stocking up on snacks and pop and watching a movie outdoors with the fireflies and a few hundred other guests. Each Wednesday and Friday (plus a few added days in between), New Center Park features family-friendly movies such as The Princess and the Frog, In the Heights, The Jungle Book, and more.
Cost: Free
Friday - Thursday
Jun 15-Nov 1
Beginning in June, the folks at the gorgeous new-ish FOLK Detroit diner have opened up their breakfast and lunch spot for a Sunday Supper Nights dining series. The monthly supper clubs explore cultural traditions and identities of local and visiting chefs, with a healthy dose of honoring women in the culinary space. July’s event, for example, features Detroit-based Sarap Filipino popup, with a “kamayan” communal-style menu of cured pork shoulder, smoked chicken, seafood, the traditional halo halo for dessert and more.
Cost: $45+
Wednesday - Thursday
Jul 4-Nov 1
Capitol Park
In just a few short years, The Capitol Park district of downtown Detroit has transformed from an edgy spot for underground loft parties to one of the fastest developing areas in the city core. Outdoor cantina Clementina will make its debut around Independence Day, featuring a 12ft-tall, 27ft-long food truck, patio seating for about 75, and a menu featuring tacos, soft serve, boozy beverages, and more.
Cost: $4+
Saturday - Saturday
Jul 7-Sep 1
Detroit-based dance party and nightlife brand Haute to Death takes to the swimming pool each summer, giving guests the same chill vibes as their club events, but with one refreshingly wet difference. On the first Saturday of July, August, and September, the pool at the Commons Pub in Midtown becomes the H2D Swim Club.
Cost: $15 and up
Jul 10
Some would argue the energy from the supporters of the Detroit City FC semi-pro soccer team can’t be matched. The drum-line, the face paint, the colorful chants -- the plumes of smoke they set off during matches — all signs of die-hard fans. Then again, chances are most DCFC fans haven’t seen their beloved team battle a Mexican soccer team. Head over to Hamtramck’s Keyworth Stadium for this “friendly” match between DCFC and Necaxa FC — part of the premier Liga MX football league system out of Aguascalientes. This match is bound to heat up.
Cost: $10 and up
Wednesday - Sunday
Jul 11-15
The Concert of Colors music festival has been going strong for a quarter century, featuring an emphasis of the region’s many ethnic, racial and indigenous communities. Produced by the Arab American National Museum, its partners include the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, ACCESS and University of Michigan – Detroit Center. With that sort of backing, you know you’re in for a rich tapestry of musical and cultural appreciation.
Cost: Free
Friday - Sunday
Jul 20-22
Conant Street, which cuts through Detroit and Hamtramck, is known locally as "Bangladesh Avenue" for its concentrated community of Bangladeshi residents and merchants. Each summer, this stretch of road makes way for a family-friendly festival chock full of traditional food makers, dance, fashion and music; this year's festival takes place from 2-9pm.
Cost: Free
Open Streets Detroit
Open Streets Detroit
Jul 21
Rouge Park
For the past two years, the Open Streets initiative has transformed busy Detroit thoroughfares in Corktown and on the Southwest side into pedestrian-friendly and car-free boulevards, where families can ride bikes, skate, shop and play together. This year, Open Streets moves to a three-mile loop around Rouge Park: the largest park space in the city that covers 1,184 acres and features two outdoor, Olympic-sized swimming pools, an event center, campgrounds, and a golf course and driving range. Residents can stroll about freely along Spinoza, Outer, and Rouge Park drives.
Cost: Free
Saturday - Sunday
Jul 28-29
More than 20 indie acts, including Bon Iver, Curtis Roach, Clairo, Empty Houses and Homeshake will take to the stages at this West Riverfront Park annual music fest by the water.
Cost: $109.50 and up
Jul 29
Eastern Market
When your taco routine begins to feel like more a taco rut, learning about new and interesting spots for these tortilla vessels of protein and spice can be exactly what’s needed. Enter, the Taco Showdown: a contest to name the best taco-maker in town. Sample from a variety of competing restaurants and sip on cerveza or margaritas, and learn which taco the judges name the greatest in Detroit.
Cost: $23.16 and up
Murals in the Market
Murals in the Market
Aug 2
El Club
For more than a decade, Columbian electro tropical band Bomba Estereo has been selling out arenas across the Americas. This year, the act hits Southwest Detroit’s El Club, one of the foremost venues for huge Spanish-language headliners, in additional to U.S. indie and local artists. Doors open at 8pm.
Cost: Starts at $27.50
Friday - Sunday
Aug 10-12
Hart Plaza
You love ribs, and you love music. Why not combine the two into a lineup of soulful voices and bbq platters that will make your tastebuds sing simultaneously? Featuring Dru Hill, Jon B. and more than 30 other acts.
Cost: Free, with VIP packages starting at $30
Friday - Sunday
Aug 17-19
Hart Plaza
The first muscle car as we know it is believed to be the Rocket 88, which in turn inspired the first rock-n-roll record, “Rocket 88." This three-day event at Hart Plaza celebrates these iconic origins with what organizers call the first all-free rock fest in Detroit Rock City, featuring more than 250 vintage muscle cars, lots of music, films, and more.
Cost: Free
Aug 18
Woodward Avenue, between Ferndale and Pontiac
The country’s largest homage to classic cars and cruising comes one day a year along Woodward Avenue. The die-hards get things started in the weeks ahead, parking their hot roads and tents along the route. I’d say this is the time to start planning your alternate drives to work, but you may as well embrace the traffic jam.
Cost: Free
Aug 26
Eastern Market
Eastern Market is famous for providing food for countless of kitchens, in homes and restaurants alike. This festival focuses on Jewish food culture, with a food marketplace with nearly 30 emerging entrepreneurs from FoodLab Detroit, Kitchen Connect, and fresh produce from local growers. There'll also be chef demos and tastings; a food truck rally featuring Southeast Michigan’s iconic Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Russell Street Deli, Milk and Honey/Soul Cafe; and programming for the kiddos with conversations around health, environmental justice, and heirloom food recipes.
Cost: Free
Saturday - Monday
Sep 1-3
The Hamtramck Labor Day Festival is a time for reflecting on the region’s strong legacy in support of the nation’s labor movement. Without the hard-fought battles wages between automotive workers and factory owners, we would be without the 40-hour work week, overtime, heck even the notion of weekends off would be out of the picture. So how do Detroiters celebrate this history? By stuffing our faces with Polish pierogi, kielbasa, beer, carnival food, and a lineup of musical acts on a handful of stages in Hamtramck.
Cost: Free
Thursday - Saturday
Sep 13-22
Eastern Market
Come September for the past few years, the area surrounding the sheds at Eastern Market becomes an outdoor canvas for muralists, both locally and nationally-known. Take a walking tour, snap lots of pics, and even meet the artists as they’re working on their projects. Programming includes panel discussions, dinners with the artists, block parties and lots of food trucks.
Cost: Free
Sep 20
St. Andrew's Hall
Mexico City-native rockeros Café Tacvba have been intersecting alternative, Latin hip-hop and punk for nearly 30 years to the delight of Chicano hipsters across North, Central and South America. This year, they grace the stage of St. Andrew’s Hall  Sept. 20, St. Andrew's Hall, along with special guests The Marias.
Cost: Starting at $35