Welcome back, Warriors: 10 new and exciting things to see and do in Detroit

Wayne State is excited to welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus this fall. Whether you’re new to Midtown or getting reacquainted after a year away, there are a lot of new and exciting things to see and do in and around our neighborhood. A city rich in arts, culture and entertainment, Detroit offers something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorite things to check out right now:

Roller skating at the Monroe Street Midwaythe place to be for outdoor fun through Sept. 30. Brought to you by Bedrock and RollerCade, one of oldest continually open, black-owned rinks in the country, the Rollout Detroit Roller Rink is open seven days a week. Sign up for a two-hour skating session or throw on your high-tops and play a pickup game of basketball at the Rocket Mortgage Sports Zone. Not into sports? The Midway also features local music, art and food.

Watching a movie in one of Detroit’s many parks. A great option for Warriors looking to enjoy the company of others, socially distanced and outdoors in the fresh air. Both Campus Martius Park and New Center Park are showing free screenings of award-winning films now through the end of August. Plus, Cinema Detroit, an independent first-run movie theatre within walking distance of campus, is offering in-person screenings of Soul Summer—Questlove’s new film about the Harlem Cultural Festival.

Going on a walking tour with an experienced guide. The Detroit Experience Factory (DXF) offers free in-person walking tours of Downtown, the Riverfront and beyond (upcoming neighborhood tours include the Avenue of Fashion and Villages), plus virtual experiences. DXF guides live, work and engage in the city and offer an individualized perspective on each tour. Participants can also expect to hear from local businesses owners and residents. Their summer schedule runs now through the end of October.

Robert C. Valade Park. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.
Valade Park. Photo courtesy of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Relaxing in Robert C. Valade Park. The newest addition to Detroit’s award-winning Riverwalk, Valade Park features an expansive sandy beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas, a children’s musical garden, colorful playscapes for kids to climb on, a community barbecue pavilion and Bob’s Barge—Detroit’s only floating bar! Formerly known as Atwater Beach, Valade Park is located on the East Riverfront near the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre and open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. all-year long.

Playing in a sports league. Looking to make new friends or blow off some steam after a long day of classes? Consider signing up for one of Detroit’s many intramural sports leagues! From softball on Belle Isle to sand volleyball in Campus Martius Park, organizations like Come Play Detroit, Stay and Play Social and the Detroit City Futbol League offer something for everyone with year-round offerings, including basketball, kickball, tennis, bowling, and backyard and bar games like Euchre.

Grabbing a bite to eat downtown. The Downtown Parks have a lot to offer, including Michigan’s biggest and best daily food truck rally! Head to Cadillac Square, Spirit Plaza or the Woodward Esplanade between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday (now-October) to sample Detroit classics and street food from around the world. The Downtown Street Eats program includes a rotating fleet of more than 75 food trucks. For a full lineup and schedule, visit the Downtown Parks events calendar.

Putting your toes in the sand in Campus Martius Park. The Beach at Campus Martius Park is an award-winning sun-soaked oasis that welcomes visitors May through October each year. This uniquely Detroit experience is a perfect place to build sandcastles with the kids, take in live music, people watch or enjoy a frozen cocktail with friends. Worried about fitting everything in by October? Don’t! The Downtown Parks are programmed year-round, with an outdoor ice skating rink in Campus Martius Park beginning in December.

Shopping at the Night Market at Beacon Park. Opened in 2017, Beacon Park has welcomed nearly three million visitors and offers a range of programming year-round. Now through the end of August, check out the Beacon Park Night Market, featuring local makers and entrepreneurs offering a colorful array of fresh produce and unique goods, including handmade accessories, beauty products and more. Peruse the vendors or stock up on weekend groceries while listening to live musical performances.

Image of 2017 DLECTRICITY Light Bike Parade.
DLECTRICITY Light Bike Parade. Image courtesy of DLECTRICITY.

Attending one of the many uniquely Detroit events. August and September boast a number of special events near and dear to Wayne State, including: the Concert of Colors, a free global music festival (Aug. 2-9); African World Festival, a celebration of African diasporic culture at the Charles H. Wright Museum (Aug. 20-22); the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the largest free jazz festival in the world (Sept. 3-6); and DLECTRICITY, an outdoor festival of art and light (Sept. 24-25).

Supporting a small businesses. Long-standing Midtown businesses are excited to help welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus, as are the many new businesses that have opened. Looking for a new place to grab a bite to eat? Consider heading to New Center and checking out Baobab Fare, Cooking with Que, Joe Louis Southern Kitchen, Promenade Artisan Foods, Supino Pizzeria or Yum Village, and remember that many local businesses offer discounts through Show Your OneCard and Save.

These are just a few of the many exciting things going on in Midtown and Detroit. To stay up to date, consider following Midtown Detroit, Inc. (aka Visit Midtown), the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Let’s Detroit, Model D and Wayne State’s own Office of Economic Development on social media.

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