Are you looking for the best things to do in Ann Arbor? If yes, then this article is perfect for you! Here, we have listed down a few of the top places to visit in Ann Arbor MI.
Ann Arbor, a great weekend destination in Midwest, is filled with lots of fun attractions for you to explore. From world-famous universities to gorgeous parks, this small town in Midwest is home to a diverse range of places.
You can check out the amazing restaurants in downtown Ann Arbor and visit the fascinating museums.
Attend performances, wander through the arboretum, and more. There is something for everyone in this charming city in Michigan.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, University of Michigan, Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, etc. are a few top attractions in Ann Arbor that you must visit.
Still confused about what to do in Ann Arbor? Well, then check out our list of the top things to do in Ann Arbor MI.
15 Best Things To Do in Ann Arbor MI You Shouldn’t Miss
Gallup Park is a 69-acre park that is one of the top attractions in Ann Arbor Michigan.
Located along Huron River, this park features scenic walkaways, bridges, playgrounds, and picnic areas for visitors to enjoy.
That’s not all, you can also enjoy fun activities here such as kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing, and more.
There are also trails available for biking, walking, hiking, etc. in the park. Plus, you have access to all the basic amenities here such as bathrooms, parking area, shelters, drinking fountains, and more.
There is a lot to do around here, especially if you are traveling with your family.
Spending a day in Gallup Park is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan.
One of the top Ann Arbor attractions, Michigan Stadium, also known as The Big House, is one of the top places to visit in Michigan.
With a seating capacity of 115,000, it is the largest stadium in the USA and the second-largest in the world.
Trust me, it is one of the top places to visit in Ann Arbor and you can attend plenty of events here.
One of the highlights of this stadium is the football matches played here, especially by the favorite Michigan Wolverines.
Apart from football, this stadium is used for other sports as well such as lacrosse, ice hockey, soccer, etc.
If you aren’t interested in sports, then you can attend other activities here such as weekend movie nights, yoga classes, and more.
Visitors can also take a tour of this stadium including the box seats and the locker rooms. So, if you are looking for fun things to do in Ann Arbor MI, then Michigan Stadium is the place.
University of Michigan
If you are wondering about what to do in Ann Arbor, well look no further. Plan a visit to the famous University of Michigan which offers a lot of cool things for you to see and explore.
This top-ranking public university is home to lots of amazing museums, gardens, and halls. If you wish to enjoy nature, then you can head to the wave field or the Nichols arboretum here.
Museum of Art, Museum of Natural History, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, etc. are a few top places to visit here.
Learn about the life of Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the U.S.A, explore the campus of the university, or walk around the gardens, there is no shortage of things to do here.
If you visit during the holidays, Ann Arbor has some of the best Christmas Lights in Ohio.
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
Are you a fan of Indiana Jones movies? No? Well, it doesn’t matter because you are going to love visiting Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.
It is one of the most unique places to visit in Ann Arbor and can be enjoyed by people of all ages. One of the major highlights of this museum is its location.
It is housed in a quirky, asymmetrical mansion that is built using jagged fieldstone and uses Roman architecture style in its design.
The museum features over 100,000 artifacts from around the world. Including Greek coins, Egyptian mummy masks, Iraqi pottery, and more.
However, one of the best things about this museum is that it has a rare archaeology collection including ancient photos, excavation records, etc.
So, if you are done with mainstream Ann Arbor activities, then visit this cultural attraction.
University of Michigan Museum of Art
The University of Michigan Museum of Art is a popular attraction in Ann Arbor, especially for art lovers and cultural buffs.
At this museum, you will find an art collection assembled over 150 years.
This museum features world-famous paintings from artists such as Picasso, Monet, and so on.
Apart from the art collection, you can also marvel at historical artifacts, pottery galleries, and enjoy an outdoor sculpture walk too.
One of the best Ann Arbor activities to enjoy at this museum are the film screenings, art-making classes, etc. that are held here regularly.
You can check their schedule for upcoming events and plan a visit accordingly.
In all honestly, the University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the top places to see.
The A.Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
If you are interested in architecture, then one of the best places to visit in Ann Arbor MI is the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
This is one of the best architecture and design schools in America.
This attraction in Ann Arbor also features a beautifully designed Biomedical Science Research Building and Alfred Taubman Auditorium.
The ribbon-style building is home to many researchers’ offices. The double-glass curtain wall ensures that there is natural light available inside the rooms during the day.
So, if you are fascinated by eco-friendly and unique architectural designs, then visiting this building is one of the top things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan
Museum of Natural History
Looking for a fun thing to do in Ann Arbor Michigan? If yes, then do plan a visit to University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.
This Ann Arbor attraction offers a one-of-a-kind experience to the visitors where they can both learn and enjoy. The museum features a lot of cool things such as dinosaur bones, geodes, taxidermy animals, and more.
Visit the permanent exhibits ‘Michigan Wildlife Gallery’ and ‘Hall of Evolution’ to check out Michigan’s native species and the development of humanity, respectively.
Apart from that, there are butterfly gardens, whale skeletons, and fossil displays to explore here.
Don’t forget to check out the life-sized reconstruction of a pterosaur here! Visiting this natural history museum is one of the best things to do in Ann Arbor.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum
Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum are also top Ann Arbor attractions that you must visit.
These both attractions are located near the main campus of the University of Michigan and are operated by them.
If you wish to enjoy an Ann Arbor activity free of cost, then visit the gardens and the arboretum. The gardens feature bonsai collections, tree groves, windflower gardens, and more for you to explore.
That’s not all, you will also be able to witness different types of landscape and climates here. There are many different greenhouses maintained here.
Whether you wish to enjoy a long walk amidst nature or listen to the sounds of the birds, Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum are perfect for it.
Historic Michigan Theater
Watching a movie in the historic Michigan Theater is undoubtedly one of the most popular activities in Ann Arbor.
Built in the 1920s, this movie theater is one of the oldest movie palaces in the United States. This historical landmark attracts tourists from all over to watch concerts, plays, vaudeville acts, and more.
The grand old building features orchestra pits, pipe organs, and so on. However, due to a decline in visitors, the theater was close to being shut down in the 1950s but was saved by the local community.
Today, visitors can still visit this theater and book their tickets for watching movies and shows here.
If you are looking for free things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan, then visit the lively historic district of Kerrytown. Located close to downtown, this is one of the coolest places to visit in the city.
Here, you can check out the weekend farmer’s market. Or you can attend charming festivals that feature amazing musicians, artisans, and more.
This part of the city gives a charming vintage vibe with its red brick roads and mom-and-pop shops.
You will also find many amazing cafes and restaurants here with outdoor patios and live music to relax while touring the area.
So, if you are heading to the city on a weekend, make sure you get a bag a popcorn from the farmer’s market and explore Kerrytown.
Ann Arbor is one of the best places to visit in the Midwest as it is home to many beautiful parks including Lillie Park.
This park is home to many wonderful ponds, woodlands, and flower gardens, making it one of the top things to do in the city. Nature lovers can enjoy the numerous walking trails around this park.
From walking over wooden bridges to walking along the limestone blocks, there are many Michigan trails to explore here.
Also, if you get tired, then you can sit and relax on the benches and the gazebos placed throughout the park.
Overall, enjoying a picnic or a walk here is one of the best things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan.
Hill Auditorium is a premier entertainment venue and one of the top local attractions to visit.
This auditorium was built in 1913 and features modern acoustics, allowing all the 4000 people to hear the sound from the stage equally.
The best thing to do in Ann Arbor Michigan is to attend a concert, symphony, orchestras, etc. at this venue.
There is something exciting happening at all times here that you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Rolling Hills Water Park
Located on the outskirts of Ann Arbor, Rolling Hills Water Park is definitely the best thing to do in Ann Arbor with kids.
Plan a visit to this water park with your entire family and enjoy a fun day here. There are lots of water attractions and slides to enjoy here including a lazy river, water tube slides, splash pad, and more.
That’s not all, aside from the fun attractions, you will also find many concession stands here to buy food and drinks after a tiring swim in the water.
This waterpark is quite reasonably priced and has something for visitors of all ages.
So, if you are traveling to Ann Arbor with your young ones and want to have fun with them, then do visit Rolling Hills Waterpark.
Visiting State Street downtown is also a popular thing to do in Ann Arbor MI. The street is home to many lively locations, restaurants, cafes, and shops that you can explore.
Plus, if you visit at the right time, you might also be able to visit the citywide fairs and festivals held here.
Attending the famous State Street Area Art Fair is a must-do activity in Ann Arbor. It is held every year and features jewel sculptures, fashion items, and more.
You can also attend the Easter celebrations, Halloween parties, etc. that are planned here.
Walk the streets, enjoy the food from food trucks, listen to the buskers, there is a lot to do around here.
Visiting West Park Is One Of The Fun Things To Do In Ann Arbor Michigan
One of the top activities in Ann Arbor is visiting the West Park near the downtown area.
This park features a bandshell that hosted many rock and roll concerts. Sadly it was recently shut down due to the crumbling structure.
Visitors can still go to see this historic bandshell and enjoy other outdoor activities there.
Here, you will find a playground, a softball field, basketball court, picnic tables, etc. to enjoy a day out here.
Enjoy a picnic in this park while being surrounded by beautiful Oak trees. There are many walking paths where you can enjoy a stroll.
Or you can play games in the playground and the designated courts here.
If you are traveling with your family, then one of the best things to do in Ann Arbor is spend a day at West Park.
Packing List When Exploring Things To Do In Ann Arbor Michigan
If you are searching, here are some tips on how to pack lightly when packing for your Ann Arbor vacation.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when visiting Ann Arbor Michigan. It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can place it under your hiking clothes next to your body to carry your ID safely.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking Insta-worthy selfies while discovering Michigan hiking trails.
I never much believed in using packing cubes when traveling. That is until I tried them. Now I am hooked. These are the exact cubes I use to stay organized when I pack for a trip!
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for your adventures and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. during long hours of visiting the cities in the Midwest. No matter the time of day or evening.
This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. And it comes in many different colors.
Whatever Ann Arbor activities you decide to do, or activities in Ann Arbor you participate in, this town makes a really great Michigan weekend getaway.
With so much to choose from it is not surprising to know this is a very popular place to visit in Michigan.