5 Free Attractions in Downtown Detroit

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5 Free Attractions in Downtown DetroitIt is possible to have fun in Detroit without spending money. If you are looking for staycations this summer, I suggest checking out these 5 FREE attractions in Downtown Detroit. As they say, “The best things in life are free”.

Visit Eastern Market

  • Eastern Market in Detroit is bustling with things to do, especially on the weekends. At the Saturday Market, you can get up close and personal with local farmers, butchers, bakers, and artists. The Sunday Street Market has an emphasis on antiques, collectibles and flea market goods, with a special focus on locally made items. There are also special events like Flower Day which takes place the Sunday after Mother’s Day. For more information about Eastern Market, please visit their website.
  • There is plenty of free parking, so don’t be fooled by a paid lot.

Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts

  • Residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties receive free unlimited general museum admission in accordance with the passage of the County Art Institute Authority millage. Valid Michigan driver’s license or state ID required.
  • The museum covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium, a 380-seat lecture/recital hall, an art reference library, and a state-of-the-art conservation services laboratory.
  • A hallmark of the DIA is the diversity of the collection. In addition to outstanding American, European, Modern and Contemporary, and Graphic art, the museum holds significant works of African, Asian, Native American, Oceanic, Islamic, and Ancient art.
  • See their website for parking information.

Visit the Detroit Historical Museum

  • The Detroit Historical Museum is the only museum dedicated to telling our region’s history. Three hundred year’s of Detroit’s history showcased through signature and changing exhibitions.
  • Hours: Tuesday – Friday 9:30 am – 4 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
  • The Museum is usually closed on Mondays.
  • Check their website for parking info and programs ($). Some programs and tours need to be booked in advance.

Walk or bike along the Detroit Riverwalk 

  • The Detroit International Riverfront is a tourist attraction and landmark of Detroit extending from the Ambassador Bridge in the west to Belle Isle in the east, for a total of 5½ miles. Free activities include walking or biking along the riverfront, fishing, sightseeing, butterfly watching, picnicking, volleyball, and more.  Located along the riverwalk is Michigan’s first urban state park, William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor. It provides a 31-acre green oasis in the midst of downtown Detroit.
  • Check Detroitriverfront.org for special events. Plenty of free parking is available both at Rivard Plaza and other lots along the river.

Go to a concert at Rockin on the Riverfront

  • On Friday Evenings (July 8-August 12) from 8-10 pm, There will be a series of FREE concerts at the plaza behind the GM Renaissance Center on the Detroit Riverfront.
  • Schedule:

7/8 Michael McDonald (Ex-Doobie Brothers)

7/15 Don Felder (Ex-Eagles guitarist)

7/22 Blue Oyster Cult

7/29 Grand Funk

8/5 Starship

8/12 Bret Michaels (Poison)



  • I wish I lived closer because I know I would love the Eastern Market. It sounds like they have a great variety of things to offer. One of my favorite memories is going to a local farmers market with my mom, but they were much smaller. One of these days I’m going to make a weekend trip. It would be fun to go to the free concert on Friday and then go to the farmers on Saturday.

  • I’ve been to the DIA before, but haven’t made it to the rest of these. Biking along the Riverwalk sounds fun as does the Rockin’ on the Riverfront event. Don’t they do outdoor movies downtown in the summer?

    The Midwest Darling

  • This is a great list of ideas. I’ve never been to Rockin on the Riverfront. We love the DIA, but haven’t been in a long time.

  • I still have never been. I need to set a date and go to Eastern Market. I’m sure I would love it!

  • Ron Leyba

    Amazing list of attractions. For sure many will find this list really useful at this kind of season.

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