20 Things To Do In Ann Arbor

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The story of Ann Arbor begins with the wives of the village’s two founders, both women sharing the name of Ann, and so Ann Arbor was formed. Since then, Ann Arbor has grown into a well-known and attractive city, largely due to the University of Michigan, founded in 1817. In 2008, Ann Arbor was ranked 27th out of 100 “America’s best small cities”. Read on to discover the best things to do in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor, Michigan

20 Things To Do In Ann Arbor

things to do ann arbor
Looking for things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan? Our top 20 list will help you out.

1- Discover The Fairy Doors

The most magical aspect of Ann Arbor is its mystical Fairy Doors scattered around the city.

These art installations (or gateways to a magical universe, however you choose to see them) first appeared in 1993 (the first public installation appeared in 2005) and have become a charming element of the city.

In the doors’ early days, visitors could write in visitor books near the fairy doors and ask questions about the fairies or draw the fairies they spotted nearby.

A compilation of these notes and drawings can be found in Jonathan B. Wright’s book Who’s Behind the Fairy Doors.

One of the main Fairy Doors of Ann Arbor is at 210 S Main Street #1, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

A list of locations for all of the doors can be found here.

2- Relax In The Matthaei Botanical Gardens

things to do in ann arbor garden
Exploring Matthaei Botanical Gardens is one of the things to do in Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens covers 300 acres (121 ha) and includes botanical gardens, a conservatory, a garden store and research habitats.

There are nature trails for hiking and exploring.

In the gardens, look for the Gaffield Children’s Garden and the restored prairie, which has more than 100 native species of wildflowers, a farmhouse from the 1860s and a bonsai collection.

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens is at 1800 N Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105.

3- Shop At Kerrytown Farmers Market

things to do in ann arbor this weekend Farmers market with various domestic colorful fresh fruits and vegetable. Tasty colorful mix.
Shopping at the farmer’s market is one of the colourful things to do in Ann Arbor.

The Kerrytown Farmers Market has been functioning for over 90 years and remains a popular spot to find fresh and delicious produce and products such as fruits and vegetables, plants, meat, eggs, cheese, flowers, honey and crafts.

The farmer’s market also has an incredible selection of organic goods.

The market also sells T-shirts and tote bags that make perfect and unique souvenirs and gifts for others.

The Kerrytown Farmers Market is at 316N N 4th Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

4- Explore Lillie Park

Lille Park is a picture of peace and tranquillity.

You can find stunning gazebos and picturesque wooden bridges stretching over rivers and trails here.

The main perk of the park is that it is in the centre of the city, so you can escape into a little slice of heaven without straying far away from the amenities and comforts of the city.

Lillie Park is at 4365 Platt Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108.

5- Watch A Match At Michigan Stadium

things to do in ann arbor mi Defocused Background of Football Stadium. Intentionally blurred post production for bokeh effect.
Watching a game is one of the fun things to do in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Michigan Stadium, or the “Big House”, is the home ground football stadium for the University of Michigan.

It holds the University’s main graduation ceremonies, hockey games, soccer matches and college football games.

The stadium’s claim to fame is that it is the biggest stadium in the United States and the entire Western Hemisphere.

It also ranks as the third-largest stadium in the world.

Michigan Stadium is at 1201 South Main Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

6- Walk Through Graffiti Alley

fun things to do in ann arbor mi
Wandering through graffiti alley is another of the interesting things to do in Ann Arbor.

Is graffiti truly art?

Answer this question by visiting Graffiti Alley and wandering through the various spray paint designs covering the entire passageway.

The alley allows you to come face-to-face with spectacularly creative works that are as varied as they are beautiful.

Graffiti Alley is the number one spot in the city for anyone looking for that truly Instagram-worthy photo.

Graffiti Alley is at East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

7- Go On A Scavenger Hunt

Explore the city in an educational but fun way by participating in one of the many local scavenger hunts on offer.

The scavenger hunts guide you around beautiful and iconic sites within the city and the University grounds.

They also provide fascinating information about these locations and fun activities to complete during your tour.

For the Zombie Scavenger hunt, your team will be asked to complete certain tasks and activities to gain points to survive the zombie apocalypse.

The Zombie Scavengers Scavenger Hunt is at 201 South Main Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104. The Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt is at 313 East Huron Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

8- Watch Ice Hockey At Ann Arbor Ice Cube

fun things to do in ann arbor View of a figure skater and her coach feet at the figure skating practice.
Watching figure skating or ice hockey is another thing to do in Ann Arbor.

Whether it’s winter or summer, check out the eternally cold Ann Arbor Ice Cube and take a spin around the interior ice rink.

The rink is open to skaters of all skill levels, though, due to the popularity of ice hockey in Michigan, there’s a good chance you’ll see some rather impressive displays on the ice or even some practising figure skaters.

Ann Arbor Ice Cube is at 2121 Oak Valley Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103.

9- Admire Art At UMMA

Whether you are an art connoisseur or a complete novice, the University of Michigan Museum of Art has such a variety of artworks that it’s guaranteed that there will be something within this museum for everyone.

The museum even houses pieces from some of the greatest artists, such as Picasso and even Monet himself.

The museum also hosts special events such as film showings and classes in various artistic mediums.

University of Michigan Museum of Art is at 525 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

10- See The Neanderthals

things to do in ann arbor michigan
Visiting the natural history museum is one of the things to do in Ann Arbor.

The University of Michigan of Natural History is as equally inspiring as its counterpart, the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Where the Museum of Art displays the world around us through artworks painted onto canvas or sculpted out of stone, the Museum of Natural History displays exhibits including tangible pieces of our world’s history right before your eyes.

Here you can see geodes, whale skeletons, and even dinosaur bones.

The museum also has a “Hall of Evolution” that displays fascinating recreations of Neanderthals.

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History is at 1105 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

11- Visit The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

things to do in ann arbor The name of the city on a white background.
If you’re looking for things to do in Ann Arbor, here are 20 to get you going.

Although the University’s art and natural history museums are impressive, they lack the hands-on, kinetic experience offered that allows you to interact and touch exhibits.

This experience is offered at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.

10 galleries are packed with interactive and educational exhibits here.

This museum has everything from human-sized bubble machines to morse code telegraphs.

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is at 220 East Ann Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

12- Explore The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology looks like a fantasy castle plucked straight from the pages of a storybook.

The treasures inside are even more breathtaking.

The artifacts on display come from all over the world, from prehistoric to medieval times, and are from various civilisations such as Greek, Byzantine, Roman and Egyptian.

The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is at 434 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

13- See A Show At Michigan Theater

A shining, sparkling landmark of Ann Arbor, the Michigan Theater provides a portal into the past.

Whether you’re catching a movie, attending a show, or simply admiring the stunning historic architecture, the theatre will surely provide a night you’ll never forget.

Head to the theatre on a Thursday to experience the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series, which includes speakers such as Studio Safar, Andrea Carlson and Cey Adams.

The Michigan Theater is at 603 East Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

14- Watch A Performance At Hill Auditorium

Another venue with a stunning exterior, Hill Auditorium, is the largest performance venue on the University of Michigan campus.

It hosts a variety of events and shows ranging from Trevor Noah to the Philidelphia Orchestra.

Some iconic past performances include those by Bob Marley and G-Eazy.

The Hill Auditorium is at 825 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

15- Taste Delicious Treats At Zingerman’s Bakehouse

fun things to do in ann arbor at night Fresh bread on a board in bakehouse of bakery being held by a female baker.
Enjoy bakery delights.

After working up an appetite for exploring the city and all the fantastic attractions that Ann Arbor has to offer, it’s a good idea to stop at Zingerman’s Bakehouse.

The bakehouse offers all kinds of tasty treats, such as pastries, cakes, cookies and bread.

There are rotating monthly specials such as bread or cake of the month.

Zingerman’s Bakehouse is at 3711 Plaza Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108.

16- Shop For Local Art At State Street Area Art Fair

The State Street Art Fair is one of the three nationally recognised art fairs that make up the Ann Arbor Art Fair for three days in July every year.

The Art Fair has functioned for over 50 years and includes local businesses and fine art created by local artisans.

The artwork displayed at the fair includes many mediums such as glass, metal, oil paints and jewellery.

The State Street Art Fair stretches over an entire neighbourhood, but the original (and still existing) section of the fair can be found at East Washington and Fletcher and North University and Fletcher.

17- Drink At The Last Word Speakeasy

Although the original designs of Speakeasies were created out of an unfortunate necessity, the positive ambience and sophistication of these bars live on in The Last Word Speakeasy.

The bar’s theme is anything literary and the menu itself is formatted as a “book” with different chapters.

Taste their impressive selection of Michigan craft beers for that special local taste.

The Last Word Speakeasy is at 301 West Huron Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

18- Taste Craft Beer At HopCat

With over 100 different beers (both local and even international) to choose from, HopCat is the Willy Wonka Factory of brewed beverages.

The food menu is just as impressive (and delicious) as the drinks and there’s even an adorably named kids menu for the HopKittens among you, as well as a brunch menu to boot.

HopCat also offers special events such as live music and “gourmet nights”.

HopCat is at 311 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

19- Admire The Flowers At The Arb

The Nichols Arboretum, known by locals as “the Arb”, is open from sunrise to sunset every single day with free admission and is a common and frequent meeting place for students from the University of Michigan.

On a sunny day, you can find students relaxing, sunbathing, and studying on the grass.

In the winter, you might even be so lucky as to catch a glimpse of students using trays from the dining hall as makeshift sleds to sled down the hills.

Currently, the Arb is home to Shakespeare in the Arb, which are performances of Shakespeare’s plays that take place on the grounds.

The Nichols Arboretum is at 899 Nichols Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109.

20- Go Window Shopping At Nickels Arcade

The Nickels Arcade is a covered collection of adorable and specialty shops.

The arcade was built in 1918 and includes a 261-foot corridor composed of mosaic tiles.

The arcade is also the perfect spot to grab a coffee at Comet Coffee and enjoy people-watching.

Spend some time soaking up the area’s ambience while also soaking up the sunlight that trickles down through the skylight.

The Nickels Arcade is known as the place to find high-quality and luxury items.

The Nickels Arcade is at 326 South State Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.

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Georgina Fullerton is a British American who has lived and travelled all over the world. Travel, writing and adventure are her main passions in life and she loves exploring new places, languages and cultures. She has visited over 15 countries and has a tattoo of all of her favourite monuments from around the world. Georgina has a degree in Linguistics and a degree in French and has taught English to teenagers in France. She lives just outside Dallas, Texas, where the sun never stops shining.