July in Washtenaw County, Michigan

What is there to do? It’s warm outside, but not so warm that you want to hide in the air conditioning 24 hours a day. You’ve had a few weeks to get used to the slower pace of a Michigan summer, not having homework or tests, and school sports are done until August. Now you are ready to get out of your routine. Right?! But you want it to be budget friendly and fun. OK. While the fun will depend completely on your mood, your likes and dislikes, here are some ideas for FREE (or at least not expensive) activities to entertain you and your family this July.

Are you in the mood to learn something new?
You could visit the University of Michigan – Exhibit Museum of Natural History! They have Planetarium Shows, Dinosaur Tours and much more. Check their website for daily tour times and special events.

Want to play outside? Let me count the parks!
Gallup Park, on the east side of Ann Arbor, has a large playground, canoe launch and plenty of trails for running, biking and exploring as well as plenty of picnic areas. County Farm Park, also on Ann Arbor’s east side, has a variety of trails, a children’s discovery play area, and picnic pavilions. Ford Lake Park in Ypsilanti has a half-mile shoreline on Ford Lake and features fishing, boating, handball and tennis courts. Frog Island Park has a soccer field and an amphitheater! Rolling Hills Park and Water Park is one of the most recreationally diverse parks in the County. There is a wave pool, a lazy river, water slides, nature trails, a fishing pond and a kids playground. Try out their disc golf course or play a game of horseshoes. Although entrance to Rolling Hills Park and Water Park is not free (there is a minimal parking fee and an entrance fee), there is plenty to do here for the entire family. And this is barely scratching the surface of the parks in the area.

How about adding a little culture to your diet?
The Shadow Art Fair is Saturday, July 21st this year. See you at the Corner Brewery at noon to view the shadow art and listen to some local music. Bet you find something inspiring while you’re there!

Have you heard of The Penny Seats? According to their Facebook page, they are “nothing but trouble”! They will be performing “She Loves Me” in West Park on July 26. Parking is available on the neighborhood streets and tickets are $10.00 for general admission and $7.00 for children 12 and under.

Also performing in West Park is the Ann Arbor Civic Band. Founded in 1935 as an extension of the University of Michigan’s School of Music, it is in its 77th year of providing memorable musical experiences to area residents. All concerts are on Wednesday evenings from 8pm to 9pm and are free.

Michigan is a “Car State”
We all know that. And what would a “Car State” be without a few car shows?? Difficult to contemplate isn’t it! Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder. The 21st Annual Michigan Camaro Superfest is July 6-8 on Cross Street in Ypsilanti.

FESTIVALS!
There are festivals throughout Washtenaw County in July. If you’ve never attended, you should reconsider – they are good clean fun for the whole family and they usually have at least one vendor who will sell you elephant ears. Yes, I said it…elephant ears. The elephant ear epitomizes summer. If you have managed to get this far in life without trying one, you are missing out. If you have had the pleasure of trying one, you know what I’m talking about. Here are just a few of the festivals in the area taking place in July:
Michigan Elvisfest
Sounds & Sights Festival in Chelsea
Manchester Riverfolk Festival and Jam Camp
77th Annual Saline Community Fair
Saline Celtic Festival

Are you feeling fit AND adventurous?
TRI the Huron – the Huron River Adventure Games Triathlon. Bike 4 miles from Gallup to Argo, Run/Walk 2 miles around Argo Pond, Kayak/Canoe 4 miles down the Huron River from Argo to Gallup. Sound like fun? Check out their website for more information on registration and other activities throughout the day for the entire family.

I know I’ve left out a lot of activities. Let me know of any that you think would improve this list. I’m ALWAYS looking for new and fun things to do that won’t cost an arm or even a leg.

Happy Summer Everyone!

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