Beating the heat with summer fun for every age group
It's no secret that for many, the pandemic renewed a passion for spending time outdoors. This resulted in a surge in visitation to park systems nationwide, including the Huron-Clinton Metroparks right here in the metro Detroit area. The Metroparks saw a 35% increase in attendance from 2019 to 2020, and while some may have thought those numbers would have dropped significantly as restrictions eased, the parks still saw attendance 11% above the three-year average in 2021.
“The pandemic has shown us that people are excited to engage with the outdoors again,” says Huron-Clinton Metroparks Director Amy McMillan. “Survey results have shown that people are looking for more quiet spaces outdoors, more trails and more ways to have fun in our spaces, and we are anticipating, and ramping up for, another busy summer season.”
Across the 13 Metroparks, the opportunities for summer fun are endless. You can paddle along the lake or river in your kayak, paddle board or canoe; walk, bike or run along the hundreds of miles of trails; bring the family out for a picnic; play a round of golf at one of eight courses; splash and swim at the beaches, pools and splash pads and so much more.
These outdoor recreational activities aren’t all the Metroparks have to offer. Over 200 events and programs are scheduled for the summer of 2022. These include the popular Summer Concert Series featuring live concerts every Sunday at Lake St. Clair Metropark and select Fridays at Stony Creek Metropark; Movies in the Park, a series of outdoor movies playing at various Metroparks throughout the summer; and annual fireworks displays spread out across four nights leading up to the Fourth of July.
“The event lineup this summer is super exciting. We know that southeast Michigan looks forward to everything that summer has to offer and our events aim to complement that with fun experiences that will get you outdoors, get you moving, maybe get you dancing or hiking or paddling – but most of all will get you having fun,” says director Amy McMillan.
Also on the summer lineup are hundreds of fun educational programs, such as kayak tours, guided hikes, DIY art projects, wildlife presentations and more. Through educational programs, the Metroparks’ award-winning Interpretive Staff engage more than 1.5 million individuals each year.
For parents looking for something to keep the kids off their screens and in the outdoors this summer, the Metroparks have a wide variety of summer day camps available. Young scientists can learn about birds and ecology from our experts and conduct experiments in the nature center or explore organisms in the creek. Young farmers can experience life on the farm at Kensington Metropark Farm Center and help feed and care for animals. Also, check out the new day camp option at Stony Creek Metropark where campers will enjoy a variety of park activities like hiking and the inflatable slide in this three-day camp! These are just some of the many day camp options available!
To make it easy to navigate all the exciting events and programs the Metroparks are offering this summer, they have put together a NEW programming guide allowing you to see their full lineup at a glance. You can request a copy of that Metroparks Summer Guide here.
“We hope you find something perfect just for you and join us this summer. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Metroparks,” says Director Amy McMillan.
Visit Metroparks.com to explore all the Metroparks have to offer and find a park near you.