6 Things to Do to Celebrate the Fourth of July

Modified: May 17, 2021 | Story by Katie Susko | Photos by Belle Isle by Vito Palmisano; Kayaking Coney Island and biking by Bill Bowen; Detroit Zoo courtesy of Detroit Zoo; Ford Fireworks courtesy of the Parade Company

The Fourth of July is here again! Although most fireworks shows and festivals have been cancelled, metro Detroit still has loads of creative ways to spend the long holiday weekend. Plus, we have an update on the 2020 Detroit Fireworks below.

Fourth of July in Metro Detroit

1. Get near the water

Here in metro Detroit, we’re blessed to have so many options when it comes to being near the water. If you’re downtown, check out the Detroit International RiverWalk for some international views, parks and gardens. Lake St. Clair may not be a great lake, but it’s great to us; here are several parks and restaurants around the lake to enjoy. Kensington Metropark has a few beaches to get you near the water, including Maple Beach and Martindale Beach. Check their website to see if paddleboat or kayak rentals are available. Or take a cruise down the Huron River in lower Wayne County by renting a kayak at Atwater Paddles in Flat Rock.

Kayaking at Huron-Clinton Metroparks

2. Order some American food

Barbecues are a staple on Fourth of July weekend, but if you’re sick of cooking like we are, support a local business and carry out some American classics! Uptown BBQ on Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion has been around for 27 years for a reason – their barbecue is unbeatable! Or if you want to go the burgers and hot dogs route, place an order at your local coney island or Basement Burger Bar!

American Coney, coney dogs in window Bowen

3. Picnic in the park

There’s something special about a picnic on a Michigan summer day. Pack up your picnic lunch (or just order carryout, we won’t judge) and head to one of metro Detroit’s beautiful parks. You can take your pick from one of the 13 Huron-Clinton Metroparks, or head to Belle Isle for views of downtown, the Conservancy, or the James Scott Fountain.

Fountain on Belle Isle

4. Get your vitamin Z

The Detroit Zoo is now open for your family to discover their diverse array of animals! Some of their indoor exhibits are currently closed, but you can explore all of their outdoor exhibits. You need to reserve a ticket online ahead of time, and masks are required.

5. Build your own bike tour

Grab your friends and family, rent a couple of MoGo bikes, and take your own bike tour of downtown Detroit! There are convenient rental stations all over the city. Check out areas you may be less familiar with, like Southwest Detroit or West Village, and add in some popular neighborhoods like Corktown, Midtown and New Center.

Bicyclist with grafitti wall on the Dequindre Cut

6. Enjoy an outdoor patio

Many restaurants and bars have opened their patios or created outdoor seating areas for patrons to enjoy their space while also being socially distanced. Some of our favorite patios include Calexico, Eatori Market, Vertical Detroit, and the new Tin Roof.


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2020 Detroit Fireworks

You’re probably wondering what happened to the 2020 Ford Fireworks show in downtown Detroit. They typically take place in June, but they have been postponed to August 31, 2020, this year in light of COVID-19. The fireworks will only be televised – crowds are not allowed to gather in Detroit to watch the show. For more information, visit their website.

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Mentioned Attractions And Venues

  1. 1
    Detroit International RiverWalk
    1340 Atwater St., Detroit, MI 48207
  2. 2
    Uptown BBQ
    15700 Livernois Ave., Detroit, MI 48221
  3. 3
    Basement Burger Bar - Detroit
    1326 Brush St., Detroit, MI 48226
  4. 4
    HopCat Detroit
    4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
  5. 5
    Huron-Clinton Metroparks
    13000 High Ridge Drive, Brighton, MI 48114
  6. 6
    Belle Isle State Park
    99 Pleasure Drive, Detroit, MI 48207
  7. 7
    Detroit Zoo
    8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI 48067
  8. 8
    1040 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  9. 9
    Eatori Market
    1215 Griswold St., Detroit, MI 48226
  10. 10
    Vertical Detroit
    1538 Centre St., Detroit, MI 48226
  11. 11
    Tin Roof
    47 E. Adams Ave., Detroit, MI 48226
  12. 12
    Atwater Paddles
    26425 Atwater St, Flat Rock, MI 48134, USA