22 Ann Arbor Activities for 2022

22 Things to Do In the Ann Arbor Area in 2022

Now that 2022 is here, we’re rolling out a list of 22 things to do in the Ann Arbor this year. All of our recommendations are being made with COVID safety precautions in mind. We are focusing on outdoor activities and indoor activities that at a minimum require masks as we write this article on January 1. The 22 events we hope to see in 2022 will be coming later.

Winter Activities

1 – Go Ice Skating

Ann Arbor Ice Skating Guide

There are lots of options for ice skating in Ann Arbor during the winter (and a few year round options). Make a plan and go ice skating as a family this winter.

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2 – Try a New Sledding Hill

Ann Arbor Sledding Hills

There are lots of sledding hills in the Ann Arbor area. How many have you tried out? Check out our list of the best Sledding Hills and try a new one for the next snow storm.

Spring Activities

3 – Visit the Peony Garden at Nichols Arboretum

Arb Peony Garden

For several weeks each spring the Peony Garden at the Arb is in bloom. Take a walk through the garden and enjoy a variety of heirloom peonies.

Summer Activities

4 – Check out all the stops on our Ice Cream Tour

Ann Arbor Ice Cream Tour

We won’t tell if you complete the tour in one day, or spread it across the whole summer.

5 – Go Berry or Cherry Picking

Ann Arbor UPick Farms

There are lots of options for berry picking throughout the summer. The seasons can vary year to year, but a few general guidelines are below:

A warm spring usually leads to earlier berries. Blueberries and raspberries have both early and late varieties leading to long picking seasons.

6 – Visit All the Public Outdoor Pools

Ann Arbor Pools

This summer make a plan to visit all of the public outdoor pools. The City of Ann Arbor has 3 Pools – Buhr Park, Fuller Park, and Veterans Park. Plus, don’t miss Rutherford Pool in Ypsilanti.

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7 – Swim in a Lake

Ann Arbor Swimming Lakes

While we’re talking about swimming, look beyond the pool to the many public lake beaches in the Ann Arbor area.

8 – Go Tubing on the Huron River

Argo Cascades

One of our favorite summer activities is tubing on the Huron. We typically tube at the Cascades and sometimes float downriver to Island Park. Last year, we did a river trip from Zeeb Rd to Delhi Metropark.

9 – River Trip

Ann Arbor River Trip Kayaking - Ready to Go

The City of Ann Arbor provides River Trips from Argo or Barton Launch (note Barton was not offered in 2021) to Gallup Park. We have done the Argo to Gallup trip multiple times and love it. We have done both single kayaks and double kayaks. Canoes are also available (and launch after the Argo Cascades).

Fall Activities

10 – Pick Apples or Visit a Cider Mill

Ann Arbor Outdoor Activities - Ann Arbor Orchards & Cider Mills

Nothing says fall in Ann Arbor more than getting fresh cider and donuts at an orchard or cider mill. Last year we visited Dexter Cider Mill a couple of times, but never made it to pick apples – plus 2020 and 2021 were not great years for apples. Hopefully the spring weather in 2022 will be better for the fall apple crop.

11 – Get Lost in a Corn Maze

Ann Arbor Corn Maze Guide

We love exploring a corn maze – and have visited several of the options near Ann Arbor. The last few years we have visited Blast Corn Maze.

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Year-Round or Multiple Season Activities

12 – Visit a New to You Playground

Ann Arbor Activities - Visit a Playground

There are so many great playgrounds in the Ann Arbor area. Why not try finding a new to you playground? In 2017, we started profiling playgrounds weekly each summer (except 2020). We currently have more than 75 playgrounds profiled around Washtenaw County with plenty left to add profiles for in 2022. Check out our lists and find a couple new to you playgrounds.

13 – Take a New Hike

5 Family Friendly Ann Arbor Hikes

A couple of years ago Hike it Baby shared a list of their favorite Family Friendly Hikes. In 2020, we added a list of walks without a playground. Then in 2021 with our upgraded playground profiles, we added a list of playgrounds that have a paved walking trail.

14 – Have a Picnic Along the River

Dexters Mill Creek North Park River

The Ann Arbor area has lots of parks along the river. Pack a picnic or grab takeout for a picnic lunch or dinner near the river. With 3 playgrounds, Gallup Park is an obvious choice for a picnic. Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park is a great choice for a takeout picnic with it’s proximity to restaurants on both Michigan Ave and in Depot Town. A few other options are:

15 – Visit All the Local Libraries

Visiting AADL

How many of our local libraries have you visited? We’ve been to all of the Ann Arbor branches plus the Ypsilanti Whittaker Rd library many times. But we’ve never been to the other Ypsilanti libraries, Dexter, Saline, or other local branch libraries. While we can only checkout books from AADL, the libraries offer a quiet place to read or work, and offer great programming.

16 – Shop at a Farmers Market

Ann Arbor Area Farmers Markets

There are lots of Farmers Markets in the Ann Arbor area. In summer and fall there is at least one almost every day. Several farmers markets operate year round or offer an indoor market on a less frequent schedule in the winter.

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17 – Visit the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum - Exterior

The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is a lot of fun for kids of all ages. Last August they opened a new STEAM PARK gallery in conjunction with Toyota. If you haven’t had a chance to visit yet, make it a priority in 2022. The preschool gallery is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers – and provides an area free of big kids for them. My daughter always loved the water in the H2OH exhibit. We remember when the Block Party was introduced as a temporary exhibit back in 2010. It was so popular it is still a fixture of the museum 12 years later – and several block replacements later.

18 – Tour the UM Museums

University of Michigan Museum of Natural History - Mastodon

The University of Michigan has three great museums for families on central campus that offer free admission (donations appreciated). In non-pandemic times, all 3 offer programming for kids and families.

The museums are close enough together that you could take a day and visit all of the museums. Or, plan to visit the museums separately.

19 – Attend a UM Sporting Event

6 Tips for Attending a Michigan Football Game with Kids

Football may be the first sport that comes to mind when we talk about attending a Michigan game, but there are so many other options – with tickets that are easier to get and much less expensive. Over the years we have attended basketball (men’s and women’s), hockey, gymnastics, volleyball, soccer, and baseball games. Other options include field hockey, tennis, wrestling, swimming, track, and more.

20 – See a Movie at Michigan or State Theater

Michigan and State Theater are great venues to see a movie. They are currently the only area theaters with a mask mandate (other than while eating/drinking). They also require COVID vaccination or a negative COVID test. They play both first run movies and classic movies. Over the years, my daughter and I have seen Miracle on 34th Street at Christmas, a Sing Along of Little Mermaid, and other movies in the main auditorium at Michigan Theater and one of the Star Wars movies at State Theater (I think it was Last Jedi).

21 – Explore a Neighborhood

Pick an area of town to explore and spend a day or part of the day exploring. Check out the parks, shopping, and find a place to eat. Writing up neighborhood itineraries has been on my article wishlist for awhile. Hopefully I’ll get some done to share before 2022 is over. A few ideas in the meantime:

  • Kerrytown
    • Visit the Farmers Market
    • Explore the Kerrytown Market & Shops
    • Have lunch at Zingerman’s, Miss Kim, Lunch Room, or one of the many other options
    • Visit the Hands-On Museum
    • Walk to North Main Park
  • Downtown Ypsilanti
  • Dexter
    • Visit Mill Creek North and Dexter Lions Playgrounds
    • Get a treat at Dexter Bakery or Dexter Creamery
    • Visit the Dexter District Library
    • Eat in your car at the A&W Drive-In (seasonal)
    • Get fresh produce at the Dexter Farmers Market

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22 – Explore Public Art

Ann Arbor Public Art - Spinning Cube

This is another Things to Do item that is awaiting its article. In summer 2021 I took lots of walks to explore Ann Arbor to find public art…but never got an article written. I still have all the photos though, so hopefully we’ll have the article ready to go by spring and summer 2022. The UM Campus is a great place to look for public sculptures and statues. Don’t miss the Cube behind the Michigan Union, the giant sculptures in front of UMMA, or the pumas in front of the UMMNH. I can tell I am an engineer, I was drawn to the art by the physics building. North campus is also a great place to walk around and see sculptures and the wave field. Throughout downtown there are murals on various buildings and of course graffiti alley behind the Michigan Theater.

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