2018 Top of the Park Kids Guide

Our 2018 Top of the Park Kids Guide has information on all of the great family-friendly activities happening as part of the 2018 Ann Arbor Summer Festival. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival runs from June 8 through July 1.
2018 Ann Arbor Top of the Park Kids Guide - Ann Arbor Summer Festival

2018 Top of the Park Kids Guide

Top of the Park is the free outdoor component of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival. This Top of the Park Kids Guide lists all of the great family friendly activities happening at Top of the Park. Top of the Park starts on Friday, June 8 and runs through Sunday, July 1. It is held every night except for Mondays.


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Where is Top of the Park

Top of the Park is held on Ingalls Mall on the University of Michigan campus. The large stage and movies are shown in front of the Rackham Graduate School Building on Washington Street. Washington Street is closed between Fletcher and Thayer for the duration of the festival. There are some chairs available in front of the stage/screen, but most guests bring blankets or their own chairs and sit in the grass on Ingalls Mall. There is also a smaller Grove Stage nestled in the trees on the west side of the Ingalls Mall.

2018 Top of the Park KidZone Tents

Each night of Top of the Park, a local organization hosts activities in the KidZone Tent. The KidZone tent is open from 5-8p. The KidZone tent is located on the Ingalls Mall at the north end of the Michigan League. It is to the right as you face the Rackham stage. It is marked as H on this map.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival - Top of the Park KidZone Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo (2009)

?Friday, June 8: KidZone: Flipside Art Studio Felted Snakes
?Saturday, June 9: KidZone: Michigan Light Project: Explorations of Light
?Sunday, June 10: KidZone: Ann Arbor Learning Community - Paint and Print
?Tuesday, June 12: KidZone: UM North Campus Children’s Center – Exploring Loose Parts
?Wednesday, June 13: KidZone: Apple Playschools: Make Recycled Instruments
?Thursday, June 14: KidZone: Children's Center for Growth & Development - Garden Play Center
?Friday, June 15: KidZone: Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Petting Zoo
?Saturday, June 16: KidZone: Summers-Knoll School - Connect with Nature
?Sunday, June 17: KidZone: Spectrum Therapy Center - Bubbles, Boats & Buried Treasure
?Tuesday, June 19: KidZone: FASCA - Taiwanese American Community Culture Event
?Wednesday, June 20: KidZone: Vault of Midnight
?Thursday, June 21: KidZone: AAHOM: Summer Science Fest
?Friday, June 22: KidZone: International Institute and Center for Japanese Studies - Games from Around the World
?Saturday, June 23: KidZone: Stone School Co-Op Preschool Make Some Music!
?Sunday, June 24: KidZone: C.S. Mott Children's Hospital
?Tuesday, June 26: KidZone: University Center for Language and Literacy - "Pete the Cat" Interactive Reading Experience
?Wednesday, June 27: KidZone: Keith Hafner's Karate - Healthy, Happy, Confident Kids
?Thursday, June 28: KidZone: UM Museum of Natural History Insects on Parade
?Friday, June 29: KidZone: LSNC All Walks of Life: Live Animal Exploration
?Saturday, June 30: KidZone: Michigan Creativity Association Destination Imagination: Contraption Extraction
?Sunday, July 1: KidZone: Stories on the Move LLC - Upcycled Storytelling Puppets

Top of the Park Kids Guide - A2SO Instrument Petting Zoo KidZone Tent


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2018 Top of the Park Spectacles

Each year there are several “spectacles” at Top of the Park. These additional performances are usually great for families. This year there are two spectacles: eVenti Verticali and Polyglot Theatre’s Ants. Note the 8p Verticali shows have been cancelled.

A2SF - Top of the Park eVenti Verticali

  • Tuesday June 19, 2018 8:00pm CANCELLED - eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
  • Tuesday June 19, 2018 9:30pm eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
  • Wednesday June 20, 2018 8:00pm CANCELLED eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
  • Wednesday June 20, 2018 9:30pm eVenti Verticali’s Wanted
  • Tuesday June 26, 2018 4:30pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Tuesday June 26, 2018 5:45pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Tuesday June 26, 2018 7:00pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Thursday June 28, 2018 4:30pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Thursday June 28, 2018 5:45pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • Thursday June 28, 2018 7:00pm Polyglot Theatre's Ants
  • A2SF - Top of the Park - Polyglot Theatre's Ants

    2018 Top of the Park Retreat

    Each night Top of the Park, kicks off with a wellness/fitness activity like yoga, martial arts, and more. While Retreat is not a kid-centric program, they are welcome to join in. Retreat activities happen on the Power Center Lawn.

    2018 Top of the Park Performances

    The big draw of Top of the Park is the nightly musical performances. There are two stages setup at Top of the Park. The larger stage is in front of Rackham and is the main stage for Top of the Park. The O&W Acoustic Stage is setup in the Grove near the Bell Tower. Music typically starts at 5p on the Acoustic Stage and at 7p on the Rackham Stage. The full performance schedule is included in each of the event listings below.

    Ann Arbor Summer Festival - Top of the Park - Rackham Stage

    Ann Arbor Summer Festival © Myra Klarman Photography.com

    ? Saturday, June 9: Top of the Park Music
    ? Sunday, June 10: Top of the Park Music
    ? Tuesday, June 12: Top of the Park Music
    ? Wednesday, June 13: Top of the Park Music
    ? Thursday, June 14: Top of the Park Music
    ? Friday, June 15: Top of the Park Music
    ? Saturday, June 16: Top of the Park Music
    ? Sunday, June 17: Top of the Park Music
    ? Tuesday, June 19: Top of the Park Music
    ? Wednesday, June 20: Top of the Park Music
    ? Thursday, June 21: Top of the Park Music
    ? Friday, June 22: Top of the Park Music
    ? Saturday, June 23: Top of the Park Music
    ? Sunday, June 24: Top of the Park Music
    ? Tuesday, June 26: Top of the Park Music
    ? Wednesday, June 27: Top of the Park Music
    ? Thursday, June 28: Top of the Park Music
    ? Friday, June 29: Top of the Park Music
    ? Saturday, June 30: Top of the Park Music
    ? Sunday, July 1: Top of the Park Music

    2018 Top of the Park Movies

    As my daughter has gotten older, we love attending the Top of the Park movies. The movies are held Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday. The full movie schedule is listed below, although not all movies are appropriate for all ages.

    Ann Arbor Summer Festival Top of the Park Movie Lineup for 2018

    ? Sunday, June 10: Wonder Woman: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Tuesday, June 12: Dreamgirls: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Wednesday, June 13: Lion: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Thursday, June 14: The Sting: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Sunday, June 17: Kubo and the Two Strings: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Tuesday, June 19: The Birdcage: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Wednesday, June 20: Minority Report: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Thursday, June 21: The Big Sick: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Sunday, June 24: Remember the Titans: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Tuesday, June 26: Some Like it Hot: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Wednesday, June 27: Galaxy Quest: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Thursday, June 28: Isle of Dogs: Top of the Park Movie
    ? Sunday, July 1: Mary Poppins: Top of the Park Movie

    2018 Top of the Park Annex

    New this year is the Top of the Park Annex offering nerdy nightlife. There are several events throughout the festival. However, not all of them are for children. For example, Ann Arbor District Library is offering events like Watercolor Painting on June 13 and Electronics Lab on June 20. Their website lists the events as for ages 21+.

    Making Masks from Recycled Materials on June 12th specifically mentions kids participating.

    2018 Top of the Park Food

    We make Culinary Row a part of many of our visits to Top the Park. Culinary row offers food booths and food trucks offering everything from drinks to dinner to dessert. Our favorite food vendor is Slow’s To Go. We have stopped for dinner on opening night in both 2016 and 2017 before my daughter went to camp for the weekend. Past favorites include Slows to Go, Chela’s, Noodles & Company, and Pizza House. 
    Slows to Go at Top of the Park's Culinary Row

    The Culinary Row vendors help to support Top of the Park. Attendees are encouraged to support the vendors instead of bringing their own food.

    2018 Culinary Row Vendors:

    • Sugar Shack
    • Sweetwater’s 
    • Stucchi’s
    • Oasis
    • Pizza House
    • Noodles & Company
    • Chela’s 
    • Hut K-Chaats
    • Ray’s Red Hots
    • Slows To Go

    What to Bring to Top of the Park

    You don’t need to bring anything to Top of the Park. However, we like to bring a blanket to sit on. You can also bring chairs to sit in. When my daughter was younger, we would bring our wagon to hold our blanket, water bottles, and so my daughter didn’t need to walk.

    If you visit in early evening, you may want sun screen. If you plan to stay into the evening for the movie, you may want to bring a sweatshirt and/or long pants. We have never had an issue with mosquitos at Top of the Park, but we are always prepared when we come for movie night. We bring mosquito spray and repellent lanterns.

    Many of the Top of the Park culinary row vendors have mobile credit card machines which makes purchasing food and snacks easy. Of course cash is always acceptable. It’s also handy to have cash on hand if you want to make a donation. The Ann Arbor Summer Festival asks for a $5 donation to help keep Top of the Park free.

    Getting to Top of the Park

    We usually drive to Top of the Park since we don’t live near downtown. My husband works at UM and has a blue parking pass. We will often use that to park in the Fletcher Parking Structure. Without the pass, there is often a $5 parking fee. The Thayer lot also has a $5 parking fee for non-pass holders. Many other UM Blue lots offer free parking after 5 or 6p. We have also parked at the Ann Structure which offers metered visitor parking and is a blue lot. It is a little further, but can be worth saving the $5 in parking. UM Parking maps can be found on their parking and transportation website.

    Biking, walking and the bus are also great options for getting to Top of the Park.

    2018 Mainstage Program

    In addition to the free Top of the Park activities, the Ann Summer Festival includes the Mainstage performances. This year the Acrobuffos Air Play show looks like it would be great for kids. Unfortunately we are booked for June 10th, so neither show fits our schedule

    Acrobuffos Air Play

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    Anna Mae

    Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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