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Things to Do in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Updated on January 25, 2014

Ann Arbor, Michigan is a great town to spend a few days. The world-class University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, meaning the town is home to art, performances, dining, lectures and more.

Go to a Museum

There are several museums at the University, but two of the most popular are the Museum of Art and the Exhibit Museum of Natural History. The recently expanded Art Museum offers works by such art world luminaries as Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso, as well as the largest collection of Asian art in the state of Michigan. The Exhibit Museum of Natural History displays fossils, examples of Michigan wildlife, tools and artifacts from different cultures and rocks and minerals. The University Museums offer free admission.


Take in a Sports Event

Football, if possible. The University of Michigan is home to the largest stadium in the United States, seating more than 109,000 fans, and Michigan fans are passionate about their football. A Michigan football game is an Event with a capital “E,” and something that any football enthusiast should experience if they’re in town. Whether it’s a sea of maize and blue doing a slo-mo wave or raising fists in the fight song penned by John Philip Sousa himself, there’s always something to see both on and off the field in the Big House. While tickets can be difficult to come by at the ticket office, fans often sell tickets they can’t use on sites like StubHub.com.


Children's Museum

Let the little ones run off some energy at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. They’ll have so much fun, they won’t realize they’re learning at the same time. They can climb on a real ambulance, play with light, and see what life was like in the 1920’s.


Take in a Show

There’s always a show going on in Ann Arbor if you know where to look. For live music try bars like The Blind Pig. Nationally recognized professional traveling shows usually perform at the Power Center, while excellent University productions often take place at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater, Hill Auditorium or Rackham Theater.


Lectures and Readings

With a top-notch university in town, lectures by field experts and books readings and signings by reputable authors occur frequently. Check online for lectures, readings and other university events that are open to the public.

Spin the Cube

If you’ve got kids take them over to the University administration building. In front is a massive 15 by 15 foot, 2400 pound cube-shaped sculpture that is perfectly balanced, making it easy to spin.


Shop

For mall shopping you can go to the Briarwood Shopping Center. In town, South University Street, Liberty Street, State Street, Main Street and Kerrytown are a few favorite shopping destinations, with clothing stores, book stores, kitchen shops, art galleries, gift shops and more.


Have a Meal

There are so many great places to eat in Ann Arbor. For something a little more upscale, head to the Gandy Dancer, a Muer seafood restaurant housed in a historic train depot, or the Earle, which serves French and Italian cuisine. The Real Seafood Company is another delicious seafood place, and Café Felix serves both tapas and full-sized entrees. Zingerman’s serves some of the best sandwiches this author has ever tasted, but they’re a bit pricey for sandwiches.


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    • profile image

      Suevonne 3 years ago

      Your answer shows real intecligenle.

    • profile image

      Vyolet 3 years ago

      We've areirvd at the end of the line and I have what I need!

    • profile image

      Carlee 3 years ago

      You've hit the ball out the park! Inleidrbce!

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      I spent almost a half year in Ann Arbor during 1966-1967 when I was a student at the University of Michigan. There is definitely a lot to do in the university area. Is the Pretzel Bell still located right off campus? It was a popular student hangout when I was there.

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