From a concert lineup featuring Backstreet Boys to Hall & Oates and even more fun in the sun, Michigan has a lot to offer this summer. 

MICHIGAN—The warm weather and summer sun have come to Michigan. From the lakeshores on the coasts to the heart of Michigan’s deep forests, the excitement for a summer of reawakening from the long isolation of the coronavirus pandemic is palpable.

But not all events are back to normal. Some, like Riverfest in St. Clair, remain cancelled out of caution, while many others insist on COVID-safe protections for guests. So The ‘Gander has brought you 21 summer highlights, and while most of our list is fun for the whole family, we’ve included two events just for adults.

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Explore Something New

Juneteenth Mobility Stroll and Roll in Dearborn

  • Held on June 19 starting at City Hall Park at 9 a.m..
  • Part of the Homage to Black Excellence program in Dearborn, being held for the first time.
  • Celebrating the freedom of Juneteenth, the event will travel from Dearborn to Detroit and back.
  • Attendees can use a wide variety of means of transportation.
  • Read more at the event’s website.

Van Gogh Museum in Detroit

  • The exhibit will be open from June 25 through mid-August.
  • There will be over 300 never seen before Van Gogh paintings.
  • Tickets are on sale now.
  • The museum will be adhering to all social distancing rules and there will be physical markers on the floor directing people where to stand. 
  • For more information please visit their website.

Michigan Science Center’s New Gallery in Detroit: Earth. Wind. Weather. 

  • Open during regular museum hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
  • $18 for adults and $14 for kids 2-17.
  • Scheduled tickets must be purchased in advance.
  • Guests must adhere to social distancing guidelines and wear a mask at all times.
  • For more information visit their website.

Muppets Take Michigan at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn

  • Interactive Muppet exhibits will showcase 100+ artifacts with 25 of the original puppets.
  • The exhibit will take place from June 5-Sept. 6 from 9:30 to 6 p.m..
  • For more information visit their website.
  • If you are unable to attend, keep an eye out for the traveling show at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

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Get in Touch with the Outdoors

Headland International Dark Sky Park 

  • Located in Mackinaw City, this park is open 24 hours a day for the best viewing of the dark sky. 
  • Camping is not permitted, however you may bring chair and blankets to be comfortable while you take in the scenery.
  • The park is following COVID safety protocols and will not be sharing telescopes, but guests are encouraged to bring their own. 
  • Please, adhere to social distancing policies.
  • Check out their website for more information.

Timbers Recreation Area in Traverse City

  • A pet friendly, 4.4 mile trail that encounters two lakes from each entry point.
  • For more information on its land conservation and COVID policies visit the website.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 

  • Beaches and trails can be explored over the 70,000 acre federally owned park.
  • The park is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day until Columbus Day.
  • Check out their website for more information.

National Cherry Festival in the Grand Traverse Region

  • The festival will be taking place July 3-10 with both virtual and in-person options.
  • You can find all of your favorite events, such as the The Porch Parade, Arts and Crafts Fair and Car Show. 
  • The staff is hard at work to ensure the safety for every guest. 
  • Visit their website to keep up to date with their event calendar.

Dow Gardens in Midland

  • 1400-foot canopy walk, the nation’s longest.
  • It’s open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. by appointment only.
  • This summer, their Garden of Glass exhibit will be open!
  • The adult pass is $10, child pass is $2 for kids 6-17 and kids 5 and under visit free.
  • Please adhere to social distancing and COVID protocols.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park in Luce County

  • Reservations are required to explore this beautiful park.
  • With over 50,000 acres there is a lot to explore from trails, waterfalls and exhibits. 
  • The park is primarily underdeveloped but the waterfall are accessible from mamy look out points and is the largest waterfall east of the Mississippi.
  • Head to their website for more information and protocols following COVID safety guidelines. 

Mackinac Island 

  • After some time off, Mackinac Island has updated various hotels and resorts for this upcoming summer of 2021 
  • With new spas, toy stores and their world famous fudge, it’s a can’t miss. 
  • For more information and specific deals head to their website to learn more.

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Festivals and Celebrations

Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids

  • Held June 4-6 and September 17-19.
  • To ensure the safety of all guests, it is required to wear your mask and social distance. 
  • There will be instrumentalists, virtual art exhibits, and evening light shows in Calder Park
  • For more information visit their website.

Grand Rapids Comic Con 

  • Taking place August 13-15
  • Located at the DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center
  • The staff and organizers of this year’s comic cons are doing their part to abide by the COVID regulations and safety protocols. 
  • Being safe and bringing your favorite celebrity guests to the Grand Rapids is the name of the game for this year’s event.
  • For tickets and more information check out this article

Frankenmuth Funtown Chowdown Food Truck Festival 

  • Featuring over 20 food trucks with various desserts, snacks, craft beers and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • The event will take place on June 10, July 8, Aug. 12, and Sept. 9 at Frankenmuth River Place Shops 925 South Main Street, Frankenmuth, MI 48734.
  • COVID restrictions will apply and all guests are asked to wear a mask and social distance. Sanitizer stations will be posted throughout the festival.
  • For more information visit their website

Thunder over Michigan Air Show at Yankee Air Museum in Belleville

  • August 7 and 8 there are morning and afternoon shows, meaning four events over two days.
  • The morning show will begin at 9 a.m. and the afternoon show will begin at 1:30 p.m.. 
  • Separate tickets are required for each show. 
  • Social distancing will be required to keep guests safe.
  • For more information visit their website.

Renaissance Festival in Holly

  • Running August 21-22.
  • It will feature full-contact armored jousting, continuous entertainment, comedy, theater shows, and great food.
  • Please, follow CDC guidelines by wearing your mask and social distancing. 
  • To purchase tickets check out their website and check out Facebook for up to date information.

Fourth of July Celebration on Mackinac Island

  • Firework Display at 10 p.m..
  • Adhere to social distancing and CDC protocols. 
  • For more information check out their website.

Motor City Pride in Detroit

  • Open June 6-7.
  • The all-volunteer run event is located at Detroit’s Hart Plaza and celebrates the lives of Michigan’s LGBTQ citizens.
  • Stay up to date on events or look for ways to volunteer on their Facebook page. 

Roar on the River in Trenton

  • Held in Elizabeth Park from July 23-25.
  • Enjoy the best Southeastern Michigan with top-rated boat racers from North America.
  • For more information head to their website.

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Over 21 Summer Fun in the Sun

Sip n’ Sail at Mackinac Island 

  • Sunset cruise in the Straits of Mackinac aboard the Isle Royale Queen III with live entertainment.
  • Cruises are available throughout the summer.
  • To purchase tickets visit

Sunday Funday at Traverse City’s Rove Estate

  • Recurring event weekly on Sundays.
  • Held by Rove Estate Vineyard and Tasting Room. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Enjoy their all day happy hour and deals.
  • Please, follow CDC guidelines and check out their Facebook for new posts and information.

The ‘Gander’s Katelyn Kivel contributed to this report.