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The ABCs of Ann Arbor: Local businesses, landmarks and characteristics from A to Z

Things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Sure, you know your ABCs. A stands for apple, L stands for lion and Z stands for zoo, right? But do you know your ABCs of Ann Arbor?

Today, we’re swapping apple for Ann Arbor Art Center, lion for Literati Bookstore, and zoo for Zingerman’s. Keep reading to get a peek into Ann Arbor’s best local businesses, landmarks, parks, attractions and characteristics. And don’t forget to practice your ABCs!

 

A: Ann Arbor Art Center  

Ann Arbor Art Center Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition, and they strive to engage minds, expand perspectives, and inspire growth in students of all ages, teachers, artists and the community. Now, they engage more than 49,500 people every year through programming, exhibitions, fun classes and the 117 Gallery Shop.

 

B: Blank Slate Creamery

Blank Slate Creamery is a local ice cream shop churning out homemade ice cream using fresh, all-natural ingredients. This little shop has even won numerous rankings as the top ice cream in Ann Arbor and throughout the state of Michigan!

 

C: The Creature Conservancy

The Creature Conservancy charities in Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of The Creature Conservancy

This nonprofit organization hosts camps, classes, private events and programs that inspire compassionate connections to wildlife and allow the public to learn about ecology, biology, conservation and more through real animal encounters. In addition to offering these programs, they serve as a home for Al the alligator, Quinn the bald eagle, Jerome the Argentine Tegu, Harper the cougar, Bedhead the porcupine and several other rescue and transplant animals.

 

D: Detroit Street Filling Station

Detroit Street Filling Station comes to us from the team behind The Lunch Room, and every eatery and bakery run by this team serves food that is entirely plant-based. That’s why both The Lunch Room and Detroit Street Filling Station landed on The 15 Best Vegan + Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Ann Arbor. This particular restaurant is housed in the historic building that was once The Staebler Family Oil Company so it offers plant-based eats with a side of history (and a great patio!).

 

E: The Earle

The Earle has been a downtown Ann Arbor favorite for more than 20 years. In addition to the decadent menu of French and Italian country cuisine, the romance is heightened by live jazz five nights a week, solo piano and solo guitar performances. Their world-class wine selection has over 1,200 options and wraps the evening up perfectly!

 

F: FoolMoon

One of the community’s favorite annual events, FoolMoon is the nighttime kick-off event to an entire weekend of foolishness and revelry. Hosted by Wonderfool Productions, the event celebrates the coming of spring with dance, laughter and handmade luminaries, interactive installations, laser shows, live music performances, and other entertainment.

And FoolMoon is followed by FestiFools, the annual, daytime event of foolishness and art. This enormous public art spectacular showcases hundreds of colorful, bizarre, human-powered paper-mâché puppets made by members of the community and U of M students.

 

G: Gallup Park Canoe Livery

One of the highlights of Ann Arbor is the Huron River, and one of the best places to see the river is on top of it! Gallup Park Canoe Livery in Gallup Park offers canoe, two-person kayak, one-person kayak, kid kayak, paddle boat and rowboat rentals, plus concessions, merchandise and river-themed programs. And the park itself offers 69 acres of open space for play, recreation, picnicking and more.

 

H: Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum  

Highlighted in 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor, the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum is home to countless interactive exhibits where children and adults can get hands-on and discover their inner scientist. Visiting the museum any day of the week means you can explore exhibits like Michigan Nature, Lyons Country Store, MediaWorks, and DTE Energy Foundation Light and Optics.

 

I: Innovation

Ann Arbor loves art, creativity, discovering new things and supporting new local businesses, which makes it the perfect headquarters of innovation. In fact, our hometown institution, The University of Michigan, was ranked on Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities 2018 and the city of Ann Arbor was ranked on the Livability 2017 Best Cities For Entrepreneurs!

 

J: Jim Toy Community Center

The Jim Toy Community Center is a resource center that exists to provide information, education, social events and advocacy by and for the queer and ally community in our county. In addition to providing resources and awareness, they help foster an inclusive community here in Ann Arbor and host Ann Arbor Pride every summer.

 

K: Kerrytown Market & Shops

Kerrytown is a charming market district located just a few blocks from the heart of downtown Ann Arbor. Here, you’ll find the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, other annual events like Kerrytown KindleFest, beloved restaurants like Miss Kim and The Lunch Room, as well as local shops 16 Hands, Ann Arbor Spice Merchants, Spun and more.

 

L: Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore What to do in downtown Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore is a locally owned and operated book-lovers’ haven in downtown Ann Arbor. On the store’s lower level, you’ll find the bookstore and the team’s famous public typewriter which invites anyone and everyone to type. Over the years, they’ve accumulated thousands of love notes, poems, sentences and salutations. Published in 2018, “Notes From A Public Typewriter” compiles some of their favorites alongside essays, photos and more. Stop by to shop local for books, type your own note on the Literati public typewriter, and head upstairs to visit Literati Coffee, a full-service coffee shop.  

 

M: University of Michigan Museum of Art

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan budget-friendly under $20 free

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via University of Michigan Museum of Art

Located on the university campus, the University of Michigan Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the country. Their collections represent 150 years of art collecting and include everything from 1000 BCE Middle Eastern artifacts to 21st-century paintings. Admission to the museum is always free, which makes it one of our favorite budget-friendly attractions in town! To learn more, check out 14 Things to Do in Ann Arbor Under $20.  

 

N: Nichols Arboretum

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two educational and environmental spaces on the UM campus. The botanical gardens include eleven outdoor areas full of bonsai, native and medicinal plants, perennials and more. And during colder months, you can enjoy the year-round indoor conservatory filled with plants from around the world. The arboretum spans miles of trails and land with impressive collections of both native and exotic trees and shrubs.

 

O: Ozone House

Nonprofits and charities in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Leisa Thompson via Ozone House

Based in the Ann Arbor area with facilities in both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Ozone House is a community-based, nonprofit agency that helps young people lead safe, healthy and productive lives. They do this by offering high-quality housing and support programs, as well as services that provide support, intervention, training and assistance to runaway, homeless and high-risk youth and their families. To learn more about this and more organizations in the area, check out 23 Local Charities in the Ann Arbor Area and How You Can Help.

 

P: Pinckney State Recreation Area

Covering a whopping 11,000 acres, Pinckney State Recreation Area is one of our favorite outdoor destinations in the Ann Arbor area. Known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes, the park also offers over forty miles of multi-use trails, picnicking, playgrounds, beaches, a concession stand, boat launches and rowboat, canoe, paddle boat and kayak rentals. To find more ways to opt outside in and around Ann Arbor, check out 8 Things to Do in the Ann Arbor Area for Outdoor Enthusiasts.

 

Q: Quality of life

Ann Arbor is consistently ranked on research and data-based lists of the best places to live in the United States. In 2018, our city ranked the number one city on the Livability Top 100 Best Places To Live. This list measures data points that cover economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and healthcare.

Other rankings and lists include the 2018 National Geographic list The Best Cities in the United States, RewardExpert’s Best Mid-Sized Cities to Visit in 2017, the Livability 2018 10 Best Places to Raise a Family, the National Geographic ranking of the happiest cities in the United States, and Realtor.com’s 2018 ranking of the Cities Where Home Buyers Have the Least Amount of Debt.

 

R: Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of World War II, representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards during the war. And many of those real Rosies worked in factories right here in the Ann Arbor area. To celebrate this, 3,755 people gathered at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center in Ypsilanti in 2017 to beat the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Rosie the Riveter. And this Ypsi gathering had 58 original Rosies who worked in factories during WWII!

In addition to celebrating history, this group gathered to support the Yankee Air Museum’s effort to save, preserve and renovate Rosie’s historic World War II-era factory: the Willow Run Bomber Plant located just minutes outside the heart of Ypsilanti.

 

S: State Theater

Paired with its sister venue, The Michigan Theater, the State Theater is an excellent representation of Ann Arbor’s proud history and passion for indie art. Today, the two historic theaters offer regular showings of indie movies, limited releases and special screenings as well as live music shows, performances and more.

 

T: Ann Arbor Triathlon

Every year, our Ann Arbor community hosts countless recreation and racing events to celebrate our community and our parks. The annual Ann Arbor Triathlon is the culmination of all of this and happens every year near the end of the summer. Beginning at Halfmoon Lake in Pinckney State Recreation Area, racers swim the waters of Halfmoon, bike the country roads of the surrounding rural area, and run the 5-mile classic Poto Trail course to complete the challenge. You can get more information here.

 

U: University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is continually ranked amongst the best universities in the nation, and, in the US News & World Report 2019 ranking of the best national universities, it makes the top 30. Boasting a total undergraduate enrollment of just under 30,000, UM offers students more than 1,500 organizations, more than 60 Greek chapters, and an impressive lineup of athletics for both athletes and fans. It’s also our number one reason in 10 Reasons Ann Arbor is the Best College Town in America.

 

V: Vinology

Owned and operated by the Jonna family, this neighborhood wine bar, dinner destination and event venue boasts a chic atmosphere, 150 wines and a New American menu. Their team has more than 40 years of experience in the food and wine business and offers everything from weekend brunch to wedding services.

 

W: Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine Brewing Co Ann Arbor craft breweries

Photo courtesy of Brit Hueter via Wolverine State Brewing Co.

Wolverine State Brewing Co. snagged their W in the ABCs of Ann Arbor because they represent both our community’s love and passion for the University of Michigan Wolverines (Go Blue!) and our community’s love for craft beer.

And this Ann Arbor craft brewery is the first and only all-lager microbrewery in the state of Michigan! That means a visit to the taproom will be an exploration of absolutely everything a lager can do—from their solid, approachable flagship to their innovative, ingredient-driven and aged creations.

 

X: X-Golf Ann Arbor

X-Golf is a franchise and creator of what is called the most innovative and accurate golf simulator in the world. The Ann Arbor location is minutes from the heart of town in Saline and is different from other locations because the team also offers a full bar and restaurant with pizza, mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders and pretzels, craft beer, bar games like shuffleboard and darts, and nine big screen TVs. So you can come for a drink, come to cheer on your favorite football team, play some virtual golf, host your own event or even join X-League!

 

Y: Ypsilanti

A celebration of Ann Arbor wouldn’t be complete without a feature on its surrounding communities, and Ypsilanti is a great place to start. This community is located on Ann Arbor’s eastern border, has a dense history in automobile production and World War II, and is now home to some of our favorite local museums, businesses, restaurants, events and parks in the area. To explore the community, check out Ypsi Real, a brand managed by Destination Ann Arbor.

 

Z: Zingerman’s

Zingerman's Creamery Beer and Cheese pairing March 2018

Photo courtesy of Emma Boonstra via Zingerman’s Creamery

A hallmark of Ann Arbor’s entrepreneurial character, Zingerman’s Company of Businesses began humbly in 1982 as a small delicatessen in a historic building that was once a neighborhood grocery store. But when founders Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig wanted to expand Zingerman’s Delicatessen, they chose to avoid the typical franchise model in favor of expanding their expertise, their team and their company into new, independent businesses. Now, our community boasts a whole array of businesses—from bakeries and restaurants to training services and wedding venues—operating under the Zingerman’s name. You can learn about all of them in Your Guide to 14 Zingerman’s Businesses in Ann Arbor.

 

Do you know your ABCs?

Give your favorite Ann Arbor landmarks, businesses and characteristics a shoutout in the comments below!

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15 Winter Date Ideas in the Ann Arbor Area

Winter date ideas in Ann Arbor Michigan

Winter in Michigan brings us our coldest, snowiest and coziest months of the year. Sure, that means date night needs to head indoors, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find something fun to do in town.

We rounded up some of our favorite things to do indoors in the Ann Arbor area, including comedy shows, live music, art classes, museums, theater productions, food, cocktails and so much more.

For even more local date ideas, check out 16 Ann Arbor Date Ideas That Don’t Involve Going to a Restaurant and 10 Ann Arbor Date Ideas Perfect for Any Time of Year.

 

Click these links to jump ahead and see the best date ideas in each category:

Adventures | Classes | Food + Drink | Museums | Shows

 

Adventures

 

Escape Decode.

Decode Ann Arbor escape room

Photo courtesy of Peter Doyle via Decode 

As Michigan’s top escape game, Decode offers some of the most interesting and complex escape rooms in the state—and they have facilities in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit! In Ann Arbor, their facility offers a three-part adventure called Minerva’s Trilogy. The story is about Minerva, an adolescent Artificial Intelligence machine with lofty goals. The Minerva Project and Minerva’s Return are the first and last parts, both one-hour escape rooms. And the second part, Minerva’s Escape, is a free puzzle hunt through downtown Ann Arbor.

 

Skate at Yost Ice Arena.

The University of Michigan ice arena, Yost Ice Arena, offers programs like Public Skate, Noon Skate and Sticks-n-Pucks. All three allow you to skate at one of the most recognized and iconic rinks in college hockey! Public Skate admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students, kids and U-M faculty. For $3 more dollars, you can rent skates, too. And Noon Skate prices are even lower. Get all the pricing details here and be sure to check the arena schedule before you go.

For more ice skating options in town, check out Buhr Outdoor Ice Arena and Pool and Ann Arbor Ice Cube!

 

Climb at Planet Rock.

Both beginner and experienced climbers can find fun challenges and learning opportunities at Planet Rock. Ann Arbor’s premier, indoor rock climbing gym, Planet Rock offers more than 25,000 square feet of climbing surface, a full training area and a giant bouldering mushroom. Their second location in Madison Heights offers a 15-meter official competition speed climbing wall and an ice climbing training area as well!

 

 

Classes

 

Learn at the Ann Arbor Art Center.

Ann Arbor Art Center things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition. They do this through rotating exhibitions in the 117 Gallery, special events, and an impressive lineup of classes and workshops. Topics on the class calendar include everything from drawing and painting to metalsmithing and wheel throwing in the Ceramics Studio. To see the class schedule, click here.

 

Bake at Zingerman’s Bakehouse.

When you sign up for a baking or cooking class at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, you’ll get an insight into their delicious breads, pastries, cookies, cakes and more! The class schedule includes pizza, doughnuts, French baguettes, soups, brownies and so much more. The best part is Zingerman’s takes care of all the cleanup and you get to take home your leftovers. Check out the class schedule here.

 

 

Food + Drink  

 

Sip coffee at Hyperion Coffee Co.

Hyperion Coffee Labs classes Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Erica Perry via Hyperion Coffee Co.

The coffee source for many of our favorite coffee shops in Ann Arbor and around the state, Hyperion is an outstanding roaster located right in Ypsi. In addition to brewing their own coffees and serving them in their café, they host Labs where you can learn, sip coffee and take some home, too! Topics cover every process of roasting and go all the way to home brewing methods. To learn more about Hyperion Labs, click here.

And to find more Ann Arbor area coffee shops, check out The 16 Best Coffee Shops in the Ann Arbor Area.

 

Sip cocktails at The Last Word.

Repeatedly named as Ann Arbor’s best cocktail bar, The Last Word is a hidden gem, literally. Located underground with no exterior signage, and offering dim lighting and an outstanding bar program, it’s a bar designed in true speakeasy fashion. The drink menu includes high-quality wines and craft beers alongside cocktails prepared with fresh ingredients and house-made syrups and bitters. The food menu includes crafted dishes like Pork Belly Tostada, Duck Confit Hash and Fried Chicken Buns—and it’s available until midnight during the week and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday!

 

Get dinner at Aventura.

Aventura is a charming spot in the heart of Downtown Ann Arbor. And tapas are the perfect date night dish! Their culinary team offers authentic Spanish cuisine and culture including tapas, paella, vino and delicious, artisan cocktails. Inspired by the old-world atmosphere and the historical nature of the building itself, restaurateur Sava Lelcaj designed the restaurant from the bones of the original, 1872 space by utilizing classic Spanish design elements paired with works by local artists.

To learn more and check out other romantic restaurants in town, check out The 15 Best Date Night Restaurants in Ann Arbor.

 

 

Museums

 

Visit University of Michigan Museum of Art.

University of Michigan Museum of Art Ann Arbor Michigan date night ideas

Photo courtesy of University of Michigan Museum of Art

The University of Michigan’s art collection is among the oldest in the nation. Years before the great art museums of Detroit, Toledo or Chicago were founded, UM students and the general public had free access to the on-campus gallery. Today, you can explore more than 20,000 artworks, special exhibits and educational experiences, and admission is still free!

 

Visit Yankee Air Museum.

Yankee Air Museum is an aviation, aerospace and science museum located at Willow Run Airport just a few minutes outside of Ypsilanti. Exhibits offer hands-on experiences and insights into World War I and World War II, Willow Run and Rosie the Riveter, The Vietnam War, aircraft restoration and so much more.

 

 

Shows

 

See a movie at Michigan Theater.

Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Michigan Theater

The Michigan Theater Foundation was founded in 1979 to save the Michigan Theater from the wrecking ball—and we’re so glad it was. Founded in 1928, the theater is now home to three screening spaces for independent movies, concerts, comedy shows, national tours and more. Check out the current films here and peruse the special event schedule here. Or, head over to the historic State Theatre for even more movies and shows!

 

Listen to music at The Ark.

The Ark is Ann Arbor’s destination for live music. Founded in 1965 by four area churches, the venue now offers over 300 nights of shows each year in one of the best listening rooms anywhere. In the past, they’ve brought Howie Day, Blind Pilot and the Violent Femmes to town! See all their upcoming events here.

 

Laugh at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase.

Originally opened in 1984, this comedy headquarters offers a lineup of up-and-coming stand-up stars, as well as nationally touring acts. The 18+ venue has hosted Tim Allen, Drew Carey and Ellen DeGeneres in the past, and has a calendar full of events every single weekend! You can see that calendar here.

 

See a show at Purple Rose Theatre Company.

Located in Chelsea, The Purple Rose was founded in 1991 by Chelsea native and critically-acclaimed actor, Jeff Daniels. The building that houses the company’s Garage Theatre was once a used car and bus garage owned by Daniels’ grandfather. Now, the facility has developed into one of the best places for theatre production in the state. Click here to see the schedule of current and upcoming shows.

 

Laugh at Pointless Brewery & Theatre.

Pointless Brewery & Theatre combines two things that make for the perfect date night: craft beer and laughter. In the taproom, you can taste beers brewed on-site and enjoy frequent events like league shows, improv games, showcases and more. To see the theatre and improv show schedule, click here.

 

 

Do you have a go-to?

If you already have the perfect winter date idea in the Ann Arbor area, tell us about it in the comments below!

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The 15 Best Gyms in the Ann Arbor Area

CrossFit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Whether it’s the beginning of a new year or the middle of the year, beginning a new fitness practice is always a good idea. Doing so can energize your current program, help you reach your health goals, introduce you to a new community and so much more.

We rounded up a selection of the Ann Arbor area’s best facilities that have programs, equipment, trainers, classes and education opportunities suitable for newbies and old pros alike. Keep reading to find your perfect fit!

 

Jump ahead to find Ann Arbor’s best:

Fitness center | CrossFit box | Group training + coaching

 

 

Fitness centers

Fitness centers Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

Ann Arbor YMCA

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

The Ann Arbor YMCA offers a six-lane, 25-yard pool for lap swim, a zero-depth entry family pool, an indoor track, locker rooms, and an 8,200-square-foot fitness floor complete with cardio equipment, a fully-equipped free weight area, lifting machines, stretching areas and more. Your membership can grant you daily access as well as fitness classes, introductory programs, childcare, volunteer opportunities and more.

 

Crunch Fitness 

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Crunch gyms can be found in locations throughout the country offering fun group fitness classes, weight lifting equipment, cardio machines, professional personal trainers and so much more. And their defining characteristic is their focus on judgment-free encouragement and inclusivity. Ann Arbor’s Crunch facility was once Arbor Fit Club and, as the gym makes its transition, Crunch will keep the smiling faces, experienced trainers, and hometown atmosphere we love while adding extra bonuses like new equipment and improved facilities.

 

Chelsea Wellness Center 

Located in Chelsea | Facebook

Chelsea Wellness Center is a community facility perfectly suited to help meet every fitness and health goal. Their services include medical fitness programs, group exercise classes, personal training, massage therapy, Pilates and aquatics programs, nutrition counseling, childcare, wellness coaching and a café where you can get healthy snacks and beverages.

 

The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

In addition to offering a state-of-the-art fitness facility, The Health & Fitness Center at Washtenaw Community College offers services like personal training, fitness assessments, childcare, nutrition counseling, group fitness classes and more. And access isn’t limited to college students!

 

Powerhouse Gym

Locations in Ypsilanti, Saline, South Lyon, Novi and more | Facebook

Powerhouse Gym originally opened in Highland Park, Michigan in 1974. Today, the health club chain has locations all over the world, including several in the Ann Arbor area. Here, you can find facilities in Ypsilanti, Saline, South Lyon and Novi, and each one offers the motivating Powerhouse atmosphere and premier exercise equipment.

 

 

CrossFit boxes

CrossFit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

734 Strength & Performance

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

734 Strength and Fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of 734 Strength & Performance

734 is Ypsilanti’s original CrossFit gym. Their 4,000-square-foot facility is dedicated to functional fitness which means their equipment focuses on pushing, pulling, jumping, lifting, climbing, throwing and every other exercise the human body is innately capable of performing. To learn more about their state-of-the-art facility and their coaches, check out the website here.

 

CrossFit TreeTown

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

CrossFit TreeTown is the only CrossFit affiliate on the north side of Ann Arbor and is dedicated to making CrossFit an approachable and successful practice for everyone regardless of experience or fitness level. And their programs aren’t limited to traditional CrossFit! They also offer Goal Oriented Aerobic Training, a weightlifting club and yoga classes.

 

CrossFit Ypsilanti

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

CrossFit Ypsilanti is a tight-knit community of fitness lovers, health nuts and trainers. To foster their atmosphere of community and strength, each fitness class is limited to 15 people to ensure you can get individual attention and support. Programs in CrossFit, kettlebell, Olympic lifting and nutrition are all available.

 

Joust Strength + Fitness

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Joust fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of A Girl in Love Photography via Joust Strength + Fitness

Ann Arbor’s Joust Strength + Fitness exists to help you achieve all of your strength-training goals, find the perfect fitness program, learn proper nutrition, and create a diverse community of fitness enthusiasts. In their CrossFit training facility, they also offer kettlebells, yoga, gymnastics and Olympic weightlifting and nutrition services with the on-site RD.

 

Wolverine Strength and Conditioning

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Wolverine is one of the largest and cleanest CrossFit gyms in Ann Arbor. Their huge, open facility covers 6,000 square feet of air-conditioned and heated indoor space as well as programs for newbies, old pros, competitors, weightlifters and more. Because they’re so community focused, they also host events and potlucks for members!

 

 

Group training + coaching

Group fitness classes Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

 

Applied Fitness Solutions

Locations in Ann Arbor, Plymouth and Rochester Hills | Facebook

Applied Fitness Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of Applied Fitness Solutions

Applied Fitness Solutions offers a unique program of fitness training and amenities that combines personal fitness coaching with fun group workouts. Their service includes check-ins with your coach outside of the gym, online tools, fitness assessments and more. To learn more about how their team is different, check out the website here.

 

Blue Lion Fitness

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Blue Lion Fitness is a team of experts and a community of people all striving to reach and support their health and fitness goals. Their program is centered around unique, one-hour classes which include elements of high-intensity interval training, division I strength and conditioning, core strength training, suspension training and plyometric training. To see the class calendar which offers options every day of the week, check out the website here.

 

Imagine Fitness & Yoga

Located in Ann Arbor | Facebook

Imagine Fitness Yoga Ann Arbor Michigan gyms

Photo courtesy of Imagine Fitness & Yoga

Imagine is a unique fitness center, gym and yoga studio all rolled into one. Their tailored health and wellness programs offer personalized support and treatment for group training in cycling, weightlifting, circuit training, various styles and levels of yoga, Pilates and more. As an added bonus, they also have heated floors in their studio rooms! 

 

Wildly Fit

Locations in Ann Arbor and Brighton | Facebook

Wildly Fit Ann Arbor Michigan best gyms

Photo courtesy of Jon Crays at ICON Interactive via Wildly Fit

Founded in 2012, Wildly Fit has grown into a center for growth, learning and recovery through their fitness center and two Movement Lab locations. Together, these facilities offer physical therapy, recovery programs, corrective fitness, massage therapy, personal training, group fitness, private classes and more. These services can help members manage chronic illness, improve athletic performance and reduce everyday discomforts.

 

Ypsi Studio

Located in Ypsilanti | Facebook

Located in the heart of downtown Ypsilanti, this boutique studio offers group exercise classes, personal training, indoor cycling, yoga, Pilates, nutrition coaching, Zumba and more. And classes are always limited to 15 people to ensure personalized attention and support. Each week, Ypsi Studio offers more than 25 group exercise classes and you can see the schedule here.

 

 

Do you have a favorite?  

If you want to recommend a local gym, let us know in the comments below!

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16 Birthday Party Ideas in the Ann Arbor Area that are Better than Dinner and Drinks

things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

If you’ve been in Ann Arbor long, the following sentence probably won’t surprise you. Our hometown is loaded with amazing local food and impressive craft beer. So, when you’re looking for a place to celebrate your birthday, dinner and drinks is always a good option. But if you’ve been there, done that, we’re happy to tell you it’s not your only option.

When you’re looking for something more out of the box, you’ll find plenty of escape rooms, classes, tastings, tours, businesses and venues that can help you have an amazing birthday. We rounded up those experiences in one place and included everything from last-minute options to huge, memorable experiences. There are enough things on this list for your next 16 birthdays!

Looking for kid-friendly ideas? Check out 18 Things to Do with Kids in Ann Arbor for inspiration.

 

 

Escape at Decode.

As Michigan’s top escape game, Decode offers some of the most interesting and complex escape rooms in the state—and they have facilities in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Detroit! In Ann Arbor, their facility offers a three-part adventure called Minerva’s Trilogy. The story is about Minerva, an adolescent Artificial Intelligence machine with lofty goals. The Minerva Project and Minerva’s Return are the first and last parts, both one-hour escape rooms. And the second part, Minerva’s Escape, is a free puzzle hunt through downtown Ann Arbor.

 

Take a tour with By the Sidewalk Food Tours.

Birthday things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Founded right here in Ann Arbor and inspired by our hometown neighborhoods, chefs, businesses and history, By the Sidewalk Food Tours explores all of that and more. The Classic Ann Arbor By The Sidewalk tour is a three hour, guided walking tour through downtown Ann Arbor and Kerrytown that pairs food tastings with history, art, architecture and local stories.

 

Play (and eat) at Revel & Roll.

Revel & Roll offers 27 lanes of bowling, as well as billiards tables, an arcade with nearly 100 different games, shuffleboard, more televisions than anyone in the country, and chef-inspired dining options in case you work up a hunger.

 

Tour Michigan Stadium.  

Things to do in Ann Arbor this September 2018

Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the United States and the second largest stadium in the world. Though the official capacity is 107,601, its record attendance is ‎115,109, which broke a record on September 7, 2013. Superfans can tour The Big House at just $20 per person and see the field, the game-day locker room, the press box and more. Other tour options offer an inside looks at the Crisler Center and Yost Ice Arena, too! To learn about all of them, click here.  

 

Take a class with White Lotus Farms.

White Lotus Farms is an Ann Arbor institution, specializing in organic produce, homemade breads, artisan goat and cow’s milk cheeses, and soothing botanicals. Their varied experience and knowledge on the farm, in the bakery, in the creamery and with botanicals makes their classes some of the most fun in the region. Topics include cheese making, croissant baking, food pairing and more. To see the schedule, click here.

 

Laugh at Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase.

Originally opened in 1984, this comedy headquarters offers a lineup of up-and-coming stand-up stars, as well as nationally touring acts. The 18+ venue has hosted Tim Allen, Drew Carey and Ellen DeGeneres in the past, and has a calendar full of events every single weekend! You can see that calendar here.

 

Practice art at Ann Arbor Art Center.

Ann Arbor Art Center things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor Art Center

Since 1909, the Ann Arbor Art Center has served as a contemporary forum for the visual arts through education, exploration, collaboration and exhibition. They do this through rotating exhibitions in the 117 Gallery, special events, and an impressive lineup of classes and workshops. Topics include everything from drawing and painting to metalsmithing and wheel throwing in the Ceramics Studio. To see the class schedule, click here.

 

Get behind the scenes at Bløm Meadworks.

Bløm (pronounced bloom) is a hyper-local meadery located in the heart of Ann Arbor. Unlike many other meaderies and cideries, every ingredient is sourced from Michigan and their mead is fermented like a dry craft cider so it’s not as thick or as sweet as other meads you may have tried.

Want to learn even more? Their event calendar includes things like board game night, yoga in the taproom and monthly tours of Bløm. For $10 on the first Saturday for every month, you can take a tour of the meadworks that explores the Bløm story, the name, the crafting process and more. You can get more information on the event page here.

 

Build a personalized tour with Savor Ann Arbor.

Founder and Owner Marcie fell in love with Ann Arbor through its food, attended the University of Michigan, and has lived here ever since—always learning and trying new restaurants, meals and cuisines along the way. Her customizable tours offered through Savor Ann Arbor explore our town’s history, architecture, shops and food in fascinating ways. You can start with a template like Mixology, Chocolate Heaven, Arts & Architecture, or you can customize your experience from the ground up.

 

See a show at Dreamland Theater.

Dreamland Theater is unlike any other theater in Michigan. This small, non-profit puppet theater and community space is located in downtown Ypsilanti and offers classes and performances in puppetry, theater, music, independent film and other arts. To find out what’s going on right now at Dreamland, check out their Facebook page here.

 

Learn to cook with Zingerman’s Bakehouse.

Birthday things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

When you sign up for a baking or cooking class at Zingerman’s Bakehouse, you’ll get an insight into their delicious breads, pastries, cookies, cakes and more! The class schedule includes pizza, doughnuts, French baguettes, soups, brownies and so much more. The best part is Zingerman’s takes care of all the cleanup and you get to take home your leftovers. Check out the class schedule here.

 

Visit Yankee Air Museum.

Yankee Air Museum is an aviation, aerospace and science museum located at Willow Run Airport just a few minutes outside of Ypsilanti. Exhibits offer hands-on experiences and insights into World War I and World War II, Willow Run and Rosie the Riveter, The Vietnam War, aircraft restoration and so much more.

 

Improvise at Pointless Brewery & Theatre.

If you like your craft beer served with improv comedy, then Pointless Brewery & Theatre is the perfect place to celebrate your birthday. In the taproom, you can taste beers brewed on-site and enjoy frequent events like league shows, improv games, showcases and more. And if you want to learn the ropes, check out Pointless School of Improv for information on classes. To see the theatre and improv show schedule, click here.

 

See a show at Purple Rose Theatre Company.

Located in Chelsea, The Purple Rose was founded in 1991 by Chelsea native and critically-acclaimed actor, Jeff Daniels. The building that houses the company’s Garage Theatre was once a used car and bus garage owned by Daniels’ grandfather. Now, the facility has developed into one of the best places for theatre production in the state. Click here to see the schedule of current and upcoming shows.

 

Enjoy a tasting at Wines on Main.

Wines on Main things to do in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Wines on Main

Wines on Main is a cozy fine wine shop in downtown Chelsea. Their team of experts offers learning experiences and tastings from their collection of boutique wines, which are sourced from the finest regional, local and global wine cellars. You’re invited to come by for daily wine tastings, monthly educational classes, wine flights and more.

 

Play at Pinball Pete’s.

Pinball Pete’s opened its doors more than 30 years ago and has since become the Ann Arbor destination for arcade fun. You can spend your quarters along the entire wall of pinball machines, play video games, and challenge your friends to a game of pool or air hockey.

 

Happy birthday!

If you have an interesting party suggestion, tell us about it in the comments below.  

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Michigan-Inspired Art You Can Buy from Michigan Etsy Shops

Michigan art Etsy shops

As the headquarters of handmade and vintage goods, Etsy is a great place to start your search for one-of-a-kind art whether you’re shopping for home goods, gifts or even apparel. Their marketplace provides a place for artists, collectors and creatives to offer their best work, and our home state provides some spectacular inspiration.

We rounded up the Etsy shops that are helping us show off our mitten pride, our #GoBlue pride, our Ann Arbor pride, our Ypsilanti pride and, of course, our love for the #PureMichiganLakeEffect. Next time you need a handmade piece of art, start your search here.

 

37prime

DeWitt | Etsy shop

Michigan art Etsy shops

Photo courtesy of 37prime

Emily Frushour has been pursuing her passion for art and creativity since she was a child coloring in Care Bear coloring books. After studying graphic design at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design, she started her own small business, taught children’s art classes out of her home, and worked as a graphic designer for schools and other small businesses. Now, you can shop her watercolor and mixed media prints on Etsy! Her inventory includes art inspired by the Wolverines, paintings of the Great Lakes, and customizable options.

 

Beneath the Sail

Charlevoix | Etsy shop

The map art at Beneath the Sail is unlike any other map art you’ll find on Etsy. Each topographic creation is locally designed by their team then laser-cut and framed in a Baltic Birch wood frame. Maps in the shop include travel destinations like the Grand Canyon and San Francisco, as well as Michigan-inspired pieces that represent the Great Lakes, interior lakes and even Mackinac Island. Check out this Great Lakes Topographic Cribbage Board!

 

Blue Dot Maps

Ann Arbor | Etsy shop

Michigan art Etsy shops

Photo courtesy of Blue Dot Maps

Ahmed and his team craft wooden, 3D and 2D maps on wood blocks and even live edge wood pieces. Their inventory includes everything from minimalist coasters and serving trays to detailed city maps you can hang on your wall. We love this Ann Arbor map etched on a locally harvested and milled round of Ash tree! Click here to see even more on their website. 

 

Brush and Timber Co.  

Grand Rapids | Etsy shop

What began as a tiny booth at Changing Thymes in Grandville has transformed into a brilliant, family-run Etsy shop offering handcrafted wood signs that can add warmth to any home. The designs begin with Karen Kemme’s daughter, then Karen paints them by hand, and her husband frames. Heavily inspired by their home state, you’ll find signs that represent the Michigan country, lake life and more. We love this Michigan Wood Sign that defines what it means to be a Michigander.

 

Cruz Creative Co.

Detroit | Etsy shop

Michigan art Etsy shops

Photo courtesy of Cruz Creative Co.

Owner, designer and maker Susi Cruz is a graphic designer and painter who also likes to dabble in drawing, screen printing, letterpress art and block printing. In her shop, you’ll find colorful and quirky designs that show off pride for the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Detroit and specific local landmarks.

 

Dilly Dalian

Ann Arbor | Etsy shop

Right out of Ann Arbor, Caili Dalian crafts hand illustrated paper and fabric goods that show off her love for the mitten. From greeting cards and save the date announcements to art prints and gifts, her designs are as colorful as our beautiful state. If you don’t believe us, check out this fun Ann Arbor Map Art Print.

 

For the Love of Maps

Rochester | Etsy shop

Michigan art Etsy shops

Photo courtesy of For the Love of Maps

For the Love of Maps is a huge shop on Etsy with an inventory of more than 200 items that includes local, national and international maps, state and city-inspired artwork, quirky prints and more. We had a hard time choosing a favorite example, so we rounded up a few Ann Arbor-based pieces: I Left My Heart In Ann Arbor, The History of Michigan Football, Ann Arbor Is Where The Heart Is and Live Every Day Like It’s An Autumn Saturday in Ann Arbor.

 

Jeff Joseph Art Prints

Brighton | Etsy shop

Artist Jeff Joseph creates original works of art using oil paints then offers high-quality prints in his Etsy shop. Heavily inspired by his Michigan home, prints include representations of Yost Ice Arena, Tiger Stadium, University of Michigan landmarks and Wolverine celebrities. And, though we hate to mention Michigan State, Jeff’s Spartan art is impressive, too.

 

jenQ

Grand Rapids | Etsy shop

If you want a bit of Michigan art that isn’t as obvious as a map, we recommend shopping jenQ. Her nature-inspired abstract art is pieced together from collected wood bark found on the ground right here in Michigan. Beautiful either alone or hung as multiples, these framed works of art will add warmth and a statement piece to any room.

 

Jodi Lynn’s Emporium of Doodles

Detroit | Etsy shop

Artist Jodi Lynn Burton has been doodling her whole life, but she only realized she could sell her doodles as one-of-a-kind artistic creations a few years ago. Now, thankfully, we can all shop her cartoonish pins, illustrations, prints and cards. With more than 100 illustrations to choose from, you can celebrate your love for camping, your love for Ypsilanti, and even your love for David Bowie.

 

KUHL Art 

Milan | Etsy shop

Michigan art Etsy shops

Photo courtesy of KUHL Art

Owners, creators and married couple Kristen and Chase create prints, paintings and wood art available in their Etsy shop. The inventory includes uniquely designed and hand-pulled screen printed tees, tanks, towels, posters, koozies, wood cutting boards, coasters and screen printed wooden wall decor. Check out this colorful Hand-Pulled Ann Arbor Screen Print Poster.

 

Lilac Pop Studio

Detroit | Etsy shop

Janna Coumoundouros is an artist and photographer based out of Detroit. Popular for taking photos of places and moments that other people might overlook, her renditions of Ann Arbor landmarks like Nickels Arcade, Graffiti Alley and Michigan Stadium would add character and color to any home.

 

Michigan Imagery

DeWitt | Etsy shop

Michigan art Etsy shops

Photo courtesy of Michigan Imagery

The team behind Michigan Imagery, creates Michigan-inspired metal artwork for the home, the car and even the man cave. Their Michigan lake maps come in various inland lake and Great Lake shapes, and can even be customized to represent your favorite lake. To show off your Wolverine pride, check out this section in their Etsy shop.

 

Midwest Coast Studios

East Lansing | Etsy shop

At Midwest Coast Studios, the team hand makes historic map prints directly on wood. Images are transferred to the handmade pine base stained with the stain of your choice then sealed with a polyacrylic sealer to preserve. The map design and the wood base are both hand-distressed so no two maps will be the same. In addition to custom creations and international maps, the inventory includes historic Michigan maps and an Ann Arbor map.

 

My Michigan Memories

Livonia | Etsy shop

Artist Sandi Oliverio was inspired to paint scenes of her favorite state upon returning to Michigan after living in various other states throughout the country. Now, she cements her love for the mitten in original, realistic paintings available as prints and as original pieces in her Etsy shop. See which landmarks and scenes she’s recreated here.

 

Paper, Yarn, Love

Ypsilanti | Etsy shop  

Michigan art Etsy shops

Photo courtesy of Paper, Yarn, Love

Lydia Pinkham is a Coast Guard veteran and student by day and a crafter at all other hours. Her Etsy shop displays that passion for art and craft through paper, fabric and knit goods she hand makes in Ypsilanti. Check out her layered paper art to see work inspired by Michigan and the Great Lakes.

 

Printed Marketplace

Grand Rapids | Etsy shop

Derek Bleyenberg’s massive Etsy shop is where he comes to combine his love for photography and graphic design, canvas art and travel. In the shop, you’ll find detailed maps, minimalist state outline pieces, travel illustrations, wood art prints, game boards, vintage-inspired travel posters and so much more. The inventory includes just about every state and major city you could imagine, including Michigan and Ann Arbor.

 

Wish You Were Here

Traverse City | Etsy shop

Kate originally opened her Etsy shop as a hobby where she sold a few needle felted pieces, but in 2013, she created a cut-canvas map of Michigan and people were clamoring for their own. Now, Wish You Were Here sells handmade maps cut from canvas with a hand-painted heart in your favorite place.

 

Happy shopping!

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10 Ann Arbor Area Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving Day 2018

Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Traditionally, Thanksgiving has been a time for our families to come together to share a meal inside our homes. But we don’t all have traditional families and that’s okay! If you’re on the hunt for places to dine out where you can get a turkey dinner minus the clean-up, or where you can enjoy some of Ann Arbor’s best Chinese food, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re looking in advance, check out Zingerman’s Roadhouse Thanksgiving To-Go where you can take home a full family feast November 20th, 21st and 23rd. Their Coffee Spiced Smoked Turkey was named “the greatest turkey recipe in the history of Thanksgiving” by Esquire.

And if you’re looking for food on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, keep reading! All of these restaurants have been confirmed, but we provided their phone numbers so you can double check and make your reservations. 

 

Carlyle Grill | Ann Arbor

3660 Jackson Rd | Facebook | (734) 213-9800

Carlyle Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Photo courtesy of Carlyle Grill

Ann Arbor’s Carlyle Grill is driven by comfort—from the atmosphere to the menu filled with homestyle dishes made with regional ingredients. Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, the team is serving up hand-carved turkey, Sparrow’s Market prime rib, acorn squash stuffed with kale risotto, Faroe Island salmon, family-style sides, and a dessert of pumpkin or pecan pie. For all the details and to make your reservations, click here.

 

Gandy Dancer | Ann Arbor

401 Depot St | Facebook | (734) 769-0592

Famous for seafood, steaks and pasta dishes, Gandy Dancer is located in the beautifully restored 1886 Michigan Central Depot, making it the ideal setting for elegance, food and celebration. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect combination for Thanksgiving?

 

Haab’s | Ypsilanti

18 W Michigan Ave | Facebook | (734) 483-8200

Haab’s has been serving the Ypsilanti community since they opened their doors in 1934. When it opened way back then, The Haab Brothers’ Café was the first establishment in Washtenaw County where food was the primary draw. And today, everyone is still understandably crazy about the food. In addition to being open on Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Haab’s serves a killer Grilled Turkey Reuben throughout the year!

 

Holiday’s Restaurant | Ann Arbor

2080 W Stadium Blvd | Facebook | (734) 668-1292

In keeping with their name, Holiday’s is open 365 days a year and they’re open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on holidays. Their menus cover everything from breakfast to lunch and pancakes to ribeye, so if you’re dining out this Thanksgiving, you can come for breakfast and lunch! When you do, be sure to order something from the dessert menu (like Gourmet Carrot Cake or pumpkin pie).

 

Lucky Kitchen | Ann Arbor

1753 Plymouth Rd + 2370 S Wayne Rd | Facebook | (734) 357-8823

Consistently named as Ann Arbor’s best place for Chinese food, Lucky Kitchen has been serving our community since 1993. They also offer catering and are a University of Michigan Strategic Supplier for catering needs, and they make food for the Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels Asian Menu. You can dine in with them at both locations during the holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

 

Mediterrano | Ann Arbor

2900 S State St | Facebook | (734) 332-9700

Mediterrano Ann Arbor Michigan Thanksgiving Day 2018 restaurants open

Photo courtesy of Mediterrano

Mediterrano is the Carlyle Grill’s sister restaurant serving up flavors inspired by 14 different countries. Driven by the belief that the Mediterranean diet is inherently nutritious, they source their meats and produce from local farmers and purveyors as much as possible.

On Thanksgiving Day, they’re turning that local sensibility and Mediterranean inspiration into a festive family dinner. Open from 12 to 7 p.m., they’re serving Sliced Turkey Breast, Turkey Leg Confit, Scottish Salmon, Prime Rib, Vegetarian Paella and an impressive lineup of family-style sides. To see them all and get more details, click here.

 

The Original Cottage Inn | Ann Arbor

512 E William St | Facebook | (734) 663-3379

Back in 1948 when it opened, The Original Cottage Inn was Ann Arbor’s first restaurant to serve pizza. Today, they still serve some of the best pies in town as well as classic American, Italian and Greek cuisine. On Thanksgiving, you won’t find their regular menu, but you will find a restaurant filled with volunteers to continue an Ann Arbor tradition that has been going strong for more than 30 years. Each year on Thanksgiving Day, Cottage Inn opens its doors to the impoverished people and families in our community to enjoy a free meal that includes roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, veggies and seasonal fall favorites for dessert. If you’d like to volunteer, call the restaurant at (734) 663-3379.

 

The Quarter Bistro & Tavern | Ann Arbor

300 S Maple Rd | Facebook | (734) 929-9200

The Quarter is the only place in Ann Arbor where you can get European-inspired, bistro-style dining with a Creole twist. Driven by the rich heritage of New Orleans cooking, their menu of homemade dishes includes things like Bronzed Stuffed Chicken with Gumbo Sauce, Catfish and Shrimp, Cajun Crawfish Flat Bread and different specials every week.

On Thanksgiving Day, The Quarter celebrates the holiday with their special event, Thanksgiving Supper. Follow the team on Facebook for event updates.

 

Weber’s Restaurant | Ann Arbor

3050 Jackson Ave | Facebook | (734) 665-3636

Weber’s has been serving the people and families of Ann Arbor since 1937 and the restaurant has become a go-to for prime rib, live Maine lobster and house-made desserts. For Thanksgiving 2018, they’re offering four different dining options. Dinner in the dining room features a special holiday menu of individual turkey dinners, prime rib, fresh seafood, roast duck and more. You can also take complete Thanksgiving dinners to go or enjoy the family-style dinner at Weber’s, which is a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings to feed parties of four or more. To see all the options and make your reservation, click here.

 

5ive Restaurant At The Inn At St. John’s | Plymouth

44045 Five Mile Road | Facebook | (734) 357-5700

Located about 30 minutes outside of Ann Arbor in Plymouth, 5ive has become a destination steakhouse that offers an impressive suite of bourbons and wines from around the world and hand-cut steaks that are chosen from the top 2% of grain- and grass-fed beef in the world. The menu covers everything from breakfast and brunch to pub grub and desserts (check out the Snickerdoodle Cheesecake). On Thanksgiving Day, they’ll be offering a special holiday menu in the dining room for anyone hoping to celebrate outside of their home kitchen. Call in advance to make reservations.

 

Want to add to the list?

If you know of a restaurant in the Ann Arbor area that will be open on Thanksgiving Day, tell us about it in the comments below.

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The 17 Best Bakeries in the Ann Arbor Area

best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

It’s not every day you get a craving for freshly baked bread, a warm jelly donut, a fluffy soft pretzel, a scratch-made scone or a decadent macaron. If that list made your craving hit right now, then we have just the round-up for you, because our Ann Arbor area communities are home to some of the best makers and bakers around and they’re providing fresh baked goods that satisfy all those cravings and more.

Keep reading to learn where you can track down the best in local baked goods, including everything from downtown storefronts to online shops and businesses that can only be found at area farmers’ markets. Enjoy!

 

Avalon Cafe and Kitchen | Ann Arbor

120 E Liberty St | Facebook

Avalon International Breads originally opened their humble Detroit storefront in 1997 striving to offer artisan baked goods made with 100% organic flour. Today, they’ve developed the building blocks of the region’s agri-urban economy and operate five storefronts and restaurants total. Their first and only location outside of Detroit is located right here in Ann Arbor where they serve outstanding menus for breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner alongside their breads, seasonal pies, cakes, cookies, scones, granola bars and more.

 

Benny’s Bakery | Saline

111 W Michigan Ave | Facebook

If you’ve ever felt a craving for seasonal donuts, fresh soft pretzels, warm cookies or chocolate éclairs filled with homemade vanilla custard, head to Benny’s. This Saline original churns out some of the best baked goods in Southeast Michigan and it’s all made fresh.

 

Big City Small World Bakery | Ann Arbor

500 Miller Ave | Facebook

Whether you’re in search of a custom cake, a holiday pie, a morning cinnamon roll, or just a sweet treat for yourself, Big City Small World should be at the top of your list. This hometown bakery makes everything in-house, from scratch and fresh every day; they even candy their own ginger for their orange-ginger scone and the apples in their apple pies come from local orchards!

 

Czechbox Bakery | Ypsilanti

Found at local farmers’ markets | Facebook

Regularly available at the Ypsilanti Farmers’ Market and Milan Third Thursdays, Czechbox Bakery is the only bakery of its kind in the Ann Arbor area. As a Michigan Cottage Food business providing heritage eastern European baked goods, founder and baker Gretchen Kopmanis creates authentic treats and breads seasonally based on Michigan produce. Check out the website to see what she bakes or to place an order and follow Czechbox on Facebook to track it all down.

 

Cupcake Station | Ann Arbor

116 E Liberty St | Facebook

The Cupcake Station has five locations in the Ann Arbor area, including one downtown. Made in-house and from scratch every day, you’ll find 24 unique flavors available each time you visit. Stop in to try creations like Cotton Candy Sweet Treat, Hot Fudge Sundae and Strawberry Sunshine.

 

The Dexter Bakery | Dexter

8101 Main St | Facebook

The Dexter Bakery best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of The Dexter Bakery

The home of mouth-watering jelly donuts, Instagram-worthy cupcakes, towering cakes, fluffy soft pretzels and freshly baked breads, The Dexter Bakery is a must-visit near Ann Arbor. In 2018, they were even named the Sweetest Bakery in Michigan through the Sweetest Bakery in America Contest! And they’ve been serving their treats in Downtown Dexter for more than 100 years.

 

Ed’s Bread | Saline

201 W Michigan Ave | Facebook

A local, family run and oriented business, Ed’s Bread is a staple of the Saline community and also happens to produce some of the tastiest baked goods in the area. Baked fresh from scratch, their lineup frequently includes muffins, huge cookies, fresh bread, bagels, and some of the best homemade granola in town.

 

Le Bon Macaron | Ann Arbor

209 S 4th Ave | Facebook

Le Bon Macaron best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Le Bon Macaron

Born from a love of French culture, Le Bon Macaron is a local, family business that offers two of the most charming cafés in Michigan: one in Grand Rapids and one in Downtown Ann Arbor. On the menu, you’ll find French press coffee and espresso from Rowster Coffee, fresh scones made daily, ice cream sundaes with Cone Appetit craft ice cream, French and Italian sodas made with handcrafted fruit puree and, of course, the macarons that have made them famous.

 

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe | Ann Arbor

2200 Fuller Ct #8B | Facebook

The Lunch Room best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of The Lunch Room

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe is the second location of the beloved, plant-based eatery The Lunch Room. As the headquarters of The Lunch Room Bakery, it’s where they make all their breads in-house from scratch. On any given day, the lineup of baked goods available to purchase includes breads, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, cakes, donuts and more. And they’re all vegan!

 

Mitten Made Cheesecakes | Ypsilanti

Found at Cream & Crumb | Facebook

As lovers and crafters of impeccable cheesecakes, this local business produces some of the best cakes in the region. Though you won’t find them in a brick-and-mortar store yet, you can find their cheesecakes at Cream & Crumb in Ypsi and follow the team on Facebook.

 

Pastry Peddler | Ann Arbor

619 Packard St | Facebook

This Ann Arbor shop is a small, locally-owned bakery that offers fresh baked goods with a focus on breakfast pastries. That means they’re the place to go to satisfy every croissant, danish, pillow puff, sticky bun or pasty craving.

 

Simple Pleasures | Ann Arbor

Found at local farmers’ markets + Earthen Jar | Facebook

The Simple Pleasures story began when Jasmine wanted her brother to enjoy the same pastries and sweet treats everyone else loved without straying from his strict vegetarian and eggless diet. Today, the venture has turned into a full-fledged baked goods business that caters to special diets, including gluten-free, vegan, eggless and sugar-free. You can find these sweets and breads sold at Earthen Jar in Ann Arbor and several farmers’ markets throughout the area.

 

Sweet Heather Anne | Ann Arbor

Online shop | Facebook

Sweet Heather Anne best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Cat Carty Buswell via Sweet Heather Anne

Sweet Heather Anne is perhaps the most photographed bakery in Ann Arbor thanks to the team’s jaw-dropping special occasion cakes, macarons and other special order treats. Though they ran their public dessert counter for six years, they recently had to reduce the hours to holidays and events. You can still shop their famous macarons and sea salt chocolate chip cookies online, order for your own special occasion treats, and swing by the dessert counter during holiday hours.

 

Tasty Bakery | Ann Arbor

416 W Huron St #24 | Facebook

A must-visit no matter what your diet, Tasty Bakery offers high-quality, gluten-free artisan baked goods that are indiscernible from any glutinous treat. Additionally, many of their cakes, cookies, bars, brownies, scones and breads are also soy free, organic, vegan and naturally sweetened. Swing by their bakery or find them at the year-round Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market to taste the difference for yourself!

 

White Lotus Farms | Ann Arbor

Found at local farmers’ markets | Facebook

White Lotus Farms is an Ann Arbor institution specializing in organic produce, homemade breads, artisan goat and cow’s milk cheeses and soothing botanicals. Showcasing the same passion for local, sustainable and handcrafted in every facet of the farm, the bakery produces some of the best breads in Michigan. While the bread is not certified organic, it is made with 100% organic grains and can be found at markets throughout the area, including Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market, Argus Farm Stop, and Eastern Market in Detroit.

 

Yoon’s Bakery | Ann Arbor

2775 Plymouth Rd | Facebook

Housed in a charming storefront no Plymouth Road, Yoon’s Bakery is a Korean bakery based on the French style of baking. The team serves a unique selection of fresh baked goods that includes sweetbreads, savory breads, cakes and fluffy buns stuffed with things like homemade strawberry cream cheese. Yum!

 

Zingerman’s Bakehouse | Ann Arbor

3711 Plaza Dr | Facebook

Zingerman's Bakehouse best bakeries in Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Zingerman’s Bakehouse

After running Zingerman’s Delicatessen for ten years, owners Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig wanted to improve the flavors by baking their own breads. So, in September of 1992, they teamed up with Frank Carollo and just five other staff members to open the beloved Zingerman’s Bakehouse. Today, 130 staff members and partners make pastries, breads and other treats from scratch daily.

 

Do you have a favorite?

Let us know in the comments below!

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The 15 Best Vegan + Vegetarian-friendly Restaurants in Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor vegan vegetarian restaurants

Through the years, Ann Arbor has cemented itself as one of Michigan’s foodie capitals. Whether you’re craving burgers, ice cream or plant-based cuisine, you’ll find a local spot for it. And very often, you’ll find they make it by hand with local ingredients from scratch.

If you’re struggling to track down the vegan and vegetarian-friendly places amongst all the options, don’t worry. We rounded up the best of the best. Our guide includes plant-based eats in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Saline with restaurants that are all-vegan, all-vegetarian, and others that offer meat-free options alongside meat-filled options so everyone in your group can find a dish to enjoy.

 

The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen | Ann Arbor

407 N 5th Ave | Facebook | Vegan

The Lunch Room Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Juan Moncayo via The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen

Often referred to simply as The Lunch Room, The Lunch Room Diner & Canteen is the team’s original location in Ann Arbor’s Kerrytown. Because only plant-based foods are served here, you never have to worry about the presence of meat, dairy, eggs, honey or anything processed with animal products. Additionally, many of the kitchen’s ingredients are organic and non-GMO, and most items can be made gluten-free.

The Lunch Room Bakery & Cafe is the team’s second location and the headquarters of The Lunch Room Bakery, where they make all their breads in-house from scratch.

 

Veg-O-Rama | Ypsilanti

533 W Cross St | Facebook | Vegan + vegetarian

Veg-o-rama Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Atharva Kharkar via Veg-O-Rama

This fast casual, vegetarian restaurant is Ypsi’s headquarters for vegan and vegetarian fare. Veg-O-Rama is dedicated to serving delicious plant-based fare that will impress both vegans and meat eaters alike. Their menu features innovative creations like the Peanut Crusted Cajun Black Bean Burger, Mean Green Protein Pea Burger, Tamarind BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, and other burgers, sub sandwiches, bowls, wraps, pizzas and breakfast items.

 

Seva | Ann Arbor

2541 Jackson Ave | Facebook | Vegetarian

Seva has been serving outstanding plant-based cuisine in Ann Arbor since 1973. Now located in Westgate on the town’s west side, Seva offers an impressive craft beer list, all housemade desserts, gluten-free options and dishes that will make even carnivores love vegetarian food.

If you find yourself in Detroit, swing by Seva’s second location which opened in 2011!

 

Detroit Street Filling Station | Ann Arbor  

300 Detroit St | Facebook | Vegan

Detroit Street Filling Station Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Detroit Street Filling Station

Owned and operated by the same team behind The Lunch Room, Detroit Street Filling Station is housed in the historic building that was once The Staebler Family Oil Company. Their menu features the high-quality, vegan eats that we’ve come to expect from The Lunch Room — but includes its own innovative items like the Detroit Street Burrito, Apple Fritters and the Central American Platter made with seitan steak, fried plantains, pureed black beans, tofu scramble, cashew sour cream, cabbage slaw and corn tortillas.

 

Vedge Cafe | Ann Arbor

205 N Main St | Facebook | Vegan 

Owned and operated by Amanda, a Registered Dietitian and a plant-based eater since 2005, Vedge Cafe is where she gets to combine her love for cooking with her passion for educating and sharing diet alternatives. Amanda and her team offer a menu of scratch-made vegan food like Korean BBQ Jackfruit Tacos, The Vedge Stromboli with house-made dough and pepperoni seitan, Reubens and more.

 

Earthen Jar | Ann Arbor  

311 S 5th Ave | Facebook | Vegetarian

Earthen Jar is a vegetarian and mostly vegan Indian buffet, as well as the first and only kosher restaurant in Ann Arbor. Everything at the hot buffet, the cold buffet and the dessert buffet is vegetarian and the majority are also vegan. Because everything is clearly marked—whether it’s vegan or gluten-free—anyone can eat here without worry.

 

What’s in Your Cup? | Ypsilanti

1816 Whittaker Rd | Facebook | Vegan + vegetarian

What's in Your Cup Ypsilanti vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of What’s in Your Cup? 

Popularized for their juices, smoothies and vegan milkshakes, What’s in Your Cup? also offers an impressive menu of flavor-packed wraps, chili, sandwiches, sweet treats, guacamole and salsas. Whether you just need a fruit-filled smoothie to power your morning or you’re looking for a complete, plant-based meal, we recommend stopping by this Ypsi favorite.

 

Salt Springs Brewery | Saline

117 S Ann Arbor St | Facebook | Options

Named for Saline’s ancient, historic salt springs, this hometown brewery is housed in a beautiful, 116-year-old former church. Undoubtedly one of the most impressive settings in Southeast Michigan, you can enjoy true-to-style ales, wine and cider alongside locally-sourced food with stunning stained glass as the backdrop. Their menu includes various vegetarian options that can also be made vegan like the Tempeh Reuben, The Incredibly Tasty Tofu Sandwich and Roasted Vegetable Pizza.

Swing by on Wednesday when the Salt Springs team hosts Vegan Wednesdays! Starting at 5 p.m. every week all the featured dishes are vegetarian and/or vegan.

 

Ollie Food + Drink | Ypsilanti

42 E Cross St | Facebook | Options

This Ypsilanti original offers a seasonally rotating menu, using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients alongside a lineup of artisan cocktails, craft beer and wine. That impressively fresh menu includes clearly marked vegan and gluten-free options like the Vegan Burrito, seasonal tartines, house-made chorizo tempeh, salads, chilaquiles and more.

 

Arbor Brewing Company | Ann Arbor + Ypsilanti

114 E Washington St | Facebook | Options

When the Greffs opened the doors to Arbor Brewing Company in 1995, it was the first brewpub to open in Ann Arbor and only the fifth brewpub to open in the entire state of Michigan. Today, it has become one of Ann Arbor’s and Ypsilanti’s favorite destinations for craft beer and inspired food. The food menus at each location also feature an impressive lineup of clearly marked vegetarian and vegan items like the Crispy Quinoa Cake Sandwich, the Vegan Burger and Vegan Chili.

 

Juicy Kitchen | Ann Arbor  

1506 N Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

Juicy Kitchen Ann Arbor vegan restaurant

Photo courtesy of Juicy Kitchen

Using locally sourced produce, hormone-free chicken, and organic vegetables and grains as much as possible, Juicy Kitchen crafts meals from scratch in healthy, sustainable ways. While this Ann Arbor spot is an excellent option for anyone searching for healthy food, they also cater to specific allergies, gluten-free diets, and vegans and vegetarians during both breakfast and lunch. Peruse the clearly marked menus to see just how many plant-based meals they can create!

 

El Harissa Market Cafe | Ann Arbor

1516 N Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

The name El Harissa comes from Harissa, a spicy and flavorful chili pepper paste that has injected its explosive flavor into dishes from throughout the Mediterranean region. Using this inspiration, the team at this Ann Arbor café produces unique North African and Mediterranean cuisine that includes plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegetarian and vegan options.

 

Chela’s Restaurant and Taqueria | Ann Arbor  

693 S Maple Rd | Facebook | Options

Chela’s already offers some of the region’s best Mexican food, but they also offer some of the best vegetarian and vegan-friendly options in town. Clearly marked vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free, anyone can enjoy vegetarian tortas, vegan tacos, burritos and a huge lineup of all vegan side dishes. Their black beans are even Michigan-grown!

 

Cantina Taqueria + Bar | Ann Arbor

1140 S University Ave | Facebook | Options

From their casual space perched above South University, Cantina serves bold tacos made from quality ingredients alongside tequilas, whiskeys and craft margaritas. Because meat lovers and plant eaters can all agree tacos make for an incredible meal, it’s the perfect location for everyone to come together and enjoy carnitas tacos, potato tacos, black bean tacos and more! Additionally, all their sides—including rice and beans—are vegan.

 

Elevation Burger | Ann Arbor

529 E Liberty St + 3365 Washtenaw Ave | Facebook | Options

This chain restaurant has two Ann Arbor locations and is dedicated to the fine art of the burger. Their meat options feature 100% organic, grass-fed and free-range beef, and you can choose from five delicious signature burgers, vegetarian and vegan options, or build your own. The Veggie Burger is a savory blend of veggies and cheese while the vegan option is packed with whole grains and veggies. Feel free to order a side of fries, too — they’re cooked in heart-healthy Bertolli olive oil!

 

Share your favorites

If you have a favorite spot for plant-based eats in the Ann Arbor area, give them a shout-out in the comments below!

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The 11 Best Places to See Michigan’s Fall Colors Near Ann Arbor

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Michigan is famous for its fall foliage thanks to the kaleidoscope of color found in our state’s open spaces, along the shores of our lakes and rivers, across rolling hillsides, and even in our tree-filled cities. And no other city could be more tree-filled than Tree Town.

Though the state’s Gold Coast rates as one of America’s Best Color Drives, according to Travel and Leisure magazine (and we definitely recommend doing it at least once), you don’t have to travel outside of Ann Arbor for a Michigan fall color tour of equally epic proportions.

Right in the city, you can meander the sidewalks and parks of the Old West Side, Huron Parkway or the University of Michigan campus. But if you have a little extra time and a stronger craving for brilliant reds, oranges and golds, we recommend hitting up these regional parks, recreation areas, and even one railroad!

 

Gallup Park | Ann Arbor

One of the best ways to see Michigan’s changing leaves is to hop on a canoe and cruise down the Huron River. Ann Arbor’s canoe liveries—located in Gallup Park and Argo Park—are open through the end of October so you don’t even need to buy your own canoe or kayak! While you’re in Gallup Park, you’ll get the opportunity to explore the 69 acres that make up the town’s most popular recreation area. Amidst the trees, you can enjoy scenic walkways that traverse small islands and pedestrian bridges as well as more than three miles of asphalt trails available for biking, rollerblading, walking and running.

 

Nichols Arboretum | Ann Arbor

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum

The University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum began in 1907 and has developed into miles of trails and land home to collections of both native and exotic trees and shrubs. These plants transform during the fall to showcase some of the best colors in Southeast Michigan, including golds, reds and even inky purples.

 

Furstenberg Nature Area | Ann Arbor

Furstenberg Nature Area is a 38-acre park containing wetlands, woodlands, prairie and oak savannah just west of Gallup Park. Owned and maintained by the city since 1971, the open space offers a half-mile paved trail that loops through the park and a granular trail that goes through the prairie and woods then connects to a quarter mile of wetland boardwalk. The heavily wooded lands boast a huge variety of oaks, maples and other types of colorful trees.

 

Riverside Park | Ypsilanti

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Located on the Huron River in the center of Ypsilanti, Riverside Park consists of 13.8 acres and connects downtown Ypsi with Depot Town. Whether you’re fishing on the river, riding your bike, or walking along the trail during the fall, you’re guaranteed a glimpse of our state’s famous seasonal foliage.

 

Delhi Metropark | Ann Arbor

Located just five miles northwest of Ann Arbor, Delhi Metropark offers 52 acres of mature oak trees, open, grassy lawns, playgrounds, softball diamonds and more. Because the park is nestled against a bend in the Huron River, it has become a popular fishing and canoeing destination—both great activities during the fall! While you’re there, you may even spot a great blue heron, turtles or a white-tailed deer.

 

Southern Michigan Railroad | Tecumseh

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

Photo courtesy of Southern Michigan Railroad

Each year, the Southern Michigan Railroad hosts Fall Color Tours, seasonal events that explore the area’s changing foliage from the comfort of a train car. Because the rides sell out every single year, the railroad is offering even more seating options now, including the open-air car for fair weather, the historic interurban coach and the entire Memorial Caboose available to rent. Rides depart on October 6th and 7th, 13th and 14th during the Appleumpkin Festival, 20th and 21st, and 27th and 28th. You can get more details on the website here.

 

Pinckney State Recreation Area | Pinckney

Covering a whopping 11,000 acres, Pinckney State Recreation Area is one of our favorite outdoor destinations in the Ann Arbor area. Known for its extensive trail system and chain of excellent fishing lakes, the park also offers over forty miles of multi-use trails, picnicking, playgrounds, beaches, a concession stand, boat launches and rowboat, canoe, paddle boat and kayak rentals.

 

Waterloo Recreation Area | Chelsea

Michigan Fall Color Tour Ann Arbor

The largest park in the Lower Peninsula, Waterloo Recreation Area consists of more than 20,000 acres. Across these grounds, you’ll find two modern campgrounds, a rustic campground, an equestrian campground, swimming beaches, several picnic sites, 11 fishing lakes, eight boat launches, 12 miles of interpretive nature trails, 47 miles of hiking trails, four rustic cabins, a yurt, equestrian trails, mountain biking trails, and the Gerald E. Eddy Discovery Center. While exploring these grounds during the fall, keep your eyes peeled for russet red and blazing oranges.

 

Brighton Recreation Area | Howell

Covering 4,947 acres, Brighton Recreation Area is a hilly, outdoor paradise interspersed with a number of picturesque lakes, 19 miles of trails and a full-service riding stable open through early December. When you reserve a trail ride with Brighton Recreation Riding Stable, you can explore Michigan foliage on horseback!

 

Hudson Mills Metropark | Dexter

Combing serene woods with the calm waters of the Huron River, Hudson Mills Metropark offers 1,536 acres of land home to an 18-hole golf course, two 24-hole disc golf courses, a three-mile, paved hike and bike loop, and the nearly five-mile West River Trail which connects to the Hudson Mills loop and takes hikers and bikers on a journey that ends in downtown Dexter.

 

Independence Lake County Park | Whitmore Lake

Independence Lake County Park is one of Washtenaw County’s favorite open spaces thanks to 360 acres, 3.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, two miles of paved trails and, of course, fishing, boating and swimming in Independence Lake. Stroll along the lakeshore to get accustomed to the bright, changing colors then head to the edges of the Indy and Woodcock prairies to see the best color in the park!

 

Do you have a go-to fall foliage destination?

Tell us about it in the comments below!

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19 Pumpkin Patches, Apple Orchards and Cider Mills You Can Visit Near Ann Arbor

pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Southeast Michigan and our Ann Arbor area communities have been built on a strong agriculture history. As a result, we’re blessed with year-round farmers markets, local agriculture experiences, and plenty of places to pick a pumpkin and sip fresh apple cider every fall.

To prove it, we rounded up 19 local spots where you can pick your own pumpkin, pick your own apples, watch your cider being pressed, eat a pumpkin donut, an apple donut and a cinnamon sugar donut, then enjoy festive, farm activities. This fall, make a trip to one (or more!) of these family farms and you’ll want to come back every year.

 

 

Alber Orchard & Cider Mill | Manchester

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Alber Orchard & Cider Mill is located just 30 minutes west of Ann Arbor in Manchester. Over the years, their tractor-drawn hayrides, 7-acre corn maze, you-pick pumpkin patch, kids play area, free straw maze and animal area have become family favorites. While visiting, you can also enjoy tours of the vintage cider press, fresh pressed and specially blended apple cider, and delicious, crisp heirloom and family favorite apples. There is no admission charge to enter Alber Orchard, but there are fees for some activities.

 

Blast Corn Maze | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Pumpkins

Blast Corn Maze is a famous seasonal destination in the Ann Arbor area. The huge, 10-acre corn field contains 3.5 miles of corn maze trails with three exits available for a short, medium or long journey. After you successfully traverse the maze, the whole family can pick a pumpkin from the you-pick pumpkin patch, take photos with farm props, test out the corn cannon, drive pedal cars and more.

 

Coleman’s Corn Maze | Saline

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Coleman's Corn Maze pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Coleman’s Corn Maze

A trip to this family-owned and operated farm includes three professionally designed corn mazes with five miles of challenging trails, hayrides, some of the best seasonal donuts in the region, a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, you pick apples, a petting barn and more. Though these mazes aren’t haunted, you do have the opportunity to find your way through after dark—just bring a flashlight!

 

DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch | Belleville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

DeBuck's Corn Maze pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch

Open to the public every fall, DeBuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch offers more than 15 acres of winding corn maze trails, a 20-acre pick-your-own pumpkin patch, family-oriented fall attractions and hands-on field trips. During your visit, be sure to order up a delectable festival treat from Linda’s Country Kitchen; the menu includes homemade cinnamon sugar donuts, pulled-pork sandwiches, apple cider, nachos and more.   

 

Dexter Cider Mill | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples + cider

Just 20 minutes northwest of Ann Arbor, Dexter Cider Mill is the oldest continuously operating cider mill in the entire state. Today, the team makes cider the same way it was made 120 years ago: using locally grown, hand picked apples on an oak rack press. Even their equipment is over 100-years-old! In addition to natural cider, fresh apples, doughnuts, apple nut bread, made-from-scratch apple pies, apple strudel, apple turnovers and hand rolled gingersnaps, you can also purchase homemade hard ciders made on-site.

 

Donahee Farms | Plymouth

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

This working farm in Plymouth has more than 80 acres of pumpkins! During the fall, families can also enjoy hay rides, fresh apple cider, seasonal donuts, a hay maze and other activities. And when you’re not visiting during the fall season, you can find their produce, flowers and pumpkins at the Ann Arbor and Northville farmers’ markets.

 

Erwin Orchards | South Lyon

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

A famously fun destination in South Lyon, Erwin Orchards offers a you-pick raspberry patch, you-pick sweet cherries, a huge you-pick pumpkin patch and you-pick apples with 15 different varieties. Available seasonally, you can also enjoy award-winning, fresh pressed, unpasteurized apple cider or raspberry cider paired with apple spice and pumpkin donuts!

 

Jenny’s Farm Market and Cider Mill | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Jenny’s Farm Stand is a 200-year-old working farm in Dexter. Available year-round, you can shop seasonal produce, Jenny’s Hot ‘n Sweet Pickles, local products, baked goods, pie filling and more. During the fall, the family fun increases with a free straw maze, horse-drawn hay rides through the pumpkin patch, pony rides, hot and fresh pumpkin donuts, fresh apple cider and, more.

 

Lesser Farms and Orchard | Dexter

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Lesser Farms and Orchard is a family-owned and operated farm. Though you can’t pick your own here, you can find some of the region’s best plums, apples, fresh pressed cider, homemade jams and jellies, beeswax candles, raw, local honey and pumpkins!

 

Lutz Orchard | Saline

Get directions | Apples + pumpkins

Located on 12 acres in Saline, this real, working farm offers fresh picked apples available seasonally, squash and pumpkins. During the fall, you’re invited to pick your own apples and meet the farm animals!

 

Maybury Farm | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider

Maybury Farm pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Maybury Farm

Situated on 85 acres, this Northville farm has been a landmark in the community for more than 100 years. Here, children and families can experience the joy of animals, agriculture, farmland and forests year-round. During the fall, the farm fun gets festive with the Great Pumpkin Festival—a two-day family festival in October—and the corn maze, a festive adventure that continues through October before the farm closes up to prepare for Santa. Because they partner with Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery, you can also enjoy homemade donuts and fresh apple cider during your visit!

 

Obstbaum Orchards | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Apples + cider

Famous for their cherry juice concentrate, Obstbaum Orchards is a 40-year-old apple orchard and cider mill nestled in Salem on the outskirts of Northville. On autumn weekends, everyone is invited to taste fresh apple cider, seasonal donuts, homemade apple pies, hay rides and more.

 

Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider

Parmenter's Cider Mill pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill & Winery

With no admission fee and free parking, Parmenter’s in Northville is a great fall destination near Ann Arbor because they offer their own treats and they partner with neighboring places like Maybury Farm and Northville Winery and Brewing Co. for even more fun. Located within the historic homes of Cabbagetown, the urban cider mill offers year-round cider and you can watch it being pressed on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. During weekends through September and October, you can also step inside the Nut Hut where they make candied almonds, the Fudge Hut where they make fresh fudge, and the Chow Mill where they serve hot dogs and kielbasa.

 

Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill | Plymouth

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Since 1977, Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill has been the local destination where families can enjoy fresh-pressed, award-winning apple cider, fresh-made donuts, crispy caramel apples, icy apple cider slushies, fresh baked pies and a fun farm experience that includes wagon rides, a children’s animal park, a cider mill garden and October pumpkin picking.

 

The Pumpkin Factory | Belleville

Get directions | Facebook | Pumpkins

Located just 30 minutes from Ann Arbor, The Pumpkin Factory is a family-friendly Halloween farm complete with a corn maze, a pumpkin patch and haunted hayrides through the fall season.

 

Three Cedars Farm | Northville

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

Three Cedars Farm pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Photo courtesy of Three Cedars Farm

Beginning Labor Day weekend each year, Three Cedars Farm offers old-fashioned fun for all ages. Farm activities include a you-pick pumpkin patch, a seven-acre corn maze, a barn yard play land with live animals, hay rides, train rides and reservable bonfire sites. Inside the Donut Hut, you can taste fresh, homemade donuts, freshly pasteurized cold apple cider, hot cider, coffee and icy apple cider slushes.

 

Wasem Fruit Farm | Milan

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

During the fall season, Wasem Fruit Farm offers more than a dozen varieties of apples you can pick yourself, you-pick raspberries available in September and early October, you-pick pumpkins in October, and pears! During your fall visit, you’ll get the chance to taste plain, apple, blueberry and pumpkin donuts paired with some of the best, fresh cider in the region!

Just next door, you can venture to Talladay Farms, where you can challenge your family on a trip through one of the Midwest’s largest corn mazes. It covers 27 acres!

 

Wiard’s Orchard & Country Fair | Ypsilanti

Get directions | Facebook | Apples, cider + pumpkins

Wiard's Apple Orchard pumpkin patches apple orchards near Ann Arbor Michigan

Wiard’s Cider Mill and Apple Orchard was founded in Michigan by George Wiard in 1837 and has become one of the region’s most beloved fall destinations. Covering nearly 100 acres and located just minutes from Ann Arbor, attractions include the seasonal Wiard’s Country Fair, an agri-entertainment park that offers orchards, a cider mill, you-pick apples, a corn maze, a you-pick pumpkin patch, an apple cannon, giant inflatables, pony rides, hayrides, a petting farm, miniature golf, a haunted barn, children’s play areas and even more. Step inside the Country Store and Bakery to taste fresh cider, seasonal donuts, fresh baked pies, jams, jellies, honey and apple salsas.

 

Wing Farms | Ann Arbor

Get directions | Facebook | Cider + pumpkins

Founded in 1852 by James Wing, Wing Farms has lasted through more than 150 years and five generations and is still going strong today. Comprised of 205 acres, including the homestead, the family produces primarily corn, soybeans and rye as well as giant pumpkins available to pick every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the fall season. To get to the pumpkin patch, you’ll hop on a free hayride and you can enjoy fresh apple cider, too!

As an added bonus, Wing Farms raises their own turkeys and every bird is all-natural, non-GMO, antibiotic free and hormone free.

 

Do you have a favorite fall destination?  

Tell us all about them in the comments below!

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