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13 Things to Do in Ann Arbor on a Hot Day

There are so many reasons we love summertime in Ann Arbor, but we have to admit that the high temps are not always one of them! When the sun is high, it might be tempting to stay inside and enjoy your air-conditioned haven, but there are plenty of fun things to do around town that don’t require basking in the sun.

We rounded up 13 ways to beat the heat and have a blast in Ann Arbor—even during a pandemic. So get out there and explore and take advantage of these beautiful summer months in the city.


Kayak on the Huron River

Ann Arbor Summer

There’s no better way to cool off in A2 than spending a day on the Huron River. Activities like kayaking and canoeing on the river are accessible for all ages thanks to Gallup Park Livery and Argo Park Livery. These City of Ann Arbor facilities offer boat rentals, including kayaks, canoes and more! Due to the pandemic, they are currently only allowing rentals to those with reservations.

And for even more details on kayaking in the area, check out The Ultimate Guide to Kayaking in Ann Arbor.


Scream for Ice Cream

Ice cream tastes great year-round. But for some reason, the flavors really stand out when it’s hot outside! Next time you’re screaming for ice cream, reward yourself with a sweet, summertime treat. In our guide, The 10 Best Places for Ice Cream in Ann Arbor, we rounded up the area’s best, including local A2 favorites like Michigan Creamery and Blank Slate Creamery, and Go! Ice Cream in Ypsilanti.


Go Swimming

Make it a point this season to adventure to a new swimming spot while the sun is still hot. We’ve rounded up our favorite public pools, rivers, lakes, swimming holes and more for your convenience, so what are you waiting for? Jump on in! The water’s great.

It’s worth noting that due to the pandemic, many local swimming spots are open but do not have a lifeguard standing by. We recommend being cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times, especially when swimming with small children.


Learn Something New at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology — Virtually


When it’s just too hot to leave your home, virtual tours of local attractions are your new best friends. Located on the U-M campus, the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology supports teaching and research on Classical, Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeology. With a collection of more than 100,000 artifacts—1,500 of which are on permanent display—and two to three annual exhibitions, there’s plenty to explore and learn. Due to the coronavirus, the museum is currently closed to the public, but you can peruse the museum online! Click here for a full list of virtual exhibitions.


Seek Some Shade at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are two educational and environmental spaces on the U-M campus. The botanical gardens include 11 outdoor areas full of bonsai, native and medicinal plants, perennials and more, and if you want to head inside for some cool air, 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.


Visit Your Local Library

There’s just something about curling up with a good book on a really hot day that makes us happy. Luckily, if you don’t want to splurge on a stack of brand new books, the Ann Arbor District Library is a great resource! Right now, they are open for lobby pickup appointments, so you can stop by and grab some new reads whenever the weather is just too hot to bare.


Go on a Self-Guided Brewery Crawl

Ann Arbor Summer

There’s just something so satisfying about a cold, craft beer poured straight from the tap on a hot summer day. Fortunately, Ann Arbor is home to an abundance of top-notch breweries ripe for exploring this season. Make it your goal this summer to visit a few local breweries that you haven’t yet tried. You can use this handy guide to plan!


Meet the Animals at The Creature Conservancy

This unique local nonprofit is home to Al the Alligator, Quinn the Bald Eagle, Suzi the Macaw, Dumpie the Ball Python, Jerome the Argentine Tegu, Harper the Mountain Lion, and several other rescued animals. Their conservation through education mission allows our community to meet these animals, learn about wildlife and nature, attend educational programs and camps, and more. Tickets are required to enter to help promote social distancing. You can purchase tickets to the Creature Conservancy, here.


Go Bowling at Maplewood Lanes

There’s something for everyone at this 24-lane bowling alley, which has served the Ann Arbor and Saline area for more than 30 years. You’ll find casual game-by-game bowling, great food and a full bar. They plan to reopen for bowling this month so make sure to follow them on social media to stay updated!


Indulge in a Summer Drink


Photo courtesy of HOMES Brewery

What better way to cool down than with a tasty and unique summer drink? Ann Arbor is full of crafty bartenders and drink connoisseurs making delicious drinks that go down easy on a hot summer day, from cocktails to coffee drinks and mocktail creations. We even have a handy list that includes our top picks for summer sipping this year! Visit 12 Summer Drinks to Enjoy in Ann Arbor This Season to get started on your seasonal beverage bucket list adventure.


Explore the 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 insights into World War I and World War II, Willow Run and Rosie the Riveter, The Vietnam War, aircraft restoration and so much more. Please note that face coverings are required for all visitors and several of their hands-on interactive exhibits are temporarily closed. The flight simulators are open, however! Each user will be asked to sanitizer their hands before use.


Enjoy a Popsicle From La Piña Loca

This authentic Mexican spot is a local favorite for fresh fruit cocktails, dori locals, mangonadas, and pelatas—delicious Mexican ice cream popsicles! They offer every flavor imaginable of this cold, sweet treat so no matter what craving you’re having, they’ll have something to help cool you down. Too hot to go outside? Don’t worry, you can get pelatas delivered right to your door through DoorDash.


What’s your favorite way to stay cool in the summertime?

Chat with us in the comments!

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