This Friday, June 9th, kicks off the three-week long Summer Festival, on Ann Arbor’s beautiful campus! The Ann Arbor Summer Festival encompasses two main events, one indoor and one outdoor, in and around downtown. Monday is the only day that the Summer Festival does not offer activities and entertainment for all. The popular festival runs through June 30th.
The indoor Mainstage series includes ticketed performances from popular music groups, dance and theater troupes. Several of the headliners, this Summer, include Diana Krall (June 6), Pink Martini (June 13), Rhiannon Giddens (June 14), and Doctor Kaboom (June 18; at the Power Center).
Top of the Park is located on the grassy area next to the League, off of North University Street. At Top of the Park there are admission-free concerts, fun family events, and free movies. Last Summer, we loved spending our Sunday evenings at the family-friendly, outdoor venue. We visited the KidZone Tent for fun crafts and activities and spread out a blanket to eat our dinners, purchased from the food carts lining the nearby street. At 7 PM, on Sundays, musical groups geared toward young children take the North Campus stage. The line-up includes Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards (6/11), The Shake Up in Ponyville (6/18), Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band (6/25).
The KidZone Tent has activities for young children, most afternoons and evenings, starting at 5 PM. Plan to keep your little ones busy, at the KidZone Tent, for around 15 to 20 minutes. We have always enjoyed when the conceptual lab takes over the KidZone Tent. In addition, the children often walk away with a little, outdoor toy too!
In addition to the indoor and outdoor series, there is a Spectacle series that includes outdoor special events and pop-up attractions all around town (many at North Ingalls Mall). Some of these activities include David Zinn’s amazing sidewalk chalk art (6/10), The Curious Game (6/13 and 6/14), Australia’s Strange Fruit: Tall Tales on the High Sea (6/27, 6/28, and 6/29) and educational activities for adults and children.
The Culinary Row, at Top of the Park, offers some of Ann Arbor’s favorite eateries and caterers. There are children’s menus at many of the stands too. The 2016 food vendors include: Chela’s, Hut-K Chaats, Pizza House, Noodles and Company, Oasis Grill, Slows to Go, Stucchi’s, Sugar Shack and Sweetwaters.
To check out the endless schedule of events taking place at this year’s Ann Arbor Summer Festival click here
Parking and Directions:
Fletcher Street (at Power Center): Entrance off Fletcher Street at Washington. $5 event parking begins two hours before ticketed events or 5 pm M-F, 3 pm Sat-Sun.
Thayer Street (near Hill Auditorium): Entrance off Thayer Street between Washington & North University Ave. $5 event parking begins two hours before ticketed events or 5 pm M-F, 3 pm Sat-Sun.
Maynard Street (downtown Ann Arbor): Entrances off Maynard and Thompson between William and Liberty. $1.20 per hr, free on Sunday.
Palmer Drive (near Power Center): Entrance off Washtenaw Avenue adjacent to Palmer Commons; $5 event parking begins two hours before ticketed events or 5 pm M-F, 3 pm Sat-Sun. Accessible to U-M blue and gold permit holders with an AVI device.
Liberty Square (near Top of the Park): Entrance off Washington between State Street and Division; $3 flat rate after 3 pm, Monday-Friday and all day Saturday, free on Sunday.