Detroit Date Night!

by Paige Watkins

So this summer, you’re trying to save money... take care of your necessities, maybe save for some travel that you’re looking forward to - but you still want to go out and enjoy yourself in the city on the weekends. Because, why not? Everyone knows about the new restaurants hitting downtown. They’re popping, but most of the time, they are just really expensive. So, where can you go? What can you do on Saturday night that won’t cost you a bunch of money you weren’t trying to spend? The Archives’ Community Board is constantly updated with all sorts of fun, free events happening both day & night in Detroit. But we’ve decided to give you the scoop on some of our favorite free (or - at least - not super expensive) things you can do this summer with your significant other or a group of friends! 

1.  New Center Park Movie Nights

New Center Park is located at the corner of Second Avenue & W. Grand Boulevard and hosts a summer-long series of events and movies that are completely FREE to the public! Movies are shown around 9:00 or 9:30pm every Wednesday & Friday night, with the start time depending on the sunset. On Wednesday, they play blockbuster hits and classic films. In the coming weeks, they’ll be showing DrumlineSnowpiercer, and Chef. On Friday, you can go out and see some of your favorite family-friendly movies like Despicable Me 2Frozen and The Lego Movie. Bring a blanket, or some lawn chairs - but you don’t have to worry about snacks & drinks! Their bar & grill offers food, candy, and a full bar.

2.  The Carr Center’s Evenings in Paradise

On Tuesdays & Thursdays in Beatrice Buck/Paradise Valley Park downtown, the Carr Center sponsors a wonderful mix of Detroit’s own jazz, R&B, blues, and global sound for FREE on the park stage! If it ends up raining, performances are moved right inside to the Carr Center. The concerts are from 6pm until 8pm, and there is food & drinks available during the evening. Bring your lawn or folding chair out and enjoy and evening in Paradise! 

3.  Yoganic Flow’s Summer Yoga Classes

Switch it up and enjoy a day with bae doing yoga in the evening! Yoganic Flow hosts FREE yoga classes all summer on varying days and locations. On Monday from 6pm - 7pm, join Yoganic Flow at Lafayette Greens near Campus Maritus. If you have an annual membership to the Detroit Recreation Department, you can go on Tuesdays at the same time, when classes are held at the Patton Recreation Center or  Wednesdays at the Roberto Clemente Recreation Center on Bagley. As an alternative, on Saturdays, from 10am - 11am, there is a free class in the Detroit Market Garden in the Eastern Market District! 

4. Festivals, Festivals, Festivals!

All festivals aren't going to cost you money for a wristband! Check out some of these coming up for FREE, experience diverse music, eat some global cuisine and enjoy a day or night at these Detroit festivals!

·       Concert of Colors (July 5 & 10-13)

The Concert of Colors is metro Detroit’s free annual diversity music festival. It is produced by the Arab American National Museum with partners Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, ACCESS, Midtown Detroit Inc. andUniversity of Michigan – Detroit Center. The goal of this five-day festival is uniting metro Detroit’s diverse communities and ethnic groups by presenting musical acts from around the world. Over its 22-year history, the festival has become a beloved highlight of metro Detroit’s summer festival season, and one of the few free-admission music festivals remaining locally.

·       Paradise Valley Music Festival (July 11-13)

At Hart Plaza on the Riverfront, check out some local Detroit sounds celebrating the musical legacy of the city and its Black artists! From 11am until midnight on Friday, and then Saturday & Sunday from noon to midnight, head downtown to listen to Jazz, R&B and Soul, and eat food from local food vendors! 

·       Detroit Caribbean Cultural Festival (August 7-9)

In this annual event, you can experience Caribbean culture through dance, family entertainment, food and international performers! Taking place in New Center Park, this festival is FREE to the public Friday evening (5pm-10pm), and has a $5 admission all day Saturday & Sunday. Come out and learn about Caribbean culture. Panama is the featured country of the festival this year. 


There is so much going on in Detroit this summer! Check out our #DetroitDateNight posts for more things to do. Let us know...what is your favorite part of summertime in the City? What are your favorite date night ideas?