Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Auburn Hills, MI

  • Published 2022/04/20

What can be better than going on a trip to explore a place that beautifully combines suburban living and modern city amenities?

If that’s what you want, there can only be one place in mind—Auburn Hills in Michigan.

Auburn Hills is world-renowned and a leader in southeast Michigan that is known for having 22 high-technology parks and world-class manufacturing, retail, and entertainment scenes.

Though it is the home to some 40 international corporations from 30 countries, which make Auburn Hills Michigan’s global address, it still manages to preserve suburban living for its residents.

You can see its many parks, a welcoming city complex, a beautiful downtown district, a library, and a community center.

Because of its strategic location along the scenic Clinton River, Auburn Hills features a fabulous riverside park and brick-paved sidewalks.

Not only that, but it can also take you into the depths of the ocean through its SEA LIFE Aquarium with ten themed, exciting zones!

Words cannot fully describe the beauty and exciting experience that awaits you in the city of Auburn Hills.

Make sure to plan your trip and include the 15 best things to do in Auburn Hills, MI.

Indulge in Exciting Outdoor Activities at the River Woods Park

People around the River Woods Park

Dtah1983, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Located on River Woods Drive, the River Woods Park is a great place to see how the locals spend their lazy days.

The place offers many paved walking trails that cross over the Clinton River and let you feel connected to nature.

Thanks to the park’s many open spaces, visitors can have a lot of opportunities to engage in outdoor activities such as playing frisbee, taking casual strolls, or just lounging on the green grass.

If you want to enjoy a picnic, River Woods Park has tons of picnic areas with grills, a fireplace, and an indoor restroom.

You will enjoy the play structure that features several slides, a rock wall, and climbing elements.

If you have smaller children with you, bucket swings are also available for use that are guaranteed safe and secure.

Enter the Depths of the Ocean at the SEA LIFE Aquarium

Whether you are in the city with family or friends, the SEA LIFE Aquarium is a must-see, which you can find on Baldwin Rd.

Enjoy jaw-dropping underwater worlds and enter a 180-degree underwater tunnel that lets you see two rescued sea turtles named Benson and Carr, stingrays, jellyfish, and sharks, and even touch a sticky anemone!

Go around and see 10 exhibits without needing flippers.

Don’t miss seeing Michigan’s only sandy stingray beach, complete with palm trees, schools of fish, and stingrays at the bottom.

This 3,000-gallon exhibit features 20 species, all on one tropical beach paradise.

Watch any or all of their feeding demonstrations and educational talks and learn something about the underwater world in a way that no one else does.

Enjoy the Outdoors at the Hawk Woods Park & Campground

It’s not just for the kids but for everyone of all ages.

Hawk Woods Park & Campground is located on Bald Mountain Rd. and offers a place where people of every generation can gather and connect with nature through programs and outdoor activities.

It boasts a brand new lodge, a heated shower and restroom, groomed nature trails, a covered picnic shelter, and six overnight camping cabins.

If you are looking for a place where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis, this is the place to be, especially with 88 acres of land that are covered by woods and characterized by meadows and marsh.

Let the Kids Have Fun at the Legoland Discovery Center

Exterior of the colorful Legoland Discovery Center

Ilze_Lucero /

Still located on Baldwin, have tons of fun at the Legoland Discovery Center for a day!

Hop aboard their chariot from where you can zap trolls and skeletons to save the world.

You can also opt to marvel at the jaw-dropping Detroit cityscape, which is interactive and created with more than a million lego bricks!

If you feel more adventurous, you can join the Lego Racers, where you can build and race an ultra-fast Lego race car down the speed ramps.

Other adventures that await you include the 4D cinema, Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, Duplo Farm, the Great Lego VR Experience, factory tour, earthquake tables, and a lot more!

Make sure to spend an entire day here, so you can have the kids and the kids-at-heart have a great time.

Meet Peppa Pig and the Gang at the Peppa Pig World of Play

The Peppa Pig World of Play is designed for pre-school children, but chaperons can have fun too.

This indoor play attraction features 14 oinktastic-themed areas, created after the hit TV animation series.

Join Rebecca Rabbit’s Underground Adventure, play with George in his fort, visit Grandad Dog’s Garage, join Miss Rabbit at the Supermarket, or ride Grandpa Pig’s Train.

Peppa Pig also waits for you at her treehouse.

If your kid is celebrating his birthday during your stay in Auburn Hills, why not spend it in the Peppa Pig World of Play?

There’ll be guaranteed oinks and snorts as well as giggles and jumping in muddy puddles.

Experience a Different Kind of Fun at the Riverside Park

Here’s another great place to bring the entire family to.

Located on Squirrel Ct, the Riverside Park sits on the Clinton River’s banks, located in Auburn Hills’ Village Center area.

You’ll be delighted to find so many activities waiting for you to explore, including the new splash pad for kids.

You can start the day walking on paved paths or playing in the structure with swings.

Then, you can enjoy a delicious barbecue lunch since there are barbecue grills and picnic tables available for use.

Don’t forget to try walking on the bridge over the river and the wooden boardwalk.

If you are a more experienced hiker, you can also try your skills on the narrow wooded trails designed especially for more experienced hikers like you.

Test Your Swing at Topgolf

Welcome to the premier entertainment destination in Auburn Hills—Topgolf!

It’s not your average golfing place because it features climate-controlled hitting bays and HDTVs in every bay and throughout the restaurant and bar.

You can use either their club or your own, and their high-tech balls will score themselves once you aim at the outfield targets!

After a round of golf, you should give in to your cravings at the restaurant, where they put a twist on your usual favorites.

All in all, it’s not just a place for playing golf, but it’s also one that’s designed to give your discriminating taste buds a fill!

Shop Till You Drop at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

Name sign of Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

Ilze_Lucero /

What’s the next best thing to exploration? Shopping!

Brand outlets are great places for a shopping spree because items are sold at a much cheaper price.

Clothing store in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

Ilze_Lucero /

Here at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, you can find a plethora of items that will surely come waving at you!

A bowling center in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

gg5795 /

From shoes, bags, and health and beauty products to electronics, home decor, and jewelry, you’ll have to watch your shopping bag!

With nearly 185 stores, restaurants, and attractions, there is definitely something here that will catch your attention.

Arcade in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets

Ilze_Lucero /

Taste Excellent Michigan Wines at Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room

If you’re looking to taste good Michigan wines, then look no further than Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room.

Located on Auburn Rd, this wine place is the largest branch of the company and the first to be designed with outdoor seating.

It offers a vast selection of wines from 12 different wineries, wherein 11 of these wineries are unique to Auburn Hills.

There are tons of things that you can do here, including wine tasting flights and joining special events.

After visiting the three tasting rooms, you can purchase bottles to take home as well as some Michigan snacks and merchandise.

That’s not all, as there are also wine education classes, themed parties, and live music!

Drink and Eat the Night Away at the Red Ox Tavern

Looking for a place to enjoy the night?

Head to E Walton Blvd. to experience a unique sports bar and restaurant—the Red Ox Tavern.

Voted Best in Metro Detroit, this place offers a great menu, from burgers and salads to pizza, pasta, and more.

You can choose where you want to stay—the dining area if you wish to enjoy the delicious food, the bar for their excellent drinks, or the open patio for an alfresco experience.

Trivia night also happens, so do make sure to put your thinking caps on to win the games!

Watch a Movie at the AMC Star Great Lakes 25

During one of your nights in Auburn Hills, why not enjoy a movie night?

Go to the AMC Star Great Lakes 25 for a superb cinematic experience.

No need to rush to get the best seats because you can reserve yours online, at the theatre, or via the app.

Using Dolby Cinema, you can enjoy powerful images and surround sound with sound technologies that combine recliners that create a totally unique experience.

Treat Yourself to a Great Massage at the Super Life Acupressure and Reflexology

Located on Baldwin Rd. is a place where you can relax and enjoy some me-time.

Super Life Acupressure and Reflexology is a spa that offers Chinese massage, reflexology treatments, and acupressure.

Exploring a new place and going around can be tiring, which is why you need a few hours to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge.

With Super Life’s services, you’ll feel your muscles relax, and its knots untangle.

Just lie down and give in to your body’s desire to take a break.

The masseuse is guaranteed well-trained and experienced to give you that coveted me-time.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Be One with Nature at the Stage Nature Center

A mushroom in the woods of Stage Nature Center

Jill Simpson /

Located on Coolidge HWY in Troy, some 13 minutes from Auburn Hills, is the Stage Nature Center.

Sitting on a 100-acre parcel along with Troy Farms, this nature center features a building with a children’s nature area, exhibits, classroom space, a library, and a viewing area for the wildlife.

Enjoy walking on two miles of pathway through rivers, forest, marsh, and meadow areas.

For visiting and resident senior citizens, they can enjoy the garden plots and two historical barns.

Remember that only walking and nature study are allowed. Biking, jogging, and cross-country skiing are prohibited at the State Nature Center.

Get Ready for a Unique Adventure at the TreeRunner Adventure Park

You really haven’t been to Auburn Hills if you have never tried the TreeRunner Adventure Park, located just two minutes away from the city.

Boasting more than 75 obstacles and zip lines, seven various courses, and four difficulty levels, you’re in for an adrenaline rush.

It’s the perfect place to bond with the family or with friends.

Many companies choose this park for their team-building activities.

On certain nights, they also have the Summer Glow Nights, where the park illuminates with lights, music, and action.

Think tiki torches and neon rope lights will amaze you?

Then, come to the TreeRunner Adventure Park.

Follow the Paint Creek Trail

Direction sign of Paint Creek Trail

grenierb /

Travel 10 minutes from Auburn Hills to arrive at the Paint Creek Trail, which follows Paint Creek through woodlands, prairies, and wetlands.

This trail is built on the Penn Central Railroad bed, with an approximate length of 8.9 miles.

Paved trail lined with trees at Paint Creek Trail

grenierb /

The place is perfect for enjoying nature and its scenic open spaces aboard a non-motorized vehicle.

Since it is a naturalized corridor, many squirrels, quails, rabbits, foxes, and pheasants have called this place their home.

Get ready to spot a whitetail deer, as these are commonly spotted at dusk or during the early mornings.

A wildflower at Paint Creek Trail

Steve Lagreca /

Final Thought

Auburn Hills is a wonderful place to visit as much as it is a great place to raise a family.

Its rare combination of modern city facilities and suburban living makes it a top choice for travelers and starting families.

It also beautifully balances activities and destinations for all ages, including senior citizens.

So, what are you waiting for?

Come and see Auburn Hills, MI.

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