Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Downtown Rochester, MI

  • Published 2023/08/06

The city of Rochester is located in Oakland County, Michigan.

It’s a suburb 20 miles north of downtown Detroit in the greater Detroit.

Approximately 12,000 people live in Rochester.

Incorporated in 1967, Rochester was the first European settlement in Oakland County, founded in 1818.

Here are the best things to do in Rochester, Michigan.

**About this article: This article was written by a local contributor based on their own experiences and those around them. While this list showcases some remarkable places, it’s important to note that this is an opinion piece, and there are many other exceptional places to visit that are not featured here.
Our aim is not just to guide you to popular places but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city for yourself.

Take a Stroll at Rochester Municipal Park

Paint creek at Rochester Municipal Park

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Rochester Municipal Park is a great place to spend a few hours away from the stress of city life.

The Rochester Municipal Park has over a mile of paved walkways, illuminated tennis courts, open-air shelters, a pond, and sand volleyball courts.

Take in the scenery along Paint Creek as it winds through the park.

Have a fun day in the park with your kids, where they can enjoy the playgrounds, swan ponds, paint creek walk, and riverside beaches.

It’s also a fantastic place to hit the courts or jog.

Your dogs are welcome to join your stroll through the park, provided they are always leashed.

The Rochester Municipal Park also houses the Rochester Community House, a nonprofit service and banquet facility.

The park is located at 6th St., Rochester, Michigan.

Have Fun at Rochester Play

Rochester Play is a one-of-a-kind venue for family outings, birthday parties, and other special events.

They take great pleasure in being a place where everyone can relax and have a good time in a safe environment.

Rochester Play was founded by parents who saw a need for a convenient place where people of all ages could play and exercise.

They provide a wide range of services centered on high-quality, physically-active play.

Moreover, they have a state-of-the-art indoor playground, a unique party venue, a health-conscious and delicious café, and a wide range of activities for kids and their families.

Their playground features padded tunnels, slides, bridges, and crawl spaces where children may explore and play safely.

There is a separate, smaller play area for younger children at Rochester Play and a larger main play area.

The cafe is an excellent place for people of all ages to recharge their batteries with its selection of healthy, organic foods, whole-fruit smoothies, and freshly baked bread and pastries.

You can visit them at E 2nd St, Rochester, Michigan.

Hike at Paint Creek Trail

Pathway of Paint Creek Trail

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The 8.9-mile-long Paint Creek Trail is located in northeast Oakland County and connects Rochester with Lake Orion.

Paint Creek Trail is a tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The trail is a winding walk through the woods that passes streams, wetlands, ponds, and grassy meadows.

Paint Creek Trail was a former Penn Central Railroad line transformed into Michigan’s first rail-to-trail.

It has been open to the public since 1983 and now sees over 100,000 people yearly.

There are picnic tables and a smooth limestone floor.

The trail is an excellent venue for outdoor activities, including biking, hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, and even cross-country skiing on its ungroomed sections.

Wildlife, including herons, snapping turtles, muskrats, and even the occasional deer, are also frequent visitors.

Ride Through Bear Creek Nature Park

Bear Creek Nature Park is a 107-acre park with scenic vistas and hiking trails for locals and visitors.

This nature park, located on West Snell Road east of Orion Road in Rochester, is exceptionally well-kept.

The park has limestone pathways and boardwalks that are accessible by wheelchair, as well as a picnic pavilion, grills, a playground, and bathrooms.

Mowed trails are spread throughout the park, making it ideal for biking, hiking, equestrian riding, cross-country skiing, and more.

Pavilion space in the park can be reserved for private events.

Bear Creek Nature Park’s front portion features a vast open field with a pretty sizable playscape for children.

Their ultra-modern pavilion includes high-quality amenities such as spacious picnic tables and a massive grill.

An outdoor ice skating rink is also available in the park during the winter months.

Go Ice Skating at Onyx Rochester Ice Arena

Exterior of Onyx Rochester Ice Arena

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The Onyx Rochester Ice Arena is a fantastic spot for a group outing to enjoy ice skating or ice hockey.

The Onyx Rochester Ice Arena is a large rink that hosts figure skating classes, ice hockey leagues, and public skating sessions.

It’s in a 114,000-square-foot complex with three hockey rinks that meet National Hockey League specifications.

The arena is equipped to accommodate an increasing number of amateur hockey players, figure skaters, and recreational skaters in the area.

The Onyx hosts public skating sessions, drop-in hockey games, figure skating lessons, and other events for people of all ages.

Onyx is also a training facility for world figure skating champion Todd Eldredge.

The ice arena is located at Dequindre Rd, Rochester, Michigan.

Join Community Events at Rochester Community House

Stop by the Rochester Community House to participate in many ongoing local activities in Rochester, Michigan.

Since its opening in 1975, Rochester Community House has hosted countless events.

The Rochester Community House is a beautiful venue for celebrations of all kinds, including weddings, receptions, community gatherings, and birthday and baby showers.

They also conduct business lunches, meetings, seminars, enrichment programs, and meetings for nonprofits.

The Rochester Community Park and House is in Ludlow, Rochester, Michigan.

Visit Meadow Brook Hall

Exterior of Meadow Brook Hall

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If you find yourself in Rochester, Michigan, stop by Meadow Brook Hall.

The 110-room Tudor Revival mansion is the fourth-largest historic house museum in the United States.

Meadow Brook Hall, built between 1926 and 1929, was originally the residence of Matilda Dodge Wilson, heiress to the Dodge automobile fortune, and her second husband, Alfred Wilson.

The exterior incorporates varied textures and patterns using American brick, sandstone, wood beams, and a clay tile roof.

In addition, the house features luxurious interiors such as sculpted and carved plaster ceilings, stained glass window insets, crystal and art glass lighting fixtures, and gold-plated bathroom fittings.

Nowadays, the mansion is a popular venue for weddings, parties, and other special occasions.

Meadow Brook Hall is at Estate Dr, Rochester, Michigan.

Ride a Zipline at TreeRunner Adventure Parks

TreeRunner Adventure Park Rochester is Oakland County’s premier aerial adventure park.

It boasts over 60 exciting obstacles, zip lines, four difficulty levels, and seven distinct trails.

Various obstacles, such as zip lines, barrels, cargo nets, and bridges, are connected between platforms and built around trees.

TreeRunner Adventure Parks offer a one-of-a-kind and challenging experience for individuals, families, and groups to complete and achieve through physical challenges such as ropes courses, obstacles, and zip lines in a natural forested setting.

They are located at Meadow Brook Road, Rochester, Michigan, on the Oakland University campus, at the intersection of Walton and Adams roads.

The best way to get to the park is to enter from Adams Road.

Come to TreeRunner Adventure Park if you want unique outdoor activities in Oakland County.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve is a 16-acre nature preserve in Rochester Hills, Michigan.

The Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve is a community-run organization that hosts educational programs like summer camps and academic courses.

They have excellent trails that are free and open to the public every day.

The preserve teaches communities about the environment through on-site and classroom activities and classes.

Their activities geared toward families are fun for people of all ages.

Concerned citizens and businesses in Rochester contribute financially and in kind to maintain the preserve and nature center.

Join one of their many educational programs, or take in the scenery along one of their many hiking trails.

They are located at N Hill Cir., Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Go Bowling at Avon North Hill Lanes

Stop by Avon North Hill Lanes with your pals and have fun bowling. Bowling enthusiasts from Rochester Hills and beyond can’t go wrong at Avon North Hill Lanes.

The space is spotless and well-organized, and groups of all sizes are welcome.

Avon North Hill Lanes is an exceptional bowling center with 32 lanes and features like automatic scoring, bumper bowling, and glow bowling that set it apart from other bowling centers.

In addition, party packages that include bowling, pizza, and more are available.

Join a league, throw a bowling party, or bowl casually.

Everyone can have a good time at Avon North Hill Bowling.

They are at W Tienken Rd, Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Discover The Past at Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm is an excellent resource for learning about the region’s rich past.

Rochester’s rich history is the focus of the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, a sprawling 16-acre museum complex on a historic farm.

Three historic buildings—the 1840 Van Hoosen Farmhouse, the 1888 Red House, and the 1927 Dairy Barn—have been turned into a museum open all year.

The permanent exhibit at the museum provides context for the exciting stories of the Taylor and Van Hoosen families and the development of the neighborhood.

At the Dairy Barn, guests can take a guided tour of the Van Hoosen Farmhouse and its 16 acres, including the adjoining Stoney Creek Cemetery and the Bull Barn, Milk House, Equipment Barn, and Children’s Garden.

We are located at Van Hoosen Rd, Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Experience Cycling at International Velodrome at Bloomer Park

Come to the International Velodrome at Bloomer Park (IVBP) to watch thrilling bike races, or sign up for one of several available riding and training sessions.

The IVBP is an oval velodrome 200 meters long, banking at 44 degrees at each of the four corners.

All summer long, the IVBP hosts track cycling races on the weekends.

Several Olympic-style competitions are available for top athletes, novice racers, and racing teams.

You can also have a picnic and relax on the hillside benches in Bloomer Park.

The track offers daily riding and training programs on fixed-gear bikes that can be borrowed or rented.

IVBP is also home to the Wolverine Sports Club Track Cycling Team.

The Velodrome is located at Clinton River Trail, Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Practice Your Swing at X-Golf Rochester Hills

Visit X-Golf Rochester Hills to hone your competitive skills or to unwind with loved ones.

X-Golf Rochester Hills has cutting-edge simulators that golfers of any skill level can use.

They also take excellent satisfaction in its precision, expertise, and realism.

Their new system analyzes the ball’s path, angle of attack, trajectory, and speed in addition to the ball’s motion vector.

Moreover, this system allows them to accurately model the physical principles that determine the trajectory of a golf ball.

Experience world-class courses, state-of-the-art practice facilities, and expert instruction from PGA pros when you visit them at S Rochester Rd, Rochester Hills, Michigan.

See The Latest Movies at Emagine Rochester Hills

Emagine Rochester Hills offers luxurious theater seating for your movie-watching pleasure.

Emagine Rochester Hills is a high-end movie theater with massive screens and plush leather seating.

This multiplex shows the most recent installments of your favorite film series.

The theater provides a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience with its 3D and Dolby Atmos screens, gourmet concessions (including stone-fired pizza), fully stocked bars, reserved seats, event space rentals, and more.

Experience the theater in a new way with their D-Box seats, which move in sync with the action on the screen.

Emagine Rochester Hills hosts film festivals, kids’ summer series, open caption films, and other entertaining activities.

They are at Barclay Cir, Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Play Laser Tag at MI-Combat

Bring your friends to MI-Combat for a thrilling game of laser tag.

Mi-Combat Tactical Laser Tag’s cutting-edge technology will convince you that you’re actually in a realistic battleground.

The arena’s meticulous attention to detail and focus on authenticity and immersion result in an unforgettable experience.

They use cutting-edge tactical laser tag gear and impressively lifelike environments.

Of course, you’ll feel like a commando with your realistic replica laser weapons.

The realistic sounds of shooting, recoiling, and reloading will get your blood pounding.

They are at S Adams Rd., Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Final Thoughts

There is always something for everyone when you visit Downtown Rochester, Michigan.

What are you waiting for?

Enjoy Downtown Rochester, Michigan!

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