Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Ferndale, MI

  • Published 2022/09/09

Ferndale, Michigan, is where passionate artists and like-minded people thrive.

Its streets are filled with murals, art workshops, galleries, and exhibits.

This small city, 17 minutes north of Detroit, is also renowned for its inclusivity and diversity.

Visiting Ferndale in Oakland County means you can do anything, from hopping from one art gallery to another and shopping for unique finds to riding a bicycle and having a romantic dinner.

Historically, Ferndale served as farmland for Native Americans in the 1800s.

The introduction of automobiles paved the way for its cityhood.

Despite Detroit’s urbanized environment, Ferndale maintained its laid-back atmosphere.

It’s a refreshing travel destination where you’re guaranteed to enjoy relaxing and exciting activities.

Are you planning a trip to this charming city?

Here are the best things to do in Ferndale, Michigan:

Take a Stroll through Downtown Ferndale

Welcome sign of Downtown Ferndale

Neelamchopade17, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spending your day strolling through Downtown Ferndale lets you immerse and appreciate the local atmosphere.

Most shops, restaurants, and art galleries are concentrated in this area.

Explore its 3.9-mile stretch and visit one of the 350-plus business establishments owned by local entrepreneurs.

Buildings along Downtown Ferndale

Stanthejeep at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Aside from shopping, dining, and art gallery hopping, you’ll also enjoy an intimate walk through its gorgeous streetscapes.

In addition, Downtown Ferndale hosts various events, such as Ferndale Pride, the Holiday Ice Festival, and the Funky Ferndale Art Fair.

You’re always guaranteed to have something exciting waiting for you here.

Uncover the Past at Ferndale Historical Museum

Spend an hour or two learning about the city’s heritage and history at the Ferndale Historical Museum.

The Ferndale Historical Society manages the museum and offers guided tours and other educational programs for those curious about the city’s backstory.

One of the fascinating things you’ll find inside is the collection of city street and building photos compiled by museum member Diane O’ Neill.

Enjoy wandering inside the Ferndale Historical Museum and come across various exhibits and galleries filled with artifacts of Ferndale’s early days.

You can find this attraction along Livernois Street.

Display Your Skating Skills at Donald Red Geary Park

Donald Red Geary Park is situated on Earle Boulevard, in the northwest part of Ferndale.

It’s where many locals spend their time getting active.

Visiting this park will allow you to enjoy various sports like baseball and soccer.

At the same time, you can sweat out and burn calories in its outdoor fitness area.

You can also enjoy what most locals do at this park—skating.

Donald Red Geary Park was awarded the best skate park in the area in 2020.

It also received the 2020 Parks Design Award.

After its completion in 2019, this park has been one of the city’s most frequently visited outdoor spaces.

Its skate park hosts various competitions throughout the year.

During the winter, a portion of Donald Red Geary Park is converted into a hockey field.

Learn a One-of-a-Kind Sport at the Detroit Curling Club

The Detroit Curling Club plays a vital role in Detroit’s sports scene.

Historically, Detroit formed its first curling club in 1831 at Orchard Lake in Michigan.

It served as the nation’s first official curling club, which inspired Detroit Curling Club’s formation in 1840.

In 1962 and 1975, this club in Ferndale hosted the National Championships of the United States Men’s Curling Association.

The hosting made the club the most prominent group in the sport.

In addition, it has been a consistently fierce contender in the curling national championships for many years.

If you have spare time to learn a thing or two about this Olympic sport, or perhaps you want to discover its fascinating history, visit the Detroit Curling Club along East Lewiston Avenue.

You can watch and even participate with curlers at this place, which is a worthwhile experience.

Explore Ferndale’s Vibrant Arts Scene

Ferndale is renowned for its vibrant arts community, which adds a lot of color to the city’s local scenery.

While visiting this city, spend some time doing an art tour with your travel buddies.

Explore its unique and fascinating arts scene from various galleries, art studios, and shops, which you’ll find everywhere you go.

To start your art tour, check out Espacia Fotiu along West Hazelhurst Street and get a closer look at unique minimalist artworks.

You can proceed to M Contemporary Art along East 9 Mile Road.

This gallery displays Detroit-based artists’ various artworks, from paintings, sculptures, and mixed media to photography.

For unique handcrafted ceramic artworks, visit Next Step Studio & Gallery on Hilton Road.

Don’t forget to check out Office Space Gallery on Woodward Avenue, which hosts various art exhibits and events regularly.

For a curated art tour, you can check out the Ferndale Arts Commission for its scheduled art-related events.

Tour Ferndale on a Bike

One of the best ways to explore Ferndale is on a bike.

Although the city’s wide sidewalks are famous for their walkability, its neighborhood has bike lanes and stations.

To do this, you can check out numerous bike rentals across the city, including Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop along West Nine Mile Road.

You can also hook up with MoGo Bike Share, a bike-share program that allows you to use bikes through one of its seven stations around the city.

Drop by any bike rentals or one of Ferndale’s bike-sharing program stations to tour the city conveniently.

Tour Ferndale and Detroit with Step On Bus Tours

Bus tours are always exciting and comfortable, so why not include this in your itinerary while visiting Ferndale?

Step On Bus Tours is a locally-owned bus tour company along Woodward Avenue.

This company has provided visitors in the city and Detroit a comfortable way to get to various attractions.

Step on Bus Tours offers tourists entertaining and educational bus day trips with various themes across Detroit.

Aside from touring, you’ll get the chance to stop over at shopping malls, historical sites, mysterious attractions, and other famous places across Detroit, including Ferndale.

Treat Your Taste Buds at Bobcat Bonnie’s

Bobcat Bonnie’s opened in 2015, but its location has a long history, making it a fascinating place to grab a meal.

Situated along West Nine Mile Road, this cafe is known for its brunch, dinner, and dessert menu served inside a 150-year-old building.

Before it became Bobcat Bonnie’s, the building was the home of various family-owned businesses since the early 1900s.

The building became the site of nightclubs and restaurants, including Cobalt, Eden Nightclub, and Doug’s Body Shop, all famous back in the day.

Today, it’s a cafe known for its signature cocktails, French toast, cinnamon rolls, breakfast plates, tacos, avocado toasts, and vegan options.

With all that in mind, it’s a must-visit place for delicious food and a quick side trip about history.

Unwind at the Catfé Lounge

If you’re tired of the usual cafe scene, check out the Catfé Lounge along Livernois Street.

A unique cat cafe where you go beyond the usual, it’s home to over a dozen cute cats that will instantly cuddle with you right as you step through its doors.

It also serves as a cat shelter and animal rescue center.

Founded in 2015, the Catfé Lounge serves the usual coffee and beverages and features a cozy indoor lounge.

While sipping your favorite coffee drink, you can adopt a rescued cat or kitten from the Ferndale Cat Shelter.

You can also help their noble cause by donating a certain amount while meeting new feline friends during your visit.

Look for Unique Finds at The Rust Belt Market

The Rust Belt Market is not just your typical marketplace to buy goods since it’s also an event venue for local activities.

This market opens every weekend, featuring over 40 independent vendors and shops offering unique and specially made products.

Inside the market, you’ll find fascinating artworks, vintage collectibles, clothing, handicrafts, accessories, food, beverages, and local produce.

While shopping, enjoy watching various activities at its event venue, making your visit there worthwhile.

Enjoy browsing hundreds of locally made products at The Rust Belt Market.

Maybe you’ll score a unique souvenir to commemorate your visit to Ferndale.

Get a Good Laugh at Go Comedy! Improv Theater

If you haven’t experienced laughing until your stomach hurts in a while, it may be time for you to visit Go Comedy! Improv Theater.

You can find this comedy theater along East 9 Mile Road.

It’s a famous place in the city for its top-notch sketch comedy performances.

Go Comedy! Improv Theater has regular comedy shows every week, treating locals and visitors in Ferndale as a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.

It also offers an in-house training program for those aspiring to become comedians.

Quench Your Thirst at B. Nektar Meadery

B. Nektar Meadery is a local bar and taproom along Jarvis Street.

This award-winning establishment opened in 2006 and specializes in creating top-notch craft beers, ciders, meads, and wine.

If you’re tired and want to relax after touring around Ferndale, head to this place and try their craft beer, cider, and meads.

B. Nektar Meadery offers guests a modern, culture-inspired, and sub-pop atmosphere for a lively experience.

It’s a great place to unwind with an ice-cold drink!

Feel the Thrill of The Fifth Wall Escape Rooms

Visit The Fifth Wall Escape Rooms for a thrilling but fun-filled experience.

You can find this unique attraction along Hilton Road.

It has various themed escape rooms.

Each escape room has unique puzzle games, mysteries, and mind-boggling scenarios which you and your friends or loved ones need to solve before time runs out.

The Fifth Wall Escape Rooms is an excellent place to take a break from the usual attraction you visit around Ferndale.

After successfully escaping, you can proceed to its gift shop to score some unique souvenirs.

Pass the Time at Garbutt Park

Before returning home, spend some time at Garbutt Park to appreciate Ferndale’s unique but vibrant atmosphere.

You can visit this park along Gardendale Street.

It’s where you can spend time with your loved ones or travel buddies for a picnic and other outdoor activities.

Garbutt Park has various amenities like a playground, a volleyball court, picnic areas, grill pits, and a hiking trail.

It’s an excellent location to spend some downtime in Ferndale.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Participate in the Hazel Park Art Fair

Green Acres Park becomes a festive location every August as the local arts community gathers to celebrate the Hazel Park Art Fair.

This event takes place in the neighboring city of Hazel Park, just five minutes from Ferndale.

The fair doesn’t just feature the best artists and artworks in the area; it also involves live music, delicious food, and overflowing beer.

In addition, various performing artists strut their wares with workshops for kids and adults.

The Hazel Park Arts Council organizes this art fair to introduce emerging artists to the community.

At the same time, it’s one of the best events to see the finest artists in Ferndale and Detroit get together.

The Hazel Park Art Fair is full of fun activities and sections to visit, making it an event you won’t want to miss.

Final Thoughts

Its diverse and charming environment, plus the vast array of recreation, make Ferndale a worthy travel destination.

You certainly won’t regret traveling here and trying all the best things to do in Ferndale, Michigan.

Which attraction will you be visiting first?

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