20 Best Things to Do in Livonia, MI

Livonia, M

Welcome to the heart of Michigan, Livonia!

Nestled between the bustling Detroit and serene Ann Arbor, Livonia offers a unique blend of city conveniences and suburban calm.

In this comprehensive guide, we've melded insights from locals and travelers to present you with a mosaic of experiences that define this remarkable place. While we've highlighted some must-visit spots, it's imperative to understand that these recommendations are shaped by personal opinions and experiences.

There are countless other wonderful places awaiting your discovery. Our goal isn't just to point you to the well-trodden paths, but to inspire you to explore and truly immerse yourself in the city's essence.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Michele Natal, Alba Riccardi, Zariah Villa, Louis Smith, Aaron Lovern, Opal Murphy and Hadassah Justice.

Get Transported to 1820s at Greenmead Park

An old church at Greenmead Park
Barbara Kalbfleisch / Shutterstock.com

There's no better way to start my day than with a peaceful walk through the historic grounds of Greenmead Historical Park.

It's a tranquil oasis nestled in Livonia, where the surroundings transport you back to the 1820s.

As I take my faithful, four-legged companion along this journey, the crisp morning air is filled with a sense of serenity.

The park, with its original farm complex, offers more than just a glimpse of history.

The wooded trails are a haven for nature lovers and the beautiful garden area, especially in full bloom, is quite the sight in the summer.

As morning breaks over the horizon, the hill offers the most mesmerizing view of the sunrise, infusing the landscape with a warm, golden glow.

The historical village has been growing with the addition of new old buildings.

Surprisingly enough, there's even free WIFI in this quaint setting.

The anticipation of the community garden's installation adds to the charm.

Waiting house at Greenmead Park
Andrew Jameson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As for the gift shop and tours of the big house, they are yet to be explored.

One of the best parts about living so close to Greenmead Historical Park is the variety of events hosted here.

From local UAW parties to food trucks, bounce homes, and zip lines, there's always something fun and exciting happening.

And, the park provides plenty of space for parking, keeping the experience hassle-free.

What I love most about the park is its inspiring ambiance. Whether it's an event or a regular day, there's always something to capture the imagination.

It's my personal, open-air studio, offering endless subjects to paint or draw.

Meeting house at Greenmead Park
Andrew Jameson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

See Vintage Cars at the Roush Automotive Collection

If you're a fan of iconic Ford cars like me, then one place you'd absolutely love is the Roush Automotive Collection.

I mean, where else would you find a collection that spans across many eras and racing series?

It's like stepping into a time machine, only this one has wheels and horsepower.

When you first walk into the Roush Automotive Collection, the sight of the endless rows of cars and trucks is enough to get your heart racing.

From classic road cars to the speed monsters from the race tracks, it's a automobile haven!

But it's not just about the cars.

It's also about the people who make the experience even more memorable.

The lady at the front desk, for example, is super friendly and can be of great help.

And let's not forget the wonderful gentleman named Tyler W., who goes out of his way to assist visitors.

The gift shop is also worth a mention. It's filled with all sorts of cool stuff and the prices are quite reasonable.

It's the perfect place to get a souvenir to remind you of your amazing day at the Roush Automotive Collection.

To top it all, the collection is in pristine condition, well taken care of, making the visit worthwhile.

Discover Hidden Treasures at Town Peddler Craft and Antique Mall

Each time I journey through the aisles of the Town Peddler Craft and Antique Mall, I feel like an explorer unearthing hidden treasures.

The store, always brimming with a blend of crafts, collectables, seasonal décor, and upscale garage sale items, offers a fresh adventure with every visit.

Running my fingers over each unique item, I revel in the stories these goods hold.

Every craft, every artifact is selected personally by the booth renters, adding a personal touch to the shopping experience.

The central check-out makes the buying process easy and quick, even when my arms are full of finds.

I’m always taken aback by the variety of the items available.

During summer, the selection of garden items and summer stuff is impressive.

The collectables and upscale garage sale items have their own area, separate from crafts.

It's like walking between worlds, transitioning from handmade crafts to vintage collectibles.

Gift shopping at Town Peddler Craft and Antique Mall is a breeze.

The wide assortment of goods means there is something for literally everyone.

I often find myself losing track of time, absorbed in the fascinating items.

My monthly visits always leave me looking forward to the next.

Despite being more craft-inclined, it offers a decent range of antiques and collectables.

Though I might not always find the vintage items I am searching for, I have stumbled upon endearing pieces that have made perfect gifts for friends.

Parking is never an issue, with ample space available. I often stop by when I’m passing through the area.

It's an interesting place, and I look forward to seeing what the fall season will bring to the aisles of Town Peddler.

Feel the Thrill at Dirt Burner Hobbies and Raceway

A flurry of excitement hit me as I walked into Dirt Burner Hobbies and Raceway for the first time.

This place is an emblem of an authentic, family-owned auto parts store, with a fun twist.

A unique indoor clay race track sits at the heart of it, like a call to adventure for every remote control (R/C) enthusiast.

Yes, the place might be a little dusty, thanks to the clay track, but the dust only adds to the charm of the place.

You can feel the anticipation in the air, especially on club racing nights, which are an absolute blast.

The staff at Dirt Burner Hobbies and Raceway is a treasure trove of knowledge, always ready to provide their expert advice.

It's comforting to know that your questions are answered by people who understand their craft so well.

But, be prepared to make a phone call to check for part availability.

Sadly, they don't have much of an online presence yet.

Also, finding your way in can be a bit tricky as there's no clear entrance point.

You have to pass through the pits and the track to get in.

I remember, once I went there to purchase a new traxxas, and was greeted with a quick 'be right with you'.

Unfortunately, I had to wait for around 25 minutes without any further assistance.

It was a bit disappointing, considering I had seen a few cars that had sparked my interest.

But alas, I ended up leaving without any purchase that day.

However, that one experience didn't deter me.

I still frequent Dirt Burners, attracted by the irresistible charm of their indoor race track and the friendly, knowledgeable staff.

If you're an R/C car enthusiast, this place is definitely worth checking out.

Catch a Show at Wilson Barn

Exterior of Wilson Barn
Andrew Jameson, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just another sunny afternoon and I find myself basking in the rustic charm and tranquility of Wilson Barn.

This place is simply a local gem, a perfect blend of history, charm, and nature.

Picture this: an old barn nestled in a park, surrounded by freshly cut grass and picnic tables just waiting to host your leisurely afternoon.

I've attended numerous events here, and each one has been a unique experience.

The barn is a beloved spot for community gatherings, a place that transforms into a vibrant hub of activities and laughter.

Imagine the twinkle of fairy lights in the evening while the barn hosts a party, or the thrill of a car show during the day.

There's always something happening at Wilson Barn.

The car shows are particularly memorable.

It's not every day that one gets to see a spectacular array of vintage beauties up close.

The last one I attended boasted a collection that would overwhelm any car enthusiast.

Even if you're not a car fanatic, these events are worth visiting for the sheer energy and excitement.

Rainy days bring an entirely different kind of charm.

The barn looks even more picturesque against the backdrop of rain-swept landscapes.

I remember a car show that had to close early due to an unexpected downpour.

Nonetheless, the experience was delightful. I had a good time, and even the rain added a touch of magic to the event.

Find Solitude at Newburgh Pointe

I've always found something incredibly soothing about Newburgh Pointe.

Maybe it's the way the sunlight filters through the pine trees, or perhaps it's the warm Michigan breeze that skims the surface of the water.

I've spent countless afternoons here, sometimes alone with a good book, other times in the company of friends for picnics or the occasional fishing trip.

The space is teeming with activity without ever feeling too crowded, making it the perfect oasis in the middle of our bustling city.

The jewel in Newburgh Pointe’s crown has to be the sunsets.

The sky morphs into a palette of reds, oranges, and purples, painting a breathtaking picture that never fails to captivate me.

The pier is a bit on the smaller side, but it doesn't detract from the experience.

I do wish that more attention was paid to keeping the water clean.

There's sometimes trash floating in the water, but the locals and I do our best to keep the place clean.

I wouldn't recommend swimming here, but it’s a beautiful spot for canoeing or biking around the perimeter.

Newburgh Pointe truly is a slice of natural beauty right in our backyard.

It's one of those places that makes you pause and appreciate the simple joys of life.

Get Some Exercise at Bicentennial Park

You know, there's something utterly magical about waking up on a Saturday morning, lacing up my running shoes, and heading over to Bicentennial Park.

Nestled within our beloved city of Livonia, this park is more than just a green space - it's a community gathering spot, a fitness hub, and a sanctuary for nature lovers.

As a fitness enthusiast, I find myself drawn to the park's well-maintained athletic fields.

Whether it's a quick game of soccer or a few laps around the park, the variety of activities it offers never fails to keep my adrenaline pumping.

Not to mention, the Livonia Parkrun held at Bicentennial every Saturday morning has become a cherished part of my weekend routine.

The camaraderie among the parkrunners is infectious, and the welcoming environment makes you feel like part of a big family.

Apart from fitness, the park also offers peaceful walking trails ideal for those quiet, introspective moments.

What I love most about these trails is how they weave through the park, unveiling hidden gems like playgrounds and picnic areas, ideal for family get-togethers.

And speaking of family, Bicentennial Park's playscape is a dream come true for my little ones.

The vibrantly colored play structures keep them engaged for hours, and the cleanliness of the area is always impressive.

Plus, the onsite restrooms are a godsend for parents like me!

While the amenities are top-notch, what truly sets Bicentennial Park apart is the commitment of the Livonia community and the city authorities to maintain it.

Over the years, I've seen consistent efforts to keep the park clean, safe, and welcoming for everyone.

It's truly the heart of our community, and I am grateful to call it my backyard.

Go Swimming at Jack E. Kirksey Livonia Community Recreation Center

Exterior of Jack E. Kirksey Livonia Community Recreation Center
Dwight Burdette, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What a rollercoaster of experiences, the Jack E. Kirksey Livonia Community Recreation Center has been!

Nestled in the heart of Livonia, I've had my share of experiences at this popular haunt.

I admire the cleanliness of the facilities, the sparkling pool, and the dedicated staff who seem always on their toes to maintain the upkeep.

My little one just adores the indoor swimming sessions.

Heck, the Jack E. Kirksey Livonia Community Recreation Center is even reasonably priced with a plethora of activities to pick from!

Have a Family Day at Clements Circle Splash Park

My family's favorite way to beat the summer heat is taking a trip to the Clements Circle Splash Park.

Located just down the road from our house, this wonderful outdoor pool facility is the perfect spot to cool off and unwind.

From the moment we step into the park, I am always struck by the sense of joy and laughter that fills the air.

My kids, they just can't get enough of the splash pad and the wide array of water features.

Although I must admit, the park could use a few more shaded areas or additional umbrellas to help shield us from the sometimes harsh summer sun.

But, that's a minor inconvenience compared to the overall fun we have.

One of the best features at Clements Circle Splash Park is the awesome walk-in pool.

My little ones love being able to wade into the water that is just right for their height, up to 3 feet.

For my older kids, there's another pool ranging from 3.5 feet to 6 feet, complete with a slide that they absolutely love.

But the fun is not just limited to the pool.

There's also a great park right in front of the splash area where we often enjoy a picnic or play a game of frisbee.

Have a Movie Date at Phoenix Theatres Laurel Park

Every time I step into Phoenix Theatres Laurel Park, I'm instantly transported back to simpler times.

It's tucked away in a fancy mall, offering a delightful blend of modernity and nostalgia, much like a retro movie from the 90s playing in a state-of-the-art, 3D theatre.

This cinema, with its ten theaters including an extra-large 3D screen, has become my refuge from the daily hustle and bustle.

The beautiful thing about Phoenix Theatres Laurel Park is its low-key vibe. It's not the typical overcrowded theatre where moviegoers jostle for space.

Here, you can enjoy your movie in peace, without worrying about the hustle of the crowd.

The customer service is excellent; they've treated me with warmth during my visits over the years.

It's one of those rare places that respects and values your personal space and time.

The theatres are well-equipped with comfortable, reclining seats that can heat up, providing a cozy movie experience, especially during those chilly winter evenings.

However, my favorite theatre is the one with the aisle on the left.

Initially, it may seem inconvenient if you're seated on the far right, but trust me, the experience of watching a movie without any disturbance is unparalleled.

And about the popcorn, although they don't provide a brown bag for sharing, their bite-sized popcorn served in tiny cone-shaped cups gives a unique touch to the whole movie-watching experience, making it all the more memorable.

Stroll through Nankin Lake Park Area

Every morning, I lace up my walking shoes and head out for a brisk walk through the Nankin Lake Park Area.

The crunch of gravel underfoot and the fresh morning air is an invigorating start to my day.

Recently, the park underwent some renovations - the lake was dredged, the parking lot paved and the walkway now sports a fresh layer of asphalt.

Large rocks have been arranged along the bank, offering a perfect vantage point to sit and watch the waters.

I’ve seen quite a few people taking advantage of this spot, lines cast out, hoping to reel in a small mouth bass or maybe even a pike.

The park offers plenty more than just fishing, though. I often watch kayakers paddling around the lake, and bikers zipping along the trails on the west side.

There's even a quaint man-made waterfall on the south side of the lake that adds to the serene atmosphere.

Nankin Lake Park Area has become more than just a place for my morning walk - it's a community hub where people of all ages come to enjoy a bit of nature in the heart of Wayne County.

It's not only a popular spot for humans but our furry friends too.

Adding to the charm, the park makes for a perfect relaxing spot to watch the sunrise or sunset.

From pouring hearts out in a stress-free environment to burning some calories, this park has been a delightful addition to our urban life.

Indulge in the Delicacies of J. Alexander's Restaurant

Exterior of J. Alexander's Restaurant
Dwight Burdette, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I still remember the first time I stepped into J. Alexander's Restaurant, lured in by the inviting glow from the contemporary space.

What started as a casual visit soon turned into a love affair with the place - the aroma of wood-fired American fare wafting through the air was enough to make my heart flutter and stomach rumble.

The atmosphere was a perfect symphony of sophistication and comfort, a blend that had me coming back time and again. But it wasn't just the ambiance.

The extensive menu, with its variety of tantalizing options, was a gastronomic paradise waiting to be explored.

My first venture was their steak burger, cooked to a perfect medium, with the shoe-string fries, fresh out of the fryer, adding a warm and crispy edge to the meal.

But it was the shrimp appetizer that stole the show.

It was cooked just right - not chewy but firm, and the homemade cocktail sauce and the sweet/tangy sauce were the perfect companions.

I've since tried a plethora of dishes, including the salmon and pasta/rice mix, which never fail to impress.

And while the prices may be a notch higher than your typical bar food, the quality of the fare justifies every penny spent.

The bar has become my go-to spot for an early dinner, especially when I manage to dodge the crowd.

The dim lighting sets a grown and sexy vibe, great for everyday outings or celebrations.

A little tip for those who find it hard to navigate the menu under dim lights - just check it out before you head in.

I must give a shout-out to the Mr. Jack's chicken fingers and fries from the lunch menu.

They've got a secret lunch portion that isn't listed on the menu but is a steal in terms of the price.

And if you think the meal isn't complete without a sweet treat, their carrot cake is a must-try. Paired with a French press, it's the perfect capstone to a fantastic meal.

Their attentive staff is worth mentioning too, always ensuring a comfortable and pleasant dining experience.

And with ample parking, you never have to worry about finding a spot for your vehicle.

Incredibly, despite all the great times I've had there, I still feel the excitement of the first visit each time I walk through the doors of J. Alexander's.

It's a charming spot that never fails to impress, and I can't wait for my next visit - hopefully, for that delicious dessert I missed last time!

Have a Good Read at Newburgh Lake

There's no place quite like Newburgh Lake.

Greeted by a gentle, morning breeze, I often find myself lacing up my outdoor boots and heading down to this local treasure right after that first sip of coffee.

The beauty of the lake is nothing short of mesmerizing, especially when the sun begins to rise, casting shades of pink and orange across the calm water.

My favorite spot? The wooden bench nestled under the willow tree. It's the perfect place to take a breather and devour a good book.

On the weekends, the lake transforms into a hub for sports enthusiasts.

Kayakers slice through the water, trail runners dart down paths, and cyclists whizz by, creating a vibrant energy that's truly infectious.

But it's the local wildlife that truly steals the show.

The chance to spot a heron poised on one leg, a family of ducks waddling down to the water, or the elusive red fox darting through the bushes, makes every visit unique.

And when the day draws to a close, the setting sun paints the sky with hues of purple and gold, reflecting off the lake, creating a spectacle that never fails to leave me in awe.

As I walk the path home, the memory of another beautiful day at Newburgh Lake lingers, leaving me eagerly awaiting my next visit.

Hangout with Your Friends at The Black Label Tavern Livonia

Let me tell you - there's no better way to spend a Friday night than at The Black Label Tavern Livonia.

With its tantalizing menu featuring all-American classics like burgers, tacos, pizzas and chops, it's the go-to spot for any local food enthusiast.

Oh, and if you're a sports fan, you're in for a treat.

The tavern has TVs galore, playing every sport you can imagine.

So, you can dig into a juicy burger while cheering on your favorite team.

While the place is often buzzing with activity, the service never disappoints.

Even on the busiest of nights, the staff are always on their toes, ensuring you have the best experience.

I have to say, the Truffle Fries are a personal favorite of mine.

You cannot simply resist the whiff of truffle oil wafting from these hot, crispy fries - they're simply irresistible!

You'll find the tavern nestled on the northside of Plymouth Road, just west of Farmington Road.

The minute you walk in, you'll be greeted by a modern atmosphere and a stunning array of wide screens.

I often find myself sitting at a hightop at the bar, where the service is always spot on despite the lack of staff.

A must-try dish for me has to be the Nachos.

Loaded with fresh salsa, ground beef, black olives, tomato, corn, and oozing with nacho cheese - it's a winning dish in my books.

Whether you're looking for a fun date night spot or just a casual place to grab a bite, The Black Label Tavern Livonia is the place to be.

Trust me, once you've dined here, you'll be itching to come back for more.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Meditate at Sri Bhaktha Hanuman Temple

Exterior fo Sri Bhaktha Hanuman Temple
Shibamouli Lahiri, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you're seeking a slice of spiritual solace, the Sri Bhaktha Hanuman Temple is just the place for you.

There's a certain peace that washes over me every time I step foot into this hallowed ground.

The statues, both inside and outside the temple, are truly a sight to behold.

You'll be hard-pressed to find such majestic idols in any other part of the state.

Just seeing the grand statue of Bhakti Hanuman fills me with immense joy and tranquility.

The serene Indian ambiance is something that always makes my heart feel at home.

Sri Bhaktha Hanuman Temple is more than just a place of worship.

They provide prasadam on a regular basis and cater to all important occasions with their assortment of flowers and garlands.

The temple is also host to a variety of religious ceremonies.

They conduct Vishnu Sahasranama and other prayers and parayanas, guided by knowledgeable pandits who are well-versed in various languages.

What's more, they even accept donations for temple extension.

Spot the Animals at Wilcox Lake Recreation Area

Every city has its hidden gem, and for us, it's the Wilcox Lake Recreation Area.

Let me take you through a typical visit to this charming spot in our neck of the woods.

Right off the bat, you'll notice the serene setting - the perfect place to pull over and sit by the water to enjoy nature's spectacle or try your hand at fishing.

This place is more than just a lake, it's a picturesque setting that's host to a variety of wildlife.

During my strolls, I frequently come across playful squirrels, chirping birds, and if I'm lucky, a deer or two.

In the late afternoons, the lake comes alive with the jumping of fish, a sight that's as entertaining as it is mesmerizing.

Just a word of caution, though - the lake has been gradually becoming overrun with grass and seaweed over the years, which might get your fishing line tangled.

Directly across the street from the lake, there's a park.

Sure, Wilcox Lake Recreation Area is a bit on the older side, but it has its charm and still offers a great deal of fun for both kids and adults.

For those who like to maintain their comfort while adventuring, the bathrooms here are kept impressively clean, something that's always a relief when spending a day outdoors.

I remember laughing when I saw ducks literally walking across grass on the water surface.

Celebrate Special Occasions at the Garden City

Ever had one of those days in Garden City where everything feels a bit too urban and you just need a slight touch of greenery and tranquility?

Well, I have. And on such days, my safe haven is none other than the Friends of the Garden City.

Imagine hosting your bridal shower in a place that feels like a blending of nature and elegance.

A place that makes you feel like a princess amidst blossoms and manicured lawns.

That's exactly what Friends of the Garden City did for me.

It was an unforgettable day, the venue was just perfect, exuding an old-world charm that was both elegant and cozy.

The dedication of the members here is what truly stands out. T

hey pour their heart and soul into establishing and maintaining the gardens, creating a marvel for us to enjoy.

It's a wonderful sight to behold.

Whenever I walk through the gardens, I can't help but wish I could do that, cultivate such beauty with my own two hands.

The love and dedication they put into their work is truly inspiring.

And it's not just about the gardens, the community spirit here is alive and vibrant.

I remember when the Founding Chapter of the American Legion Riders helped out on a fund raiser.

It was such a great day, bringing everyone together to celebrate and support our community.

It was so heartwarming to see everyone come together, creating lasting memories.

Cycle through Nankin Mills Nature Center

Exterior of Nankin Mills Nature Center
Dave Parker, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Here's something you won't want to miss: a family-friendly escape right in our own backyard, the Nankin Mills Nature Center.

It's easily become one of my favorite places to unwind and enjoy the beauty of our local scenery.

Imagine enjoying a barbecue with the family surrounded by lush greenery, and the sound of classic cars and bikes going by on the nearby road.

It's just magical during the summertime.

What I admire most about the Nankin Mills Nature Center is how it caters to all ages.

There is a play area for the kids, while adults can enjoy the scenic beauty of the park.

Plus, there's no need to worry about amenities - the restrooms are nearby and usually well-maintained.

Go Axe Throwing at BATL Novi

Ever since I first stepped into BATL Axe Throwing in Novi, it's been nothing short of a thrilling ride.

I've been there several times already and every visit has been an exhilarating experience!

The place is exceptionally organized and the coaches do an incredible job at both teaching and keeping the game flowing smoothly.

Whether you're a small group or a large one, BATL ensures a fun and safe adventure for everyone.

I remember the first time I took my family - five kids, aged 14-22, during the holidays.

The atmosphere was lively and clean, and we were made to feel welcome from the moment we set foot inside.

Our coach, Devin, was simply amazing, guiding and encouraging us throughout our session.

They've got everything figured out at BATL, even down to the pricing - just $30 per person for an hour of pure fun.

There are quite a few rules to follow, but they're all for safety purposes.

It might take a little practice at first, but once you get the hang of it, the excitement level goes through the roof!

And if you're worried about thirst, they've got you covered. They actually sell beer and drinks right there!

Plus, the staff is super friendly and informative, and they even have clean restrooms!

Final Thoughts  

Livonia, Michigan, is a city brimming with activities and sights for every interest.

I often find myself heading to Rotary Park for a relaxing walk or to BATL Axe Throwing for some exhilarating fun.

Truly, Livonia is a place of diverse experiences just waiting to be discovered.

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