June 13-15, 2014
The excitement that has been building for months finally has an outlet — the Ann Arbor Summer Festival officially opens! The Festival is divided into two main series of events: Top of the Park and Mainstage. TOP events take place at Ingall’s Mall in downtown Ann Arbor and feature musical performances on two stages, Grove and Rackham. These performances are free of charge, although A2SF recommends a donation of $3 per person per day, or $5 for an entire family. The indoor Mainstage series feature nationally touring acts who perform indoors at Power Center or Hill Auditorium. Tickets for Mainstage events can be purchased here.
Grab the kids or make it a couples-weekend and help us kick off this annual event. We’ve created two-sets of itineraries to help get you started!
Whimsy: Family-Fun Itinerary
Friday, June 13
- Top of the Park (TOP) opens at 5pm and the action is going to be non-stop! Live accoustic music on the well-shaded Grove Stage, make your own fairy village, sing songs, and create traditional Hispanic toys out of recycled materials at the KidZone Tent, and David Zinn will be decorating the sidewalks with his whimsical chalk drawings.There’s so much to do, see and hear!
- Need dinner or even just a snack? Check out Culinary Row along Washington Street for some local flavor. The Sugar Shack and Stucci’s Ice Cream are sure to be favorites for you little ones. Looking for something before dessert? Grab a hot dog from Ray’s Red Hots!
- Tumbao Bravo gets things moving at the Rackham Stage at 7:30pm with Latin jazz. There’s plenty of space for dancing!
Saturday, June 14
- There’s a full day of fun available in Ann Arbor before TOP reopens on Saturday. Swing by the Farmer’s Market at Kerrytown in the morning for breakfast. Then, check out the Hands-On Museum and take part in the “Critters Up Close” program in partnership with Leslie Science Center.
- TOP activities and entertainment return starting at 5pm at Ingalls Mall. Gold Fish Swim school activities at the KidZone Tent, singer-songwriters Kylee Philips and Mike Vial on the Grove Stage and more dancing in front of the Rackham Stage starting at 7pm with Joe Summers Gypsy Jazz.
Sunday, June 15
- It’s Father’s Day! Celebrate with a delicious brunch at one of our amazing restaurants. Don’t forget to make reservations!
- Did you know Summer Festival activities extend beyond Ingalls Mall and the Mainstage? Bring the kids to the Ann Arbor Downtown Library at 1pm to participate in the Kids Rock Series. The internationally acclaimed Dirty Sock Funtime Band will help kids write lyrics, create a tune and invent a dance!
- Watch the Dirty Sock Funtime Band perform live on the Rackham Stage at 7 pm–maybe they’ll play the song your child helped to create at the workshop!
- Wrap up the weekend with one more night at TOP with the grand finale — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on the large outdoor screen! Go back in time to when Harry, Hermione and Ron first met in this modern classic and family favorite.
Lively: Night-Life Itinerary
Friday, June 13
- Grab your yoga mat and join others at 5pm outside the Power Center for a rejuvenating start to the weekend. Ana Hough of A2 Yoga will lead this Vinyasa class through a sequence of postures that everyone, from beginners to experienced practitioners, will enjoy.
- Afterwards, reward yourself with a refreshing pour from the Beverage Garden featuring a variety of beers and wine. While relaxing in the beverage garden, you can take in the sounds from both the Grove and Rackham Stages.
- The Sun Messengers will ascend the Rackham Stage at 9:30pm and fill the night air with its horn-driven dance tunes. After 11pm, move back to the Grove Stage where Robert Lux will kick-off our DJ series and keep the 21+ crowd grooving.
Saturday, June 14
- Linger in bed a little longer before heading downtown for brunch. Check out the amazing menus (and tasty cocktails) at Aventura or Café Zola. Looking for something more traditional? Angelo’s or The Broken Egg will definitely satisfy.
- Once refueled, head over to Nichols Arboretum and check out the beautiful Peony Garden or just hike along the Huron River. Looking for something indoors? The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) is open until 5pm and has some of amazing collections, including one of the most impressive collections by designer Charles Tiffany (Tiffany & Co.).
- Return to Ingalls Mall for more refreshments and great live music including red-hot funk and soul outfit, The Third Coast Kings at 9:30pm. Guaranteed to get you dancing! Or, head over to Hill Auditorium for the first Mainstage event of the season — An Evening of Classic Comedy with Lily Tomlin. This ticketed event begins at 8pm and will have you laughing for hours!
Sunday, June 15
- TOP kicks off again at 5pm. Wind down with a session of Iyengar Yoga (a form of Hatha) led by instructors from the Ann Arbor School of Yoga.
- Hungry? Grab a bite from Culinary Row. One of the vendors, Chela’s, was recently voted by readers of The Ann Arbor News to have the best taco in town. Looking for something that you can’t get at home? Try something from Hut-K Chaats where they servetraditional Indian street food with a nutritious spin.
- Summer Festival favorites The Macpodz return with their high-energy “disco bebop” tunes. With their infectious rock, jazz, funk and fusion grooves this five-piece jam band gets everyone to their feet!
- The Mainstage series continues at Hill Auditorium as alt-rock legends CAKE play “The Distance,” “Long Skirt, Short Jacket” and other hits. Opening up is special guest is the rockabilly legend and one-of-a-kind performer Wanda Jackson.
*Photo credit to Myra Klarman Photography.