Fun Spring Activities To Look Forward To

Highlights on and around campus. 

By Esther Hur February 7, 2024
Fun Spring Activities To Look Forward To

As much as I love winter, I’ve been getting very tired of the cold… especially the snow. As we bid adieu to winter, we’re welcoming back the sun and warmth! Spring is the perfect time to explore the beautiful campus and gain memorable experiences while engaging in different activities.

It's worth noting that while some of these activities are conveniently located within walking or biking distance, others may require a bit of transportation. The University of Michigan's bus and public transportation system provides easy and free access to various destinations. For bus schedules, routes, and other transportation details, you can find all the information you need online. You can also use TheRide, Ann Arbor’s public bus system for free with your valid Mcard.

Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens

I’d say this is my favorite activity on this list because spring is the ideal time to visit the Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Gardens. These beautiful landscapes invite everyone for a stroll, picnic, or even a study session while taking in the beauty of nature. Admission is free, making it an accessible option for anybody.

Group of ducks swimming in the water
Ducks in the Arb

Bring your favorite blanket and pack a picnic basket to spend an afternoon with friends or just enjoy a book by yourself. Take a walk through the trails of both Nichols Arboretum and the Botanical Gardens while learning more about the diverse collection of plant species Ann Arbor has to offer. If you're in search of a study spot, there are quiet benches and grassy lawns that are perfect for a refreshing study session. 

Yellow flowers behind a wooden bench
Flowers in the Arb

Trails at the Nichols Arboretum

  • Hours:
    Open daily from sunrise to sunset
  • Free of charge!

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

  • Hours:
    Closed on Mondays
    Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays (10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
    Wednesdays (10 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Here are the hours of operation and directions!

Boy walking in a park with fall colors
Person walking in the Arb

Spring Festivals and Events

There are festivals and events that are hosted by U-M or local organizations during the spring. Some events include SpringFest hosted by the student organization MUSIC Matters. It is hosted during April, on State Street and includes free admission! It features live music, lines of food trucks, and many interactive activities.

Another event is the Ann Arbor Festival held March 26-31 and online March 26-April 7. It’s the longest-running independent and experimental film series in North America! Spanning six days in March, the festival is a celebration of film, showcasing a diverse array of films. Beyond the captivating screenings, there are artist panels, workshops, multimedia installations, and lively after-parties. However, the festival does require passes for a fee.

Outdoor Recreation at Gallup Park

Gallup Park, located along the Huron River, offers a plethora of outdoor activities. Such activities include kayaking, tubing, or a simple scenic bike ride. You can bring your own gear or take advantage of the local rental options. Spend a day surrounded by nature with friends and family!

As of right now, ​Gallup Park will reopen for recreational activities on April 20.

Public Art Tours

Explore sculptures and murals scattered across the grounds of U-M, offering a cost-free and enjoyable opportunity to admire the artistic diversity on campus.

There are also extraordinary museums on campus that you can explore free of charge including the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) and the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology!


  • Hours:
    Closed on Mondays 
    Tuesdays-Wednesdays (11 a.m.-5 p.m.)
    Thursdays-Fridays (10 a.m.-8 p.m.)
    Saturdays-Sundays (11 a.m.-8 p.m.)
  • Location: 525 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology 

  • Hours:
    Closed on Mondays
    Tuesdays-Fridays (9 a.m.-4 p.m.)
    Saturdays-Sundays (1 p.m.-4 p.m.)
  • Location: 434 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI

Study Sessions on the Diag and Law Quad

For those of you looking to study outdoors and enjoy the spring weather, the Diag and the Law Quad's courtyard are popular spots. Gather with friends for study sessions and take in the sun! It's a great way to stay productive while appreciating the weather and the campus' beauty.

Farmers Markets

Engage with the local community by exploring nearby farmers markets! You can enjoy fresh, local produce while contributing to a sustainable and inclusive environment.

Check out the Ann Arbor’s Farmers Market in Kerrytown!

  • Hours: Saturdays (8 a.m.-3 p.m.)
  • Location: 315 Detroit St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Thrifting Adventures

Thrifting is not just an eco-friendly way to shop but offers great deals on unique items. Explore the thrift stores near U-M such as Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop or Kiwanis Thrift Sale!

Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop

  • Hours:
    Thursdays-Sundays (10 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • Location: 2280 S. Industrial Hwy., Ann Arbor, MI

Kiwanis Thrift Sale

  • Hours: 
    Fridays (9 a.m.-1 p.m.)
    Saturdays (9 a.m.-3 p.m.)
  • Location: 100 N. Staebler Rd. Suite C, Ann Arbor, MI

Culinary Exploration

 Embark on a culinary journey around U-M! Ann Arbor is home to many cafes and restaurants, each offering a unique range of cuisines. Try new coffees at local spots like Comet Coffee, RoosRoast Coffee, and Bitty and Beau's. Explore the downtown area if you're looking for a new place to grab a bite, ranging from amazing diners to international cuisine. With choices for every palate and budget, I promise that this will be one of the highlights of your spring.

Bowling and Skating Fun

Still searching for fun activities to do with your friends? Try Revel and Roll for a great bowling experience! With affordable rates and a lively atmosphere, it's an excellent option to spend your evening.

Interested in skating? Go to the Ann Arbor Skatepark, where you can show your skills on the ramps and rails. There is no fee to get into the park and the lights are on until 10 p.m.!

Person on skateboard at skatepark
Person skateboarding at skate park

Revel and Roll

  • Hours: 
    Sunday (noon-11 p.m.)
    Monday-Thursday (4 p.m.-midnight)
    Friday (2 p.m.-1 a.m.)
    Saturday (noon-1 a.m.)
  • Location: 1950 S. Industrial Hwy., Ann Arbor, MI

Ann Arbor Skatepark

  • Hours:
    Sunday-Saturday (6 a.m.-10 p.m.)
  • Location: 350 N. Maple Rd., Ann Arbor, MI

Local Concerts and Gigs

Do you enjoy live music? Dive into the dynamic, vibrant local music culture around U-M! Ann Arbor is a popular hub for both emerging artists and established musicians. Explore concerts and gigs at renowned venues such as The Ark, Blind Pig, or Hill Auditorium! Many local shows come with affordable ticket prices and some events are even free. Additionally, many student organizations or even the University of Michigan's music department hold performances so keep an eye out for flyers or announcements! Whether you enjoy jazz, rock, metal, or classical music, the local music scene on campus provides many opportunities to support artists, discover new bands, and enjoy the amazing atmosphere of live music.

Crowd around a stage at concert
Attendees in concert venue

Spring at the University of Michigan offers many inclusive activities so cherish the warm weather and create lasting memories because winter will be back before you know it.

Esther Hur
Esther Hur

Esther Hur is a current sophomore double majoring in film, television & media and communications & media. She is from Palisades Park, New Jersey. At U-M, Esther is involved in several music and film clubs. Outside of classes, Esther is a freelance photographer and videographer. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and exploring new areas to capture with her camera!