From fascinating attractions like River Raisin National Battlefield Park to the awe-inducing William C. Sterling State Park, or the George Armstrong Custer Equestrian Monument in Monroe MI, you have so many tourist options to choose from that it can quickly become a hassle.
With this article, you don’t have to worry about that. We’re keeping it simple here by sticking with the 20 best things to do in Monroe, MI, and since you may be going with the whole family, we’re keeping it family-friendly.
Though you may already know it, Monroe, Michigan, is a historic city on Lake Erie’s western shore. Founded and named after President James Monroe, it is a bustling city with a range of attractions and recreational opportunities.
It can be said to be one of the most friendly tourist destinations in the state of Michigan. And so, without further ado, let’s get through the amazing things that Monroe has to offer.
1. Visit the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.
As mentioned before, one of the most obvious things to do in Monroe MI is to visit the green, ever-peaceful, and cordially inviting River Raisin National Battlefield Park.
The nature-surrounded park commemorates the historical Battle of Frenchtown, one of the bloodiest engagements of the War of 1812. You can learn about the battle through interactive exhibits, artifacts, and guided tours.
If you’re in luck, you can catch any of the living history events hosted throughout the year.
2. Visit Cappuccilli Park.
Cappuccilli Park is another great destination to either have a picnic or enjoy a recreational outdoor activity with the family. It is close to the River Raisin National Battlefield Park, so you can enjoy a fun time there before or after you enjoy the exhibits Battlefield Park has to offer.
3. Explore the Monroe County Historical Museum.
Monroe County Historical Museum is an exceptional museum in Monroe, located in what was once the residence of General & Mrs. Cluster.
The museum showcases a large collection of antiques from southeastern Michigan. It displays exhibits and archives about Civil War soldiers from Monroe County and Native American culture.
If you are not exploring the detailed exhibits in the artistically spaced hall, then you would be down at the gift shop stocking up on the various souvenirs, including some stunning handmade crafts.
4. Enjoy a picnic at Munson Park.
Whether you’re alone or you’re with family, enjoying a nicely packed picnic at Muson Park is not just one of the most affordable things to do in Monroe MI; it is also one of the best family-friendly activities.
Munson Park is not just the largest park in the city, flush with trees and flowers and greenery perfect for laying your picnic mat; it also features well-placed gazebos in case you want to take your park lunch off the grass.
If you want more fun than that, you can hop on the disc golf course and get throwing.
5. Explore Margo’s Garden Center.
If you’re a fan of nature and beauty, then you are going to love it at Margo’s. Margo’s Garden Center is a family-owned and operated business that caters to the needs of gardeners.
That being said, you don’t have to be a gardener to visit. The center is replete with vibrant plants that make it a wonderful place to stroll, especially if you are looking for a tranquil experience.
6. Play miniature golf at Monroe Golf and Country Club.
Monroe Golf and Country Club is a premier golfing destination located in Monroe, Michigan. It offers a picturesque setting, challenging golf courses, and various amenities for members and guests.
You can explore any of the two 18-hole championship golf courses or develop your skills at the practice facilities.
The clubhouse also features a restaurant and bar where members can enjoy delicious meals and drinks and socialize with fellow golfers.
7. Visit the Monroe County Fairgrounds.
The Monroe County Fair is an annual event that is one of the top Monroe Michigan things to do. The festival is geared towards celebrating the community, bringing together residents and visitors in a mix of entertainment, live performances, fairground attractions, and much more.
From live music performances to thrilling carnival rides to various food vendors offering tasty fair treats to the phenomenal Grandstand events like demolition derbies, truck and tractor pulls, and rodeos, the fair is one of the most exciting things to do in Monroe MI.
8. Take a leisurely stroll along the River Raisin Heritage Trail.
Whatever city you tour, be it Aruba or the Bahamas, you have to find a way to squeeze in a stroll. In Monroe, the perfect place to have that is the River Raisin Heritage Trail.
It connects Sterling State Park and Munson Park and is perfect for long tranquil walks, especially if you love the sound of nature and quiet.
9. Explore the River Raisin Center for Arts.
If you’re a theatre enthusiast looking for what to do in Monroe MI, then you should surely consider experiencing a live performance at the River Raisin Center for the Arts.
If you’re going to be in town for a bit —and you know your way around a stage— you can also audition for a spot in any of their upcoming productions and join the fun.
10. Have fun at the Monroe Family YMCA.
Whether it’s swimming, yoga, pilates, or weight training, Monroe Family YMCA features the best activities to keep your mind and body healthy. From exciting group exercises by passionate trainers to various youth and family programs, the YMCA is one of the more fun things to do in Monroe Mi
The impressive facility has a fully equipped gym for all your health and fitness needs, and it provides the perfect opportunity for family bonding with its group sports like baseball, softball, basketball, and others.
11. Go fishing at Sterling State Park.
Sterling State Park is not just any other park but is one of the most beautiful parks in the city. With its waterside view, it is perfect for a relaxing evening with the wind in your face, sipping fine wine, and trying different expensive chocolates.
It is a great place to enjoy the sunset, and the peacefulness of it all makes it one of my favorite things to do in Monroe MI.
12. Visit the Mall of Monroe.
One of the most obvious things to do in any city is to visit the most glamorous mall and take a lot of pictures. Between the strange dazzling boutiques and the exquisite stores and unique exhibitions, you are sure to have a thrilling experience.
Monroe is not any different. With the Mall of Monroe, especially with its arcade area, Toddler Town, and crayon playland, you can find some of the most fun things to do in Monroe MI.
13. Explore the Monroe Multi-Sports Complex.
The Monroe Multi-Sports Complex is another sports and recreational center in Monroe. It serves as a hub for athletic events, tournaments, training programs, and recreational activities.
While it may be a little similar to the YMCA, it differs because it offers a lacrosse field and a stunning ice arena great for hockey games, figure skating, and other ice-related activities.
14. Take a scenic drive along the River Raisin Scenic Byway.
One of the best ways to enjoy the beautiful view this dainty city has to offer is to cruise through the River Raisin Scenic Byway. The route follows the path of the scenic river and offers the most stunning views of the river, surrounding landscapes, and historical sites.
15. Watch a movie at the Phoenix Theatre Mall of Monroe.
One of the most fun things to do in Monroe MI, is to catch a movie in 3D at the Phoenix Theatre.
From blockbusters to family-friendly options of action, comedy, or drama, you’ll definitely find something the whole family is going to enjoy. The atmosphere of the theatre is also very comfortable, with reclining chairs and ample legroom.
16. Don Larson’s bar.
Pairing a freshly made Mushroom Swiss Burger with a large plate of french fries and some spicy pork rinds is quite the experience, especially with the warm and cozy atmosphere Don Larson’s provides.
After you’ve had a big day exploring the city, it is a fine place to unwind and change the pace of your concluding tour.
17. Visit the Ellis Library & Reference Center.
While a library is not the first place you’ll think of visiting when you enter a new city, visiting the Ellis Library & Reference Center is one of Monroes Michigan’s things to do. First off, you’ll have to agree that the building just looks phenomenal, with the glass highlights and scanty trees.
Aside from its wonderful aesthetics, the library offers interesting collections of books, magazines, newspapers, audiobooks, e-books, and digital resources. It offers dedicated children’s areas, which are sure to keep the kids entertained.
18. Learn about nature at the Eby Pines Conservation Area.
The Eby Pines Conservation Area is a natural haven where you get to immerse yourself fully in the beauty of nature. The conservation area features beautiful nature trails suitable for an adventurous hike while enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the natural surroundings.
It provides a great opportunity for picnicking and relaxation and makes a perfect backdrop for the most gorgeous photos.
19. Visit Monroe Escape Rooms.
What’s more to say? If you love a challenge, like to solve puzzles, and are looking for what to do in Monroe, MI, you just found it. It is the perfect way to have a fun time with the family while still having a fantastic and novel experience.
Test your teamwork and fast thinking, and summon your inner Sherlock Holmes as you explore the wonderful games Monroe Escape Rooms have to offer.
20. Visit Go Karts Plus.
If you are still out to have some fun, you should check out Go Karts Plus. As the name tells you, it’s all about the karts, plus more. From go-karts to putt-putt to batting cages, whether full of adults or kids, the whole family is bound for an amazing time.
In conclusion, Monroe, MI, offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions for residents and visitors to enjoy. And since you’re in the state, you can visit the famous city of Grand Rapids and explore some of the most romantic activities it offers.