5 ways to enjoy Dearborn in the hot weather

Man, it's a hot one.

For those of us that complained about summer's slow start, with its below-average temps and above-average rains, we're sure getting what we desired. And then some.

Let's take a look at five ways to enjoy the summer in Dearborn, whether you're looking to beat the heat, embrace it, or a little bit of both.

Camp Dearborn


Camp Dearborn is a unique amenity to be offered for a city: Dearborn's Recreation & Parks Department owns this 626-acre campground and recreation destination and has so since 1948. Though one might be hard-pressed to find 626 acres of campground in the city itself, Camp Dearborn is actually located about 35 miles north of the city in the village of Milford.

But don't let its destination fool you; Camp Dearborn is distinctly Dearborn. Just look at the quality of attractions and amenities available and you'll see why. There are more than 300 sites available for campers with tents or RVs, and 30 rustic cabins. There are a private beach and swimming lake, but also a heated swimming pool. Attractions include a bicycle trail, zip line, Mystic Creek Golf Course, and more.

There are also the seasonal events, including the Children's Fishing Derby, scheduled for this Saturday, July 13. Now in its 23rd year, the fishing derby rewards children, ranging in ages from 3 to 18 years old, for the biggest fish and the most fish caught.

Visit Camp Dearborn online for registration information.

Fairlane Mall


Looking to get out of the summer heat? Fairlane Town Center, known colloquially as Fairlane Mall, has been providing shopping, dining, and entertainment options--and, don't forget, air conditioning--to not just Dearborn, but the entirety of southeast Michigan since 1976. The mall today features more than 125 stores and restaurants, an AMC movie theater, and even office space for the Ford Motor Company. Fairlane also offers community programming, including its MallStars Kids Club and Live 360 programs.

Perhaps one of the biggest draws this time of year, however, is the sheer size of the building. Fairlane encourages the community to come out and enjoy its concourse, the three levels combining for 1.85 miles of a mall walker's air-conditioned fitness paradise.

Ford-Wyoming Drive-In Theater


While some may consider drive-in movie theaters relics of a bygone era, a visit to the Ford-Wyoming on a weekend night will quickly convince them otherwise. The place can get so busy, in fact, that the Ford-Wyoming can make going to the movies seem like an event again. Though still steeped in nostalgia, with its classic intermission cartoons and double features, this drive-in theater is keeping up with the times: Though window speakers still pipe out tinny audio, moviegoers can also enjoy a true, sometimes intense surround-sound experience. Each of the theater's five screens has its own radio station, allowing each car to dial in and control the audio on their own sound systems.

The drive-in is also a source of civic pride. Founded in 1950, the Ford-Wyoming is billed as the world's largest drive-in movie theater.

Outdoor dining


One of the true perks of summer, and especially in a town like Dearborn, is enjoying dinner on the patio of a local restaurant, sitting with friends and family as a favorite drink or dish is complemented by a late evening's warm summer breeze. What's more, restaurants with patio seating, and especially those on city sidewalks, adds to Dearborn's charm as a vibrant, walkable destination.

While nowhere a complete list, try the upscale fusion of Mint 29, the Dearborn classic that is the Fish Market, the fresh ingredient-focused hamburgers of Brome Modern Eatery, and the southern-style barbecue joint Noah's Smokehouse, located in the historic Detroit Arsenal building.

Farmers Market


A true sign of any vibrant city, town, or village is the farmers market. And not only is Dearborn's a farmers' market but an artisans market, too. Each Friday throughout the summer, patrons can enjoy a multitude of vendors, featuring what the area has to offer from regional farmers and makers.

If that wasn't enough, the Dearborn Farmers & Artisans Market also features workshops and demonstrations, live entertainment, food trucks, and even free yoga sessions. The weekly event is located on West Village Drive, right behind Ford's new Wagner Place development.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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