12 Things to Do in Sterling Heights, Michigan

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Nestled in the southeast corner of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Sterling Heights offers visitors plenty of fun activities for the whole family. From outdoor adventures to indoor entertainment, Sterling Heights has something for everyone. With a population of over 130,000, it is one of the largest cities in Michigan and the fourth largest city in the Metro Detroit area.

Dodge ParkOffers recreational spaces and seasonal activities like a farmers market and ice rink.
Upton HouseHistoric farmhouse museum showcasing late 1800s life.
Emerald TheatreVenue for live music, theater, and movies.
Sterling Heights Nature CenterEducation on local ecosystems with trails and indoor exhibits.
Clinton River ParkScenic park with outdoor activities along the river.
Music FestLive music and family activities at Dodge Park Farmer’s Market.
Holocaust Memorial CenterMuseum educating on the Holocaust with exhibits and survivor testimonies.
Bike PathwaysExtensive bike trails through parks and the city.
Music ConcertsFree summer concert series in Dodge Park.

Sterling Heights provides easy access to many of southeast Michigan’s top attractions, including Detroit which is less than 20 miles to the south. But you don’t need to leave town to have a great time. Sterling Heights has its own blend of residential neighbourhoods, commercial districts, historical sites, recreation areas, diverse cuisine, and unique attractions that make it an ideal weekend getaway or longer vacation destination.

To help you make the most of your visit, here is an overview of 12 top things to do in and around Sterling Heights, MI.

1.Have Fun at Dodge Park

Name and Location: Dodge Park is located at 40200 North Utica Road in Sterling Heights, Michigan. It spans over 90 acres with many amenities.

History and Significance: Opened in 1968, Dodge Park has served the community for over 50 years with ample open space, walking paths, sports facilities, playgrounds, farmers market, ice arena and event venues.

What to Expect: The park offers nature trails, observation pond, petting farm, Fairview Fields splash pad, seasonal ice skating rink, historical buildings and pavilions, tennis, disc golf and more.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily with varied hours. Some attractions have fees or reservations requirements.

Spanning 303 acres just south of M-59, Dodge Park offers forests, wetlands, and open spaces perfect for year-round recreation. The park features several softball and baseball diamonds plus soccer fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, playgrounds, walking trails, fishing spots, picnic shelters, and more.

Families especially love the Tot Lot playground in Dodge Park #4. This huge wooden playground has over 20 different structures including slides, climbers, bridges, and tunnels as well as swings and interactive musical elements. Kids can spend hours running, jumping, and playing imagination games throughout this dynamic play space.

The park’s hiking trails range from easy walking paths to more rugged dirt trails that wind through the woods and back into open fields. Trail maps are available online and at trailhead kiosks. Be sure to keep your eyes open for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, turtles, snakes, and other wildlife along the wooded trails.

From May through early October, the Sterling Heights Farmers Market sets up in Dodge Park on Fridays from 9 am to 2 pm rain or shine. This producer-only market offers farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, artisan baked goods, honey, maple syrup, eggs, herbs, flowers and so much more. You can grab a quick snack while exploring the park or take home plenty of tasty treats. The occasional cooking demo and live music just enhance the festive harvest market vibe.

One of the most popular winter attractions within Dodge Park is the Sterling Heights Ice Rink. From about mid-November through February, this NHL regulation-size outdoor ice rink opens for open skating, stick time, drop-in hockey games, skating lessons, birthday parties and special events. The pavilion has a concession stand to help take the chill off with hot cocoa. Located just north of Metro Parkway in Dodge Park #4, the Ice Rink is something you’ve got to check out if visiting Sterling Heights during the coldest months.

2.Learn Local History at the Upton House

Name and Location: The Upton House is located within Dodge Park at 40630 Utica Road in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

History and Significance: Built in 1842, the historic Upton House offers a glimpse into life for pioneers in the area. Since 1976, it has served as a museum depicting the 1840s.

What to Expect: Visitors can tour the restored farmhouse and furnished rooms with historical displays, tools, household items and clothing depicting early city settlers and local history. Period re-enactments also occur.

Visitor Information: The museum is open on Sundays only 1pm until 4pm, May through October. Entry is free though donations are welcome.

History buffs won’t want to miss a stop at the Upton House Museum located within Dodge Park at 9485 Upton Road. Also known as the Sterling Heights Historical Museum, this beautiful historic farmhouse allows visitors to venture back to pioneer life in the late 1800s.

Originally built in 1891 by Stephen and Harriet Upton, this Queen Anne style farmhouse remained in their family for a century before being purchased by the city. Now restored, the Upton House opened as a museum in 1998 and still contains many of the family’s authentic furnishings, decorations and appliances. Guided tours provide a glimpse into what homesteading was like for early Sterling Heights settlers.

The summer kitchen displays old cast iron and enamel cookware similar to what Harriet used to feed her family of nine children. Kids can check out early toys in the playroom under the stairs. Handmade quilts grace many of the beds where youngsters were bundled during frigid Michigan winters. Stephen’s den contains his rocking chair and roll-top desk from the late 1890s along with other period pieces.

Throughout the home, decorations reflect major holidays like Independence Day, Halloween and Christmas when the Upton family would have adorned their abode accordingly. The dining room highlights a 1898 cherry wood table set for Thanksgiving dinner. Costumed docents really bring the rich history alive during holidays and open house events at the Upton House Museum.

Outside, visitors can explore the heritage garden maintained according to common Victorian-era landscaping and gardening techniques. Picket fences border turf grass and hay fields. A white gazebo furnishes additional historic ambience. Barn-red outdoor restrooms blend modern necessity with oldtime style behind the museum.

In addition to tours, the Upton House Museum presents seasonal arts and craft shows, pioneer reenactments, homeschool days, ladies’ teas and other special programs. Around Halloween, brave visitors can venture through the haunted Victorian cemetery when neighboring headstones spring to life after dark. Check the city’s website for a full schedule.

3.Catch a Show at the Emerald Theatre

Name and Location: The Emerald Theatre is located at 31 N. Walnut Street in Mount Clemens, Michigan.

History and Significance: Originally an art deco vaudeville theatre first built in 1928, it now operates as a historic movie house and venue for drama productions, concerts, and cultural events.

What to Expect: Theatre patrons can enjoy indie films, popular movies, live comedy and music acts, as well as performances from local drama troupes in the charming but intimate single movie house.

Visitor Information: Showtimes vary weekly by season. Admission fees depend upon the movie or event. Cash only payments are accepted.

Where can you see top comedians, classic films, live music and children’s theater all under one roof? At Sterling Heights’ state-of-the-art Emerald Theatre located downtown on Van Dyke Road, just south of Utica Road.

Originally opened in 1966, the Emerald spent decades as a popular neighborhood cinema before closing in the 1990s. In 2008, the newly renovated Emerald Theatre reopened its doors showcasing two modern screening rooms equipped with digital projection and surround sound. Today’s moviegoers can now enjoy first-run and art house films in a comfortable, contemporary setting.

In addition to cinematic entertainment, the Emerald presents an array of live performances year-round as part of the city’s “Laughter, Music & More” series. Top touring comedians take the main stage monthly for evening shows where the drinks flow freely. Past funnymen headliners include Tim Meadows, Dave Coulier and Rita Rudner. Musical concerts highlight local and national acts. You might recognize a few finalists from NBC’s The Voice at the intimate 450-seat theater.

For children, the Emerald Theatre joins forces with the WAY Academy of Performing Arts to produce kids’ plays and musicals like Disney’s Frozen Jr., Madagascar Jr. and Seussical JR. Public performances give talented local youth actors an opportunity to shine for appreciative young audiences. Aspiring thespians can hone their own skills onstage through WAY Academy’s extensive repertoire of theater training programs held at the Emerald Theatre Studios year-round.

Even if you’re just coming for a show, it’s worth visiting early to admire the lobby’s beautiful art deco design featuring ambient up-lighting, black quartz floors with emerald green glass accents, and custom railings with illuminated glass panels depicting films and theater sets. Circular cutouts in the elegant curved ceiling reveal sparkling mini chandeliers overhead. With a combination of glitzy style and small-town charm, the revitalized Emerald Theatre truly shines as a cultural gem in Sterling Heights.

4.Explore Nature at the Sterling Heights Nature Center

Name and Location: The Sterling Heights Nature Center is located within Dodge Park at 40405 Utica Road in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

History and Significance: Situated on a former family farmstead, this educational nature center opened in 1992 to provide environmental programs and access to explore the outdoors.

What to Expect: Visitors of all ages can hike wooded nature trails, observe wildlife at a pond viewing blind, tour prairie gardens, participate in hands-on activities and learn about local ecosystems and conservation.

Visitor Information: The nature center is open Tuesday-Saturday. Most programs and site access are free though some may have nominal fees to cover materials.

Encompassing 25 acres between two lakes, the scenic Sterling Heights Nature Center at 42700 Utica Road makes an ideal destination for learning about local ecosystems through naturalist programs, guided trail walks and self-guided exploration. Indoor exhibits showcase mounted specimens of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians native to southeastern Michigan along with hands-on discovery stations for kids.

A mile-long accessible trail loops around Schoenherr Lake and Interpretive Wetland boardwalks with signs identifying indigenous vegetation, nesting boxes and wildlife habitats. Free scavenger hunt worksheets keep young visitors engaged along the pathways. The “Wee Wild Ones” programs introduce toddlers and preschoolers to native animals through songs, sensory exploration and motor skill activities. School field trips incorporate STEM-based ecology lessons and team-building exercises while discovering the diverse ecosystems comprising the nature area.

From late June through mid-October, the Sterling Heights Nature Center offers a full schedule of public education programs like birding hikes, pond explorations, archery lessons, night sky viewing, survival skills workshops and much more. Adults can join the weekly walking club while getting back to nature. Special events might find visitors tapping maple trees to make syrup or using apple presses to create their own cider.

Inside the nature center building, guests of all ages are welcome to browse informational displays about area wildlife and geographic history. An observation hive showcases the activity of native honey bees hard at work making liquid gold. A large two-story tree slice reveals the inner rings chronicling the tree’s age and climate fluctuations during its lifetime. Pinned beetle, butterfly and moth specimens demonstrate intricate natural designs and patterns.

With an emphasis on conservation and sustainability, the Sterling Heights Nature Center highlights the correlation between a healthy environment and happy vibrant communities. By exploring the trails, attending educational programs and examining artifacts in the nature center, visitors gain a deeper appreciation for efforts to nurture biodiversity and foster responsible stewardship of shared natural resources.

5.Get Outdoors at the Clinton River Park

Name and Location: The Clinton River Park is located at 49900 Van Dyke Avenue in Shelby Township, Michigan.

History and Significance: Established along the waterfront in 1967, the sprawling 87 acre park provides diverse recreation connecting with nature among woodlands, wetlands and trails.

What to Expect: Visitors enjoy walking, hiking and biking trails, fishing and boating docks, sports fields, picnic grounds, playgrounds, skate park, disc golf course and access to the Clinton River ecosystem.

Visitor Information: The park is open daily from dawn until dusk year-round. Some venues within the park may have additional fees or require reservations.

Boasting a mile of shoreline along the Clinton River, this beautiful 201-acre park at E. P. Clinton Road north of Riverland Drive offers picnicking, fishing, hiking trails and gorgeous riverfront scenery. Visitors can launch their own kayaks and canoes or rent them seasonally through the Livernois bicycle shop inside the park.

Adjacent wooded wetlands, open grassy fields and meadows filled with wildflowers provide ideal birdwatching and butterfly spotting locales. A handicap accessible floating boardwalk section of the trail makes this part of the river open to everyone. Located within Michigan’s Lower Huron Clinton Metroparks system, Clinton River Park furnishes both playgrounds and fitness stations for all-ages recreation.

Anglers can try their luck catching Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Walleye, Catfish and more from the shoreline fishing pier extending out into the river. Catch and release is encouraged. The nearby outdoor archery range lets visitors take aim at stationary or moving targets while supervised by trained professionals. With picnic tables and charcoal grilles located alongside the Multi-Use Trail encircling the park, you’ll find plenty of picturesque places to enjoy lunch al fresco.

Every December, Clinton River Park transforms into a magical illuminated wonderland during the annual Holiday Nights Light Display. More than 100 festive holiday light displays along with some animated vignettes pay tribute to traditional holiday themes as well as fantasy and popular culture. The two-mile drive-thru experience filled with over 300,000 dancing and sparkling lights attracts visitors from throughout Michigan and beyond.

Proceeds from Holiday Nights’ modest admission fees benefit youth recreation scholarships along with local charities. Visitors receive discount coupons to return for a walk-thru winter wonderland adventure where holiday treats and warm drinks are available for purchase. Holiday Nights has become a beloved annual tradition for many Metro Detroit families who bundle up and load the car to bask in the merry glow. The dazzling lights display typically runs nightly from just before Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, closed only on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

6.Make Some Noise at Dodge Park Farmer’s Market Music Fest

Name and Location: The Dodge Park Farmer’s Market Music Fest is held annually at Dodge Park Pavilion venue located at 40625 Ryan Road in Sterling Heights.

History and Significance: This event began in 2012 to bring the community together to support local growers, artisans and musicians each summer. Attendance now exceeds over 4,000 annually.

What to Expect: Along with 75+ vendors selling goods, the festival features live music, food trucks, beer tent, kids fun zone, contests and entertainment all afternoon. Classic cars are also on display.

Visitor Information: This free event is held 1-8pm on a mid July Saturday. Parking is available on site and at surrounding city lots. Shuttle buses also offered from the Senior Center.

What could be more fun than spending a summer Saturday afternoon checking out handmade arts and crafts plus munching tasty treats while tapping your toes or dancing along to live music performances? The annual Dodge Park Farmer’s Market Music Fest held each August offers all that amplified by family-friendly activities, sponsor giveaways and a huge 50/50 cash raffle.

Staged within Dodge Park #4 south of Metro Parkway, this free Music Fest runs from 9 am to 3 pm in conjunction with the weekly Friday Farmers Market. In addition to all the usual fresh produce, plants, baked goods and prepared foods offered by vendors, the Music Fest adds local musicians playing jazz, classic rock, country and contemporary hits alternating between two covered band shells. Attendees scatter lawn blankets and folding chairs throughout the park to relax and enjoy the live entertainment all day long under summer sunshine.

The music itself makes for a festive atmosphere, but the Music Fest pumps up the volume on fun through even more special attractions including bounce houses, face painting, balloon artists, strolling magicians, jugglers, gymnastics tumblers, martial arts demonstrations, animal encounters and plenty of contests with nifty prizes. Different kids’ crafts and activities spread throughout the park guarantee smiles all around. Sponsors like Beaumont Health provide most of the giveaway items along with coupons and discount codes for local shops and eateries.

By spending just $5 on a Music Fest 50/50 raffle ticket, one lucky person goes home significantly richer! Half the proceeds from raffle sales get awarded in cash to a random winning ticket. The other half benefits Sterling Heights Parks & Recreation youth programs. In between announcement of early bird prizes, the emcee encourages everyone to eat, drink, shop the market sellers and enjoy the wealth of live music all day long. With free entry and parking, the Dodge Park Farmer’s Market Music Fest gives everyone in the family stellar bang for absolutely no bucks required.

7.Tour the Holocaust Memorial Center

Name and Location: The Holocaust Memorial Center is located at 28123 Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

History and Significance: Founded in 1984, it was the first freestanding Holocaust museum and education center in the United States, advancing human rights awareness. Renovated in 2008, over 200,000 visitors learn here annually.

What to Expect: Permanent and temporary galleries guide visitors chronologically from 1930s Jewish life through liberation using artifacts, photos, testimonies and immersive environments to convey historical events.

Visitor Information: Open 7 days a week with varying hours. General museum admission is $10 for adults. Group tour rates and student discounts available. Reservations advised.

Located appropriately at the intersection of Freedom and Van Dyke Roads, the moving Holocaust Memorial Center at 28123 Orchard Lake Road stands as the first freestanding Holocaust museum in the United States. Opened in 1984 through efforts of Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and a coalition of Michigan rabbis and community leaders, the Center aims to educate visitors about the horrific genocide that claimed over 6 million Jewish lives during World War II while promoting diversity and inclusion across all cultures.

The Main Exhibit guides visitors chronologically through the rise of Nazi Germany and the systematic marginalization and persecution of Jewish citizens leading up to the Final Solution’s concentration camps and mass murder. Several theaters within the exhibit play Holocaust survivor testimonies where visitors hear firsthand accounts of the atrocities committed. Hundreds of relevant artifacts like WWII-era clothing, toys, luggage and personal journals deliver somber glimpses into the everyday existence of Holocaust victims robbed of basic human rights and dignity.

In addition to the permanents displays, temporary special exhibits highlight associated collections on loan. For example, an Andy Warhol portfolio of 10 screen prints depicting Jewish literary and cultural figures has been showcased alongside Anselm Kiefer’s book inspired by the mythological Golem of Prague. A current photography exhibit titled “Transcending Tyranny” reveals glimpses of Jewish life in Poland after WWII.

Taking less than an hour to walk through, a self-guided tour allows visitors to process the Memorial Center’s powerful lessons in humanity at their own pace. The impactful contents often leave guests in tears but also deep in thought about current and future societal responsibilities. Educator toolkits and public programs foster ongoing conversations within schools and the greater community. On-site classes explore genocide prevention strategies and effective conflict resolution.

While admission fees apply for museum entry, visitors can access an outdoor memorial garden free of charge. Winding pathways lead past stone monuments inscribed with inspirational messages that unite all people and faiths. Tranquil water features reflect optimism despite immense tragedy. As the Holocaust Memorial Center’s mission statement conveys: “We Remember. We Educate. We Inspire Action.” That spirit emanates throughout the memorial landscape promising hope for a better tomorrow.

8.Catch a Glimpse of the Past at Dodge Park

Name and Location: Two historic farms can be visited within Dodge Park located at 40200 North Utica Road in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

History and Significance: The 1890s Warren Union Chapel and 1840s Upton House offer a glimpse into what pioneer life was like for early settlers in the area through restored architecture and period furnishings.

What to Expect: Guests can see old tools, household goods, clothing and photos interpreting late 19th century community and family life in Macomb County before the rise of modern Sterling Heights.

Visitor Information: The Upton House Museum is open seasonally on Sundays 1-4pm from May-October only. The Chapel hosts occasional services. Both are free to visit.

In addition to all the modern recreational facilities, Dodge Park #4 between Metro Parkway and Clinton River Road holds some unique hidden history within its borders. Just south of the Sterling Heights Ice Rink pavilion stand commemorative markers and retired machinery chronicling the fun legacy of popular amusement parks formerly operating for decades in that site.

From 1960 into the early 1970s, Dodge Park #4 hosted bob sled roller coasters along with other carnival rides as the Pontiac Miniature Golf and ‘Ol Swimmin’ Hole brought generations of smiles and screams. Ride tickets cost just 10 to 25 cents! The 18-hole mini-golf course featured whimsical fiberglass characters like Humpty Dumpty, Pinocchio and Little Miss Muffet. Two huge water flume slides emptied into a cement pond that locals nicknamed “The Swimmin Hole” although swimming was prohibited.

All remnants of those original attractions disappeared once the city acquired the property for integration into Dodge Park during 1974. But thanks to recent efforts by the Sterling Heights Historical Commission, visitors can now view some of the actual rides and equipment rescued from obscurity and refurbished. Dangerous Dan the Big Bad Wolf menaced miniature golfers with glowing eyes and snapping jaws. Glenn the Giraffe towered 20 feet tall. These colorful fiberglass figures have been restored to their former glory. Interpretive signage shares vintage photos and advertisements documenting five decades of family fun now preserved as an outdoor history exhibit.

An authentic bob sled roller coaster train with three connected cars allows nostalgic park-goers to climb aboard and grip the safety bar just as they might have done as kids. You can stand under the towering Giant Sky Wheel frame to imagine its view high above the midway. A scale replica model of the park depicts where key attractions were situated within the landscape. The historic icons stir fond memories for long-time locals and curious questions from younger generations.

Nearby, an impressive military display installed in 2020 honors all Sterling Heights veterans for their service and sacrifice defending American freedoms. Visitors can view a refurbished Vietnam-era troop carrier helicopter, an Army tank, and other artifacts from our men and women in uniform. Interpretive panels relay how this equipment protected US troops across multiple 20th century conflicts. Together, these cultural landmarks remembering military contributions and vintage Americana now preserved in situ create a patriotic and nostalgic outdoor history exhibit likely unmatched in any other city park.

9.Pedal Along Bike Pathways

Name and Location: Over 15 miles of bike pathways wind through Sterling Heights across its park system. The main multi-use trail follows the route of Metro Parkway.

History and Significance: Developed from abandoned railroad lines and park trails, designated bike paths connect neighborhoods promoting recreation, fitness, transportation alternatives and nature exploration across the community.

What to Expect: Paved pathways allow space for cycling, walking, rolling or jogging past parks, woodlands and wetlands. Interpretive signage can be found along some routes enhancing the experience.

Visitor Information: Pathways are open year-round for public non-motorized use from dawn to dusk daily. Maps of citywide routes can be found on the municipal site. Usage is free.

With its scenic parklands, quiet side streets and fresh air, Sterling Heights makes an ideal destination for recreational cycling. Nearly 40 miles of designated bike lanes and multi-use trails crisscross the city allowing bicyclists to tour wooded areas, navigate urban roadways, reach shopping districts or connect out into the region’s broader Iron Belle Trail network. Cyclists can ride for an hour or pedal all day long without repeating a route or growing bored thanks to diverse geography and many possible destinations.

The wide 8-foot-wide Clinton River Park Trail runs parallel to the waterway through scenic wetlands and mature forests. Bright wildflowers line the path from mid-spring into fall. Bench swings provide pleasant resting spots to sit and watch river wildlife along this peaceful pedal. Park at the bridge over the Clinton River near Riverland

Drive to access the Clinton River Park Trailhead. From there, riders can venture out and back for miles through the recreation area escaping the cityscape for pure nature immersion.

For more urban scenic biking, the bridge over Metro Parkway leads into a wooded corridor between subdivisions. Broad sidewalks line boulevards like Dodge Park Road and Ryan connecting one Dodge Park complex to the next. Bike lanes integrated along many of Sterling Heights’ secondary streets feature extra width for comfortable cruising past shops, eateries and green spaces throughout the neighborhoods.

The wide rolling path around the exterior of Dodge Park #4 offers over 2 miles of uninterrupted pedaling allowing riders to gravitate between blissful wooded surrounds or sunny open fields during each lap. Trailhead parking at 18 Mile Road or Dodge Park Road provides easy entry points with maps to navigate the options. Work your way towards the center of the park to check out specialty attractions like the Veterans Memorial installation or amusement rides exhibit chronicling the site’s history as a beloved 1960s-70s destination for rollicking family fun.

For long distance cycling, the Iron Belle Trail traverses 48 miles through Oakland and Macomb Counties with additional segments still underway. Currently riders can connect from Stony Creek Metro Park up through the Clinton River Park to access nearly 15 miles of scenic pathway heading west and east across Sterling Heights. The ambitious statewide project aspires to stretch 2,000 miles from Belle Isle Park in Detroit out to Ironwood near the Wisconsin border – from one end of Michigan to the other!

Whether you ride for fitness, adventure or leisurely sightseeing, Sterling Heights delivers everything two-wheel trekkers could want in terms of pathways, parks and roadways specifically enhanced for safe bicycling. Join locals daily navigating the bike lanes or bring your own crew to discover new mileage motoring throughout the metro region.

10.Tap Your Toes at Dodge Park Music Concerts

Name and Location: Over a dozen live music concerts are held annually at the Dodge Park Amphitheater located at 40200 North Utica Road in Sterling Heights.

History and Significance: Free summer concerts in the park have brought the community together since 1989 to enjoy polished performances from talented musicians across many genres.

What to Expect: Music lovers can bring lawn chairs and picnic dinners while listening to strings, swing, pop, funk, rock and soul under the stars selected for wide appeal. Kids activities also offered.

Visitor Information: Held one Sunday evening per month June through August. Additional seasonal events also occur at the site. Parking available.

All summer long on Sunday evenings from early June through mid-August, Dodge Park #4 fills with the sounds of live music as talented musicians take the covered pavilion stage entertaining families and couples on blankets and lawn chairs scattered across the great expanse of green grass. Now in its second decade, the Dodge Park Music in the Park free concert series sponsored by Beaumont Health brings weekly musical performances ranging from country legends to Motown groups along with plentiful food vendors including the Sterling Heights Lions Club grill for tasty barbecue.

The 2023 schedule kicks off on June 4 with country rocker Eric Chesser rolling through fan favorites. High energy cover bands Famous Amos and Your Generation keep crowds dancing under the stars on subsequent June weekends. July amps up the musical diversity with tributes to Elton John, Billy Joel and the epic Live and Let Die: Music of Paul McCartney.

Another country night lights up the midsummer sky when Nashville recording artist Jason Michael Carroll takes the stage in Dodge Park. The Emerald Theatre’s Broadway Songbook performance will impress theatre fans with the vocal talents of southeast Michigan’s top musical theater singers. Winding down August, Your Generation returns by popular demand to headline the final show of the season with hits from the ‘70s forward.

In addition to Checking out new bands and quality entertainment perfect for date night or family fun, the Music in the Park series offers crowd-pleasing activities like face painting, balloon artistry, lawn games and even free line dancing lessons before the show and during intermission. Food trucks onsite dish up carnival cuisine staples like fresh mini donuts, elephant ears, funnel cakes and ice cream. The Sterling Heights Lions Club fires up their massive charcoal grill to serve hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, nachos and cheesy fries.

Centered on the picturesque pond and fountain, the Dodge Park #4 pavilion furnishes overhead lighting and a large stage with a professional sound system plus giant video screens showcasing closeups of all the musical action. Visitors can lay blankets across the sloping lawn or set up portable chairs and tables for optimal viewing angles. As lively music fills the balmy summer air each weekend, many listeners rise to dance the night away amidst the merry park setting.

11.Experience Cultural Attractions Year-round

Name and Location: The Sterling Heights Cultural Arts Center is located within the City Center complex at 40555 Utica Road. There are two venues at this site to experience public presentations.

History and Significance: Completed in 2016, the Center aims to strengthen community connections while expanding awareness of diversity and creativity through arts and history exhibits and programming.

What to Expect: Patrons can view rotating displays in the Art Gallery and Public Library or attend live cultural performances held at the 500 seat Community Center Auditorium ranging from dance to theatre.

Visitor Information: Hours vary at each site. Many programs are free to attend while some performances may have ticket fees to cover production costs.

While Sterling Heights shines as a summer playground filled with recreation, live music, and festive events, the fun continues year-round thanks to an array of multi-cultural indoor attractions suitable for guests of all ages and interests.

The Sterling Heights Public Library presents a full calendar of enrichment programming from toddler story times to book clubs, foreign film screenings to retirement planning seminars. Newly renovated youth services spaces invite young readers to cozy up with a compelling tale within whimsical book nooks, imaginative play areas and multimedia digital discovery stations. Adults appreciate the library’s extensive collections, research databases, public use PCs and WiFi accessibility for remote work or open learning. Whether you want to develop practical skills, follow passion projects or get lost inside an intriguing narrative, the Sterling Heights Public Library furnishes helpful resources, technology and guidance to meet district residents’ evolving needs and interests.

Just across the plaza, the vibrant Senior Center doubles as the hub for arts, education and recreation geared specifically for ages 50+. Seniors gather daily for fitness classes, cooking demos, arts workshops, gaming tournaments, lectures and much more. Spacious meeting rooms with professional AV equipment host everything from Ballroom Dance lessons to Model Train clubs to Genealogy conferences welcoming adults from across Metro Detroit. The City Gallery ArtLab Curator designs innovative exhibits to showcase regional artists while also providing fine arts education. When furry friends visit the Senior Center’s popular pet therapy program, tails wag all around!

In addition to the public cultural institutions, Star Parks creative arts incubator based in Sterling Heights facilitates unique hands-on workshops, performances, camps and events that unite community. Aspiring thespians can train with pros at the Star Studios to build confidence and stage skills through structured improv games and acting intensives. Local makers sell their original works at the Star Factory Bazaar indie craft fairs held at venues throughout Metro Detroit. Sensory-friendly Snoezelen multi-media rooms provide calming atmospheres for relaxation and self-regulation during Star Center sessions serving individuals with autism, dementia or other cognitive differences. By creatively engaging people of all abilities and backgrounds, Star Parks lives up to its inspirational motto: “Where Everyone Shines!”

With welcoming venues designed to uplift bodies, minds and spirits no matter the season, Sterling Heights delivers dynamic cultural attractions, resources and programming fostering personal growth for all ages beyond basic recreation. Visitors seeking entertainment as well as enrichment will discover an abundance of opportunities to learn, play and create year-round throughout the vibrant community.

12.Treat Your Tastebuds around Town

Name and Location: Over 270 dining establishments are scattered across Sterling Heights offering an array of global flavors. Multiple districts contain concentrated restaurant and cafe scenes.

History and Significance: Once limited fast food options, the culinary landscape has expanded immensely in recent decades satisfying cravings while supporting small business owners representing their heritage through cuisine.

What to Expect: Food fans can savor authentic pizza, shawarma, pho, pierogi, banh mi and other ethnic eats from around the world, joined by classic diners, pubs and familiar chains convenient to local neighborhoods.

Visitor Information: Most eateries are casual with varying hours, prices and seating options. Delivery, catering and curbside pickup are commonly available. Menus and locations found online.

From innovative gastropubs to authentic ethnic eateries to cute cafes, Sterling Heights offers more than 75 locally owned dining establishments to tempt tastebuds and satisfy foodie cravings. Family favorites for classic American comfort cuisine never disappoint loyal regulars. Several chef-run bistros present seasonal menus putting creative twists on regional and international cuisine from tapas to Neapolitan pizza to upscale steaks. Sweet shops, creameries and coffeehouses pepper area shopping strips enticing those in search of clever confections or freshly roasted custom brews.

Newer additions like Mike’s Country Oven on Mound Road plates up piping hot homemade comfort classics amid homey decor of exposed brick walls, repurposed wood beams and string lights. Their Frosted Flake encrusted French toast, giant cinnamon rolls and loaded hashbrown skillets make the best breakfast fuel for busy days exploring town.

Further north on Van Dyke, Bad Brads BBQ smokes succulent St. Louis Style ribs, Texas-style brisket and pulled pork platters that would make any Southern pitmaster proud. Wash down the tender, smokey meat with local craft brews and live bands during weekend shows.

Oma’s Pumpernickel & Rye Euro Bistro over on 18 Mile Road offers an upscale yet cosy ambience reminiscent of Old World restaurants across the pond. Their Russian Borscht soup, Bremen Onion Tart, Franconian sausages and housemade spaetzle deliver authentically hearty German flavours. Save room for decadent desserts like Black Forest Cake and Apple Strudel.

Trendy sushi houses like Ken-Su-Raku dazzle visitors with speciality rolls featuring everything from lobster and seared filet mignon to fried jalapenos and cheesecake bites plus extensive menus of fresh nigiri, sashimi, Japanese curries and sake flights. Hibachi grill tables deliver sizzling dinnertime action the whole family will love.

Of course, Sterling Heights also offers all the customary chain restaurants from fast food to fine dining for visitors craving familiar favourites. But be sure to check out the wide range of distinctive locally owned eateries putting their spin on comfort cuisine, gourmet fare and ethnic specialities. Work up an appetite exploring the parks and attractions then grab a table to refuel on fantastic flavors!


With its diverse landscapes spanning tranquil nature areas, buzzing urban districts and charming residential neighbourhoods – plus four full seasons of recreation possibilities – Sterling Heights supplies enough sights, sounds and flavours to fill any visitor’s itinerary. Familiar franchises mix seamlessly with unique boutiques and eateries. Well-known regional attractions neighbour lesser-discovered cultural gems and historic sites that relay the community’s roots.

Children can expend endless energy romping playgrounds and nature trails while adults unwind at wine bars and museums. Outdoorsy types find their fix biking wooded park pathways or casting fishing lines into the Clinton River’s calm current.

Gather the whole group for concerts under the stars or a mouthwatering meal celebrating heritage recipes. However you choose to spend your Sterling Heights vacation, a good time awaits built on Midwestern hospitality, all-American traditions and multicultural assets making this vibrant Detroit suburb a rising star in Michigan’s tourism scene.

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