Guide to Novi

We love to live and work in Novi. Whether you’re new to the area or a Novi native, you’ll probably agree. Novi’s a great place to play, too. We have access to great food, great shopping, and plenty of family-friendly events.

It’s easy to get stuck in a routine if you don’t explore the city around you and take advantage of everything it has to offer. That’s why we created this living guide, which we will continue to update, regularly. Longtime, and new Novi residents, will find new favorite restaurants, activities, and events to enjoy, year after year.


 

Go to a Novi High School Game or Event

We are heavily involved with Novi’s High School team sports and cheerleading programs. It’s always fun to catch a football game or a cheerleading competition!

Novi High School participates in twenty different sports, and has a nationally renowned band and choir program. They also have a fiercely competitive debate team, and a robotics team with many accolades.

Finding something to do in Novi isn’t hard; you can always come cheer on the Novi High School’s best and brightest. You can find a full calendar of events here, as well as a PDF that lists every event for the 2015-2016 school year, here.

Shop Healthy at The Novi Farmers Market

Fresh basket of produce

From June through October, you can get your fill of natural, locally-sourced food at the Novi All Seasons Market. Located on West Ten Mile Rd, the farmers market is open every Saturday between 9am-2pm.

The open air market features plenty of produce and local food, but you can also buy crafts, flowers, and baked goods. The market typically provides fun activities for kids, and there’s always great local music, as well.

Expand Your Mind at the Novi Public Library

It’s the sad truth that libraries often go underappreciated by those who don’t visit them, regularly. They’re more than just books. In the Novi Public Library’s case, it’s much, much more than just books.

Though they have a book to fulfill any entertainment whim or research purpose you can think of, they also offer a huge variety of youth programs.

They have:

  • movie nights
  • Minecraft groups
  • arts and crafts sessions
  • dance parties
  • mini golf at the library (seriously!)
  • visits with wildlife, science lessons
  • early age financial planning classes
  • robotics
  • battle of the bands
  • book clubs
  • illustration classes
  • writing classes
  • pizza parties, chocolate parties, and pretzel parties

Those are just a few of the options for younger kids and teenagers. They also offer book clubs, scholarly lectures, music, mental health education, and much more for adults. If you’re ever bored or want to try something new, the Novi Public Library is the first place you should look.

Shop and Play at Twelve Oaks

When you think of Twelve Oaks, you probably think of Banana Republic, Coach, Sephora, Auntie Annie’s, and the Cheesecake Factory. Don’t worry, we do too! We love all the shops and restaurants, and we love the jobs and opportunities Twelve Oaks creates in Novi, too.

What you might not think of when it comes to Twelve Oaks, though, is their plentiful and varied events calendar. They feature autograph signings, by local athletes (Red Wings, Tigers, and more), celebrity appearances, fitness clubs, and many other events.

If you bring a friend from out of town, you’ll both be treated to a VIP discount shopping pass.

Their upcoming events are always listed here.

Dessert at Stuart’s

Once it’s Spring time, it’s time for Stuart’s. Their sister store, Browndog Creamery, is also excellent and open year ‘round, but, Stuart’s holds a special place in our hearts.

Their small batch ice cream is as amazing as their famous cakes and they also make specialty treats like donut sundaes and pumpkin flurries. They also offer a great variety of vegan desserts. And don’t forget– they even provide safe and healthy desserts for your dog, too!

Pizza at Buddy’s

Buddy's pizza

You don’t have to travel anywhere else in the metro area to enjoy one of Buddy’s famous square pizzas! Though they’ve expanded over the years, we love having a location all to ourselves in Novi. The Detroit Zoo and Motown Museum are classic pizza favorites that everyone raves about!

Also, If you’ve never tried their minestrone or antipasto salad, there’s no time like the present. Seriously.

We also support Buddy’s because they support Novi, and the greater metro Detroit community, through various charity events and we are big on giving back to our community!


Annual Events

Strikes and Spares at the Bowl-A-Thon

Bowling shoes on bowling lane

Every spring, Novi Youth Assistance puts on their annual Bowl-A-Thon. The proceeds go to help kids and families from Novi, using preventative education. Not only do they provide a great service for our city, but they put on the best bowling party of the year.

They’re always taking sponsors or prize donations, but if you love to bowl, don’t be shy– form a team and get in on the action.

Proceeds help fund The Mentors Plus Camp, Youth Recognition, Alcohol Awareness, Educational and Recreation Scholarships, and the Jeanne Clarke Teen Center.  

Support Local Artists at the Great Lakes Art Fair

The Great Lakes Art Fair is one of the fastest growing art events in Michigan. Each spring, this indoor art fair showcases work from regional fine artists, including paintings, clothing, sculpture, youth art, and more.

The Great Lakes Art Fair attracts the best artists in Michigan and it gives you a chance to support their work and meet them in person. Because it’s an indoor event, it’s perfect even when the weather is not.

Get Nerdy at the Motor City Comic Con

Comic Con attendees

If you enjoy science fiction, horror, or fantasy, you probably know that comic conventions cover much more than just comic books. Motor City Comic Con features great writers and artists from around the country, but it’s also a great family event that allows kids and families to meet their favorite sci-fi TV and movie stars, too!

If you have a little bit of nerd in you, there’s an outlet every spring, right here in Novi.

Memorial Day Parade

If you’ve never gone to the annual Memorial Day Parade, this is your year. The parade and its accompanying memorial service at the Civic Center allow us to show our appreciation and honor those US Military members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The parade wants you to get involved and not just from the sidelines. They encourage veterans, families, bands, civic organizations, businesses, and scout troops to march in the parade and participate where needed.

You can register here.

Find Easter Treasure at the Eggstravaganza

Do you want your kids to experience a fun, footloose and fancy-free Easter? Then head to Fuerst Park on Easter. Kids love the egg hunt, as it functions as both a way to find hidden treasures and a social event.

The Eggstravaganza also lets kids meet live bunnies and try their hand at seasonal arts and crafts. It’s one of the most popular family events of the year.

Camp Spring Break

In early spring, the City of Novi Parks, Recreation, and the Cultural Services department put on a day camp that’s just as good as any summer camp here in Michigan.

For five days, kids are treated to daily field trips, sponsored by other businesses, organizations, and communities in Oakland County.

The educational content and destinations vary every year, but kids from K-6 age will always be treated to new experiences, valuable learning, fun games, social activities, and a sense of community spirit.

More information here.

Spring Break Farm Camp 2016

Baby goats

If your kids love science, nature, gardening, food, and baby animals, MSU Tollgate Farm’s Spring Break Farm Camp is a great way to occupy their Spring Break.

Each year, scientists and agricultural experts teach kids in a fun, hands-on environment. Sure, they’ll get to help feed the animals– but they’ll also get to spend time with the baby goats and hatching chicks.

They’ll learn what really goes into caring for the farm’s animals, and they’ll also learn how to plant seeds and harvest produce. But since the camp is focused on fun, too, they’ll also make healthy, nutritious Garden Kitchen snacks with the fruits of their labor.

Most importantly, they’ll engage in a week-long STEM project. This camp teaches real science in a fun, interactive environment, and the kids get to see it all– from the beginning of the experiment, to the findings at the end.

There are also afternoon hikes in the woods, and plenty of opportunities to explore nature.

More details here.

MLB Pitch, Hit & Run

Children playing baseball

Every year in Ella Mae Power Park, young athletes have the opportunity to challenge themselves and test their skills. Pitch, Hit & Run is the official youth skills competition of Major League Baseball, and kids are always thrilled to play at such a high level.

There are three rounds of competition for hitting, pitching, and running. Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to the National Finals, where they’ll also get to watch the MLB All-Star Game in San Diego.

Finalists actually get to compete on the field and shag home run derby balls during the game! If your child is an athlete and a baseball fan, this can’t be missed.

Register here.

Spring into Novi

When May rolls around, it’s time to Spring Into Novi. Every year at the Civic Center Campus, the city hosts a late morning/early afternoon event that shows everything our community has to offer.

This is your chance to meet your local police officers, firefighters, community leaders, and business owners. There’s plenty of fun to go around, too.

You’ll enjoy:

  • Police Department Open House
  • Fire Department demonstrations
  • Child Safety Seat Inspections
  • Beautification Commission
  • Farmers Market
  • Bird House Building Process
  • Programming Demonstrations
  • Free refreshments and giveaways
  • Kids’ activities
  • Door prizes

Spring Into Novi is a great way to spend three hours on a spring day. Whether you’re a Novi native or you just moved here, you’ll love meeting other community members and seeing the best of what Novi has to offer.

More info here.

MSU Extension Tollgate’s Earth Day

Sleeping horses

In Novi, we take Earth Day seriously. The MSU Extension Tollgate brings several days of Earth Day activities to our community, and they’re all educational, fun, and beneficial to the environment.

First, there’s the Earth Day Event at Tollgate. Students, faculty, and community members mulch, pull weeds, plant trees, and prepare the Hungry Garden for spring planting.

Next comes the Detroit Science Festival, which MSU Tollgate celebrates with their Earth Day Open House on the Farm.

This nighttime event shows children, families, and general curious community members, what happens on the farm once the sun goes down. You’ll learn about animals’ sleeping and eating habits (do chickens lay eggs at night?), spend some quality time with the horses, find out who the goats make friends with during the evening, and find out what kind of care goes into the farm while the world is asleep.

There are snacks and tours, as well. If you and your family love wildlife, the environment, animals, locally-produced food, and science, this is one event you can’t miss.

More details here.

Michigan International Women’s Show

For over 20 years, the Michigan International Women’s Show has graced our community with style, fun, and a great social experience.

Detroit News and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan bring us top-of-the-line entertainment and education from celebrity chefs and stylists. Attendees are also treated to free or discounted haircuts and makeup sessions from some of the best stylists in the Detroit Metro Area– and the country.

There are cooking classes, makeup tutorials, and hands-on education opportunities with Macy’s beauty experts.

There are also live music and dance performances and an annual singing competition.

One day of the event is family friendly, and another is a more party-centric “Girl’s Night Out.” If you love health, beauty, gourmet food, and fashion, this is a yearly event you can’t afford to miss.

You can find more information here.

VegFest

Natural healthy food

VegFest has been a Novi tradition for over 17 years.

This family-friendly event has an entire room dedicated to fun kids’ activities, and treats the youngsters with a carnival atmosphere full of games, activities, and prizes.

While the kids are busy, you can sample food from some of the tastiest restaurants in Michigan. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit with hundreds of exhibitors who specialize in natural and organic foods, health products, and other environmentally-friendly wares.

If you’re interested in natural foods and a healthy lifestyle, this is one of the best events of the year.

Novi Half Marathon

Detroit marathon runner

The Novi Half Marathon isn’t just a half marathon. If you like your runs a little shorter, you’re invited to participate in the mile, 5k, and 10k courses, as well. The course is flat and scenic, with a nice view of Island Lake. The races unwind over city pavement and country farm roads, and passes beautiful horse farms.

You’ll get a chance to compete, stay active, and help several good causes in our community. Proceeds go to the Novi Parks Foundation and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Memorial Day Run

This springtime run has been a Novi tradition for five years and counting. You can participate in a mile, 5k, 10k, or just cheer on your friends and family from the sidelines. There are discounts if you bring canned goods, and they also offer discounts for veterans. This run gets more and more popular every year, and it’s a great way to spend the morning before the Memorial Day Parade.

Some proceeds from the Memorial Day Run go to the Novi Parks Foundation and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

The Great Campout

Kids sitting at camp fire

Every year, the residents of Novi gather together and head to Lakeshore Park for The Great Campout. It’s a great chance for some community bonding over fun and games.

Hot dogs will be roasted, s’mores toasted, and an array of games hosted! The weekend event features fireworks over the lake, fun on the beach, and stories over the campfire.

This family-friendly event occurs every June. Find more information here.

Michigan State Fair

Michigan fair ride

Novi has been the home of the great Michigan State Fair since its recent reestablishment by the Fifth Third Bank.

Our fair is one of the oldest (and greatest) in the U.S. having its first run in 1849. Every year since reopening, the show has been getting bigger and better. There are big features such as the Shrine Circus, the State Fair Parade, and there is always big music and bigger exhibits to attract the crowds.

Showing off the agricultural strength of our state, the fair always has a stalwart showing of horse shows, animals, competitions, and even babies (through the Beginning of Life exhibits). Bring the children for these interactive attractions to get your fill of cute and cuddly animals.

If thrills are more your thing, the Michigan State Fair boasts a wide variety of games, contests and rides. Arnold Amusements is bringing bigger and better rides to spin you, swing you, and generally fling you around in ways that your stomach might not appreciate (especially if you have already visited the Endless Milk exhibit).

After temporarily losing one of the longest-running fairs in the country, Novi is proud to be hosting the return of a Michigan tradition. Each year, it is getting bigger and better, so don’t miss out!

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