Ice Skating, Movies & More: Fun in Downtown Farmington

By: Scott Davis | February 18, 2015

Our “Downtown Series,” which has so far featured six of Metro Detroit’s most fun and entertaining downtown spots (Ferndale, Milford, Northville, Plymouth, Rochester and Wyandotte), continues today with Downtown Farmington. Don’t act like you’re not excited!

A few weeks ago, I accidently stumbled upon this quaint and attractive part of town with my girlfriend and two of our friends, and I immediately noticed all that it had to offer. There are many restaurants, bars and entertainment prospects in Downtown Farmington, so let’s get right to it.

The food scene offers a lot of choices. Two places that are a must try are the Basement Burger Bar, 33316 Grand River Ave., and Dagwood’s Deli and Catering, 33179 Grand River Ave. The latter is a fantastic option for sandwiches, featuring a menu of 25 specialty sandwiches (as well as a variety of others), and the former is potentially the best burger you will ever eat, and it even allows you to create your own perfect burger.

Downtown Farmington is no slouch in terms of the beverage department either. Farmington Brewing Company, 33336 Grand River Ave., which debuted last November, is open Wednesdays through Sundays. It has multiple brews on tap, with several others in the fermenting process.

John Cowley & Sons, on the corner of Farmington Road and Grand River Avenue, has been offering Irish hospitality to Farmington residents and visitors since 1972. John Cowley’s offers a great lunch and dinner menu, but if we’re talking about drinks, this is the place to go. From premium scotch to wine, and of course, beer, John Cowley’s is most definitely worth a visit.

Desserts are never out of the question, so a place like Cake Luv, 33335 Grand River Ave., is in your best interest. Here, you can get gourmet cupcakes, cookies, brownies, etc., as well as elegant cakes for any special occasion. Also, check out Grand Bakery Café or Mother Mary’s Toffee Shop. Dare to take a stab at which road both businesses are located on? You guessed it, Grand River.

Food and drink seem to be covered, so what is there to do for entertainment? Well, the Farmington Civic Theater, 33332 Grand River Ave., is a good place to start. The canopy and lights are one of the first things you’ll notice while driving or taking a stroll in Downtown Farmington. The theater plays popular movies at “family-friendly prices.” Every once in a while, it also hosts special events, such as the annual Miss Farmington pageant, concerts or comedy acts.

There is something else quite enticing as well, right in the heart of Downtown Farmington, at least while these frigid temperatures remain in Michigan. The Riley Park Ice Rink is free to the public during non-peak hours, but costs $2 per person or $5 per family during peak hours (Fridays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays, noon to 8 p.m., and Sundays, noon-to 5 p.m.). Skate rental costs $4 and skate sharpening runs you $5 (both are only available during peak hours).

With more than 160 businesses in Downtown Farmington, shopping is obviously an option as well. You can find just about anything you need here.

Clothes Encounters, 33306 Grand River Ave., features the latest in women’s contemporary clothing, while GG’s Boutique, 23350 Farmington Rd., is also a great choice for women’s clothing. Don’t worry; we men will find a place for clothes somewhere.

Downtown Farmington, though quaint, is full of food, drinks and fun. If you ever venture toward the area, be sure to stop at a few of these local establishments. From ice skating to movies to just taking a stroll down Grand River Avenue, there are a lot of potential activities here. The area allows for a lot of good times to be had, and a lot of memories to be made!