Things to do

Welcome to the Eastern Michigan University campus!

There’s so much to see and enjoy while you’re here, and we don’t want you to miss a thing. Art exhibits, cultural events, concerts and sporting events offer exciting entertainment options and a way to live the EMU experience. Here are a few places we recommend that you check out during your stay.

Go to University Park, watch the geese and swans, and enjoy the expansive view. Located in the center of EMU’s campus, this beautiful 10-acre space features lakeside seating, a bridge, a gazebo, and a picnic pavilion. A one-mile jogging trail circles the lake, and there are also basketball courts and sand volleyball courts. In search of indoor space instead? The Lake House has a large stone fireplace, a big screen TV and casual seating. There’s truly something for everyone in University Park.

Big Bob’s Lake House

University Park features the Lake House, which students call “Big Bob’s Lake House” after former Rec/IM director Bob England.

Visit one (or more) of our three gallery spaces. The Ford Gallery, located in Ford Hall, maintains a year-round schedule of exhibitions and artist lectures. It serves as a venue for the work of outside artists, graduate thesis exhibitions, as well as undergraduate and graduate student exhibitions. The Student Center, on the north side of campus, houses two gallery spaces. The University Gallery features major exhibitions and events intended for the School of Art & Design, the campus community and the larger Ypsilanti community. A second gallery, directed by the student-run Intermedia Gallery Group, is dedicated to showcasing student work.

Blue Baby

The campus art trail has 11 unique pieces, like “Blue Baby,” found outside Starkweather Hall.

Are you a music lover? The School of Music and Dance produces more than 250 performances and presentations annually, with everything ranging from recitals to choir, jazz, wind symphony, symphonic band, and orchestra performances. Go to to find performances, times and venues.

MLK Garden

The MLK Garden is on the south end of campus.

Walk the Art Trail. Start in the MLK Gardens on the south side of Ford Hall, located north of Cross Street, and look for artist Nancy Sippel’s bust of Martin Luther King Jr. From there, you can follow the map at to find 10 other impressive pieces, concluding with the sculpture “Lineage,” by Charles McGee, located near the Student Center.

See the stars at the Sherzer Observatory. The observatory is typically open on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from September through April, and on selected evenings during the spring and summer months. Viewing typically begins around 8 p.m., after classes are finished. Call 734.487.3033 to check in with the staff and see if they’re open during your stay.

Catch a Game. EMU offers 18 NCAA Division I varsity sports and competes in the Mid-American Conference. You’ll need a ticket for Football, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Basketball, but admission is free to watch our other teams compete. Visit for schedules and team information, or call 734.487.3669 for tickets. And Go Eagles!

EMU women’s athletic program

The EMU women’s athletic program was the second best all-around program in the Mid-American Conference last year.

See a Show. EMU Theatre annually produces six large-scale Mainstage productions and two small-scale experimental Second Stage productions. Recent shows include “James and the Giant Peach,” “She Kills Monsters,” and “Much Ado About Nothing.” EMU Theatre is a pioneer in making theatre available to all patrons and offers services for guests who have hearing loss, blindness or low vision. They also offer some sensory friendly performances. Visit cmta/productions for information about shows, tickets and special performances.

9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial at Pease Park was built in 2011.

Visit the 9/11 Memorial in Pease Park, located on the south end of campus. There, a 14-foot beam from the south tower of the World Trade Center solemnly rests on a circular cement slab. In this tranquil setting, we remember the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, and honor the courage of the first responders who risked their lives to save others. The memorial is on Cross Street, between College Place and Perrin Street.

Hop on The Border-to-Border Trail (B2B), a 35-mile paved, shared-use path that runs along the Huron River and connects spaces in Washtenaw County, including Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Dexter. Hike, bike, jog or walk the trail as it meanders through parks and city centers. From the EMU campus, pick up the trail just south of the The Village Apartments at Oakwood and Mayhew.

Michigan ElvisFest

Michigan ElvisFest is now in its 20th year and attracts thousands of concert goers to Depot Town

Grab your clubs and head over to the Roy E. Wilbanks Eagle Crest Golf Club, home of the EMU men’s and women’s golf teams. The 16th hole was named by USA Today as one of its “Dream 18 Memorable Holes.” Not a golfer? The Eagle Crest Bar & Grille offers great views of the course and a classic American menu featuring burgers, sandwiches, wraps and salads. Visit golf for tee times and grille hours.

Depot Town

Depot Town was created when the Ypsilanti Train Depot opened in
1838; today it’s known for its funky shops and restaurants.

Explore Ypsilanti, a culturally diverse community offering rich tradition, neighborhood shopping, museums, and unique annual events, like the Michigan ElvisFest. Just blocks away from campus you'll find historic Depot Town, an eclectic throwback shopping and restaurant district. Check out the weekly farmers market, grab a cup of coffee at Cultivate, or walk to the Michigan Firehouse Museum. There are also many restaurants and shops downtown on Michigan Avenue.