50 Things to Do in Michigan

50 Family-Friendly Things to Do in Michigan

Michigan sure is a beautiful state and its even more beautiful during the Summer months. We have a place no one else has and it’s called “up north”. It’s a location we visit to get away from it all. One that gives us relaxation, fun, and leisure.

Aside from the great up north, the state of Michigan has many, many family-friendly destinations to visit. I’ve put together 50 of my favorite things to do with the family and I’m certain your family will love these destinations too!

  1. Visit the beautiful Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Whether you plan on kayaking or hiking, you’ll love this outdoors destination. Sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, and inland lakes will give you pure outdoor enjoyment.
  2. Go kayaking, hiking, swimming, and biking at Stoney Creek Park. You can also visit the Nature Center while you’re there.
  3. Visit the animals or sign the kids up for a Summer camp at Upland Hills Farm. There’s just something about watching your little ones hold and take care of baby animals! There’s so much learning to be done on the farm!
  4. Visit The Henry Ford Museum. Visitors are welcome to experience amazing collections of artifacts, including the chair Abraham Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated as well as real-life trains up close in person.
  5. Visit Greenfield Village. Tour the village and learn about America from 300 years ago. Step foot into the lab where Thomas Edison had his lightbulb moment and take a ride in a real Model T.
  6. Watch and learn how to make cider at Yates Cider Mill. Yates also offers ice cream and long trails within their deep wooded property for walks and hikes.
  7. Pick your own blueberries in Howell, Michigan. After your day of picking, check out our blueberry recipes and have some dessert making fun in the kitchen!
  8. Pick your own apples and strawberries at Blake’s Orchard.
  9. See the Detroit Fireworks, downtown Detroit. The fireworks downtown are the biggest and brightest in the state!
  10. Visit the S.S. City of Milwaukee. The SS City of Milwaukee is the last of six sister ships designed in the 1920s. It is available for tours, contains a bed and breakfast, and hosts the annual Ghostship Haunted House every October.
  11. Visit the Detroit Zoo. During your visit, your family can enjoy the kangaroos, beautiful butterflies, polar bears, a new penguin exhibit, giraffes and many more!
  12. Have fun at the Michigan Science Center. The Michigan Science Center offers hands-on experiences for kids of all ages including educational exhibits, live shows, movies, and demonstrations.
  13. See a Detroit Tiger’s baseball game at Comerica Park. Kids can ride the Ferris wheel and the carousel before, during, and after the game!
  14. Visit Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Perfect for all ages, the museum offers educational exhibits of African American history and culture.
  15. Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts. This destination is perfect for the entire family. Plan on spending a few hours enjoying more than 65,000 artworks from the earliest civilizations to the present.
  16. Spend the afternoon at the Cranbrook Science Museum. View the giant T Rex model, the Wooly Mammoth, and the Bat Zone.
  17. Watch a film or take a tour at the Detroit Historical Museum. Exhibits from the 1930s to the present day swoon museum visitors that are interested in Detroit, Michigan’s history.
  18. Visit Ann Arbor by taking the train from Royal Oak. If your kids have been begging to ride a train, this is the best local option.
  19. Take a tour of the Motown Museum – Hitsville, U.S.A. Stand in Studio A, where your favorite artists and groups recorded much-loved music, and to view the restored upper flat where Berry Gordy, Jr. lived with his young family during the company’s earliest days.
    lan an afternoon of fun at Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum.
  20. Visit the Detroit River Walk and take pictures of the kids with Detroit, the river, or Windsor in the background.
  21. Visit The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Children of all ages love this museum! Be sure to let the kids explore in their Preschool Gallery, Legacy Gallery, and Michigan Nature exhibit.
  22. Spend a hot Summer day at Red Oaks Water Park. There’s nothing like cooling off on a fun, winding waterslide!
  23. Have fun at the street fair Dally In The Alley
  24. See a show at the Detroit Opera House.
  25. Visit the Belle Isle Conservatory and Aquarium.
  26. Go for a hike or bike ride on the Paint Creek Trail.
  27. Head downtown Detroit and ride The People Mover around town. Stop at Greektown to have lunch and get back on to see the rest of the city from the People Mover windows.
  28. Take a factory tour at Sanders Candy.
  29. Visit the Henry Ford Estate – Fair Lane.
  30. Get some dune-climbing exercise in at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore was named the “Most Beautiful Place in America” on ABC’s Good Morning America and it truly is!
  31. Spend the day at Michigan’s Adventure, Michigan’s Largest Amusement Park and Water Park. You’ll need an entire day or two to get through all of the fun at Michigan’s Adventure! For one price, the entire family can enjoy an amusement park and a waterpark at once! Don’t forget to take a picture with Snoopy!
  32. Head to Frankenmuth for the day. Go for a steamboat ride and enjoy a delicious chicken dinner. Kids can also watch the locals make delicious fudge!
  33. Enjoy an exciting afternoon at Castle Farms in Charlevoix. The entire family can enjoy a beautiful tour, view the World War I museum and enjoy Michigan’s largest outdoor model railroad with over 2,500 ft of track.
  34. Splash around at Avalanche Bay located at Boyne Mountain. Centrally located at the heart of Boyne Mountain Resort, this wet, wild waterpark is open all year ’round and is perfect for a Summertime getaway.
  35. Take a luxurious boat or plane tour at Beaver Island! The largest island in Lake Michigan, Beaver Island hosts many activities for nature lovers. The year-round population is around 600 – a large percentage of Irish descent. It’s the perfect place to slow down and unwind. After your plane or boat tour, you can tour the Island by bicycle.
  36. Take a bike ride around Mackinac Island. Mackinac Island has so much to offer including, homemade fudge, a horse and carriage museum, carriage tours, spas, kayak tours, a haunted theater, a maze of mirrors, candy shops and much more. We love the idea of visiting the island and renting bikes to ride around the entire island as a fun family event. In just one afternoon, the entire family can explore Mackinac Island’s natural beauty.
  37. Take the kids to Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City. The Traverse City Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor waterpark that is fun for all ages! This location is our favorite because it even has an outdoor pool, bar, and mini splash park if you would like to enjoy the weather outside. The outside portion is included and entails no extra fees. Another fun thing about this location is the kids can also enjoy MagiQuest during your stay.
  38. Ride the new rollercoaster at C.J. Barrymores. C.J. Barrymores offers a full day of fun for kids and adults including go-karts, putt-putt golf, a saddle sling, a drop tower, and a new spinning coaster! Barrymores also has food and drinks available to purchase, bowling and an indoor arcade.
  39. Spend the day (or weekend) at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park. The park features over three miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, a 297-site modern campground, towering Lake Michigan dunes. Miles of hiking and skiing trails offer stunning views of Lake Michigan are available to every visitor. One of the main attractions at Hoffmaster State Park is the Dune Climb You can even get some fun exercise on the stairway leading to the top of a high sand dune where an observation deck offers a panoramic view of the dunes and Lake Michigan.
  40. Visit Saugatuck Dunes State Park. The park is beautiful and its attractions are the long sandy beaches and the 300-acre natural area which contains a coastal dunes system. Nature enthusiasts, birdwatchers and hikers are the predominant day users.
  41. Take the kiddos on the Silver Beach Carousel. Choose from 48 magnificent, hand-carved menagerie figures and two chariots for your special ride. This glamorous ride allows you to spin beneath 1,000 twinkling lights.
  42. Visit the oldest lighthouse in Michigan. The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was established in 1825. It helps keep watch over Lake Huron at the entrance to the St. Clair River. PAck your suits and you can even enjoy swimming at Lighthouse Park.
  43. Have a picnic in Palmer Park. Palmer Park is a beautiful location for a picnic. The ¼ mile park runs parallel to the St. Clair River. A sandbar in the middle of the River forces river traffic to pass close to the park so the 1,000 ft. freighters are right in front of you as they pass by. The boardwalk is the world’s longest freshwater boardwalk. It’s perfect for taking family photos.
  44. Enjoy beautiful artwork in Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids has beautiful art everywhere you turn. You can take the family the Grand Rapids Public Museum, visit Calder Plaza, take pictures by La Grande Vitesse and spend a couple of hours at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
  45. Spend the day at Lakeside Beach in Port Huron. Lakeside Beach has a large picnic space, volleyball, play structures, and swimming in Lake Huron.
  46. Take a tour of Michigan’s State Capitol. The Michigan State Capitol welcomes over 115,000 people including tourists, schoolchildren, and families that tour the building each year. Guests can watch a live session, admire the nine acres of hand-painted decorative art, and they learn stories from Michigan’s past.
  47. Visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Perfect for a day of learning, photos, and new discoveries. Dads tend to love to visit this destination.
  48. Visit Upper Michigan’s hidden waterfalls. One of the most enchanting experiences in Michigan, visit the several waterfalls in the upper peninsula of our great mitten state. If you think Michigan is beautiful where you are, these natural locations will amaze you.
  49. Spend the weekend in Sault Ste Marie. Families love to spend the weekend here! Guests can enjoy a real, traditional POWWOW to gather and honor American Indian traditions, rent bikes for a nice bike ride, shop, and view the Soo Locks and Point Iroquois Lighthouse.
  50. Tour Little Ceasar’s Arena – Little Caesars Arena is now offering several types of tours year-round. The 60-90-minute arena tours are available for the public or for a private group. Experience & explore sports memorabilia, and VIP areas of Detroit’s state-of-the-art arena.
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Detroit Mommies Expert Contributor
Owner & Senior Editor of Detroit Mommies, Shannon has 20 years of experience in the digital marketing space specializing in the subjects of fashion, beauty, travel & parenting. She obtained Detroit Mommies in 2017 and has been perfecting its digital footprint and sharing her reviews, parenting advice, and offering local Michigan event announcements ever since. Shannon is also the Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor of DetroitFashionNews.com and is known for her original fashion, beauty & travel blog, Glamorous Moms now shannonlazovski.com. As a writer, Shannon is known for her service & product reviews, travel reviews, fashion & beauty trends, and styling advice for women and moms on the go. She is currently the President & Founder of the Glamorous Moms Foundation, the CEO of the beauty brand Glameselle, and has been awarded the Elite 40 under 40 award and featured on numerous print and television media outlets both locally and nationally.