Kids Activities in West Michigan

Take your kids on a unique vacation or staycation in West Michigan! There is plenty for them to enjoy with many activities, resorts, parks, and more. Area museums and arts centers are also very kid-friendly, so they may end up learning something without even knowing it! There’s something for kids of all ages, and we’re sure that these activities will leave them itching for more West Michigan fun.

Kids Activities in Southern West Michigan

The Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven is a great place to bring the whole family! Kids will enjoy the hands-on exhibits, all while learning about maritime history. Step aboard on the museum’s tall ship, Friends Good Will, for a Pirate Chaser Sail, where your family is part of the crew as you chase down pirates on Lake Michigan and recapture treasure. Make history come alive for your family at the Michigan Maritime Museum!

Coldwater Country is home to an abundance of things to see and do. Ride the rails of an authentic 100-year-old steam engine train, or have a family fun day driving go karts, or playing paintball and laser tag. Keep the kids up late and head to the Capri Drive-In to catch a double feature at one of the ten remaining drive-in movie theateres in Michigan.


Looking for a fun and educational way to get outside with your family this winter? Visit the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Augusta to see and learn about a variety of bird species, including Trumpeter Swans, a native species that the Sanctuary helped to reintroduce to the Midwest. Walk one of the trails around beautiful Wintergreen Lake to see waterfowl, birds of prey, game birds, and songbirds. The sanctuary also offers educational programs for children and adults year-round, with a full calendar of events available on their website.

Hastings’ Playing at the Spray Plaza program offers free music, entertainment, and educational programs for children between preschool and 12 years old. The program is hosted every Thursday and lasts for nine weeks, from June 14th to August 9th. Don’t forget to bring the kids’ swimsuits, so that they can enjoy playing in the spray plaza before and after the show!

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts offers free admission for kids through age 12, and admission for adults is only $5 (students are $2)! Ten galleries filled with art include a “Please Touch” Kids Corner, recently updated with a black light alcove, music making stations, art books, and more. Their Art Detectives programs for kids 4 to 8 with an adult introduce the youngest among us to the art museum, with a story, gallery stroll, and art-making.

The Air Zoo in Kalamazoo is a highly charged, multi-sensory atmosphere that goes beyond anything you’ve ever seen. It’s like no place else on Earth! Voted the “Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners” and “Best Place to Spend a Day with Your Family” three years in a row, the Air Zoo features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, amusement park-style rides, Full-Motion Flight Simulators, and RealD 3D/4D Missions Theater, as well as historical exhibits and educational activities.

You’ll find all the magic and wonder of the Silver Beach Carousel below the bluff in St. Joseph, just yards from Lake Michigan’s Silver Beach, named one of the top 10 family beaches by Parents magazine. Open all four seasons, you can ride a different carousel figure or chariot every week and fill the year with a new memory each time. Their sea serpent chariot is wheelchair accessible, so everyone can ride! Tokens are available for cash or credit card at the admissions desk or for cash from their token machine.

The Marshall area is filled with fun for your kids. From hands-on museums and farms to the great outdoors and conservation, your whole family will learn something new when they visit. Plan your next trip using the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance’s trip planning resources.  

Enjoy free activities and events in Battle Creek! The Kingman Museum is open on Saturdays and Sundays, and offers free admission. Stop by and check out the museum, or head to the planetarium for their $2 shows. On February 3rd, the Leila Arboretum is hosting Festivus, their free annual event, which features cardboard sled races. Plan a trip to the area, and see what you can do on your budget!

More Kids Activities in Southern West Michigan

Even More Kids Activities in Southern West Michigan

Kids Activities in Central West Michigan

Bring the kids to Ludington to learn all about the area’s maritime history. The newest jewel in Ludington’s museum-tourist attraction crown is the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum. Visitors can experience piloting the car ferry Pere Marquette 22 into Ludington’s harbor via a virtual reality experience, learn the unique light signals of Lake Michigan’s many lighthouses, and experience many authentic artifacts used in the story of the Ludington’s celebrated harbor and by many of its famous Coast Guardsmen and car ferry sailors. Ludington is also home to the S.S. Badger, the last coal-fired steamship in the United States. Offering nostalgic, four-hour cruises across Lake Michigan to and from Manitowoc, Wisconsin twice daily in the summer season, visitors can also enjoy themed two-hour shoreline cruises in the summer such as the Fourth of July Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean Shoreline Cruise on July 25th. These two nautical locales on Lake Michigan are both fun and educational.

The Mt. Pleasant area is home to fun for kids of all ages. The indoor waterpark at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is sure to be a hit with the whole family. The waterpark features a lazy river, indoor surfing pool, climbing wall, and more. There’s more to see in Mt. Pleasant, including museums and indoor play areas, where your kids will love to learn and burn off some energy!

Atwater Brewing Company is a great spot for families visiting the Grand Rapids area, with its extremely kid-friendly space! Atwater provides a kids menu with specials that won’t break the bank, so parents can enjoy some of the best craft beer that Grand Rapids has to offer. Their open space and large windows create a bright, open, family-friendly environment, and the brewery’s shuffleboard table creates opportunities for kids and adults alike to take a break from the busy day to relax and play!

The Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park has seven courses that are broken into four different skill levels. Each course takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete, but you have three hours to do as much or as little as you please! They have activities for kids of all ages with a mini zipline course designed for kids ages 4 to 6, and a main deck which starts with kids that are 7 years old. You may have a hard time getting your kids to come back to the car when you visit this outdoor adventure park!

A visit to Catch Air in Grand Rapids is sure to have your kids jumping for joy! Their indoor adventure park has inflatable slides, jungle gym, bounce castle, and more. Catch Air is also the perfect place for a birthday party! Throw the most memorable and enjoyable party ever without lifting a finger. Whether you’re stopping by for an afternoon of fun, or celebrating a birthday, Catch Air is always a hopping place to be!

The Tri-Cities Historical Museum in Grand Haven is the perfect place for young learners who don’t want to be limited to just reading. Instead, step in, see, touch, and even smell all things history. Each exhibit is housed in a structure that is appropriate for the era. For example, the Woodland Era of Native American history is found inside an authentic birch bark wigwam. While The Tri-Cities Historical Museum is open to all ages, parents and guardians typically find 1st grade and above to be the most invested in the exhibits, though highly engaged parents will find something teachable in each exhibit!

The Critter Barn in Zeeland is a nonprofit educational farm spanning three acres. Their curriculum focuses on promoting an understanding of agriculture, food sources, animal care, animal science, volunteer initiatives, and the farmer’s role in feeding the world. They have an authentic learning environment with many friendly animals! Working on a farm, even visiting a farm, develops character and deepens an appreciation for the world around us.

A palette of colors await you as you wind along the entrance to Holland’s treasured Windmill Island Gardens. Tour five stories of the DeZwaan windmill, the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the United States. From the top, you can survey 36 acres of manicured gardens, dikes, and canals. Complete your immersive Dutch experience with their costumed guides, hand-painted Dutch carousel, and children’s gardens, gift shops, and more.

Beat the winter blues with a family fun trip to the Holland Museum! Here, you can grab a special hands-on “Meet Me at the Museum” backpack, filled with activities designed to get kids moving through the galleries while completing kid-friendly challenges and activities. The backpack is free to check out with paid museum admission, and is appropriate for children ages 3 to 8 years old.

Families with children love Muskegon County for its wide variety of kid friendly attractions and events! Michigan’s Adventure is Michigan’s only major theme park! From the heart-pounding rush of Thunderhawk and Shivering Timbers roller coasters to the family fun of Lakeside Gliders and the Swan Boats, the amusement side of this 250 acre complex offers thrills of all sizes and fun for all ages. Wildwater Adventure features towering slides, refreshing wave pools and splash pads and your admission ticket covers both parks! The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex offers exciting annual events and outdoor sports facilities for families. This beautiful venue inside Muskegon State Park has one of only four publicly accessible luge tracks in the country for kids eight and up! You can also cross-country ski, snowshoe, snowboard or sled on five miles of groomed track day or night! Michigan’s Heritage Park at Hilt’s Landing is a perfect family activity, promising an outdoor adventure for all ages. Your tour will take you through 10,000 years of Michigan History in a natural woodland setting “Make and Take” vintage crafts such as candle dipping are part of the experience, or become a paleontologist and help unearth a mastodon at the dig site. Kids and adults alike will cherish their time in Muskegon!

More Kids Activities in Central West Michigan

Even More Kids Activities in Central West Michigan

Kids Activities in Northern West Michigan

During winter, bring your kids to the Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The Sault’s outdoor recreation area features one hill for snowboarding and skiing, three smaller runs for tubing with young children, and four larger runs that the adults and older children will love. All three hills have lifts that will take you back to the top. Inside the chalet, you will be able to warm up and buy snacks at the concession stand.

The Grayling area has a local recreation area that has a fantastic tubing hill! Tubing is affordable, fun for all ages, and doesn’t require all the gear that you would need snowboarding or skiing. Stop by and experience the Grayling area’s outdoor winter attractions for yourself!

The Petoskey area has attractions for kids and the kids at heart. Kids from toddler to teen and beyond will want to put Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls on their bucket lists. From the Kitz Pool for the little ones to the sheer exhilaration of the Big Couloir for the bigger kids, Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark is perfect in any season. For even more excitement, visit Wildwood Rush in Boyne City, where you can fly through the forest canopy on over 7,000 feet of zip lines, cross five suspended sky bridges, and enjoy the amazing views of Lake Charlevoix from six tree-top platforms. These two exciting attractions are sure to have your family wanting to return year after year.

Whether spring, summer, fall, or winter, there is always something happening for kids at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. There’s still plenty of time, and snow, to enjoy Michigan’s winter wonderland. With two distinct mountains and a 450-foot vertical drop, multiple terrain parks, and a multi-lane alpine tubing park Shanty Creek is where quality family time happens with the wind in your hair and smile on everyone’s face. When the weather warms, return to Shanty Creek Resorts where an unforgettable golf getaway awaits. Shanty Creek has developed and implemented a variety of programs aimed at attracting youth, beginners, and families to play golf. Or try something new with FootGolf at Shanty Creek’s Summit Golf Course. A hybrid of soccer and golf, FootGolf is played with a soccer ball and many of the basic rules of golf, all while trying to sink a shot into the 21-inch diameter cup.

The Harbor Springs History Museum in Harbor Springs has a number of fun interactive exhibits designed to educate the young and young at heart! The museum is very family friendly and welcomes children of all ages to learn about the history of the Harbor Springs community. The museum’s Discovery Gallery is specifically oriented towards children and includes a train set, fishing shanty, mock grocery store, and more! Visit one of West Michigan’s more interactive museums with a trip to the Harbor Springs History Museum.

Kids love exploring the rustic beauty of Charlevoix. Head over to the Mt. McSauba Recreation Area to rent skis, ice skate, or snowshoes, before spending an afternoon wandering downtown Charlevoix. Here, you can warm up with a cup of hot chocolate, visit the local book store, and explore the toy store for a new game for the family. Round out the evening with dinner and a movie downtown before heading in for the night.

More Kids Activities in Northern West Michigan

  • Take an afternoon sail aboard the Tall Ship Manitou in Traverse City, with Moomers Ice Cream served on board!
  • Test your skills on the giant chess board at the Inn at Bay Harbor in Petoskey
  • Meet norm, the 10-foot-tall, 3,700-pound metal dragon at Castle Farms in Charlevoix
  • Take an autumn Pictured Rocks Boat Tour to the majestic spray Falls, which cascades 70 feet into Lake Superior
  • Make history by walking the five-mile Mackinac Bridge over Labor Day Weekend
  • Zip down the side of the ski hill at Crystal Mountain Resort in Thompsonville aboard the Crystal Clipper Alpine slide
  • Take part in a cannon demonstration at Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island
  • Take a chocolate tour and sample sweet treats at Kilwin’s Chocolate Kitchen in Petoskey
  • Indulge with kid-friendly treatments, such as ice-cream-themed fizzy soaks, at Scooops Kid spa at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City
  • Watch a family matinee in one of the three viewing theaters at the Lyric Theater in downtown Harbor Springs

Even More Kids Activities in Northern West Michigan

Kids Activities in West Michigan 2018

Timber Ridge Ski Area in Gobles has activities and events all winter long, including an array of programs for kids to learn to ski or snowboard. They also have tubing open on the weekends for those looking for an easygoing ride down the hills. Stop by from February 23rd to 25th for their Winterfest Family Fun event, which includes activities for the whole family. If you’re looking for winter fun, look no further than Timber Ridge!

The February First Adventures with Nature events at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek are perfect for children ages 2 to 5 years old. First Adventures with Nature can help you engage in your child’s learning, while increasing their understanding of the natural world around them. The zoo’s experienced leaders are dedicated to connecting and inspiring the next generation of wildlife enthusiasts! Each 90-minute camp includes an animal encounter, a story, outdoor time in parts of the zoo, and activities to promote sensory development and socialization. All children must be accompanied by at least one adult that is 18 years or older. The dates for the camps are February 10th, 15th, and 22nd.

The Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings is part of the Hastings Public Library’s Creative Science Night on February 21st. Join the institute and other local organizations in hands-on science demonstrations and activities geared towards preschool through 5th grade students.

The St. Joseph area is hosting two free events that are perfect for the whole family. From February 2nd to 4th, the 14th Annual Magical Ice Fest brings winter fun for the entire family. Watch carvers magically turn frozen blocks into works of art, or take part in the SnowBiz Scavenger Hunt. The fun continues in Lake Bluff Park with Light Up the Bluffs, where over one million lights transform the park into a winter wonderland. The lights will remain on through February 15th, so you have plenty of time to bring you loved ones to this spectacle.

The Grand Rapids Symphony is hosting a Lollipop concert, “Little Red Riding Hood,” on February 3rd at DeVos Performance Hall. The Lollipop series is produced for the youngest concert goers, ages 3 to 7, accompanied by an adult. Programs are only 45 minutes long without intermission, and are a nice way for children to experience a symphony orchestra for the very first time. Special guests include dancers from the Grand Rapids Ballet, acting out the familiar story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. Tickets are just $5 for all seats, both children and adults.

The Mecosta area has family fun around every corner. Cran-Hill Ranch in Rodney invites you for a day full of winter fun on February 3rd! Activities include three different tubing hills, a toddler sledding hill, ice climbing, broomball, snowshoeing, ice skating, cross-country skiing, pony rides, petting farm, a bonfire with marshmallows, and more. Tractor drawn wagon rides will be running continuously during the whole event. For more outdoor fun, the Mecosta area’s wildlife center is sure to impress, with nearly 200 wildlife specimens from around the world on display.

Seven Steps Up in Spring Lake and their Courtyard Concert series present a Liz’s Concert with Anne Heaton on February 3rd. This is a free children’s concert for ages 4 through 12. Your kids will love the lively music, and you may even find yourself tapping your foot to the beat!