Adventure & Active Travel That the Kids Will Love

Looking for something high-energy that the kids (and adults) will be talking about for years to come? Check out some of these adventure and active travel destinations!


This year’s Family Nature Summit is being held at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire from July 20th to 26th. Broken down into separate age groups, kids step away from the screen and spend their days hiking, exploring rivers, playing games, and learning about nature. While the kids enjoy their activities, there are special programs tailored for the adults. Registration is now open for the upcoming summit with additional information being added to the Family Nature Summit website.

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.

Escape rooms are fun for all ages, but they’re best for older teens and adults. Head to Clock N Lock Escape Rooms in downtown Kalamazoo and become secret spies for an hour as you test your wit and problem-solving skills.

At Airway Fun Center, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Kalamazoo! Whether you’re looking for an evening with friends or a day of family fun in Kalamazoo, they’ve got you covered. From an expansive laser tag arena to the sprawling mini golf course, Airway Fun Center is packed wall-to-wall with games, activities, and attractions.

Bring the kids to Action Wake Park in Hudsonville this spring! Kids can learn and experience paddle boarding, kneeboarding, and wakeboarding. Learn to Ride classes are offered every day, with half-off tickets offered on Kids Days every Tuesday and Friday this summer.

The Grand Rapids TreeRunner 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!

If you love airplanes, check out the Airport Viewing Area at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids for free airplane watching. Take to the skies yourself and fly with Waldo Wright’s Flying Service in Portage in one of their open cockpit planes! If you’re not quite up to jumping out of an airplane, check out the Skydiving Simulator in Skydive Grand Haven’s wind tunnel. Master that, and you might be ready for a real jump!

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. Whether you’re stopping by for an afternoon of fun or celebrating a birthday, Catch Air is always a hopping place to be!

The whole family can shoot clay pigeons at the Blendon Pines Gun Club in Zeeland. They even have loaner shotguns available for only $10, so you don’t need to bring your own equipment.

Reopening for the season in May, Jump Around Fun Center in Ludington is good for toddlers to adults. This outdoor inflatable park includes a variety of bounce houses and obstacles. They’re even adding virtual reality attractions later this spring!

Did you know that you can go rafting year-round in West Michigan? Enjoy a relaxing float in the summer, or bundle up for a snowy winter rafting trip! You can find rafting trips from Big Bear Adventures in Indian River or Wisner Rents Canoes in Newaygo.

Embrace your inner cowboy by saddling up and taking a horseback ride! You’ll find trail rides, lessons, and more available at Wild West Ranch in Allegan, Teusink’s Pony Farm in Holland, Double JJ Resort in Rothbury, Double R Ranch in Belding, and Ranch Rudolf in Traverse City. If you’d rather travel behind the horse, hop on a carriage ride with Mackinac Island Carriage Tours.

Kids love Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville. With activities ranging from ziplines and skiing to laser tag and disc golf, your kids will have a blast during your visit.

Take an afternoon sail aboard the Tall Ship Manitou in Traverse City with Moomers Ice Cream served on board! What can be better than sailing on the Grand Traverse Bay while enjoying the Best Scoop of Ice Cream in America, according to Good Morning America?

Pictured Rocks Boat Cruises out of Munising is an authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service Department of the Interior. For over 50 years, their summer cruises have been guiding visitors to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, a top Michigan vacation spot. They offer three distinct Michigan cruises: the Regular Cruise, the Spray Falls Cruise, and the Sunset Cruise. If you are looking for unique vacation ideas, choose Pictured Rocks Cruises’ scenic boat tours as your next Michigan travel destination.

Whether spring, summer, fall, or winter, there is always something happening for kids at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. With two distinct mountains and a 450’ 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, or try something new with FootGolf at Shanty Creek’s Summit Golf Course. Enjoy Shanty Creek Resorts for year-round fun.

New to the Cheboygan area, Nautical North Family Adventures offers tours of the Inland Waterway and area shipwrecks using their glass-bottom boat. They also offer a complete diving instruction and certification program for those who want to explore new places and deeper waters!

Looking to expand your summer camp, scouting, or youth group options of adventuring? Keweenaw Adventure Company in Copper Harbor provides all the equipment necessary and takes care of the logistics so that you only have to focus on getting your group of kids there. With activities ranging from Lake Superior kayaking to in-land stand-up paddleboarding, there’s plenty to do on the water. If you prefer the land, they offer guided eco-interpretive hiking and introductory guided mountain biking as well!

Head underground and find out what it was like to mine copper in the Upper Peninsula at Adventure Mining Company in Greenland. They offer different types of tours of the mines, ranging from simple walking tours to adventurous tours that will have you rappelling into the mines!

Need a snack during your West Michigan adventures? If you’d like to indulge your sweet tooth, you’ll find candy of every type at Veni’s Sweet Shop in Niles, Chocolates by Grimaldi in Grand Haven, and Dylan’s Candy Bar, located inside Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme.