There’s something for kids of all ages to enjoy in West Michigan! Explore science museums and zoos, spend the day at the beach or take a hike through a nature center, enjoy an artful afternoon or storytime, and so much more.
SOUTH WEST MICHIGAN
South central Michigan’s Coldwater Country is home to an abundance of things to see and do. Have a family fun day riding go karts, playing laser tag, mini golf or virtual reality games, step back in time and board an authentic 100+ year old steam engine train, and get outside and enjoy the horseback trails. Stay up late to head to the Capri Drive-In to catch a double feature at one of the remaining drive-in theaters in Michigan.
Krasl Art Center is proud to offer many free and fun art activities for families. The Benton Harbor Public Library and KAC will be hosting Family Days and Nights, where adults and children work together on fun art activities and enjoy light snacks. Movie fans can look forward to the 10th annual Coastline Children’s Film Festival, a 10-day event from March 13th – 22nd that brings quality, independent films and animations for children & young adults to Berrien County. Another event you won’t want to miss is Build Your Way Around Town, a two month-long Lego festival dedicated to young builders that runs from February 28th – March 25th. KAC will host four workshops on March 21st, including Lego Skyscraper Building and Lego Stop-Motion Animation. Workshops are free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required.
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.
Children of all ages can find something fun to do in South Haven! Spending a day at the beach provides ample entertainment for anyone who enjoys the sand and water. Make sandcastles, play on the play equipment (located on both North and South Beach), and go for a swim. New to 2020 is a splash pad, located by South Beach. For the kids who like to ride their bikes, South Haven has two great trails, the Kal-Haven and Van Buren, for biking and hiking. The museums and Center for the Arts hold fun classes for children of all ages to enjoy. Indoor fun is also an option! Take your kids to a retro arcade to play their hearts out or head to the movie theatre, perfect for rainy days.
Who wants to go for a boat ride? There are plenty of options for children to hop onboard, including the famed Friends Good Will tall ship at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven. Sign up for the Pirate Chaser excursion and help the crew of Friends Good Will retrieve their treasure from the pirates!
Lakeview Square Mall in Battle Creek has fun, non-shopping experiences for kids of all ages. Try some scooter tricks at the skatepark, give up Fortnite to play laser tag, participate in storytime at Barnes and Noble, test your brains in the wizard academy escape room, or attend one of the movie theater’s sensory-friendly showings.
If you’re looking for a playground, Calhoun County has three big ones you won’t want to miss. Victory Park in Albion has a 10,000-square-foot castle playground with nearby attractions including a disc golf course, children’s museum, and a theatre. Kids Kingdom playground in Marshall is a kid-sized version of the town’s famous architecture. Nearby attractions include a skatepark, disc golf course, a bakery, and the American Museum of Magic. ANYbodies Playground in Battle Creek was built to accommodate all children, including those with physical disabilities. Nearby attractions include a baseball stadium, dog park, pizza place, and the Art Center of Battle Creek.
Let your imagination take flight at the Air Zoo in Portage, a world-class, Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum with over 100 rare and unique aircraft and spacecraft, inspiring interactive exhibits, full-motion flight simulators, indoor amusement park rides, and more. The Air Zoo also features amusement park-style rides, and Full-Motion Flight Simulators, as well as historical exhibits, educational programs, camps, and activities.
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.
Children have been visiting the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Augusta for generations, and regular visitors know that each season brings new adventures. Join the fun on Saturday, February 29th, for a family-friendly Winter Nature Scavenger Hunt. Walk the paved trail and solve a series of nature-based mysteries for a chance to win a free family membership to the Sanctuary.
Michigan’s Capital Region is a great family-friendly, budget-conscious destination. Some favorite local fun spots include the trampoline park and science center in downtown Lansing!
Bring your kids to downtown Hastings, grab one of the special children’s brochures, and take them on a scavenger hunt for over 20 amazing outdoor sculptures created by Michigan and Midwest artists. Sculptures are on display year-round and can be enjoyed no matter the weather. Each Thursday at 11:00 am at the Hastings Spray Plaza, June through August, the City offers Playing at the Plaza, a free children’s music and entertainment program for children preschool through 12 years of age.
Experience the largest indoor ropes course in Michigan at Allegan Event! Conveniently located 30-minutes from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Holland, Allegan Event offers plenty of room for birthday parties, field trips, celebrations and large groups, as well as endless fun for kids and guests of all ages to explore. Explore the heart-pumping bi-level Sky Trail® ropes course with Sky Rail™ zip rails sitting at heights up to 35 feet.
More Kid-Friendly Fun in South West Michigan:
- Allegan County Fair, Allegan
- Barn Theatre School for Advanced Theatre Training, Augusta
- Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show, Battle Creek
- Berrien County Youth Fair, Berrien Springs
- Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek
- Cornwell’s Turkeyville, Marshall
- Gull Meadow Farms, Richland
- Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo
- Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo
- Kingman Museum, Battle Creek
- Lake Odessa Area Arts Commission, Lake Odessa
- Leila Arboretum, Battle Creek
- Maple Row Sugarhouse, Jones
- Michigan Fiber Festival, Allegan
- Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn
- Moo-ville Creamery, Nashville
- Overhiser Orchards, South Haven
- Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Saugatuck
- Saugatuck Dune Rides, Saugatuck
CENTRAL WEST MICHIGAN
There’s a lot of fun things to do in Holland that are sure to keep your kids busy and entertained! Head on over to the Holland Museum and explore the Smithsonian’s “Spark Lab,” a hands-on invention space ideal for children ages 6-12. On February 18th Spark!Lab will have storytime at 6:30 pm and time take what you’ve learned to become an inventor yourself. Be sure to grab tickets for Magic at the Museum on February 29th. For one bewitching afternoon, the museum is transforming into an enchanting destination for witches and wizards to explore. Feel free to come dressed as your favorite witch, wizard, or magical creature. Holland is also a great place for children and families to explore the environment in an outdoor classroom. Check out the nature center which offers torch-lit trail walks and a “build a birdhouse” workshop. It’s great for children of all ages and the perfect place for you and your little naturalist. West Michigan features many entertainment centers. Enjoy an afternoon of laser tag, monster bowling, glow bowling, an arcade, and a high ropes course in Holland, fun for children of all ages – including adults!
A palette of colors awaits 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, children’s gardens, gift shops, and more.
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.
Bring the kids to Action Wake Park in Hudsonville this spring! Kids can learn and experience paddle boarding, kneeboarding, and wakeboarding.
Located on 80 acres of land in Alto, Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park is a unique, hands-on experience for the entire family. The park boasts a distinct collection of exotic animals and reptiles, and the variety and dynamic atmosphere make Boulder Ridge anything but your average zoo.
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!
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!
Join the Grand Rapids Public Museum for Roger That! on Saturday, February 15th. Visitors will learn more about Roger B. Chaffee and space exploration with hands-on activities including a jet propulsion activity, gazing at the daytime sky with telescopes, creating underwater ROVs, interacting with space artifacts and much more! Activities will be available from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm throughout the museum. Activities are included with general admission. Planetarium shows take place every hour and are $4 per person; free for Museum members. Astronaut Dr. Franklin Story Musgrave will present From Farm Kid to Trauma Surgeon to Rocketman and Way Beyond as part of Roger That! at 11:00 am in the GRPM’s Meijer Theater. Tickets are free and must be reserved in advance at grpm.org/RogerThat. Limited tickets available. Following the presentation, there will be a meet and greet opportunity with Dr. Musgrave.
Exhibits at the Grand Rapids Public Museum this year include TOYS!, an interactive, multi-generation exhibition of toys and games to rekindle childhood memories, Design Zone, where visitors of all ages can explore a variety of concepts to learn the processes and tools needed to create a successful design, and Bodies Revealed. This exhibition features real, whole, and partial body specimens that have been preserved through an innovative process, giving visitors the opportunity to view the complexity of their own organs and systems like never before. Bodies Revealed allows people to learn about their own bodies and, ultimately, teach how to take better care of one’s own health and make positive lifestyle choices.
The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum is the place for play in Grand Rapids. With two floors of rotating exhibits, there’s something for kids of all ages!
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids is home to one of the largest interactive children’s gardens in the country, as well as 158 acres of gardens featuring world-famous works of art in the Sculpture Garden, indoor art exhibition space, and tropical conservatory.
Enjoy “Learn to Luge Weekends” Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through March 8th at the Muskegon Luge & Sports Complex inside Muskegon State Park. One of only four luge tracks in the United States, the track was designed by three-time Olympian Frank Masley and consists of six curves and speeds around 30 mph. Equipment and instruction are included. You’ll also find cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and sledding are available on 5 miles of groomed track, day or night. Don’t have your own equipment? Skis, snowshoes, ice skates, and sleds are available for rent. On February 2nd from 10:00 am-4:00 pm, the Muskegon Luge & Sports Complex is hosting a Winter Try-Athlon, your opportunity to try three Winter Olympic sports: luge, ice speedskating, and cross country skiing. This event is family friendly and geared towards those who may have never tried at least one of the sports before. If you have very little experience, no worries! They will teach you everything you need to know. On Wednesday, February 5th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, skate with the Muskegon Lumberjacks hockey! You can skate and play hockey with the team under the lights on two acres of outdoor ice rink and 1/4 mile ice skating trail through the woods.
On Saturday, February 15th at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, enter a magical world of enchantment as three beloved stories by award-winning children’s book author, Eric Carle, come to life right before your very eyes! This world-class touring show by the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia has been seen by millions in over 13 countries across the globe and is coming to Muskegon for two shows only! Tickets are $20.00 for adults (18+) or $10 for children (under 18).
Take the whole family for some fun on the farm at Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo in New Era.
For the “older kids,” there is the sixth annual “Craft Beer Crawl” going on Saturday, February 15th in Downtown Grand Haven. Enjoy craft beers from 12+ Michigan Craft Breweries at participating venues from 2:00 pm -7:00 pm!
Reopening for the season in spring, Jump Around Fun Center in Ludington is good for toddlers to adults. This outdoor inflatable park includes a variety of bounce houses and obstacles, as well as a virtual-reality experience.
From science and cultural museums, to sledding hills and waterparks, the Mt. Pleasant area offers a variety of indoor and outdoor fun for the kids to enjoy.
There is no shortage of family fun and entertainment in Mecosta County! With plenty of wonderful places to enjoy fun with the kids, you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime. A couple of wonderful spots found in Downtown Big Rapids include ta roller skating rink with monthly free-skates, holiday-themed nights, and more. The Big Rapids Community Library also has a plethora of kids events happening weekly. From sugar cube igloo building to storytimes for the younger kiddos, there is sure to be something for everyone. Kids can also enjoy the wildlife center on the Ferris State University campus.
More Kid Friendly Fun in Central West Michigan:
- BattleGR, Grand Rapids
- Blandford Nature Center, Grand Rapids
- Blue Lake Resort, Fountain
- Cannonsburg Ski Area, Belmont
- Coopersville Farm Museum, Coopersville
- Country Dairy, New Era
- Courtyard Concerts, Grand Haven
- Critter Barn, Zeeland
- Fallasburg Art Festival, Lowell
- Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives, Grand Rapids
- Grand Rapids Ballet, Grand Rapids
- Guy’s Ultimate Kayak Service, Muskegon
- Herman’s Boy, Rockford
- Historic White Pine Village, Ludington
- Holland Area Arts Council, Holland
- Irish Music Festival, Muskegon
- John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids
- LowellArts, Lowell
- Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon
- Ottawa County Parks, West Olive
- Post Family Farm, Hudsonville
- Robinette’s Apple Haus, Grand Rapids
- Silver Lake Buggy Rentals, Mears
- St Cecilia Music Center, Grand Rapids
- Tri-Cities Historical Museum, Grand Haven
- USS Silversides, Muskegon
- West Michigan Whitecaps, Comstock Park
- Yankee Springs Rec Area, Middleville
NORTH WEST MICHIGAN
Looking for parks and playgrounds in North West Michigan? There are lots of fantastic options located in Grayling! Hartwick Pines State Park is one of the largest state parks in the lower peninsula. It has a great playground for the kids along with outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy such as hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Grayling City Park is another great place to take your kids and is located on the AuSable River. Picnic tables and restrooms are available, as well as a pavilion across the river. Some other parks to check out in Grayling include Beaver Creek Township Park, Frederic Township Park, and Grayling Township Park.
Crystal Mountain has fun events for kids of all ages. Head to the magic show on Saturday, February 1st at 6pm where you’ll see a father and son duo create magic at the mountain. This show is free for all who attend and fun for all ages. On February 16th, head to Crystal Mountain for the Paintball Biathlon. This unique activity combines paintball and cross-country skiing to create one epic experience. The activity is $15 per person, geared for ages 8+, and includes cross-country ski equipment rental and paintball equipment. Daily activities at Crystal Mountain also include fat tire snow biking for ages 12+, as well as snowshoeing and ice skating for ages 3+.
The escape room at Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee is 60 minutes of pure entertainment! Want to learn more about the Ramsdell Theatre history? Do you love solving puzzles and clues? This is a great activity for both friends and families. Kids must be at least 12 years old to participate and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Based out of Suttons Bay, the Inland Seas Education Association has two ships that provide STEM+Art hands-on educational programs for youth and adults. In the spring and fall, students learn about the health of the Great Lakes as they become scientists aboard the 77′ schooner Inland Seas. During the summer, both ships provide programs for the public at various ports around the Great Lakes.
Whether spring, summer, fall, or winter there is always something happening for kids at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire. There’s still plenty of time, and snow, to enjoy Michigan’s winter wonderland. 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 a smile on everyone’s face. When the weather warms, return to Shanty Creek Resort where an unforgettable golf getaway awaits. The resort features four distinctly Northern Michigan golf courses featuring tight fairways, formidable doglegs, and elevation changes that will challenge any golfer. Need a lesson? No problem. 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.
Getting cabin fever this winter? Bring the kids to learn and explore at the Raven Hill Discovery Center in East Jordan. Nestled in a rural setting with pond, swamp, forest, and fields, Raven Hill is a place where kids of all ages can immerse themselves in a world of hands-on discovery. With topics ranging from science and technology to history and the arts, Raven Hill Discovery Center is a great place to spend the day anytime of the year.
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 with Big Bear Adventures in Indian River.
Give your kids a history lesson they don’t know they’re taking with the Mackinac State Historic Parks both in Mackinaw City and on Mackinac Island. From cannon firings to dressing in soldiers’ clothing to a walk through history, kids will learn as much here as they would in a classroom.
More Kid Friendly Fun in North West Michigan:
- Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls
- Evergreen Resort, Cadillac
- Great Wolf Lodge, Traverse City
- Jacob’s Corn Maze, Traverse City
- Mt Holiday, Traverse City
- Music House Museum, Williamsburg
- National Cherry Festival, Traverse City
- Nautical North Family Adventures, Cheboygan
- Oliver Art Center, Frankfort
- Pine River Paddlesport Center, Wellston
- Traverse City Pit Spitters, Traverse City
Escape screen-time and put a paddle in your kids hands! Truly disconnect from the hub-bub and mayhem and let Keweenaw Adventure Company be your host , where you’ll find something for everyone, no matter the age-level or experience, including Lake Superior sea kayaking for all levels of experience and in-land lake stand-up-paddle boarding and kayaking for all age-levels. Their excellent safety record and a perfect, 5-star adventure guaranteed to make you all smile and keep you coming back for more!
The Keweenaw is home to Michigan’s State Mineral Museum. Fantastic for children interested in geology and earth sciences, this attraction includes outstanding exhibits of minerals from the Great Lakes region and even fluorescent rocks that glow in the dark! The Keweenaw’s history is tied to the region’s legacy of copper mining. For kids (and adults) interested in history, be sure to explore the Copper Country’s collection of Heritage Sites including the Keweenaw National Historic Park and a tour of the famous Quincy Mine located in Hancock. Nicknamed “Old Reliable,” the Quincy Mine takes visitors aboard a cog-rail tram car down the hill to the mine entrance and then ride by tractor-pulled wagon into the mine, seven levels underground. There you’ll explore the inner workings of one of the world’s most productive copper mines. Keweenaw is your gateway to Isle Royale National Park, offering families a chance to experience one of Michigan’s most pristine natural areas while creating life-long memories. Isle Royale is located in the heart of Lake Superior and can only be accessed by boat or seaplane, making it one of the most secluded and least visited national parks in the U.S. With countless miles of exciting trails far from the sights and sounds of civilization, Isle Royale offers stunning scenic beauty, discovery, and adventure.
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!
More Kid Friendly Fun in the Upper Peninsula:
- Oswald’s Bear Ranch, Newberry