Article is sponsored by Critter Barn in Zeeland

With zoos, museums, beaches, waterparks, trails, and more, West Michigan has something for every child – or child at heart – to enjoy in any season!


South West Michigan Kid-Friendly Activities

Imported Image Join Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings for summer nature play in the Play Space. Explore the outdoors with hands-on activities, games, and snacks. On August 11th, participants will investigate a specific outdoor theme. Children must be accompanied by an adult during these family-friendly events and are encouraged to actively play and explore alongside the children. Sign up here This Summer, grab your cape and go on an adventure as “reserve SuperHeroes-in-training” at the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo’s new DC Super Heroes: Discover Your Superpowers™ exhibit! Visitors of all ages will develop new skills and learn the importance of teamwork at the Hall of Justice™ as they work together to solve problems and catch Super-Villains in a series of exciting challenges. Then on August 19th, join them in celebrating National Aviation Day with a free STEAM community event on the front lawn and free admission to their Flight Discovery Center. Get hands-on with science-based learning activities from the Air Zoo and local partners.  River Saint Joe prides itself on being kid-friendly for children of all ages! With a sprawling beer garden in the countryside outside of Buchanan, River Saint Joe is a place for families to relax and soak in the beauty of SW Michigan. With games like bocce and bags for older kids, as well as giant jenga, soccer balls, and more for guests to borrow, there's something to keep everyone entertained while they visit! No matter how you enjoy your time with them, everyone is sure to love a day in the sun at River Saint Joe. Imported Image With many exhilarating outdoor adventures and fun-filled indoor experiences, Saugatuck/Douglas has plenty to keep little ones to older teens busy and active every season. Explore the waterways together on a kayak or bike or hike the miles of trails and roam the dunes of Saugatuck Dunes State Park at sunset. Get lost in a corn maze at Crane’s Orchards during the fall, or climb aboard for a ride on the Star of Saugatuck. Inspire curious minds with a visit to the local museums and art studios. No matter the season, Saugatuck/Douglas has something to delight both young and old.  Kalamazoo appeals to kids of all ages! Start at Kalamazoo’s most iconic attractions for kiddos, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, which offers fun, interactive activities to learn about Kalamazoo’s history. For those who are nature enthusiasts or need wide open spaces to run and explore, consider the Kalamazoo Nature Center or the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary for the perfect afternoon filled with outdoor adventure! They created a list of the top 5 things to do in Kalamazoo for more activities. With an abundance of things to see and do, Coldwater Country is the place for family fun. Challenge friends and family to a game of laser tag and the many virtual reality games at Adventure Zone. Or step back when you step aboard an authentic 100+-year-old steam engine train at the Little River Railroad. Get outside and enjoy the horseback trails with Hidden Pond Horse Rescue. Don’t forget to stay up late and catch a double feature at the Capri Drive-In, one of the remaining drive-in theaters in Michigan. Imported Image Allegan Event is home to Michigan’s most extensive indoor high ropes course, 16 climbing walls, and offers plenty of room for birthdays, celebrations, large groups, and endless adventurous activities and things to do for guests of all ages. Get active and make lasting memories at the ultimate family fun center while challenging yourself to their many heart-pumping attractions! This summer, be sure to check out the outdoor maze and attempt to find all of the checkpoints as fast as you can. Check out their summer deals and specials here The opportunity to meet and hand-feed the giraffes in Wild Africa is a signature experience at Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. From the overlook deck, guests can meet these gentle giants face-to-face and have an opportunity to experience the thrill of hand-feeding snacks of lettuce to them. A family fun destination with great, fresh dairy products! Visit MOO-ville Creamery in Nashville, Mi  for old fashioned down-on-the-farm fun and flavor. At MOO-ville, there is no question where their products come from - just look up the hill at the farm. Make memories all year long at the Silver Beach Carousel in St. Joseph. Featuring 48 unique animals and characters, pick your favorite and take a ride under twinkling lights. Around the top of the carousel you can learn about their local history using historic photographs. You'll find all the magic and wonder of the Silver Beach Carousel perfect for the whole family. 

Central West Michigan Kid-Friendly Activities

Imported Image Enjoy summertime at the Critter Barn in Zeeland while holding, petting, and feeding friendly farm animals! Ducks, Goslings, Chicks, Goats, Cows, Sheep, Pigs, Bunnies, and Donkeys are looking for you! Pack your picnic lunch and enjoy a walk around their beautiful new farm! Enjoy a number of farm-themed festivals at Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo, with over 100 animals and 46+ experiences on site. Get up close and personal with Jeffrey the Camel, deer, goats, alpacas and more. Cool off at the new Splash Acres, a water-play area that is fun for the whole family! Open daily for the summer, Sandcastles Children’s Museum is one stop you will not want to miss while visiting Ludington. Interesting exhibits to check out at Sandcastles include a puppet show, Pere Marquette River water table, an ice cream shop, SS Badger carferry, an airplane, a newborn nursery, a heavy construction exhibit, and a musical instrument stage.  Imported Image Grand Haven is a family-friendly destination where kids of all ages can have a fun and exciting time. The Coast Guard Festival features thrilling rides and games, a parade, and a spectacular fireworks display illuminating the night sky. Providing a haven for young imaginations at the Imagination Station, this expansive playground features endless hours of fun and exploration. Whether it's a sunny day down by the beach, an energetic time playing on the Imagination Station, or an exhilarating experience on the festival rides and games at Coast Guard, August in Grand Haven is a fun time for everyone.  Calling all mini adventurers and little learners! Immerse yourself in wonder at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. With hands-on interactive exhibits, it's a treasure trove for curious minds. Get ready for an adventure where play sparks learning. Daily drop-in programs, from storytelling to art, keep the fun flowing. Unlock endless fun and boundless discovery. Brace yourself for a unique experience that ignites your heart, mind, and laughter. Ready to play?  Imported Image Use the Lansing Experience Pass to find all kinds of family-friendly attractions, museums, indoor and outdoor recreation, and more. The Greater Lansing CVB has curated a list of the region’s best family-friendly activities. It doesn’t matter whether you have an afternoon, a full day, or a weekend. Sign up and gain access to deals and discounts while checking in to each location, accumulating points, and winning some cool swag. Find just about everything that makes Greater Lansing great! Make memories and save money when you take the kids on an Amtrak® journey they’ll never forget. They'll experience the wonder of the train while you enjoy a trip without baggage fees or traffic. Get your ticket to fun and educational activities for your kids to learn about the railroad and the many places you can go at in the Kids Activity Center. For more information, visit here Imported Image Get ready for a laser tag experience unlike any other in West Michigan! BattleGR Tactical Games offers laser tag, archery tag, and so much more. They are constantly hosting fun events and different deals, so be sure to check out their website for all the details. Nestled into the dunes of Muskegon State Park, you’ll find a park filled with summer time adventures at Muskegon Luge Adventure Park. Take flight from the top of a sand dune on their zip-line or learn to luge without ice on their one-of-a-kind wheel luge track. Check out their website for other adventure challenges you can embark on.  Step back in time with The Lakeshore Museum Center with their natural and cultural history exhibits. It is comprised of multiple sites including: the Muskegon Museum of History and Science, Muskegon Heritage Museum of Business and Industry, Hackley & Hume Historic Site, Fire Barn Museum, and the Scolnik House of the Depression Era. Experience it all in Downtown Muskegon. For more information visit their website.

North West Michigan & Upper Peninsula Kid-Friendly Activities

Imported Image Kids of all ages will enjoy Mackinac State Historic Parks! The Kids' Quarters at Fort Mackinac, on Mackinac Island, allows you to get hands-on with history. Play a call on a drum, put on a uniform that a soldier at the fort would have worn, or build your very own fort! At Colonial Michilimackinac, in Mackinaw City, watch the muskets, cannon, and mortar boom! Take a stroll around the palisade wall and imagine yourself as a soldier walking a sentry beat in the 1770s. Smell freshly baked bread and other historical goodies, and watch as archaeologists pull history out of the ground, bit by bit, in one of the oldest archaeological digs of its kind! For more kid-friendly activities, click here. National Lighthouse Day on August 7th is the perfect day to visit Mission Point Lighthouse in Traverse City. Come out and visit the park and do the tour inside the lighthouse for a small fee. They will also be giving out treats to their visitors to celebrate. Click here for more information. Visit the winery estate of Black Star Farms and delight the kids by seeing the ponies and horses and feeding the goats while you sit back and relax with a nice glass of Black Star Farms wine. For more events happening this summer, visit their website With the extensive array of activities and attractions available at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, their family-friendly hotel is the perfect place to keep everyone entertained during your vacation. Kids of all ages are welcome, as we have activities including miniature golf, Cedar Grove BMX bike track, Esther Williams Swimming Pool, and more. Imported Image Ahoy there! Mackinac Island Ferry Company, is offering trips on Mackinac Island’s one and only Pirate Ship. The “Good Fortune” has water cannons for family-friendly fun and a real cannon that signals a return to the dock. The pirate ship is fun for all ages, with music, great views, and a real pirate captain! Passengers are invited to dress up in pirate garb too. The most unique way to get to the Island is on the pirate ship Good Fortune! Ferry trips aren’t the only way to enjoy the pirate ship! Family Friendly pirate ship cruises are running this summer. Longer than the pirate ferry ride, you have more time to play around! With fun activities and games like Swab The Deck, water cannons, pirate music, and dancing!  Children of all ages are awestruck by the enormity of the Soo Locks while transiting through them, and everyone loves to go for a boat ride on the Famous Soo Locks Boat Tours! Fully narrated tours provide a true educational experience while visiting the Soo Michigan Locks. Children of all ages can find fun things to do in the Petoskey area! From Boyne Mountain Resort, public playgrounds, Petoskey Stone hunting, ferry rides on Little Traverse Bay, putt-putt, and more – there will surely be something for the whole family.   Imported Image The Keweenaw Peninsula is an excellent destination for young families who want to share new experiences and make memories together. Experience the magic of the great outdoors or visit an interactive museum to learn more about the region. Whether you hunt for the infamous glowing Yooperlites on the shores of Lake Superior or look up to the stars and dancing lights in the night sky, there is no doubt that your family will cherish all the memories made while visiting the Keweenaw Peninsula.  Enjoy the last bit of summer in Cadillac! Kids of all ages can enjoy the splash pad in the Cadillac Commons or grab your family and venture to Adventure Island, where children can ride go-karts, play a round of mini golf, or grab an ice cream cone! The Cadillac 4 Movie Theater offers free family movies on Wednesdays and Thursdays through August 10th! With various events happening during August, there is something for the entire family! You will indeed have a great time exploring all of what the Cadillac area offers during August!  Imported Image Bring the kids outside and enjoy the endless outdoor adventure opportunities that Marquette has to offer. Visit the family-favorite Thomas Rock, a wheelchair-accessible, family- and dog-friendly trail that leads to a scenic overlook offering incredible views of Lake Superior. Encourage your children’s artistic flair at HotPlate Pottery and Clayworks. This welcoming studio provides a safe and engaging environment and invites guests of all ages to fuel their creativity and participate in art classes. Marquette County boasts many natural marvels; among them are numerous captivating waterfalls guaranteed to delight children of all ages. Many trails leading to these falls are gentle and ideally suited for beginners, making them ideal for families, little ones, and furry companions. No matter the season, there’s always something happening for kids at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire. With 5,500 acres to explore, a pair of walking shoes or a bicycle can take a long way. Grass River Natural Area also offers opportunities to explore nature and get out on the water. A stone’s throw from the resort, the Chain of Lakes features 12 bodies of water, including Torch Lake. The five golf courses at Shanty Creek Resort feature everything from tight fairways to formidable doglegs and elevation changes. Need a lesson? No problem. Shanty Creek has developed and implemented various programs to attract youth, beginners, and families to play golf. Or try something new with FootGolf, a hybrid of soccer and golf. FootGolf is played with a soccer ball and many of the basic rules of golf. Book your stay here! Find more fun with these kids activitiesmuseumszoos & nature centers, and water parks.