When Is The Best Time To Visit Michigan
Michigan has very cold winters and warm and humid summers. During winter you can expect plenty of snowfall and summer offers plenty of action from raging hot days to wet thunderstorms the next. Rainfall can happen throughout the year, so be sure to pack your umbrella just in case! Lake Michigan plays a major role in the weather pattern for Michigan, so its best to pack for all weather conditions.
The best time to visit Michigan depends vastly on the type of activities you want to pursue. If youre looking to enjoy the snowfall and enjoy winter sports, then the best time to visit is between November and February. Wintertime means visiting the slopes in Traverse City and exploring the Upper Peninsula.
To take advantage of the open-air activities and perfect weather conditions then visit Michigan in the late Springtime, where the weather is mild and enjoyable and less likely for summer thunderstorms!
Summertime involves vacationing on the beautiful Mackinac Island and swimming in the waters of Lake Michigan. Or visiting during the fall is when you can hit the scenic scenes of upper Michigan and experience the first glimpse of the changing leaf colours.
No matter when you visit Michigan, you will not be disappointed. Michigan offers so many activities and attractions to enjoy all year round.
Enjoy Scenic Drives And Overlooks
There are so many spectacular views and sightseeing to do in Michigan that its impossible to tackle it all in one vacation. But planning a road trip with scenic drives and overlooks between destinations is the perfect way to make the most of your time and get outside during a long drive.
Along US-2 going through the U.P., there are a variety of scenic overlooks with breathtaking views along the Top of the Lake Scenic Byway. Along this route, the whole family can enjoy beach and birds-eye-views of the northern shores of Lake Michigan to make the journey part of the destination. On the shores of Lake Huron, the Sunrise Coast byway takes visitors along US-23 to experience sparkling Great Lakes views with serene sunrises and mysterious shipwrecks off the coast. For a historic road trip, drive along the US-12 Heritage Trail. This route takes visitors through Michigans automotive history in Dearborn and Detroit, and historic districts in towns like Monroe, Coldwater and more from Lake Erie to Lake Michigan.
Enjoy Deals During The Off
As the temperatures drop, so do the crowds at many of Michigans prime attractions. Take advantage of the lingering sunshine and the quiet and head to the states hot spots off-season. Visit Mackinac Island in the fall, when ferry boats arent quite so full and room rates at the Grand Hotel and Mission Point Resort drop. The beaches and downtown shops in Holland grow quieter in autumn, too, even as they remain sunny and inviting. And national parks such as MunisingsPictured Rocks National Lakeshore promise hiking trails and Great Lakes-washed beaches all to yourself.
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Best Outdoor Adventures In Michigans Upper Peninsula With Kids
Families who love the outdoors will be in paradise when visiting Michigans Upper Peninsula! From hiking to biking, kayaking, fishing, and more nature-oriented fun, youll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fresh air and scenic views during your vacation. To help you plan, here are our favorite outdoor adventures in Michigan for families! Stay tuned, because we have also included our top picks for national and state parks below.
Choose From A Variety Of Food Trucks At The Little Fleet
One of the most fun places and family things to do in Traverse City with kids is to eat at The Little Fleet. Rather than a single restaurant, its a collection of food trucks that offer a range of dishes.
For instance, you can get Vietnamese street food at Good on Wheels, brick oven pizza at Traverse City Pizza Company, awesome barbecue at Cordwood, and delicious burgers and sandwiches at Glendale Ave.
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Watch The Fish At The Fish Ladder
#20 FREE THINGS TO DO IN MICHIGAN WITH KIDS624 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Visit Fish Ladder Park. Observe salmon, steelhead, trout and many other species of fish travel up the fish ladder. Get up close to the Grand River, and watch the fish jump up the ladder in a seasonal migration in the spring and late summer!
Visit The Kingdom Of Beaver Island
While we are on the subject of castles, why not visit a former Kingdom on Beaver Island. Beaver Island is the largest island on Lake Michigan and there are a ton of things to do there. We caught a float plane to the secluded Beaver Island where the self-proclaimed King James J. Strang ruled the land as a genuine kingdom from 1848 to 1856. He was eventually murdered by two men that he sentenced to be flogged and once gone, the residents of the surrounding settlements overthrew his followers so that today, Beaver Island is a beautiful oasis in Lake Michigan. See more things to do in Beaver Island at the official website.
- We stayed at the Harbourview Hotel on Beaver Island but you can go camping as well. And there are plenty
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See Free And Cheap Films At The Traverse City Film Festival
Another family-friendly event with a lot of free activities is the Traverse City Film Festival. Usually held at the end of July and beginning of August, it brings together filmmakers and movies from around the globe.
Kids can watch for free at Open Space Park, while Kids Fest Movies are only $1. There are even movies for teen audiences. The Closing Night Bash and Movies on Tap events are also free.
Visit The Henry Ford And Greenfield Village
Soak in the inspiration amid exhibits that even let you step on the bus and sit in the very seat upon which Rosa Parks helped to inaugurate the civil rights movement.
Gaze up at giants as you explore the largest stand of old-growth white pine in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, a great destination for hikes, mountain biking and joining maple syrup making events in spring.
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Visit A Playground Or Splash Pad
The Kids Corner playground in South Haven is one of our kids favorites. Not only is the wooden castle playground amazing, but the park also offers free parking with direct beach access! If you wish for a more natural play option, check out the brand new Sally Smoly Nature Playscape in Holland. This state-of-the-art nature playscape features climbing walls, logs, boulders, slides, nets, and sandboxes.
If you want some water fun without the sand, check out the brand new splash pad in downtown South Haven. This fun play area opened in 2020 with a giant ship to climb and spray water. Meanwhile, the Whirlpool Compass fountain in St. Joseph is the largest splash pad in all of Michigan. Watch out for those automatic spray cannons!
Look For Hidden Cache
Considered the biggest treasure hunt, geocaching is one of the one-of-a-kind free things to do in Traverse City. All you do is download the official Geocaching app on a device with GPS capabilities, and create a free account. Then, you can begin hunting for real-world treasure in your area. It involves using GPS coordinates for navigation, and youll find a hidden geocache when you get there.
Many of the geocaches require hiking to reach and offer opportunities for birding and watching other wildlife.
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Sea Life Michigan Aquarium
4316 Baldwin Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326 | Website
Experience over 150,000 gallons of WOW when you visit Michigan’s largest aquarium! With over 250 different species, over 10 unique exhibits, and interactive touchpool, there is plenty to keep you and your kids busy for several hours. There is also an underwater-themed play structure for kiddos to burn off some energy.
Tour Art Deco Masterpieces
FREE THINGS TO DO IN MICHIGAN WITH KIDSGuardian Building 500 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226Fisher Building 3011 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202
Detroit is home to some of the most impressive Art Deco masterpieces in America, including the Guardian Building and Fisher Building. Self-tour the Guardian during open business hours. Pure Detroit offers free Fisher Building tours on Saturdays.
Detroits Guardian Building
HINGS TO DO IN MICHIGAN WITH KIDSIsland in the Detroit River
Take the bridge to Belle Isle and discover 200 acres of woodland, trails, swimming, recreational facilities including the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Belle Isle Aquarium, Belle Isle Nature Center and much more! Admission is free to pedestrians, bicyclists and those who take public transportationbut please note, a Recreation Passport is required when accessing the island by vehicle.
Intricate fountains are just part of the beauty at Belle Isle in Detroit, MI
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Check Out A Michigan Activity Pass
#10 FREE THINGS TO DO IN MICHIGAN WITH KIDS450 partner destinations across Michigan
Use your library card to check out a Michigan Activity Pass, good for discounts and FREE passes to cultural attractions across the state! Dont forget to take advantage of the other amazing programs our library systems have to offer.
Interact With Indoor Activities
Kids love to create. But lets be honest, it can get quite messy. HotPlate Pottery and Art Studio offers you a creative atmosphere where you can take art classes, paint your own pottery, and make the perfect souvenir. Bonus: you dont have to buy supplies or worry about cleaning up an epic mess! You know that sign in museums that says, Dont touch? You wont find that at Upper Peninsula Childrens Museum. Educational and fun interactive displays encourage children to learn about the world around them. Play grocery store, crawl through a fantastic forest, and visit turtles at the touch tank all in one trip. Virtual reality is the wave of the future, and Edge of Reality VR Arcade is here for it. The virtual reality arcade features over 50 games for families to explore. Watching someone play with a VR headset is not only fun, but it also inspires you to see the world through their eyes!
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Explore The Great Outdoors Up North
With s diverse landscape, children can safely participate in a slew of outdoor winter activities like skiing, fat-tire biking, and snowshoeing. Also, Marquette is home to a childrens museum, a pottery and art studio, and lots of great parks.
Escape screen-time and put a paddle in your kids hands! Truly disconnect from the hubbub and mayhem and let Keweenaw Adventure Company be your host they have something for everyone, no matter the age level or experience. Youll find Lake Superior sea kayaking for all levels of experience, and inland lake stand-up-paddle boarding and kayaking for all age-levels. They have an excellent safety record and 5-star adventures guaranteed to make you all smile and keep you coming back for more. Book your adventure today!
D Rocks National Lakeshore
Is visiting a national park on your list of things to do in Michigan with kids?
Hugging Lake Superiors shore for about 40 miles is the countrys first national lakeshore: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
The sandstone cliffs are a marvel of colors and shapes due to the streaks of mineral stains decorating them.
There is no better way to see them than a two-and-a-half-hourboat cruise on the lake from mid-May through October.
Feeling adventurous? Kayaking is a popular activity and way to view the cliffs.
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The Upper Peninsula Childrens Museum
If youre visiting Marquette with your kids, dont forget to stop by TheUpper Peninsula Childrens Museum!Recommended for kids between three and thirteen, this hands-on, interactive museum has exhibits that teach kids about the areas history, culture, and natural resources. Wander through The Human Body exhibit, where children can climb through a rumbling stomach, up a wart, slide down intestines, and so much more. Aspiring pilots can even see what it feels like to sit in the cockpit of a real jet in the Over The Air exhibit! Or, crawl into and underneath a massive tree at the Fantastic Forest exhibit. The museum also has a playground and a picnic area for kids to enjoy. Certainly, this is one of the best things to do in Michigans Upper Peninsula With Kids.
Detroit Institute Of Art
5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202
Located in the heart of the Motor City, the Detroit Institute of Art is one of the biggest and most significant collections of carefully crafted art in the USA, with over 100 galleries.
Recognized for stellar collections of American paintings from the 19th century and Dutch, Flemish, and Italian paintings from the Renaissance through the Baroque period, this art museum is an easy spot to visit with kids.
Theyll love climbing the spiral staircase to the medieval gallery, where they can suit suits of armor and other amazing artifacts of old.
PRO-TIP: Make plans to visit the sculpture park at the nearby College for Creative Studies, located at 460 W Baltimore St, Detroit, MI 48202.
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Explore The Timbers Recreation Area On Long Lake
Spread over 250 acres, the Timbers Recreation Area features a network of unmarked and marked trails for hiking and more. The newest edition in 2020 is a universal access trail for visitors of all ages and abilities.
Your children will have fun flying kites, fishing, and watching the wildlife too. If you have a dog, it can join you as long as it stays on a leash.
Play On The Beach Playground Or Splash Pad At Clinch Park
Located along West Grand Traverse Bay, Clinch Park has the most popular beach in the area. It features more than 1,500 feet of sand, picnic tables, access to the Traverse Area Recreational Trail, and a snack bar.
On top of that, kids can enjoy climbing ropes on the playground and having fun in the splash pad.
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When Youre Up For A Little Schooling
The Henry Ford Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum of American InnovationThis indoor/outdoor museum pays homage to American innovation. Highlights include the Rosa Parks bus, where Parks took a stand for civil rights, and inventor Thomas Edisons laboratory. Need a break from all the learning? Check out Greenfield Villages playground. Its 20-foot-long boiler tunnel is a special treat.
Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family CampusLearn about what it was like for Jewish families leading up to, during and after the Holocaust. Through June 4, you can take in a special exhibit about one of the most discussed victims of the Holocaust, the young teenager Anne Frank. The exhibit is appropriately called Anne Frank: A History for Today.
Arab American National MuseumOnce youve learned more about the traditions and culture of Arab-Americans through the museums permanent exhibits, come back on July 13-17 for the Concert of Colors. Now in its 25th year, this free musical event features kids crafts and performers.
Learn more about the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American fighter and bomber pilots that flew in World War II. Call beforehand and set your crew up for a special tour of the museums historic planes.
Head To Captivating Coldwater Country
With an abundance of things to see and do, South central Michigans Coldwater Country is your home for family fun. Play laser tag and virtual reality games at Adventure Zone. Add in mini golf and go karts as the weather warms. Or step back in time and 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. And, make sure to stay up late and head to the Capri Drive-In to catch a double feature at one of the remaining drive-in theaters in Michigan.
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Peppa Pig World Of Play
4362 Baldwin Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Peppa Pig World of Play is an indoor play center that’s perfect for families with young children!
You and your little piggies will enjoy exploring more than a dozen free-roaming play areas, all lovingly inspired by the cherished TV series.
Some of our favorite zones are Peppa’s Treehouse, Granddad Dog’s Garage & George’s Fort!
Best Time To Visit Michigans Upper Peninsula With Kids
Before planning your trip to Michigan with kids, you may be wondering: whats the best time to visit Michigan with kids? The answer largely depends on where youll be visiting and what you want to do. Summer is the best time to visit for swimming, boating, kayaking, fishing, and quick weekend getaways. This is especially true along Lake Michigan or Lake Superior.
Families visiting Michigans Upper Peninsula also love seeing the sights in the summer. However, the UP is also fantastic for stunning fall colors. This is especially true at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and in towns such as Marquette. Then, winter is great for ice fishing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, etc. Now that you know all about when to visit Michigan with kids, keep reading to find out what to do and see!
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