101 Free Things to do With Kids in Michigan

Show Your Kids how to Enjoy the Mitten State!

Michigan is Awesome

I know I’m a little biased, but really, Michigan is the best. For starters, our peninsulas mean we basically have two great states in one. And who else is bordered by four out of the five Great Lakes? Or boasts sand dunes? Or provides the headquarters for so many great companies that make useful things and tasty treats?

Michigan is overflowing with so many fascinating things–history, nature, invention, art–that you’ll never tire of finding something to do in this great state. And since we don’t think adventure needs to break the bank, we raised the stakes a little and compiled a list of purely FREE (or nearly free) things to do with your kids in Michigan.  

Where will your next mitten adventure take you?

101 Free Things to Do With Kids in Michigan

STATE-WIDE

    1. Take a road trip! Follow the Great Lakes Circle Tour, a scenic road system connecting all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. Pick a portion or enjoy the entire 6,500 miles!
    2. Visit one of Michigan’s 34 lighthouses that are open to the public. The exterior views are FREE, but admission rates may apply if you want to go inside.
    3. Go fishing! The Michigan DNR offers Free Fishing Weekends twice each year.
    4. Stop by a Michigan Farmers Market.
    5. Play disc golf at one of Michigan’s 286 courses.
    6. Ride your bike on the masses of beautiful Bike Trails, Michigan has to offer!
    7. Fly kites, build sandcastles, splash in the water, or take in the wonder of winter water at one of Michigan’s hundreds of beaches.
    8. Enjoy the dynamic fall colors of a trillion trees by taking a Michigan color tour.
    9. Go on a real life treasure hunt – try geocaching or letterboxing!
    10. Go hiking!  The North Country National Scenic Trail connects 7 states and headquartered in Lowell, MI!
    11. Use your library card to check out a FREE one-day pass, valid at any of Michigan’s State Parks!  With your library card, you can also check out a Michigan Activity Pass, good for discounts and FREE passes to cultural attractions across the state!
    12. Visit a local fair or festival. Whether it be music, art, ice, syrup, tulips, chocolate, kites, cherries, or magic, you can find one that suits you in Michigan…and many are FREE!
    13. Enjoy FREE kids admissions to select movies, during Celebration Cinema’s Flick’s Family Film Festivals.
    14. Get a free Krispy Kreme doughnut when the light is on (at participating locations, including). Download the Hot Light app and get notified anytime a light is on in your area!
    15. Go bowling…or roller skating…FREE! Kids Bowl FREE all summer long and Kids Skate FREE all year long at participating alleys and rinks all over the state!
    16. Build something at Lowe’s Build and Grow Clinic or Home Depot’s Kids Workshops. The events are FREE, but pre-registration is required (and they fill up fast).

      GRAND RAPIDS

    17. Explore Rosa Parks Circle, a public art space in the heart of downtown my renowned artist, Maya Lin. Many FREE events and concerts take place here all year long, and (almost FREE) outdoor ice skating is offered in winter months.
    18. Strap on your walking shoes and go on a Grand Rapids Tag Tour.
    19. Millennium Park offers 15 miles of paved and natural-surfaced trails, fishing, recreational areas, and great playgrounds. Also available is a great beach and splash pad, paddle boats and more. However please note, unlike the rest of the park, these water-based features of the park are fee-based.
    20. Take a ride on Motu Viget, a giant tire swing.
    21. Visit the World’s first LEED certified art museum, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and enjoy FREE admission all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays evenings.
    22. Experience the Meyer May House, a meticulously restored Frank Lloyd Wright prairie house, complete with original furnishings.
    23. Built to aid spawning fish in their struggle to swim upstream, the Fish Ladder is great place to watch fish jump.
    24. Watch planes take off and land at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Viewing Area. Take advantage of their provided picnic tables and bring a sack lunch.
    25. Foster a natural curiosity in your family for the great outdoors by joining one of Calvin Ecosystem Preserve Education Programs for families.
    26. Download the GR Walks app, and have FREE guided walking tours in the palm of your hand! Additional tours can be found at Experience Grand Rapids.
    27. Although seasonal, ArtPrize is too good not to include.  An international art competition, open to any artist and decided by public vote, it fills the city of Grand Rapids with art and visitors from all over the world for 19 days!

      MUSKEGON

    28. Explore the universe at the Carr-Fles Planetarium.
    29. See a life-size mastodon, sawmill, Great Lakes Schooner and more at the Lakeshore Museum Center. Admission is FREE and includes visits to the Fire Barn Museum and Scolnik House of the Depression Era.
    30. Explore the important roles African Americans played, that shaped Muskegon County at the James Jackson Museum of African American History.
    31. Enjoy a movie on the deck of the USS LST 393, a historic warship located in Muskegon. Movies are shown on Friday nights all summer long.

      WEST COAST

    32. Climb, swim and play in the sand at Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, MI.
    33. Explore the Silver Beach Amusement Park Museum in St. Joseph and experience the delightful past of the park that graced the shores of Lake Michigan from 1891-1971.
    34. For just $1 per person (almost free), cross the Kalamazoo River by a hand-cranked Chain Ferry in Saugatuck.
    35. Visit the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe and Delftware Factory in Holland and talk with artists as they produce wooden shoes and paint Dutch pottery right in front of your eyes.
    36. Take in the sights and sounds of the World’s Largest Musical Fountain in Grand Haven. These FREE shows run nightly at sunset each year between Memorial and Labor Day.
    37. Hike or ride to the top of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes and transport yourself to another world!
    38. Get lost at Nordhouse Dunes in Ludington, the only designated ‘Wilderness’ in the Lower Peninsula (FREE with a Michigan Recreation Sticker)
    39. Voted “The Most Beautiful Place in America” in 2011, the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Empire, is not to be missed! Bike, hike, float, drive and explore the miles of sandy beaches, bluffs, and forests.
    40. Visit Cherry Republic, a cute shop downtown Traverse City offering FREE samples of all things cherry.
    41. Take in an (almost) free, $0.25 kids matinee, every Saturday morning at the State Theatre in Downtown Traverse City.

SOUTHWEST (KALAMAZOO AND BEYOND)

  1. Take a walk through the Leila Arboretum and Children’s Garden in Battle Creek and discover 2,500 marked trees and plants, dozens of gardens and walkways, art and more!
  2. If you’re in Niles, visit the Fort St Joseph Museum.
  3. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a hidden treasure located in Kalamazoo, full of family friendly exhibits, play areas and demonstrations.
  4. If you’re in downtown Kalamazoo during the holiday season, hop aboard the FREE San-Francisco style Holly Jolly Trolley. It runs every Friday-Sunday in December.
  5. If you’re into history, visit the Old Jail Museum in Allegan. In lieu of handcuffs and bars, you’ll find a variety of artifacts donated by people in Allegan County that reflect the lifestyle of the early 1900’s.
  6. Fort Custer State Park in Augusta, is a recreation area comprised of over 3,000 acres of natural land including 3 lakes, the Kalamazoo River and an excellent trail system.
  7. Visit the robotic milking viewing area and Michigan Garden at the Dairy Center Kellogg Biological Station in Gull Lake.
  8. Hike the Lillian Anderson Arboretum; 140 acres of marsh, meadow, pine, and deciduous forest in Kalamazoo.
  9. Attend a Wednesday Night Cruise-In at the Gilmore Car Museum for free!
  10. Be amazed at lifelike houses, dolls, toys and more, on a miniature scale at the Midwest Miniatures Museum in Hickory Corners (between BC and Hastings).

    LANSING

  11. Tour public areas of the State Capitol Building.
  12. Learn about Michigan’s judicial branch by touring the Michigan Supreme Court Learning Center, a FREE museum-like education center filled with exhibits, a mock-courtroom, computer programs and more!  And if you visit on a Sunday, head to the nearby Michigan Historical Museum where admission is FREE from 1-5PM.
  13. Take a hike on over 4 miles of paved, handicapped accessible trails at the Carl G. Fenner Nature Center.
  14. For more art, head to the Lansing Art Center and Education Center, a FREE showplace dedicated to promoting the works of Michigan artists.
  15. Hike or climb the eponymous sandstone quartz Ledges of Grand Ledge.
  16. Take a FREE Walking Tour of Historic Marshall.
  17. Watch a vintage Walker Wheels Baseball game where the players done old-fashion jerseys and play under 1860 rules, at the Walker Tavern Historic Site in Brooklyn.

    EAST LANSING (MSU)

  18. Learn about and enjoy plants in a beautiful setting at the MSU Beal Botanical Gardens.
  19. Explore the MSU Children’s Garden. In addition to a large variety of plants, you’ll find compilations of mazes and play structures.
  20. Find a spot on the lawn outside Beaumont Tower, home of the MSU Carillion, and hear one of MSU’s most recognizable sounds in concert form. Weekly performances take place all year long, and concerts are held in July, when the tower also opens for FREE tours and demonstrations.
  21. Visit the new (architecturally awesome) MSU Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Not only is it FREE everyday, it also offers Family Days on the first Saturday of every where children of all ages can enjoy making art with professional teaching artists.

    GREAT LAKES BAY (THE THUMB)

  22. Head to Midland’s Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art and check out their 450-gallon Saltwater Aquarium. Located near the Information Desk, it is free and open for public viewing during building hours. Inside (with paid admission) you’ll find a variety of hands-on exhibits in the Hall of Ideas and a Foucault Pendulum.
  23. Enjoy and learn about the environment and how to be responsible stewards of the land, water and air at the Chippewa Nature Center in Midland.
  24. Pioneer Log Village in Bad Axe is the largest collection of authentically restored pioneer log buildings in Michigan…all open for FREE Sunday afternoons between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
  25. Check out a unique, fun collection of over 2,000 works by Marshall M. Fredericks, Detroit-based public sculptor, at his museum in University Center.
  26. Explore a full-size replica wooden Great Lake schooner and shipwreck, without getting wet at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena.
  27. View Michigan’s only know prehistoric rock carvings at the Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic Site in Cass City.
  28. Step inside the Castle Museum of Saginaw.  Stored inside the landmark building (which is an artifact in itself), are artifacts offering fascinating information about Saginaw’s history. Admission is (almost) free, at $1 per adult and $.50 per child.
  29. Visit Michigan’s Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth, where it’s Christmas year round!

    ANN ARBOR (U OF M)

  30. Go on a Fairy Door hunt – there are 10 located throughout the city of Ann Arbor.
  31. Uncover a wide variety of habitats, trails, formal gardens, a conservatory and a great Children’s Garden at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.
  32. Stop in The University of Michigan Museum of Art, a small, but architecturally beautiful building that contains the works of Rodin, Picasso, Monet and more!
  33. Walk among dinosaurs at the The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History.
  34. Enter the ancient world at the University of Michigan Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, where you’ll find an Egyptian mummy coffin, magical amulets, Greek pottery and more.

    DETROIT

  35. Enjoy the sights, sounds, aromas and scenery of Yates Cider Mill in Rochester Hills.
  36. Head to the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, on the first Friday of the month between 5 and 10:00 PM for FREE admission and to get an up-close look at bats, a trip through the stars, and lots of hands-on experiments!
  37. Visit the Detroit Historical Museum and take a trip through America’s Motor City, the Underground Railroad, the Kid Rock Music Lab and more!
  38. Take the bridge to Belle Isle and discover 200 acres of woodland, trails, swimming, recreational facilities and much more! Admission is free to pedestrians, bicyclists and those who take public transportation…but please note, a Recreation Passport is required when accessing the island by vehicle.
  39. While on Belle Isle, visit the Dossin Great Lakes Museum which showcases the story of the Great Lakes.
  40. Also on Belle Isle is the landmark Anna Scripps Witcomb Conservatory, which features an 85’ high dome providing a home to a tropical wonderland. Visit and discover one of the largest owned orchid collections in the country.
  41. Once celebrated as the finest aquarium in the world, the Belle Island Aquarium is open while being restored and FREE to the public.  Or, for an up-close and personal view of Michigan’s wildlife, stop by the Belle Island Nature Zoo.
  42. Hop in your car and take a Detroit Architectural Tour, or choose from many other FREE self-guided tour maps are available.
  43. Take in an open-air art environment in the heart of an urban community and be amazed – explore The Heidelberg Project.
  44. Watch expert candy makers create luscious treats, while you indulge in them, at the Sanders Candy Factory Tour in Clinton Township.
  45. Be amazed as you explore coin operated oddities and antiques at Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills.

MACKINAW

  1. Witness the galaxy at Dark Sky Park in Mackinaw City, open every day FREE of charge.
  2. Visit our state’s crown jewel and the 5th longest suspension bridge in the world, the ‘Mighty Mac’ and learn all about it at the Mackinac Bridge Museum. Admission to the museum is FREE.
  3. Go back in time at the Surrey Hill Square Carriage Museum, complete with a working blacksmith shop.

    UPPER PENINSULA

  4. Visit Fayette Historic Townsite in Garden, a real Michigan Ghost Town, preserved from the early days of iron mining.
  5. Take in the splendor of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Alger. And, if you find yourself there in the winter months, head west about an hour to Hiawatha National Forest Rock River Canyon Wilderness Area where the Eben Ice Caves reside!
  6. Discover the story of the state’s iron mining history and the people who worked in it at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee.
  7. Copper Harbor’s Fort Wilkins Historic State Park features a restored 1844 army military outpost and Copper Harbor Lighthouse Visitor Center, one of the first lighthouses on Lake Superior. Admission is FREE with Recreation Passport.
  8. If you’re looking to learn a little more about Calumet’s beginnings and it’s explosion into a major copper mining boomtown, visit the Calumet Visitor Center.
  9. Fish, hike, ski or drive through the Seney National Wildlife Refuge; 95,000 acres of diverse habitats which provide a home to a wide variety of plant and wildlife species.
  10. Ride over the world’s widest and heaviest double decker vertical lift bridge on Portage Lake.
  11. Observe ships at Soo Locks Observation Platform and Visitor Center is Sault Ste. Marie.
  12. Find a unique collection of ‘Junkyard Art’ at Lakenenland Sculpture Park, near Marquette.
  13. Head to Paradise (Michigan, that is) and visit Tahquamenon Falls where you’ll find 48,000 acres of wilderness and 2 of Michigan’s most beautiful waterfalls.
  14. Stop by Castle Rock in St Ignace and snap a picture with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. While you’re there, pay the (almost) free $1 fee and climb to the top.
  15. Explore hundreds of spectacular waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains on the coast of Lake Superior. There you’ll also find pristine, sandy beaches, lighthouses, copper mines, hundreds of miles of trails, and the awe-inspiring Lake of the Clouds.

WANT A PRINTABLE VERSION? 101 Free Things to Do with Kids in Michigan 2015 grkids.com (6656)

Have something to add to this list? Let us know in the comments so our readers can check it out, too!

By | 2017-05-12T14:43:01+00:00 January 21st, 2015|Categories: General, Guides- travel, Travel Grand Rapids Tips for Families, Travel Michigan|159 Comments

About the Author:

Stephanie P
Stephanie is an architect, turned graphic designer and PTO momma of 3. A wannabe photographer, travel agent, party planner, and do-gooder at heart, she enjoys filling her family's schedules and the lives of others, while obsessively documenting it along the way.

159 Comments

  1. Robin June 3, 2017 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Ironton Ferry in East Jordan, MI by Charlevoix. $3 per car, .50 per person, but neat experience. Beautiful lake.

  2. Amanda May 24, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    Just came across this list for the first time through Google and I love it! Thanks for compiling it. For the sake of participating in commenting, I’ll throw in a childhood favorite of mine (it’s still around) in Lake Orion/Orion Township – Canterbury Village. There’s a lot of shopping, so technically not “free” in that sense. But we always just liked to walk around the grounds and play on the giant rock.

    (And I’m now dying to go to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, whether or not I can get a kid to go with me! 😉 )

  3. Paul Porter March 19, 2017 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I love the list each year….but do not understand for a moment the wonderful places in the the Flint area that are always left from the list.

  4. tina scurek September 16, 2016 at 9:08 am - Reply

    Steam train and ice cream r not free but you can walk around and see everything for free

  5. tina scurek September 16, 2016 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Heston steam trains, near Three Oaks, MI. Complete with ice cream parlor!!!

  6. Julie Mills May 26, 2016 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    I recommend the Henry Ford Museum, also Greenfield Village both are in Detroit. don’t forget the Detroit Zoo either. Another recommendation is in Manistee, MI, two beautiful beaches, Ramsdell Theater Opera House, as a child I loved going to the Wednesday afternoon shows for children. I have lived in Arizona for a good number of years, the above places I love to spend time at when I’m in Michigan.

  7. Gisela Peek May 14, 2016 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Visit Anderson and Girls in Stanton. Farm market, cider mill and wonderful “fun on the farm”.

  8. Keller Williams Grand Rapids April 19, 2016 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    This is a great extensive list of things to do in Michigan. My bucket list just got bigger. I love all the museum’s and parks!

  9. Sandra E. Kennedy April 18, 2016 at 10:50 am - Reply

    I recommend adding The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, MI, to your list of vacationing, sight-seeing, and/or things to do in Michigan. It is also extremely educational, interesting, and fun. I have been there three times and there is always something new to see and learn. It also has a fantastic gift shop.

  10. Julie Gould April 17, 2016 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    In central Michigan, on M-66, just north of Stanton, is a place called Anderson’s Orchard. They have an amazing zoo! It started off with goats and other petting zoo type animals. Now there are camels, zebras, marmosets, sloths, lemurs, kangaroos, wallabies, prairie dogs, an arctic Fox, a giant tortoise, several tropical birds, including a room where parakeets fly freely and will land on you, pigs, sheep, rabbits, and more!

    • April H
      April H August 29, 2016 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Wow, Julie, that sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing this!

  11. Becky August 15, 2015 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    Lansing has a Planet Walk – replica of solar system, 2 mile walk starting at Impression 5 Museum and ending at Potter Park Zoo. Not something to cause a trip, but a great free add-on to something you have going on!

  12. Kenny Larkins July 22, 2015 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    There is a raft you can ride on in the upper peninsula which is called Big Springs(Kitchi-Kitipi). You ride across the water on a raft which is above 3 freshwater springs located 7 miles west of Manistique, Mi. A great place to take your kids. The water is stocked with some of the biggest trout and salmon in the state. And the water is crystal clear.

  13. Eva Nakfoor July 15, 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    Were is the water slide…park pictured on the front page?

    • Melody V
      Melody V July 20, 2015 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      Hi Eva! On the front page of what? I’m not sure what page you’re referencing. If you can point me to the URL you’re interested in, we can get you an answer. Thanks!

  14. Jessica Yenchar July 11, 2015 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    Jiffy baking co. factory tour in Chelsea (near Ann Arbor) is free. They also give you a goodie bag.

  15. Carol Beith July 8, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    While in the thumb area, check out the Thumb Octagon Barn just east of Gagetown. It features a restored barn, farm house, one room school, and more. Web site http://www.thumboctagonbarn.org

  16. Karen Sitts June 25, 2015 at 12:34 am - Reply

    Although I hate to encourage more public attendance (it is such a peaceful place I want to keep it all to myself!), anyone who loves the outdoors will enjoy Shiawassee Natural Wildlife Refuge and many similar state game areas.and area metro-parks.

  17. Krystal June 12, 2015 at 9:37 pm - Reply

    Although its not Free, its very cheap, but Tawas City has a Zoo. They have a lion named Damba, 2 bears, a coyote, 2 wolves, a bob cat, and farm animals. Last time i was there its $5 for and under 3 was free. Also In Hale there is the Bear Store, they have a bear named Sophie, 2 peruvian Cavy’s, a wallaby, rabbits, horses and 2 fox. Also in Tawas is Lumbermans Monument and Iargo Springs

  18. Jessica Marienthal June 9, 2015 at 11:47 pm - Reply

    There’s also The Cross In The Woods in Indian River. It’s very beautiful there and one of my favorite places. And it’s free!

  19. Becki June 7, 2015 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Geocaching is huge in Michigan and free.

  20. Sally June 7, 2015 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Take time to drive up to copper harbor, at the top of the Keweenaw. Brockway mountain drive is only one of the breath taking sights to be enjoyed along the way. Many waterfalls, light houses, and gorgeous sunsets from the west shore drive. All easily accessed from, or within a short walk, of your car. Check out the web sites numbered map. So many attractions to choose from. You won’t be disappointed. http://www.keweenaw.info/attractions-7/

  21. Kari June 2, 2015 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Wow – this list is Fantastic! Thank you and I also admire your wannabe list…I too have those same interests. Extra tidbit for #70 – Frankenmuth. Stop in the Visitor Center on Main Street, and pick up a “map” that gives all the participating shops in the hunt for “Gnomes.” The kids love the game as do the workers when they get to help locate it within their establishment. There was no purchase required, and this “event” is year round. Great fun for the kids and parents, while exploring all of Frankenmuth. 🙂

    • Stephanie P June 8, 2015 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      Love the gnome map idea – thanks, Kari! 😀

  22. Lisa Bouma May 26, 2015 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    FREE – chocolate/candy/history tour at main Kilwins headquarters in Petoskey, MI… with a free sample at the end!

  23. Diane May 22, 2015 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Great list! Up past Marquette there is a great view of Lake Superior from high up Sugar Loaf Mountain. There are stairs (and resting benches! ) for easy access.

  24. Katy May 22, 2015 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    Everything at your local library is FREE! Books, movies, storytimes, special events, concerts, parties, summer reading, etc. Libraries often have FREE tickets to community events, too! Be sure to check out your library this summer.

  25. Constance Waid May 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Grand Rapids: Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Check out the Children’s Garden, The Farm Garden, etc….

  26. Jenn May 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Love this article! Love Michigan! One question – where are the water slides that show up as the picture? I’m dying for some water slide fun! Thank you so much for posting!

  27. Sandra Fillion May 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Thank You for all this info.

  28. Wizard May 17, 2015 at 9:31 am - Reply

    Touted as the “world’s largest gemstone”, few people are familiar with Jasper Knob in (almost) downtown Ishpeming (Yooper-Land). This is a must-see for budding geologists. It is private land (Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company) but it is publicly accessible — read the supplied link.
    http://dayoopers.com/jasp2.html

  29. Deb Nykamp May 17, 2015 at 8:16 am - Reply

    how do I share this?

  30. Mary Shagena May 16, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    we are Ruby Campground and we have a lot to offer but not only what we offer we are close to Port Huron where there is rails-to-trails walk ride your bike or horse trails to Avoca. The Blue Water Bridge goes over to Sarnia, beautiful blue waters beautiful beaches and close to the casinos.

  31. Martine Payment May 16, 2015 at 7:18 am - Reply

    In mackinaw city. Where you can ferry to the island there is also a nightly light show on the walls of the mall on the water. I believe its just weekends but a very good tourism spot for a road trip andsome of the best eats you will find. You can also go to the black bear safe haven in Paradise and see black bears close up. I dont remember the name of the conservatory but its gorgeous and when we went a few years ago we got to pet a cub named Molly. She was a sweetie.

  32. Julie Fettig May 16, 2015 at 12:43 am - Reply

    One more thing to add to Traverse City…..we have an observatory with high power telescopes looking into space. They have a list of viewing nights to show what will be visible each month. It is only open when something is worth of viewing but I believe it’s free. Check out their list online Traverse city observatory schedule. The kids will love it!!!

  33. Jodi VanderKooi May 15, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    There is also Whitefish Point in the UP. They have a ship wreck museum and lighthouse and one of the best beaches to walk and find beautiful rocks to collect.

  34. Ed May 15, 2015 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    If your kids are the gamer types in the SE/Ann Arbor area, U of M’s North Campus Library (2281 Bonisteel Blvd) has, in its basement, the Computer and Video Game Archive, a “Library” of hundreds upon hundreds of video games from every era including the newest systems and the oldest, free to play on site, and fully open to the public. Summer hours are weekdays noon to seven.

  35. Christy May 15, 2015 at 9:52 am - Reply

    There is WAY more free stuff to do in Southwest Michigan – check out the visitor bureau sites,
    battlecreekvisitors.org

    Just one example, the World’s Largest Breakfast Table in the Cereal City, Battle Creek MI. This year is June 13th!

    • Stephanie P May 18, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

      Hi Christy,
      There are many awesome free events…it was hard to pick 101! We did try to limit them to things that were at least seasonal or year-round, eliminating many 1-day events…but thanks for sharing! 😀
      Stephanie

  36. Alice Kelly May 14, 2015 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great list. Michigan is great place. Lived here all of my 64yrs but 1. How can I get a printed list. Thought the Grandkids could mark things off. Thanks for caring about MI and it’s people. Especially the little ones.

  37. Sara May 13, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Hi Stephanie – a quick update to #49: could you change it to “hike the Lillian Anderson Arboretum?” Bikes are not allowed to help minimize trail damage/erosion. Thanks!!

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P May 13, 2015 at 2:48 pm - Reply

      I just updated it – thanks for the head’s up Sara! 😀

  38. barb May 12, 2015 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Don’t forget the 3mile Detroit River Walk where you can watch ships cruise by. There’s a merrygoround for $1 and a free play water jet area.

  39. Dorothy Johnson May 11, 2015 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    see the world’s largest bronze/wood crucifix at the National Catholic shrine in Indian River, Cross in the Woods

  40. Pam S May 9, 2015 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Mackinaw City at Mackinaw Crossing has a free Laser Light Show every night in the summer at dusk. http://www.mackinawcrossings.com/attractions.html

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P May 9, 2015 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      Sounds like a great addition to the list – thanks for sharing, Pam!

  41. Cindy Krueger May 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Regarding number 11: At the end of May 2015 the Park and Read program is being rolled into Michigan Activity Pass program available from your local library. MAP includes one day free or discounted entry to more than 200 locations around the state.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P May 9, 2015 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      I hadn’t heard of the Park and Read program, Cindy – thanks for sharing!

  42. laura May 9, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    I wish I could pin this. Great ideas!

  43. sharon May 6, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    DEARBORN
    THE Henry Ford both village and museum (use ro be greenfield village)
    Down river Calder farm see milking and ice cream making

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P May 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Sharon. They are both great places to visit in Michigan, BUT sadly neither are free.

  44. Stephanie March 25, 2015 at 7:56 am - Reply

    i would also add that people should check out the libraries wherever they’re going. Often they will have free programs (especially during the summer reading program months). Your local library card will also give you free or reduced access to a ton of museums and other sites throughout michigan through the MIchigan activity pass program (MAP)…you can find out the discounts by going to this link….http://www.eventkeeper.com/prmaps/code/index.cfm?mn=628322 . Last, but not least, St. Joseph has a fabulous compass fountain that is free, and fun, all summer long AND free movies outside on Friday or Saturday nights all summer long as well.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P March 25, 2015 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Yes! Our local libraries are wonderful, aren’t they? We do cover this a little bit in number 11, but you’re right, there are many awesome free programs that take place daily! And, we’ll be sure to look into the Compass Fountain and the other fun free things St. Joseph has to offer – it might be worth a 1 tank trip post of it’s own 🙂 Thanks, Stephanie!

  45. Mandy D March 20, 2015 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    MSU has one of the oldest and most successful breeding programs for Arabian horses in the country. The barns and surrounding pastures are open to the public. From April – June, the babies make for a very fun visit (bring carrots)! There are other barns open to visitors as well (cows, sheep, etc.) but we have never made it past the horses. I’ve brought my own as well as daycare children and seriously – we couldn’t get enough. Very fun and a great experience for kids – it’s pretty amazing to see those big horses interact with tiny people. http://www.tour.msu.edu/locations/farms

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P March 20, 2015 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      I LOVE this Mandy, and had NO idea that free tours were available, or that these farms even existed! Thank you so much for sharing!! 😀
      – Stephanie

    • Sarah July 2, 2016 at 7:31 am - Reply

      My daughter loves the dairy barn. There is a maternity barn with births happening almost daily. We have seen six births. If you are there when it happens you can help name the new female calfs.

  46. Susie March 20, 2015 at 9:13 am - Reply

    When i lived there, Battle Creek had a place on Kelloggs history, cool place, there was a theatre presentation, and a walk line you could see how the grain is transformed into cereal, and you could put your picture on a box of corn flakes or wheaties AND you did not mention the automotive/motown tours or Henry Ford Museum/ Greenfield Village, sad but true, not everybody knows about them

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P March 20, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

      Hi Susie,
      Unfortunately, Kellogg’s no longer offers a plant tour and Cereal City is closed…and, although the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are great places to visit, they are not free, nor is the Ford Rouge Factory Tour. 🙁
      – Stephanie

  47. jamie March 20, 2015 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Didn’t see the air zoo in Kalamazoo or holland or frankenmuth all fun places your kids need to see or the binder zoo in battle creek or really any zoo or the impressions 5 science center in Lansing

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P March 20, 2015 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Hi Jamie,
      Frankenmuth and Holland are on the list…and although the other places you listed are all great…none are free. Thanks for the note.
      – Stephanie

  48. marge March 19, 2015 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    The Cascades in Jackson. As a kid I use to love watching them light up at night. I believe it every night in the summer and free for the whole family.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P March 19, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      Marge – The Cascades are beautiful, and I did intend to include them in the original list. However, it appears that there are now admission fees. :/
      http://www.co.jackson.mi.us/departments/Parks/cascades_falls.asp

      • Linda May 12, 2015 at 6:13 pm - Reply

        The good news is that now the view blocking wall has been taken down, so the falls are visible, even if one doesn’t go inside to walk around them…there is also a great ice cream stand nearby and lots of walking areas, fishing, and playgrounds in the park which are all free.

  49. Sue March 19, 2015 at 7:04 am - Reply

    What a great list thank you! I am wondering why you listed the number 34 lighthouses. Michigan has many, many more than that for the public to view and tour.MI actually has 126 lighthouses to see. Some are not viewable from land. But the number 34 would not be correct. I have seen 43 of them so far and all of those were free to see.

  50. Sheila Robbe March 18, 2015 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Lansing also has a great hands on museum – Impression 5

  51. karen March 16, 2015 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    The science/art museum in midland is not free, it’s $5pp. But if you need something to replace that, in the winter city forest has sledding on a groomed hill (with snow-making), ice skating, lit trails for cross country skiing and a fire pit, all free. Can rent skis, skates, sleds, and toboggans for a toboggan run (for a cost, $2-$6)

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P March 16, 2015 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the catch, Karen. I see now that only the aquarium is free (bummer), and have since updated. I just took a peek at City Forest as well. What a great park – thanks for sharing!

  52. annette gidner March 16, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Sorry, but Belle Isle is not free anymore. It’s a state park now.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P March 16, 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Hi Annette,
      Yes, Belle Isle is a State Park…however, admission is still free for pedestrians, bicyclist and those who use public transportation to enter the park. I’ll be sure to note that on the list – thank you! 🙂

  53. Lisa Ullenbruch February 12, 2015 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    I felt that St Clair County has been over looked (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2d5hgBhFBg). How about viewing our beautiful bridges to Canada in Port Huron while watching the freighters go up and down the St Clair River into Lake Huron, the Port Huron Float Down (http://www.porthuronfloatdown.com) from Lake Huron into the St Clair River and Port Huron’s biggest draw of people from all over the world is Boat Night (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Huron_to_Mackinac_Boat_Race) in which the sail boats line up the next day for the Race to Macinaw Island. There is Cruise Night, shared between Port Huron and Fort Gratiot Twp over the years (http://bluewatercruiseweekend.com/) which is not as large as the Dream Cruise on 8 Mile but ours is getting bigger every year. Please come visit and enjoy our pristine blue water ways.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P February 12, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Lisa – those sound like great events to check out! 😀

    • Carol Westby May 29, 2015 at 7:31 am - Reply

      Finally, someone mentioned the East side of our beautiful state! Thank you ,Lisa. But let’s not stop at Port Huron. Stay on M-25 and keep going north along the shore of Lake Huron. I am partial to Lexington, “The first resort north”. Free music in the park on Friday nights, live music in four venues every weekend, great acts in the Village Theater, Fine Arts Fair, and craft shows and antiques! Come see us!

  54. Arleen February 2, 2015 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    I am so glad to see geocaching on this list! It is an activity that can be done all over Michigan . It’s FREE. Kids and adults of all ages enjoy it. I take my 12 year old and her friends all the time. I have also taken my nephews age 4-7. Very kid friendly activity. I can’t wait to check out some of the other activities on this list. Thank you for creating it!

    • Onita June 20, 2016 at 2:39 am - Reply

      How do you geocache? I have a cousin and her son coming this weekend and would like to know how. Do you need any special equipment? Will a smartphine do the job?

  55. Kim February 1, 2015 at 11:37 pm - Reply

    Whirlpool Splash Pad in St Joseph is free. Michigan Flywheelers Museum in South Haven is free except for special events. They do accept donations for tours though.

  56. Bev R February 1, 2015 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Thanks so much.
    You could add Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor

  57. Chris January 31, 2015 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Looking for something to do with the kids on a Saturday morning?

    Young Modelers Club continues through April 25th!

    It’s FREE!!

    The Michigan Military Technical & Historical Society (MTHS) and the Warren Chapter of the International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS) are happy to announce the return of the Young Modelers Club
    When: Every Saturday Morning, starting until
    April 25, 2015
    What Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
    Where: The Michigan Military Technical and Historical Society Museum
    16600 Stephens, Eastpointe, MI

    For Ages 8 to 16, (younger than 8 are welcome with parental supervision)

    First time builders receive a free snap-together kit to build and take home!

    Feel Free to bring your own kit to build! All supplies such as tools, paint, glue, etc. will be provided FREE.

    Members of IPMS Warren model club will be there to help and teach modeling techniques

    For more info, contact Jim Ashford, 248-399-2386, or [email protected]

    • Betsy B
      Betsy B February 2, 2015 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Thank you! You are more than welcome to add this to our events calendar!

  58. Jessica C January 31, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

    The ThunderBay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena is awesome and its free to go through too!!!

  59. Charlene K. Hock January 30, 2015 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    Saginaw is home of the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, a great place for kids and parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sitters, nannys… anyone to spend time Playing and Learning togeather!

  60. Linda larsen January 30, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Ocqueoc falls In between Cheboygan and Rogers City. Fun!,

    • Kathy February 8, 2015 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      you need a park pass for the falls. when its summer they have a dnr person there to check for the pass on your license

  61. Alicia January 29, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Alpena has the Thunder Bay Shipwreck museum. It is free and open all year. In the summer you can take tours of the shipwrecks in a glass bottom boat for a fee.

    http://thunderbay.noaa.gov

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 29, 2015 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing this, Alicia! 🙂

    • Pam January 31, 2015 at 8:37 am - Reply

      be prepared that glass bottom boat is $50 per person

      • Jessica C January 31, 2015 at 3:58 pm - Reply

        Most of the time the tickets for the glass bottom boat tour in Alpena is $30 for adults and $10 for 12 and under. July 4th for the fire works tour usually when the tickets cost a little more!

  62. Karen January 29, 2015 at 11:41 am - Reply

    On MSU’s campus in E. Lansing, Abrams Planetarium is almost free ($2-$3, I think) and a neat experience for everyone! Also, in April-Oct, MSU Observatory offers free public viewing one weekend a month.

  63. MSUStudent/ParkingAttendant January 29, 2015 at 7:16 am - Reply

    EAST LANSING (MSU)
    You most definitely CANNOT park on the lawn by the Beaumont tower nor can you park for free near the tower from 7am-6pm on weekdays even during the Summer. I cannot stress enough of how little parking in EL is there period and absolutely none of it is free during the daytime.

    • Jennifer Grivins January 31, 2015 at 5:52 am - Reply

      There is a large parking garage on Circle drive that is paid but only a short walk from the tower, the botanical gardens and MSU Musuem which is a very cool free 3 story natural and cultural history museum.

  64. Stefanie Pierson January 28, 2015 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Great info, thanks for sharing! Trust the author too, lol…

  65. Darin January 28, 2015 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery in Mattawan has free learning to fish programs for kids on weekends through spring and summer. They also have free tours.

    Critter Barn in Zeeland Michigan is great family destination.

    Skidmore Park Petting Zoo in Three Rivers. Weekends only in June through August.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 28, 2015 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Awesome additions – thanks, Darin!

  66. Deb January 28, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Not sure if I missed seeing it on your list but…. Dutch Village in Holland usually has a Community Days on the last Sat. of April where you get in free if you bring a canned good. You also get free passes for additional visits. https://www.facebook.com/NelisDutchVillage
    http://www.dutchvillage.com/
    (Here is your writeup about last year’s Community Days – http://grkids.com/calendar/index.php?eID=41269)

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm - Reply

      No, that’s a great one, Deb! We tried to limit the list to things that you could do year round, or at least seasonally…but I’m glad you shared!

  67. Stephen Uitti January 28, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    The Warren Astronomical Society holds a free Open House at their Stargate Observatory every month. And, all meetings are free. Calendar on meetup.com (link in red on left). http://www.warrenastro.org/

    In fact, all of the GLAAC clubs have free meetings and star parties. http://www.glaac.org/
    Membership may confer other benefits.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 28, 2015 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      That’s a great addition to the list…thanks for sharing Stephen 🙂

  68. tom January 28, 2015 at 7:14 am - Reply

    1.Presque Isle in Marquette, 2 mile hike paved or can walk entire inside of island, around Lake Superior
    2.drive up Mt. Marquette, at top view city of Marquette, beautiful
    3.Many very nice hikes, viewing water falls

  69. Sherry M. January 27, 2015 at 11:21 pm - Reply

    The annual Mackinac Bridge walk on Labor Day is a great family-fun event that’s free.

    • Pam June 4, 2015 at 5:12 am - Reply

      We did the Mackinaw Bridge Walk for the first time last Labor Day. It was a blast. Going again this year!

  70. Cindy Porritt January 27, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

    Hastings has become a true destination spot, including fun and free activities for families. We now have a Spray Plaza for kids to play in during warmer months, with an adjoining outdoor amphitheater featuring some of our great Michigan/West Michigan local talent, including some special acts for kids. The Hastings Sculpture Tour is another exciting, free year round attraction that draws families to Hastings. The number of sculptures is growing, I believe we are up to 24 or more. View them as you walk downtown and take time to visit the shops and restaurants along the way. Hastings also has many other fun events that draw people in throughout the year, visit http://downtownhastings.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/pages/City-of-Hastings-Michigan/172713452898567?sk=timeline to view more events and photos.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 27, 2015 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for sharing, Cindy. I don’t live too far from Hastings, and will be sure to check these things out this summer! 😀

  71. Kate January 27, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

    Under the Upper Peninsula, #98 it’s Lakenenland, not Lakeland 🙂

  72. Mary January 27, 2015 at 9:35 am - Reply

    I would love to print this article out, but it won’t print. I’ve tried everything and only get the very first page printed. I even tried to “save as” but only got the ads. Seems like so many great ideas, that it should be printable…thanks for any other suggestions on how to print this wonderful article out! THANKS!

    • Nancy January 27, 2015 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Mary – try copying the information you want, then go to Word and paste “special”, select unformatted text. That almost always works for me.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 27, 2015 at 1:46 pm - Reply

      Hi Mary! A printable version now available within the post 🙂

  73. Mary January 26, 2015 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Stephanie:
    Not far from Fayette in the UP, about six miles from Manistique in the Palms Book state park there is the Big Spring, or Kitch-iti-kipi. 10,000 gallons of water flow into it every minute. It is forty feet deep and you can see the bottom clearly. There are lots of huge fish. Trout that are at least three feet long. There is a wooden raft that can hold a crowd (30 or so) that is propelled across the spring via a cable strung from one side to the other. It is very cool for both kids and adults.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 26, 2015 at 2:05 pm - Reply

      That sounds amazing, Mary! We’ll definitely check it out – thanks so much for sharing this gem! 😀

      • Mary January 26, 2015 at 2:09 pm - Reply

        Forgot to mention, it is free.

        • Rosanne May 15, 2015 at 8:58 am - Reply

          Been there!! Beautiful and the kids love to pull the raft across to the deepest spot!! They were amazed of seeing all the way to the bottom!!

      • Julie Fettig May 16, 2015 at 12:29 am - Reply

        I was also going to mention Kitchitkippee “big spring”. It is by far the most profound place in mich, will blow you away. There are areas for picnicking as well and restroom facilities. It is a State Park, so all that’s needed is your sticker from Sec of State to visit all state parks, I believe you can do a day fee as well. Look up the old Indian legend to it as well. You can’t miss this spot!!!

  74. LAURA January 26, 2015 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    Coming from MI, I know that has some of the Greatest places. I still believe that MI has the BEST STATE PARKS for camping in all 50 states!!!

  75. Jennifer Crooks January 25, 2015 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    I may have missed the Detroit Institute of Arts on your list. ( Free except for special attractions that MAY have a fee. ) How about original Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor MI where the beauty of the flowers in Spring and Summer make for wonderful family pictures, not to mention the fall leaves for the same reason. Also driving on over to Glen Arbor (west) from TC is the quaint Christmas Shop. Open for browsing (shopping) beautiful Christmas Items many made by MI residents. So many more free, wonderful places on the Leelanau Peninsula. Our favorite is Friday nights in July and August at the fire pit behind the Leelanau School, where the conch shell is sounded calling all story tellers, poetry, prose and song smiths to share their talents. It begins around the bonfire with a children’s hour followed by extended time for adults. The Beach Bard’s Bonfire is the BEST summer free fun for our family.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 25, 2015 at 10:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for the great additions – it sounds like the Leelanau Peninsula/Glen Arbor area has a lot of free fun to offer! And the DIA is wonderful…although, I believe it is only free for residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties, so we chose to leave it off the list…but I’m glad you noted it here. Thanks again!

  76. Jean January 24, 2015 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    For residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties, admission to the Detroit Institute of Arts is free.

  77. suzanne January 24, 2015 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    Cranbrook science center in Bloomfield Hills has free admission the first friday of the month from 5pm-10pm

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      Another one I looked at Suzanne – I used to LOVE walking around Cranbrook! I’ll be sure to add it to the list. Thank you!

  78. Rose McB January 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    In Lansing, the Michigan Historical Museum is free every Sunday. I’ve been many times and have never paid a dine! It’s huge and quite kid friendly. One of my favorite Sunday activities!

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 24, 2015 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the information, Rose! I did look up the Michigan Historical Museum, but missed that admission was free on Sundays – good to know. My son loves it there! 😀

  79. Joe b January 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Krispy Kreme does not give away free doughnuts. You can get one free doughnut for downloading their app to your cell phone but the app and the red light in the store only indicate they have fresh doughnuts coming out of the cooker.

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 23, 2015 at 2:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Joe!
      Participating locations do give away free doughnuts when the red light is on, including the one in Grand Rapids (sadly, we’re regulars) 🙂 I have not yet confirmed whether the Troy and Allen Park locations participate, but thanks for bringing this to our attention.

      • erika January 28, 2015 at 8:48 am - Reply

        Allen park gives them away free as well when the light is on!

        • gwen May 15, 2015 at 4:30 pm - Reply

          Allen Park gives away a free doughnut to each customer between 5-7 a.m. and 5-7 p.m. everyday. 🙂

      • Holly M January 29, 2015 at 6:09 pm - Reply

        the Troy location also gives you a free doughnut when the light is on.

      • Stephanie P
        Stephanie P January 29, 2015 at 7:09 pm - Reply

        Thanks for confirming, ladies! 😀

      • Deb February 4, 2015 at 11:43 pm - Reply

        Krispy Kreme gives free doughnuts for A’s (or equivalent) on report cards too.

    • terry May 17, 2015 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      you are WRONG every time the red light is on I go in and they DO give you a fresh hot off the line glazed donut!!!!! have done it many times

      • Sue May 23, 2015 at 12:08 pm - Reply

        Terry, Please tell my hips that Krispy Kreme doesn’t give away free donuts. I was in Grand Rapids last week and not only received a free original donut but a free donut hole as well. Not all in one day, but whenever the light was on!

  80. Nicole Looks via Facebook January 23, 2015 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    Thank you

  81. Tanya Mitz via Facebook January 23, 2015 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Thank you!

  82. Heather January 23, 2015 at 10:50 am - Reply

    Howell has the Howell Nature Center, which is getting a big fairy garden/tree house expansion this spring and summer!

    • Stephanie P
      Stephanie P January 23, 2015 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Heather – we’ll be sure to check it out! 😀

    • Julie May 16, 2015 at 12:09 pm - Reply

      Hell Michigan was interesting the kids had some fun there but, there wasn’t a lot to do and some of it did cost but, it was a unique experience. The drive from erie to their was also beautiful.

  83. grkids.com via Facebook January 23, 2015 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Due to the popularity of this very article, our site was down yesterday and into this morning. We apologize for the inconvenience. The site is live again, and this article is now viewable! Victoria Worden, Tanya Mitz, Nicole Looks.

  84. Tanya Mitz via Facebook January 23, 2015 at 6:24 am - Reply

    I can’t open it either.

  85. Nicole Looks via Facebook January 23, 2015 at 6:12 am - Reply

    I can’t open the link either.. 🙁

  86. Victoria Worden via Facebook January 23, 2015 at 12:21 am - Reply

    Is there something wrong with the link? It says “website not found” when I click on it…

  87. Taryn Baldanza Jones via Facebook January 22, 2015 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Christopher Jones

  88. Renee Stevens via Facebook January 22, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Wow.

  89. Melissa Anthony via Facebook January 22, 2015 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Thank you!

    • Jessica Salada March 22, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

      Theirs also the metro parks. They do cost to enter unless your on foot rollarblades,bikes.and theirs nature center.
      Also in sterling heights they have music in the park is free also the park& nature walking trails. My kids love going there in the summer

      • Sara Belcher May 16, 2015 at 8:17 am - Reply

        I also wanted to add kitchikippi the big spring in Manistique its a fun and educational stop.

        • Jennifer April 15, 2016 at 5:12 am - Reply

          I highly recommend Hitsville U.S.A. The best $10 I’ve ever spent!!! Will be going back soon!!

    • Diane Speaker March 30, 2015 at 10:03 am - Reply

      What about the western end of the UP? In the UP there is great skiing, hunting, fishing, Black River Harbor and the Lake Superior coast up there is beautiful. And the best rocks on the planet are found in those waters.

      I grew up there when it was thriving.

    • Valerie Robinson May 16, 2015 at 1:58 pm - Reply

      The Vesper Cruises out of St Ignace and Mackinaw City during the summer on the week-ends are free. Great opportunity to take one of the ferries and go under the Mackinac Bridge.

      • Karen Sitts June 25, 2015 at 12:30 am - Reply

        We’ve taken the Vesper Cruises several times and everyone from the children to the grandparents have loved them!

    • sharon h May 30, 2015 at 8:31 am - Reply

      I would add GWEN FROSTIC — she was an artist who did would cutting/carving to create stationery. The old printing presses still run, and there is a gift shoppe associated with the whole area. (Also it is now down the street from a Llama farm, of great interest) in Benzonia. (Nature preserve is all around, as well)

      • Bonnie June 1, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

        I love Gwen Frostic’s, have been there many times. However, I was very disappointed when there last summer. It is NOT kid friendly as they no longer have a public bathroom. I had to quickly leave and pack up my 3 toddlers and go to McDonald’s to use the facilities. They told me they have no plans of re-opening the bathroom. 🙁

      • Stella marabate April 14, 2016 at 9:06 am - Reply

        Great place

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