Cadillac Family Adventures: ORVs, Bigfoot, Bikes, Treats & More!

Big Foot ORV lesson Cadillac things to do with kids

Cadillac’s Treasure Map: Exciting, Kid-Friendly Things to Do

Michigan is blessed with plenty of family-friendly destinations, but none capture the spirit of ‘up north’ quite like Cadillac.

Situated a short 90 miles from Grand Rapids, Cadillac is the affordable, easy-to-get-to up north destination that wants to be your next family trip.

Kenwood Heritage Park Cadillac MI
Kenwood Heritage Park, Cadillac MI

And whether you like outdoors or indoor fun, Cadillac will keep your family busy, any time of year. We’re just back from a visit and have put together our recommendations –

Use this list to mix and match your way to a perfect kid-friendly Cadillac getaway!

1) BigFoot Epic Adventures – ORV Rides

Address: 7804 W Moorestown Rd, Manton, MI

When you think of family adventures, probably ORV rides and Bigfoot searching isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But it should be, especially if you’re heading to Cadillac!

Located in Manton, BigFoot Epic Adventures is the place to be for some off-road adrenaline.

Big Foot ORV Sign Cadillac

ORV Adventures

It’s not every day that you get the chance to zip around in an ORV with the family. They’ve got high-tech 2 or 4 seat ORVs equipped with GPS and Bluetooth. The vehicles can even send texts to each other!

We did a 2-hour scenic ride, with two stops, and let me tell you, it was my favorite part of the trip!

Driving through sandy paths and taking in the breathtaking fall colors set against the Manistee River – from the top of a dune – was a thrill in itself.

Bigfoot ORV Cadillac Manistee River Fall Colors

If you’re new to ORVs, no worries; they’re easy to drive, just like an everyday car.

Plus, they showed us a 10-minute safety video that covered important stuff, like how to safely pass another ORV and the right way to take turns without tipping the vehicle.

BigFoot ORVS

BigFoot Search Tours

If you’re interested in something a little more mysterious, their 1-1.5 hour Bigfoot Search Walking Tour is a kid-friendly romp through the woods.

You’ll walk on trails, step off the beaten path, and even try calling out to the legendary creature.

The evening tours end by gathering around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and sharing stories. Once you’re done with your main adventure, there are other fun activities to try out like apple slingshots.

Bigfoot ORV Apple Cannons

The Bigfoot Search Walking Tour runs on Saturdays & Sundays in October, but note that it won’t be available on the 14/15th of 2023. Tickets are $5 kids/$7 adults.

2) Family Bike Ride Around the Lake

Another great Cadillac activity: bike rides around a lake!

Here’s a quick how-to guide based on our recent trip:

Einstein Cycles
  1. Rent Your Bikes: Head over to Einstein Cycles at 303 N. Mitchell St. They’ll fit everyone, from toddlers to adults and are really easy to work with. Don’t forget to grab helmets!
  2. Choose Your Path: We went for the scenic route along Lake Cadillac. It’s a comfortable 6-mile ride, perfect for families. If you’re feeling more adventurous, there are longer trails, too. Cadillac Bike Ride
  3. Plan Some Stops: Along the way, you’ll find several kid-friendly stops. Our favorites were Cadillac Lakefront Park, the Cadillac Sound Garden, the playground at Kenwood Park, and the Carl T Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center.
    Sound Garden Cadillac MISound Garden
  4. Enjoy the Ride: The path has a mix of lake views and residential areas and is especially pretty with the fall colors.
Cadillac Sound Garden
Sound Garden
Cadillac Lakefront Park - Vriezenga
Lakefront Park

3) Float the Fall Colors on a Guided Pine River Raft Trip

Want to soak up the beauty of Michigan’s fall colors from while floating down a river? You can! Fall raft trips, available from September 24 -October 29, 2023, last about 1 hour and 15 minutes and come with a guide. The guide does the majority of the work so you can sit back, sip a hot drink, snap some pictures, watch the leaves fall gently into the river and take in the beauty of autumn!

At the end of the float, the guide can either give you a ride back to your vehicle at the starting point, or you can choose to hike the gorgeous riverside Silver Creek pathway back to the start. Book your trip here.

Pine River Paddlesports

4) Head to a Farm

  • Dick Family Farm Located at 7710 S. 7 Mile Rd, McBain, this farm is a fall paradise for families. From pumpkins to corn mazes and their legendary donuts and cider, you’ll leave happy. Plus, don’t miss the Dairy Fest on the 2nd Saturday in October. They’re open Fridays 4 -7 PM and Saturdays 10 AM-6 PM.
  • Brinks Family Creamery: Delicious milk, cheese, and even a bakery.
  • Maple Leaf Farm & Creamery: A whole world of goat milk goodies and fun farm activities.
  • The Hudson Farm: Think wagon rides, petting farm animals, and cute crafts.
  • 3rd Day Farm: Fresh produce, honey, maple syrup, AMAZING pumpkin tower, and charming farm tours.
3rd Day Farm Cadillac MI Pumpkin Tower
3rd Day Farm

5) Jump into Nature

Michigan DNR’s Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center: Dive into Michigan’s outdoorsy side! The center, right in the middle of Mitchell State Park, is a cool spot for kids.

To start, the 500-gallon fish tank shows off local swimming stars from the nearby lakes. There’s even a 200-gallon tank for a fish called the arctic grayling – they’re working to reintroduce this special fish. If you’re into trails, lace up for a guided 2.5-mile Heritage walk. 6087 E M-115, Cadillac, MI 49601

Carl T Johnson Hunting & fishing center Cadillac MI
Carl T Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center, Cadillac MI

Harrietta State Fish Hatchery: Just a short drive from Mitchell State Park, the fish hatchery is where you can learn more about where the fish in the lakes, how they get there, and what role the DNR plays. They’ve got indoor and outdoor spots to explore, and you can walk the self-guided trails. 6801 West 30 Road, Harrietta, Michigan, 49638

6) Head Downtown for Treats, Shopping & Movies

Downtown Cadillac gets our vote for the friendliest local shopkeepers around. Keep up with events here on Downtown Cadillac’s Facebook page and use this curated list of downtown destinations to explore:


Toy Town: A massive store with a mix of new & antique toys. The owner encourages kids to touch and interact with the toys. 122 S Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601.

Simply Delightful: Candy, fudge, & desserts, and they also serve lunch. A treat for the sweet tooth in all of us.112 N Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601.

The Sweet Shop: Cadillac’s Original Handmade Candy Shop with fudge, caramel corn, MOOMER’S ICE CREAM, fresh roasted nuts, and old-fashioned chocolate caramel apples. 111 S Mitchell St Cadillac, MI 49601.

Chunky Bear Coffee Roasters: Kids are loving the unique scavenger hunt that has them finding hidden animals in the plants throughout the coffee shop. Once completed, they earn a fun little prize. 124 N Mitchell St. Cadillac, MI 49601 chunky bear cadillac

GQT Cadillac 4 Theatre: A comfy setting to catch a flick. Perfect for family movie outings. 202 S Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601.

Blue Heron Cafe: Serving breakfast, lunch, and also offering donuts, muffins, and cookies. It’s where the locals go. 304 N Mitchell Cadillac MI 49601.

Angel’s House of Treasures: A treasure trove where you’ll find everything from local artistry to antiques. Our reaction: “Things from my childhood are in the antique store and now I feel super old!” 218 N Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601.

Toy Town, Cadillac MI
Toy Town, Cadillac MI

7) Ice Skating!

The Wexford Civic Center: Spend a quality afternoon at the Wex. Sip on a hot chocolate or coffee from the Food Bar while skating. Open Skate is mainly on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 -4 PM during the ice season but special events happen, too. 1320 N. Mitchell Dr, Cadillac, MI 49601.

8) Bowling & Arcade

  • The Pines Bowling Center: Bowl for just $3.75 per person per game with $2.50 shoe rentals. Open bowling all day on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and until 5pm on other days. For kids not into bowling, there’s a fun arcade room and pool tables. 5992 East M-55, Cadillac, MI 49601.
  • Parkview Lanes: Owned by the same family since 1946, it’s Cadillac’s premier spot for bowling. From cosmic bowling to delicious eats, it’s an experience for everyone. 126 W Harris St, Cadillac, MI.

9) Local Events

Fun things pop up on the Cadillac community calendar all of the time. Want to see what’s happening? Check out the Community Calendar and filter by family-friendly events.

Where to Eat

Chunky Bear Coffee Roasters: Join in a fun scavenger hunt for kids, or savor a cup of freshly roasted coffee. With a modern and earthy vibe, it’s the place to relax. 124 N Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601.

Blue Heron Cafe: Serving breakfast, lunch, and also offering donuts, muffins, and cookies. It’s where the locals go. 304 N Mitchell Cadillac MI 49601.

Blue Heron Cafe Donuts Cadillac
Blue Heron Cafe, Cadillac

Simply Delightful: Delight in a lunch of delicious sandwiches in this cozy spot. 112 N Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601.

Let’s Roll With It, Rolled Ice Cream: The only Rolled ice cream shop in Northern MI. Engage in games, watch movies, and enjoy freshly rolled ice cream. 1602 N Mitchell Dr, Cadillac, MI. Cadillac Rolled Ice Cream

The Truck Stop: Perfect for families! Watch a free family movie every Saturday till October 2023, complete with popcorn and snacks. A kid-friendly restaurant with outdoor seating.

Truck Stop Cadillac MI
The Truck Stop

Herraduras Mexican Bar & Grill: Satisfy your craving for authentic Mexican food. The vibrant atmosphere, tasty dishes, and great value make it a must-visit. 1700 S Mitchell St, Cadillac, MI 49601.

Where to Stay

Let’s be honest – the biggest draw for kids on vacation is the pool. The pools at Cadillac’s hotels are large and well cared for. (My friend actually just booked a trip to Cadillac based solely on the hotel’s pool picture. They’re that dreamy.) Find them here.

Evergreen Resort: Dive into a refreshing pool, relax in a hot tub, or explore two golf courses. Check in at 7880 Mackinaw Trail.

Evergreen Resort Pool Cadillac MI
Evergreen Resort Pool
Evergreen Resort Breakfast
Evergreen Resort

Lake Cadillac Resort: Beyond just a hotel, it’s an escape into nature. Dive into a refreshing pool, relax in a hot tub, or explore two golf courses. 6319 E. M-115, Cadillac, MI 49601

Lake Cadillac Resort – Cadillac, MI

1 thought on “Cadillac Family Adventures: ORVs, Bigfoot, Bikes, Treats & More!”

  1. This is a fantastic chance to enjoy having a great time, after being in partial lockdown for so long. Also an opportunity to do some things I normally wouldn’t be able to afford, at this time!Thanks for the great opportunity!!

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