Family Day Trip to Michigan’s Adventure

If you grew up in West Michigan, you may have fun memories from visiting Michigan’s Adventure as a kid. Some might even say that riding on the famed, wooden roller coaster Shivering Timbers is a rite of passage for West Michigan kids.

This theme park, situated in Muskegon County halfway between White Hall and Muskegon, is the largest theme park in the state. Since 1990, Michigan’s Adventure has also been the site to its own water parkWildWater Adventure.

The GRKIDS team has lots of love for Michigan’s Adventure. Many of us take our families on a day trip to Michigan’s Adventure each summer. It’s not a cheap outing (although the tickets are much less expensive compared to places like Cedar Point or Six Flags), so make sure to read all our tips to make the most of your family’s visit to Michigan’s Adventure. And…keep reading for an exciting 2017 update!

Two Parks for the Price of One

Like we mentioned, going to a theme park is not an inexpensive day trip, although Michigan’s Adventure is a great value when compared to other theme park rates. The fact that you get entry into the theme park and water park for the price of one ticket is also pretty sweet.

How to Save on Your Michigan’s Adventure Tickets?

If you purchase tickets online, the 2017 regular tickets cost $34 (ages 3+ over 48″ tall) and junior tickets cost $29.99 for kids ages 3+ who are under 48″ tall. Buying your tickets online will save you $3/ticket compared to their front gate pricing.

Here’s a few more ways to save

  • GO EARLY: Buy “Early Saver” admission and visit the park between May 26-June 30 to save $5/ticket.
  • BRING YOUR LITTLES: Kids under two are free! (Keep reading to see the fun MI Adventure offers tots!)
  • GROUP DISCOUNT: You can save $7/ticket if you purchase group tickets (minimum 25 tickets required). If you are part of a neighborhood association, church group, local club, etc., you could don your “social coordinator hat” and plan a group trip to Michigan’s Adventure.
  • PACK YOUR OWN FOOD: We all know theme parks’ food and drinks are pricey. You can save money by packing a cooler of food and having a car picnic at lunch time. (Note: you cannot bring your own food into the park)
  • VISIT YOUR LOCAL MEIJER: You can also buy discounted tickets at the customer service counter at many local Meijer stores.
  • CARPOOL: If you can, carpool to Michigan’s Adventure to save on the parking lot fee.

SEE ALSO: Gigantic Summer Fun Guide


Michigan’s Adventure has announced an exciting new addition to their water park called Half-Pint Paradise, opening June 2017.

According to the Michigan’s Adventure website, they have restructured the water park to make the area easier to navigate and more family-friendly! They have seven new children’s slide along with a brand-new Splash Pad. The website also says:

“The Beach Party and Half Pint Paradise areas will be reconfigured so that guests can move easily between the two family play areas with improved visibility. This will offer families with small thrill seekers the opportunity to concentrate their fun into an area designed just for them. Additional seating with shaded areas, plus private cabanas offer both relaxation and comfort for families seeking summertime fun!”

We cannot wait to experience WildWater Adventure this summer with our kids. It’s going to be AMAZING for families!

However, if you haven’t been to Michigan’s Adventure before (or maybe you haven’t been in a few decades)…two of our GRKIDS mamas have some great advice for you!

Michigan’s Adventure Day Trip: TIPS & TRICKS

Parents know that preparation is key when it comes to taking a day trip with your kids. You want to make sure to pack everything you need for your kids and depending on their ages, this could be a long list. Diapers, wipes, water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, hats, swim suits, change of clothes, towels, lunch, stroller, and did we say more snacks?

Before you load your family up to go to Michigan’s Adventure, keep reading for some great tips and tricks:

Advice from Kate Randall-

  • You don’t have to like roller coasters to have fun at Michigan’s Adventure. “I don’t like roller coasters. Like not even a little bit. Yet I still love this place!”
  • From kiddie rides and splash pads to the Corkscrew and Wolverine Wildcat, Kate said, “there truly is something for everyone at Michigan’s Adventure.”
  • Kate recommends to check the Great Deals magazine for a Michigan’s Adventure coupon.
  • Weekend are typically very busy. “We went on a Wednesday and spent very little time waiting in line.”
  • Kate’s family found it unnecessary to pay for a locker and they wore their swimsuits under their clothes to the park. “Don’t forget your towels, sunscreen and water shoes.”
  • Kids under 48″ are required to wear life jackets in the water park. “We have never had a problem getting a life jacket for our kids (these are available free of charge), but if you prefer to take your own, make sure it’s Coast Guard Approved,” according to Kate.
  • Kate’s family sometimes “tailgates” in the parking lot during the lunch break and she highly recommends this. She remarked, “We ate at the park during our last visit and it cost our family of four almost $50 to have so-so burgers and fries.”
  • Establish a home base at the water park. Kate suggests, “Claim a couple of chairs and leave all of your stuff there: then everyone will know where to go if you should get separated. It’s a good idea to talk to your kids about what to do if they can’t find you, just to be safe. That being said, there are TONS of lifeguards and security staff and I always feel incredibly safe when we are there.”

Advice from Katie Gilbert-

  • Katie’s family also wears their swimsuits into the park. She said, “Park rules state: to ride roller coasters participants must have on shorts, shirts and shoes. We wear the swim suits with rash guards, so we all fit the requirements and don’t have to change.”
  • The two parks close at different times, so be sure to do your research and pick a locker (if you’re renting one) in the park that best suits your family’s needs.
  • Katie suggests to look at the rides online and check height requirements before you go. You can view all the rides HERE. When you get to the park, Katie says to “get out the map and plan how to attack the parks!” (You might want to start off dry in the amusement park and finish at the water park.)
  • Katie also packed a car picnic lunch for her family, which helped saved money during their day trip.
  • Here are a few of her kids’ (ages 6 and 3.5 when they visited) favorite rides…
    • Drummer Boy
    • Zach’s Zoomer was a favorite of her 6-year-old son’s
    • Bee Bop Boulevard
    • The Beach Party, Lazy River and Funnel of Fear were big hits at the water park
  • Katie’s family spent “8 fantastic hours in the sun” and they left their day trip tired and full of great memories!

SEE ALSO: Grand Rapids Summer Reading Programs

Did we miss anything?

Leave a comment below with your Michigan’s Adventure pro-parent tips. We always love to hear from you!

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By |2017-05-26T14:07:42+00:00May 24th, 2017|Categories: Lakeshore Towns (Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Zeeland), Travel Michigan|7 Comments

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  1. Kelly May 26, 2017 at 9:38 pm - Reply

    If you have food allergies and don’t feel comfortable eating there, you can bring your food in the park. You have to get a tag on your cooler but then you can join your family when they’re eating in the park.

    We enjoy opening the park so we can get the big rides done without a wait. Then we do the not as popular rides, eat then head for the water park to finish our day.

    Get an adult meal to split between the kids. More for your money that way.

  2. Brandi pulsipher May 24, 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Hi I have a 3 year old aND a 2 year old I was just wondering how much there ticket is..

  3. anna August 2, 2011 at 9:10 am - Reply

    If you get the tix thru Meijer, it’s $24.99 per person (3 and up). We went last week, with five children (ages 18mo thru 10yrs). There is truly something for everyone. It’s an annual summer thing for us.

    We do the amusement park in the morning (from the kid section back to the scrambler), picnic in the car for lunch around 2pm, work from the Corkscrew back to the waterpark and cool off in the afternoon, then when we’re sick of being wet do the bigger coasters and ride the rail cars and wind down with whatever kid rides we can fit before close.

    Note about the new children’s waterpark area – we did NOT like it. There’s no way to keep track of your children in it. It’s packed, it’s big, and it’s overwhelming. Thinking like a pedophile, it’s the perfect place to snatch a kid. I was incredibly uncomfortable with it. We had more fun in the kid-sized wave pool near it, and in Pirate’s Cove… which is now much quieter what with the new park getting all the attention.

  4. grkids.com via Facebook August 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Meijer sells discounted tickets- check at their customer service, I am not sure what the price is. Does anyone else know?

  5. Does anyone know of discount tickets for MI Adventure? There are 5 of us and that is pretty pricey….

  6. Jaime August 1, 2011 at 10:40 am - Reply

    Thanks for the review. I have been debating on whether or not it would be “fun” for my 3 and 5 year old. Looks like it will be.

  7. Melody V
    Melody August 1, 2011 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Don’t tell my kids that we are going later on in August! I’m excited to try out the new water park- finally something the little people will enjoy and can do! Thanks for the report, Katie!

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