101 Free Things to do with Kids in Michigan
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.
Michigan Roadside Attractions
Like to see weird stuff? A Dutch town. A nun doll museum. List and descriptions here.
Curious Kids Museum
Over 100 hands-on exhibits & activities await you! New programs every week! 415 Lake Boulevard, St. Joseph, MI 49085, 269.983.CKID
The Flint Children’s Museum
Hands-on learning and educational activities for children up to fourth grade. 1602 West Third Avenue, Flint, MI 48504, (810) 767-5437
Grand Rapids Public Museum
We exist to be a living monument of artifacts, ideas and stories told through exhibitions, events and educational programming designed to inspire, motivate and celebrate our human bond. We enrich the life of our community through experiences of the wider world in a uniquely Grand Rapids context. Call 616.929.1754 for details. 272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.
Great Lakes Life
Inland Seas Education Association
Experiential shipboard and onshore educational programs for children and adults. In the spring (May 1-June 17) and fall (Sept 1 – Oct 7) we run the program for classrooms of students. 100 Dame Street, P.O. Box 218, Suttons Bay, MI 49682. 231-271-3077
Alfred P. Sloan Museum
Regional history, historic automobiles and hands-on science. 1221 East Kearsley Street, Flint, MI 48503 , (810) 760-1169
Dowagiac Area History Museum
Take a walk back through time to learn about the history of southwest Michigan by peeking into the lives of early settlers and Native American Indians. 58900 Cherry Grove Road. Dowagiac, MI 49047-9793 . (616) 782-1374
Hall of Ideas, Midland Center for the Arts
It is a graphic story of the evolution of the ground on which the Center stands. It traces the spiraling evolution of civilization of this area. 1801 West St. Andrews Road, Midland, MI 48640, (517) 631-5930
Historic fort, butterflies, sports fishing, golf, and more to see and do.
Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry
We have a cruise that we will operate on May 27, 2005, designed with homeschoolers in mind. Step back in time to a place where transportation is limited to horse and buggy, bicycle or foot. For more information, contact Morgan at Group Sales, 800-828-6157 (US only) or 231-436-5023.
St. Ignace Visitors’ Bureau
Comprehensive site about all the wonders of this natural and historic area. Find out about the Museum of Objibwa Culture. Visit the deer ranch. Ride in a horse-drawn buggy. Check out the Calendar of Events for expecially interesting activities.
Star Line Mackinac Island Hydro-Jet Ferry
Service to Historic Mackinac Island from St. Ignace. Visit this site to get a coupon that will offer a choice between a Free Child’s Ride with the purchase of two adult tickets or $9.00 off the price of a third adult.
“Somewhere in Time” at Mackinac Island
Each October. For the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan, the “Somewhere in Time” weekend is as close to literal time travel as you likely will find anywhere.
Factory Tours in Michigan
Historic Ford factory, Jiffy Mix, Kellogg Cereals, Lionel Trains, Simplicity Patterns and more factories that have tours in Michigan.
Henry Ford Museum
Motivate your dreamers. Encourage your inventors. Inspire your radical thinkers. Spark the imaginations of your children by utilizing the incredible array of opportunities available here. 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn, Michigan. 313-982-6001
Mackinac State Historic Parks
Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island Downtown Buildings, Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Historic Mill Creek, and Mackinac Island State Park. 231-436-4100
Children’s Garden at Leila Arboretum Society
We are located at 992 W. Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI, and offer educational programming that meets the Michigan Essential Goals and Objectives for Science Education. Closed in winter. (269) 969-0720.
Exhibit Museum of Natural History
Permanent exhibits on dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, Michigan wildlife, Native American culture, anthropology, geology, and a planetarium. 1109 Geddes Ave., Ann Arbor, (734) 764-0478
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
A spectacular botanic garden and worldclass sculpture park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Check out the Events Calendar for activities of interest to your children. Homeschooler Tammy S. says this: “Their website doesn’t do justice to this fantastic garden!” 1000 E Beltline Ave NE., Grand Rapids. 888-957-1580.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
Discover and enjoy the wonder of science, math and technology in an interactive environment. 219 East Huron Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104 , (734) 995-5439
Cranbrook Institute of Science
Michigan’s premier natural histor museum to watch the stars come out in our planetarium, observe live bats and participate in our many annual science events. 1221 N. Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, (248) 645-3200
Detroit Science Center
Michigan’s only IMAX® Dome Theatre to the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium, family programs to field trips, live science demonstrations to hands-on exhibit laboratories. 5020 John R. Street, Detroit, MI 48202 , (313) 577-8400
Impression 5 Science Center
Explore, understand, and appreciate the wonders of the physical world. 200 Museum Dr., Lansing, (517) 485-8116
We offer really neat hands-on science field trips and activities at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus. What makes us unique, is that we are located on the grounds of the Henry Ford Estate and have 277 acres of natural area with wildlife and foliage in which Henry Ford introduced into the area many decades ago.
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