Fun Things to Do in Michigan

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From the UP to the busy streets of Detroit, Michigan has many fun things to do including educational attractions for your kids.

Free Fun

If you live or play anywhere near Grand Haven, take your kids to see the Grand Haven Musical Fountain. This free light and music water show occurs every night from May until September. The miles and miles of beaches along the Great Lakes also provide free entertainment for your kids, while you can sit back and relax with a book or magazine while they play in the sand.

Educational Fun

If you have a few small tots in your family, head to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (www.aahom.org), where every exhibit encourages them to touch and feel while they explore basic science concepts. The Curious Kids Museum (www.curiuoskidsmuseum.org) in St. Joseph was voted the “Best Place to Take Kids” in Southwest Michigan. This is another hands-on children’s museum. You can also visit the Flight Children’s Museum (www.flintchildrensmuseum.org) and the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum (www.grcm.org). For older children, the Detroit Science Center (www.detroitsciencecenter.org), which features dinosaurs and mummies in addition to the hands-on displays typical of a children’s science museum, is popular.

Environmental Fun

The Detroit Zoo (www.detroitzoo.org) has 125 acres of habitats filled with animals for your kids to get close to. It works in conjunction with the Belle Isle Aquarium (http://www.belleisleaquarium.com/) and the Belle Isle Nature Zoo (http://www.detroitzoo.org/), which highlights the wildlife of Michigan, offering three separate facilities for your kids to learn about nature and the environment. For less structured environmental fun, pack up the kids for a weekend in the Upper Peninsula, where all four seasons provide outdoor recreation. Pictured Rocks and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Parks (http://www.nps.gov/piro/ and http://www.nps.gov/slbe/) offer ranger programs and education about the local environment in some of Michigan’s most beautiful areas.

Seasonal Fun

The state of Michigan is filled with fall and harvest festivals. Find one in a community near yours to enjoy fall fun and pick the perfect pumpkin for your window or doorstep. Be sure to stop by an apple orchard or cider mill, like the Franklin Cider Mill (http://www.franklincidermill.com/) to pick fresh Michigan apples and sample cider donuts as well. For a Christmas experience, visit Santa’s Village at the Saginaw County Fairgrounds, which has rides and activities to children. A steam train takes riders to the North Pole from this village (http://michigansteamtrain.com).

Just for Mom Fun

An overnight at a spa resort may be just what the doctor ordered for a stressed mom. The Inn at Bay Harbour (http://www.innatbayharbor.com/) may be just the ticket. For shopping, Detroit and her suburbs offer some of the best, such as the Somerset Collection (http://www.thesomersetcollection.com/) in Troy or the Twelve Oaks Mall (http://www.shoptwelveoaks.com/) in Novi.

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