Here in Michigan, we have the privilege of living in, and visiting, destinations that are as beautiful as they are unique. From Kitch-iti-kipi to Kalamazoo, there are countless places that make for a great family day trip with plenty of kid-centric adventures to embark on. With this in mind, read more on seven of the most-unique and kid-friendly destinations across Michigan.
- What? Hell? Yes! Hell, Michigan is a small town located just northwest of Ann Arbor that has fascinating history for you to discover. A day spent in Hell could mean a fun afternoon on the water via kayak or canoe, a hearty lunch at the Hell Hole Diner or even being Town Mayor for the day, which is an awesome gift for any age. Don’t forget to enjoy delicious ice cream at The Creamatory at Screams, where you can attempt to take down the Gravedigger Sundae and receive a ‘death certificate’ if you do.
- Christmas in July! …And every other month throughout the year. At Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland in iconic Frankenmuth, kids and families can explore the world’s largest Christmas store which boasts more diverse decorations than you can count. After you’ve selected your token ornament, head into town for a world-famous fried chicken dinner from Zehnder’s or Bavarian Inn or consider a scenic horse-drawn carriage ride.
- Ann Arbor
- Ann Arbor may seem like your atypical college town, but many adults overlook tiny details that make for great scavenger hunts for kids. Throughout ‘A2’, as it’s affectionally called, are seven unique fairy doors that give even more charm to an already beautiful city. Some of the loveliest doors are located at Sweetwaters Café, Peaceable Kingdom, Selo Shevel Gallery, Jefferson Market, The Ark, The Ann Arbor Framing Company, Lakewood Elementary School, Red Shoes Home Goods and Voilà. Kids can leave gifts in the hopes that fairies will receive them!
- In the small town of Ossineke, you’re sure to find a ‘timeless’ attraction at the Dinosaur Gardens. This outdoor park and museum offers 26 exhibits featuring life-sized dinosaur replicas and other scenes from jurassic times. You can also play putt-putt golf, eat frozen yogurt and shop for prehistoric souvenirs.
- If you have a little one who is a fan of illusion, you’ll want to plan a trip to Marshall. This quiet town near Lansing is more than meets the eye with the American Museum of Magic. Here, you’ll find a gigantic collection of magical artifacts, including a skull that levitates, vintage posters and a guillotine.
- Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has a destination that is as fun to visit as it is to pronounce. Known as The Big Spring, Kitch-iti-kipi is Michigan largest freshwater spring that gushes 10,000 gallons per minute. Visitors to The Big Spring can see the brown trout, brook trout and lake trout below as the crystal-clear waters provide an unforgettable learning experience at one of the best hidden gems of the country.
- Port Austin
- Just off the coast of Lake Huron is one of the most recognizable rock formations in the Midwest. Turnip Rock is an isolated formation with 20-foot trees sticking out of the top, truly making it look like a giant turnip. This destination should surely be on every Michigander’s bucket list but is only accessible by kayak or by snowshoe in the winter. Not far is the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, which is a great place to see the stars (and Northern Lights, if you’re really lucky).
While visiting these destinations make for great adventures, they’re far from making a complete list! Check out our other neighborhood blogs for more local travel inspiration.