This museum? It's hands-on fun, designed directly for kiddos. An indoor waterpark extravaganza? Oh yes, families-its here. And it's epic! A ballgame together, a day splashing and laughing in the (ahem, free) splash parks, the zoo, the animals, the choo-choo? All here, families-have so much fun!
Get ready to Go Great Lakes Bay, and let your inner child soar in our neighborhood spots and family-friendly places that'll whip the door wide-open to the memories you'll make here!
All Hands In
Imagine over 16,000 square feet of gallery space-designed for children under 12-and you begin to sense the magnitude of awesomeness that is the Mid-Michigan Children's Museum in Saginaw! Here's the like-a-local lowdown on what to expect, parents: the "Water, Water Everywhere" gallery, where kiddos explore science and giggle while doing it, and "Insides-Out", where the skeletal system (and a gigantic mouth to play in) make for unforgettable family fun!
A visit to the Mid-Michigan Children's Museum is always best paired with the nearby (and not-to-be-missed!) Children's Zoo at Celebration Square - one of only 5 zoos in Pure Michigan accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums! Here, your little ones can ride a miniature train or a hand-carved carousel, dig for dinosaur bones at the Fossil Find, and take in acre upon acre of wild, wonderful fun with the animals!
Here in the home of both the Great Lakes Loons, a Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Saginaw Spirit OHL Hockey, family time spent enjoying a game (and hot dogs, soda pops, and the National Anthem) will prove classic. Go Great Lakes Bay, and game on!
Locals know there's nothing not to love about the Bay City State Recreation Area - join them! Let loose at the free Spray by the Bay splash park, or monkey around together at the Come Play by the Bay Playscape, a wooden wonderland with slides and towers. (Psst! There are picnic areas, too, beachfront volleyball nets, and even hiking trails along Tobico Marsh, complete with two 32-foot-tall observation towers for exploring!) Or venture to another spray park at Sanford Lake Park Beach just outside of Midland, and kick back together in 1,100 feet of clean, sandy beach, too! Parking is $5; open April-September.
Zehnder's Splash Village Hotel and Water Park is a guaranteed big deal (and one recently made even bigger with a massively fun expansion)! The largest indoor waterpark in Michigan, take your family into more than 50,000 square feet of six-story raft rides, a super-loop drop slide and a 400-gallon dumping bucket that you'll stand under and scream! This! It really doesn't get better than this, families, and the insider tip? An overnight hotel package, with wristbands to the waterpark and fun from 4 p.m. to the following 4 p.m., is just barely enough time to take it all in-and we haven't even talked about the arcade, the food, the gigantic Whimsical Whirl Hot Tub (the adult beverages available ...)! You can even rent a private cabana for you and yours to chill poolside in style.
Spend time together beneath the stars at Delta College Planetarium and let the state-of-the-art facility transport you and your family to an out-of-this-world experience! Take in a show, discover astronomical legends and lore and make your way to the gift store, too. (Seriously, locals rely on this little gem for locating unique gifts!) Another local tip? Climb the stairs, or take the elevator, to the outside observation deck. Experience the waterfront and downtown Bay City from above, and remember the look of awe on their little faces forever!
Listen. If you want to really be in Bay City like a local, head on foot a few blocks from the planetarium, along the water and eclectic shops, and hang a right at St. Laurent Brothers candy store-okay, dive in there! The oldest of candy shops in Bay City, they've got nuts, candies, and ice cream (plus, chocolate covered espresso beans for Mom and Dad), too. Then, walk the short distance from there, and stand in awe with your kiddos beneath the new Third Street Star Bridge, a luminescent "project with heart" unique to Bay City, featuring bistro lights strung from rooftop to rooftop. It's an experience your family won't soon forget; dusk preferred!
Take the ride of your life together zooming on zip lines through the tree canopy of our aerial forest, The Adventure Park at Frankenmuth! All family members ages 7 and older are welcome, and (no worries) climbers receive a thorough briefing before branching out. After that, though, its bridges, obstacles and zip lines as far as the eye can see! And team-building skills and high-fives that mark the experience a must for families.
This region is ripe with opportunity to take a break from it all, and have some fun! Enjoy your time spent together in our neighborhoods, and tuck away this inside ticket to places you'll always be glad your family came. Think memories in-the-making, and snap lots of pictures!