- Things to Do
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Free. What's the catch, right? Here's the deal: there isn't one! In fact, there are more ways than we can mention to have memorable adventures in the Great Lakes Bay that'll cost you zero dollars.
For no-cost chances to see movies, witness natural splendor, hop aboard boats, and maybe even immerse yourself in beautiful botanicals, read on for an all-out guide that will show you how to explore the Great Lakes Bay in carefree (and flat-out-free) ways!
With 1,200 acres and 19 miles of trails that are open year-round, from dawn-to-dark daily, it's hard to believe that admission into and through Midland's Chippewa Nature Center is absolutely free (not to mention experiencing their Homestead Farm, hands-on Ecosystem Gallery and more). Spend an afternoon (or several) while spending no dollars!Read More +
Board the Islander excursion boat with Bay City Boat Lines from 10 a.m. - noon, Monday through Friday in July and August, and enjoy a Free Narrated History Tour of Bay City while gliding along the Saginaw River.Read More +
Explore for free within Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, part of one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in Michigan. Take its Wildlife Drive from June to October, sunrise to sunset, for up-close viewing from the comfort of your car.
Take in eight glorious terraces each April - November of more than 300 varieties and more than 3,000 blossoming beauties at Dahlia Hill. Enjoy artist Charles Breed's working studio and museum featuring original designs in cast paper, bronze and other media, along with garden sculpture on view year-round.Read More +
Gain culture and lasting impressions that won't cost you a thing inside the following museums and galleries, to name a few: Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, University Art Gallery and Gingerblue Gallery in Saginaw; Golden Gallery and Studio 23/The Arts Center in Bay City; and Creative 360 in Midland.Read More +
Catch artistic film selections projected on the side of an historic building every Sunday at dusk during the Old Saginaw City Lawn Chair Film Festival, and enjoy pre-movie live music for free. For newer releases and family-friendly flicks, head to Wenonah Park for Tuesday Free Movies in the Park 9 p.m. showings.
Boogie down to Motown, let cool jazz speak to your soul. Far beyond what's listed, there's a whole lot of music here that costs a whole lot of nothing! Dip your toes in with free summer concert series, from Midland's Tunes by the Tridge to Frankenmuth Concerts in the Park; Saginaw's Jazz in the Garden and Friday Night Live; or Bay City's Wednesdays in the Park, Thursdays at Uptown, and Fridays at the Fall.
Snapping photos beneath the Third Street Star Bridge, or wandering farmers markets and city markets to enjoy free samples and fresh smells, or hopping on regional trails to forge new adventures along 100 miles of paths, you'll find no shortage of free things to do here!
Looking for more low-cost ways to live it up? Try our Top 10 Things to Do Under $10! Learn More
Jen is a Saginaw native and owner of Feel These Words, an independent copywriting studio & home to the free "5 Day Website MiniBoost". Jen specializes in writing that connects, delivered through website copy, branded content articles, and WingWoman writing services. You'll find Jen camping with her family, laughing, and at feelthesewords.com