- Things to Do
- Eat + Drink
- Places to Stay
- Plan Your Trip
Step aboard the Islander excursion boat with Bay City Boat Lines from 10am - noon, Monday - Thursday in June and July, and enjoy a Free History Tour of Bay City while gliding along the Saginaw River, with a live guide highlighting local lore and points of interest. Don't miss this!Read More +
Explore for free within the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, part of one of the largest and most productive wetland ecosystems in Michigan. Take its Wildlife Drive 6.5-mile auto tour route from June to October, sunrise to sunset, for up-close viewing from the comfort of your car!Read More +
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 Chippewa Nature Center in Midland is absolutely free (not to mention experiencing their Homestead Farm, hands-on Ecosystem Gallery and more). Spend an afternoon (or several) while spending zero dollars!Read More +
With the Great Lakes Bay Region Public Art Passport to guide you, map your own route to view public art on display throughout the region! See all of Old Town Saginaw Street Art Park, Art Seen Festival's community-created murals in Midland, and abundant public art viewing opportunities peppered throughout each unique neighborhood.
Take in eight glorious terraces each April - November of more than 300 varieties and 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 local art 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 +
With over 400 incredible mid-century modern structures throughout Midland (and the Mid-Century Modern Midland free mobile app to guide you), spend an entire afternoon taking in impressive architecture from the coziness of your car. Select from the app's pre-set tour routes, or filter to find structures by type (or by the architect who designed them).
Catch artistic film selections projected on the side of a 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 waterfront Wenonah Park in Bay City for Tuesday Free Movies in the Park 9:30pm showings, or make your way to Midland's Movies on Main for classics to newer releases on Thursday evenings throughout the summer months!Read More +
Boogie down to Motown, let cool jazz speak to your soul. Far beyond what's listed, there's a whole lot of live music here that costs a whole lot of nothing! Dip your toes in with free summer concert series, from Midland's The Commons Live Music Series to Frankenmuth Women's Club Concerts in the Park; Saginaw's Party on McCarty and Friday Night Live; or Bay City's Wednesdays in the Park, Thursdays at Uptown, and Fridays at the Fall!Read More +
With free fitness classes from Zumba to yoga — and no-cost activities including Mini Golf on Main and Adult Recess with oversized lawn games — be sure to experience Downtown Midland's The Commons Pedestrian Plaza this summer! Soak up the sunshine at provided picnic tables and cozy seating areas, and take in the inviting ambiance, with trees and flowers on live turf areas right in the city streets! Step out in Bay City, too, for Feet on the Street happenings, from free yoga sessions to pop-up shops and live music events!Read More +
Snapping photos beneath the Third Street Star Bridge, splashing at spray parks, wandering farmers markets to enjoy free samples and fresh smells, or hopping on regional trails to forge new adventures, you'll find no shortage of free things to do here!
All kinds of fun and free as can be, these outdoor summer concert series in Pure Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region are your no-cost ticket to experience live music and unique entertainment nearly every day of the week!Read More +
By: Jen W. O'Deay | Updates: Go Great Lakes Bay | 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