Looking for affordable spring break vacation ideas in Michigan (and ones the whole family will hands-down love)? We’ve got two of Michigan’s top indoor waterparks, two zoos, and too many fun spots for families to ever mention them all!
Whether you’ll bring the kids to a tropical conservatory to see colorful butterflies from around the world or tour two working farms (and hold baby animals, too) — planning a spring trip to Michigan is simple with these top things to do for families in the Great Lakes Bay!
As we welcome you back, we’ll be doing our best to keep you in the loop on what’s open & closed in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Just look for the orange banners below on our partner listings as you start planning for your next trip!
While we all navigate this new normal, some experiences may be slightly different, and some businesses may only be partially reopened. Please check with the individual businesses for their reopening status, new hours of operation, and updated policies before visiting!
Splash Around: With two of the top indoor waterparks in Michigan (that both have really epic arcades), Frankenmuth is sure to be a hit for spring break, families! Enjoy 50,000 square feet of aquatic fun (and two-waterparks-in-one) at Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark, Zehnder’s Splash Village. Or, make the most of multiple pools and whirlpools, waterslides, and waterfalls — plus the Midwest’s largest hotel family fun center and 18 holes of indoor mini-golf — when you book your stay at Bavarian Inn Lodge!
See Beauty in Bloom: Bring the kids to Dow Gardens in Midland any time of year, and they’ll “ooh” and “ahh” over colorful views and favorite flowers (and especially adore the award-winning Children’s Garden planted and cared for by local kids each summer). But, bring them in March or April during Butterflies in Bloom, and they’ll also get to see thousands of brilliant butterflies from around the world take flight — and maybe even land on them, if they’re lucky!
Adventure in Nature: Not sure how to top that magical butterfly encounter? Venture just across the bridge to Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens (already included in your Dow Gardens admission), where little ones will love the chance to walk the country’s longest canopy walk — and say they soared up to four stories high in the treetops! After, let them play on the massive playground (while you sip locally roasted specialty coffee at the Cafe that overlooks it).
Minutes away in Midland, bring the kids to Chippewa Nature Center, too, to explore one of the largest private, non-profit nature centers in the country. This spot has an old-fashioned log cabin called the Homestead Farm — complete with farm animals you can meet & greet, come May — plus a Sugarhouse where you can watch sap get made into sweet maple syrup each March! Best of all? Admission to CNC is absolutely free for the whole family!
Go Wild: Mid-April on, have an up-close encounter with more than 150 animals (and downright adorable African penguins) at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo! While you’re here, take the kids for a whirl on the miniature train and hand-carved carousel (or multiple whirls when you buy $5 unlimited-ride wristbands). Less than a 30-minute drive away, try Wilderness Trails Zoo in Birch Run for a Parakeet Encounter, Reptile Sanctuary, and Rainforest Experience — and the chance to say you saw two zoos in one trip!
Down on the Farm: Take a hands-on tour of two working historical farms in Frankenmuth — Grandpa Tiny’s Farm and Weiss Centennial Farm — or visit LeCronier’s Baby Acres in Freeland for the heart-melting moment your little ones get to pet, feed, and hold cute-as-a-button baby animals!
Zipline & Climb: Family bonding time? It just happens naturally when you’re ziplining, climbing, and cheering each other on through six ropes courses packed with obstacles and challenges! Get to Frankenmuth Aerial Park (with all ages seven on up) for this unique adventure in the trees... and don't look down!
Museums for Minis: Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum in Saginaw is 16,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and colorful fun for kids under 10, and you won’t want to miss one inch of it, families! And the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art in Midland? There are hands-on galleries in the Hall of Ideas, rotating exhibitions like Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear, and permanent spaces like Spark!Lab® Smithsonian, where everyone can be an inventor!
Find the Fun Zones: Try Stardust in Saginaw for bowling, a 60-game arcade, four escape rooms, laser tag, and LED-lit bumper cars, or bring everyone to Kokomo’s Family Fun Center for laser tag and an arcade (plus outdoor mini-golf, go-karts, and bumper boats, weather permitting). Valley Lanes Entertainment Center in Midland has bowling, mini-golf, bumper cars, and two escape rooms, too — and if the kids can’t decide on just one of these spots, guess you’ll just have to try them all!
Escape Indoors: Need weatherproof spring break plans? Let the kids burn off some energy at Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Saginaw or The Playground in Midland. Travel to outer-space at Delta College Planetarium & Learning Center, or back in time at the Antique Toy & Firehouse Museum. Or, make take-home souvenirs together when you choose and paint your own pieces at Space Studios in Midland or Painterly Pottery in Saginaw or Bay City.
Get Festive: Bring the whole fam (Fido, too!) to the world’s largest Olympic-style festival for dogs, or bring your appetites for a Frankenmuth food truck festival where there’s even a massive play village for the kids. No matter which one(s) you choose, our spring festivals & events in the Great Lakes Bay add a lot more fun to any family vacation!