Little girl running barefoot along a path lined with tulips in full bloom at Dow Gardens in Midland

📍Dow Gardens 📷 @em.stop



Looking for affordable spring break 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 come to see a tropical conservatory filled with colorful butterflies or tour two working farms (and hold baby animals, too) — make your spring trip to Michigan the best one yet with these top things to do for families in the Great Lakes Bay!



Splash Around

With two of the top indoor waterparks in Michigan (that both have really epic arcades), Frankenmuth is a spring break hit, 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!


Little girl smiling by a splashing geyser in front of an indoor pool at Zehnder's Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark in Frankenmuth

📍Zehnder's Splash Village 📷 @jadoremilian


See Beauty in Bloom

Bring your little ones to Dow Gardens in Midland any time of year, and they’ll “ooh” and “ahh” over colorful views and favorite flowers (especially a Children’s Garden planted by local kids). 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 have one land on them, if they’re lucky!


Boy walking through the gardens at Dow Gardens in Midland

📍Dow Gardens 📷 @jes_salvador7


Adventure in Nature

Not sure how to top that magical butterfly encounter? Venture just across the bridge within Dow Gardens into its Whiting Forest, where little ones can explore 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 on locally roasted coffee at the Cafe that overlooks it).


Boy and his dad looking down from a glass overlook four stories high in the forest along the Canopy Walk at Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens in Midland

📍Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens 📷 @jes_salvador7


See A Log Cabin & Sugarhouse

Minutes away in Midland, bring the kids to Chippewa Nature Center, too, to experience 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 the kids can see sap get turned into sweet maple syrup each March! Best of all? Admission to CNC is absolutely free for the whole family!


Children running down a pathway lined with flowers at Chippewa Nature Center in Midland

📍Chippewa Nature Center 📷 @ehlerspartyofthree


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 unlimited 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!


Girl looking at a goat at Saginaw Children's Zoo

📍Saginaw Children's Zoo 📷 @thekatierex


Find Fun 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!


Boy feeding goat in the petting zoo at Grandpa Tiny's Farm in Frankenmuth

📍Grandpa Tiny's Farm 📷 @lindsayirrer


Zipline & Climb

Family bonding time just happens naturally when you’re ziplining & climbing 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 try not to look down!

Explore 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. 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!


Little girl playing with the A-Mazing Airways gallery at the Mid-Michigan Children's Museum in Saginaw

📍Mid-Michigan Children's Museum 📷 @mmcmadventures


Try All 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 for laser tag and an arcade (plus outdoor mini-golf, go-karts, and bumper boats, if the weather's nice). Valley Lanes in Midland has bowling, mini-golf, bumper cars, and two escape rooms — 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 Airborne Adventure 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 paint your own pieces at Space Studios in Midland or Painterly Pottery in Bay City.


Little boy climbing on the rock wall at The Playground in Midland

📍The Playground 📷 @midlandsplayground