📍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!
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!
📍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!
📍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).
📍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!
📍Chippewa Nature Center 📷 @ehlerspartyofthree
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!
📍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!
📍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!
📍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!
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.
📍The Playground 📷 @midlandsplayground