Gorgeous views of sculpture, looking up toward the high ceilings of the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum in Saginaw

📍Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum 📷 @bernsiekay

 


 

Historic theaters and architectural gems to art museums and galleries — the paint has yet to dry on all of the fresh, immersive arts and cultural experiences to be had here.

 

Taking tea inside one of North America's most authentic Japanese tea houses, pondering art inside a Georgian-revival mansion, or unwinding while you craft something all your own — enjoy this vibrant region and the community of local artists who bring it to life.

 


 

Arts + Cultural Community Gems

Midland Center for the Arts (Midland) The core of arts and culture in the region — home to two performance venues, two museums, art studios, and more. Experience performances from concerts to comedy shows, theatre to dance — and bring little explorers to the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art for hands-on galleries and immersive exhibitions.

Japanese Cultural Center, Tea House, and Gardens of Saginaw (Saginaw) One of the most authentic Japanese tea houses on the continent, offering a form of Traditional Tea Ceremony (Chanoyu) dating back to 1600 A.D. See celebrants in traditional kimono perform the 400-year-old ritual of serving tea, then roam the tranquil, three-acre Japanese gardens.

Alden B. Dow Home & Studio (Midland) One of "25 Best Historic Homes in America" (Traditional Home, 2014) and a National Historic Landmark. Tour this mid-century modern masterpiece designed by Alden B. Dow, and catch unbelievable glimpses of the encompassing pond from the sunken-in Submarine Room.

 

Gorgeous views of the Alden B. Dow Home & Studio in Midland, peeking through the trees from across the pond

📍Alden B. Dow Home & Studio 📷 @caseyjfcfl

 

Mid-Century Modern Midland (Midland) Experience the rich architectural heritage of Midland through over 400 incredible structures — including the works of renowned architects from Alden B. Dow to Frances "Red" Warner and Jackson Hallett. Download the mobile app to track down these rare beauties on a self-guided tour!

The Dow Event Center (Saginaw) Massive arena and theater that plays host to everything from big-name musicians to Broadway-award-winning musical theater. Keep a close watch on their calendar of events; new and exciting shows are always being announced!

 

Historic Theaters

Temple Theatre (Saginaw) Historic 1927 theater, home to the world's only Barton Butterfield Special organ in original condition. Experience everything from concerts to comedy shows, plays to films — and enjoy performances by the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra and Saginaw Choral Society, especially during the holidays.

State Theatre of Bay City (Bay City) Built in 1908 as The Bijou Theatre, experience this Mayan-inspired jewel box when you catch live music or comedy, a performance by The Bijou Orchestra, or classic holiday films during Sundays in the City.

Court Street Theater (Saginaw) Experience this revitalized 1938 theater with state-of-the-art sound and unmatched acoustics, and enjoy everything from films to concerts and small play productions.

 

Art Museums + Art Galleries

Saginaw Art Museum (Saginaw) Stunning art museum inside a 1904 mansion, encased in Italianate gardens. Two award-winning modern wings, rotating exhibitions, and an expansive permanent collection of art with more than 2,000+ objects all make this a must-see!

Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum (Saginaw) An astounding collection of more than 2,000 featured objects from the 70-year career of one of the most prolific sculptors of the 20th century. Pay special attention to the Sculptor's Studio — a replica of Fredericks' Royal Oak studio, featuring many of his original clay models, molds, and machinery.

 

Views inside the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum in Saginaw, with light streaming in through walls of windows

📍Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum 📷 @lonbon22

 

Studio 23 / The Arts Center (Bay City) Try your hand at Sip 'N Swirl (painting lessons paired with wine), join hands-on workshops from watercolor to acrylics, and enjoy artist lectures and gallery events here. Or, pop in anytime to make your own art project from the Craft Bar "menu" — with instructions and all supplies provided.

Creative 360 Stage, Studios & Gallery (Midland) Free art gallery and complete creative outlet, offering everything from art classes to dinner theater.

Gingerblue Gallery (Saginaw) Old Town art gallery tucked inside a historic landmark building, highlighting artists both local and global, with pieces available for purchase.

 

Painting + Pottery Studios

Painterly Pottery (Saginaw, Bay City) Paint-your-own pottery studio with 1,000+ unfinished ceramic pieces begging for a splash of color! Glass fusing to mosaics, let your creativity shine across many different mediums.

Space Studios (Midland) Pottery studio and store inside a modern gallery setting — complete with a massive glaze bar stocked with ready-to-paint pieces handcrafted by local potters.

Board & Brush Creative Studio (Saginaw) DIY & BYOB combine at these one-of-a-kind, wood-sign-making workshops. Just book a class and bring your creativity... and a bottle of wine, if you'd like! You'll pick your own project; Board & Brush supplies the instruction, materials, and design to help you distress, sand, stain, and paint your own hand-lettered, custom creation.

 

Performing Arts

Community Theaters (Multiple Cities) From one of the oldest community theaters in the country, Pit & Balcony Community Theatre, to Michigan's oldest continually operating community theater, Bay City Players, and the national-award-winning volunteer theater program of Center Stage Theatre — experience performance art at its finest.

Symphony Orchestras (Multiple Cities) Hear the Midland Symphony Orchestra's 70+ ensemble of professional musicians perform their concert season at Midland Center for the Arts, listen to Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra's fully professional ensemble inside the historic Temple Theatre, or enjoy The Bijou Orchestra's 13-piece at State Theatre of Bay City.

Choirs + More (Multiple Cities) Hear Center Stage Choirs or Saginaw Choral Society perform everything from classical masterworks to popular favorites, or step inside the White Crow Conservatory of Music for their annual concert series.

 

Museums + Historic Wonders

Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum (Bay City) Naval ship museum aboard a National Historic Landmark — the U.S.S. Edson DD-946 destroyer — open daily for self-guided tours. Explore on your own, book a limited-availability tour with a former Edson crew member, or take a paranormal tour of this allegedly haunted warship, featured on the popular Destination America TV series, "Ghost Asylum".

 

USS Edson reflecting off the water in Bay City with a blue-orange sky behind

📍Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum 📷 @jeffcaverlyphotography

 

The Michigan Heroes Museum (Frankenmuth) The only museum dedicated solely to the wartime experiences of men and women from Michigan. Honor heroes who fought in America's seven foreign wars as you explore 140 displays, 700 exhibits, and the nation's largest Medal of Honor collection on display.

Castle Museum of Saginaw County History (Saginaw) Expansive historical museum set inside an 1897 French chateau-style castle. Delve into the area's rich history — lumbering to automotive manufacturing and archaeology — and watch for a robust lineup of rotating exhibitions.

 

The French chateau-style Castle Museum of Saginaw County History in Saginaw, dusted in snow

📍Castle Museum of Saginaw County History 📷 @calvinmarteen

 

Antique Toy & Firehouse Museum (Bay City) 60+ motorized fire trucks — touted as the world's largest collection — and home to the world's largest and most famous firetruck, the FDNY Super Pumper. Browse more than 12,000 antique and collectible toys, many of them fire, police, and rescue vehicles.

More Historical Museums (Multiple Cities) From the Frankenmuth Historical Association Museum to the Bridgeport Historical Museum and Village — even the Theodore Roethke Home Museum — enjoy all of the incredible places to immerse yourself in the rich history of this region.