Discover Our
Top Things to Do
Under $10
Midland

When we tell you that the chance to be immersed in thousands of lush florals (a tropical conservatory, award-winning Children's Garden, and more) costs only $10 for adults, $2 for kids ages 6-17, and is absolutely free for 5 and younger — the only thing left to figure out is how quickly you can get to Dow Gardens in Midland! Finding out that entry to its Whiting Forest (and the nation's longest canopy walk) is included in your Dow Gardens admission? Priceless. Explore 1,400 feet of this scenic walk, stretching four stories high in the forest, and experience three distinct arms, each ending in its own unique viewing platform.

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Frankenmuth

Hopping aboard a 30-Minute River Tour with Frankenmuth FunShips will cost you only $10 (children 12 and younger only $5, and younger than 3 are free) and you'll see sweeping views of Frankenmuth while gliding along the picturesque Cass River and getting local know-how on what else to see and do while you're here.

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Saginaw

Spend a day sunbathing and swimming the 40-acre, spring-fed lake at Haithco Recreation Area in Saginaw for only $5 per vehicle entry, not per person. Throw horseshoes, fish from the pier, enjoy the splash pad and playground area, and grill on the hibachis. Rent paddleboats or kayaks for just $5/hour, and enjoy a full day of affordable fun at the beach.

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Saginaw

Experience the Japanese Cultural Center, Tea House & Gardens of Saginaw — treasured as one of the most authentic in North America — with a "Tea & Tour" for just $5/person, where you'll enjoy three acres of Japanese gardens and a docent-led tour of the tea house. Or, attend a Traditional Tea Ceremony for $10/person. Celebrants wear traditional kimono as they perform the 400-year-old ritual of serving tea, a mesmerizing and not-to-be-missed experience.

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Saginaw

Admission into the magical Castle Museum of Saginaw County History is just $3 for individuals, $5 for families, and only $2 for ages 65+. The slice of area history you'll experience inside, including riveting photography, lumbering and automotive manufacturing exhibits, and various traveling exhibits? Worth every penny!

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Frankenmuth

A museum unlike any other, experience the Michigan Heroes Museum in Frankenmuth to discover more than 900 exhibits, each honoring a Michigan soldier, marine, sailor, airman, or astronaut. Step inside this priceless piece of history for just $7 ($6 for seniors & veterans, $3 for students 18 & under, and children under 5 enter for free).

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Saginaw

A diverse collection of fine art and sculpture on display inside a Georgian-revival mansion, experience the Saginaw Art Museum for only $7 per person ($5 for students & seniors, and 15 years and under get in free). Discover always-changing exhibitions and a permanent collection of art comprised of paintings, sculpture, and watercolors produced by American and European artists. (And don't miss touring its gorgeous Italianate gardens while you're here!)

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Frankenmuth

For only $10, experience the Frankenmuth tasting room of Michigan's most-awarded winery, St. Julian, and enjoy a guided sampling of six one-ounce pours, served in a take-home souvenir glass. Cheers!

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Great Lakes Bay

From summer's Bay City Fireworks Festival to winter's epic snow- & ice-carving competition, Zehnder's Snowfest, the Great Lakes Bay is home to unforgettable year-round festivals, and admission is often free or below $10. Watch for some of our top annual favorites, and get going!

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Bay City

Highlighting the history and community of Bay County, take your pick of four riveting tours provided and led by the Bay County Historical Society. Tour the Bay County Historical Museum itself ($1), learn the rich history and climb the clock tower of City Hall ($1), or immerse yourself along the Downtown Bay City Architecture Walking Tour or Hell's Half Mile Walking Tour (both $10/person, or $5 for ages 12 & under).

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Find
Fun for Families
Under $10
Saginaw

Planned, designed, and built just for kids, have fun while learning a ton inside Saginaw's Mid-Michigan Children's Museum for only $8 (just $7 for "big kids" over 60 and free for kids younger than 2). Watch your children's faces light up at galleries that include stuffing fuzzy balls into "A-Mazing Airways" and splashing around at "Water, Water Everywhere."

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Saginaw

Take a trip to the nearby Saginaw Children's Zoo, where admission is just $7 (free for infants under 1 and zoo members, and only $5 for military). Meeting over 150 animals will make this experience a memorable one, and rides on the hand-carved carousel and miniature train offer add-on fun that's just $2 per person, per ride!

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Bay City

With chances to journey to the farthest reaches of our galaxy in "Stars" or travel to the cutting-edge of cosmic exploration in "Dark Universe," it's hard to believe that admission to Delta College Planetarium in Bay City is only $7 and just $5 for kids, senior citizens, and military. Set your sights high for an out-of-this-world experience!

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Frankenmuth

Discover rural heritage on the oldest farm in Frankenmuth! For just $6 per person (kids 2 and under are free), give your family a day of fun on the farm without breaking the piggy bank. Meet, pet, and even help feed adorable animals at the Petting Barn and Coop, watch vintage tractors and plows at work, and explore the corncrib and cornbox play area!

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Midland

Watch your children's imaginations soar at Midland Center for the Arts! For just $4 per person (free for museum members), explore pop-up STEM and history exhibits and discover Spark!Lab® Smithsonian, a unique, hands-on learning lab where everyone can be an inventor!

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Bay City

With the chance to see the world's largest collection of motorized fire trucks in existence — including the world's most powerful fire truck, the FDNY Super Pumper — a visit to the Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum is a must! And with admission of just $10 for adults, $7 for seniors & students, and children 4 and under admitted free, create bright eyes and big smiles on a budget!

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Midland

With daily admission of only $8 per child (under 12 months, over 13 years, and parents all enter for free), let the kiddos burn off energy at The Playground! This indoor play palace features a two-story play structure with multiple slides, a zipline, and other fun obstacles — and a coffee bar with perfectly poured lattes, parents!

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Things To Do

Free. What's the catch, right? Here's the deal: there isn't one! In fact, there are more ways than we can mention to have memorable adventures in Pure Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region that'll cost you zero dollars.

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Deals On Things To Do

All kinds of fun & free as can be, these outdoor summer concert series are your no-cost ticket to experience live music and unique entertainment nearly every night of the week!

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Author
Jen W. O'Deay + Go Great Lakes Bay

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