- Things to Do
- Eat + Drink
- Places to Stay
- Plan Your Trip
Make sweet memories during Maple Syrup Season at Midland's Chippewa Nature Center! See syrup made and smell the delicious experience during An Afternoon at the Sugarhouse. Tour the Sugarbush at Tap-A-Tree outings, and celebrate Maple Syrup Day with a pure maple pancake breakfast, wagon rides, crafts, and “sugar on snow” old-fashioned maple syrup taffy!
Find yourselves amidst 22,000 bright, beautiful flowers at Dow Gardens in Midland during the spring display. Visit the award-winning Children’s Garden and stroll through Whiting Forest along a 1,400-foot canopy walk above the trees — which includes a glass-floor viewing platform 40 feet high! (The kids will love it, if they dare!)
Fly through the air, swing through trees, and challenge yourself on an aerial obstacle course of ziplines, ladders, and rope bridges at Frankenmuth Aerial Park! With adventures for all skill levels, weekend and family specials, and even a Twilight option, you’re sure to enjoy this park!
Spend the day along the shoreline at Bay City State Park, with a public beach, splash park, boat launch, picnic areas, and volleyball and basketball courts! Stop into the on-site Saginaw Bay Visitors Center for hands-on nature exploration, discover an expansive wooden playground, and gain access (right inside the park) to Tobico Marsh, a scenic wetland that’s home to migratory birds, wildlife, and walking trails — with two 32-foot observation towers for views the whole family will enjoy!
Pet Rosie The Donkey and hold Mr. Nibbles (the very soft bunny who doesn’t nibble) at Grandpa Tiny's Farm. This working historical farm is filled with hands-on, family-friendly learning experiences, hayrides, and a place where petting and holding the farm animals is welcomed!
Swing like a capuchin in “Monkey Jungle”, climb “Kilimanjaro Mountain”, dive into an “Underwater Viewing Cave”, and ride both the hand-carved carousel and iconic miniature train at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo! With 10 acres for exploring, let the kiddos burn off energy at “Cheetah Run” before enjoying a tasty lunch at the Train Whistle Café — or bring a picnic right inside this incredible zoo!
With a “Petting Area”, “Picnic Area”, and “Parakeet Encounter”, spend the day at the 56-acre Wilderness Trails Zoo in Birch Run! Discover life as a bird-eating spider (or a red-tailed boa constrictor) in “Rainforest Experience”, feed goats and fish throughout the park, and get acquainted with more than 200 exotic animals, including zebras, lions, reptiles, and bobcats.
Hit the batting cages, race go-karts together, or team up for laser tag at Kokomo’s Family Fun Center in Saginaw! With an 18-hole miniature golf course, bumper boats, arcade games, and the “Family Kombo” of pizza and pop (ice-cold beer, too, parents), this place has something for everyone this spring!
Decide between two 18-hole mini golf courses at Alpine Mountain Golf in Birch Run, or play a round on each! With single & double bumper boats and go-karts, bank-shot basketball, and a small arcade, enjoy your time together here — and ice cream after!
With batting cages, bumper boats, and a slick track, golf your way up and around a rushing waterfall during 18 holes of mini golf at Dutch Village Adventure Park in Bay City — and choose between 32 flavors of Hudsonville ice cream!
Spend a fun-filled afternoon at Bay City's Buoy 18 Miniature Golf, Arcade & Ice Cream Shop! Putt-putt your way through 18 holes overlooking Liberty Harbor Marina on the Saginaw River, and enjoy the game room, free with your golf purchase!
Let the kiddos hoot and holler as they cheer on the Saginaw Spirit, an Ontario Hockey League team with players ages 16-20 — many who get drafted into the NHL! Or have a ball together and head out to a Great Lakes Loons game! Catch riveting Minor League Baseball from one of 5,200 stadium seats, or bring a blanket to watch from the lawn. With a two-story Loon Loft retail shop and Lou E.’s Lookout playground, be sure to get your family photo snapped with the larger-than-life mascot, Lou E. Loon.
Take the kids on a tour of “Little Bavaria” with a horse-drawn carriage ride from Fantasy Carriage Company or Frankenmuth Carriage Company (just across the street from one another). Ask first, but kids can usually pet the horses, and “big kids” will enjoy local stories and picturesque Bavarian architecture along the way.
With multiple sections throughout the region — adding up to almost 100 miles — hop onto this interconnected trail system for scenery and even some waterfront views! Look to local Ray’s Bike Shop in Midland and Bay City and Jack’s Bicycle Shop in Downtown Bay City to rent rides (even tandem ones) for your family time on the trails!
Dive into 50,000 square feet of high-fives and smiles inside Zehnder's Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark. Discover the four-person Family Raft Ride that twists and turns down the six-story Tantrum Twist Slide, or dare to take the four-story Perilous Plunge straight down! With lazy rivers, 400-gallon dumping buckets, an on-site arcade, and Elk Hollow Cafe for dining, Splash Village offers half- or full-day waterpark passes and family packages, too!
Or, make forever memories together at Bavarian Inn Lodge! Experience four indoor pools, two water slides, an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course, a two-story Children’s Village play area and more than 150 video games — plus live entertainment the whole family will enjoy in the Lorelei Lounge!
Let the little ones burn off some energy at The Playground in Midland, an indoor space with playscapes and inflatables for kids. Or jump into Airborne Adventure Park where the whole family can defy gravity, compete in ultimate dodgeball, and fly through the air on wall-to-wall trampolines.
Step into Stardust this spring and try for a strike on 25 bowling lanes, crash into fun with LED-lit bumper cars, play more than 60 arcade games, and take on the challenge of a two-story laser tag game! Or let the good times roll at The Roll Arena, a 32,000-square-foot roller-skating rink with on-site Wheel House Grill.
Discover a four-player Hologate virtual reality game at Valley Lanes Family Entertainment Center! Enjoy 20 lanes of bowling, indoor Lost Pirates Adventure Golf, a next-level arcade, bumper cars, laser maze challenge, two escape rooms, and a bite to eat at on-site Gimmicks.
Step back in time at Crazy Quarters Arcade into Pacman, Galaga, Space Invaders, Big Buck Hunter, Dance Dance Revolution — and discover a whole new level, called Nudged Underground, located below Crazy Quarters and dedicated to pinball machines!
Find your way through thousands of mirrors and 2,000 square feet of twists and turns inside Ultimate Mirror Maze — one of only a handful of mirror mazes in the country — and try The Vault Laser Beam Challenge! Can your family step over, under, and around the many beams of light without getting caught? Be sure to stop by River Place Game Room in Frankenmuth, too, for 40 arcade games and the chance to earn cool prizes!
Crawl into a larger-than-life mouth complete with teeth, dress up like doctors and use the “x-ray” machine, giggle and play as plastic balls fall around you — Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum in Saginaw is 16,000 square feet of interactive galleries made for hands-on exploration and family fun! Enjoy exhibits from “Insides Out” to “Water, Water Everywhere” and let the kids explore “Aunt Sugar’s Farm” and “Uncle Pickle’s Barn”!
Spend time together at Delta College Planetarium and don’t pass on the rooftop observation deck for a birds-eye view of Bay City (and a great family photo op). With showings including “From Earth to the Universe” and “Sesame Street: One World, One Sky”, your whole family will be starry-eyed over this adventure!
Prepare for big smiles and forever memories inside the Antique Toy & Firehouse Museum. “Kids from 1 to 101” will enjoy the NASCAR and Tonka rooms and more than 60 motorized fire trucks — claimed to be the largest collection in the world!
Discover Spark!Lab® Smithsonian at Midland Center for the Arts, where everyone gets the chance to become an inventor! Bring your creativity and work as a team through this one-of-a-kind & hands-on learning lab.
Discover a walk-in, self-service art experience at the Craft Bar inside Studio 23/The Arts Center. Choose from a menu of options to create, including a Mixed Media Pendant, Wood Slice Ornament, or a Watercolor Card. All instructions and supplies are provided!
Work on a large piece together as a family or each “paint your own” at Painterly Pottery studio, a relaxing space with thousands of unfinished clay items ready to be created. Watch for spring specials including Ten Buck Tuesdays and Buy Two/Get One Free Mosaics on Fridays!
Try your hand at pottery inside Space Studios. Get creative at the Glaze Bar, with a wide selection of handcrafted pottery ready for you to personalize, or discover unique Pick-A-Project events. Each three-hour clay project includes age-based instruction, and kids and adults use stamps, textures, underglazes, and a real pottery wheel!
Get into the groove of spring at Midland Center for the Arts! Enjoy the fantastical, magical extravaganza Seussical the Musical, with all of your favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant and The Cat in the Hat. And don’t miss The SpongeBob Musical where SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Squidward, and all of Bikini Bottom face total annihilation of their undersea world!
Let the whole family see, hear, and physically feel an unforgettable show when STOMP rocks the 25,000-square-foot Wendler Arena at The Dow Event Center, and make a big splash with your little ones during Baby Shark Live!. Or, bring the kids to the Temple Theatre to experience aerial arts and acrobatics as you travel along with the Mystery Machine in Scooby-Doo! and the Lost City of Gold.
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
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