Indoor Waterparks

Dive into Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark, with a six-story Family Raft Ride, four-story tube slides, an arcade, and poolside dining options!

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Make forever memories together at Bavarian Inn Lodge and experience four indoor pools, two waterslides, indoor mini-golf, and 150+ games in the arcade.

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Grandpa Tiny's Farm | @consistently_curious

Zoos + Farms

Pet Rosie The Donkey and hold Mr. Nibbles at Grandpa Tiny's Heritage Farm, a working farm filled with hands-on experiences.

Meet 150+ animals, then ride the hand-carved carousel and miniature train at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo!

Discover the Rainforest Experience and get acquainted with 200+ exotic animals at Wilderness Trails Zoo.

Tours + Experiences

Take the kids on a tour of Little Bavaria with a horse-drawn carriage ride from Fantasy Carriage Company or Frankenmuth Carriage Company. (Ask first, but kids can usually pet the horses!)

All aboard “Lucy,” the bright-red trolley bus! Join Golden Ticket Trolley Tours for a Family Ride through Frankenmuth, complete with a kids’ playlist. (At the end, kids can ring the bell and choose a treat!)

Dow Gardens | @consistently_curious

Outdoors + Nature

See 22,000+ budding blooms at Dow Gardens! Visit the Children’s Garden and explore a canopy walk through the trees — with a glass-floor viewing platform 40 feet high!

Be sure to plan your Dow Gardens trip around Butterflies in Bloom for the chance to see thousands of brilliantly colored butterflies from around the world emerging, feeding, and flying.

Team up as a family and swing through the trees on ziplines, ladders, and rope bridges at Frankenmuth Aerial Park.

Make sweet memories at Chippewa Nature Center! See syrup made during An Afternoon at the Sugarhouse, or tour the Sugarbush at Tap-A-Tree outings.

Spend a day along the shoreline at Bay City State Park. Pack a picnic, discover the play area, and explore Tobico Marsh — a scenic wetland with observation towers.

Shiawassee NWR | @consistently_curious
Get Outside on the
Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail

With almost 100 miles to choose from, hop onto the Great Lakes Bay Regional Trail — and look to Ray’s Bike Shop to rent rides for your family.

Dutch Village Adventure Park | @dutchvillageadventurepark

Outdoor Mini-Golf + More

With mini-golf, bumper boats, go-karts, laser tag, and arcade games, discover a place that has it all for families at Fun Way Amusement Park!

Golf around a rushing waterfall during 18 holes of mini-golf at Dutch Village Adventure Park, then hit the batting cages.

Decide between two mini-golf courses at Alpine Mountain, or play both! With bumper boats, go-karts, and a small arcade, enjoy your time together.

Putt-putt your way through 18 holes overlooking a marina at Buoy 18, and enjoy the game room for free.

Have a ball together at a Great Lakes Loons Minor League Baseball game — and snap a family photo with mascot Lou E. Loon!

The Playground | @midlandsplayground

Indoor Family Fun Zones

Hit the bowling lanes at Stardust, crash into fun with bumper cars, play 60+ arcade games, and take on two-story laser tag!

Enjoy bowling, indoor mini-golf, an arcade, bumper cars, laser maze, and two escape rooms inside Valley Lanes Family Entertainment Center.

Step back in time at Crazy Quarters Arcade and discover dozens of video arcade games and pinball machines.

Play vintage-to-newer arcade and pinball games together at Brinstar — and snack on specialty burgers and fresh-cut fries.

Let the little ones burn off energy at The Playground, an indoor playscape with fun inflatables for kids — and perfectly poured lattes for parents!

Jump into Airborne Adventure Park where the whole family can fly through the air on wall-to-wall trampolines!

Find your way through thousands of mirrors inside Ultimate Mirror Maze — and try The Vault Laser Beam Challenge.

Stop by River Place Game Room for 40 arcade games and the chance to earn cool prizes!

MMCM | @mmcmadventures

Museums + More

Crawl into a larger-than-life mouth, experiment at the Tinker Track — Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum is full of interactive galleries made for hands-on exploration!

Catch a show that’s out of this world at Delta College Planetarium — and climb to the rooftop observation deck for a bird’s-eye view of Bay City.

Prepare for big smiles inside the Antique Toy and Firehouse Museum, home to the largest collection of motorized fire trucks in the world!

Discover Spark!Lab® Smithsonian at Midland Center for the Arts, a hands-on learning lab where everyone can be an inventor.

Midland Center for the Arts

Arts + Entertainment

Work on a piece together at Painterly Pottery or get creative at the Glaze Bar inside Space Studios — both with handcrafted pottery for your family to personalize.

Choose a family art project from the menu at the Craft Bar inside Studio 23/The Arts Center — instructions and supplies are provided!

See which kid-friendly shows are in town at Midland Center for the Arts, The Dow Event Center, or The Temple Theatre.

Bavarian Inn Castle Shops | @bavarianinn

Kids' Shopping

Find fun souvenirs, hit the arcade, and sample fudge made before your eyes at Frankenmuth River Place Shops.

Browse seven gift shops for unique toys, candy, and souvenirs at Bavarian Inn Castle Shops — and let the kids pick something from the bakery.

With Go! Games & Toys for kids to Pottery Barn Outlet for parents, find 100+ stores (and options for every family member) at Birch Run Premium Outlets.

Shop nostalgic candy and novelties at Happy Go Lucky, discover wooden toys and puzzles at Toyberg, or experience “a toy store, unplugged” at Joyful Tantrum.

Let the kids feel merriment & magic any time of year at the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland!

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Things To Do

Spend a long weekend checking items off this bursting bucket list when you Go Great Lakes Bay in Pure Michigan — and have a four-day adventure your family will never forget! Because here, it’ll be a toss up: who had more fun, the parents or kids?

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Fun for the Whole Family
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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