You’ll find fantastic destinations for family vacations in Michigan year-round, with attractions for kids of all ages. Springtime brings fragrant cherry blossoms to Traverse City, and there’s plenty of summertime fun in the water at Lake Michigan family resorts. Colorful autumn forests in Munising are great for hiking, and winter sports like skiing and snowboarding in Muskegon. Michigan also offers adventures in bustling cities like Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor, and small-town getaways in places like Ironwood, Bay City, and Mackinac Island. Learn about some of the best spots for memorable family vacations and fun Michigan family resorts.
Michigan Family Resorts: Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville
Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa in Thompsonville is a 4-season Michigan family resort known for seasonal skiing, golfing, hiking, and swimming. Free in-resort shuttle service is provided, as well as on-site dining options, a market, and plenty of kid-friendly activities. Seasonal resort attractions range from an adventure zip-line course and alpine slide, summer pool and water playground, winter chairlift rides, ice-skating, hockey, and all-season biking. Some resort units are ski-in/ski-out in winter. Day passes must be purchased for certain resort amenities, and resort fees may apply.
Michigan Family Resorts: Shanty Creek Resorts, Bellaire
Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire is a 4-seasons family resort in Michigan with lots of fun attractions for kids and families. Amenities range from indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, a children’s playground, and lake beach club, as well as on-site restaurants and shops. Shanty Creek Resorts is close to local hotspots and entertainment options, as well as destinations for hiking, biking, and water sports. In wintertime, family-friendly snowsports can be found on nearby Schuss Mountain, including skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Resort fees or additional charges for some amenities may apply.
Lake Michigan Family Resorts: The Homestead Resort, Glen Arbor
The Homestead Resort is a family resort on Lake Michigan, with family attractions and plenty of natural beauty to enjoy nearby. In winter the resort houses on-site skiing trails, with additional options for snowsports nearby including snowboarding, tubing, and snowshoeing. Summer family activities include lake watersports and swimming, hiking, and sports. Close to popular destinations like Sleeping Bear Sand Dune beach and Sleeping Bear Point, as well as the Crystal River and the Manitou Islands. Additional resort fees or amenity charges may apply, see website for more information.
Lake Michigan Family Vacations to Lake Michigan Beach
Family vacations on Lake Michigan Beach are sure to be memorable, with multiple beautiful beaches and plenty of family-friendly entertainment options in the area. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Lake Michigan Beach Park are great spots for family fun in and around the water. You can explore the Glen Haven Historical Village, enjoy scenic trails for walking, hiking, and biking, as well as cultural destinations like the Maritime Museum.
Lake Michigan Family Vacations to Muskegon
You’ll find plenty of Michigan attractions for kids in Muskegon, known for its lively family-friendly entertainment spots. Kids can hop aboard the floating USS Silversides Submarine Museum, or play on the beautiful sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. For thrill rides and coasters, or to cool off in the summer, check out Michigan’s Adventure Amusement and Water Park. Head to the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park for a wheeled luge ride, 2 acres of outdoor ice skating, and trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. You can also visit coastal lighthouses, tour historic sites, and visit multiple cultural museums in Muskegon.
Island vacation on Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island is a great spot for Michigan family vacations, known as the jewel of the Great Lakes. The island is perfect for exploring by bike, you can bring your own or rent them on-site after your ferry trip from the mainland. Kids love the guided carriage tours offered on Mackinac island, as well as the handcrafted sweet treats from local fudge shops. You can tour historic buildings and Fort Mackinac, as well as explore butterfly conservancies and play some miniature golf.
Upper peninsula vacation in Munising
Munising houses Michigan’s famed Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, known for beautiful waterfalls and colorful sandstone cliffs towering above Lake Superior. Within the national park, you can explore scenic hiking and biking trails, as well as kayaking, fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Take a glass-bottom boat tour and explore fascinating shipwrecks off the coast, or explore historic sites including lighthouses and Grand Island. There are plenty of family-friendly activities available year-round in Munising.
Upper peninsula vacation in Ironwood
Ironwood is a great destination for a Michigan family vacation in the Upper Peninsula. There’s tons of wild nature to explore within the Penokee Range, from high bluffs and deep gorges to rivers and lakes. Ironwood is known for spectacular views of the northern lights, as well as for Copper Peak with its adventure ride and ski flying hill. On Mt. Zion you’ll find year-round family attractions, including a northern lights overlook, mountain biking, snow tubing park, and winter snow sports. If you have a kid who loves trains, check out the Old Depot Museum for a restored railroad yard.
Riverfront vacation to Bay City
Bay City sits just below Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, offering a good mix of historical landmarks, modern entertainment, and attractions for kids in Michigan. With a small-town riverfront vibe, Bay City is a great environment for families where you can hop aboard a tall ship for a cruising tour around the bay, grab an ice cream in historic downtown, and wear out the kids on a pedal trolley. Explore the Antique Toy and Fire Truck Museum, or climb aboard the floating Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum, and check out the amazing views at the planetarium.
City adventure in Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids offers a great balance of cool urban city vibes, family-friendly attractions, and cultural destinations, perfect for a Michigan family vacation. Destinations include the children’s garden at Meijer Gardens, a zoo and aquatic center, a children’s museum, and the Grand Rapids African American Museum. You’ll also find gaming and entertainment complexes, escape rooms, cinemas, and theaters. Grand Rapids is also a good destination for families with specific sensory-based needs, with places like the John Ball Zoo and Grand Rapids Public Museum providing resources like sensory bags, weighted lap pads, and other accommodations year-round.
Small-town getaway in Saugatuck
Saugatuck is perfect for a small-town getaway on a Lake Michigan family vacation. You’ll find scenic parks and pristine beaches, a charming downtown area, and a thriving culture around art and live music. You can create artwork and crafts at the Art Barn, wander through maker’s markets and art galleries, and listen to live music at local hotspots. Nature lovers can stroll the shoreline at Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area, or explore the trails in Saugatuck Dunes State Park. You can also get out on the water for a double-decker paddle-boat tour, or enjoy a sunset on the water in a kayak or canoe.
Charming family trips to Frankenmuth
Frankenmuth is known as Michigan’s Little Bavaria, full of charming Bavarian architecture, German heritage, and delectable food and drink offerings. This town is all about hosting fun, family-friendly festivals and cultural celebrations including the Bavarian Festival, Autofest, Oktoberfest, Zehnder’s Snowfest, and the Frankenmuth Dog Bowl. Kid-friendly attractions include two different indoor water parks, an aerial zip-lining park, and entertainment centers. You’ll also find guided tour options ranging from horse-drawn carriage rides to pedal trolleys and riverboat cruises to explore this quaint town.
Downtown family vacation in Ann Arbor
Families particularly enjoy Ann Arbor walkable downtown area, full of lively local hotspots and family-friendly attractions. The city hosts tons of kid-friendly events and festivals throughout the year, from planetarium shows to art festivals, live music, and performances. You can explore child-sized exhibits at the Hands-On Museum, as well as local destinations including a science and nature center, creature conservancy, and a petting zoo. Many of the city’s microbreweries are family-friendly, so you can enjoy a pint even with the kids in tow.
Nature-filled getaway in Traverse City
Traverse City offers year-round entertainment for families, from spring cherry blossom tours and summer fun on the beach, to fall apple orchards and winter snow sports. Nearby you can explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and scale the massive Dune Climb if you’re up for a challenge. Kid-friendly attractions include a science and discovery center, theme park, mini-golf and gaming, art centers, and a children’s museum. You can also enjoy annual events like the National Cherry Festival, Blossom Day, and food and drink festivals.
City adventures with the kids in Detroit
There are so many things to do with kids in Detroit, especially for families with kids of different ages. You can explore Bell Island Park, a lush island park with an aquarium, visit the Henry Ford Museum, or the Detroit Institute of the Arts. Family attractions also include the Motown Museum, Michigan Science Center, a botanical conservancy, and a zoo, plus adventure parks and entertainment centers. There are plenty of cool neighborhoods to explore in Detroit, each offering unique styles from the Eastern Market to Greektown, the Entertainment District, Rivertown, and Midtown.
Vacation in Michigan’s capital city, Lansing
Lansing offers tons of family attractions in Michigan’s capital city, from visiting the State Capital building, playing in parks, and exploring cultural destinations. You can check out animals at the Potter Park Zoo, or head to the Oldsmobile Museum for vintage cars and automobile history. You’ll find hands-on exhibits for kids at the Impression 5 Science Center, and beautifully landscaped themed gardens at the Botanical Garden.