5 Michigan Cities for a Fun, Low-Cost Spring Break Trip
If you’re a kid, spring break is amazing: A week off from school and the excitement of knowing that summer is right around the corner! But if you’re a parent, spring break can be anything-but-great. All of a sudden you have children at home with nothing to do and a week of time to fill. Don’t think you need to plan some expensive trip down south to have fun—taking your family on mini getaways to closer-to-home destinations can be just as fun and a whole lot more affordable. There are lots of cities you can visit in Michigan, but here are five to get you started:
- Frankenmuth: Located in the heart of mid-Michigan, Frankenmuth – known as Little Bavaria – is an ideal place for families to visit during the spring. Frankenmuth is home to delicious restaurants, including the Bavarian Inn and Zehnder’s, which feature German cuisine served by staff in traditional German costumes. Kids also will like Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel and Waterpark, which has more than 50,000 square feet of aquatic fun, including a family raft ride, activity pool, water basketball and volleyball.
- Ann Arbor: This unique city, which is home to the University of Michigan, prides itself on its vibrant atmosphere and appreciation for the arts. If you’re heading there for a day with your kids, be sure to check out the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. It features nine unique galleries with more than 250 interactive exhibits. After you’ve walked around the museum and explored downtown, be sure to stop into Zingerman’s Delicatessen for delicious sandwiches.
- Detroit: It’s the biggest city in Michigan and it’s full of attractions for children and adults alike. The Detroit Zoo, which is home to more than 3,300 animals and sees over one million visitors each year, has an amazing Butterfly Garden and Arctic Ring of Life – North America’s largest polar bear exhibit. If the weather is nice, you can also take your family for a bike ride along the Detroit Riverfront. Wheelhouse Detroit offers bikes for rent and you can get one with a child seat on the back. After you’ve explored the Riverfront, be sure to head to American Coney Island—a family-owned spot that’s been around since 1917 and is home of the original “Coney Dog.”
- Grand Rapids: Grand Rapids, on the west side of the state, is an ideal spot for families that are looking for a combination of culture and recreation. Make sure you stop by Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park and its conservatory, which features more than 6,000 butterflies. Another must-see for families is the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, which offers an array of interactive programs and exhibits. After a fun-filled day, head to the Twisted Rooster, where your kids can enjoy macaroni and cheese and other local eats.
- Traverse City: Best known for its amazing beaches in the summer, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy in Traverse City year-round. Perhaps your family could spend a day at Great Wolf Lodge – the indoor water park with more than 38,000 square feet of water rides. Or head to the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, where children can learn about the Great Lakes watershed as they pilot freighters, become raindrops in the water cycle and splash around in the “water table” – a free-flowing water installation that’s the museum’s most popular exhibit.
Interested in more Michigan destinations? Check out these other blogs:
- The Ultimate Michigan Road Trip: 6 Days in the U.P.
- Get Out and Explore Michigan’s Fitness-Friendly Destinations
- Destination Michigan: Best Stops for a Quick Weekend Getaway
This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan
Photo credit: Chris Toe Pher