6 Michigan Cities for a Fun, Low-Cost Spring Break Trip

A Healthier Michigan

| 4 min read

Butterflies at Frederik Meijer Gardens
Planning on staying close to home over spring break? Living in Michigan offers plenty of exciting destinations, many reachable on one tank of gas!
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 six to get you started:


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 iconic Zingerman’s Deli for delicious sandwiches.


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 the popular “Butterflies are Blooming” exhibit filled with butterflies through April. 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 ROAM by San Chez for a globally-inspired feast featuring takes on street food from around the world.

Traverse City

Best known for its amazing beaches in the summer, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy in Traverse City in the spring. 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.


This picturesque Upper Peninsula locale combines a fun college town atmosphere with a quaint small-town U.P. vibe. The home of Northern Michigan University offers so much to do while in town, including the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, Marquette Maritime Museum and iconic Iron Ore Docks. There are also great natural sites, like gorgeous waterfalls, that are just a stone’s throw away!
Don’t feel like leaving town at all? Be a backyard tourist and explore what your local library, museums and community centers have planned for spring break – you might be surprised at all the fun you can have right at home!
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Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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