11 Best Things to Do in Southeast Michigan with Kids
Legoland Discovery Center
4240 Baldwin Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground where families with young kids can build, create and play together.
At LEGOLAND Discovery Center, you’ll enjoy two interactive LEGO rides, a 4D cinema showing 4 different movies, MINILAND—where dozens of Detroit-area landmarks are built entirely out of LEGO bricks, a Creative workshop where you can take a class from an expert builder, Build & Test play zones, and more. Uncover an incredible indoor world where LEGO experiences and rides join forces with hands-on creation to make a fun-packed family playdate.
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Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum
220 E Ann St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
This is the perfect place for kids in Michigan to get their hands on just about anything. Located right in downtown Ann Arbor in a former fire station, this interactive museum is as delightful for children as it is for adults.
Enjoy features such as the permanent H2O exhibit with a wide variety of hands-on water activities; the Keep Smiling exhibit which encourages oral health; Block Party, which features stackable foam blocks; the Tornado Vortex, which teaches about the weather, and more.
All of these exhibits will engage both you and your child, either through building something, observing something, and experiencing something they’ve never experienced before.
PRO-TIP: Become a Museum member to gain free admission into the museum otherwise, tickets are $16 dollars for both children and adults.
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Belle Isle State Park
2 Inselruhe Avenue, Detroit, MI 48207
Did you know there’s an island oasis in southeast Michigan filled with kid-friendly fun? Belle Isle is jam-packed with things to do all year long.
Whether you want to visit animals at the zoo; peek in at some native Michigan fish at the aquarium; or simply enjoy the great outdoors by fishing, biking, or hiking, Belle Isle has it all.
Enjoy a family picnic by the Detroit River, or swing off the monkey bars at one of many of the Belle Isle playgrounds.
If you’re looking for options that do not include an admission charge, look no further than the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. Over 100 years old, the conservatory homes many exotic and tropical plants for your kids to ogle at, and we’ll bet you’ll do the same.
PRO-TIP: Bring your camera: there is an eagle that calls the island home and there’s a good chance you might catch a glimpse.
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SEA LIFE Michgan Aquarium
4316 Baldwin Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Bring your family to visit SEA LIFE, Michigan’s largest Aquarium, and experience some ocean magic. Come face-to-fin with over 250 species and 2,000+ creatures including sharks, rays, and green sea turtles.
Get hands-on with a ‘splash’-tacular sea star or sticky anemone at the Touchpool and then walk through Michigan’s only 180-degree ocean tunnel! ‘Sea’ what other amazing discoveries you’ll uncover when you visit SEA LIFE Aquarium!
Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford
20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI 48124
It’s a given that little kids love trains, and most big ones, do, too. At Henry Ford’s living history museum, you can create memories as you ride a steam-powered rail line around the Village’s 80 acres. You can ride in an old-fashioned Model-T, too.
Greenfield Village, part of the Henry Ford Museum just outside of Detroit, is full of historical landmarks to introduce your young ones to science and industry in the most inspiring way possible.
From the Menlo Park laboratory where Thomas Edison first had his light bulb moment, to the Wright brothers’ bicycle shop where they made their dreams of flying planes a reality, this historical site is a must-see for any child’s Michigan bucket list.
Don’t miss a dizzyingly fun time on a carousel made out of gorgeously carved animals that you (and your kids) can sit on. Greenfield Village is also equipped with a playground, and they celebrate each holiday with special kid-friendly events.
Once the kids are tuckered out and hungry, take them to one of the few dining options in the village for some historic delicious food.
PRO-TIP: The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is one of the top museums in the country and features some top-rated permanent and traveling exhibits. A favorite at this science museum is the Your Place in Time exhibit, where you can see everyday artifacts that defined us over the past century. On the same campus, you can also take a factory tour to see how cars are assembled.
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Detroit Institute of Art
5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202
Located in the heart of the Motor City, the Detroit Institute of Art is one of the biggest and most significant collections of carefully crafted art in the USA, with over 100 galleries.
Recognized for stellar collections of American paintings from the 19th century and Dutch, Flemish, and Italian paintings from the Renaissance through the Baroque period, this art museum is an easy spot to visit with kids.
They’ll love climbing the spiral staircase to the medieval gallery, where they can suit suits of armor and other amazing artifacts of old.
PRO-TIP: Make plans to visit the sculpture park at the nearby College for Creative Studies, located at 460 W Baltimore St, Detroit, MI 48202.
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Peppa Pig World of Play
4362 Baldwin Rd, Auburn Hills, MI 48326
Peppa Pig World of Play is an indoor play center that’s perfect for families with young children. You and your little piggies will enjoy exploring (and playing in!) more than a dozen free-roaming play areas, all lovingly inspired by the cherished TV series.
This indoor attraction for families is located at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets and is perfect for children ages 1-year-old to 8-years-old. You’ll explore 14 oink-tastic play areas: Peppa’s Treehouse, Rebecca Rabbit’s Underground Adventure, George’s Fort, Granddad Dog’s Garage, Madame Gazelle’s School Bus, and more!
Upland Hills Farm
481 Lake George Rd, Oxford, MI 48370
Get in a nice farm visit with horses, cows, pigs, and sheep, at this southeast Michigan poultry farm. You can also experience some awesome seasonal events like their spectacular harvest festival in the fall.
The great thing about Upland Hills Farm is that they also offer summer camps for kids: a perfect option for kids who love animals and the great outdoors of Michigan.
PRO-TIP: The children’s petting zoo here is really top-notch. The animals are well-tended and care-for, which makes the experience even more pleasant for all.
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Michigan Science Center
5020 John R St, Detroit, MI 48202
Located in the heart of Metro Detroit this Science Center is perfect for educating your kids in a fun and interactive way. Check out the countless galleries to educate your kids on anything from space, and nanoscience to the science behind the making of steel.
PRO-TIP: Equipped with a planetarium and many other theaters you can sit back and relax while a booming voice teaches you everything you need to know about what you are seeing. Tickets are priced at just $14 dollars for kids and $18 for adults.
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Parmenter’s Northville Cider Mill
714 Base Line Rd, Northville, MI 48167
Cider Mills are the perfect place to take the kids on a chilly Autumn day. A special treat here is watching how the cider gets pressed through the viewing window.
Afterward, you can enjoy a nice steaming cup of hot cider with their homemade donuts, or choose from one of the other tasty treats.
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University of Michigan
500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
The University of Michigan is much more than just a University, in fact, and exploring this iconic campus offers a fun time for all ages. Get in for free at the Natural History Museum and catch a planetarium viewing under the stars.
Check out exhibits such as the whale evolution exhibit to see how whales have evolved over thousands of years. After the planetarium check out one of the observatories, and see the stars and planets for yourself with your own eyes.
PRO-TIP: The University of Michigan also offers childcare services as well as youth programs such as the Music Youth Program.
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About the Author –
Charlotte Dennison is a content creation intern at My Michigan Beach. She grew up in Vermont and has summertime family ties to the great state of Michigan in both Ann Arbor and Lake Hamlin. In addition to content creation, she spends her time studying writing, editing, and publishing at Emmanuel College in Boston. Writing has been her dream since the start of high school, and she hopes to turn content creating into a life-long career. Charlotte is jazzed to be interning at MyMichiganBeach.com. Outside of writing Charlotte enjoys curling up with a Stephen King novel and her cat on rainy city days.