Michigan is a state that has a lot to offer families looking for fun and affordable activities. From the shores of Lake Michigan to the rolling hills of the Upper Peninsula, Michigan has plenty of options for families to explore without breaking the bank. Here are ten free things that families can do in Michigan to make memories that will last a lifetime.
10 Free Things to Do In Michigan
Visit Sleeping Bear Dunes
Sleeping Bear Dunes is a national lakeshore located in the northwest part of the state near Traverse City. This area is known for its towering sand dunes, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views of Lake Michigan. Visitors can explore the dunes by hiking along scenic trails or taking a dune climb to the top of the towering sand dunes.
Check out Mackinac Island
Mackinac Island is a charming island located in the Straits of Mackinac between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Visitors can explore the island’s historic buildings, take a carriage ride around the island, or hike along its scenic trails. Families can also enjoy the island’s famous fudge shops and restaurants.
Visit the Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts is a world-renowned art museum located in Detroit. The museum offers free admission for all visitors, and families can enjoy a range of exhibits that showcase art from around the world.
Explore the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History is located in Ann Arbor and offers free admission for all visitors. The museum features a range of exhibits and displays that explore the natural history of Michigan and the Great Lakes region, including a full-sized mastodon skeleton and interactive exhibits that are perfect for kids.
Take a trip to the Michigan State Capitol
The Michigan State Capitol is located in Lansing and offers free tours of the historic building. Families can learn about Michigan’s political history and take a stroll around the beautiful Capitol grounds.
The Michigan State Capitol is located in Lansing and serves as the home of Michigan’s government. The building was completed in 1879 and is one of the oldest and most historic capitol buildings in the United States.
Visitors to the Michigan State Capitol can take a free guided tour of the building, which includes a visit to the rotunda, the House and Senate chambers, and the historic governor’s office. The tour provides visitors with a fascinating insight into Michigan’s political history and architecture.
Walk through the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is located in Grand Rapids and offers free admission for all visitors on Tuesdays. The park features a range of outdoor gardens, including a Japanese garden and a children’s garden, as well as a collection of world-class sculptures.
Visit the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is a museum located in Kalamazoo that offers free admission for all visitors. The museum features a range of exhibits and displays that showcase art from around the world, as well as special events and educational programs for families.
Take a hike in Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Tahquamenon Falls State Park is located in the Upper Peninsula and offers free admission for all visitors. Families can enjoy hiking along the park’s scenic trails, exploring its beautiful waterfalls, and taking in the stunning views of the surrounding forests and lakes.
Walk along the Mackinac Bridge
The Mackinac Bridge is one of Michigan’s most iconic landmarks, and families can walk across the bridge for free during the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk, which takes place every Labor Day.
Visit the Huron-Manistee National Forests
The Huron-Manistee National Forests offer families a chance to explore Michigan’s beautiful wilderness areas. Visitors can hike along scenic trails, camp in the forest, or enjoy water activities such as fishing and kayaking.
One of the highlights of the Huron-Manistee National Forests is its network of hiking trails, which includes over 330 miles of trails that wind through forests, wetlands, and rolling hills. These trails offer a chance for visitors to explore the natural beauty of Michigan and spot wildlife such as deer, birds, and black bears.
The Huron-Manistee National Forests are also home to a number of campgrounds, which offer a variety of camping experiences from primitive campsites to modern RV sites. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, and swimming, as well as scenic drives along the forest’s winding roads.
In addition to its natural attractions, the Huron-Manistee National Forests are also home to a number of historic and cultural sites. The Au Sable Light Station, located in the eastern part of the forest, is a historic lighthouse that was built in 1874 and is open to visitors. The Big Manistee River is also home to the site of an old logging camp, which has been preserved and is open for visitors to explore.
Final Thoughts on Free Things to Do In Michigan
Michigan has a wealth of free activities that families can enjoy, from exploring natural areas like Sleeping Bear Dunes and the Huron-Manistee National Forests to visiting museums and cultural institutions like the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. These activities offer opportunities for families with children to make memories and learn new things.