Family-Friendly Travel Ideas!

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

Getaways with the whole family are always a special time. It's where new experiences are had, memories are made, and laughter and enjoyment are truly boundless. Thankfully, Michigan offers a plethora of options for adventures the whole family could enjoy. Come along as we explore some of the best family vacation destinations and attractions around Michigan.

For indoor water park fun, venture to Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, home to a 38,000 square-foot indoor water park kept at a toasty 84 degrees year-round. In addition to the water-centric fun, the resort also offers a wide array of attractions, such as mini golf, an arcade and mini bowling, and events including arts & crafts, character appearances, a Hustle & Howl Dance Party and more.

Stunning views are always on deck for families at SkyBridge Michigan, the world's longest timber-towered suspension bridge located at Boyne Mountain. Overlooking Boyne Valley, SkyBridge allows families to walk across the 1,200-foot-long, 118-foot-high pedestrian bridge to soak up some truly stunning views. There's also a scenic ride up to the bridge, thanks to a two-person chairlift! Don't forget to enjoy nearby lawn games and seating, in addition to catching a bite to eat at the Eagle's Nest and SkyBridge Michigan Food Truck.

In Cadillac, families could now take advantage of a new off-road vehicle (ORV) initiative which allows for exploration of the region's miles of off-road vehicle trails. The initiative maps out a 100-plus mile scenic ride in western Wexford County that families could enjoy, and the addition of trail signage, maps and a website helps ORVers safely navigate accessible ORV roads in the area. Whether families are hoping to get outside on the trails during the summer months or enjoy nature when the winter months end up being more mild, they can now do so responsibly and safely thanks to this new initiative.

If learning history and gazing into the past sounds like a great time for the whole family, make the trek up to Munising in the UP! It's here you'll find Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tours, which takes guests on a two-hour fully narrated excursion of two Lake Superior shipwrecks, Bermuda (1860-1870) and the Herman H. Hettler (1889-1926). Available seasonally, these tours allow passengers to admire the shipwrecks through underwater viewing wells, in addition to enjoying up-close views of the historic East Channel Lighthouse and the beautiful rock cliffs of Grand Island.

When it comes to museums, families have choices upon choices in Michigan, especially in Detroit and surrounding cities like Dearborn. Make a day of it by visiting several of them for a well-rounded and educational family outing: The Arab American National Museum, the only museum in the nation that celebrates the contributions and history of Arab Americans; the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, dedicated to exploring and celebrating the rich cultural legacy of African Americans; and the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, full of exhibits and artifacts allowing families to experience the strides of America's greatest minds. Also worth exploring is the Michigan Science Center, home to over 220 interactive exhibits, a planetarium, live stage shows and more.

At Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park, families can pick and choose a variety of ways to get their outdoor thrills, no matter what time of year it is! In the summer, choose from exciting options like a 1,400-foot-long dual zip line, a 38-foot-high outdoor rock climbing wall, archery lessons and more. When it's a bit cooler outside, decide between options like a 850-foot-long luge track (one of only four in the U.S.), a snowshoe trail hike through Muskegon State Park, and outdoor ice skating (perfect for beginners) and pond hockey.

Just north of Muskegon is Michigan's Adventure & WildWater Adventure Waterpark, ideal for families eager to get their adrenaline pumping. Recognized as the state's largest amusement park and water park, Michigan's Adventure offers families more than 60 world-class rides, slides, unique attractions and events throughout the season. Young families will especially love nearby Camp Snoopy, a Peanuts-themed kids' area with rides and a large climb-and-play structure.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.

This article originally appeared in the Jun/Jul '24 issue of West Michigan Woman.

 Photo Courtesy of Boyne/Skybridge Michigan. 


More stories you'll love