Fun, fun and more fun! Northern Michigan is a great place to be for families of all ages! While we all know how to find the adult fun, there is no shortage of kid fun, too. For those days and evenings you’re looking for something new to try or an adventure to begin, take a look at some of our favorite kid-friendly, fun activities below.
Catch A Flick
Whether you’re escaping the rain, or in need of a short break from the beating sun – try a movie! Petoskey Cinema offers 8 theaters, with something for everyone. For a more quaint and charming vibe, head to the Lyric Theater in downtown Harbor Springs. Offering three smaller theaters, we recommend purchasing your tickets in advance. A little further north? The Courtyard Cinema in Mackinaw City! When the movie is over, you’ll be near the children’s playground and close to dining options.
Climbing & Sliding & Swinging, Oh My
No matter where you are in northern Michigan, you’re not far from a playground. Pack the cooler and head out for a day of playground hopping. What’s even better? Some of them are located next to our beautiful lakes – what a view! The Alanson playground is a favorite! Or, head up the hill to the school. Just down the road, Sanctuary Island is a great place to connect with nature and wave to the boaters as they cruise up and down the Crooked River. Each public elementary school in Petoskey is paired with a unique adventure – Ottawa, Central, Sheridan, Lincoln and Concord. Or, head down to the waterfront to the playground at the clock tower, one section is very toddler friendly while the other side is fun for the bigger kids. And we’re not done yet! Head West toward Charlevoix and you’ll pass East Park. A scenic overlook of Little Traverse Bay and a ton-of-fun for the kids. Bathrooms and covered eating area nearby. At Michigan Beach in Charlevoix, kids will be covered in sand as they run from the water to the slide and swings – sure makes for a fun day! Ferry Avenue Beach offers it all – sandy beach, covered eating area and play structures. This is a must!
Run The Energy Out… If That’s Even Possible
On wheels or on foot – The Little Traverse Wheelway provides a safe path all the way from Charlevoix to Bay Harbor to Petoskey to Bay View to Harbor Springs. Hop on an cruise the whole thing, or hop for a shorter adventure. The North Western State Trail begins in Alanson and continues North to Mackinaw City.
Miniature Golf, Go Karts & Batting Cages & More
Pirates Cove in Petoskey offers a complete pirate experience for a round of miniature golf. Sunken ship, waterfall and hanging shark! Great American Adventures in Petoskey has a little something for everyone – go karts, mini golf, batting cages, water wars and driving range.
On The Water
If it’s time on the water they love, check out Oden State Fish Hatchery – one of the most advanced fish culture facilities of its kind! At Big Bear Adventures in Indian River families may canoe, kayak, raft and tube down the river. Have fun on the adventure golf course or the ropes challenge course and Bumper Boats! Whether it’s a first, or you have seasoned professional, rent a kayak or paddle board for hours of fun! To read about our favorite beaches in norther Michigan, click here! Make fun memories searching the shorelines of Little Traverse Bay to collect your own Petoskey Stones. Learn some tips for the treasure hunt here.
Petoskey Rocks! – Carriage Rides, Movie in the Park at Dark
Listen to music and enjoy the quaint downtown atmosphere while walking the streets from 6 to 8 pm. But the real kid-fun begins a little later. Spread out a blanket, open up the lawn chairs – the movie in the park starts at dark! It’s quickly becoming a favorite tradition. Arrive early enough to pick out a sweet treat from one of our downtown favorites – Kilwin’s, Murdick’s or American Spoon Gelato!
July 14 – Moana
July 21 – The Big Friendly Giant
July 28 – La La Land
August 4 – Finding Dory
August 11 – Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them
The evening also includes horse-drawn carriage rides, music in the park and a ghost walk. Learn more about PetoskeyRocks! here.
No matter the season, there is always something fun to do in northern Michigan! Tell us your favorite.