Designed for kids, these mindfully planned Traverse City spots are both educational and fun, rain or shine. Find things to do with kids in Traverse City from twenty-five cent matinees, art activities, laser tag, Great Lakes ecology and much more!
Take the kids because they’re aching to go, but don’t forget to have some fun yourself. With two 18-hole mini golf courses (voted the best in Michigan by AAA), go-carts, zip-lines, a ropes course and full arcade, there’s no reason the whole family won’t smile. 1710 U.S. 31 N., TRAVERSE CITY, 231.938.9599, PIRATESCOVE.NET.
Great Lakes Children’s Museum
A captivating rainy-day spot to bring young kids, this hands-on venue is equal parts entertainment and education. Children learn all about the magnificent 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. $6 for all day admission; kids under age 2 are free. 13240 S. WEST BAY SHORE DR., TRAVERSE CITY, 231.932.4526, GREATLAKESKIDS.ORG.
Dennos Museum Discovery Gallery
A solid bet for kids of all ages, this permanent gallery at Dennos puts a focus on both the arts and sciences. Highlights include the Laser Harp, Anti-Gravity Mirror, Sound Wall (an interactive sculpture that creates music when you touch it), and the Hubble Space Telescope Theater, which features an ongoing transmission from NASA. 1701 E. FRONT ST., TRAVERSE CITY, 231.995.1055, DENNOSMUSEUM.ORG.
A great rainy-day destination, Lucky Jack’s is the largest indoor spot for family fun in Northern Michigan. Choose from laser tag, eight billiard tables, 33 lanes of bowling, bumper cars, or the 12,000-square-foot arcade. Classic pub grub and pizza onsite for when you’re ready to recharge. 1705 S. GARFIELD AVE., TRAVERSE CITY, 231.946.2610, LUCKYJACKS.COM.
State Theatre Children’s Matinee
Other than a day at a public beach, there’s no cheaper way to entertain the kids than a Saturday morning matinee at the historic State Theatre. A 10 a.m. show will set you back just 25 cents a person—the same price the theatre charged when it first opened as The Lyric back in 1916 (25 cents would equal $5.20 in today’s dollars, fyi.). Schedule online. 233 E. FRONT ST., TRAVERSE CITY, 231-947-4800, STATETHEATRETC.ORG.
Handz On Art
A paint-your-own pottery studio that’s the perfect outlet for the little artist in the family—not to mention a chance to bring home a memento of the trip Up North for grandma and grandpa. TCHANDZONART.COM.
Laser tag, bowling—fun for the entire family. Fill ‘em up after they play with pasta and pizza at adjoining Sauce restaurant. 1355 SILVER LAKE CROSSING BLVD., GRAWN, 231.944.1355, INCREDIBLEMOS.COM.