It’s no secret that there are endless things to do in Northern Michigan outdoors, but the age-old question is: what do you do with kids if it rains? Here are 10 fun answers to what to do with kids on a rainy day in Traverse City.
- Follow the scent of the popcorn and catch a flick at the beautifully restored State Theatre on Front Street in downtown Traverse City. Kids can catch a matinee each Saturday morning for just 25 cents. 231.947.4800.
- A solid bet for kids of all ages, the Dennos Museum Discovery Gallery is a permanent display with 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. 231.955.1055.
- Along with the kid-focused exhibits at Traverse City’s Dennos Museum, the Great Lakes Children’s Museum is 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 Drive, Traverse City, 231.932.4526,
- Have an artful afternoon with the kids at one of two resources: KidzArt at it’s new location, 121 E. Front Street Suite 102, downtown Traverse City, and allow them to explore their creative side with classes for all ages, Monday through Saturday. 231.421.1222.
- Hands on Art, in the warehouse district at 144 Hall St. Suite A, is a paint your own pottery studio located in beautiful downtown Traverse City, Michigan, Monday through Saturday. 231-941-5071
- While the kids are getting creative, the parents can get a taste (or two) of what some of the local artisan breweries have to offer at Right Brain Brewery on 16th Street in Traverse City. Watch this ‘Virtual Sip’ video and just try to resist the urge to check this fun, lively brewery out. 231.944.1239.
- For a low-key venture, head to Horizon Books on East Front Street in downtown Traverse City and order up steaming tea from their cafe—and bring back a new novel to curl up with by the cottage fire. 231.946.7290.
- Calm your mind and tighten your core with a yoga, pilates or spinning class at Yen Yoga and Fitness on East Front Street in downtown Traverse City. The center even has child and teen classes, so the whole family can get fit this summer. 231.421.5496.
- Take a cooking class at the Great Lakes Culinary School at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City and impress your friends and family with newfound cupcake decorating, steak grilling, or vegetable canning skills. Click here to register. 800.748.0566.
- Not in the mood to cook? Dine at downtown Traverse City’s Georgina’s, the summer’s newest and biggest hit in Northern Michigan. Chef Tony greets diners at their table and talks through the authentic menu of Latin and Thai cuisine. 439 E. Front Street .
- Take the whole family to either of these indoor-entertaining favorites: Have a full-family competition at the indoor arcade at Pirate’s Cove. And if the rain’s cleared by the time you’ve made the rounds, hit up the 18-hole mini golf courses, go-carts, zipe-lines, and ropes course, 1710 US 31. At Lucky Jack’s, 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.
Rain or shine, you don’t have to look far to find an activity for the whole family to enjoy in Traverse City this summer.