Traverse City National Cherry Festival Kids Event Guide

Traverse City National Cherry Festival: The annual National Cherry Festival brings out the kid in all of us. The National Cherry Festival revels in the kid-fun spirit, packing the week with fun activities and events for your kids. Petting zoos, turtle races, pie eating contests, and so much more awaits your family at the 2012 National Cherry Festival in Traverse City. Want to know the best part, Mom and Dad? Most are free!

Kids' Big Wheel Race

July 7, 2012 10:00 a.m.

On your mark–get set–go! to one of the most popular of all the National Cherry Festival kids' events. Registration is 9:00-9:45 a.m. with no fee required. Equipment will be available for out-of-town guests. No rubber wheels or altered wheels for added traction will be allowed. For ages 3 to 6.

Kids' Festival Matinee

July 7, 2012 10:00 a.m.

Join the State Theatre in Traverse City for fun, games and a fun movie! Movie: Journey to the Center of the Earth.Tickets will be available at the TC State Theatre. Admission is free. First come first accommodated as seating is limited.

Kids Arts and Crafts

July 8, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Create your own individual National Cherry Festival masterpiece. Open to all kids ages 4-12. No fee required and no early registration. First come first accommodated as supplies last.

Kids' Cherry Teddy Bear Tea

July 8, 2012 3:30 p.m.

Calling all kids and teddy bear companions! Bring your favorite bear and blanket for a fun filled afternoon in the park. Enjoy story telling, making a teddy bear craft, and of course an afternoon tea party with other teddy bears and kids. Parents are welcome.    

Kids' Bubble Gum Blow

July 9, 2012 10:00 a.m.

Kids, come and compete against others your age to blow the biggest bubble you can. Prizes for everyone! Registration will be held from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m. for ages 4 to 12. No fee required.    

Cherry Connection: Bringing Together Festival, Farm, and Fruit

July 9-13, 2012 10:00 a.m.

Visit a 100 acre productive orchard in beautiful Leelanau County, where fruit and festival come together at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Station operated by Michigan State University Extension. Besides the guided orchard tours, there are exhibits and samples of the newest cherry products and technology inside the station. There are all sorts of "cherry" fun for the kids, including a petting zoo, hands-on experiments, kids poster coloring contest and many other activities.

Kids' Cherry Pie Eating Contest

July 9, 10 & 12, 2012 1:00 p.m.

A kids' favorite and a mecca of photo opportunities for the amateur photographer. Age classifications from pre-school to 12 years old.

Kids' Turtle Races

July 9, 2012 3:00 p.m.

A competitive event for kids, ages 3 – 9 yrs, to race their turtle. Bring your own special turtle or borrow one of ours to compete in the race. Registration begins at 2:30 p.m. No fee required.    

Kids' Pet Show

July 10, 2012 10:00 a.m.

One of the most popular kids events with registration from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Entries are open to "Live" pets, and categories include Ugliest Mutt, Best Dressed Pet, Most Unusual Pet, Fat Cat, Pet & Owner Look Alike, and Best Dressed Ensemble. Event is open to kids 5 – 10 yrs old. Animals must be under control by the participant. No fee required.

Fun and Games for Special Kids

July 11, 2012 9:00 a.m.

A fun-filled morning for hearing, visually, physically impaired, and developmentally disabled children. Activities include a petting zoo, pie making, an obstacle course, face painting and a trip to the Midway where they will be hosted by Ivan and Agnes Arnold of Arnold Amusements.

Kids' Bicycle Rodeo

July 11, 2012 10:00 a.m.

A timed obstacle course for age groups 5/6, 7/8, and 9/10 year-olds. Boys and Girls have their own heats in each age category. Children must bring their own bikes and helmets to participate. Registration starts at 9:00 a.m and ends at 9:45 a.m. No fee required.    

Petting Zoo

July 11, 2012 11:00 a.m.

Sheep and goats and camels, oh my! Visit all your furry friends at this free event–see over 30 different animals from a giant tortoise to a lumbering camel and more! A few baby animals will be making an appearance too, so be sure to stop by!

Kids' Cherry Town Fun Night

July 11, 2012 4:00pm

Kids, bring your family for a fun-filled evening of entertainment for all ages. Many performers, hands-on activities, food and all-around enjoyment. No fee required.    

Kids' Fun and Games

July 12, 2012 9:00 a.m.

A morning of games and activities for children 5 to 12 years old. Kids will enjoy face painting, puppet shows, numerous games, and more! No fee required.

Grand Traverse Pie Make and Bake

July 12, 2012 10:00am

Make your very own Signature Cherry Pie at the National Cherry Festival, bake it and take it home with you! Kids 12 and under are welcome…first come first accommodated! A $3 donation can be made to help support the Traverse Bay Childrens Advocacy Center.

Carter's Kids Festival Fun Run and Walk

July 12, 6:00 p.m.

Sign your little athletes up for the First Annual Carter Kids Festival Fun Run and Walk, a one-mile race organized by Carter Oosterhouse for his non-profit Carter's Kids.

Cherry Idol Auditions

July 13, 2012 9:00 a.m.

Join in the 6th Annual Cherry Idol Competition!  The Competition is broken into divisions of Adult (18&up); Young Adult (15-17); Teen (12-14) and Youth (8-11). All participants will be required to sing a song of their choice, without any background music (acappella) for the preliminary auditions. If chosen to move onto the final round, competitors must be prepared to perform a different song of their choice.  The final round will be sung to background music.  Pre-registration is required.

Kids' Sand Sculpture Contest

July 13, 2012 9:00 a.m.

A fun day on the beach with competitions for all ages as well as groups. Ages 3 to 5 – 9 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Ages 6 to 8 – 9:15 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Ages 9 to 12 – 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Groups with ages 3 to 12 – 10:30 a.m. to noon. Registration will be 15 minutes before the start of each category. Only items found on the beach may be used in the decoration of the sculpture with the exception of food coloring. No fee required.

Diaper Derby and Toddler Trot

July 13, 2012 10:30 a.m.

For our youngest Festival goers, fun-filled competitions of baby crawling and toddler trotting. Registration is from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. The first race will get underway at 10:00 a.m. Open to kids 3 years and under.

Kids' Chalk Art Contest

July 13, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Kids, ages 5 to 12, come and bring your artistic ability to create a picture with chalk. Chalk is provided. No fee required.

Kids' Festival Matinee

July 14, 2012 10:00 a.m.

Join the State Theatre in Traverse City for fun, games and a movie! Movie: Rio. Tickets available at the TC State Theatre. Admission is free. First come first accommodated as seating is limited.

Click for the 2012 National Cherry Festival food, beer/wine and cherry event guide!

Here's the 2012 Traverse City National Cherry Festival Music and Entertainment Schedule!

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