Here is MyNorth’s sure-to-save-any Northern Michigan vacation list of rainy day activities for kids in Traverse City.

Matinee at the State Theatre: Temporarily Closed.

Remember the last time a movie cost a quarter? Neither do we—until Traverse City’s State Theatre started the brilliant tradition of offering matinee movies for 25 cents twice a week, inspired by the cost of a single ticket back when the State originally opened in 1916. The Wednesday flicks are always silver screen classics, and the Saturday movies are geared toward kids and young families: Shrek, for example, or The Mighty Ducks. We just love the idea of treating the whole gang to a trip to the movies—on nothing but pocket change. While we’d named this a number one rainy day activity for kids in Traverse City, a movie at the state is good any time you want to get out of the Northern Michigan sun.

Great Lakes Children’s Museum

This kids’ museum mixes entertainment, hands-on activities and education to make the science of the Great Lakes watershed come alive. Kids will love racing boats, making waves at the water table, even captain a freighter. And in a novel twist on Traverse City rainy day kids’ activities, they can “become” a raindrop in the water cycle exhibit. Other highlights include make-and-take crafts, a cool “living river” exhibit and the Toddler Beach area, which offers age-appropriate books and toys for kids under age three. Admission is $7 and children under age 1 are free. (Always check the organization’s website for the most updated rates.)

Incredible Mo’s

Wear ’em out at this emporium of Traverse City fun and grab a bite to eat at Sauce Pizza & Pasta afterward. With activities like free kids bowling, lazer tag, a playroom, and an arcade—a rainy day play date is a given here.

Lucky Jack’s

This 12,000 square-foot arcade has more than enough activities to bust through inevitable rainy day boredom. Laser tag, bumper cars, billiards tables, bowling, plus pizza will keep the kids entertained all day. Pub Grub available (including craft beers and wine) to keep Mom and Dad happy while kids play.


Find more fun with kids, outdoor ideas, kid-friendly restaurants, engaging outings and more!

Pirate’s Cove

Chances are, your kids were begging to go here as soon as you passed it on US31 on your way into Traverse City. And while this really isn’t the place to go when the skies open up with booming thunder and lightning, gray days pair perfectly with the two 18-hole mini golf courses, go-carts, zip lines, a ropes course, bumper boats and “water coaster” with a 50-foot drop.

Handz on Art

This paint-your-own-pottery studio in Traverse City’s Warehouse District is a laid-back way to spend a rainy afternoon. Challenge your kids to paint a favorite memory from your Northern Michigan vacation and watch them create an instant keepsake. A great place for Mom and Dad, or even Grandma and Grandpa, to bring the kids on a rainy day in Traverse City.

Dennos Museum Discovery Gallery

On the long list of reasons to love Traverse City’s top-notch art museum, the Dennos, is the permanent gallery featuring hands-on art and science installations aimed specifically at kids. Highlights include a laser harp, which plays via invisible strings, an interactive sound wall, and the Hubble Space Telescope Theatre, featuring ongoing transmissions of programming from NASA.

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