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Explore 10 of our favorite things to do with kids in Traverse City. From sailing on West Grand Traverse Bay to attending a Pit Spitters game to finding what to do with kids when it rains in Traverse City, these family-friendly ideas are sure to please.

Want more? Head to Northern Michigan Kids for rainy day fun, best family beaches, hikes, restaurants and more!

  1. Attend a Pit Spitters Game
    Cheer on the Traverse City Pit Spitters, a collegiate summer baseball team, at fun-filled Turtle Creek Stadium. Be sure to check out the schedule beforehand to see if there is a special event or fireworks during your visit.
  2. Go Sailing on West Bay
    Book a sail on Grand Traverse Bay aboard the Tall Ship Manitou. This replica of an 1800’s coasting cargo schooner, is equal parts enjoyable and educational.
  3. Explore the Children’s Museum
    Teach kiddos about the very lake they can see out the front window at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum. View all of the exhibits and events on their page and get ready for a fun-filled morning or afternoon of activities.
  4. Stop By the Music House Museum
    Tour The Music House Museum—a collection all about the beauty of music and instruments from the 1800s to the 1950s. Spend the afternoon exploring the sounds of history and music in picturesque Northern Michigan.
  5. Do a Parents Spa Day, Kids Play Day!
    Indulge in a spa day, dine at the 16th-floor Aerie restaurant, shop, game at Turtle Creek Casino, golf three championship courses, swim in indoor/outdoor pools and stay at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.
  6. Head to a Beach Park
    Treat the kids to a day at Greilickville Harbor Park (next door to the Discovery Pier) where you’ll find a playground, beach, pavilion and modern restrooms with baby-changing stations. Want to explore more beaches? Head to Traverse City Outdoors or find more in the wider region at  Northern Michigan Beaches.
  7. Hit the Trails for Hiking
    Discover Traverse City’s wooded trails, easy hikes, stunning views and more at  Traverse City Outdoors or explore hikes throughout the region at  Northern Michigan Hiking.
  8. Visit the Farmers Market
    Fill a basket at the Sara Hardy Downtown Farmers Market in the parking lot between Cass and Union streets on Wednesday and Saturday mornings during the summer. Then visit Northern Michigan Farm Markets and take a road trip to farm markets in the region, paired with the beach or a hike.
  9. Take a Family Bike Trip
    Mountain bike the Vasa Pathway. Whether you have younger children or older, there is a trail for everyone. Choose from 3K, 5K, 10K or 25K loops. Find more biking, from trails to routes, on the  Northern Michigan Biking page.
  10. Stop by the Discovery Gallery
    Check out the Discovery Gallery at The Dennos Museum. Here, kids (and adults, too) get to play with a combination of sights and sounds they make themselves.

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

More Family-Friendly Activities in Traverse City

Explore some additional activities that are perfect for the entire family below. Most of these are indoors, making them the perfect rainy-day activities in the Traverse City region. 

Pirate’s Cove

710 U.S. 31 N., Traverse City | 231.938.9599

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 best in Michigan by AAA), go-carts, a zip line, ropes course and full arcade, the whole family will be smiling. (Also located in Petoskey and Houghton Lake.)

Lucky Jack’s

1705 S. Garfield Ave., Traverse City | 231.946.2610

A great rainy-day destination, Lucky Jack’s is the largest indoor spot for family fun in Northern Michigan. Choose from laser tag, 8 billiard tables, 33 lanes of bowling, bumper cars, or the 12,000-square-foot arcade. Classic pub grub and pizza for when you’re ready to recharge.

Handz On Art

144 Hall St., Traverse City | 231.941.5071

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.

Incredible Mo’s

1355 Silver Lake Crossing Blvd., Grawn | 231.944.1355

Laser tag, bowling—fun for the entire family. After they play, fill ‘em up with pasta and pizza at the adjoining Sauce restaurant.

Darling Botanical

144 Hall Street, Suite 102 (The Warehouse MRKT), Traverse City | 231.421.8440

Build your own terrarium! No appointment is necessary and the staff will answer any questions you have. Choose your pot from the store’s selection or bring your own. There are lots of fun things to include like mini dinosaurs, stones and, of course, cool plants.

Traverse City Attractions: 15 Best Things to Do on a Vacation or Staycation

Find this article and more in the 2021 issue of the Traverse Magazine Vacation Guide. If you’re not subscribed to Traverse Magazine, you can download the Vacation Guide for free.