101 Family Day Trips and Staycation Ideas Around the Ann Arbor-Detroit Area | Kids Out and About Ann Arbor / Detroit

101 Family Day Trips and Staycation Ideas Around the Ann Arbor-Detroit Area


Remember, it's always best to follow each link to get details about your visit directly from your destination, since some places operate seasonally or by reservation, as well as to check each venue's COVID requirements (masks, limits, social distancing).

Free activities and splurges that are worth it. The coolest stuff for a staycation in town and road trips for less than a tank of gas from Ann Arbor-Detroit. Kids Out And About has tons of ideas for family travel, with places to explore, learn, and have fun!

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Explore Gardens 

  Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum
Taylor Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Indigo Lavender Farms
Shades of Lavender Farm
Hamlet Lavender Farm


Get Wild on a Hike

  Bird Hill Nature Area
Nichols Arboretum Trails
Planet Walk at Impression 5 
Sanilac Petroglyphs Historic State Park
Paint Creek Trail


Time Travel Today

  Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Complex
Cobblestone Farm
Birmingham Historical Museum and Park
Mill Race Village
Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad
Historic Charlton Park
Troy Historic Village


Make Life a Beach

  Stony Creek Metropark
Lake St. Clair Metropark
Saugatuck-Douglas Area Beaches
Independence Lake Park


Splash into Some Water Fun

  Rolling Hills Park
Romulus Athletic Center
Mack Indoor Pool
The Wayne County Family Aquatics Center
Red Oaks Waterpark
Surfari Joe's Indoor Wilderness Waterpark
Zehnders Splash Village


Spend the Day at a Museum

  Michigan Science Center
Impression 5 Science Center
Air Zoo
Kalamazoo Valley Museum
Flint Children's Museum
American Museum of Magic
Motown Museum
Flint Institute of Arts
Detroit Institute of Arts
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History


Explore These Cities

Douglas, MI
Franklin Village,MI
Frankenmuth, MI
 Grand Rapids, MI
Toledo, OH
Flint, MI
Saginaw, MI
Cleveland, OH


All Aboard Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 

  Steam Railroading Institute
Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad
Southern Michigan Railroad Society
Yankee Air Museum
Air Zoo
Michigan Military and Space Heroes Museum
Gilmore Car Museum
Henry Ford Complex
Jackson Road Cruise


Grow Some Fun at the Farm

  Erwin Orchards and Cider Mill
Blake's Orchard and Cider Mill
Robin Hills Farm
Farmer Charley's Kackleberry Farm
Klackle Orchards and Family Fun
Wellington Farm Park


Play Ball!

  Detroit Tigers
Detroit Red Wings
Royal Oak Golf Center
Advantage Sports


Whoop It Up At A Festival or Fair

  Michigan State Fair
St. Joseph Chalk the Block Festival
Maker Faire Detroit
Jackson Hot Air Jubilee
Rothbury Electric Forest Festival
Battle Creek National Cereal Festival
Niles Family Fun Fair and Bluegrass/Americana Music Festival
Great Lakes Kite Festival
Holland Tulip Time Festival
Jackson Fairy Festival


Connect with Nature

  Farmington Hills Nature Center
Lake St. Clair Nature Center
Leslie Science and Nature Center
 Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park
Saugatuck Dune Rides
Dow Gardens


Amuse Yourself at These Amusement Parks  

  Michigan Adventure
Cedar Point
Red Oaks Water Park


Talk to the Animals

  Detroit Zoo
Toledo Zoo and Aquarium
Potter Park Zoo
 Petting Farm at Domino's Farm
Maybury Riding Stable
The Creature Convervancy
Sasha Farm


Take A Spin on a Carousel 

  Detroit Zoo
Grand Rapids Public Museum
Silver Beach Carousel
Binder Park Zoo 
Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Complex
Crossroads Village
Children's Zoo at Celebration Square


Get Active Indoors

  Planet Rock Climbing Gym
Novi Ice Arena
AirTime Trampoline and Game Center
C.J. Barrymore's
Chelsea Tree House
Whirlyball Novi


Challenge Yourself

  Sky Ropes Farmington
Adventure Park
Argo Canoe and Kayak Livery
Detroit Institute of Art
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra





Limiting our list to 101 ideas meant some great destinations may have been left off the list - if there is something you’d like to see added, share it with us on Facebook!

Most of these destinations are within an hour from Ann Arbor. For those that are a bit farther away:

             = Less than 1 hour away

          = 1 to 2 hours away

       = 2 to 3 hours away

   = Just over 3 hours away