2014 Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Ann Arbor - Detroit Area | Kids Out and About Ann Arbor / Detroit

2014 Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Ann Arbor - Detroit Area

The 2014 Top 20 Places to take children in the Ann Arbor - Detroit Area

Ann Arbor is rich in fun events and exciting places. It was hard for our readers to select their favorites from the hundreds of choices! The venues listed below are wildly popular with kids and families in Ann Arbor But don’t miss out on ALL the other wonderful places as well! Browse through our site and discover lots more to do!



1. The Detroit Zoo

This zoo is very large and offers a lot for families to do each time they visit.  The zoo has amazing habitats to get up close to the animals including the Arctic Ring of Life, the Australian Outback and the Butterfly House. There are also weeknight concerts throughout the summer, a carousel for kids to ride on, and a number of family friendly events offered throughout the year.


2. Motor City Theatre

To enrich the lives of youth through participation in dance, music, visual arts, theatre workshops and main stage productions; To facilitate youth's development of life skills such as problem-solving, decision making and team work;To offer high quality theatrical productions to the community


3. Ann Arbor Hands-on-Museum

A museum designed with little children in mind.  The exhibits that rotate through the museum are designed to engage children in learning.  Children can visit any number of exhibits, including The Block Party, where they can let their imagination run wild while they become little architects, or the Engineers on a Roll, where they can build and create in the playscape where they build and sort balls in motion.


4. Airtime Trampoline & Game Park

Over 31,000 square feet of wall to wall trampolines, trampoline dodgeball and foam pits for maximum airtime. Powered by great music, DJ and band performances, AirTime is your destination to get amped up.


5. Wild Swan Theater

Wild Swan Theater is dedicated to producing professional theater of the highest quality for families and to making theater accessible to everyone including low income, minority and disabled children through low ticket prices and outreach programs.


6. The Henry Ford - America's Greatest History Attraction 

This attraction includes Greenfield Village, The Henry Ford Museum, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center, and the Henry Ford IMAX Theater.  Whether traveling back in time at Greenfield Village or visiting the museum to see some of the 26 million artifacts housed inside, there will be something for everyone in your family. 


7. Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at The University of Michigan houses a collection of more than 100,000 ancient and medieval objects from the civilizations of the Mediterranean and the Near East.


8. Farmer Charleys Kackleberry Farm

Get Lost in the Corn, Hop on the Corn Popper, Meet Barnyard Friends, Squeal at the Pig Races Enjoy a Toasty Bonfire, Ride the Barrel Train, Shoot Pumpkin Cannons, Rubber Duck Races, Nana’s Pumpkin Patch


9. Zap Zone

A fun, safe, indoor center that offers Laser tag, glo golf, go karts, jump zone, bumper cars, and miniature bowling.


10. Leslie Science & Nature Center 

A nonprofit organization that desires to instill in children, families, and individuals the importance of being responsible with the world we have.  They offer classes, camps, family bonfires, and other events that coincide with the season.


11. The Complete Dancer

The Complete Dancer is aimed to bring dance and fitness together as one, making it a way of life.We offer dance and fitness classes of various styles.


12. Stagecrafters - The Baldwin Theatre

Stagecrafters mission is to provide an opportunity for members of the community, in an atmosphere of fellowship, to develop their talents and to volunteer their time to create an enriching, quality theatrical experience for the community.


13. Detroit Institute Of Art

An art museum in Detroit with free admission to residents who live in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. The museum houses a collection of over 60,000 works of art and offers a number of programs for families including classes and Family Sundays.


14. Toledo Zoo 

Our area is fortunate to have two great zoos in the area.  This zoo is on the smaller size which makes it great for little legs.  Be sure to visit Nature's Neighborhood which is an interactive area for little ones at the zoo.  It includes The Tree House, climbing wall, play stream to cool off in, and the Fisher-Price Discovery Stage and Animal Demos during the warmer months.


15. PuppetART Theater

PuppetART Center is located in Detroit’s Theater District, just a few blocks from the Michigan Opera Theater, Music Hall and the Gem and Century Theaters. The Center includes an intimate 70-person theater, a museum that accommodates a growing collection of puppets and a studio featuring various workshops. We produce a year-round repertory of puppet shows that explore a variety of cultures. Puppet-making workshops follow most performances, and tours of our museum are available at any time. 


16. Michigan Science Center

The Michigan Science Center (MiSci) is a dynamic hands-on museum that inspires children and families to discover, explore and appreciate STEM.


17. Goldfish Swim School - Ann Arbor

One look inside Goldfish Swim School of Farmington Hills and you’ll see the care we’ve taken to make our bright, clean facility and brand-new pool the best, most comfortable place for your children to learn to swim. With a maximum of four children to every instructor and an inviting, playful atmosphere, Goldfish offers the best experience for kids of all skill levels to learn to swim and improve their strokes.


18. The Detroit Tigers

Even if watching baseball is not your favorite pasttime, you will enjoy heading downtown Detroit to see the sights at Comerica Park.  You can take in a game with the family, ride the Ferris wheel or the carousel, and eat some ballpark food. 


19. Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is an internationally acclaimed youth development program that concentrates on helping young artists excel. Mosaic's mission is to empower young people to maximize their potential through professional performing arts training and the creation of first-rate theatrical and musical art.


20. Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve features programs and activities for individuals of all ages including popular preschool programs and weekend family programs. In order for the best program possible we do ask that you preregister for our programs.


Winners in Special Categories

In the second part of our survey, we asked readers to select their favorites in seven categories. Here were their choices.

Favorite Kid-Friendly Museum


Ann Arbor Hands-on-Museum

Favorite Nature Center

Leslie Science & Nature Center


Favorite Performing Arts


Wild Swan Theater


Favorite Indoor Play Center


Airtime Trampoline & Game Park 


Favorite Farm (agri-entertainment)

Blake’s Orchard & Cider Mill 

Favorite Place to have Fun Outdoors


Michigan's Adventure

Favorite Professional Sports Team


The Detroit Tigers 


Favorite Arts Education Center

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Favorite Sports Education Center