Budget-Friendly Ideas For A Michigan Staycation During Spring Break

Spring Break Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank – Many Michiganders Opting for Staycations

Only 13% of Americans are planning a spring break trip, and with an average budget of only $2,700, more than ever are sticking close to home this year. 90% of those traveling this spring say price and affordability are top of mind as they plan their trips. And, in a recent survey conducted by IPX1031, 46% of Americans say they are planning a staycation in 2024, with cost being a primary factor.

Motown Museum Detroit Dactyl78 Cropped
Motown Museum | photo via dactyl78

Spring Break Staycations in Michigan

Stacy, mom to an 8.5-year-old boy, had to forgo plans to spend spring break with friends on a Bahama cruise due to her husband’s current lack of employment. Not wanting to disappoint her son, she reached out to the Day Trips in Michigan group on Facebook for staycation ideas.

More than 50 individuals were quick to jump in with suggestions for various low-cost attractions and activities close to home – from things to do in Downtown Detroit to exploring Grand Rapids museums.

Dnr Nature Center
DNR Nature Center | photo via jilly_donuts

Downtown Detroit Staycation Ideas

Liz recommended a Detroit staycation. “[Visit the] Outdoor Adventure Center, Belle Isle, eat in Mexicantown or Greektown, catch a game at LCA (hockey or basketball).”

Motor City museums, Tigers opening day, and a hotel with a nice pool were additional suggestions for making the most of spring break in Detroit.

Michigan Map - Grand Rapids Public Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum | photo via Leah Tenant

Grand Rapids Staycation Ideas

Linda suggested, “Spend a night or [two] in Grand Rapids and go to the butterfly exhibit at Meijer Gardens.”

Michelle seconded this idea, “Downtown GR has fun restaurants like Stella’s, or Max’s Seaside Tiki. Stella’s has old arcade games. There are multiple escape rooms, Devos Hall or Van Andel Arena may have shows or sporting events. IMAX movie theater isn’t far. GR is an easy area to commute without lots of big city traffic!”

Tip: Hotels sometimes offer special rates for locals, called “geofenced rates.” Check with area hotels and ask if they offer special rates for locals.

American Museum Of Magic-Marshall
American Museum of Magic | photo via jes_salvador7

Additional Staycation Ideas in Michigan

Megan took the staycation idea a step further and recommended taking single-day trips rather than having the expense of staying overnight in a hotel. “One year, I did a staycation and just took my boys around that age to different places for kids… I just googled places for kids. Out of all the things I did for each day, movies ended up being the most expensive. We had a great week.”

Debby had a great perspective: “I think staycations are great because you aren’t paying for a hotel, so you don’t feel as bad about spending all the money on all of the adventures you go on.”

Air Zoo-Kalamazoo
Air Zoo | photo via mrszablowsellshomes

Save More with MAP

Michigan library patrons can take the savings a step further when they use the Michigan Activity Pass (MAP), “a statewide collaborative program between Michigan’s public libraries and participating partner destinations.

MAP provides Michigan library cardholders the opportunity to discover and learn more about participating cultural destinations, parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas in the state at a discounted rate.”

  • Want to visit a Michigan state park? Check out a MAP pass for free entry. 
  • Want to go to the Air Zoo in Kalamazoo? Check out a MAP pass for $5.00 off each ticket purchased. 
  • Want to experience the SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium in Metro Detroit? Check out a MAP pass for 25% off up to six tickets.

Tip: Anyone with a public library card in Michigan can “check out” one pass every seven days per card. A family with multiple library cards can check out one pass per card.

With nearly 500 participating attractions and activities across the state, including many listed above, the Michigan Activity Pass is one of the best ways to save money on a Michigan staycation during spring break!

Sloan Discovery Museum - Flint, Michigan
Sloan Discovery Museum – Flint, Michigan

Don’t Forgo Spring Break

It doesn’t take much to make the most of a week off school and work – even if jumping on a plane to the Sunshine State isn’t in the budget. A staycation can turn any spring break into a week filled with memories with a little research and some creative thinking.

For more spring break ideas in Michigan, be sure to check out AwesomeMitten.com/Spring.