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Best Michigan Spring Break Destinations | Plan a Michigan Staycation

When the snow finally starts to melt, the sun starts to peek out from behind the clouds and spring arrives, it means that spring break in Michigan isn’t too far behind.

If you’re searching for some spring break destinations, but don’t have nearly enough frequent flier miles or piggy banks, perhaps the “staycation” is more up your alley.

We’ve put together a list of family-friendly activities and locations that are perfect family staycation destinations for spring break activities in Michigan.

Given the typical changing weather spring in Michigan is known for, we have provided both indoor and outdoor things to do in Michigan for spring break, considering it can go from sunshine to snow at any given time of the day.

Here are our recommendations for the best staycation spring break destinations for families in Michigan.

Tahquamenon Falls
Tahquamenon Falls

Unique Upper Peninsula Spring Break Ideas

Drive the Lake Superior Circle Tour

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is beautiful in the spring, and for resident Yoopers, it’s one of the best times to check out the region before the heavy tourist season.

One of the best ways to see it is by driving the Lake Superior Circle Tour. The entire tour is 1,300 miles and spans across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and even Canada. But if you want to stay in Michigan, the tour extends from Gogebic County all the way to Sault Ste. Marie.

Along the way, you can marvel at the region’s beauty, stop to see roadside attractions, and collect stamps at different tourist centers to track your travels.

Visit Some Scenic Upper Peninsula Waterfalls

With 300 waterfalls throughout the Upper Peninsula, Yoopers don’t have to travel far to see these awesome wonders of nature.

Whether you live near Copper Harbor or around Marquette or even near Sault Ste. Marie, you can find all kinds of waterfalls of various sizes to visit. These falls are beautiful, and many are secluded and offer great opportunities to get outside and get some great photos.

In spring, many of the falls have thawed out, and you’ll be in awe as you watch water spill over the rocks and hear the rushing sound of the falls.

Spend a Day on Mackinac Island

More than a million people visit Mackinac Island every year, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether visitors are after some decadent Mackinac Island Fudge, want to take a carriage ride, or go for a bike ride around the island, there’s something for everyone to love.

Plan on spending a whole day on the island to take advantage of all there is to see and do.

Take a Mine Tour in the Keweenaw Peninsula

You may not know it, but the Keweenaw Peninsula is home to quite a few old iron and copper mines. If you’ve ever wanted to see one for yourself, there are several companies that offer mine tours.

The Adventure Mining Company is one of the most well-known companies and offers three different tours. The longest tour takes visitors to the deepest parts of the mine and includes an underground picnic.

Arcadia Bluffs
Arcadia Bluffs | photo via kingsqueeze

Where to Go for Spring Break in Northern Michigan

Experience Four Seasons at Boyne Resorts | Boyne Falls

Michigan’s largest ski resort coins the phrase: “Four Seasons. Three Resorts. One BOYNE.” With locations in Harbor Springs, Boyne Falls, and Bay Harbor, Boyne knows a thing or two about Northern Michigan fun.

The Highlands at Harbor Springs is a great Michigan destination across the seasons. Enjoy golf, zip-lining, skiing, and dog-sledding. From ski lodges to golf resorts and hotel spas to indoor water parks, Boyne Resorts offers something for all ages.

Whether it’s skiing or sledding down the numerous snow-covered hills, relaxing with a luxurious massage, or enjoying a golf outing on a warm day, the Boyne properties should be on your list of places to go in Michigan for spring break.

Splash Away at Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark | Traverse City

3575 N U.S. 31 S, Traverse City, MI 49684

This Traverse City hotel is one of the best Michigan spring break ideas! The hotel boasts about its kid-friendly design and offers something for a wide range of youngsters. The hotel includes a fitness center, tons of kids’ activities, games, storytime characters, and more.

The massive waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City includes a water fort treehouse, a four-story waterslide, a lazy river, hot tubs, and cabana rentals. At the same time, dry land beckons visitors for bowling, mini golf, a kids spa, and eateries.

Plus, there are lots of family-friendly things to do in Traverse City nearby!

See Dinosaurs Up Close at Dinosaur Gardens | Ossineke

11160 US-23, Ossineke, MI 49766

Located just a few miles south of Alpena on the shores of Lake Huron is a roadside attraction that allows visitors to imagine what life was like when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

Visitors can take a half-mile scenic walking tour around the park to see a variety of dinosaur exhibits with informational placards by each dinosaur.

Dinosaur Gardens also offers visitors a chance to play some putt-putt golf on an 18-hole course and offers a fossil dig where they can have a chance to find a variety of colorful gemstones.

There’s lots to do in Alpena just a few miles up the road too!

Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark-Byone Falls
Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark | photo via alexmoses95

Visit the GT Butterfly House & Bug Zoo | Williamsburg

8840 M-72 East, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Michigan is home to some great butterfly houses, and one of the best is found in Northern Michigan in Williamsburg.

Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit because you have a chance to see many rare tropical butterflies. There are also common species that you see all the time, such as monarch butterflies. Any way you slice it, though, it makes for a colorful spectacle you’ll want to see up close.

The Bug Zoo is worth a visit too and includes frogs, beetles, tarantulas, and more.

Have Some Indoor Fun at Avalanche Bay | Boyne Falls

1 Boyne Mountain Rd, Boyne Falls, MI 49713

Since cold sometimes lingers in Northern Michigan, it only makes sense to have fun indoors at places like the indoor waterpark at Avalanche Bay.

There truly is something here for everyone. Youngsters can enjoy kiddie pools and splash pads, and older kids can enjoy the waterslides and rip zone simulator. Adults can even enjoy themselves floating down a lazy river.

Play a Round of Golf at Arcadia Bluffs | Arcadia

14710 Northwood Hwy, Arcadia, MI 49613

No matter where you are in Michigan, a scenic golf course isn’t far away. But if you love golf, you have to make your way to Northern Michigan to play a round at Arcadia Bluffs.

The links-style course is consistently voted one of Michigan’s best courses and features distinct front and back nines, as well as gorgeous scenery along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Grand Rapids Public Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum | photo via pauljendrasiak

West Michigan’s Best Spring Break Attractions

Pay a Visit to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park | Grand Rapids

1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is one of the country’s most significant sculpture and botanic experiences. The sprawling 158-acre grounds include indoor and outdoor exhibits, gardens, sculptures, children’s sensory gardens, a library, a Japanese garden, boardwalks, and more.

The $22 million Japanese Garden was unveiled in 2012. It features four waterfalls, two ponds, bridges, a gazebo, a Zen-style garden, and a bonsai garden.

During spring in Michigan, the Butterflies Are Blooming! exhibit runs from March to April, featuring more than 6,000 tropical butterflies that free-fly in the massive conservatory.

Explore the Grand Rapids Public Museum | Grand Rapids

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Include the Grand Rapids Public Museum in your spring break Michigan plans! The Grand Rapids Public Museum is the oldest and second-largest museum in the state, with over 250,000 artifacts.

An antique 1928 Spillman Carousel adorns the museum. The carousel is one of only three of its style known to have been made.

The museum includes collections of automobiles, zoology, furniture, fossils, and more. While at the museum, you can take a stroll through the streets of Old Grand Rapids in 1890 or go for a spin on the 1928 Spillman Carousel.

Soak Up History at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum | Grand Rapids

303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is a presidential museum built to honor Gerald Ford, a Michigan native and former congressman. The museum has exciting permanent exhibits celebrating President Ford and his wife Betty.

The museum also has interactive videos and a holographic presentation, allowing visitors to truly participate in history while they learn about the nation’s 38th president.

House Of Flavors
House of Flavors | photo via lilbritcrazy

Visit a West Michigan Ice Cream Shop

Spring may not seem like the best time to get ice cream (especially in early spring), but it certainly is a good time with so many great ice cream shops in West Michigan.

A visit to Pump House in Grand Rapids will make you feel like you’re in an old-fashioned soda shop with offerings like gelato, ice cream, yogurt, and more.

A visit to House of Flavors in Ludington allows you to choose from three dozen flavors, from classics to custom creations. The Ice Cream Garage in Standale offers ice cream favorites, like Superman.

Visit a West Michigan Lighthouse

Beautiful, scenic lighthouses dot Michigan’s shoreline from coast to coast, but the ones on the Lake Michigan shoreline are some of the most perfect.

A visit to the Ludington North Breakwater Light offers a chance to take a 1-mile walk along a pier to the lighthouse. While you’re in the area, visit the Big and Little Sable Point Lighthouses, which are both scenic and historic.

Travel a little further south to Grand Haven to see the iconic Grand Haven Lighthouse. Two red-painted lights on Grand Haven’s south pier are connected by a catwalk and the boardwalk, which is a great place for a leisurely walk.

Whiting Forest Canopy Walk - Midland Michigan
Whiting Forest at Dow Gardens | photo via @wandzhere

Best Places for Spring Break in Mid-Michigan

Enjoy the Sweetness of a Maple Syrup Festival

The arrival of spring means the arrival of dozens of Maple Syrup festivals around Michigan.

If you’re in Mid-Michigan, there are several maple syrup festivals — including the Old-Time Maple Sugar Festival in Chelsea where visitors can see the maple-tapping and maple-sugaring processes up close. And, don’t forget to grab some yummy maple goodies before you leave.

Bask in the Beauty of Dow Gardens | Midland

1809 Eastman Ave, Midland, MI 48640

This impressive botanical garden estate in Mid-Michigan spreads out over 110 acres and draws thousands of visitors for its unique landscape.

You can tour a historic home, marvel at award-winning gardens — including eye-popping displays of annuals, perennials, and other flowers — take part in educational programs, and so much more.

If you love the vibrant colors that come alive in spring, Dow Gardens is the perfect place for a spring family adventure.

Learn About History at the Saginaw Castle Museum

500 Federal Ave, Saginaw, MI 48607

The Saginaw Castle Museum is a must-stop spot if you’re traveling through or planning to stop in Saginaw Michigan. This former post office, which is designed in a classic French style, is the spot for learning about Saginaw.

Today, it’s home to an extensive collection of artifacts, exciting exhibits, and gorgeous architecture. It’s the perfect spot for a family-friendly adventure.

Explore Michigan’s Little Bavaria in Frankenmuth

Michigan’s Little Bavaria, Frankenmuth, is a really cool place to visit, especially around the holiday season. But, there’s so much to see and do here all year long, and the odds are good that the crowds will be thinned out in springtime.

Book a room at the Bavarian Inn Lodge, and have fun playing mini golf and arcade games, as well as enjoying an indoor water park.

Get out and explore downtown Frankenmuth, where you can stop into all sorts of quaint shops, or visit Bronners CHRISTmas Wonderland, where you can stock up on Christmas necessities — take it from us, going in the offseason is a good choice.

Flint Children's Museum
Flint Children’s Museum | photo via developedphotographybyandrea

Exciting East Michigan Spring Break Destinations

Play a Round of Disc Golf

Playing disc golf is a great way to get out and enjoy nature in Michigan, especially on a gorgeous spring day. There are dozens of disc golf courses in the Mitten State, including several in East Michigan.

Genesee Valley Golf Course in Swartz Creek is one of the best public courses around Flint and offers a winding layout that rewards accuracy. The Sugarbush Golf Club in Davison is known as one of the state’s toughest and has plenty of challenges, including some of the state’s longest Par 5 holes.

Visit the Flint Children’s Museum | Flint

1602 University Ave, Flint, MI 48504

If you’re looking for a staycation idea that will keep the kids happy and entertained, the Flint Children’s Museum is a fantastic spot. The museum is packed full of great activities for kids.

The Tot Spot offers fun things for the youngest of youngsters, and areas like the Discovery Zone have new things to discover around every corner. Your kids’ eyes will light up, and they’ll have big smiles on their faces as they learn and have fun while they do it.

Visit Port Austin & Kayak to Turnip Rock

Those seeking adventure and kayak enthusiasts love visiting Port Austin for its amazing kayaking tours.

Turnip Rock, located at the very tip of the Pointe aux Barques Peninsula, is one of Michigan’s great natural wonders and is visited every year by scores of kayakers. You can take a guided tour, or make the 7-mile trek on your own for great views and great photos.

Discover the Wonders of the Longway Planetarium | Flint

1310 E Kearsley St, Flint, MI 48503

We happen to think that this is one of the best planetariums in the nation. It’s not a stretch to say that after multimillion-dollar renovations and one-of-a-kind projectors.

The planetarium allows visitors of all ages to explore the vastness of both space and the ocean. Older kids may even delight in listening to Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon, which is accompanied by a visual show.

Gilmore Car Museum
Gilmore Car Museum | photo via peterwagnercreative

Stupendous Spring Break Ideas in Southwest Michigan

See Vintage Autos at the Gilmore Car Museum | Hickory Corners

6865 W Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

Michigan is widely known for its many automobile feats — such as Oldsmobile, General Motors, and Ford Motor Company. This gem of a museum celebrates them and the golden years of classic automobiles by featuring over 300 vintage automobiles and motorcycles.

The Gilmore Car Museum houses one of Michigan’s largest collections of vintage automobiles, and its 90-acre campus near Kalamazoo includes an authentic 1941 Blue Moon diner, vintage gas station pumps from the ’30s, a recreation of vintage dealerships, and more.

See the Wonders of the Curious Kids’ Museum | St. Joseph

333 Broad St, St Joseph, MI 49085

Committed to a “learning is fun” environment, the Curious Kids’ Museum & Discovery Zone features hands-on creative fun for children and their parents.

The museum has over 100 exhibits for children ages 1-10, including discovery fun centers on the Great Lakes ship, face painting, musicology, an apple orchard, and a vet clinic.

Mt Baldhead Park-Saugatuck
Mt Baldhead Park | photo via corykent

Marvel at Exhibits at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts | Kalamazoo

314 S Park St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts has been a cultural haven in Southwest Michigan for almost 100 years. It’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its collections of local artwork and fine artworks, which numbers more than 5,000.

From the time you enter, you’ll be enthralled by the impressive red-orange-colored chandelier. From there, you can enter the museum and see works by Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, and so many more artists. If you love studying and admiring works of art, this isn’t a bad way to spend a day at all.

Take a Day Hike to Mount Baldhead | Saugatuck

Lake Michigan is well known for the scenic dunes that line its shores. Mount Baldhead, near Saugatuck, is one of the easiest dunes to spot and is worth hiking to reach the summit.

The summit takes a little bit of effort to reach, but when you get there, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views, not to mention bragging rights.

State Capitol
State Capitol | photo via living_large_and_hard

Sensational Southcentral Michigan Places to Staycation for Spring Break

Tour Michigan’s State Capitol Building | Lansing

100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933

Take a tour of the Victorian-Era Michigan State Capitol building. Guided tours are offered daily and include visits to the House and Senate galleries, discussions of the legislative process, and of course, the building’s architecture and history.

Tour guides often invite guests to lie on their backs and gaze up at the dazzling dome within the Capitol building.

Impression 5-Lansing
Impression 5 | photo via exploremichiganmore

See the Wonders of the Impression 5 Science Center | Lansing

200 Museum Dr, Lansing, MI 48933

Recently undergoing massive renovations, the Impression 5 Science Center is proud to be a dynamic place for interactive learning for children and adults. Anyone with curiosity and who finds joy in learning about science in a fun and hands-on way is welcome.

The exhibit area is 25,000 square feet and contains more than a dozen exhibits, activities, a chemistry lab, a building zone, a nature area, a bubble room, and so much more.

Explore the Lansing River Trail

If you’re looking for a fun day trip, the Lansing River Trail is a great place to explore, especially on your bike.

The trail has more than a dozen access points and takes riders past the Michigan State University campus, Potter Park Zoo, and other points of interest. That makes it easy to make the trip as short or as long as you want.

Trek Along the Border-to-Border Trail

Residents in the Ann Arbor area love traversing the Border-to-Border Trail. It spans about 20 miles across Washtenaw County.

If you love bike riding, the trail offers a calming mix of smooth and hilly terrain. Feel the wind on your face and the warmth of the sun as you pass by points of interest like Hudson Mills MetroPark and Eastern Michigan University.

Sweetwater's Donut Mill-Battle Creek
Sweetwater’s Donut Mill | photo via exploremichiganmore

Get A Donut From Sweetwater’s Donut Mill | Battle Creek

2807 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015

Located in Cereal City, Battle Creek, Sweetwater’s Donut Mill is open 24 hours and is a local favorite.

The bakery offers at least three dozen doughnut choices, as well as muffins, so everyone can find something they like. Grab a doughnut (or a dozen), and take it with you as you explore Battle Creek. They’re homemade, delicious, and worth stopping for.

Top Michigan Museums, Ultimate Michigan Gift Guide, Spring In Metro Detroit
Motown Museum | photo via modeldmedia.com

Where to Play in Southeast Michigan on Spring Break Near Metro Detroit

Soak Up Music History at Hitsville U.S.A. | Detroit

2648 Berry Gordy Jr. Boulevard, 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208

Hitsville U.S.A., known as the Motown Museum, is home to Berry Gordy’s original Studio A where famous Detroit musicians spent time hanging out and recording so much timeless music.

Motown Records was established in 1959 by Berry Gordy. Each year since opening the recording Studio A to the public as a museum, thousands of visitors pass through Hitsville U.S.A. to relive the days of The Four Tops, The Temptations, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, and The Supremes.

The Motown Museum has artifacts, photographs, memorabilia, and early recordings of popular hits. You might even spot a celebrity Michigan native like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, or Bob Seger stopping by along your guided tour.

Watch a Detroit Tigers Game at Comerica Park | Detroit

2100 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201

Spring may start with a chill in the air, but sports fans in Michigan know that spring means the return of Detroit Tigers baseball.

Comerica Park is a delightful place to watch a ballgame, even if you’re not a baseball fan. Between the action on the field and the chance to nosh on hot dogs, peanuts, cracker jack, and other baseball goodies, there aren’t many better ways to spend a day.

Belle Isle Aquarium
Belle Isle Aquarium | photo via kristangitzen

Visit the Wondrous Belle Isle | Detroit

2 Woodside Dr, Detroit, MI 48207

The oldest aquarium in the nation is located on Belle Isle in Detroit. It opened in 1904 but closed down in 2005. After extensive renovations, the aquarium re-opened in 2012 and has welcomed thousands of visitors for free since its re-opening.

The massive grounds include the Belle Isle Aquarium, conservatory, Great Lakes museum, nature zoo (open seasonally), iconic Scott Fountain, Memorial Lighthouse, beaches, golf ranges, athletic fields, playgrounds, picnic tables, biking and walking paths, a giant slide, and much more.

As for all Michigan State Parks, a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Belle Isle, or you can purchase a window sticker at the entrance booth. It’s the perfect way to enjoy spring in Michigan this spring break.

River Raisin National Battlefield-Monroe
River Raisin National Battlefield | photo via expeditiondetroit

Visit the River Raisin National Battlefield Park | Monroe

333 N Dixie Hwy, Monroe, MI 48162

For true history buffs, the River Raisin National Battlefield Park is one of a few national battlefield parks in the National Park System. In fact, it’s the only one from the War of 1812.

The grounds preserve and commemorate the battles and aftermath with exhibits, a fiber-optic map presentation, original military firearms, dioramas, cannons, and monuments scattered throughout the hiking trails in the park.

Watch a Movie at the Ford Drive-In | Dearborn

10400 Ford Rd, Dearborn, MI 48126

Southeast Michiganders love coming here because the Ford Drive-In is the biggest one in Michigan and offers movies year-round.

Pack up the family or your friends for a night of fun. Make sure that you bring snacks too. There’s always a double feature and five screens showing movies, so you’re never without variety.

FAQs About Spring Break in Michigan

What is spring like in Michigan?

Michigan weather is unpredictable in the early spring months — some years, we have snow on the ground until mid-April, while other years, we enjoy 70-degree days in early March.

Michiganders know to dress in layers and be ready for anything during spring break in Michigan.

What is there to do in Michigan for spring break?

The list of spring break possibilities in Michigan is endless. Whether you want to visit a museum, explore a state park, attend a ball game, or hit the water for some outdoor fun, you can do it all and so much more.

Is it cold in Michigan in April?

The average temperature in Michigan in April is about 57 degrees with a low of around 35 degrees, which some residents may consider cold and breezy. In more Northern parts of Michigan, April can be a little colder.

What’s the number one tourist attraction in Michigan?

Mackinac Island is considered to be the top attraction in the Mitten State. From its famous fudge to its Native American historic sites, the island is perfect for a spring visit.

Start Planning Your Michigan Spring Break Staycation

Taking a family spring break trip is always fun, but if you’re in Michigan, you don’t have to go far to have fun.

No matter if you want to fish on winding rivers, take a day hike along a perfectly groomed trail, spend time indoors marveling at history and exhibits, or just go for a drive, Michigan affords families the chance to do all that and so much more.

Spring is a truly great time in Michigan because it’s finally time to shake off the cabin fever, get outside, and explore. So, start planning your spring break staycation trip today. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll have fun, you won’t have to travel far, and you’ll make lots of great memories.

Where are your favorite spring break in Michigan “staycation” destinations? Share in the comments below!