river canyon run 1 img9771 11 Best Family Staycation Destinations for Spring Break in Michigan
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11 Best Family Staycation Destinations for Spring Break in Michigan

Finally, the snow is starting to melt. It’s almost as if spring is right around the corner and you know what that means – spring break in Michigan! 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.

Here is a list of family-friendly activities and locations that are perfect family staycation destinations for spring break in Michigan, all divided according to location. 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.

Spring Break Ideas in East Michigan

Hitsville USA | aka Motown Museum
Hitsville USA, otherwise known as the Motown Museum is home to Berry Gordy’s original Studio A, where famous Detroit musicians spent time, hung out and recorded. Photo by alainsojourner

Indoor: Hitsville U.S.A. (Motown Museum)

2648 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit

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.

Outdoor: Belle Isle

2 Inselruhe Avenue, Detroit

Belle Isle aquarium is a great spring break in Michigan destination
The oldest aquarium in the nation is located on Belle Isle in Detroit, MI. It opened in 1904, but closed down in 2005. However, after extensive renovations, the aquarium re-opened in 2012 and has welcomed thousands of visitors for free since its re-opening. Photo courtesy of Belle Isle Conservancy.

The State of Michigan recently purchased and spent millions renovating the historic Belle Isle just outside of Downtown Detroit.

The massive grounds include an 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.

Everything you can think of and want in a park is here, and better yet—historic. The Belle Isle Conservatory & Aquarium is the oldest aquarium in the United States, opening in 1904. It includes 118 species and more than 1,000 fish.

As for all state parks, a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Belle Isle ($11 for Michigan vehicles, $5 for Michigan motorcycles), or you can purchase a window sticker at the entrance booth ($9 for a day pass). It’s the perfect way to enjoy spring in Michigan this spring break!

West Michigan Spring Break Staycation Ideas

Frederik Meijer Gardens is one of the best Michigan spring break destinations
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. Photo by Cory Morse.

Indoor/Outdoor: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

1000 East Beltline N.E. in Grand Rapids

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.

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

Indoor: Grand Rapids Public Museum

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Public Museum is one of the best things to do in Michigan for spring break
An antique 1928 Spillman Carousel adorns the museum. The carousel is one of only three of its style known to have been made. Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Public Museum.

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. 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.

Spring Break Vacation Ideas in Northern Michigan

Indoor/Outdoor: Boyne Resorts

One Boyne Mountain Rd, Boyne Falls

Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs is a great Michigan destination for spring break
Boyne Highlands Resort in Harbor Springs is a great Michigan destination across the seasons. Enjoy golf, zip-lining, skiing, and dog-sledding. Photo courtesy of Boyne Highlands.

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.

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 their 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 places to go in Michigan for spring break.

Indoor: Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark

3575 U.S. Highway 31 S, Traverse City

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 tree house, a four-story waterslide, lazy river, hot tubs, and cabana rentals. Dry-land welcomes bowling, minigolf, a kids spa, and eateries.

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

Michigan spring break ideas include touring the Michigan State Capitol Building
Tour guides often invite guests to lay on their backs and gaze up at the dazzling dome within the Capitol building. Photo by Jonathon Gruenke.

Mid-Michigan Spring Break Getaways

Indoor: State Capitol Building, 

Capitol Avenue at Michigan Avenue, Lansing

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, discussion of the legislative process, and of course the building’s architecture and history.

Indoor: Impression 5 Science Center

200 Museum Drive, Lansing

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 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.

Southeast Michigan Ideas for Spring Break in Michigan

Indoor/ Outdoor: River Raisin National Battlefield Park

1403 East Elm Avenue, Monroe

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.

Ideas for Spring Break in Southwest Michigan

Visit the Gilmore Car Museum this spring break Michigan
The Gilmore Car Museum houses one of Michigan’s largest collections of vintage automobiles. Photo by Steve Tinker.

Indooor/Outdoor: Gilmore Car Museum

6865 W Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners

Michigan is widely known for its many automobile feats—R.E. Olds, General Motors. This gem of a museum celebrates them and the golden years of classic automobiles by featuring over 300 vintage automobiles and motorcycles.

Aside from showcasing numerous pristine motor beauties, the 90-acre campus of the Gilmore Car Museum near Kalamazoo includes an authentic 1941 Blue Moon diner, vintage gas station pumps from the ’30s, recreation of vintage dealerships, and more.

Indoor: Curious Kids’ Museum

415 Lake Blvd, St Joseph

Committed to a “learning is fun” environment, the Curious Kids’ Museum 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, apple orchard, and vet clinic.

More Things to Do in Spring in Michigan

Are you looking for additional things to do in spring in Michigan? Visit a Michigan farmers’ market, cheer on a minor league baseball team in Michigan, or visit Mackinac Island before the crowds arrive this summer!

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

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