Summer is right around the corner and if you have kids, you’ve probably already started thinking ahead for summer activities to keep them busy. I love our down time but there are days when we just need to get out of the house. Last year on the blog, I did a post regarding Northern Michigan Summer Camps for Kids and a lot of those camps are still happening this year but with different start and end times. My kiddos attend Bayview Recreation during the summer months and we absolutely love the program. It’s professional, caring and the staff are 100% on their game when it comes to our kids.
If you are not planning on sending the kids to camp this summer, fear not, I have a list of fun activities happening here in Northern Michigan for kids. Most are free but some so do require a nominal fee.
Petoskey Public Library & Charlevoix Public Library – Both libraries offer fabulous kids activities throughout the school year and summer months. Check their websites as new activities are added as summer gets closer.
Crooked Tree Arts Center – We LOVE Crooked Tree. They offer so many fun events and activities throughout the year for both kids and adults. Register your kiddo for a fun summer class such as pottery or art camp and get a few hours to yourself.
Busy Bodies Bounce Town – Spend a rainy day Busy Bodies and let the kids run free while you watch, catch up on a book or work. I work from home, so I love going on a rainy day and letting the kids run. It’s $12 each for kids 2 and up and admission is good all day with a wristband.
Free Bowling for Kids – Register to play and get 2 FREE games of bowling for kids every day during the summer months. Gaylord Bowling Center or Lucky Jack’s in Traverse City are the only participating locations in Northern Michigan but worth a drive if you want to get out of the house for a while, especially on a rainy summer day.
Home Depot Building Workshops – These workshops are typically once a month on Saturday mornings and perfect for kids! You must register prior to arriving as spots are limited. The next workshop is scheduled for Saturday June 4th where kids can build a Trophy Smartphone Holder for Dad, just in time for Father’s Day, June 19th. Check back every few weeks as more monthly workshops are added.
Lowe’s Build & Grow Workshops – Similar to Home Depot’s workshop, Lowe’s Build & Grow workshops also offer a once a month activity for kids. You must also register in advance to secure your spot. The next workshop is scheduled for June 11th where kids can build a Captain America figure. Check back every few weeks as more monthly workshops are added.
DNR Free Fishing Weekend – This fun freebie takes place only twice a year for kids and families. What a better time to try your hand at fishing! The next Free Fishing Weekend will take place June 11th and 12th.
Harbor Springs Deer Park – Spend an afternoon or evening feeding the deer at this city owned park. Bring them some fresh produce and watch the deer enjoy their meal.
Oden Fish Hatchery – We love taking the kids here in the spring when the weather starts to warm up and again in the fall after all the summer crowds have dissipated. The kids can ride their bikes on the paved paths or hike with us on the trails. Bring some quarters to feed the fish!
Castle Farms – Take an afternoon and explore this real life castle in Charlevoix! Play a game of giant chess, explore the grounds and then head down to Ferry Beach to look for Petoskey Stones.
Little Traverse Wheelway Walk, run or grab your bikes and cycle this picturesque 26 miles of this paved path that runs from Harbor Spring all the way to Charlevoix along gorgeous Lake Michigan. Pack a picnic lunch and look for Petoskey Stones along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Enjoy Delicious Ice Cream – Petoskey and Harbor Springs both have a ton of yummy ice cream shops. It’s hard to choose but it’s always fun to grab a cone or a dish and then head down to the Waterfront park and enjoy the views and playground with the kids. Here in Petoskey, choose from Kilwin’s or Murdick’s ice cream shops in Petoskey’s Gaslight District or enjoy Kilwin’s Kitchen (they even offer free chocolate tours!!) or The Bob-In Again along the Little Traverse Wheelway and US-31, near Bay View.