100 Family-Experiences in the Great Lakes Bay Region Before the Kids Turn 18 Years Old

100 Family-Experiences in the Great Lakes Bay Region Before the Kids Turn 18 Years Old

Creating memories as a family is easy here in the Great Lakes Bay Region!  It is amazing the number of family-friendly happenings that occur in the Great Lakes Bay Region each year and many of them are FREE to attend.  Our region has numerous FESTIVALS occurring year round, an overwhelming number of SEASONAL EVENTS (which can be found on the KIDS DAILY CALENDAR), and so many PLAY SPACES to play and get creative.  This is our time as parents to create family-experiences that will be remembered by our kids for a life-time.  Start making memories with the help of this listing of 100 Family-Experiences.

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Many of the events listed on this page can be found on the KIDS DAILY CALENDAR.

1. Watch the DRAW BRIDGES in Bay City raise up and then be awed as the boats and freighter pass through – FREE

2. Create memories by attending Family Day at the SAGINAW ART MUSEUM

3. Feel the magic of the SANTA HOUSES – Midland Santa House & The Nate & MaryIda Doan Santa House – Bay CityFREE

4. Be awed by the 4TH of JULY FIREWORKS at Island Park (Saginaw), the Tridge (Midland), the Bay City Fireworks Festival, Fireworks in the Park (Chesaning)  – FREE

5. Go ice skating on an outdoor rink – Auburn Ice Rink, Midland City Forest, Nickless Family Community Pavilion at Wenonah Park (Bay City), Hoyt Park (Saginaw) – FREE

6. Feel the summer breeze while enjoying a FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT**  – FREE

7. Go blueberry or strawberry picking at a PICK YOUR OWN FARM

8. Feel the thrill of the TOBOGGAN RUN at Midland City Forest (Midland)

9. Start spring off HOLDING BABY ANIMALS at Grandpa Tiny’s Farm (Frankenmuth) or LeCronier’s Baby Acres (Freeland)

10. Splash around on hot summer days at an OUTDOOR POOL

11. Spin around on the HISTORICAL CAROUSEL  at Children’s Zoo (Saginaw)

12. Get ready to be spooked on the Roethke Park’s haunted EXPRESS MINIATURE TRAIN and forrest (Saginaw)

13. Have fun in the snow by going SLEDDING at your favorite hill – FREE

14. Pick out fresh local fruit & vegetables at the FARMERS MARKET

15. Search for the PERFECT ORNAMENT at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland (Frankenmuth)

16. Let a butterfly climb on your finger at BUTTERFLIES IN BLOOM at Dow Gardens (Midland)

17. Be dazzled by the local CHRISTMAS LIGHTINGS FREE

18. Examine the livestock at the COUNTY FAIR – Bay County, Isabella County, Midland County, Saginaw County

19. Step back in time to play old-time games at the Chippewa Nature Center’s HISTORIC SCHOOL HOUSE (Midland) – FREE

20. Get wet, make crafts, and play the afternoon away at the MID-MICHIGAN CHILDREN’S MUSEUM (Saginaw)

21. Walk high up in the trees on the CANOPY WALK at Whiting Forest (Midland)

22. PAINT & TAKE at the Studio 23/The Art Studio (Bay City)

23. Spy on patrons through the secret peek holes at the CASTLE MUSEUM (Saginaw)

24. Make the courageous slide down the MEGA TOWER at the playground at Chippawassee Park (Midland) –  FREE

25. Fly a kite, have a picnic and then cool off in the spray park at BAY CITY STATE PARK (Bay City) – FREE

26. Give a high five to the Saginaw Spirits Eagle while watching the SPIRIT HOCKEY GAME at the Dow Event Center (Saginaw)

27. Learn about the beginning years of the Dow Chemical Company at Heritage Park’s HERBERT H. DOW MUSEUM (Midland)

28. Dress in green and march in the ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE down Center Ave. (Bay City) – FREE

29. Discover a secret paths on the way to pick and eat a fresh vegetable at the CHILDREN’S GARDEN at Dow Gardens (Midland)

30. Dance to the music of the marching bands at the MEMORIAL DAY PARADE in Saginaw and MidlandFREE

31. Celebrate the fall season by finding the biggest pumpkin at the PUMPKIN FARM.

32. Pose beside the snow and ice sculptures at the ZEHNDER’S SNOWFEST (Frankenmuth) – FREE

33. Play all day in the HALL OF IDEAS and SPARK LAB at the Midland Center for the Arts (Midland).

34. Splash on the beach and build a sandcastle at SANFORD LAKE PARK, COLDWATER LAKE (Weidman), or HERRICK RECREATION AREA (Claire), or DEERFIELD NATURE PARK (Mt. Pleasant)

35. Rollerblade, bike or walk on the GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL TRAILSFREE

36. Watch a classic Christmas movie at THE TEMPLE THEATRE (Saginaw)  or the STATE THEATRE (Bay City).

37. Sample Greek food, listen to live entertainment, and participate in the kids’ activities at THE GREEK FESTIVAL (Saginaw)

38. Go TUBING down the Chippewa River in Mt. Pleasant

39. Follow the model railroad track throughout the ALDEN B. DOW HOME AND STUDIO (Midland)

40. Have a taste of fall with a cup of freshly pressed APPLE CIDER at a Apple Farm

41. Take a journey throughout our universe at the DELTA COLLEGE PLANETARIUM (Bay City)

42. Experience Michigan’s wildlife first hand while HIKING on the CHIPPEWA NATURE CENTER’S trails (Midland) ,  BAY CITY STATE PARK’S‘s trails, or  PRICE NATURE CENTER‘s trails (Saginaw)  – FREE

43. Relax on the lawn while rooting for the home team at a LOONS BASEBALL GAME

44. Get lost and then found in a CORN MAZE – Frankenmuth Corn Maze (Frankenmuth) and Johnson’s Giant Pumpkins, LLC (Saginaw)

45. Dare to climb high on the CLIMBING WALL at the Greater Midland Community Center (Midland) or CMU Climbing Wall (Mt. Pleasant)

46. Bundle up and feel the holiday spirit with a CHRISTMAS PARADE – Midland, Saginaw, and Auburn – – FREE

47. Work together on a wood craft at the HOME DEPOT KIDS WORKSHOP (Bay, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw Counties) – FREE

48. Eat kettle corn and drink root beer while hanging with re-enactors at the RIVER OF TIME (Bay City) – FREE

49. Crawl through a honey comb at DISCOVERY MUSEUM (Mt. Pleasant)

50. Be dazzled by the Victorian Christmas decorations at Heritage Park’s BRADLEY HOME (Midland)

51. Read and read some more to win prizes at the library’s SUMMER READING PROGRAMFREE

52. Discover the prolific sculptors of MARSHALL M. FREDERICKS (Saginaw) – FREE

53. Watch a OUT DOOR MOVIE at the park under the stars – FREE

54. Join the pilgrims on their way to Bethlehem to be counted at the LIVING NATIVITY: A JOURNEY TO BETHLEHEM (Saginaw) – FREE

55. Take a airplane ride with the YOUNG EAGLES (Midland) – FREE

56. Lay in one of the bunks on the USS EDSON – “THE DESTROYER” (Bay City)

57. Collect sap from nearby trees to be boiled in the SUGAR HOUSE at the Chippewa Nature Center (Midland) – FREE

58. Learn to MAKE PRETZELS at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant & Lodge (Frankenmuth)

59. Eat BREAKFAST at an airport – Jack Barstow Airport (Midland), James Clements Airport (Bay City), and Howard Nixon Memorial Airport (Chesaning)

60. Watch the SUNRISE at the Pinconning Park (Pinconning) – FREE

61. Have breakfast with Santa at the TROMBLEY HOME (Bay City)

62. Feed the animals at WILDERNESS TRAIL ZOO (Birch Run)

63. Search for eggs at an EASTER EGG HUNTFREE (Some have a charge)

64. Cruise the Saginaw River on PRINCESS WENONAH (Bay City)

65. Find the holiday spirit at the SANTA’S VILLAGE – THE NORTH POLE U.S.A. (Chesaning)

66. Take a moment to honor our Veterans at the COLEMAN VETERANS MEMORIAL (Coleman) – FREE

67. Get geeky and learn the rich history of Bay County at the BAY COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETYFREE

68. Get soaked at a SPRAY PARKFREE

69. Marvel at the skies during the BALLOON FESTIVALS in Midland & Frankenmuth

70. Feed carrots to the reindeer at the REINDEER AT THE LIBRARY (Bay County) – FREE

71. Discover the many quaint stores in the DOWNTOWNS – Bay City, Saginaw, Midland, Frankenmuth, Mt. Pleasant, and ChesaningFREE

72. Go Trunk-or-Treat Around the Track at SAGINAW VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITYFREE

73. Be inspired by the women athletes at the DOW TENNIS CLASSIC (Midland)

74. Experience the holiday fun during the SANTA EXPRESS at the Sanford Centennial Museum (Sanford) – FREE

75. Meanders past forests, grasslands, marshes, open water pools, and the Shiawassee River on THE WILDLIFE DRIVE (Saginaw)

76. Explore the TALL SHIPS during the Tall Ships Celebration (Bay City)

77. Create memories at a INDOOR WATER PARK

78. Rent a paddleboat at the William H. Haithco Recreation Area (Saginaw)

79. Wander through the fields of  a CHRISTMAS TREE FARM until the perfect tree is found

80. See a community play at Michigan’s LONGEST CONTINUOUSLY OPERATING COMMUNITY THEATER, the Bay City Players (Bay City)

81. Find family adventure at the FRANKENMUTH AERIAL PARK (Frankenmuth)

82. Participate in a traditional tea ceremony at the JAPANESE CULTURAL CENTER (Saginaw) – FREE (entrance into the gardens is free, there is a charge for tea)

83. Stroll to all corners of the TRIDGE (Midland) – FREE

84. Climb the CITY HALL CLOCK TOWER (Bay City)

85. Learn about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe at the ZIIBIWING CENTER (Mt. Pleasant)

86. Make dog tags at the SAGINAW VALLEY AIR MUSEUM (Saginaw)

87. Marvel at the magic of the FREELAND LIGHT SHOW (Freeland) – FREE

88. Get creative together at a FAMILY EVENT at the The Center for Excellence in STEM Education (Mt. Pleasant) – FREE

89. Meet the world’s greatest women golfers at the DOW GLBI (Midland)

90. Mountain Bike on the MICHIGAN SUGAR TRAILS (Bay City) – FREE

91. Marvel at the street art created by talented local artist at the CHALK WALK ART FESTIVAL (Bay City) – FREE

92. Check out FRIDAY NIGHT FUN NIGHT (Frankenmuth) – FREE

93. Get spooked at a HAUNTED HOUSE

94.  Roller skate the afternoon away at the ROLL ARENA (Midland)

95. Be WOWED by science, technology, engineering and math at the DELTA COLLEGE – STEM FESTIVAL (University Center) – FREE

96. Experience the thrill of the Midnight Monster Movies at THE HISTORIC MASONIC TEMPLE (Bay City)

97. Grab a bite at Frankenmuth’s FUNTOWN CHOWDOWN

98. Celebrate fall at FARMER BILL’S (Auburn)


100. Watch the Monster Truck Show Down at BIRCH RUN SPEEDWAY


Many of the events listed on this page can be found on the KIDS DAILY CALENDAR.