Can you tell us a bit about what you're looking for, what you'd like to do and what your interests are? I'm sure if you give us a little more info you'll have plenty of suggestions. One thing to keep in mind is the travel time...Mackinaw City's a good 6 hours from Chicago (that's if you're hauling *ss) so that might be too much for a one day trip.
for a day or 2, go to st joe. SBD, TC and mackinac island are way too far (6-8 hours, respectively; traffic permitting), IMO, for just a day or 2.... st joe is just a coupla hours away, traffic permitting... it also has some great stuff that's perfect for your kids' age group..... plus, a world class beach..........
save the other destinations for another trip. do do it right, allow a week.... in fact, a friend of mine just went up to SBD for a day, from chicago, and i was scratching my head saying to myself "WTF?".........................
Other ideas in MIchigan that are not too much of a drive would be the dune rides in Saugatuck, the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, and the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids--they have an amazingly wonderful children's garden. If you do make it further north, the Sleeping Bear Dunes area is beautiful, and kids love running up and down the dunes. The Great Wolf Lodge is right in Traverse City, too, if your kids love water parks. It's a blast, and it is only about forty minutes or so from the Sleeping Bear Dunes.
As for Mackinac Island/Mackinaw City, there is a lot there, too. It is a very easy area to visit since Mackinaw City is not very big, and there are many family friendly activities in the area. I highly recommend the Trolley ride across the Mackinac Bridge, either the historical tour or the sunset tour. I also recommend the Jack Pines Lumberjack Show--it's a little silly, but kids love it. A day trip across to the island is fun, and the Starline ferries are my son's favorite because they have a big spray out the back of them.
For future reference, there's a neat travel guide I've used for ideas in Michigan. It's called Kids Love Michigan, and it breaks down ideas for each region. Hope you have a fun trip!
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