We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Michigan with Kids: mackinac island, sleeping bear, traverse

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
18 posts
3 reviews
Michigan with Kids: mackinac island, sleeping bear, traverse

I'd like to take my 3 and 7 year old to Michigan for a day or so next week, but I'm not for sure where. Mackinac Island, Sleeping Bear, Traverse City, St. Joseph... Does anyone have a suggestions? We're traveling from Chicago.

Thank you!

Northern Michigan
Destination Expert
for Petoskey, Michigan
Level Contributor
2,306 posts
37 reviews
1. Re: Michigan with Kids: mackinac island, sleeping bear, traverse

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.

Chicago's North...
Destination Expert
for Illinois, Chicago
Level Contributor
8,254 posts
327 reviews
2. Re: Michigan with Kids: mackinac island, sleeping bear, traverse

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?".........................

Level Contributor
22 posts
221 reviews
3. Re: Michigan with Kids: mackinac island, sleeping bear, traverse

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!

4. Re: Michigan with Kids: mackinac island, sleeping bear, traverse

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 October 2012, 18:17