The best way to re-experience childhood is through a child’s eyes. These Michigan children’s museums offer plenty of ways to do that. Don’t forget to take the children!

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Get those hands clean with experiences including H2Oh; a Michigan gallery with a soundscape, nature wall, native fish and geology; and Keep Smiling, all about our miraculous teeth.

Side trip: University of Michigan’s Museum of Natural History,

Detroit: Michigan Science Center

The universe is out of this world. Experience what that really means at the 50-foot-wide, three-story high domed planetarium, hands-on interactives and exhibits that focus on wonders under and beyond the sun.

Side trip: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History,

Lansing: Impression 5 Science Center

Go with the FLOW: A Water Experience in the Great Lakes State’s capital city. In this new, interactive exhibit, families play with water jets and a giant flywheel, explore vortex physics, and build and test sailboats.

Side trip: Michigan State University Museum,

Marquette: Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum

This museum is your transfer point to the Wunderground beneath our feet, the kid-sized world of the Micro-Society, and a trip through the human body. Any kid can be an archeologist, a DJ, a jet pilot or a railroad supervisor.

Side trip: Marquette Maritime Museum (seasonal)

St. Joseph: Curious Kids’ Museum & Discovery Zone

Situated on the sunset-viewing side of Lake Michigan, these companion facilities inspire creativity with more than 100 exhibits. Experience the hands-on Construction Junction, veterinarian clinic, the 25-foot-tall lighthouse tower, and climbing and traveling exhibits.

Side trip: Silver Beach Carousel

Traverse City: Great Lakes Children’s Museum

This gem caters to kids ages one to eight. Water-centric exhibits include a real periscope, learning about different types of bridges, exploring a 17-foot long freighter and an introduction to the life of a lighthouse keeper.

Side trip: The Music House Museum,


Joe Grimm is co-author of “Coney Detroit” with Katherine Yung, which makes him one of the biggest hot dogs in Michigan. Grimm went to high school with Scott Lukas and prefers a coney dog made with a poppy seed bun. As a student, Joe Grimm biked from the Detroit area to Mackinac Island for more bicycling on one of the only places in the United States that does not allow cars. Today, one of his favorite overnight Mackinac resting places is the Island House Hotel.

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