by Jill P
During the summer, we love to be out and about exploring all of the fun things that Michigan has to offer. One of our favorite (and educational) things that we love to do is take a tour. There are so many things that you can learn about a business or organization! While we haven’t done all of these tours yet ourselves, we’ve done most of these and the others are on our “to do” list.
Here’s a listing of the tours in our area and in Michigan:
Within An Hour Of Kalamazoo
- Moo-ville in Nashville-See our KZOOkids.com review for more information on this fun, family farm tour.
- Wolf Lake Hatchery in Mattawan-Take this tour to learn on how the fish population is managed for our Michigan lakes and streams.
- Marshall Historic Home Tour in Marshall-Self-guided historic home tours available year-round. Stop by the Marshall Visitor’s Center to get more information.
- Air Zoo in Portage-Tours are available from one of the volunteers (most are World War II veterans) at the entrance to the main exhibition room or group tours can be scheduled.
- Kellogg Farm and Dairy in Augusta-Check out one of the scheduled Open Houses to learn how cows are milked using the robotic milker. The robotic milking viewing area is open year round Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to dusk. Also, watch for their Open Houses and special events on our KZOOkids.com Event Calendar.
- W.K. Kellogg Manor House-Take a self-guided tour and learn the history of this great estate. Pick up one of two brochures for the self-guided tour. The first is a Historical Walking Tour that provides historical information about the estate buildings. The second is a Botanical Guide that maps literally hundreds of plants on our grounds so that even a pleasant stroll can be an educational experience.
- Kellogg Bird Sanctuary-Take one of the several self-guided tours of the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. Information regarding the self-guided tours can be found at their website and you borrow a copy of the tour brochures or purchase a souvenir copy from the Sanctuary’s Resource Center.
- Binder Zoo-Breakfast With The Animals in Battle Creek-This tour gives you a behind the scenes look at what the animals at the zoo eat and gives you a chance to feed the animals, too.
- Vicksburg Historical Museum in Vicksburg-Self-guided tour of historic Vicksburg village including train station, newspaper print shop, railway express, and more.
(Gilmore Car Museum)
- Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners-Self-guided tour of one of the top car museum in the country! Browse historic, restored barns filled with incredible automobile collections, visit the vintage Franklin and Model A dealerships, and the 1930s Shell gas station, or enjoy lunch at our historic Blue Moon Diner. Group tours can also be scheduled. School groups can visit the Gilmore Car Museum for Free!
- Dr. Nathan Thomas House in Schoolcraft-Take a self-guided tour of one of Michigan’s most active Underground Railroad participants, a founding member of the state’s Republican Party and Kalamazoo County’s first physician.
- Kalamazoo Nature Center and Delano Farms in Kalamazoo-Trail tours, Golf Cart Tours, and DeLano Farm Tours are some of the ways to see the Kalamazoo Nature Center. These tours change seasonally. Check the KNC Event Calendar for dates of tours that run seasonally or see these listed on our KZOOkids.com Event Calendar.
- Kalamazoo Valley Museum in Kalamazoo-Self-guided tours are available to print out and help kids focus on the important aspects of history and science exhibits. We love the learning aspect of this tour! Plus, we love that this museum is always FREE.
(Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary)
- Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary in Athens-Tours are offered at this home to about 50 American alligators and a handful of tortoises and snakes. We have a KZOOkids.com review coming shortly to share the details of our tour.
- Tillers International Tour in Scotts-Tillers offers tours of its main facility, the Cook’s Mill Learning Center. Friends of Tillers are welcome to come by every Thursday at 10:00 am for an informal guided tour for a suggested donation of $5 per person.
- Meijer Garden -Kids Tram in Grand Rapids-A special look at Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park just for the kids and their parents or caregivers. Riders will have the opportunity to participate in rhythms and songs as they learn about the sculptures through fun and familiar songs like The Wheels on the Tram and Did you Ever See a Spider? (These tours typically run during the summer).
(Historic Charlton Park)
- Historic Charlton Park-Self-guided tour brochures can be picked up at the Upjohn House Visitor’s Center. Historic Charlton Park includes 25 historic residences, businesses and community buildings were moved from throughout Barry County to create the village. Watch the KZOOkids.com Event Calendar for fun events scheduled here throughout the year. Just an hour drive from Kalamazoo!
Tours Around Michigan That Are Worth The Drive
Here are some more ideas for tours to take when you’re out and about. We’ve done these tours and recommend them to our KZOOkids.com readers.
- Trolly tours offered in Grand Haven, Muskegon, and Manistee. Tour one of these Lakeshore communities in an open air trolley.
- USS Silversides in Muskegon–Explore a real World War II submarine through this self-guided or directed tour.
- Country Dairy in New Era-Learn through “Moo School” on how the farm operates, how milk is bottled, and more. (Be prepared to wear a hair net through your tour). Tour ends with a sample of chocolate milk and fresh cheese. Yum!
- Little Sable Point Lighthouse near Silver Lake-Tour a historic lighthouse through this self-guided tour as you navigate your way to the top of a 92 foot lighthouse.
Other Tours Around Michigan
There are some factory tours other tours that we’ve done in Michigan. These are great to do when you’re traveling to and near the destination.
(photo courtesy of the Henry Ford Museum)
- Ford Rouge Factory Tour in Detroit
- JIFFY Mix Plant Tour in Chelsea
- Kilwin’s Chocolate Kitchen Tour in Petoseky.
Do you have a favorite area tour that we may have missed? Please let us know. Thanks!