by Jill P 

With the nicer weather lately, we’re reminded that Spring Break will be here before you know it. If you’re looking for ideas that are a quick day trip (or overnight) from Kalamazoo, we have great travel ideas for you!

So pack up the kids, grab some snacks, fill up the gas tank and head to one of these drive-able destinations.

navypier(Navy Pier)

Aquatic Show - Pacific White Sided Dolphin (1)

(photo courtesy of Shedd Aquarium) 


Discover: Museums and attractions galore! Some of our favorites include: Shedd Aquarium, Alder Planetarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago Children’s Museum, and The Field Museum. The Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Museum of Science and Industry all are part of the ASTC Travel Passport Program. If you travel a lot or love museums, you should look into getting a membership at one of our local museums i.e. Grand Rapids Public Museum or the Battle Creek Kingman Museum to enjoy reciprocal benefits.

Dine: Chicago is the place to get your pizza fix. Giordano’s and Gino’s East of Chicago are some pizza joints offering great deep dish pizzas. Expect to wait for a table during the busy dining hours. Plus, Rainforest Cafe’ and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. offer some fun family dining options with kid-friendly menus.

Play: Millennium Park is one of favorite family places to check out and run around. It’s open year-round. Looking for another fun play place? Who can resist checking out all of the action on Navy Pier? We love the Ferris Wheel reaching 150 feet into the sky with great views of both the city and Lake Michigan.

DiscoveryWorld-1 discoveryworld-2

(Discovery World)


Discover: Check out Discovery World with tons of hand-on science and technology exhibits. Some of favorites include the automation dream machine. simple machine ship yard, and the Reiman Aquarium. Plus, this museum is part of the ASTC Passport Program where members of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Air Zoo, or Kingman Museum in Battle Creek can get in for FREE.

Dine: Catch a quick bite at the Milwaukee Public Market. There’s plenty of places to grab a quick bite or a snack from one of the many vendors at the market. We love C. Adam’s Bakery which features over 100 variations of pies, cookies, bars, morning pastries. Yum!

Play: Looking for a fun playground for the kids to burn off their extra energy? Check out the playground at the Henry Maier Festival Park. All of the summer festivals are held here, so if you head over in the summer expect to see it very busy.


HenryFord-1 henryford-2

(Henry Ford Museum)

Dearborn & Ann Arbor

Discover:  Dearborn and Ann Arbor are located within a 40 minute driving distance from each other, so we typically try to do a few things in each city while we are in the area. The Henry Ford Museum is a great gem of Michigan. With such historic exhibits that include the Rosa Parks Bus and presidential vehicles that transported American presidents, there are so many exhibits that give you a flavor for American History. The Ford Rouge Factory Tour is close by and has recently been redesigned. See our full review hereNote: Greenfield Village does not open until April 15, 2016.

Dine: The buffet at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor is a quick easy-on/easy-off stop on your way to the Henry Ford Museum. You can stop at Zingerman’s Deli near the University of Michigan campus and get their famous chocolate bread and hot chocolate.  Or while in Dearborn, check out Buddy’s Restaurant Pizzeria for a laid back environment and good pizza. Locals swear by it and rate it Detroit’s #1 square pizza since 1946.

Play: Try strolling around the grounds of the University of Michigan. Its never too early to plant the seeds of college for your children. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum has plenty of hands-on and interactive for the kids to enjoy. You’ll want to allocate at least a few hours for the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.



IndyZoo-21-Kerrie Best

(photo courtesy of the Indianapolis Zoo-Kerrie Best)


(photos courtesy of Children’s Museum of Indianapolis)


Discover: Think Spring and head over to the Indianapolis Zoo.The Indianapolis Zoo is a wonderful urban zoo. The daily Dolphin Presentation is one of the zoo’s most popular attraction and is included with regular Zoo admission. Check out the Visit Indy website for a ton of ideas of things to do while you’re there. Our friends at Indy with Kids also have a ton of ideas for family friendly fun!

Dine: Check out the Old Spaghetti Factory. I remember eating at one of these when I was a kid and they are a ton of fun. Plus, there’s a ton of other kid-friendly restaurants on the Visit Indy website.

Play:  The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is loads of fun. There is something for everyone at the museum so make sure you block enough time out to check it all out. A reader recommended exhibit is the ®Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World. Children and families are immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Cretaceous Period, 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs last roamed the Earth. If your kids love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, they currently have a special exhibit, “Secrets of the Sewers” through April 10, 2016.

Wanting to check out a great local garden? Garfield Park Conservatory & Sunken Garden is a small, but inviting garden. Admission is just $2.


Do you have any fun day trips planned for over Spring Break? We’d love to hear what you have planned! Please leave your ideas in the comment section below.







By | 2016-02-19T19:08:43+00:00 March 25th, 2015|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Newly Published|2 Comments

About the Author:

Jill is a mom of a busy 9 year old son. When not working the website, Jill likes to hike, cook, and read in her free time.


  1. Judy Palermo March 25, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Thanks Jill!

    We are super excited that you mentioned the Indianapolis Zoo for a memorable road trip. We also have the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center where you can watch cognitive research where orangutans use touch screens to interact with our staff. We also have dolphin in-water adventures and animal art adventures. Indy is a great city and offers so much for guests to enjoy. I advise your readers to plan ahead and visit to make the most of their visit and save money.

    Hope you all make the trip to Indy!

    Judy Palermo
    Sr. Public Relations Manager for the Indianapolis Zoo

    • Jill P March 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Judy for the additional tips! Great advice! We have a number of families that will be visiting from Kalamazoo during Spring Break.


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