15 Best Photo Locations with Kids in Southwest Michigan

Brilliant Photo Spots around Kalamazoo to Have in Your Family Album

Do you remember the days of Polaroids and Kodak “Photo Spots”?  The signs aren’t quite as prevalent as they use to be, but that certainly doesn’t mean there are less photo-worthy places and iconic landmarks. Kalamazoo offers wonderful scenery that should be in your smartphone photo reel and shared on your Instagram page.

Southwest Michigan has plenty of postcard-worthy views and sights. Scroll through our list of the most Instagram-worthy places in and around Kalamazoo and see how many you already have and what you’re missing. Plus, we need your insight into #1.

Perhaps it’s time to update the 3-year old family photo you currently have on display. Make sure to check out our Kalamazoo Photographer’s Guide for Families.

15 Most Memorable Pics to Take With Your Kids

#15  – Air Zoo

The Air Zoo is a multi-sensory adventure like nothing you’ve seen. This family-friendly aviation museum is filled with over 50 historic aircraft and amusement park-style rides offering ample chances for wide smiles and enthusiastic grins#airzoo

Photo Spot with kids

#14 – Lake Michigan

Although not exactly in the immediate Kalamazoo area, visiting one of the plentiful nearby white-sandy beaches and snapping that perfect picture of your child frolicking in the sand is a must-do for every family.  #lakemichigan

kid photo beach

#13 – Gilmore Car Museum

This car lover’s museum is home to nearly 400 vehicles, a restored and full-functioning 1941 Silk City Diner and a recreated 1930s Shell Station. Full of color, the cars make for lively photo ops. Be sure to see the oldest car on exhibit: an 1899 Locomobile Steam Car. #gilmorecarmuseum

photo Gilmore Car

#12Kalamazoo Nature Center

The KNC is home to miles of trails through woods, wetlands and prairies. One of our favorite spots in the KNC is their Nature’s Playground in the arboretum. Your kids can climb, splash, and play in the mud! They’ll love the water tower and stream.  #kalamazoonaturecenter

Water Play

#11 – Western Michigan University Sporting Event

WMU has 15 varsity sports. With everything from football to hockey to gymnastics, there’s something for everyone in the family. The kids will love the game-day excitement and cheering the Broncos to victory. Sport your black and gold and score some great game day photos. Go Broncos! #WeWillReign

#10 – Downtown Kalamazoo Mall

Families flock to the Kalamazoo Mall area to see everything from parades to sidewalk sales. With special events like Art on the Mall and Mixer on the Mall, Kalamazoo offers plenty of photo opportunities. Favorite photo spots are Devisser Alley and the colorful Bates Alley.  Be sure to come downtown during the holiday season for trolley rides, hot cocoa and of course a visit and picture with Santa. #downtownkalamazoo

#9 – Giant Chair at Gull Meadow Farms

Gull Meadow Farms has been offering fun for families for over 10 years. All activities aside, the one ‘must do‘ when visiting is to snap a picture in their famous giant rocking chair. Did you know the large rocking chair is also used for pictures with Santa at Christmas during Gull Meadow Farms free Santa hours? New for this season, they have added a giant porch swing in the Back Forty area as another photo spot. #gullmeadowrockingchair

# 8 – Pier/Dock at Ramona Park Beach

Ramona Park is a favorite sport for locals with its small, shallow, life-guard-staffed, kid-friendly beach with panoramic views of Long Lake. #ramonapark

# 7 – Celery Flats

You’d be hard-pressed to visit Celery Flats and not see a photo shoot in action. From Senior pictures to engagement pictures, Celery Flats is a local favorite, not only because of its beauty but also for the variety of unique elements. Whether you’re looking for photos with a forest, river, lake, bridges, stones, or an old schoolhouse, Celery Flats has you covered. #celeryflats


#6 – Sledding at Oakland Street Park

Oakland Street Park’s large hill is picture perfect for not only sledding fun, but also a winter picture amidst falling snowflakes. When viewed from the top of the hill, it’s a fantastic backdrop to document your kids snowy, wintery fun. #snowintheface

#5 – Visiting Gene the Pumpkin Man

Only open from September to November, getting this picture will take a little planning but is so worth it! Gene the Pumpkin Man offers as many beautiful photo ops as pumpkins and squash for sale. Many say meeting Gene the pumpkin man himself is an experience you’ll not soon forget. #genethepumpkinman

#4 – Asylum Lake Preserve

Eager to get your 4-legged family member in one of these iconic shots as well? Your leashed dog is welcome on the beautiful 274-acre preserve. Check out Asylum Lake Preserve for a spot brimming with natural beauty#aslyumlake

#3 – Feeding Giraffes at Binder Park Zoo

Hand feeding giraffes in Wild Africa is on the bucket list for any visit to Binder Park Zoo. Kids get a kick out of the giraffes blackish/purple tongue as it stretches out for a green leafy treat.  #BinderParkZoo

#2 – The Kalamazoo State Theatre Marquee

One of Kalamazoo’s most iconic sites is the famous State Theatre marquee. Arrive at dusk when the sign is lit up to all its glory to get the best picture. #kazoostate

and finally,

#1 – What would you say?

We want to hear from our readers. What is the quintessential spot in our area of the mitten to capture family photos – comment below!

How many of these places have you snapped your families photo already?

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