Say Cheese! 18 Fantastic Kalamazoo Photo Locations for Families


Brilliant Kalamazoo Photo Locations to Have in Your Family Album

Do people still say “say cheese” these days? Whichever way you get your family to smile for the camera, you’ll want to say it at these 18 photo locations and iconic landmarks.

Southwest Michigan has plenty of postcard-worthy views and sights from scenery to experiences that are just as fun to visit as they are stunning to capture.

Best Photo Locations: 18 Most Memorable Pics to Take With Your Kids

Scroll through the most Instagram-worthy photo locations in and around Kalamazoo and see how many you already have and what you’re missing.

Plus, we need your insight into #1!

18 – Leila Arboretum’s Fantasy Forest

928 W Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49037

Snap a pic with wizards, castles, dragons and other mythical creatures at Leila Arboretum’s Fantasy Forest, where admission is FREE. These mesmerizing wooden sculptures are ready for their close up. #LeilaArboretum

17 – Candy Cane Lane

200 W South St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

The holiday season in Kalamazoo is pretty special. Ride the Holly Jolly Trolley, grab some hot cocoa from Cherri’s Chocol’art, and stroll through the giant candy canes in Bronson Park for an annual photo tradition. #CandyCaneLane

16 – Kalamazoo Murals

Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Gorgeous art is all around us – and Kalamazoo is no exception. Many artists have taken to the streets to share their visions with the southwest Michigan community.

Use our mural crawl to navigate your way around Kalamazoo to find these amazing pieces. Keep your eyes peeled because some may be tricky to spot. #MuralCrawl

photo: Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes

15 – Air Zoo Planes

6151 Portage Rd, Portage, MI 49002
(269) 382-6555

The Air Zoo is a multi-sensory adventure like nothing you’ve seen. This family-friendly aerospace and science museum is filled with over 100 historic aircraft that are ready for their close up.  #AirZoo

14 – Lake Michigan Waves

South Haven: 60 Water St, South Haven, MI 49090
Silver Beach: 101 Broad Street St, Joseph, MI 49085

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

13 – Gilmore Car Museum

6865 W Hickory Rd, Hickory Corners, MI 49060
(269) 671-5089

The Gilmore Car Museum is home to nearly 400 vehicles, a restored 1941 Silk City Diner, and a recreated 1930s Shell Station. Before you leave, be sure to snap a photo of their oldest vehicle on exhibit, an 1899 Locomobile Steam Car. #GilmoreCarMuseum

12 – Kalamazoo Nature Center

7000 N Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 381-1574

The Kalamazoo Nature Center 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 both the water tower and the stream.

Head inside to the visitor’s center and you’ll find a variety of animals and an interactive indoor forest. #KalamazooNatureCenter

11 – Western Michigan University Sporting Events

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 387-1000

WMU Athletics 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

Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Families flock to the Kalamazoo Mall area to see everything from parades to sidewalk sales in Downtown Kalamazoo. It’s home to special events like Art on the Mall and Mixer on the Mall. Some favorite photo spots are Devisser Alley and the colorful Bates Alley, featuring a street mural by Patrick Hershberger. #DowntownKalamazoo

9 – Giant Rocking Chair at Gull Meadow Farms

8544 Gull Rd, Richland, MI 49083
(269) 629-4214

Gull Meadow Farms has been offering fun for families for over a decade.

All activities aside, the one ‘must-do‘ when visiting is to snap a picture in their famous giant rocking chair. This same chair makes an appearance during the holidays for photos with Santa.

If you’re looking for additional oversized furniture, they also offer a massive porch swing in the Back Forty area. #GullMeadowRockingChair

8 – Ramona Park Beach

8600 S Sprinkle Rd, Portage, MI 49002

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

7 – Celery Flats Historical Area

7328 Garden Ln, Portage, MI 49002
(269) 329-4522

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. You’d be hard-pressed to visit Celery Flats and not see a photo shoot in action.

Whether you’re looking for photos with forest, river, lake, bridges, stones, or an old schoolhouse, Celery Flats has you covered. #CeleryFlats

6 – Dinosaur Park

2101 Wilbur Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49006

Head over to Western Michigan University’s campus to step back in time near Rood Hall.

Visitors can see six large life-like statues of favorite dinosaurs including Spinosaurus, Triceratops and Stegosaurus.

The park is FREE to visit, but most areas of campus are permit-only parking. #DinosaurPark

5 – Gene the Pumpkin Man

22637 M-43, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

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

3836 S Drake Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 760-9023

Asylum Lake Preserve is brimming with natural beauty.

4-legged family members are welcome to join in the photoshoot, too, as leashed dogs are welcome on this beautiful 274-acre preserve.  #AslyumLake

3 – Binder Park Zoo Giraffes

7400 Division Dr, Battle Creek, MI 49014
(269) 979-1351

Hand feeding giraffes in the Wild Africa section of the park 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 (warning – adults love this just as much too!) #BinderParkZoo

More photo ops: Petting Zoos & Regular Zoos

2 – Kalamazoo State Theatre Marquee

404 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-650

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

1 – What is Your Favorite Photo Location?

We want to hear from you. What is the quintessential spot in Southwest Michigan to capture family photos – comment below!

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