cover image: Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Museum (Albion, MI)
Inspire Big Imaginations at a Phenomenal Children’s Museum
Museums have come a long way.
The days of big, stuffy places with velvet ropes and whispered voices are long gone and have been replaced with vibrant, interactive spaces.
You don’t have to cross state lines to find a multitude of Michigan museums where families can learn and play together. And with Museums for All, many visitors can explore for $3 or less per ticket!
Plan your next family’s adventure with this roundup of 20+ children’s museums in Michigan.
Find a Children’s Museum in Michigan
Ready to get started? We’ve broken down nearly two dozen options throughout the state of Michigan, organized by region.
We’ve also included a map to plan your next hands-on, learning adventure.
In this Guide
West & Southwest Michigan
The Air Zoo is a world-class, Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum featuring over 100 historic aircraft.
While not billed as a children’s museum, families will love the hands-on science exhibits, indoor amusement park-style rides and full-motion flight simulators.
The Air Zoo offers FREE admission to kids four and under and includes a Kids’ Corner for its youngest visitors to play.
The Children’s Museum of Branch County is an expanding, community driven museum where children can explore, learn and grow through interactive play. Be sure to visit favorite exhibits like Everbright, which contains rotating color discs that can be any of 250 colors allowing you to create anything you can imagine.
Other popular exhibits include the Spin Table, Music Area, and River Rock Climbing Wall.
While you’re at the museum, visit the Toy Box, a new retail space with popular toy brands for infants to upper elementary.
In 2023, the museum moved to W Chicago Street in Downtown Coldwater, providing more space for exhibits and learning.
Children can interact with a water power tower, climb a lighthouse, rock wall, or play outside on a boat and train.
Make sure to try the Whisper Dishes to see how far your whisper voice travels!
After concluding your museum visit, be sure to take a spin on the Silver Beach Carousel before heading home.
The Grand Rapid’s Children’s Museum is packed with fun and innovative exhibits.
Families will enjoy “Little Grand Rapids,” complete with a Meijer (don’t forget to take a ride on Sandy).
Toddlers have their own spot here in Wee Discover, complete with a rainbow ball sorter and play kitchen.
The bubble station is worth the stop: kids will love making giant bubbles with different wands and creating one large enough to stand inside.
How about a kids’ museum with free entry?
Centrally located in downtown Kalamazoo and with FREE admission, a visit to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum includes hands-on stations featuring geography, mathematics, history and other disciplines.
The Burton Henry Upjohn Children’s Landscape is a fun children’s area featuring books, puzzles, puppet stations and a coloring station.
The KVM also boasts a fantastic planetarium with a full schedule of shows featuring history, science and fun holiday themes (a nominal fee applies).
Kids ‘N’ Stuff Museum engages their youngest guests with pretend play: be a vet, actor, grocery shopper, or banker during your visit.
Two of their most popular areas are recently updated. The Drama Area has new lights, a larger stage, and a sound booth. The new water table features a water bell, vortex, and space for Lego Duplo building in the table.
This children’s museum is best for ages 18 months through second grade.
Learn the history of ships on the Great Lakes at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven.
This harborside museum spans five buildings and includes rotating exhibits and hands-on stations.
Visitors enjoy free museum admission when they purchase a ride on any of their boat excursions.
For kids four and older, we recommend the Pirate Chaser Sail.
The Mitten features Michigan-themed, play-based activities for children of all ages and abilities.
Children can learn while honing skills such as fine motor, problem-solving, spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination, and others.
Learn, and make memories while exploring Michigan-themed exhibits like, Let’s Grow, MakerSpace, The Studio & Reading Room, Under Our Feet, Vroom Room, and Motown & Me.
From its first exhibit opening in 2007, the Sandcastles Children’s Museum now offers over thirty interactive exhibits for families.
Some of our favorites include the climbing wall, LudRock Sound Stage, USS Badger replica PlayShip, and Building Foundations (heavy construction play).
Infants and toddlers will have a ball here too in their pirate-themed Discovery Zone.
Southeast Michigan & Thumb
Any hands-on kids museum has our undivided attention.
Through interactive activities, children can learn about the human body, weather, Michigan nature, traffic lights, and magnets at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.
We love the designated area for children under four.
The Outdoor Adventure Center is located on the Detroit River and brings “Up North, Downtown.”
Explore over 20 interactive and educational exhibits – walk under a waterfall, visit the campsite, and experience simulations for fishing and kayaking.
With school field trips, virtual education sessions, and team building for adults, there is something for everyone.
The Flint Children’s Museum is an immersive, hands-on experience aimed at kids aged 2 – 10.
The Discovery Zone area is a family favorite, with exhibits changing every three months to learn something new.
Toddler visitors enjoy the Tot Spot, with age-appropriate toys and activities for early learners. This area features lower furniture, mirrored and textured walls, and mats for crawling.
20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn, MI 48124
Tickets start at $26.25; Combination tickets are available for both locations
Museums for All Participant
The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are worth the trip with kids for more than just cars (although there are plenty of those!). Be sure to see the Civil Rights exhibit at The Henry Ford, including Rosa Parks’ bus.
Created in 1929 as an educational village, Greenfield Village is adjacent to the museum and offers a working farm, historic tradesmen and the original light bulb among its experiences.
The Michigan Science Center is one to check off the bucket list before your kids grow up!
Psst, it’s also ultra fun for adults too.
They have a mini replica of the Mackinac Bridge you can walk over, an Apollo trainer ship to climb into, and a plethora of hands-on interactive things to do in their space.
Plus, it’s located in the heart of Downtown Detroit so making a day trip or long weekend out of it would be the icing on the cake!
If you’re up for more Detroit fun, try Belle Isle or splash in the waterfront splash pad, ride the carousel and visit the Eastern Market.
Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum is a “Play and Learn” environment for all. From adaptive play tools to financial assistance they aim to minimize barriers to allow all children and families to enjoy and interactive play-and-learn environment.
Popular areas of this museum include A-Mazing Airways, aMazing Tot Spot specifically for the littler visitors, Tinker Track, and when you’re in need of a little break, visit Mind Unwind.
Sloan Museum is filled with regional history, historic automobiles, and hands-on science. Traveling exhibits with educational and entertaining material fill the Temporary Gallery year-round.
Favorite areas: Discovery Hall – full of hands-on science, the 3-story ABC Treehouse, Great Lakes water table, and the makers’ space area in the Discovery Lab.
Virtual tour of the Early Childhood Learning Gallery at Sloan Museum of Discovery
The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History inspires curiosity with exhibits that explore the natural world from molecules to dinosaurs, a planetarium to discover the Universe, public labs to do actual science, and opportunities to chat with scientists.
Visit some of the museums engaging exhibits – journey through four billion years of life on Earth, step inside a giant cell for a closer look, learn about prehistoric whale skeletons, and explore the wide variety of hands-on and minds-on activities.
If your kids love learning about animals, you will want to head to Gaylord, MI.
The Call of the Wild Museum has over 60 displays of North American Animals in re-creations of their natural habitats.
They also offer a wildlife theater and hands-on discovery room.
Experience the history of the Great Lakes as you explore the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. Walk the deck of the life-size schooner and feel the power of a Lake Huron storm and “swim” over a shipwreck in the dive tubes.
The sanctuary is full of exciting adventures for everyone. Take a shipwreck tour on a glass bottom boat, go scuba diving or snorkeling, explore the scenic coastal drive and stops along the way, go fishing, or explore the several museums.
Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing is a children’s museum designed to give kids of all ages a truly hands-on approach to learning using all five senses.
Exhibits that you won’t want to miss include Building Zone, Throwing Things, Flow Water Experience, and Michigan Nature area where you can explore the different natural environments of our state.
The First Impression Room is for museum-goers from birth to four years old. Must-do activities in this area include Harley’s Space Station, light sensory table, and the water table.
There is much for kids to discover at the Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum. Learn about some busy pollinators at Beemazium, splash around with Water Works, or use at the ATM at the Honey Money Bank.
Even the littlest visitors have their own learning space, Baby Carrots. Kids will learn about farming while gathering eggs, planting gardens and going fishing.
Children’s Museums in MI Map
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Do you have a favorite children’s museum in Michigan?
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