All the Kid Fun in Battle Creek
Families will find plenty of community interaction as well as loads of fun for kids of all ages. Rain or shine, cold or not, the following Battle Creek spots have something for everyone. And, make sure not to miss the bonus areas, all within 30 minutes of Battle Creek.
1) Get Your Animal Fix at Binder Park Zoo
Binder Park Zoo
7400 Division Dr, Battle Creek, MI 49014
Did you know that giraffes love lettuce? Get a chance to see these amazing leafy green loving animals, as well as dozens more, at the Binder Park Zoo. This adventure park is walkable but includes a free Wilderness Tram from the main zoo to the Wild Africa exhibit, home to the must-see big cats, and striped & spotted friends.
If your feet need a break, hop on a flamingo or hippopotamus and ride the Conservation Carousel, or wind through the forest on the Z.O.&O Railroad. Binder Park Zoo also has a host of educational opportunities for budding zoologists of all ages, so check their events schedule prior to your visit.
2) Drive into the Past at Station 66
4588 D Dr S, Battle Creek, MI 49015
No matter how many years young you are, you will get a sweet sense of nostalgia walking into Station 66. Step inside the refurbished 1940s gas station to find unique ice cream flavors, fresh donuts and locally sourced produce.
Choose something off their mouthwatering diner-style menu, then put the cherry on top with a savory slice of pie or crisp. In the summer, enjoy your sweet treat outside on one of their many picnic areas. Photo op – stand next to the 14 ft. tall ice cream cone, carved out of solid oak, for a sweet picture.
3) Hit a Homerun at Bailey Park and ANYbodies Playground
1350 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017
Pack up the Cracker Jacks and gloves to head over to Bailey Park for America’s favorite pastime. This 80-acre park features three full-sized baseball stadiums, two softball diamonds, sand volleyball courts and shuffleboard courts. Bailey Park is also home to the Battle Creek Bombers, a summer league consisting of the nation’s top baseball players nationwide.
All physical abilities are welcome at the Anybodies Playground inside Bailey Park. Multiple slides, a sand area, swings and a toddler area make this totally fenced in park well worth the visit. Be sure to bring along lettuce to feed the ducks and geese who hang out in the nearby creek.
4) Reservations for Thousands at the Cereal Festival
Imagine a whole street filled with picnic tables and all the cereal you could ask for. If you’re a fan of this crunchy breakfast staple, you do not want to miss the Cereal Festival in downtown Battle Creek. The event takes place in June each year, and features a parade, vendors, live music and of course: cereal.
5) Pack a Picnic for Historic Bridge Park
Historic Bridge Park
14930 9 Mile Rd, Emmett Township, MI 49014
Historic Bridge Park is a sure-fire win for multi-generational enjoyment. Situated along the Kalamazoo River as the trailhead for the Linear Bike Path, history buffs can walk across several restored steel road bridges within the park.
Bring a picnic lunch and take in the scenery of the river while the kids get their wiggles out on the nearby playground. As an added bonus, bridges are lighted in the winter so bundle up and don’t forget the hot chocolate!
6) Tour de Linear Bike Path
Linear Bike Path
10 State Street West, Battle Creek, MI 49017
If your family prefers to get around on wheels, look no further than the Linear Bike Path. Find a spot in the free parking lot across from Friendship Park, and follow the Perimeter Park Trail northwest alongside the Kalamazoo River. The bike path offers various entry points in Battle Creek.
7) Capture History at the Underground Railroad Sculpture
Underground Railroad Sculpture
256 W Van Buren St, Battle Creek, MI 49017
Learn about the impact Battle Creek had on the Underground Railroad while admiring the 28ft long, 14 ft high sculpture dedicated to the men and women who risked their lives for freedom. Both young & old will take away something from this tribute to the past.
8) Bring your Aviators to the Field of Flight Air Show and Hot Air Balloon Festival
Field of Flight Air Show & Hot Air Balloon Festival
3140 5th Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49037
The Air Show & Balloon Festival is a multi-day event held annually over the 4th of July that has drawn crowds in the hundreds of thousands for decades past. With a schedule that includes air shows, hot air balloon launches, live music and plenty of food and craft vendors, this experience is an absolute bucket list item.
9) Enhance Your Five Senses at Leila Aroboretum
928 W Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49037
A favorite along this path is the Leila Arboretum, boasting over 2500 marked trees and plants with sights and smells to delight the senses. Admission to the arboretum is free and includes a peace labyrinth, kid-friendly Kaleidoscope Garden and a Fantasy Garden filled with unique wood carvings. In the summer, they also have a co-op farmer’s stand.
10) Out of this World at Kingman Museum
175 Limit St, Battle Creek, MI 49037
Located within the Leila Arboretum you will find the Kingman Museum. Both a planetarium and a natural history museum, this landmark location includes exhibits on the human body, outer space and a museum staple: dinosaurs!
Admission to the museum is free, but if the money is burning a hole in your pocket catch a show in the planetarium for $2/person.
photo: Kayla McCarthy
11) Aim for the Splash Zone at Flash Flood Water Park
Flash Flood Water Park
35 W Hamblin Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49017
Centrally located in downtown Battle Creek, Flash Flood Water Park is sure to get the adrenaline pumping for all the water babies in your life. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day, the indoor/outdoor waterpark includes two 200-ft water slides, a toddler area, a zero-depth pool entry and a snack shack to replenish your calories.
12) Hit the Trail at Ott Biological Preserve
Ott Biological Preserve
Arlington St, Battle Creek, MI 49014
Nature lovers will love a cool walk amongst the trees at the Ott Biological Preserve, just east of Battle Creek. This 298-acre park includes five miles of walking trails that take you through wetlands, forests and even alongside two spring-fed lakes.
Keep your eyes peeled for several species of carnivorous plants along the way, including pitcher plants, bladderwort and several orchid varieties.