by Julie S
Summer offers a wonderful time to get out and explore everything that our area, and Michigan, has to offer. One of the most fun things to do is take a tour, and learn a little bit about our state, our food, our city, and our past.
Most of these have been done by a KzooKids writer and are highly recommended, and the rest are on our “to do” lists!
TOURS WITH KIDS AROUND MICHIGAN
Here’s a listing of the tours in our area:
Within An Hour Of Kalamazoo
- Moo-ville in Nashville-See our KZOOkids.com review for more information on this fun, family farm tour.
- Wolf Lake Hatchery in Mattawan-Take this tour to learn on how the fish population is managed for our Michigan lakes and streams.
- Marshall Historic Home Tour in Marshall-Self-guided historic home tours available year-round. Dates and times are primarily on the weekend and by appointment only. Check the website for more details.
- Air Zoo -Tours are available from one of the volunteers (most are World War II veterans) at the entrance to the main exhibition room or group tours can be scheduled.
- Kellogg Farm and Dairy – Check out one of the scheduled Open Houses to learn how cows are milked using the robotic milker. They also arrange group tours.
- W.K. Kellogg Manor House – Take a self-guided tour and learn the history of this great estate. During the holiday season, they offer a Holiday Walk & Market Tour with local artists and vendors.
- Kellogg Bird Sanctuary – Take one of the several self-guided tours of the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. Information regarding the self-guided tours can be found at their website and you borrow a copy of the tour brochures or purchase a souvenir copy from the Sanctuary’s Resource Center.
- Kellogg Biological Station – Long-Term Ecological Research – a free self-guided walking tour offered May through November, approximately an hour long. Visitors can enjoy nature while learning how scientists at KBS are researching ways to help make farming profitable while protecting and enhancing our state’s natural resources. Trail guides are available at the trail head and lead visitors through 16 stations.
- Binder Zoo-Breakfast With The Animals – This tour gives you a behind the scenes look at what the animals at the zoo eat and gives you a chance to feed the animals, too.
- Vicksburg Historical Museum – Self-guided tour of historic Vicksburg village including train station, newspaper print shop, railway express, and more.
- Critter Barn – Self-guided tours during public visiting hours and guides for preschool through elementary school. Children get a chance to see animals up close and interact with them.
(Gilmore Car Museum)
- Gilmore Car Museum -Self-guided tour of one of the top car museum in the country! Browse historic, restored barns filled with incredible automobile collections, visit the vintage Franklin and Model A dealerships, and the 1930s Shell gas station, or enjoy lunch at our historic Blue Moon Diner. Group tours can also be scheduled. School groups can visit the Gilmore Car Museum for Free!
- Dr. Nathan Thomas House – Tours are available by appointment by writing the Schoolcraft Historical Society. Michigan’s most active Underground Railroad participants, a founding member of the state’s Republican Party and Kalamazoo County’s first physician.
- Kalamazoo Nature Center and Delano Farms -Trail tours, Golf Cart Tours, and DeLano Farm Tours are some of the ways to see the Kalamazoo Nature Center. These tours change seasonally. Check the KNC Event Calendar for dates of tours that run seasonally or see these listed on our KZOOkids.com Event Calendar.
- Kalamazoo Valley Museum – Self-guided tours are available to print out and help kids focus on the important aspects of history and science exhibits. We love the learning aspect of this tour! Plus, we love that this museum is always FREE.
(Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary)
- Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary – Tours are offered at this home to about 50 American alligators and a handful of tortoises and snakes.
- Tillers International Tour – Tillers offers tours of its main facility, the Cook’s Mill Learning Center. Visitors are welcome to come by every Thursday at 10:00 am for an informal guided tour for a suggested donation of $5 per person. You are welcome to call to talk to them about scheduling a tour on a different day or at a different time.
- Meijer Garden -Kids Tram – A special look at Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park just for the kids and their parents or caregivers. Riders will have the opportunity to participate in rhythms and songs as they learn about the sculptures through fun and familiar kids’ songs. (These tours typically run during the summer on select days). Regular tram tours run at other times of the year.
(Historic Charlton Park)
- Historic Charlton Park-Self-guided tour brochures can be picked up at the Upjohn House Visitor’s Center. Historic Charlton Park includes 25 historic residences, businesses, and community buildings were moved from throughout Barry County to create the village.
Tours Around Michigan That Are Worth The Drive
Here are some more ideas for tours to take when you’re out and about. We’ve done these tours and recommend them to our KZOOkids.com readers.
- Trolley tours offered in Grand Haven, Muskegon, and Manistee. Tour one of these Lakeshore communities in an open air trolley.
- USS Silversides – Explore a real World War II submarine through this self-guided or directed tour.
- Country Dairy – Learn through “Moo School” on how the farm operates, how milk is bottled, and more. (Be prepared to wear a hair net through your tour.) Tour ends with a sample of chocolate milk and fresh cheese. Yum!
- Little Sable Point Lighthouse – Tour a historic lighthouse through this self-guided tour as you navigate your way to the top of a 92-foot lighthouse.
Other Tours Around Michigan
Here are some other ideas for tours around Michigan if you happen to be in the area!
(photo courtesy of the Henry Ford Museum)
- Ford Rouge Factory Tour in Detroit
- JIFFY Mix Plant Tour in Chelsea
- Kilwin’s Chocolate Kitchen Tour in Petoseky.
- Michigan State Capitol Tour in Lansing
Want more tours? Check out our Candy and Ice Cream Tours around Michigan. Your kids will love these!
Do you have a favorite area tour that we may have missed? Please let us know. Thanks!