by Jill P


When the winter wind chills Traverse City, you don’t have to stay bundled up in your house. Actually, northern Michigan’s winter can offer a lot of fun for families in Traverse City! This beautiful region is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, and the downtown area offers plenty of fun for everyone. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here are five fun things you’ll love to do with your kids in Traverse City, Michigan.

Take Ski Lessons

Do you love winter sports? You’ll love Shanty Creek! This ski destination is a great place for families to get out and enjoy the wonder of snowy weather. Kids can take ski lessons or hit the slopes with parents. There are a variety of ski runs for all levels, so everyone will be happy all day long! Finish up with a cup of hot cocoa for the perfect kid-friendly winter day.

Go Snow Tubing

Move over, sledding—snow tubing is this generation’s favorite snow activity! Your kids will be safe and happy as they zoom down the hills on a snow tube. You can try the slopes at Shanty Creek, take advantage of the express lift at Mt. Holiday, or discover what Timberlee Hills has to offer. Your kids will have a blast no matter where you go!

Try Snowshoeing

Winter may blanket Michigan’s hiking trails in a thick coat of snow, but it doesn’t keep away avid outdoor families. While in Traverse City, grab some snowshoes and hit the trails! You’ll be able to see Traverse City trails from a new perspective. Alternatively, if you have older kids, you can go cross-country skiing to view the breathtaking scenery around Traverse City.


Take a break from the winter cold and go shopping. Head over to the Village at the Grand Traverse Commons for a great indoor shopping experience. You’ll find a ton of unique shops and one-of-a-kind treasures. You’ll even find some Kalamazoo products from the Kalamazoo Candle Company and Damn Handsome Grooming. Plus, you can grab lunch or a snack while you’re there.

RELATED: For summer fun, see our trip ideas in our Traverse City with Kids: Tips for Your Next Family Adventure.


Try a Fun Indoor Activity

Although Traverse City is an outdoor destination, there are plenty of fun things to do inside, as well. Take your kids to experience some of the city’s fun, family-friendly activities. Dennos Museum Discovery Gallery is a local favorite. This museum is a combination science and arts museum! It’s a crowd pleaser that is appropriate for kids of all ages.

For a less educational but still exciting afternoon, head to Lucky Jack’s for laser tag, bowling, an arcade, and (of course) pizza. A similar attraction is Incredible Mo’s. Visit both if you have time!


Traverse City is a wonderful winter destination for families! From indoor fun to outdoor adventures, you and your family will be sure to have a blast in this northern Michigan community.


What else do you love to do in Traverse City with kids? Let us know in the comments!