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Toddler-Friendly Activities in the Winter in Northern Michigan

by Amy Sutton, studioD

Northern Michigan, with its scenic Great Lakes shorelines and rivers, is a popular tourist spot throughout the year. During the summer, visitors flock to the area for water activities and to enjoy the splendor of nature. In the winter, though, there are still plenty of things to do in the area, even some toddler-friendly outings you and your little one can enjoy together.


Stay warm on a cold winter's day at one of the museums in Northern Michigan. Great Lakes Children's Museum (GreatLakesKids.org) features hands-on, interactive exhibits and activities for the kids. Exhibits include Living River, Waves of Gravity, a Water Table and Toddler Beach. You can attend programs and events, such as Toddler Time, Interactive Storytime and Kids Art Fairs. Or visit The Dennos Museum Center (DennosMuseum.org), where your toddler can play in the Discovery Gallery, which has unique interactive science and art exhibitions. Your tot can participate in special programs, like Family Days that feature music, dance, movement, stories, hands-on art and creative writing.

Library Activities

Make a trip to one of the area libraries in Northern Michigan for some free indoor activities with your tot. The Traverse Area District Library (TADL.org) has six locations throughout the region. Each library branch offers an assortment of children's activities ideal for your busy toddler, such as Wigglers Story Time for preschool age kids and younger, craft times, parties and Tot Time. Or you could visit the Mackinaw Area Public Library (MackinawAreaPL.MichLibrary.org) for one of the story times with story readings, music, movement, crafts and toddler-friendly activities.

Resort Activities

Plan a winter getaway to one of the resorts in Northern Michigan. The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (GrandTraverseResort.com) offers a number of family activities that your toddler can participate in. You can take your little one on a dogsled ride, go ice skating or take a horse-drawn sleigh ride. Kids can also enjoy s'mores and games around the campfire. Great Wolf Lodge features some toddler-friendly activities that your family can enjoy together. There is a water park with kids' play area; Cub Club with toys, crafts and children's activities; Creation Station where your toddler can create a furry friend; and regular daily activities, such as story times and shows.

Outdoor Activities and Events

If you're bundled up for the chilly weather, enjoy some of the outdoor winter activities that Northern Michigan has to offer families. There is skiing, tubing, sledding and plenty of places to play in the snow, building snowmen or making snow angels. Or you can attend events like the Winter Carnival at Michigan Tech (MTU.edu/carnival). You can watch events, such as ice bowling, snow volleyball and ice fishing or take a sleigh ride or dogsled ride. Have some hot chocolate and check out the book sale or watch the fireworks show with your little one.

About the Author

Amy Sutton began writing professionally in 2010. The majority of her work has been published on fitness, health-related and parenting websites. Sutton is well-versed and passionate about parenting, fitness and health issues.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images