7 Best Family-Friendly Activities in Grand Traverse County

7 Best Family-Friendly Activities in Grand Traverse County

  • The Mitten Group
  • 09/27/23

A vibrant and scenic North Michigan region, Grand Traverse County is known for its ample cherry production, which is celebrated each July at the National Cherry Festival in downtown Traverse City. However, it has much more to offer than fresh, juicy cherries. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, the county is home to freshwater beaches, lakefront properties, and a beautiful woodland area with a winding network of hiking trails. Distinct towns and villages boast unique local shops and arts and performance venues. Michigan farm-to-fork cuisine supplies healthy and delectable dining around every corner. From endless outdoor activities to popular entertainment venues and cultural attractions, families can find a multitude of activities in Grand Traverse County to enjoy.

1. Swim and sun at Traverse City beaches

Although they're all lake beaches, the beaches in Traverse City are some of the best in Michigan. Whether you're looking for a secluded, peaceful stretch of sand or a hub for summer activities, finding the right beach for your family to while away a summer afternoon is easy. Traverse City State Park is ideal for entertaining an energetic crowd with opportunities for swimming, boating, and fishing in the Grand Traverse Bay. Outside the water, you can enjoy a picnic lunch, cycling, or walking the TART trail. For a more peaceful experience that can be perfect for smaller children, East Bay Park features a quiet landscape and calm, shallow water. Shaded picnic areas and a playground make it easy to keep everyone entertained for an afternoon or a full day.

2. Entertain the whole family at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has tons of activities for family members of all ages to enjoy. There are countless ways to enjoy the day, from kid-friendly events to indoor and outdoor water activities and golf lessons. Begin with virtual reality and arcade games at the entertainment hub in the main lobby. If you're feeling adventurous, take the fun outdoors and rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to paddle along the Lake Michigan shoreline. For a more relaxing water experience, visit the indoor water park to allow kids to play on the water features and slides. Your family's budding golf aficionados will surely enjoy personalized golf lessons at the Golf Academy.

3. Visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

While it's known for its tranquil and peaceful environment, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is an ideal spot for sightseeing and recreational opportunities. Embark on the famous dune climb to enjoy the massive sandbox-like environment and find spectacular views of Glen Lake from the top of the dunes. Extend your journey and take in miles of Michigan's natural beauty while hiking the network of trails that wind through the park. Cool off with a refreshing kayak or tube ride down the Platte River. Slow down for a while to relax and swim at the beaches where rivers empty into Lake Michigan. Explore the authentic old village of Glen Haven, where you can observe a working blacksmith shop and cannery boat museum. After an exhilarating day, spend the night at the Platte River Campground and turn your visit into a mini vacation.

4. Attend the National Cherry Festival

One of the most anticipated summer events, the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City is an eight-day celebration offering food, fun, entertainment, and family-friendly activities. Family members of all ages can enjoy thrilling rides and attractions, participate in events, pick fresh cherries, and take in live entertainment. Vendors throughout the grounds serve favorite food items and unexpected delights. The festival's final day even includes a parade complete with marching bands, floats, clowns, and more.

5. Explore Interlochen Center for the Arts

When you've had your fill of outdoor activities, take the action indoors with a visit to the Interlochen Center for the Arts. From arts education to live concerts and events, something truly inspiring is always happening at this exciting venue. Interlochen offers arts education programs for students in grades 3-12 and adults of all ages. Children can choose from opportunities to participate in Arts Academy, Arts Camp, online participation options, and more. Various concerts and live performances are held annually, which are open to the public.

6. Visit the Ghost Farm of Kingsley

When your brave family members are looking for a scary good time at Halloween, visit the Ghost Farm of Kingsley. Groups of up to 10 can tour the farm and explore the terror-inducing haunted trail. The frightening Haunted Trail tour begins just after dusk and lasts about 20 minutes, spooking unsuspecting guests with a variety of dramatic antics from scare actors. The farm tour includes the Cursed Barn, the Haunted Trail, and the Gravely Greenhouse. Families seeking a milder experience can enjoy the Dusk Walk, which includes visiting the haunted house without frights from the actors.

7. Take a Tall Ship Cruise

Traverse City is home to more sailing vessels than any other part of Michigan. Tall ship cruises are typically around two hours long and can be booked for various times throughout the day. Visitors can choose from cruise options that include a tasty brunch, ice cream, or entertainment. The setting on the ship emulates a 19th-century schooner, and passengers can move about to explore the vessel and see stunning water views.

Find your place in Traverse County with assistance from The Mitten Group

Traverse County is a beautiful region filled with entertainment options to delight family members of all ages. If you're seeking the ideal spot to call home in Northern Michigan, the neighborhoods of Grand Traverse County offer a variety of housing options to fit every lifestyle. From gated communities full of amenities to quiet residential neighborhoods or stunning waterfront estates, finding your ideal home is only a visit away.

When you're seeking a home in the highly sought-after communities of Grand Traverse County, you need a knowledgeable partner with experience in the local housing market. With a dedication to excellence and a track record of proven success, the real estate professionals at The Mitten Real Estate Group can help you find your place in Traverse County. Contact us today to learn more about the adventures your family can enjoy in Traverse City and available homes in the area.

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