13 Amazing Amusement Parks in Michigan Perfect for Family Adventures
Whether you’re young or young at heart, Michigan’s amusement parks promise to put a smile on your face. From traditional roller coaster parks to adrenaline-boosting indoor games, from history-infused entertainment centers to water slides, there’s a Pure Michigan amusement park just for you.
Michigan’s largest amusement and water park sprawls across 250 acres north of Muskegon. Choose from 50 rides, on land and in the water, from the classic wooden coaster Shivering Timbers to the twisting Cyclone Zone water slide and the WildWater Adventure water park. Michigan’s Adventure offers seven roller coasters, a dozen thrill rides and gentler rides for the little ones. The centerpiece of Michigan’s Adventure water park is Beach Party, a giant structure outfitted with water guns, slides, water wheels, suspended bridges and a bucket that periodically douses everyone in the vicinity.
Who says an amusement park can’t be educational? At Nelis’ Dutch Village traditional amusements like a Ferris wheel, carousel, Petal Pumper cars and a spinning swing ride share space with Dutch history. Visitors can watch craftsmen carve wooden shoes using traditional Dutch tools. They can see Dutch cheese being made and learn Dutch folk dance. A variety of shops sell traditional Dutch souvenirs, from locally-made delftware to melt-in-your-mouth krakelingen butter cookies.
Michigan’s longest go-kart track, at 1,250 feet, also boasts some of the state’s fastest karts, making Arzo Amusement Park a popular spot for young adrenaline junkies. Go-karts are just one of the fun attractions at this eastern Michigan family fun center. Visitors can also test their stamina on a sky-high bungee, an orbitron, a dragon-themed roller coaster, a spaceship simulator, a mini golf course and bumper cars.
Synonymous with skiing in northern Michigan, Crystal Mountain offers an array of summertime activities no less thrilling. Take the family to The Edge Adventure Course, an elevated ropes course and zip line. Ride specially designed sleds downhill on the Crystal Coaster or test your strength on a climbing wall. And when the mercury soars, cool off at the mountain’s outdoor pool and playground, equipped with water cannons and bubblers, a zero-depth entry pool, lap lanes, water volleyball and basketball.
Meld aircraft history with an afternoon of fun at the Air Zoo. Famous flyers such as a Wright Brothers replica and fully restored WWII fighter planes stand alongside flight-themed rides and games at this Kalamazoo mainstay. The youngest visitors are likely to enjoy the Century of Flight Ferris wheel, the Flying Circus Bi-Plane Ride and the Montgolfier Balloon Race. Bigger kids—and adults—will enjoy 3D flight simulators and, during the summer months, outdoor flights in a vintage 4-person bi-plane.
Climb aboard one of 48 hand-carved, hand-painted horses on the Silver Beach Carousel, a St. Joseph tradition since 1910. The carousel’s home, Silver Beach Center, includes a branch of St. Joseph’s Curious Kids Discovery Zone, an interactive kids' museum with a lighthouse tower to scale, a climbing wall and a water table that mimics the shape of nearby Lake Michigan. Outside, visitors can cool off in an adjacent splash pad or follow the boardwalk over the dunes to Lake Michigan.
7. Mystery Spot – St. Ignace
This unusual location just west of the Mackinac Bridge has perplexed visitors since the 1950s, defying surveying equipment and causing many to feel a strange sensation or mild lightheadedness. A visit to the Mystery Spot will allow you to judge for yourself whether this spot is really mysterious. But there’s no doubt the park is a lot of fun. While you’re there, you can enjoy the Mystery Spot’s 18-hole mini golf course, walk through the puzzling Maze in the Woods and speed along two exciting zip lines.
8. LEGOLAND Discovery Center – Auburn Hills
The world’s most popular building block takes center stage at LEGOLAND, a kid-oriented amusement and shopping center in Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall. Two theme park-style attractions, the Kingdom Quest laser ride and Merlin’s Apprentice ride, share space with a LEGO 4D cinema, a LEGO City play structure, and a LEGO race car building center and test track as well as 10 creative building stations. Make a full day of your fun with a visit to SEA LIFE Michigan aquarium, right next door.
Craig’s Cruisers ranks among West Michigan’s largest family fun centers, with amusement park rides, games and a pizza restaurant. The Michigan-based amusement park is located in four communities, Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon and Silver Lake, each offering go-karts, arcade games and mini golf. Additionally, Craig’s Cruisers in Grand Rapids offers a trampoline park, laser tag, a ropes course, indoor and outdoor go-karts and a small roller coaster; Holland and Muskegon offer batting cages and Eurobungy, and Silver Lake offers paddle boats and a zip line.
Costumed interpreters, nature trails and hands-on activities bring to life the 1790s lumber era in northern Michigan. But thrill seekers can experience an adrenaline rush at Historic Mill Creek, too. The park’s Adventure Tour includes a canopy experience, walking through the treetops by way of rope bridges; a 425-food zip line and a climbing wall.
Located 30 miles north of Mt. Pleasant, Snow Snake has been entertaining families year-round since the 1940s. In winter, skiers and snowboarders can schuss down 12 trails and a terrain park, while winter fat tire bicyclists ride 6 miles of groomed trails and snow tubing enthusiasts enjoy four runs and two lifts reserved exclusively for them. In summer, Snow Snake offers an 18-hole golf course, a 10-line zip line course and Rocks and Valleys, a new 200-acre ORV park that challenges drivers with hills, rocks, mud and a variety of terrains.
12. Sky Zone
Wall-to-wall trampolines fill the play areas at Sky Zone, famous for their indoor jumping facilities. Enjoy the fun of trampoline jumping alone or combine jumping with volleyball, basketball or dodgeball to ramp up the excitement. There’s also a Toddler Zone, a place for the smallest family members to jump safely. Sky Zone is located in communities across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula including Saginaw, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Brighton and Canton.
13. Michigan’s Indoor Water Parks
Across Michigan indoor water parks offer family thrills whatever the weather. At Double JJ Resort in Rothbury you can splash in a 60,000 square-foot park featuring the state’s tallest indoor waterslide. Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark in Frankenmuth joins two water parks in one, half of which has a retractable roof that opens in warm weather. At Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City, guests can spend the day at the resort’s water slides and pools, then relax in family-themed suites designed to resemble a summer camp or wolf’s den. Michigan’s largest indoor water park is Boyne Mountain’s Avalanche Bay in Boyne Falls, with 88,000 square feet of water slides, squirting toys and swimming pools.