Summer is a magical season for kids who visit Traverse City. The days are extra long (thanks to our location on the very western edge of the Eastern Time Zone), meaning that you might not spot your first firefly until 10 o’clock at night!
Sugar sand beaches make for ideal sandcastle building, not to mention beach volleyball and Frisbee tournaments. And the crystal clear waters of Grand Traverse Bay and the area’s many inland lakes are perfect for waterskiing, jet skiing, tubing, kayaking and canoeing.
Dozens of shady and waterfront parks feature climbing structures, swing sets, picnic tables and grills – all the fixings for an ultimate summer afternoon.
In early July, the city is abuzz during the National Cherry Festival. Parades, pie-eating contests, dog-jumping contests, concerts and more offer hours of free fun. The last week of July celebrates movies with the Traverse City Film Festival. Kid-friendly movies are sprinkled throughout the week, and each night a giant inflatable screen graces the shore of Grand Traverse Bay where you can lay on your blanket and watch a film under the stars. Truly magical!
Traverse City welcomed its first butterfly house recently, which has already become a favorite for visitors and locals alike.
Need more information? Take a look at our Kids Guide where you will find 108+ new ideas!