After a long winter, kids (and parents!) are itching to get outside and enjoy the mild spring temperatures. Why not tap into your inner explorer with a visit to the Grand Traverse Natural Education Reserve? With 7 miles of trails meandering through this 500-acre park, you might well meet up with a fox, otter, deer, or mink in its natural habitat … not to mention beaver romping around in an active beaver pond! Stop into the Boardman River Nature Center nestled on the banks of the Boardman River after your hike to experience interactive displays, live animals and seasonal exhibits. And it’s free!
Then hop on your bikes or inline skates (or rent them at Brick Wheels or McLain Cycle & Fitness) and take to the trails! The area’s amazing TART Trails system includes a 10.5 mile paved trail running from Acme through Traverse City and connecting with the Leelanau Trail. Bike along Grand Traverse Bay, stop for a bite to eat in Downtown Traverse City, and then wind through the beautiful countryside of Leelanau County.
If spring showers make hiking less than ideal, head inside to the Dennos Museum Center, the Great Lakes Children’s Museum or the beautiful Traverse Area District Library overlooking Boardman Lake. Looking for some kid-friendly shopping? Stop by the Grand Traverse Mall and take a ride on the Carousel located next to the food court. For an indoor waterpark adventure head to The Great Wolf Lodge or Grand Traverse Resort and Spa.
Need more information? Take a look at our Kids Guide where you will find 108+ new ideas!