Ann Arbor is home to the sweeping University of Michigan campus which itself is home to a few world class museums. The university normally hosts about 45,000 students or so. So, it is no wonder that Ann Arbor is brimming with young college-aged people looking to have a good time while studying at the university.
But that doesn’t mean that families aren’t welcome in the area. In fact, there is plenty of fun to be had in the area. Here are some fun Ann Arbor, Michigan attractions that you may want to check out.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
The best place for you to go for family fun is the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. It is located on East Ann Street in Ann Arbor’s vibrant downtown. It is housed inside a historic former firehouse. It is home to over 250 hands-on exhibits for you to take in with your little ones. They are spread out over four floors and focus on science, technology, engineering, and math.
Here are just a few examples of fun hands-on experiences you can expect to have there. One experience will involve you using blue blocks to try and build something interesting. Another experience involve a small water tornado and small jet streams where you can place plastic balls and watch them be moved with the currents. Another experience will have you brushing a giant set of teeth.
One of the experiences will have you using a world simulator to explore our planet and check out some of the most recognizable places that it has to offer. In one experience, you can test out the mini go karts. Or maybe you want to get a better sense of how your body stays active by getting your hands on the kid-friendly workout equipment.
The admission price for the museum is $12.50 for both adults and children. Babies who are 23 months or under will get free admission. If you are willing to visit on a Thursday after 5pm, you can enter the museum for $5. There is also a gift shop onsite.
Michigan Firehouse Museum
The Michigan Firehouse Museum is located on West Cross Street in Ypsilanti which is the city that neighbors Ann Arbor to the east. If you, as a family, are fascinated with firefighting, this is the museum for you. This museum is focused on the history of firefighting in the US state of Michigan. The fun part about this museum is exploring its cool collection of antique fire trucks, including the rare 1917 American LaFrance.
In addition to the fire trucks, other cool firefighting collections on display include extinguishers, emblems, bells, hats, helmets, ladders, breathing apparatus, clothing, hose carts, nozzles, and toy fire trucks. The admission prices to the museum are $5 for adults and $3 for children aged from 5 to 12. Free admission is given to those who are under the age of 5.
Also, if you visit the museum during the late summer, you will visit at the same time as the annual event called the Michigan Fire Truck Muster. This firefighting event takes place outdoors in a nearby park called Riverside Park. It sees the gathering of fire trucks for display. The fire trucks range from the antique to the present day and come equipped with hoses, bells, and whistles.
Does fly fishing sound like a fun activity for your family? If so, you may want to visit Schultz Outfitters. It is located just a short walk east of the Michigan Firehouse Museum on Cross Street in Ypsilanti. They offer classes where you can learn the art of fly fishing. The instructors there are all FFF certified. There are fly casting classes aimed at all skill levels from beginners to advanced skills.
If you have little to no experience with fly fishing, the best place for you to get started is with the Get Started classes. These classes are designed to help beginners to learn the solid fundamentals of casting. They are half-day classes that accommodate up to four students. If you have advanced fly fishing skills, there are classes that are aimed to help you improve on one specific area of fly fishing.
There are also fly tying classes available for all skill levels. Once you have learned the skills that you ned for fly fishing, there are guide trips available from the establishment where you can go and put your newly acquired skills to good use actually catching fish. There are two types of fish that you will catch during the guide trip. They are smallmouth and carp.
The guide trips happen in four seasons – from March to May, from June to July, from August to September, and from October to December. The rates vary depending on which guide trip you wish to participate in, but they range from as low as $150 to as high as $500. If you would like to check the rates, you can do so here.
If you want to make a reservation for the guide trip, you can call the establishment at 734-544-1761. It is worth noting that a $100 deposit is required to make a reservation. There is also an onsite shop selling a variety of fly fishing items.
Another fun place for families to visit is Planet Rock. It is located on Aprill Drive on the western edge of Ann Arbor. This establishment offers indoor rock climbing. There are rock walls with different routes and heights designed for both first timers and experienced climbers. There is a section designed specifically with kids in mind.
There are also classes offered at the establishment if you would like to hone your rock climbing skills. This establishment requires a membership to take advantage of all that it has to offer. There are three membership tiers to choose from. They are starter membership at $95, monthly membership at $72 per month, and annual membership at $795 per year. There is also a pro shop onsite offering a variety of items for rock climbing.
These are the Ann Arbor, Michigan attractions where family fun can be had. So, I encourage you to check them all out if you happen to be in the area.
If you are in need of a place to stay overnight at during your time in Ann Arbor, I have you covered. Here is a hotel I would suggest for you.
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Ann Arbor Univ. Mich Area
This hotel is located just north of the interchange of State Street and Interstate 94 on the southern end of Ann Arbor. The hotel offers an onsite restaurant called Mallet’s Creek Bar & Grille. The hotel offers an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub. A fitness center is also available at the hotel.
All of the rooms and suites at the hotel offer WiFi, microwaves, and mini refrigerators. The average rate for a standard room range from $94 to $179. You can head here to explore your booking options and/or check out some photos.
What are your thoughts? Are you seeking out some family fun in the area? Feel free to leave a comment below.