As the warm, summer days begin to appear for the first time this season, you can’t help but wish for some adventure, especially as school comes to an end. Summer is a great time to explore town and keep brains active through hands-on learning. We gathered a list of field trip options to curb boredom, providing fun activities not just in the summertime, but throughout the whole year.
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
220 E Ann St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum boasts four floors and over 250 exhibits for all ages to get a full STEaM experience. Preschoolers can be fully immersed in the life of a fire fighter through the water tables, fire fighter costumes, and a child-sized firetruck. Elementary schoolers can explore the Concourse section of the exhibit including the H2Oh, Block Party, and Explore Your World. Middle Schoolers can enjoy the Steam Park with the Maze Ball Machine, Airfoil, and Propeller Chair. High schoolers and adults have access to the DTE Energy Foundation Light and Optics exhibit where you can play the Laser Harp and other activities.
University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)
525 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
For any art lovers, The UMMA offers a variety of thought-provoking showcases. One of the most notable being “Around the World in Blue and White” by Natsu Oyobe which demonstrates the “troubling” origins of blue and white porcelain in China. “We Write to You About Africa” is another important exhibit dedicated to the University of Michigan’s efforts to increase the amount of space dedicated to black creators.
University of Michigan Museum of Natural History
1109 N. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
If you’re searching for something free to engage in, the Museum of Natural History is a great place to beat your boredom on a budget. Exhibits from dinosaurs, a planetarium, and STEM demonstrations are sure to entertain and teach all ages who would like to learn about the hard work put in by the University of Michigan’s own scientists.
Leslie Science and Nature Center
1831 Traver Road Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
The Leslie Science and Nature Center offers a variety of events throughout the summer months. May 15th through May 29th entails the Critter House Open Hours. May 27th is the May Fireside Fun. June 3rd is the Mayfly at Play. Enjoy all of this and more for free, with visitors strongly encouraged to donate $5 per person.
The Creature Conservancy
4950 Ann Arbor Saline Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Get a chance to see some exotic animals at the Creature Conservancy! On Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 P.M, the conservation offers open hours. At 2 and 4 P.M, there will be presentations over the Stone Age with some featured animals. At 3 P.M, a zookeeper will be doing a demonstration with a surprise animal. Adults’ admission is $10, kids are $8 and children two and under are free.
The Michigan Firehouse Museum
110 W Cross St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
This activity will bring you a blast from the past with an old 1898 firehouse remodeled into a museum with 25 ever-changing exhibits. Open from Thursday through Sunday, adults pay just $10 and kids $5 to see everything from early fire rigs to historic artifacts that were used as equipment in the firehouse. It’s worth noting that it also showcases the biggest collection of fire truck bells in the U.S.
Gallup Park Livery
3000 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor, MI
Looking to dip your toes in the water this summer? The Gallup Park Livery offers a variety of fun to dive into. Rent a kayak or canoe if you’re feeling adventurous or go fishing down on the dock for a great old-fashioned experience. If you get hungry, grills are provided throughout the area to have yourself a nice cookout.
Humane Society of Huron Valley
3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Animal lovers are sure to enjoy a trip to the Humane Society of Huron Valley! As always, one can adopt a furry friend to take home. There are plenty of cats, dogs, rabbits, and other critters that need a loving caregiver. If your home is at capacity, you can utilize the veterinary clinic for the pets you already have. If you just aren’t able to adopt at the moment, then you can always check out the local events put on by the shelter almost daily.
Ann Arbor Farmers Market
315 Detroit Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Saturday mornings becoming a little gloomy? Support your local small businesses at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market! From May till December, you can experience a wide selection of fruits, veggies, and baked goods from 8-3 PM. On Wednesdays, the market is open from 7 AM till 3 PM. Vendors will take cash, but the market office can provide credit card tokens upon request.
Domino’s Farms Petting Farm
3001 Earhart Rd., Ann Arbor, MI
Farm-themed activity center for families. Lots of animals on-site, a train you can walk through, as well as a hayride available. You can feed animals, look at them and walk around. There is space for picnics, birthday parties, as well as feeding the animals.
8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067
The Detroit Zoo is home to 125 acres of expansive habitats that house more than 2,000 animals of 233 species in the heart of Metro Detroit.
2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH 43609
The zoo is ~1hour drive from the Ann Arbor area and provides an opportunity to interact with over 10,000 animals!