5 Best Family Spring Break Road Trips

Family-friendly spring break destinations are bountiful in the Great Lakes region, whether you’re looking to get outside and get kids tired or absorb art and culture at a slower pace. There’s something for everyone within just a few hours’ drive of Ann Arbor.

Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is perfect for kids and kids at heart. The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum includes hands-on exhibits, and the John Ball Zoo is an immersive experience for the critter fan in your midst.

If your crew is more into local wildlife, Blandford Nature Center is focused on rehabilitating animals and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park brings together art and nature.


Make it a local day trip and head into Detroit. Not only is there the Detroit Zoo, but the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation has been named one of the best in the country. And don’t forget about Eastern Market. Check the schedule for events and activities, or just wander through and appreciate the sights and creativity of hundreds of artisans and makers and grab whatever looks delicious.


If you’ve spent a lot of time in Detroit and want more of that walkable urban life, maybe you haven’t had a chance to take a trip to Cleveland with the fam, and we’d both better get on that because this longstanding American port city has a ton to offer – from museums and cultural experiences like the Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland Museum of Natural History, but also the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. If you stay near one of the light rail lines, you can use those to easily get around the walkable areas near downtown. The city is also planning a bunch of celebrations related to the total solar eclipse on April 8, if that timing works for your plans.


If you’re on the way to Columbus and the kids are getting antsy, stop by the play-based Buckeye Imagination Museum in downtown Mansfield. There’s an indoor playground!

For the young investigators among us, the Orton Geological Museum at Ohio State is the oldest free public museum in Ohio and has more than a million rock and mineral specimens to gaze at and learn about.

In Columbus, you can also visit the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, or hit up COSI (the Center of Science and Industry), also a top science museum in the nation offering interactive exhibits to fit every interest. If the little ones need more time to (carefully) run things off, south of Columbus is Hocking Hills State Park. Waterfalls, gorges and cliffs, oh my!


While it’s a bit more of a drive, the Canadian city has everything from the one-time tallest tower in the world (CN Tower) to the Royal Ontario Museum. It’s also home to the St. Lawrence Market, where every family member can happily eat their way through Canada’s largest metropolis. On your way back stateside, stop by Niagara Falls, where the Maid of the Mist tour is a do-not-miss experience everyone will remember.

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