Visit Muskegon ( ©Adam Alexander Photography 2018)

Finding joy by the lakeside

Family Adventures in Muskegon

Mastodons, submarines, and sweet treats, oh my! Muskegon is a veritable utopia for kids and families year-round – not just during the summer months. So, buckle up for a road trip and set your navigation north for an escape to the Mitten State.

Celebrate Michigan’s vibrant spring with a versatile list of activities designed for enjoyment – rain or shine.

Perhaps a little-known fact, but Muskegon is where Brunswick – the bowling equipment manufacturer – got its start in 1906. So, it’s no surprise that bowling centers are a popular destination in Muskegon. Slip on your bowling shoes and do your best to get a strike down the lanes at Bob Hi Lanes, Kat’s Alley & Tomahawk Lanes, Northway Lanes, Socibowl by Pigeon Hill or Sherman Bowling Center, to name a few. Evoking a sense of nostalgia, bowling remains a timeless and family-friendly activity that seamlessly blends indoor comfort with physical fun. And should hunger strike, indulge in snacks available at the in-house bars and restaurants.

Maybe you’re seeking a relaxed outing, and if so, nothing says laid-back like a cinematic adventure with the family. Cinema Carousel offers 12-screens with an actual full-sized carousel in the lobby, and the Getty Drive-In provides an old-school experience on four outdoor screens – one of Michigan’s last drive-in movie theaters.

Hands-on activities with an educational component may be more what your family unit is seeking, and Muskegon is home to several fascinating and engaging museums that fit the bill. Open year-round, Monday through Saturday, the Muskegon Museum of History and Science is a popular destination that offers interactive exhibits, themed open-house style activities – no scheduling necessary! – and special events for all ages with a nominal fee for out-of-county residents. While you’re there, you’ll have the opportunity to come face-to-face with Moxie the Mastodon – a life-sized bronze representation of the Mastodons that made their home in Michigan some 10,000 years ago. And when you’re ready to head out, snag a “Mastodons on the Loose” guide so you can hunt down the 20 mini Moxies hidden all over downtown Muskegon as you continue to explore the area!

Another museum experience that draws quite the audience is the USS Silversides Museum. Tour not only the two-story museum center but also climb aboard the USCGC McLane – a prohibition-era Coast Guard cutter – and descend into the USS Silversides – a WWII submarine, which is credited with sinking 23 ships and holds the most prolific combat record of any still extant American Submarine. Also, open year-round, the USS Silversides Museum allows you to take a step back in time to appreciate our armed forces’ skill and sacrifice.

After gallivanting around town, scavenger hunting for hidden mastodons, or bowling a game of strikes, it might be nice to take a break and indulge in something special – after all, what’s a weekend away from home without enjoying something sweet and delicious? Thankfully, this western Michigan locale boasts some 20 unique dessert and confectionery establishments specializing in everything from ice cream and frozen yogurt to cannolis and candies. Elsa’s Frozen Yogurt (conveniently located in the Cinema Carousel) offers a whopping 40 different toppings for your frozen treat. Lakeside Emporium is a little candy shop that prides itself on bringing its patrons’ inner child out regardless of age! This small business features chocolates, gummy and hard candies, and ice cream, too! Creating memories here is no chore when you can experience a traditional ice cream cone, old-fashioned soda, malt, shake, or float with your kids.

If getting outdoors is your family’s thing, trekking or biking some of Muskegon’s trails or visiting some of their parks is a great way to get fresh air, exercise, and connect with nature. With three state parks – P.J. Hoffmaster State Park, Muskegon State Park, and Duck Lake State Park – families can embark on a hike through white pine forests or along the lakeshore or meander and frolic through one of the 50+ city and public parks, including Pere Marquette Park, Heritage Landing, or Hackley Park. There are also numerous paved trails ideal for biking. Two of the preferred trails are the 24-mile Hart-Montague Trail and the 26-mile Musketawa Trail, both paved trails through diverse terrain, including rolling hills, marshes, wooded forests, and lake areas.

Whatever your springtime activity preference – indoor or outdoor – Muskegon has countless adventures to choose from! Making memories is what life is all about, so why not create some memorable moments in Michigan’s own Muskegon.

Travel Tip icon

Travel Tip
For a memorable family weekend, strike a balance between planned activities and spontaneous adventures. Embrace flexibility, explore local gems, and create lasting memories by immersing yourselves in the destination’s unique offerings.

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