The LittleGuide Detroit team loves exploring metro Detroit and sharing family fun. There are always tried and true favorites but here are our favorite NEW (and some new to us) finds of 2022 that you should add to 2023 visit list.
Sloan Museum of Discovery
The Sloan Museum of Discovery recently underwent a $30 million renovation and it’s a must visit. The Museum has 5 hands-on areas with different focuses to engage kids of different ages and interests – including the coolest water table and indoor tree house. Learn about science, the history of Mid-Michigan and check out the vehicle gallery with vintage cars and future prototypes. The museum is located on the Cultural Center campus and walking distance to the Longway Planetarium, Flint Art Museum and the newly renovated Flint Public Library. The museum is open Tuesdays thru Sundays and admission is $13 for guests 12 and older and $8 for kids ages 2 to 11. Genesee County residents enjoy FREE admission.
World of Winter
Last year we took a day trip to Grand Rapids to check out the World of Winter Festival and this year we’re making it an overnight stay. World of Winter is the largest winter festival in the Midwest with activations, activities and displays that you can find throughout downtown Grand Rapids and along the Grand River. Have fun outside and inside with visits to the Grand Rapids Children Museum and Grand Rapids Public Museum. Plan your visit between January 6 and March 5, 2023 to check it out.
Beverly Park Sledding Hill
On snowy days we found our new go to hill – Beverly Park. The hill offers two main sides to sled and two staircases up both sides, which makes it easier for everyone to get back up to the top. The hill is big enough to be fun, but not too big for the littles to enjoy. Check it out: 18801 Beverly Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025
Belle Isle Nature Center
The Detroit Zoo gave the Belle Isle Nature Center a serious face-lift and we LOVE it! The indoor tunnels and inactive animal exhibits with colorful hands-on activities make it the perfect place to visit all year long – especially because admission is FREE! Be sure to check out the paved nature trail and outdoor nature play space. The Belle Isle Nature Center is opened 7 days a week.
You can’t beat a cool playground and Lawson Park in Royal Oak was a LittleGuide community favorite. @lauraclair_ gave us the heads up and we immediately went to check it out. The playground post was one of our most popular in 2022 and countless LG reader let us know they loved it too. Check it out at 1300 Longfellow Avenue, Royal Oak, 48067.
Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad
Turns out we’ve been sleeping on Flint. There’s lots to do and Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad tops the list – especially for little train lovers. Similar to Greenfield Village, Crossroads has historic homes and building to explore with skilled crafting to see. The kids carnival by Mott Lake will delight the kids so be sure to have extra cash. The trip highlight is the 40 minute train ride through Flint. Sit in a vintage train car or enjoy an open air ride. The train has rides throughout the summer and then special seasonal rides for Halloween and Christmas. Admission is $20 for adults and $18 for kids ages 3 to 12.
Blue Heron Splash Park
The hit of the summer was Washtenaw County’s Blue Heron Splash Park. The massive enclosed splash pad has space for all ages, a mini-slide with dump bucket and two large waterslides for kids who want more speed.
Mt. Elliott Splash Park
After a multi-year closure, Mt. Elliott Splash Park reopened and it had been missed. The pirate themed splash pad is located along the Detroit River and the perfect place to take in the city during summer months. There’s free and easy parking, public restrooms and plenty of seating for parents to watch as the kids splash. Add this to your summer list.
North American International Auto Show
This year’s North American International Auto Show was nothing like the one we used to know. The new fall activity is a metro Detroit must. In 2022 there were dinosaurs, giant ducks, trial rides and fun inside and out. We can’t wait to see what 2023 brings. Mark your calendars because the public show is September 16th thru 24th.
This new to us destination was already on many LittleGuide readers radar and for good reason, The Toledo Zoo has it all. Unique animal habitats (including elephants), an aquarium, splash pad, Amphitheatre, botanical gardens, Natural History Museum, playgrounds and Aerial Adventure course – all included with admission! From Kidsapalooza to Harvest Fest and the Lights Before Christmas, there are special events to enjoy throughout the year all for FREE with a membership. Treat yourself and your kids to a full year of fun at the Toledo Zoo. A family membership is only $123!