Day Trip Planner
Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum inspires the imagination of kids of all ages with nearly 250 interactive exhibits. Climb a rock wall, play in a real ambulance, explore the world with an immersive Google Earth experience, surround yourself in bubbles and much, much more. Spend a day at this one-of-a- kind museum and you’ll see why it’s been awarded a family best time and again.
The Preschool Gallery is a special place for children four years old and under, including an enclosed infant area and Engineers on a Roll, a hands-on, bodies-on physics environment designed for our youngest engineers. Drive a kid-sized fire truck, splash in the three-tiered water-play area or explore a series of discovery boxes.
Special events are offered most weekends – check http://www.aahom.org/ for topics, times and dates. Special events offer hands-on activities to explore unusual and unique topics in a fun, festive environment. Special guests and demonstrations awaken the curiosity in everyone.
Located in downtown Ann Arbor, take US 23 south to M14 west (Ann Arbor) to Exit 3. Turn right on Ann Street and park in Ann Ashley parking garage. ($1.40 an hour and $3 flat rate on Saturday). Cross back over Main Street and walk one block. Museum is on your right. Visit www.aahom.org for complete driving directions.
$10, ages 2 and up
Members and infants are always FREE
Monday - Saturday: 10am – 5pm Sunday: Noon – 5pm
Special extended hours Tuesday 9am – 5pm and Thursday 10am – 8pm.
Special pricing Thursday from 5 pm – 8 pm.
Special pricing Thursday from 5 pm – 8 pm.
Plymouth Historical Museum
The Plymouth Historical Museum features a late 19th-century Victorian re-creation of Main Street, tracing the growth of the small town from the railroad depot to the general store. The largest Lincoln collection in the state of Michigan is housed in a separate room off of Main Street. A timeline of Plymouth on the lower level is the newest permanent exhibit, featuring displays on the Daisy Air Rifle, Ford Village Industries, the Alter Motor Car, World War II, communication history, and much more.
The Plymouth Historical Museum is owned by the Friends of the Plymouth Historical Museum. The Museum features 26,000 square feet of exhibits, a museum store, an extensive archives and research library, and a meeting room.
In addition to the three permanent exhibits, the Museum usually has three special exhibits each year. “Made in America” runs through June 9. The Museum will close to change exhibits June 10-20. On June 21, “B4TV” will open, featuring summertime leisure activities before the advent of television. This exhibit runs through November 10, 2013.
This summer the Museum will again hold its annual History Kids Kamp on Saturday, Juy 27, with “A Kids' Eye View of the Civil War.” Tickets are $30 per child. More information can be found on our website at http://www.plymouthhistory.org/events/A-Kids-Eye-View-of-the-Civil-War_ET41.html?SortBox=201307
From 1-96 take M-14 west; take Exit 20, Sheldon Road; turn left at the light onto Sheldon Road; turn left on Penniman Avenue; turn half-left on Church Street; go through the stoplight at Main and Church Streets, Museum is on the northeast corner of intersection.
Adults $5, students 6-17, $2
Visit their web site.
Watch them on youtube.
Sloan Museum and Buick Automotive Gallery
Buick Automotive Gallery presents major automotive exhibits, including Dream Machines, April 2-July 14, 2013; Corvettes: 0-60, July 20-September 29, 2013; and finally, an exhibit all about the 50’s.
The Robert T. Longway Planetarium has star and laser shows each Saturday and Sunday at 12:30, 2:00 and 3:30pm. Daily Shows July 6-September 3 at 12:30 and 2:00, check website or call for show schedule. Featuring 285 seats under an impressive 60-foot dome, the Longway Planetarium is Michigan’s largest planetarium. The real ‘star’ of all sky theater presentations is the planetarium projector, located at the center of the domed theater. After 43 years, the Spitz Model B projector has been retired and replaced with a new Digistar 2 projector. The Digistar 2 uses digital technology to create three-dimensional images ranging from star fields to molecules. Video projection systems, auxiliary projectors and a new sound system complete the experience.
The Longway Planetarium’s Learning Center provides opportunities for fascinating new learning experiences. These may include hands-on science demonstrations, astronomy classes or telescope workshops.
Take US 23 North to I-69 East to I-475 North. Exit Longway Blvd (Exit 8A). Turn right and then another right on to Forrest.
Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.
Admission cost for Museum & Gallery
Adults $9, Senior (60+) $8, Youth (3-11) $6, Child (2 & under) Free.
Admission cost for Planetarium
Adult $5, Senior (60+) $4, Child (3-11) $4, Child (2 & under) Free.
Combo Passes for all 3.
Adult $13, Senior (60+) $12, Youth (3-11) $9, Child (2 & under) Free.
Visit their website.
Just 2 miles off I-96 @ Exit 117
Waterloo Farm Museum
Take your family on a trip back in time with a visit to the Waterloo Farm Museum.
Johannes Jacob Ruehle was six years old when he came to this country from Germany in 1884 with his mother, his stepfather, and his sister. They had sold their house and property for cash, packed what little they could carry in trunks, and left from Stuttgart, Germany in May. They traveled by ship to New York City, up the Hudson River to Albany, through the Erie Canal to Buffalo, and by steamship across Lake Erie to Detroit.
The family boarded a train to Ann Arbor, then Chelsea. Where they bought a team of oxen and a wagon. They followed Indian trails, now M-52 and Waterloo Rd, until they arrived in East Postage, later renamed the Village of Waterloo, in July.
The family moved into the existing log house and within ten years, added an extra room (now the sitting room). That addition was the start of the farmhouse we have today. It was constructed of fieldstone and brick from the Beeman Brick Factory, located just outside the village. In time, the north rooms and upstairs bedrooms were added. Finally in the 1880's, long after Jacob's stepfather had passed on, the log house was torn down and the frame ell was completed, providing a dining room, pantry, kitchen, and woodshed.
Waterloo Farm Museum provides guided tours of the ten-room farmhouse, log cabin, barns, blacksmith and woodworking workshop, bake house, ice house, milk cellar, and windmill. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides in period dress. The gift shop will also be open at this time as well, to browse and purchase books, crafts, toys, collectables and clothing
$5 Adults, $2 Children aged 5-12
June 7 - September 1
Friday, Saturday and Sunday 1-5pm
Last tour begins at 4:15 p.m.
Horses and Donkeys, Oh My!
M&MS Farms was established in 1987. It's the residence of an elite collection of miniature horses, miniature donkeys, Morgan horses, a Quarter Horse, and Australian Shepherds. Visitors are able to tour the barns, learn more about all the animals and interact with them. Miniature horse cart rides available. Driving and riding lessons also available.
Just 2 miles off I-96 @ Exit 117
By appointment only.
Averages $100/hour - or $10/person
The Bee’s Knees Art & Craft Studio
Spend quality time with friends or family while creating your own original work of art. Adults, teens, and children of all ages are welcome. No experience is necessary. Instruction is included.
Originally a paint-your-own-pottery studio; clay, mosaic, jewelry, glass fusing, t-shirt painting are now offered.. Party packages are available for a variety of events for all ages. Walk in or make reservations.
Ladies Night every Friday Night! Bring your friends and anything you would like to eat or drink. We walk you through projects step by step! Guests must be ten or over. Call for reservations: 347.347.6718
Summer camp starts June 18th and is available for adults and children and includes the following:Tuesdays- Fun & easy mosaic projects in ceramic or glass tiles. This year’s projects include turtles, horses, garden fairies and best friend hearts. Artists enhance projects with beads, found objects, glass and glitter.Wednesdays- Explore the many techniques of hand building with clay. Projects include coiled bird feeders, carved tile mirrors, large stamped trays, and pouring molds. All beautifully crafted and embellished then glazed & fired.Thursdays-Paint your own pottery includes dragons, owls, funky birds and koi --just to name a few projects. New techniques will be taught every week.Fridays- Classes in glass fusing will explore cutting colored glass to use in projects for pocket wall hangings, sushi dishes, safari scenes and pendants. Projects will be fused in the kiln.Camp sessions are held Tuesdays through Friday from 1pm–3pm. Enrollment is open to ages above 8. $28 each session. Pick and choose all summer long, every week. Starts June 19th!Reservations are required.
Northfork Farms and Outback
Don’t let your kids get bored this summer, come join the fun at Northfork Farms and Outback. The Wild West Adventure allows you to experience the 1800’s Wild West, Texas, and a Native American Village. Northfork Outback offers lots of hand on activities that make history fun and you may learn something along the way.
Kids’ Train and Horse and Pony Rides are available.
Petting Zoo animals love to be visited and fed.
Enjoy farm animals as well as hedge hogs, alpacas, pot belly bigs, and Torpedo the trick pony.
Call ahead to make reservations and to get information on dated events.
Cost varies according to package.
Open the last two Sat. of each month for the public and small groups.
Call ahead to schedule a field trip.
Southern Michigan Railroad Museum
Come Ride the Rails at Southern Michigan Railroad! You’re sure to enjoy a leisurely ride aboard antique and historical railroad equipment as your travel takes you over one of Michigan’s oldest rail corridors.
As our General Electric switcher engine pulls or pushes you to the next city, you may sit inside our enclosed 1926 Chicago South Shore car which traveled along the rail system near our most southwestern border into Chicago along the lake.
Then venture outside into the New York Central Railroad gondola outfitted with bench seating and enjoy the summer sun and the views over fields and the River Raisin and its wetlands in this rail car used in transporting freight from the Detroit steel markets. Rounding out the train will be one of our cabooses used during
the Penn Central era.
The train outing takes two and a quarter hours round trip, with a layover in between. During the layover in Tecumseh you’ll be able to walk around the town, visit the various shops, see the winery or pick up fresh cheese, or grab an ice cream cone. Southern Michigan Railroad also offers group tours where the Red Hat Ladies might enjoy a day out for tea and cake at the British Tea Garden or maybe it’s time for the seniors to have a lunch date at a number of restaurants in
Our “Ride to Dine” special evening train on the third Thursday of May through September allows you to take a ride to downtown Tecumseh to enjoy dinner in the area restaurants of your own choosing. The city hosts their monthly Auto and Motorcycle Show, along with a Music in the Park series on these dates which may add to your evening out aboard Southern Michigan Railroad. Our “Ride to Dine” train waits for your 8:30 p.m. departure to return to Clinton to end the evening.
The Southern Michigan Railroad Society is dedicated to building and operating a museum railroad using the first branch rail line into Michigan – the Palmyra and Jacksonburgh – and preserving its historical railroad era from 1837-1982. The volunteer members manage, maintain, and operate the railroad providing you with an opportunity to experience how it was to travel by rail through the years. The rail line, almost 14 miles in total length, crosses the River Raisin twice as it winds it way through scenic countryside.
Passenger train tours operate between May through November. Festivals in both towns draw quite a crowd on the train. Fall colors may be viewed as the train winds south from Tecumseh during the month of October with reservations required for these popular tours. SMRS also has historical displays housed in one of Clinton’s historical buildings, which was the site of the first electric plant in the village and also served as a manufacturing plant for the famous Clinton
Come Ride the Rails! What an adventure for you and your family!
Specific dates, times, and fares, are posted on our web site at
Prices vary as to the excursions, with all prices under $20!
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Howell Conference & Nature Center
Celebrating 50 years in 2013, the Howell Conference & Nature Center provides a comprehensive wildlife rehabilitation, environmental and outdoor education, and recreation facility to individuals and groups. Spend an hour, an afternoon, a day or a week with us! Features of the 270-acre facility include: a 500’ zip line, Michigan’s tallest outdoor climbing tower, modern lodges, miles of hiking trails, Alexandria’s Naturescape play area, the hands-on Nature Zone, Livingston County’s only zoo—Wild Wonders Wildlife Park—and much more. Owned and operated by the Presbytery of Detroit, the Howell Conference & Nature Center is a non-profit organization funded primarily through programs, private donations, and special events.
These features are open 10-5 daily:
Alexandria’s Naturescape is a hands-on and interactive play area for children age 2 -10. The goal of this new play area is to reconnect children with nature and to UNPLUG! At our NatureScape, children can: SPLASH, DIG, CLIMB, EXPLORE, AND DISCOVER! Parents must supervise their children when playing in the Naturescape.
Wild Wonders Wildlife Park is Livingston County’s only zoo. Over 60 permanently-injured animals reside in naturalistic habitats. Free will donations for visiting this area for a self-guided tour are $4 for adults and $2 for children. All proceeds benefit the creatures that live in Wild Wonders, as well as the more than 2,000 injured and orphaned animals that are treated in the Nature Center’s Wildlife Infirmary every year.
The Nature Zone is a hands-on, interactive area focusing on the creatures you might find in your own backyard.
These programs are by registration only, please call 517-546-0249 to save your place:
Live Wildlife Programs are $7 for adults, $4 for children age 2-12 and are scheduled for 10 a.m. on: May 4, June 8, July 13, August 3, September 7, and October 5.
Guided Tours of Wild Wonders Wildlife Park are $7 for adults, $4 for children age 2-12 and are scheduled for 11 a.m. on: May 4, June 8, July 13, August 3, September 7, and October 5.
One price, two programs! Register for both programs on the same day and pay just $10 adults, $5 children age 2-12.
Climbing Tower and Zip Line (age 5+) $11/climb, $6/ zip line ride
June 2, 8, 9, 22, 23, 29
July 6, 7, 20, 21, 27, 28
August 3, 4, 10, 11, 18, 24, 25
September 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
October 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20
November 2, 3, 9
High Ropes Adventure Days (5th grade+) $25/person
Want some time to take an “adult day trip?” Howell Nature Center also offers Summer Day Camp for kids in grades 1-5, and Day Camp Extreme for middle schoolers grades 6-8.
Off D-19 (Pinckney Rd.) 4.5 miles south of I-96 (exit 137)
Visit their web site.
Join them on Facebook
Join them on Facebook
Carls Family YMCA
YMCA programs help families pursue a healthy lifestyle in spirit, mind and body. Members get to take advantage of programs, services and facilities that help them do just that.
Group Exercise Classes are a great way to get in shape and make new friends. Most group exercise classes are included in your membership for anyone 13 years or older. Attend as many classes each week as you like and design a fitness schedule that works for you.
Adult Drop in Sports include basketball, volleyball and pickleball. Members must be 18 or older.
The Aquatics Center is staffed with lifeguards and swim instructors to provide a safe environment for members to enjoy exercise swimming as well as recreational swimming.
Youth Sports Leagues Help your children learn athletic and sportsmanship skills. Full Facility members enjoy preferred rates on all youth programs. Check the web site for leagues, days and times.
Child Watch Center provides care for children between the ages of 6 weeks and 12 years while parents are in the facility exercising. There is a 2 hour limit for children. Staff members are certified and maintain a small maximum ratio. Parents must remain in the facility at all times. Free to members.
Kids Club is run through the Child Watch Center and is for kids ages 6-12. Staff will take the children to either the pool or gym depending on the schedule. See the Child Watch Schedule for more details.
YMCA Adventure Guides are a great opportunity to spend quality time with your child while doing some fun activities and getting to know other families. YMCA Adventure Guides is a parent-child program designed to help foster a lifetime of understanding and friendship and to strengthen the relationship between children and parents. If you are interested in being involved or have more questions, please contact us.
The YMCA is an inclusive association of people regardless of inability to pay. The YMCA, through our Annual Strong Kids Campaign, uses contributed funds to ensure that all may participate to the extent funds are available. If fees are a concern, please inquire at the front desk for a scholarship application. All records are kept confidential.