Detroit Mom’s Travel Series: Mid-Michigan

We are very blessed to have loved ones who follow our wishes of gifting experiences instead of physical toys for holidays and birthdays. For my daughter’s second birthday, her aunt gifted her the experience of going to the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum and we took that and decided to turn it into an overnight experience to explore Mid-Michigan!

For this trip, our family of four started by visiting the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum. We then made our way over to Midland where we stayed at Holiday Inn. While in Midland, we visited Dow Gardens and Chippewa Nature Center. Come along with us and explore our journey through Mid-Michigan!

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. | Mid Michigan Children’s Museum |315 West Genesee Avenue, Saginaw
The kids has so much run exploring all the different hands-on exhibits. They loved the water table!

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. | Holiday Inn |810 Cinema Drive, Midland
We arrived early to the hotel and they had our room ready. We had packed a lunch, so we ate in our room before heading off to our next location.

3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. | Chippewa Nature Center |400 S Badour Rd, Midland
We mainly went for the nature play area (an area in the park dedicated to allowing children to explore play through nature)! We then found out that they had an observation tower and a wonderful nature center with many children’s activities.

6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. | Applebee’s | 6911 Eastman Road, Midland
We ended up spending more time at the nature center than we originally planned, so on our way home we stopped at Applebee’s across the street from our hotel for dinner.

7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. | Holiday Inn
After dinner we decided to take a late night swim. The hotel has an indoor/outdoor hot tub that you can swim in between. The kids had fun sitting in the hot tub looking up at the stars!

Day 2

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. | Holiday Inn
We added on the breakfast package with our hotel. The wonderful thing about Holiday Inn Hotels is that kids eat free! We were given the choice of using our meal voucher on an item made fresh from the menu, or the buffet breakfast.

9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. | Dow Gardens | 1809 Eastman Avenue, Midland
Dow Gardens truly takes your breath away. Be sure to give yourself time to take in all its beauty! We started in the gardens area. Most of the garden is stroller-friendly, but there are also many secret trails to explore by foot.

We then made our way over to the canopy walk–this is what makes this attraction really stand out. You start by making your way up 40 feet above ground in the trees, where you explore at the three different viewing arms.

Lastly, we went to the playground. The playground is made to blend into nature, and has elements built into hilly grounds.

12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. | Pizza Baker | 240 E Main St, Suite B, Midland
There is nothing like fresh made pizza, made customized to your liking, finished within minutes. We also had a chance to talk to the friendly owner. He told us all about Midland and the growing downtown area!

1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. | Aviator Cookie Company |230 E. Main Street, Midland
As a flight attendant, I could not complete our trip without stopping at the aviation-inspired bakery. We tried several different cookies, which were all delicious! They also offer gluten sensitive cookies, available by pre-order.

Restaurants You’ll Love

Midland Brewing Company | 5011 N. Saginaw Rd, Midland
Crafting their own brews . . . Midland Brewing Company prides themselves in having great beer, food, and fun!

Molasses Smokehouse | 201 E Main St, Midland
St. Louis-style BBQ takes on Midland. With fresh meat smoked daily, you are sure to be in BBQ heaven.

Whichcraft Taproom | 124 Ashman St. Midland
This taproom offers small plate options to accompany their wide variety of drink options.

Attractions You Must Visit

Castle Museum of Saginaw | 500 Federal Avenue, Saginaw
Learn all about Saginaw County history by viewing over 150,000 artifacts.

Dow Diamond | 825 E Main St, Midland
Catch a Loons game–the minor league baseball team for the LA Dodgers.

Midland Center for the Arts | 1801 W. Saint Andrews, Midland
From Broadway shows, to symphony performances, and comedy events . . . Midland Center for the Arts surely has a show for everyone.

Saginaw Children’s Zoo | 1730 S. Washington Ave., Saginaw
Visit another one of Michigan’s wonderful zoos and view more than 150 different animals.  If you are a Detroit Zoo member, you receive 50% off admission!

Favorite Coffee Shops

Boomerang Coffee Lounge | 128 Ashman Circle, Midland
A wide variety of coffee and teas. Be sure to check out their seasonal items.

Coffee Grounds Shop | 4951 Eastman Ave, Midland
Besides their coffee, be sure to try their scones and smoothies!

Live Oak | 711 Ashman St. Midland
Live Oak roasts and serves their own coffee beans. You cannot get fresher coffee than that!

Favorite Places for Sweet Treats

Crêpes Et Amis | 130 Townsend St, Midland
Crêpes are not just for breakfast! How good does a smores or bananas foster crepe sound?

Great Lakes Ice Cream Company | 901 E. Ashman St, Midland
Homemade ice cream made with local ingredients, with flavors that are always changing!

Heather ‘n Holly | 228 E. Main Street, Midland
Homemade chocolates and candies, as well as the classics.

Bonus Tips for Mid-Michigan

  • Leave the stroller in the car for the Children’s Museum. All the exhibits are on one floor, which makes it easy to navigate.
  • The Children’s Museum has a nice outdoor eating area as well as some indoor seating, so bring a packed lunch if you wish!
  • The canopy walk of Dow Gardens allows for strollers and wheelchairs to be pushed up right to the different climbing attractions. We did not bring ours up the first ramp, and definitely regretted it.
  • Holiday Inn had a very cool indoor/outdoor hot tub that you float between. You can also order food and drinks poolside from the restaurant attached to the hotel.
  • Holiday Inn offers rooms with three queen beds. This is the first hotel I have seen with this setup!

Where’s your favorite vacation spot? Check out our previous travel series location–Chicago!


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