Family fun in Travers City
June 30, 2011 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend things to do in Traverse City, MI for a family of four.

Mrs. Terminal Verbosity and I will be driving from Chicago to Traverse City in early August with our two kids (ten and twelve), and we will be in the area for three or four days. I've seen these previous questions on TC [1] [2], but I'm looking for slightly different recommendations.

  • We'll be staying in a hotel, but we'd like to do some outdoorsy things. What sort of beach, dunes, hiking, etc. options are there in the area? We'd like to not stray more than an hour's drive from Traverse City once we are there.
  • What's fun to see/do in downtown Traverse City?
  • Are there any museums nearby that the adults would enjoy and the kids would tolerate?
  • Those previous questions listed many restaurants, but I'm open to recommendations there as well.

  • posted by Terminal Verbosity to Travel & Transportation around Traverse City, MI (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
    Most of my answer from one of those links still applies.

    Sleeping Bear Dunes (If you go, make absolutely sure to check out Pyramid Point)

    Go see a movie at the State Theater downtown. On Saturdays they have a kid's movie matinee for 25 cents. Unfortunately in early August, you're just barely missing the Traverse City Film Festival.

    Try taking the kids to the Children's Museum.

    Wander around the grounds at the Grand Traverse Commons (a restoration project of an old Kirkbride Building ) You'll find some great restaurants and a winery there.

    Head up Old Mission Peninsula for a beautiful drive and check out the lighthouse when you're at the end.

    For restaurants downtown, my go-to places are Bubba's (kids eat free on Mondays), The Dish (if you want a good vegetarian/vegan selection with a few meat dishes) and Pangeas (fantastic pizza).
    posted by Dr-Baa at 8:19 AM on June 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

    I guess I inverted your museum question. We have the Dennos Museum Center on the campus of NMC, which has some nice exhibits and a nifty children's exploration area. However, the main exhibit there now is Bodies Human, which might not be appropriate depending on the ages of your kids.
    posted by Dr-Baa at 8:22 AM on June 30, 2011

    One last thing and I'll shut up. For restaurants, I can't believe I forgot to mention Slabtown. So good.
    posted by Dr-Baa at 8:29 AM on June 30, 2011

    I'm more familiar with the Crystal Lake/Frankfort/Beulah area, but if you get down there you might want to do some canoeing on the Platte River (I remember enjoying that a few times when I was around your kids' age), and be sure to check out the Cherry Hut.
    posted by Johnny Assay at 9:06 AM on June 30, 2011

    Dr-Baa has it spot on.
    I am a fan of Sledders restaurant, don't forget to kiss the moose.

    Also the Boardman River is a great canoe/kayak adventure. Plenty of spots to port in and out with companies to supply you with rentals.

    Have fun and enjoy TC, also Friday nights in downtown the city closes the streets and its like a block party. Its fun (also I bet a dollar to a donut the apocalyptic family clan of fundamentalists will be passing out literature as they've done for 12+ years)
    posted by handbanana at 9:41 AM on June 30, 2011

    Go to Crystal Lake/Sleeping Bear dunes 30 mins west. Point Betsie lighthouse. And canoe on the Platte river to Sleeping Bear dunes. MeMail me I can suggest a million things. It is beautiful up there.
    posted by Ironmouth at 11:51 PM on June 30, 2011

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