32 Best Things To Do in Michigan: Ultimate Guide to Attractions

The educational side of Michigan attractions.

We Are Teachers; Steffy McCourt

As a mom, teacher, and travel writer, I love finding fun and educational activities to explore during my breaks. (Bonus points if there is a teacher discount!) My home state, Michigan, has so many options that combine fun with learning. Here are the 32 best things that I’ve found to do in all of Michigan just for teachers. My top picks are categorized by interest, complete with teacher discounts. This list is the kind of professional development teachers won’t want to miss. But please, if I missed any amazing locations, let me know! I’m always looking to grow this list. 

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Best Things for Science Lovers To Do in Michigan

Here are all the places where science teachers can get geeky.

University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Explore exhibits on prehistoric life, Michigan ecosystems, and more. The interactive displays and planetarium shows are fantastic for science enthusiasts.

Teacher discount: Free admission for everyone


Learn more: UMMNH

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Boy doing a science experiment at the Ann Arbor Museum as an example of the best things to do in Michigan.
Steffy McCourt

Engage with interactive science and technology exhibits. It’s an excellent place for hands-on learning and sparking curiosity in STEM.

Teacher discount: Free visit (on a field trip)

Learn more: AAHOM

Michigan Science Center

Engage with hands-on science exhibits and live demonstrations. It’s a dynamic environment to foster a love for STEM subjects.

Teacher discount: 20% off an annual membership

Learn more: Michigan Science Center

Detroit Historical Museum

Page from a historical book about Michigan.
You just never know what or who you will find when digging through history. That family on the bottom left-hand side are my great grandparents! —Steffy McCourt

Learn about Detroit’s automotive history and cultural heritage. It’s a rich resource for understanding urban and industrial development.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Detroit Historical Museum

Sandcastles Children’s Museum

Enjoy hands-on exhibits designed to spark children’s creativity. It’s perfect for elementary educators looking for interactive learning experiences.

Teacher discount: Discounted admission with ID

Learn more: Sandcastles Children’s Museum

Best Things for History Buffs To Do in Michigan

This is where history teachers get … historical.

Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

Boy standing in front of red sports car at Henry Ford Museum
My boys could look at the cars in the Henry Ford Museum for hours. It’s always a fun day! —Steffy McCourt

Discover America’s greatest innovations and historical artifacts. It’s an inspiring place for teachers of history and technological advancements.

Teacher discount: 25% discount off of annual membership

Learn more: Henry Ford Museum

Greenfield Village

Step back in time and experience historic buildings and demonstrations. It’s a fantastic living history museum perfect for immersive learning.

Teacher discount: 25% discount off of annual membership

Learn more: Greenfield Village

Keweenaw National Historical Park

Keweenaw sunset as an example of one of the best things to do in Michigan.
My aunt took this gorgeous picture of the Keweenaw sunset. It’s not hard to find a lighthouse (129!) or a sunset (365/year) in Michigan. —Steffy McCourt

Learn about the region’s rich copper mining history through well-preserved historical sites. It’s a treasure trove for history and geology enthusiasts.

Teacher discount: Free admission

Learn more: Keweenaw NHP

Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections

Explore extensive collections on local history and industry. It’s a fantastic resource for deep dives into regional history and archival research.

Teacher discount: Free access

Learn more: MTU Archives

The Quincy Mine

Take a guided tour of this historic copper mine. It’s an engaging way to learn about industrial history and mining technology.

Teacher discount: Save $15 on the tour! Instead of $35, teachers only pay $20.

Learn more: Quincy Mine

Ludington State Park

Family playing on a beach at sunset.
We discovered Ludington this spring after it came highly recommended as an affordable and adorable beach vacation from another teacher. —Steffy McCourt

Explore trails, beaches, and the iconic Big Sable Point Lighthouse. This is ideal for teaching about natural habitats and conservation.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Ludington State Park

Historic White Pine Village

Step back in time and learn about Michigan’s history with authentic village recreations. These are great for history buffs and those looking to bring history to life for their students.

Teacher discount: Discounted admission during History in Action Days throughout the year.

Learn more: White Pine Village

Best Things for Outdoorsy People To Do in Michigan

Teachers who hike, bike, and boat, these attractions are for you.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Family photo at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens as an example of one of the best things to do in Michigan.
Here we all are in Ann Arbor at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. A peaceful place to get a family picture! —Steffy McCourt

Wander through beautiful gardens and learn about diverse plant species. This serene spot is perfect for biology lessons and relaxation.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Hike the dunes, explore the beaches, and learn about the region’s natural history. It’s a stunning location perfect for lessons on geology and ecosystems.

Teacher discount: Discounted passes available

Learn more: Sleeping Bear Dunes

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Marvel at stunning cliff formations and waterfalls. It’s a great place for earth science and environmental studies.

Teacher discount: Discounted educational passes available

Learn more: Pictured Rocks

Detroit Zoo

Explore diverse animal exhibits and conservation efforts. It’s a perfect outing for lessons on biodiversity and animal behavior.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Detroit Zoo

John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids

Discover wildlife from around the world in a family-friendly environment. It’s a great place to learn about animal habitats and conservation.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: John Ball Zoo

Best Things for Art Enthusiasts To Do in Michigan

These are the places where art teachers get fancy.

Detroit Institute of Arts

Exterior of Detroit Institute of Arts as an example of one of the best things to do in Michigan.
So many things to think about … like how lovely it is to not have grading or to not have to wake up at an ungodly time. Shutterstock

Experience world-class art collections and exhibitions. It’s an enriching experience for art teachers and anyone passionate about visual arts.

Teacher discount: Free admission with ID

Learn more: DIA

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Enjoy stunning gardens and outdoor sculptures. It’s a beautiful blend of art and nature, perfect for creative inspiration.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Meijer Gardens

Best Things for Event Goers To Do in Michigan

If you’re a teacher who loves fairs, festivals, and other events, check out these attractions.

Ann Arbor Art Fair

This massive art fair showcases works from the entire USA. It’s the perfect outing for art teachers and anyone else interested in creative inspiration.

Teacher discount: Bring your ID, and check with individual vendors

Learn more: Ann Arbor Art Fair

Michigan’s Gus Macker Basketball Tournament

Participate or watch exciting 3-on-3 basketball games. It’s a fun, community-focused event great for physical education teachers and other sporty educators.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Gus Macker

Copper Harbor Trails Fest

Enjoy mountain biking and trail-running events. It’s a great way to explore the outdoors and promote physical activity.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Copper Harbor Trails Club

National Cherry Festival in Traverse City

Give apples the week off! Enjoy cherry-themed events and activities in the cherry capital of the world. It’s a fun way to learn about agriculture and celebrate a local specialty.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Cherry Festival

Tulip Time Festival in Holland, Michigan

Pink tulips
While Tulip Time usually occurs smack-dab in the middle of spring and summer break, it is always a good idea to gift yourself a walk through a field of flowers. Shutterstock

Learn about Dutch heritage and culture with performances, parades, and more. It’s a vibrant festival perfect for cultural education.

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Tulip Time

Best Places To Shop in Michigan

Here are some special places to spend your $250 tax deduction on classroom supplies and more.

Schoolgirl Style

A teacher’s paradise for classroom decor and supplies. It’s inspiring to see beautifully curated educational materials.

Location: 115 E. Main St., Flushing, MI 48433

Teacher discount: 50% off all items at warehouse outlet

Learn more: Schoolgirl Style

Wunderground Magic Shop

Michigan’s premier magic shop for educators wanting to add some magic to their classrooms. It’s a unique way to engage students and make learning fun.

Location: 16 S. Monroe St., Monroe, MI 48161

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Wunderground Magic Shop

Kerrytown Market & Shops

A vibrant market with interesting shops and local food vendors. It’s a charming place to find classroom supplies and enjoy local treats.

Location: 407 N. 5th Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Teacher discount: Bring your ID, and check with individual vendors

Learn more: Kerrytown

Avalon International Breads

Savor delicious baked goods made with organic ingredients. It’s a cozy spot for a coffee break or lunch after a day of exploring.

Location: 422 W. Willis St., Detroit, MI 48201

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Avalon

Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore offers a cozy atmosphere with a fantastic selection of books, author appearances, and themed book clubs. It’s a great place to find inspiring reads for both personal and classroom use.

Location: 124 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Literati Bookstore

The Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop

The Rocket Fizz offers a delightful mix of retro and special candies, sodas, and novelty items. It’s a great place to find fun treats and rewards for students or just to indulge your own inner child.

Location: 307 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Teacher discount: None

Learn more: Rocket Fizz

Plus, check out Incredible Facts About Michigan.

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