Kalamazoo is an excellent town to explore during a day trip. It is about an hour away from Jackson and contains several great activities for families that kids of all ages will enjoy. Here is a list of potential places to visit during a day trip to Kalamazoo.

Get Outside:

Kalamazoo Nature Center 

Nature centers are an obvious, great choice for families to visit during a day trip. It’s a great way to embrace being outdoors and being spring, you and the kids can start looking out for early signs of spring!

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is an especially great one to visit no matter what the weather is doing. If it’s a nice day, pick from one of the 16 trails to explore. There’s also a neat nature playground for the little ones to enjoy on the opposite side of the ½ mile Arboretum trail.

If it’s rainy out, head indoors to the impressive Visitors Center. There’s a children’s area filled with themed, seasonal activities, books, and sensory bins. In the basement, say hi to the reptiles. And no matter what the weather is doing, you simply must pop into the tropical sun rain room in the very middle of the building. You may not be spring breaking in the tropics, but this little spot will bring the tropics to you!

For more information on admission and hours, visit:
https://naturecenter.org/

Photo provided by Jackie/From Michigan With Love Blog

Animals:

Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 

Enjoy spending time this spring break surrounded by birds! The Kellogg Bird Sanctuary was founded in 1927 by cereal magnate WK Kellogg who deeded the property to Michigan State University to re-establish the dwindling populations of Canada geese and trumpeter swans. During a visit, you can expect to see tons of ducks, swans, and geese that are both permanent residents of the sanctuary as well as migratory populations stopping over. 

There are also birds of prey and game birds housed here too that you can learn about. 

For more information on admission and hours, visit:
https://birdsanctuary.kbs.msu.edu/

Photo provided by Jackie/From Michigan With Love Blog

Get Crafty:

Kalamazoo Candle 

Pop into Kalamazoo Candle on the Kalamazoo Mall to make your own colorful sand candle. While I haven’t taken my son to do this activity yet, this sounds like such a fun activity for all those creative kids out there. It’s only $10 per candle! Plus, it’s open to kids as young as two years old. 

While waiting for your candle to finish being made, pop into Spirit of Kalamazoo next door for some ice cream from Plainwell Ice Cream.

For more information on hours, visit:
https://kalamazoocandle.com/pages/make-your-own-candle

Photo provided by Jackie/From Michigan With Love Blog

Hands-on History & Science Fun:

Air Zoo

It doesn’t matter if you’re raising a little aviator, the Air Zoo is an epic destination anyone would enjoy! It is affiliated with the Smithsonian and houses an impressive number of historic aircraft – both military and leisure. Plus… there are rides! And those rides are open for people of all ages and heights. Just make sure that if you’re not keen on amusement park rides, your kids have someone that’s at least 48” tall to ride with them if they aren’t that height yet.

In addition to airplanes, there is an exhibit on spacecraft, and outer space with lots of hands-on stations to play at.

For more information on admission and hours, visit:
https://www.airzoo.org/

Photo provided by Jackie/From Michigan With Love Blog

Kalamazoo Valley Museum 

My family and I absolutely love the FREE Kalamazoo Valley Museum, that’s right – free! Pair a visit here with arts and crafts time at Kalamazoo Candle as they are within walking distance of each other. There are both permanent and rotating exhibits. Hands-on exhibits include Kalamazoo Direct to You, Science on a Sphere, and the Innovation Gallery, which focuses on the body, land, mobility, and music. There is also a planetarium with regularly scheduled shows that are also free!

If you have a little one that is five or under, there is a Children’s Landscape play area specifically for them! 

For more information on admission and hours, visit:
https://kalamazoomuseum.org/

Photo provided by Jackie/From Michigan With Love Blog

Gilmore Car Museum 

If you have a little one that enjoys cars, a visit to the Gilmore Car Museum is a must! The Gilmore Car Museum is the largest auto museum in the US! As you walk through the museum, it is like you’re walking through auto history. You will start off seeing some of the oldest cars, buggies, and self-propelled carriages around! Then, you’ll make your way through the decades as you walk along. 

Make a day of it when you visit! For lunch, eat at either the Blue Moon Diner Car or Heritage Cafe. 

For more information on admission and hours, visit:
https://gilmorecarmuseum.org/

Photo provided by Jackie/From Michigan With Love Blog

Vicksburg Historic Village 

Immerse yourself in small-town history during an afternoon exploring the Vicksburg Historic Village. There are old train cars, buildings, homes, and classic shops to pop into and learn about. Right next to the parking lot is the Depot Museum to tour. 

The Historic Village is really close to an active rail line, so if a train happens to go by during your visit, be sure to wave to the conductor! 

For more information on admission and hours, visit:
https://vicksburghistory.org/historic-village/

Photo provided by Jackie/From Michigan With Love Blog

About our Guest Blogger:

Hi there, I’m Jackie – a pure Michigander and travel content creator that calls West Michigan my home! On the weekends, you can find me with my husband and son searching high and low to uncover all of Michigan’s hidden gems then posting all about our adventures on InstagramYouTube, and my website https://frommichiganwithloveblog.com/

Looking for more kid-friendly day trips? Check out our previous blog posts here!

Kid-friendly Day Trip to Kalamazoo

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