12 Things to Do with Family in Flint, Michigan

Last Updated on February 29, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Flint is a city located along the Flint River in eastern Michigan. Once a thriving hub for the automotive industry, Flint has gone through economic struggles but has worked to reinvent itself as a cultural destination.

Explore Hands-On Exhibits at the Sloan MuseumInteractive exhibits focusing on local history and vehicles.
Have Fun at the Flint Children’s MuseumEducational play with interactive exhibits for children.
Visit the Longway PlanetariumAstronomical shows and educational content under a dome.
Paddle Down the Flint RiverOutdoor kayaking or canoeing along the river.
Tour the Flint Farmers’ MarketA market with local produce, goods, and family activities.
Have a Ball at Laughing Sun BrewingA family-friendly microbrewery with games and play areas.
Visit a Working Farm at Applewood EstateExplore farm life, animals, and historical buildings.
Catch a Show at Flint Youth TheatreYouth-led theatrical performances and education.
Ice Skate Year-Round at Iceland ArenaIndoor ice skating with public sessions and lessons.
Ride a Sleigh at Crossroads VillageSeasonal sleigh rides and historical village exploration.
Hop in a Go Kart at Adrenaline Marine & Motorsports ParkGo-karting fun on a large speedway for all ages.
Play a Round at Captain’s Club at WoodcroftGolfing at a public golf club with a scenic course.

While smaller than the nearby city of Detroit, Flint still offers families plenty of ways to have fun and make memories together. From museums and parks to theaters and seasonal events, this guide will cover 12 great things to do with your family while visiting Flint, Michigan.

With activities ranging from indoor playgrounds to canoe rentals, families with children of all ages can find ways to stay active and engaged throughout the year.

1.Explore Hands-On Exhibits at the Sloan Museum

Name and Location: The Sloan Museum is located at 1221 E. Kearsley St, Flint, MI.

History and Significance: Founded in 1966, the museum showcases local history and industry innovations that changed the world, like Flint’s role in the auto industry. Hands-on exhibits aim to inspire future generation.

What to Expect: Visitors can explore sections like “Cars and Culture” to sit in a classic Buick, “Made in Michigan” to create crafts, and more. Newly expanded facilities, auto exhibits, community events and kids’ programs.

Visitor Information: Open every day except holidays. Admission fee required. Science demonstrations and planetarium shows included.

The Sloan Museum is one of the top destinations in Flint for families. Focused on the history of the Flint area, particularly the vehicle industry, the Sloan Museum brings local history to life through engaging and interactive exhibits. One of the highlights is the Buick Gallery, which contains over 20 functioning antique Buick automobiles dating as far back as 1904. This allows kids to get up-close to vehicles from the early 1900’s and visualize transportation from over a century ago.

Another popular exhibit area is the Michigan Collectibles Gallery which features thousands of pieces celebrating Michigan heritage. From Vernor’s memorabilia to vintage Lady Hudson dresses, this expansive collection allows families to discover pieces of Michigan’s past in an intriguing hands-on gallery. Whether your family has lived in the state for generations or is just visiting, the Michigan Collectibles Gallery offers a fun way to soak in historical culture.

For families with younger children, be sure to spend time in the Sloan Museum Children’s Discovery Gallery. Designed specifically with kids in mind, this space has various interactive stations to see, touch, and explore. Families can play grocery store in the kid-sized market, drive a pint-sized service truck, or manipulate energy and gravity at various building exhibits. It’s a wonderful place for toddlers and elementary school-aged children to engage their natural curiosity. Make sure to devote at least 2-3 hours to fully explore all this downtown museum has to offer.

2.Have Fun at the Flint Children’s Museum

Name and Location: The Flint Children’s Museum is located at 1602 W. University Ave, Flint, MI.

History and Significance: Founded in 2015, this nonprofit museum provides engaging, educational exhibits and programs to build foundations for kids’ lifelong learning in the Flint community.

What to Expect: Kids can role play careers, experiment in the H2O Flow space, build in the Tinkering Space, explore outdoor music garden and more while developing skills. Family play events offered.

Visitor Information: Open Tues.-Sun. Admission fee required. Annual memberships and birthday party rentals available.

If your kids love hands-on educational play, then a top family destination is the Flint Children’s Museum located right downtown. This museum provides over a dozen different interactive exhibits all focused on early learning concepts for children 10 years old and under.

Some of the highlights your kids will love include a giant Lite-Brite panel where they can put different pegs into a illuminated board to make colorful designs. There is also an arts and craft space called “Arty’s Studio” with various rotating projects, such as jewelry making, puzzle-piece mosaics, and building toy structures.

For kids who love pretend play, encourage them to play “Grocery Store” where they can use pretend money to shop from kid-sized food packages. Tiny tots will also enjoy the water tables and sand building station along with life-sized versions of classic games like Connect Four and KerPlunk.

With 90-minute play sessions, reasonable admission prices, and weekday discounts, the Flint Children’s Museum is an ideal indoor playground option for families in the area. Make sure to pack socks since all visitors large and small must remove their shoes inside the exhibit areas.

3.Visit the Longway Planetarium

Name and Location: The Longway Planetarium is located at 1310 E. Kearsley St. on the grounds of the Flint Cultural Center campus.

History and Significance: Open since 1968, the pioneering planetarium serves as an education facility to teach about space and astronomy using cutting-edge projection to showcase night skies, planets and seasonal constellations indoors.

What to Expect: Visitors can view original productions in the dome theater illustrating celestial objects, explore exhibits like an Apollo mission capsule, enjoy talks, night sky viewings and hands-on demos from astronomers revealing mysteries of the universe.

Visitor Information: Shows and hours vary. Modest admission fee helps support nonprofit programs. Group reservations offered.

The Longway Planetarium located on the grounds of The Flint Cultural Center campus is another wonderful indoor destination for families, especially during cold Michigan winters. The Planetarium features a state-of-the-art star projector underneath an impressive 60-foot domed ceiling.

Throughout the year, Longway offers intriguing full-dome shows exploring topics like black holes, the ocean ecosystem, dream travel, laser music displays, and more. Most shows last 30-45 minutes and are narrated presentations combined with dynamic visualizations. There are even kid-friendly shows like “The Little Star that Could” for ages 3-6 or “Earth, Moon & Sun” for elementary students aged 6-10.

For families with kids of varying ages, the Planetarium also offers sensory-friendly shows periodically. These presentations have softened sound, lowered light levels, and a more relaxed audience environment to accommodate those with sensory issues. Visit the Longway website calendar to see upcoming sensory-friendly offerings.

Beyond the stellar dome theater productions, Longway also hosts occasional planet-themed laser shows featuring favorites like the music of Queen or The Beatles. Consult the calendar for laser show schedules. Budget about 2 hours to take in a show plus explore exhibit galleries highlighting constellations, satellites, and telescopes when visiting Longway.

4.Paddle Down the Flint River

Name and Location: Flint River water trail through the city offers kayak and canoe access in multiple spots.

History and Significance: Once a trade route for Native Americans, the river later powered sawmills in the 1800s before acting as a water source. Today, recreational enhancements connect people and nature along the revitalized waterway through the heart of the city.

What to Expect: Float along downtown banks, under scenic bridges past Riverbank Park while spotting herons, turtles and other wildlife. Rentals and tours often available seasonally. All skill levels can traverse the calm waters.

Visitor Information: Use caution and check conditions. Avoid after heavy rains. Follow safety guidelines for sharing river usage.

For a fun outdoor adventure that provides family exercise, consider renting kayaks or canoes to paddle down sections of the Flint River. Several local outfitters like Jensen’s Canoe Rental or Uncle Ducky Outdoors offer hourly or half/full day rentals for 1-3 person kayaks and canoes which families can launch from various access points along the Flint River Trail system.

Paddling the river is fairly calm apart from a few minor rapids and allows families to take in lush nature areas and wildlife right in the heart of the city. Most first-timers prefer to start with an easy, short 1-2 hour paddle covering just a few miles of river rather than attempting lengthy distances their arms aren’t conditioned for yet. Bring snacks and bottled water to re-fuel during rest stops along the river bank.

Jensen’s Canoe Rental has a few kayaks equipped with clear bottoms which kids will love since it allows them to see fish swimming right under their boat! If family members want to up the ante, Uncle Ducky Outdoors also offers stand up paddle boards for rental.

No matter your paddling preferences, drifting down the Flint River surrounded by vibrant greenery helps families relax and focus on quality time with each other away from daily stress. Don’t forget to lather up with sunscreen and bring water shoes or sandals you don’t mind getting wet since launching kayaks can be muddy.

5.Tour the Flint Farmers’ Market

Name and Location: The Flint Farmers’ Market is centrally located downtown at 300 E. First St.

History and Significance: Opened 1939 with assistance from GM’s Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Flint’s public market links consumers with Michigan growers and producers year-round while driving downtown revitalization through its iconic domed art deco facility.

What to Expect: Browse plentiful farm fresh fruits and vegetables, enjoy onsite eateries, explore unique handmade crafts, gifts and household goods from many local small businesses inside the historic hall as well as regular cooking demos and events.

Visitor Information: Free admission. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays. Free parking available.

The Flint Farmers’ Market has been a staple destination in the city since 1940. Originally an open-air shed market, today’s market features covered vendor spaces occupied by over 35 year-round Michigan-based businesses selling everything from fresh produce, baked goods, and dairy to meat products, flowers, and handcrafted items. The market aims to support small family businesses while providing the community access to farm-direct, locally-sourced foods and artisan wares.

Beyond just shopping, the Flint Farmers’ Market also strives to be a family-friendly destination with affordable dining and programming. Kids will enjoy watching cookie decorating demos in Maggie’s Kitchen bakery or printing their own keepsake t-shirts at Printcomm.

Families can grab an inexpensive breakfast or lunch at venues like the Crepe Nation food truck, Joe & Rosie’s Coffee Cafe, or Baobab Fare African cuisine. Sit down for a meal in the upper level Food Court or snag snacks from fudge & nut vendors to munch while you explore.

On the weekends, the Farmers’ Market often hosts free crafts, workshops, or entertainment appealing for families like pumpkin painting in the fall, cookie decorating for holidays, kids yoga classes, African dance workshops, drum circles using recycled materials and more.

Keep an eye on the event calendar on their website for upcoming family options. Between the fresh foods, activities, and economic prices, Flint’s Farmers’ Market makes for an enjoyable indoor outing for local families and travelers alike.

6.Have a Ball at laughing Sun Brewing

Name and Location: Laughing Sun Brewing is located at 1023 S. Dort Hwy in Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Opened summer 2021 inside a renovated 1940s dairy plant, this family-friendly taproom offers craft beers and fun recreational amenities as part of Flint’s community revival and redevelopment efforts, activating unused property.

What to Expect: Lawn games like bag toss, volleyball and more accompany artfully crafted IPAs, stouts and experimental brews on draft plus outdoor patio, rotating food trucks and private event space overlooking the landmark Weatherball.

Visitor Information: Open Wed.-Sun. with seasonal hours. All ages welcome before 8 PM. Private party reservations available online.

Flint’s only family-friendly microbrewery & gastropub, Laughing Sun Brewing offers great local craft beer along with an indoor playground and game zone perfect for kids. The playground area has tunnels to climb through, a multi-level structure with slides, and a fenced turf zone with ride-on toys like cozy coupes.

Toddlers also have a playhouse, toy kitchen, dollhouses and a sandbox to enjoy. Arcade games like Skee Ball, basketball pop shots and classics like Pac Man allow kids of all ages to have fun and potentially win prizes.

To entertain the adults, Laughing Sun has over a dozen craft beers like Cream Ale, Hazy IPA, Cherry Wheat and experimental seasonal beers on tap to enjoy by the glass or in tasters along with ciders and cocktails. Their weekend brunch and lunch menus feature hearty fare like brisket hash, fried Lake Perch sandwiches, or their signature Sun Burger with a pretzel bun.

Guests can order food & drinks and bring them right into the game zone. With picnic tables, cozy seating areas, and an outdoor patio, families can easily relax over a meal while kids play. Laughing Sun also hosts game & trivia nights for grown-ups plus events like kids craft times, cereal parties or cartoon character appearances that promise to make the whole family smile.

7.Visit a Working Farm at Applewood Estate

Name and Location: Applewood Estate covers 1500 acres at 1400 E. Kearsley St. on the campus of the Flint Cultural Center in Michigan.

History and Significance: Bequeathed by auto baron Charles Stewart Mott in 1945 for public benefit, the grounds contain a Georgian mansion alongside working farm, flower conservatory and scenic heritage gardens cultivated continually over decades as an escape from city life.

What to Expect: Tour the 1928 private manor house while interacting with agriculture demonstrations, woodlands hiking trails, vintage vehicle shows, livestock and special events connecting community to America’s agrarian foundations and Mott family history.

Visitor Information: Open year-round except major holidays. Modest admission fee. Wedding and private rentals available.

Nestled on a 250-acre plot only 15 minutes from Flint, Applewood Estate allows families to experience what life on a farm is like. This estate that once belonged to auto pioneer George W. Walker now operates as a nonprofit that is part agriculture center, part living history museum, and part event venue.

Families can explore the historic 30-room Manor House decorated in early 20th century style, meet heritage breed farm animals like Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs or Milking Devon cows up-close, and tour the heirloom gardens and orchards.

Applewood also hosts various family-friendly seasonal events from Easter egg hunts to fall cider pressing festivities and holiday Victorian teas. Unique summertime options range from fairytale teas where kids dress up and participate in themed crafts and games to Pirates & Princess parties allowing kids to dress up as their favorite characters while going on a scavenger hunt around the estate grounds.

Parents will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and chance to educate kids on history and agriculture while kids will have a blast exploring the barns, gardens, manor home and special events.

From April through October, Applewood Estate is open for regular tours on Saturdays or by appointment Tuesday-Friday.

Special events often sell out in advance, so check Applewood’s event calendar early for upcoming fun most suitable for your crew’s interests and book your spots. With reasonable admission prices and so much included, this agri-tourism spot lets families make memories while learning together.

8.Catch a Show at Flint Youth Theatre

Name and Location: The Flint Youth Theatre is located in downtown Flint at 1220 E. Kearsley St. near the cultural center campus.

History and Significance: Flint’s original youth acting troupe formed in 1957 as an afterschool creative outlet. The organization cultivates community talent while delivering quality family productions from their Kearsley Park theatre space.

What to Expect: Enjoy kid-friendly musicals, comedies and dramas performed by local child casts infused with enthusiasm about theatre arts. Program extends developmental training opportunities participating on or off stage.

Visitor Information: Season runs September through July showcasing several public performances for each play or musical. Tickets available on website.

Since 1957, the Flint Youth Theatre located downtown has provided theater education and main-stage productions featuring local young talent ages 4-18. While beloved holiday shows like “Seussified Christmas Carol” happen each December, Flint Youth Theatre runs at least 4 additional plays or musicals during its September through May mainstage season. These performances are completely kid-powered with youth actors bringing stories to life on stage.

Families can check their show schedule online for upcoming productions like beloved tales from children literature such as “Charlotte’s Web”, popular Disney musicals like “Frozen Kids”, or comedic takes on classic stories like “The Princess and the Pea(nut)”.

Most shows have general audience appeal and run 60-90 minutes including an intermission, making them an easy entertainment option for families with kids of varying attention spans. Beyond just watching productions, parents can also enroll kids in FYT’s theater education programs spanning topics like acting, song & dance, improv, puppetry, and technical theater specialties.

With tickets generally $15/adults and $10/kids, these live youth theater performances offer parents a budget way to expose kids to the performing arts. Visitors will be amazed seeing how talented local young artists bring joy through Flint Youth Theatre productions.

9.Ice Skate Year-Round at Iceland Arena

Name and Location: Iceland Skate Arena is conveniently located at 1402 S. Dort Hwy south of downtown Flint, Michigan.

History and Significance: Operational for over 50 years, the indoor rink hosts hockey games and open skating sessions appealing to all ages while being home to the renowned Skating Club of Flint that has nurtured Olympic athletes and national championship skaters.

What to Expect: Lace up your own skates for public sessions or view high-caliber figure skaters practicing jumps and routines as spectators from the heated viewing area or snack bar area containing skate rentals and party rooms.

Visitor Information: Public hours vary by month. Modest skating admission fee. Skate sharpening and hockey pro shop on site.

Iceland Arena houses Genesee County’s only year-round indoor ice skating rink, perfect for family fun regardless of Michigan’s weather. The NHL regulation-sized rink hosts public skating hours daily where families can lace up skates to take a spin on the ice for just $7-9 admission per person. Iceland Arena provides skate rentals in adult sizes as well as double-bladed trainer skates perfect for keeping little kids upright on ice.

Parents can join tots on the ice during special Parent & Tot skate sessions offered several times a week. These designated skates allow parents to help guide, encourage, and support newbies as they gain confidence moving on ice.

For parents wanting kids to advance their skills, Iceland Arena also offers introductory skating lessons through their Ice Academy so kids can safely learn how to skate forwards and backwards, speed up, and even stop. The top of the arena balcony makes an ideal viewing spot to watch skaters below and capture sweet video of your kids circling the giant rink.

Party rooms are also available to rent for birthdays or gatherings both during public skates or privately. With prime indoor ice access even during hot summers, Iceland Arena lets families enjoy favorite cold weather past-times year-round.

10.Ride a Sleigh at Crossroads Village

Name and Location: Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad historic site is located at 6140 N. Bray Rd in Genesee County near Flint.

History and Significance: Interpreting 19th century Michigan life as a living history museum since 1970, this 100+ acre village contains preserved pioneer buildings to discover community occupations and traditions from blacksmiths to shops through seasonal activities and festivities.

What to Expect: Hop aboard a full-size steam locomotive or horse-drawn carriages for guided village tours. Additional highlights include Civil War reenactments, antique car shows, holiday craft fairs and opportunities to interact with costumed history interpreters demonstrating past trades and tasks.

Visitor Information: Hours fluctuate by month. Admission fee required. Many special events included with ticket.

Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad offer families a chance to step back in time into a 1880s Michigan town containing dozens of historical buildings filled with antiques and artifacts. Throughout the Christmas season, this Genesee County Park location offers old-fashion holiday cheer with festive decor, carolers dressed in Victorian costumes, model train displays, and specialty workshops helping families make seasonal crafts together to take home like scented candles or holiday ornaments.

A signature way families can soak up the vintage atmosphere is by taking a 20-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride (complete with jingle bells!) along the grounds of Crossroads Village. These open-air sleigh rides glide families down snow-dusted paths allowing kids and parents alike to relish the nostalgia of this iconic winter experience straight out of the 19th century. Sleigh rides happen Saturdays & Sundays throughout December for just $5 per seat (children under 1 ride for free).

Of course a day at Crossroads wouldn’t be complete without a ride on the Huckleberry Railroad steam train which does a 20-minute loop around the village outskirts. This train ride through frosted fields lets families cozy up together while enjoying hot cocoa as they admire the snow-covered landscape inspired by Michigan’s rural past. Make sure to dress everyone in layers for spending extended time outdoors walking through Crossroads’ 12 acre site.

11.Hop in a Go Kart at Adrenaline Marine & Motorsports Park

Name and Location: Adrenaline Marine and Motorsports Park spanning over 80 acres is located at 10191 S. Saginaw Rd in Grand Blanc, about 8 miles from downtown Flint.

History and Significance: Open year round since 2016, the entertainment park contains Michigan’s largest go kart track as part of exhilarating attractions like pro turbo hyper karts reaching 50mph speeds over challenging configurations in addition to rental watercraft options on scenic ponds.

What to Expect: Alongside high-octane go karts, guests can enjoy fishing, arcade games, mini golf, bumper boats, food and private event space for groups seeking vivid adventure just outside the Flint area’s urban amenities.

Visitor Information: Hours adjust seasonally. Individual activity rates plus combo passes available online. Private party facilities offered.

Home to Michigan’s largest go kart speedway, Adrenaline Marine & Motorsports Park gives families a place to experience fun on wheels together. Their road course style track allows side-by-side racing so parents can even join kids in ripping around curves and straight-aways at up to 50 mph!

Adrenaline requires kids be at least 4 years old to ride two-seaters with an adult and 8 years old to pilot solo junior karts which use gas throttles just like the grown-up karts. Helmets, head socks, and safety instructions are provided before guests hit the slick asphalt course.

Families should plan to race multiple heats since sessions only last 5-7 minutes each. Beyond go karts, adrenaline junkies can also book a session on the andros wooden oval track which allows drivers to drift small buggy-style drift karts at up to 40 mph while pulling serious g-forces around banked turns!

When everyone needs a break from racing, families can explore Adrenaline’s on-site nature trails through 40+ acres of pristine woods in the heart of Genessee County. New in 2022, their location now has a 24-foot rock climbing wall guests can harness up to ascend as it winds through surrounding tree branches up to 16 feet off the ground at points for exciting aerial views. Adrenaline Marine & Motorsports Park promises high-octane family entertainment at fast but affordable rates.

12.Play a Round at Captain’s Club at Woodcroft

Name and Location: Captain’s Club at Woodcroft golf course is located at 1300 Ripley Rd in Lapeer, about 30 miles from Flint.

History and Significance: Designed by acclaimed course architect Jerry Matthews, the 18 scenic holes rolled out in 1999 feature mature trees, receptive bentgrass greens, undulating topography and water coming into play on nine holes, earning 4.5 star acclaim.

What to Expect: The championship public course mixes towering pines and hardwood forests with peaceful wetlands for a robust test akin to private clubs. Amenities include GPS-equipped carts, an elegant stone clubhouse with patio bar overlooking the course and superb casual dining.

Visitor Information: Season spans April through October. Tee times may be booked online. Outings and tournaments welcomed.

Feed your family’s competitive side while soaking up sunshine on the course at Captain’s Club at Woodcroft public golf club located just over 5 miles north of Flint in Grand Blanc. This 18-hole, par 72 course features bent grass greens and a front nine loaded with water hazards plus challenging bunkers and undulation throughout its over 7000 yards. Rated 4 stars by Golf Digest, Captain’s Club offers an impressive course design manageable for mid-handicap players while still presenting obstacles engaging for lower handicappers.

Beyond scenic views of the Kearsley Creek, Captain’s Club contains a large practice facility with a driving range, putting course plus chipping and bunker zones to sharpen skills. Juniors 17 years and under play free all day every Monday with a paying adult making this course extremely family-friendly for parent-child outings or groups with kids.

Families will enjoy tasty fare and a full bar inside the refurbished clubhouse containing floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the gorgeous course views. Guests can rent clubs and carts on site. Playing as a walker pushes prices lower, helpful for parents watching budgets. With dynamic terrain, elevated tee boxes and pristine conditions, Captain’s Club lets golf-loving families play rounds together they’re sure to remember.


Flint offers families plenty of ways to bond while having fun together rain or shine. From active attractions like canoeing down the river or racing go karts to laid-back activities like touring museums and holiday horse carriage rides, parents of kids ranging from toddlers to teens can find destinations to create meaningful memories. Pack the family vehicle or plan a long weekend getaway to check out these top things to do with your crew while visiting Flint, MI.

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