Beautiful color emerges come Fall. Take it all in with an afternoon drive, or stroll, through the many forests of West Michigan.
Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash.com
Lakeshore Family Guide for West Michigan
The communities along the lakeshore of West Michigan are ideal places to start and raise a family!
There are great indoor and outdoor family venues throughout the area, many quality childcare and schooling options, and plenty of resources that support family health and well-being. When it comes to raising kids from birth and beyond, this area just can’t be beat. Every member of your family is bound to find pure joy living here in West Michigan!
There’s never a shortage of fun activities and events for families along the lakeshore!,
Childcare & Education Opportunities
Many high quality, licensed childcare options as well as top-ranking public and private schools are available in the area. There are also many programs that provide lessons in music, art, and martial arts, among others.
This area has some of the finest family health options for medical, dental, eye, and emergency care. It also excels in connecting families in need with services and providing opportunities for community members to give back. And if you’re looking for some good old fashioned physical activity for your children, look no further. There are lots of exercise programs, recreational sports leagues, and active things to do that will keep you and your kids moving!
There is a myriad of family fun events and businesses in this area. The lakeshore offers plenty of options to spend quality time with the ones you love!
There are also many yummy and family friendly places to eat and lots of stores to take care of the needs of parents and kids. And if your child has a birthday coming up, this area has tons of birthday party options to make that special day great for your kiddo!
Kids head back to school and football games have started- fall is a great time to be in any of the lakeshore communities. The fresh, cool air beckons you outside to witness the gorgeous Fall Color Tour and there are numerous fall fun events in the area. And when October arrives, Halloween parties and trick-or-treating provide entertainment for the entire family.
Winter and Family Activities
Local sledding hills, plenty of open land for cross country skiing, and guided snowshoe walks available at the Ludington State Park are just a taste of the winter fun to be had along the lakeshore. West Shore Community Ice Arena in Scottville has open hours for ice skating, providing a fun and safe activity for people of all ages. If you prefer the warmth of the indoors, open swimming is available at numerous community pools and at West Shore Community College.
Summer Fun for Families
With miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and clean, sugar sand beaches; adults and kids alike will enjoy soaking up the sun with some amazing summer excursions. Water fun options include swimming, boat rentals, and sunset cruises on the S.S. Badger.
As far as festivals and summer events go, family friendly fun is available at every turn. The largest summer event for families in Ludington is the Ludington Area Jaycees 4th of July Freedom Festival which includes a Children & Pet Parade, Grand Parade, and Fireworks. The Oceana County Asparagus Festival is another great family fun venue.
Is your family into running? The annual Lakestride Half Marathon/10K/5K Run has options for every skill level. If basketball is more in your court, the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament can help you satisfy that competitive urge during the summer months.
Indoor Children's Programs
The lakeshore communities are also home to many fun activities for cooped up kids during those blustery months. Free playgroups and library programs provide a variety of experiences for kids and the events are great opportunities for kids to get together. Children of all ages should make a point to visit Sandcastles Children’s Museum in Ludington frequently. The museum exhibits include an actual Cessna 172 airplane, the Badger Playship, an interactive bank and restaurant, water and bubble tables, and more; all for a modest entry fee.
Activities & Attractions in West Michigan
Standing tall and proud along the shores of Lake Michigan, Point Betsie marks the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage.
Hop aboard the Lake Michigan S.S. Badger Carferry! Take the famous cruise across Lake Michigan and experience the Badger and all it has to do!
The Grand Traverse Lighthouse is situated at the end of the Leelanau Peninsula within, about eight miles north of the town of Northport.
The colorful attire and crazy antics of the Scottville Clown Band amuse people, but they also have extraordinary musical talent.
Take one of the most scenic drives in the nation as you travel across M-22 in Manistee County. A long winding road of adventure awaits!
Agriculture plays a large role in the economics of Mason County. Take this self-guided tour to learn about agriculture in Mason County.
Todd and Brad Reed offer Photography Workshops throughout the year. These classes are great for beginners as well as seasoned professionals.
The Michigan Audubon Society Lake Bluff Center overlooks Lake Michigan near Manistee and features wildlife and a bird sanctuary.
The Pentwater River provides opportunities to experience a paddle sport for the first time or take on a challenge for those more experienced.