It may not seem like it, but there are actually a lot of fun places you can take your kids near Genesee County this summer, and still make it back home in time for dinner. 

The summertime blues are a real thing... especially when you and your kids are sitting around staring at each other all day. Why not get out for the day and see some of the fun that Mid-Michigan has to offer? There are plenty of reasonably priced attractions near Genesee County. We've listed 13 options for you below, organized only by their proximity to Flint, which is basically the center of the county. The destinations are also ranked according to their distance and price on a scale of one (being the cheapest/closest) to five (most expensive/furthest).

 


Wilderness Trails Zoo -- Birch Run

Distance -- * | Price -- $$

The Wilderness Trails Zoo in Birch Run sits about 25 minutes north of Flint, and has more than 200 animals of 50 different species, including lions and other big cats. An aquarium, petting area, and feed stations make a great adventure for your little animal lover. Admission is just $12.50 for adults, $9.50 for kids 3 -15, and free for kids 2 and under.


Zehnder's Splash Village Waterpark -- Frankenmuth

Distance -- ** | Price -- $$$$$

If you're looking to have some fun in the water with your kids, Zehnder's Splash Village (about 30 minutes from Flint) in Frankenmuth is a great place to start. Sure, some maybe you or some of your kids' friends have pools, but nobody has a 6-story family raft ride, super loop body slide; zero-entry activity pool with water geysers, water basketball and volleyball, Action River, Splash Landing play area, Dumping Bucket, Giggling Gorge and Perilous Plunge 4 story tube slides in the backyard, do they? Zehnder's Splash village does, plus you can relax in the Whimsical Whirl Hot Tub or just float along the Crooked Brook Creek Lazy River while the kids go crazy. Full day passes are regularly $38 and half days are $31, but be sure to check their waterpark schedule before heading out, as they are not always available and prices fluctuate on holidays and special occasions. You can also get complimentary passes as part of a certain hotel package deals.


The Adventure Park -- Frankenmuth

Distance -- ** | Price -- $$$$

If your kids are 7 or older and a little more on the adventurous side -- The Adventure Park of Frankenmuth might be just the thing. After climbing through the course and zip-lining between the trees for a couple hours -- they'll for sure be napping on the ride back home (30 minutes if home is Flint). Prices range from $24-$39 and reservations must be made in advance.


LEGOLAND Discovery Center -- Auburn Hills

Distance -- ** | Price -- $$$

The newest attraction on the list is a must for the LEGO lover in your family and is just a 32 minute drive from Flint. Attractions include interactive LEGO play areas, LEGO movies in the 4D theater, two rides and more. Tickets start at $23, but can be combined with admission to the following attraction on the list for just $32.


Sea Life Michigan Aquarium -- Auburn Hills

Distance -- ** | Price -- $$$

Combined with the LEGOLAND Discovery Center -- both conveniently located at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets -- the Sea Life Aquarium offers a nice one-two punch, but is also a great standalone attraction if your kids are into sea life. Sea Life features over 250 species including sharks, rays, seahorses and more. You'd have to drive hundreds of miles for an experience that's even comparable to this one, that's just over a half hour from Flint. Individual entry will run you $23.50 for adults and $18.50 for kids, children under 3 get in for free.


Sky Zone Trampoline Park -- Brighton

Distance -- ** | Price -- $$

If your kids a little gymanst or just likes to bounce around (and what kid doesn't?), Brighton's Sky Zone Trampoline Park is the place for them. Watch as your kids, literally, bounces off the walls in a fun and safe environment for just $14.99 for 2 hours. Brighton is the closest Sky Zone to Flint at about 38 minutes from Flint, but there is also a location in Shelby Township, just over an hour's drive.


Saginaw Zoo -- Saginaw

Distance -- ** | Price -- $

If your kid is an animal lover, there are a few nearby destinations to keep in mind -- one of them being the Saginaw Zoo, which is home to more than 150 animals not including their insect population. In addition to animals, the zoo features a train ride, carousel, shopping and food options, and all for just $5 a person (children under 1 get in free). Not too bad for 40 minute drive from Flint.


Castaway Play Cafe -- Howell

Distance -- ** | Price -- $

Castaway Play Cafe is fun little 45 minute trip (from Flint) that will keep your kids occupied for hours. It has a huge indoor play structure (with a section for toddlers as well), arcade games, pizza and other food options, inflatables, bounce houses, and, for an additional charge, a huge Lazer Tag area. Kids 3 and up get in for just $7.50 ($9 Fri - Sun), while admission for young'uns is just $4 ($5 Fri - Sun).


Red Oaks Waterpark -- Madison Heights

Distance -- *** | Price -- $$

About an 51 minutes south of Flint lies the Red Oaks waterpark, which has a wave pool, triple-flume waterslide, children's water playground with water jets, curtains, slides, bubbler jets ,and a six-foot tipping bucket, water play area for toddlers, with water jets and bubblers at zero depth. You can also grab a tube and float on the 990-foot long river ride. Regular tickets are only $17, with cheaper tickets available after 4p, as well as for residents.


Detroit Zoo -- Royal Oak

Distance -- *** | Price -- $$

If the other zoos on the list fall short, then you can always make a 54 minute trip south to the Detroit Zoo. At 125 acres and more than 2,400 animals, the attraction is well worth the price of admission, which is $14 for adults and $10 for seniors and children over 2 (free for the rest).


Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

Distance -- *** | Price -- $$

If you're looking for a place that will educate as well as entertain the kiddos -- the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (located about an hour from Flint) definitely checks both of those boxes. Where most museums can be kind of boring for kids, the interactive exhibits here are sure to turn your child into a happy little scientist for the day, and you'll probably have some fun too. Entry is just $12 for everyone over 2, and free for those younger.


Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel

Distance -- **** | Price -- $$$

This gem lies about 90 minutes from Flint and features a ton of splash filled fun for your kiddos. Waterslides, rock climbing, and simulated surfing are just a few of the highlights for the kids, while nearby golf and casino gaming make it an attractive location for couples who want to take turns watching the kids. Day passes are just $20.99, but you can get some great packages deals by keeping an eye on their website.

 

 


Michigan's Adventure -- Muskegon

Distance -- ***** | Price -- $$$$

Although much further from Flint than the rest (almost 2.5 hours), Michigan's Adventure is the ultimate Michigan destination for thrill-seeking youngsters. The theme park has over 60 rides, headlined by 7 rollercoasters, and -- as every theme park now does -- has an accompanying waterpark, which -- unlike other parks -- is included with the price of admission at just $31 online.