It's the middle of June, and keeping these kids entertained without destroying my pocketbook is the real challenge of the summer. Luckily, Michigan is a fairly driveable state with plenty to do.

Sure, going to the local park, playground, nature preserve and public lake may be the easy go-to's. I use them too. But there's got to be something in the Mitten State with just a bit more pizazz, a bit more excitement for me and the kiddos this summer.

They'll scream for the zoo or some waterpark, and I'd love to, but those ticket prices are pretty insane for ole' dad. And these bills aren't getting any cheaper. And you guys eat a lot.

Fact is, kids are pretty easily entertained. My kids are loving Michigan this summer, but I need something a bit more as I'm still getting familiar with the state in my first year here. We got memories to make while they're still small, ya know?

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In my search for activities with my terrors three this summer, I want to see more of this state and not bankrupt myself while ensuring they're still going to have actual some actual fun. I stumbled across the perfect list from Stacker via TripAdvisor data - a list of highly-rated free things to do across the Mitten State.

I'll look at it from a penny-pinching, cheapskate parent as some of these things won't fit my situation. But hey, maybe you'll get the use you're looking for to keep you and yours entertained this summer. From hiking to downtown shopping, historical monuments to fun by the water, there's something for everyone in Michigan this summer that won't cost more than the gas to get there.

Budget-Friendly Fun in Michigan: Top 21 Free Activities

Looking for something fun to do this summer in the Mitten? Here's the top 21 options that won't break your wallet in the process. The list was compiled by Stacker using TripAdvisor ratings.


The full list, which is based on TripAdvisor ratings, can be seen on Slacker here. *Disclaimer: some of the options on the Slacker list are not free, though they may have been at one time. Those items were omitted from the list provided above.

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