19 things to do for families on Mackinac Island

Whether you have a newborn or a teenager ready to conquer the world (or a 5-year-old ready to conquer the world!) a family trip to Mackinac Island is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

We love seeing parents who visited Mackinac Island as a kid and are now bringing their kids to the Island. As you plan your next family vacation, here are 19 fun ideas for the whole family! (Get the printable itinerary of 19 Things To Do For Families on Mackinac Island!)

  1. HORSES ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Narrated horse-drawn carriage tours are a great way to see Mackinac Island. Both public and private tour are available for about an hour or hour and 45-minute tour. But that’s not all the horse activities! Check out Cindy’s Riding Stable for saddle-horse riding options or Jack’s Livery for a one-of-a-kind drive-yourself carriage experience. Cindy’s Riding Stable requires children to be 10 years old and 50 inches tall to ride with them. If you have little ones, stop by Cindy’s, Jack’s or the Grand Hotel Stables to see the horses of Mackinac Island up close and personal!A family poses for a portrait in the Mackinac Island marina that overlooks the Mackinac Island harbor and ferry docks.

  1. FORT MACKINAC FOR FAMILIES

Live cannon and rifle firing demonstrations, original buildings from the Revolutionary War and a robust kids quarters make Fort Mackinac a must-see for families. And bonus! Not only does a Fort Mackinac ticket get you into the fort, it’s also good for 3 other attractions on Mackinac Island. This includes the Biddle House & Mackinac Island Native American Museum and Benjamin Blacksmith Shop, the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum (with air conditioning, great for a rainy or hot summer day!), and Mackinac Island’s American Fur Company Store and Dr. Beaumont Museum.

  1. BIKING AND HIKING MACKINAC ISLAND

With over 70 miles of trails and 8.2 miles of paved road on the perimeter of the island, Mackinac Island is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. Explore the endless trails with vistas and bluffs overlooking the Straits of Mackinac. Bring your own bikes (for an additional ferry fee) or rent bikes at one of Mackinac Island’s many bike rental locations. They have all kinds of bike options from tandems to mountain bikes, kid bikes, tag-alongs and buggies for transporting younger children. Be sure to stop by our Tourism Bureau office for a complimentary Mackinac Island map!

  1. ENJOY A MACKINAC ISLAND CHARTER BOAT

Enjoy a day on the water around Mackinac Island! Brown Eyed Girl Boat Charters can accommodate small groups or parties and provides a custom excursion for your family. Or you can book an adventure with Wild Honey Sailing Charters, which provides custom-tailored cruises that can accommodate 6 people.

  1. VISIT NATURAL FORMATIONS AND HISTORICAL STRUCTURES ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Venture into the interior of Mackinac Island to find Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf, Fort Holmes, Crack-in-the-Island, Cave of the Woods or the Mackinac Island Post Cemetery. Mackinac Island is filled with robust natural and historical history!

  1. BUTTERFLY HOUSES ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Mackinac Island has not one but TWO butterfly houses! Wings of Mackinac opened in 1997 and is located up at Surrey Hill, a stop along the public Carriage Tours route. Mackinac Island’s Original Butterfly House and Insect World is the first of its kind in Michigan and the third oldest live butterfly exhibit in the United States. Located behind Ste. Anne’s church, you’ll be mesmerized by these magical creatures.

  1. TAKE A FISHING CHARTER ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Relax and enjoy an exciting day of fishing off Mackinac Island with E.U.P. Fishing and Charters. Their 27-foot sport fishing boat has a hardtop, cuddy cabin and clean private bathroom.

  1. PLAYGROUNDS ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Playgrounds are always a favorite for families visiting Mackinac Island. There are 3 playgrounds on Mackinac Island. One is in Marquette Park behind the Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum. A second is at the Mackinac Island Public School on the boardwalk on the west side of the downtown area. And the final playground is in the interior of Mackinac Island at Great Turtle Park.

  1. ART AT MACKINAC ISLAND’S WATERCOLOR CAFÉ

Mackinac Island’s Watercolor Café offers kids art classes throughout the season. Visit their website to see a schedule. They also sell art kits, coloring sheets and different art-themed goods to enjoy while grabbing a bite to eat!

  1. PUTT-PUTT GOLF ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Test your golf game on the Greens of Mackinac, an 18-hole natural grass putting course at Mackinac A family relaxes on the Mackinac Island waterfront with a pair of Adirondack chairs in the foreground.Island’s Mission Point Resort. It’s fun during the day or for even more of a challenge, try glo-golf at night!

  1. ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS OF MACKINAC ISLAND

Toss a Frisbee, fly a kite, kick the ball around or play catch on the green spaces of Mackinac Island. The Great Lawn at Mission Point Resort, Windermere Point on the west side of downtown and Marquette Park are great options to play outdoor games. Visit Mackinac Island’s Great Turtle Toys, a robust toy store with diverse selections, for all your outdoor activity needs.

Flying kites is not allowed at Marquette Park. Please enjoy flying kites at Windermere Point or the Great Lawn at Mission Point Resort.

  1. MAZE OF MIRRORS ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Find your way through the life-size Maze of Mirrors on Mackinac Island. Located next to the Murray Hotel, it’s fun for the whole family!

  1. HAUNTED THEATER ON MACKINAC ISLAND

What was once a Motion Picture theater is now a haunted theater. Make your way through the Haunted Theater of Mackinac Island and experience monsters from Mackinac Island’s history.

  1. KAYAK, SNORKEL, AND STAND-UP PADDLEBOARD ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Kayak into the sunset, coast on a stand-up paddleboard off the coast of Arch Rock and explore a rock maze in the underwater caves off the coast of Mackinac Island. Mackinac Island’s Great Turtle Kayak Tours is your go-to guide for all things water on Mackinac Island.

  1. PARASAILING MACKINAC ISLAND

See Mackinac Island from the sky! Take off and land directly from the flight deck for a smooth, safe and dry parasail flight with Mackinaw Parasailing. Single, double and triple flyer options are available!

  1. PICNIC IN THE PARK ON MACKINAC ISLAND

What better way to slow down from the busyness of it all than to have an old-fashioned picnic in the A family enjoys a pizza picnic in Mackinac Island’s Marquette Park at the foot of historic Fort Mackinac.park? Order to-go food from one of Mackinac Island’s many restaurants or make a stop at America’s oldest grocery store, Doud’s Market! They have everything you would imagine at a grocery store plus a deli section with both hot and cold grab & go selections.

  1. MACKINAC ISLAND PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Mackinac Island Public Library is a picturesque library located right on the lakeshore. It’s a quiet place to go on a hot or rainy day and features a kids’ corner for families!

  1. GEOCACHING ON MACKINAC ISLAND

Over 100 active geocaches are on Mackinac Island. Geocaching is like a real-life treasure hunt with the perks of doing it in one of the most historical and beautiful places in Michigan!

  1. DISC GOLF ON MACKINAC ISLAND

A 9-hole disc golf course is located in Great Turtle Park in the middle of Mackinac Island. Here you will also find a basketball court, soccer field, baseball field, equestrian area, picnic pavilion and playground.

close-image
Scroll to Top