Packed with adventure, art and culture, Jackson, Michigan is a go-to family vacation destination. Each member of your family will be intrigued, entertained, and delighted by the spectacular attractions, riveting history, outdoor adventures, and up-close look at the arts.
Endless Fun for Toddlers
A family vacation isn’t complete unless the youngest members of your family are having fun too. Jackson has plenty of activities for toddlers. Start by cooling off with a dip in the pool at Nixon Water Park. The family-friendly pool is even complete with two slides! For another water experience, head over to the Splash Pad. This zero-depth water center is packed with water features, fountains, and even a giant dump bucket. Adjacent to the Splash Pad is The Cascades, an illuminated waterfall. This dazzling attraction is sure to be a hit as it lights up the night sky with captivating shows.
Enjoy a wonderful nature experience and learn about ecology at the Dahlem Center. Several trails wind around the preserved property showcasing the beauty of Michigan’s outdoors – be sure to visit the children’s garden! After that, be immersed in an enchanting historical experience at Waterloo Farm Museum. While there, you will be guided through several perfectly preserved buildings that allow you to relive early pioneer life. End your time in Jackson with a movie or a show at the Michigan Theatre - the Spanish Renaissance-style theater is a treat all in itself!
Engaging Activities for Elementary-Aged Kids
Get out and burn some energy while taking in what Mother Nature has to offer kayaking at Quiet World Sports. Located on Vandercook Lake, this sports rental facility has lessons for beginners, group tour options, and plenty of kayaks to go around. Take another approach to breathing in some fresh air while horseback riding at Horse ‘N Around Stables. Located within the Lower Peninsula’s largest state park, you will have incredible views for miles.
Head off for an adventure on a self-guided tour of some of Jackson’s most incredible spots – it’s as easy as downloading our free app! The Bright Walls mural tour takes you around the downtown area showing you the incredible murals painted by internationally renown muralists. Take a look at history on the incredible tour of the Underground Railroad. This can’t-miss attraction is a wonderful way to learn more about the Underground Railroad that once ran through Jackson by an escaped slave, Rufus Evans.
Continue learning about all facets of history by visiting Jackson’s unique museums. Michigan Military Heritage Museum tells the story of Michigan’s brave soldiers by showcasing memorabilia, uniforms, artillery, letters, and so much more. Take a cruise down memory lane at Ye Ole Carriage Shop Auto Museum. This fascinating museum gives your family an up-close look at Jackson’s heyday, when manufacturing automobiles our niche. See one-and-only cars as well specialty and classic cars. If you enjoy motorcycles, gas pumps, antique signs, pedal cars, or Coca-Cola, Ye Ole Carriage Shop Auto Museum has something for you.
Awesome Activities for Teens
Your teen may be hard to impress, but trust us, Jackson is sure to please. Kick off your visit with a trip to the slammer – Michigan’s First State Prison. Get an uncanny look at the grounds that once housed Michigan’s first state prison with Jackson Journeys.
Then, head over to the Lost Railway Museum to follow the evolution of transportation. While there, be sure to walk through the two Interurban railcars in the restoration process. The Ella Sharp Museum is another fascinating spot that showcases a variety of mediums of art plus a unique historic village that portrays a Civil War era town.
Firmly plant your feet exactly where our forefathers did in 1854 to form the Republican Party. What was once the outskirts of town is now the gathering place in a quiet Jackson neighborhood to remember their triumphs to fight for equality and an end to slavery. Visit Under the Oaks to experience this incredible monument for yourself.
Take some time to enjoy Jackson’s expansive outdoors. The Grand River is the perfect spot to kayak! The sprawling river provides for hours of fun. Try a new sport – footgolf – at the Cascades Foot Golf Course. This fun and lighthearted sport is the perfect cross between golf and soccer.
Book Your Trip
Now that you have found tons of fun activities for your family to do, it’s time to book your stay! With tons of hotels to choose from, finding one that is perfect for your family’s needs will be a breeze. Be sure to check the schedules for each attraction and get ready to enjoy your vacation in Jackson, Michigan.
Bright Walls photos by Lindsay Goodrich
Published on 7/8/20