The 9 Best Museums in Michigan!

For those who want to put a little learning in the family vacation, or just want a quick shot of high culture while on the road, Michigan museums can be a great place to stop. Check out some of these options!

Air Zoo, Portage, MI

One of the largest air and space museums in the United States, this Portage museum has a connection with the Smithsonian, and a theme that's hard to beat for kids or anyone else: aircraft. Featuring full aircraft and mock-ups ranging from early-age propeller craft to an SR-71 Blackbird that even the tall can stand comfortably beneath, the Air Zoo also includes exhibits on space, physics, and the dreams of scientists that gave us aeronautics as we know it.

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, Farmington Hills, MI

If you've got gamer kids in the house, or if you happen to be one, a trip to Marvin's in Farmington Hills won't go amiss. Focused on arcade machines going back to the earliest days of the arcade, like the gypsy fortune teller, to the very latest in video game. Museum proprietor Marvin Yagoda has even been involved in evaluating arcade-based and similar items for the popular television show "American Pickers," which makes him-and his museum-a great source for the arcade's history.

Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Paradise, MI

It's impossible to think about Michigan without thinking about the Great Lakes at some point, and though very few kids have gone around whistling "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," the lakes have been home to plenty of shipwrecks. Paradise's Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum shows off several of these wrecks, including the Edmund Fitzgerald, along with several digital presentation tools for added impact. The Great Lakes' darker side is on clear display here, so it's worth checking out the danger along with the beauty and grandeur.

Michigan Science Center, Detroit, MI

Science museums often have a little extra edge with the kids because of their interactive nature. With IMAX films, a host of special exhibits including the upcoming "After Dark: Superheroes and Comics" exhibit starting Sept. 15, and the special Spark!Lab, Detroit's Michigan Science Center offers exciting things to do and see for children and adults alike. So consider putting a little learning in that vacation, in a fashion the kids will thank you for.

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Ann Arbor, MI

Considering the name of the museum itself, this Ann Arbor museum is clearly tailor-made for kids. Offering everything from the interactive Creature Feature display-involving getting up close and personal with a huge range of wildlife-to the twice-weekly convocations of the Little Scientist Club, it would be safe to think this is a kids-only option. That just isn't so, as adults-only events like Ciders and Sliders-revealing the science behind hard cider-are also on hand depending on when you go.

University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI

About time we got a look at some straight up art, isn't it? But Ann Arbor's University of Michigan Museum of Art has a pretty loose definition of "straight up art," including such things as Japanese folk ceramics and a series of special events called "Nights at the Museum" in which the contact with art starts before you even walk in the museum proper. Several galleries and outdoor sculpture gardens are also on hand to inspire the soul.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI

Another great unconventional museum choice in Grand Rapids, the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park offers a little something different depending on the time of your visit. Being mainly a garden, arriving in garden season offers visitors access to a range of experiences focused on flowers and gardens. Featuring a campus measuring 158 acres, a single walkthrough can take as long as eight hours. Tram lines are also available for those who want a little less exercise with their museum experience.

Gilmore Car Museum, Hickory Corners, MI

Car buffs, you already know that Michigan is the focus of automotive history for the United States and much of the world as a whole. So you're not surprised to hear that the state is home to the biggest car museum in North America: The Gilmore Car Museum. Located in Hickory Corners, this multi-building facility offers an array of exhibits focusing on cars and their unique place in America's history. Home to Donald Gilmore's collector car exhibits and the work of "Kalamazoo's Edison" Jay B. Rhodes, car buffs and those interested in scientific history should be at home here.

A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Houghton, MI

Before Michigan was an automotive powerhouse, it was a mining paradise. With iron ore and other minerals routinely pulled from the ground, there was no shortage of industry and noteworthy minerals. That's exactly what the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum in Houghton celebrates, showing off raw minerals like copper and how these minerals are used. Chrysler joined in to help make a permanent exhibit showing how Michigan's minerals made Michigan's cars. For those less interested in minerals, a memorial garden is also on hand.

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222 South Sheldon Street, Edmore, MI
About This museum presents an historical collection of Western heritage. Educating people to the legends of the West, the museum is filled with me... Read More
221 East Main, Farwell, MI
History:  The Ladies Library Association was Incorporated in 1879. In February 1882 the Farwell Land Company gave property to "The Ladies Li... Read More
2222 Smith Street, Sanford, MI
About Us: The Sanford Centennial Museum began with a school house that was built in 1910. It was added on to in the 1938 by the WPA. In 1970, the t... Read More
7050 South Eberhart Avenue, Clare, MI
Mission: To preserve, advance, and disseminate knowledge of history of Clare County and surrounding areas Read More
107 E. Railroad Street, Saint Johns, MI
The mission of the Clinton Northern Railway is to preserve the history of the railroad and its impact on small town America at the turn of the cent... Read More
311 East Bridge Street, Lyons, MI
The Lyons-Muir Historical Museum is located in a historic store front that was once the home of the Lyons Herald, a weekly newspaper serving the Ci... Read More
107 North Lincoln Avenue, Lakeview, MI
About the Museum: Organized by Gary Baker and Juanita Butler, the Lakeview area museum was established in 1995, housed in the old well house at 107... Read More
251East Main Street, Ionia, MI
A volunteer organization to promote and preseve our local history and heritage in the Ionia, Michigan, area. We are based in a Victorian mansion ca... Read More
213 North Franklin Street, Greenville, MI
Formed in 1967, the Flat River Historical Society & Museum drew up a mission to preserve, advance, and disseminate knowledge of the history of ... Read More
516 West Cass Street, Greenville, MI
About The Fighting Falcon Military Museum is dedicated to educating the public about the people, machines and personal history of U.S. war and con... Read More
221 West Cedar Avenue, Gladwin, MI
Museum housed in old Michigan central railroad depot. Can tour two restored cabins and a restored school house. All buildings and most items on dis... Read More
108 Hanover Street, Belding, MI
The Belding Museum is located in the historic Belrockton Dormitory, built in 1906 to house the large number of single women employed at the silk mi... Read More
The Portland Area Historical Society was founded in 1969 on the centennial of the founding of Portland, Michigan. Since then, we've been preserving... Read More
11009 Podunk Ave. NE, Greenville, MI
The Oakfield Pioneer Heritage Museum was established to collect, promote and display the history of Oakfield Township, Kent County, Michigan. The M... Read More
11009 Podunk Ave, S. of M-57, Greenville, MI
The Museum is housed in a 1901 structure built as the meeting place for the "Ancient Order of Gleaners"and then used as a township hall from 1931-1... Read More
Bridge Street, Saranac, MI
The purpose of this organization shall be dedicated to preserve the Boston-Saranac area history and to inform the residents of local historical fac... Read More
405 South Washington Street, Owosso, MI
Steam Railroading Institute History How we got here... The Steam Railroading Institute, dedicated to educating the public about steam-era railroad ... Read More
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