Originally published April 2017. Updated for March 2018.
While playing in the rain can be fun, it is a lot more enjoyable when the temperatures are 70 and not when they are 40. Are you looking for some fun FREE indoor activities to avoid the rain (and possible snow) during spring break? We’ve pulled together 5 Fun FREE indoor activities that are perfect for the rainy days ahead.
1 – Visit a Library
Ann Arbor has 5 branch libraries that all offer activities for kids beyond the wonderful selection of books. Spend time at a few branches or check out a new to you branch. A few highlights at the branch are the giant games in the lobby of the Downtown Branch, the reading cubbies at Westgate, and the ball popper at the Pittsfield Branch.
They also offer a great selection of events all year.
Beyond Ann Arbor, we have enjoyed the Whittaker Rd library in Ypsilanti.
2 – University of Michigan Museums
The University of Michigan Museums offer free admission (a donation is suggested). While the Museum of Natural History is closed this year as they move to their new building, my daughter also loves the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and seeing the mummies and artifacts. You can also visit the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
3- Matthaei Botanical Gardens
The Conservatory at Matthaei Botanical Gardens now has free admission. Stop by and enjoy the desert – quite a change from cold rainy weather! Or maybe enjoy the warm damp weather in the rain forest area. Admission is free although there is a parking charge.
4 – Tour the Jiffy Factory
Did you know there are free tours of the Jiffy Factory in Chelsea? Tours are offered 9a-2p on weekdays. Advance reservations are required, but they will accept same day reservations if space allows. Children must be in first grade or older to attend the tour. We have enjoyed the tour twice with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. Smaller family groups are easier to accommodate on short notice as they can be added to larger groups.
5 – Use Your Memberships & the Michigan Activity Pass
Another great “free” activity is to make use of any memberships that you already have – Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum, Henry Ford Museum, fitness center, etc. Also, consider taking a day trip and using your reciprocal memberships. An AAHOM or UMMNH membership will give you free admission to Kalamazoo’s AirZoo and Grand Rapids’ Public Museum. Discounted admission is offered at Detroit’s Michigan Science Center, Toledo’s Imagination Station, and Lansing’s Impression 5.
The Michigan Activity Pass through our local libraries offer free and discounted admission to local museums and other sites. We used the pass to visit Yankee Air Museum for free over winter break.
Attend a Free Indoor Event
Additionally, you can always attend a free indoor event. Upcoming Free, Indoor Events from our calendar are listed below:
Today’s Free Indoor Events
Tomorrow’s Free Indoor Events
Do you know about a free indoor activity that we missed? Add it to the comments or message us and we’ll add it here.
After the Rain Clears
Once the rain stops, get back outside by checking out a “Mess-Free” Playground.