Top Toddler Getaways in Southeast Michigan

Sanity-saving toddler play places where you can blow off steam, from Nature's Playhouse in Ferndale to the Detroit Zoo to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.


Being a toddler is tough! So much to explore and touch, but so many things are off limits, meaning finding things to do with toddlers in Michigan’s southeast region can be a challenge. And parenting a toddler can be a lonely ride if the only person to chat with in the house keeps redirecting the conversation to Elmo. So whether it’s your toddler who needs a break from the same-old toys or just mom who wants a change of scenery (and maybe a latte), here are 12 toddler play places and destinations where you and your curious little one will be very welcome – including indoor play places for toddlers in Michigan’s metro Detroit area.


Nature’s Playhouse

  • Address: 318 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale
  • Phone: 248-955-3219

The focus is on baby and mom at this all-natural play/wellness center. Stop by for drop-in play and get away from the modern devices and distractions while your little one enjoys handmade, natural toys intended to stimulate imagination. Chat with like-minded caregivers or join in classes like yoga and sign language or support groups on breastfeeding, baby wearing and natural childbirth.

The Detroit Zoo, Royal Oak

  • Address: 8450 W. 10 Mile Road, Royal Oak
  • Phone: 248-541-5717

The zoo is a classic family outing, even if your tot isn’t quite old enough to appreciate all the sights. Open year-round, ours boasts 125 acres of naturalistic habitat and is a great place for a stroll to see the animals. Then enjoy a picnic lunch or meet up with friends at the eco-friendly Arctic Café (bonus: they serve Starbucks coffee). Check out the Wild Summer Nights concerts in July and August and other family events throughout the year. Good news: kids younger than 2 years old get in free.

Tiny Town Play Lounge

  • Address: 15444 N. Haggerty Road, Northville
  • Phone: 734-667-4965

At this indoor kid-sized play village, tykes explore a house, supermarket, veterinarian’s office and more. It’s designed for ages 6 and younger and includes a special play area just for infants. Moms and dads can sit in the parent lounge and enjoy freshly brewed coffee, snacks and free Wi-Fi. Check for specials on admission (like Twin Tuesday and Sibling Saturday), and check out their class offerings, too (look for those starting back up in the fall).

Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum

  • Address: 220 E. Ann St., Ann Arbor
  • Phone: 734-995-5439

Hands-on is the key word at this popular family attraction, where toddlers will especially enjoy the water tables and kid-sized fire engine in the special Preschool Gallery. Also be sure to check out the World Around You area, too, where little ones will love the Bubble Capsule and Magnet exhibits. Kids under age 2 get in free.

Jungle Java

  • Locations in Ann Arbor, Canton, Clinton Township, Farmington Hills

These play destinations have special areas just for tykes younger than 3. JJ specializes in getting kids active in a safe environment while parents relax, socialize and enjoy a latte. They boast a menu of healthy food choices (not the greasy, deep-fried variety).

Detroit Kid City

  • Address: Two locations: 29115 Greenfield Road, Southfield; 37051 Gratiot Ave., Clinton Township
  • Phone: 248-443-5300

The owners of these establishments know what you want. For ‘rents: organic coffee, places to sit and chat with other grown-ups and a color scheme that won’t give you a headache. And kids’ imaginations run wild as they explore a child-size town with a barber shop, music studio, bank and more.

Boogie Babies

  • Address: 1928 B Star-Batt Drive, Rochester Hills
  • Phone: 248-852-6288

Moms and toddlers will find not only a fun environment, but an educational and safe environment, too (and clean – read about their UV-C sanitizing method). This is a great spot for open play, live music concerts, a cafe and lounge, tree house play structure and craft area. Plus: classes in music, sign language and more. Don’t miss the puppet shows and magic shows!

The Chelsea TreeHouse

  • Address: 1101 S. Main St., Chelsea
  • Phone: 734-475-1555

In addition to the huge tree house, this indoor play center has a climbing and playing structure, five slides, swinging bridges and a special area just for babies and toddlers. Parents will dig the comfy chairs and selection of snacks, light meals and hot or cold drinks.

Funtastic Play Centers

  • Locations in Canton and Woodhaven
  • Phone: 734-335-7402 (Canton), 734-692-3867 (Woodhaven)

These indoor spots have soft play equipment that encourages movement, exploration and creativity in a playful setting. At the Woodhaven location, check out the Toddler Time program, offered twice a week for kids ages 2 and under, and lets moms and dads interact with their tots and have the place to themselves. The newer location in Canton also offers toddler-friendly programing and events. Call for details.

Rochester Play!

  • Address: 380 E. Second St., Rochester
  • Phone: 248-650-PLAY (7529)

This indoor play center is great for toddlers, since it has an area designated just for little ones. There are cool games like a wacky froggy game (bop ‘em just like wack-a-mole), and Rochester Play! even has family events (moms and dads will want to check out the Parents’ Night Out happening around once a month). The café here puts an emphasis on healthier eats, to boot.

Tiny Treasures Play Cafe

  • Address: 1138 E. West Maple Road, Walled Lake
  • Phone: 248-896-2575

This indoor play and birthday party venue is ideal for ages 6 and younger. Littlest guests can play with age-appropriate toys at the Baby Station and older toddlers can enjoy the ball pit, dress-up area, craft table, bouncer and more.

Fort Clarkston

  • Address: 7127 Dixie Highway, Clarkston
  • Phone: 248-297-5453

This new indoor play place lets kids creatively explore 2,400 square feet of play area while the grown-ups get to take a breather (plus enjoy Wi-Fi and cafe treats). There’s also a smaller two-level play structure for the little ones.

This post was originally published in 2014 and was updated in 2016.

    • Stacey W.

      Thanks so much for your comment! We’ll call for some details.

  • I recommend RochesterPlay in downtown Rochester. It is on 2nd street and Rochester Rd. Similar to Jungle Java and Chelsea Treehouse but a lot cleaner and a lot nicer. :)

  • If ever in the Albion area Kids n stuff is a hands on kids museum with a post office, music room, arts and crafts a vets office and a hospital. Located on downtown Albion and great for the busy toddler, my three year old loves it.

  • My kids LOVE Tiny Treasures Play Cafe in Walled Lake. It’s super fun and we spend HOURS there. Good for ages 0-7 and they do parties at amazing prices!

  • It would be nice to see more “things to do” in Macomb County, other than Jungle Java.

    • I believe the first pic on the left is the water room at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum


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