Top 10 Toddler Getaways in Southeast Michigan

Sanity-saving toddler play places and attractions to blow off steam with your little one, from Detroit Kid City to Nature's Playhouse in Ferndale, and the Detroit Zoo Royal Oak to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Plus, one bonus fun spot!


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’s latest gaffe. 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 11 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 and support groups on breast-feeding, 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). During the summer, check out the Wild Summer Nights concerts, through 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 some 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 October).

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 area. Explore Engineers on a Roll, too – a combined engineering lab, playscape and climber where preschoolers can experiment with balls in motion. Kids under age 2 have free entry.

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-friend variety).

My Urban Toddler

  • Address: 7025 E. Michigan Ave., Saline
  • Phone: 734-944-3628

This mini city caters to ages 0-5, with everything on ground level. “Infant Park” has soft toys and mats, and “downtown” for tykes has a fine arts room, dress-up theater and library with books and toys. Parents get coffee, wireless Internet, shopping and even classes for parents and kids alike. Up to 6 months are free, and while the first child is $10, additional siblings get a discount.

Detroit Kid City

  • Address: 29115 Greenfield Road, Southfield
  • Phone: 248-443-5300

The owners of this establishment 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. Keep your eyes peeled for a second location in Clinton Township, too, coming to 16 Mile and Gratiot around fall 2015.

Boogie Babies

  • Address: 1928 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, lets moms and dads interact with their tots and have the place to themselves. The newer location in Canton also offers various family 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.

This article was originally published in August 2014 and was updated in 2015 by Megan Krueger.

    • 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.


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