Are you looking for a fun and quick getaway? Michigan’s Adventure might be the perfect destination for you. This Muskegon spot offers some fun coasters and thrill rides, plus a water park with tons of slides and summertime activities, all just three hours away from metro Detroit. Located on the state’s southwest side, this park boasts being Michigan’s oldest and largest amusement park, having opened in 1956. Here, you will find some tips to making the most of your visit, plus hours, rides and all the other info you need to know while planning your trip.
First things first: What to bring? Pack some additional snacks and water for the car trip. We’d suggest bringing sunblock, bathing suits, towels, a change of clothes, hairbrushes, deodorant and cash (although credit cards are accepted).
Of course the weather plays a role, so you may want to bring a change of warm clothing or rain gear, depending. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes that can get wet. Leave bright and early so you can make the most of your day.
Driving and parking
From Detroit, there are three ways to get to Michigan’s Adventure, which is located at 1198 W. Riley-Thompson Road, Muskegon. The fastest route will take you west on I-96 to Russel Road, but you can also take I-75 north to I-96 west, or I-94 west to I-96 west. Remember, if you’re downriver, take into account the Rouge River bridge is under construction and may affect your route.
No matter which way you choose, once you get there, parking is $13 per vehicle for the day ($20 for oversized), and if you need to leave, just hang onto your receipt to reenter the park one time.
Tickets for 2017 will get you in the amusement park and the water park. They are $37 for thrill seekers 48 inches or taller, $31 for guests under 48 inches, and free for kids 2 and under. You can get discounted single-day tickets online for $31.
Two-day tickets are available online for $52 (plus taxes/fees). They also offer tickets for admission and fast pass lane for $67 and an all-inclusive ticket, which includes admission, parking, fast pass lane, dining and a souvenir bottle, for $99.99.
In 2017, Michigan’s Adventure amusement park is open May 26-Sept. 10, with a special Physics Day on May 24 (with limited attractions during this event). The WildWater Adventure water park has separate hours, and is open May 27-Sept. 4.
Michigan’s Adventure Hours
- May 24 (Physics Day): 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- May 25 (Thursday): CLOSED
- May 26 (Friday): 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- May 27-29 (Saturday-Monday): 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- May 30-June 2 (Tuesday-Friday): 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- June 3-4 (Saturday-Sunday): 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- June 5-9 (Monday-Friday): 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
- June 10-11 (Saturday-Sunday): 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- June 12-14 (Monday-Wednesday): 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- June 15-22 (Thursday-Thursday): 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- June 23-July 14 (Friday-Friday): 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- July 15 (Saturday): 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- July 16-21 (Sunday-Friday): 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- July 22 (Saturday): 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- July 23-28 (Sunday-Friday): 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- July 29 (Saturday): 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- July 30-Aug. 4 (Sunday- Friday): 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Aug. 5 (Saturday): 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Aug. 6-11 (Sunday-Friday): 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Aug. 12 (Saturday): 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
- Aug. 13-20 (Sunday-Sunday): 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Aug. 21-25 (Monday-Friday): 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Aug. 26-27 (Saturday-Sunday): 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Aug. 28-31 (Monday-Thursday): 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Sept. 1-3 (Friday-Sunday): 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
- Sept. 4 (Monday): 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Sept. 9-10 (Saturday-Sunday): 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
WildWater Adventure Hours
- May 27-29 (Saturday-Monday): noon-6 p.m.
- May 30-June 2 (Tuesday-Friday): noon-4 p.m.
- June 3-4 (Saturday-Sunday): noon-6 p.m.
- June 5-9 (Monday-Friday): noon-4 p.m.
- June 10-11 (Saturday-Sunday): noon-6 p.m.
- June 12-14 (Monday-Wednesday): noon-5 p.m.
- June 15-22 (Friday-Friday): noon-6 p.m.
- June 23-30 (Friday-Friday): noon-7 p.m.
- July 1-31 (Saturday-Monday): noon-7 p.m.
- Aug. 1-20 (Tuesday-Sunday): noon-7 p.m.
- Aug. 21-25 (Monday-Friday): noon-5 p.m.
- Aug. 26-27 (Saturday-Sunday): noon-7 p.m.
- Aug. 28-31 (Monday-Thursday): noon-5 p.m.
- Sept. 1-3 (Friday-Sunday): noon-7 p.m.
- Sept. 4 (Monday): noon-5 p.m.
If you’ve brought your phone, or other gear, you can stash your stuff in a locker. These lockers are located at the front entrance of Michigan’s Adventure, and inside the water park, and cost $10-$25, depending on the size of the locker and the day of the week.
For those families who have thrill seekers of all ages, and members who may not seek much thrill, Michigan’s Adventure offer a “thrill rating” guide to all its rides:
- 5: Aggressive thrill (example: Corkscrew roller coaster)
- 4: High thrill (example: Logger’s Run log flume)
- 3: Moderate thrill (example: Lakeside Gliders spinning/swing-style ride)
- 2: Mild thrill (example: Giant Gondola Wheel, aka Ferris wheel)
- 1: Low thrill (example: Carousel)
There are seven roller coasters, ranging from moderate to aggressive thrill. One of the standout aggressive thrills is Shivering Timbers, which is the longest and fastest wooden roller coaster in Michigan. Its track is around one mile long, it’s 125 feet tall, and reaches speeds of 65 miles an hour.
As far as amusement rides go, this spot also offers Michigan’s first suspended looping roller coaster, Thunderhawk, which flips its riders upside-down five times, the Wolverine Wildcat and Mad Mouse roller coasters, plenty of thrill rides like the river rapids ride, Grand Rapids, Flying Trapeze, Loggers Run and, for an additional charge, RipCord; plus lots of family-friendly and kiddie rides.
“Our parks combined offer over 60 rides and attractions, we’re definitely very family-oriented,” Laure Bollenbach, the marketing director at Michigan’s Adventure says. “We have rides for small children all the way up to the big thrill seekers, and your ticket entitles you to both parks, so you get to choose what you want to experience for the day.”
Included in your ticket, and in the 60-attraction count, are the thrills offered at WildWater Adventure water park. Here, you will find several waterslides, a Lazy River and three wave pools, along with the popular Funnel of Fear, which is a level five ride.
“Funnel of fear is just a giant funnel and tube slide that guest really enjoy,” Bollenbach says. “You put three or four riders on a tube and you go through a long enclosed tunnel, shoot out into a sideways funnel, and then into a catch pool.”
Kids get a retreat of their own in the Half-Pint Paradise area, which is being completely revamped for the 2017 season. Kids find seven new slides to enjoy, a brand new splash pad, dumping water structures and bubbling geysers.
Also find interactive water play, which aims to astound kids with reflections of a sailboat, fish, a sea serpent and other aquatic critters.
Be sure to bring a towel because they aren’t offered at the park, and a sweatshirt isn’t a bad idea either, Bollenbach says.
Into animals? This spot is bringing back its farm for the 2017 season. Find a variety of farm animals including llamas, alpacas, a mini horse and donkey.
Kids will get to interact and feed the animals as they learn about each critter, and take photos in the barnyard. Your ticket gets you admission into this educational attraction, May 26-Sept. 10. Find it behind the Mad Mouse roller coaster.
You can’t bring outside food into the park, but you can tailgate at your car, as long as you don’t bring a grill.
If you don’t want to do that, the park offers plenty of places to grab a bite including cheeseburgers and fresh cut fries at Coasters, near Corkscrew roller coaster, tons of grilled foods at the Family Grill, behind the arcade, Pizza Paradise, next to the water park, and much more. The park also offers Dining Plans, which start at $13.99 for single meal plans, $28.99 for all-day dining, and $99 for season pass holders. If you have special dietary needs, the park offers a guide on where to find the food you need.
If you’re at the water park, and your entire group is more about the sun than the surf, you can rent a Cabana, for $65-$80. This is a semi-private, shaded area with a table and chairs, just for your group.
They also offer a free mobile app to help you plan your day, the Boarding Pass Program for guests with disabilities, so they can get times to board a ride rather than waiting in the queue, and the Parent Swap program, for parents with kids that are too small to ride the big coasters. This program allows one parent to wait in line and ride the height restricted rides, while the other looks after the kids. When the first parent gets off the ride, the second can go up the exit, instead of waiting in the line twice.
Are you sold? If so, start planning your trip by setting aside two whole days. Bollenbach suggests this so you can spend an entire day at each park. If you can’t swing that, she says that you’ll need at least one full day.
This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for 2017.