Face it, parents: Kindermoons are a thing now.
We have to admit, we were reluctant at first, too. We saw the Disney World commercials advertising a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth as a sort of “last hurrah” vacation before your kid starts kindergarten, and we laughed.
How ridiculous, we thought. A kindermoon?! How entitled, how excessive, how … well, wait.
Then it dawned on us. How is it any different from the beloved “babymoon” so many of us take before embarking on a lifetime of parenthood? If we need a breather before 18 years of child-raising, can’t our kids have one more act of freedom before committing to 12-plus years of living by the school bell?
Come to think of it, they can and probably should. The part we can’t quite get behind, of course, is that it needs to be a getaway to the Magic Kingdom. That’s simply out of reach for most families and for many others, Disney is a one-time deal – not something you can repeat every “kindermoon” if you have multiple kids yet to start kindergarten.
So enjoy this list of several kindermoon ideas right here in Michigan. From amusement parks closer to home to kid-centric local getaways, they’re all places where kids can have some totally carefree fun.
These cabin-themed resorts (nearby locations in Traverse City and Sandusky) offer year-round fun with a huge indoor waterpark, plus other fun amenities like a kids’ spa, story times and seasonal events.
The guest rooms are a big hit, especially if you opt for a themed room like the “KidKamp Suite” featuring a tent-like area with bunk beds for the kids. Grab some magic wands and try the MagiQuest adventure or order some milk and cookies to your room for a bedtime snack (they’re even delivered by characters!).
A trip to this German town gives kids lots of ways to have a ball before starting kindergarten. They can enjoy the waterpark at Zehnder’s Splash Village, make pretzel bread at the Bavarian Inn, explore the Cheese Haus or enjoy a horse-drawn carriage tour of the town. Don’t miss the Glockenspiel (“playing tower”) show!
3. Ann Arbor
This college town is the perfect spot for a kindermoon day trip or weekend thanks to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. Let your little one explore all the cool exhibits, grab lunch at Zingerman’s and then dive into nature at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. You could also consider catching a game at the Big House (Michigan Stadium is the largest stadium in the U.S.!).
Located in Holland, this family fun park and shopping village celebrates the Netherlands and is a famous spot for seeing thousands of tulips when they bloom each spring.
Kids will love the rides, petting zoo and themed play areas. While the amusement park is open in the spring, summer and fall, the shops are open year-round and a variety of hotels and campgrounds are located nearby. Don’t forget to get your wooden shoes!
Kids can enjoy a kindermoon of old-fashioned fun with their families with a stay on Mackinac Island. From biking around the entire island to taking horse-drawn carriage tours and heading out on hikes with incredible views of the Mighty Mac, there’s something for everyone in the family – especially the soon-to-be student. Be sure to check out special children’s programs at the Grand Hotel and Mission Point Resort, too.
What’s your idea of the perfect kindermoon? Tell us in the comments!
This post was originally published in 2018 and is updated regularly.