Family Guide to Ann Arbor: 10 Fun Things to Do with Kids

While Ann Arbor is what the University of Michigan calls home, the city offers a great atmosphere for families.

While Ann Arbor is what the University of Michigan calls home, the city offers a great atmosphere for families. Their excellent schools, vibrant food culture and focus on sustainability are only a few great benefits of living there. 

Ann Arbor shines in Niche rankings, placing second for Best Public Schools and within the top 10 for both Best Cities to Raise a Family and Live in America, based on detailed U.S. Department of Education data and numerous reviews.

From kid-friendly attractions to delightful restaurants, there’s so much exploring you can do. 

This article was recently updated on April 29, 2024 by Metro Parent’s Audience Development Manager, Katina Beniaris. The update included her creating an interactive map to make it easier to find the best things to do near you. Questions? Please reach out to

Quick stats about Ann Arbor

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
Photo credit: Scott Soderberg

  • Population: 122,216
  • County: Washtenaw
  • Median house value: $460,000
  • School district: Ann Arbor Public Schools
  • Top schools: Angell School (A+,) Clague Middle School (A,) Huron High School (A+) 
  • Transportation: Walk Score 52/100 (Somewhat Walkable), Bike Score 71/100 (Very Bikeable)
  • Random fact: In Niche’s 2023 Best Places rankings, Ann Arbor was ranked No. 2 in Best Public Schools in America. 

*Information provided by Redfin and Niche.

Fun things to do in Ann Arbor with kids

Ann Arbor offers so many things to do with kids! Whether you live there or want to visit the town for the day, check out these stories:

And here are our top picks for things to do with kids in Ann Arbor.

Ann Arbor Hands On Museum

Enjoy hours of fun at this children’s museum with more than 10 interactive exhibits for kids of all ages. Explore H2Oh!’s interactive water fun, dive into Light and Optics adventures and spark curiosity at Steam Park.

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Both offering free admission, Matthaei Botanical Gardens features thematic display gardens, while the arboretum boasts the renowned Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden. 

Kerrytown Market & Shops

Explore Kerrytown’s historic market district with shops featuring fresh food, eateries and other retail stores. Kids will love to shop at local toy store Mudpuddles!

Leslie Science and Nature Center

Dive into STEM activities and discover the wonders of nature with fun family events throughout the year. 

Cafe Zola

Since 1996, this Ann Arbor staple has delighted patrons with a menu that includes fresh omelets, crepes, waffles and more.

Zingerman’s Deli

Enjoy a wide array of sandwiches crafted from quality ingredients and served in generous portions. Their outdoor area offers plenty of seating, including a children’s play area.  


Seva, a vegan staple in Ann Arbor for over 42 years, offers a full kids menu. A must-try on their menu? Their General Tso’s Cauliflower! 

Jerusalem Garden

At this Middle Eastern eatery, savor classics like hummus, fattoush, shawarma, and falafel, and don’t forget to cap off your meal with baklava and Turkish coffee for dessert.

U-M Museum of Natural History

Learn about the story of our world through interactive exhibits — their current exhibition is Dinosaur Discoveries: Ancient Fossils, New Ideas. Admission is free.

2|42 Community Center – Ann Arbor

Discover the joy of a free indoor play space at 2|42 Community Church featuring a playground with a big yellow slide, climbing zones and a special area for toddlers.

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Katina Beniaris
Katina Beniaris
As audience development manager, Katina Beniaris digs into data to help the Metro Parent team learn about our audiences and tailor better content for them. She has more than five years of experience in content creation.


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