Are you looking for a fun and quick getaway? Michigan’s Adventure amusement park 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 also 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 on the forecast. 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 Russell Road, but you can also take I-75 north to I-96 west, or I-94 west to I-96 west. Remember, take into account any construction that may affect your route.
No matter which way you choose, once you get there, parking is $15 per vehicle ($25 for oversized vehicles) for the day, and if you need to leave, just hang onto your receipt to reenter the park one time.
Tickets for 2021 will get you in the amusement park and the water park. They are $45 for ages 3 and up. Kids 2 and under get in free. You can get discounted single-day tickets online for $32, good through June 18, 2021.
Two-day tickets are available online for $55 (plus taxes/fees). You can upgrade your daily tickets to include extras such as drinking and dining deals, Fast Lane, a Photo Pass and more for an additional charge.
Season tickets are also available for those planning to go more than once this year for $93-$202, depending on the type of pass.
In 2021, Michigan’s Adventure amusement park is open May 29-Sept. 6. The WildWater Adventure water park has separate hours, and is open June 19-Sept. 6.
Michigan’s Adventure Hours
- May 29-31: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- June 5-6: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- June 12-14: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- June 17-18: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
- June 19-21: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- June 24-28: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- July 1-5: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- July 8-12: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- July 15-19: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- June 22-26: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- July 29-Aug. 2: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Aug. 5-9: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Aug. 12-16: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Aug. 19-22: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Aug. 28-29: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Sept. 3-5: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
- Sept. 6: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
WildWater Adventure Hours
- June 19-21: Noon-6 p.m.
- June 24-28: Noon-6 p.m.
- July 1-5: Noon-6 p.m.
- July 8-12: Noon-6 p.m.
- July 15-19: Noon-6 p.m.
- July 22-26: Noon-6 p.m.
- July 29-Aug. 2: Noon-6 p.m.
- Aug. 5-9: Noon-6 p.m.
- Aug. 12-16: Noon-6 p.m.
- Aug. 19-22: Noon-6 p.m.
- Aug. 28-29: Noon-6 p.m.
- Sept. 3-5: Noon-6 p.m.
- Sept. 6: Noon-5 p.m.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Michigan’s Adventure has put the following rules in place that all guests must follow.
- All tickets must be purchased online prior to your visit. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the park.
- Reservations are required for all guests. Season ticket holders need to reserve their spot using the park’s mobile app. Guests with single day admission get their spot reserved when they purchase their ticket.
- One member of your group is required to download the park’s mobile app and keep it on their phone throughout the duration of your visit.
- Face coverings are required indoors unless you are eating or drinking, or unless you are fully vaccinated. Face masks are also strongly recommended while outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Health screenings are required of all guests before entering the park.
You can read through the park’s entire list of COVID-19 safety protocols here.
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-$30, depending on the size of the locker and the day of the week. Not all lockers sizes and prices are available every day.
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: Sea Dragon swinging boat 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 about 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, and Wolverine Wildcat and Mad Mouse roller coasters.
“Our parks combined offer over 60 rides and attractions, we’re definitely very family-oriented,” says Laure Bollenbach, the marketing director at Michigan’s Adventure. “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.”
2021 also welcomes a brand new kids’ area to the park called Camp Snoopy, which is Peanuts themed and features five brand new rides for your youngest thrill seekers, including kiddie coaster Woodstock Express.
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 was completely revamped three seasons ago. Kids get seven slides to enjoy, a splash pad, dumping water structures and bubbling geysers that guarantees to get them soaked.
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? Find a variety of farm animals, including llamas, alpacas, a mini horse and donkey, at the park’s petting zoo.
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 most days throughout the season. 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 Flume Stand, next to Logger’s Run, Wagon Wheel Pizza, next to Thunderbolt and much more.
The park also offers Dining Plans, which start at $14.49 for single meal plans, $29.99 for all-day dining and $93 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 $75. This is a semi-private, shaded area with a table and chairs, just for your group.
Rental includes six people. Additional people can be added to the rental for $5/person.
The park also offers a free mobile app to help you plan your day, which you must have in 2021, 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. Find a place to stay on the park’s preferred hotel page.
If you can’t swing that, she says that you’ll need at least one full day.
This post is updated regularly.
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