Family Neighborhood Guide: Visiting St. Clair Shores with Kids

Sun, fun and water await families on a visit to this lovely lakeside city. Learn where to eat, shop play and more in St. Clair Shores.

A perhaps little-known bit of St. Clair Shores history is that the city was once home to an amusement park called Jefferson Beach, with the longest roller coaster in all of the United States at the time. After a fire in 1955, the park ended up being fully converted to a marina.

Now home to many marinas, family-friendly restaurants and parks, the city of St. Clair Shores offers beautiful views of Lake St. Clair.

Whether you are passing through on the way to a nearby destination such as Metro Beach to the north or Ford House to the south, or making plans to spend a day on the water with family or friends, this is surely a place for some fresh air and sunshine.

Getting to St. Clair Shores

From Detroit, take I-94 east to exit 229/East 11 Mile Road.

Where to eat

The Copper Penny

A family-run establishment known for good food and good people. Open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch, the menu features a long list of family-friendly options, including a kids’ menu.

Emily’s Delicatessen

Pick up all of your traditional Lebanese favorites – meat pies, spinach pies, grape leaves and more!

Pink Elephant Cupcakes

A variety of cupcakes are stocked daily. See website for a list of available flavors like Fruity Pebbles and Irish Cream. Gluten-free options available.

Sy Thai Shores

Bubble tea, anyone? Satisfy all of your cravings at the St. Clair Shores location of the Sy Thai family of restaurants. Pad Thai, Drunken Noodle and everything else. Vegan options available – you can even choose no spice for the kiddos.

Wally’s Frozen Custard

Local ice cream and frozen yogurt shop – in addition to custard, yogurt, sundaes, shakes, slushies and Dole Whip – Wally’s serves breakfast, lunch, snacks and coffee.

Watermark Bar & Grille

A great venue on the water, this popular location serves lunch, dinner and Sunday breakfast as well as weekly specials. Call or go online for info on its Mother’s Day brunch!

Where to shop

Connie’s Children’s Shop

Founded in 1954, Connie’s is a specialty shop with a large selection of children’s clothing, including special occasion dresses and suits, shoes and school uniforms – carrying a variety of brand names.

Kitty Deluxe

An eclectic neighborhood gift shop featuring local artists, jewelry and handmade items – all in a cute pink house! It also offers fun birthday parties, classes and workshops, including scouts events.

Whistle Stop Toy & Hobby

A great place to shop for gifts with a wide selection of toys, games and activities for children young and old.

Where to play

Mini Picassos

A drop-in art studio where kids can unleash their creativity. Check out the website for all of the details on fun events, including toddler/preschool time for the creative stations and tinker bar every Tuesday and Wednesday. Join one of its summer art camps. Birthday party packages available. 

Shore Lanes

Family-friendly bowling center offering youth bowling leagues, kids birthday parties, and a social, non-competitive kids weekly bowling club.

St. Clair Shores Municipal Pool & Waterslide

Non-resident guests may accompany St. Clair Shores residents to enjoy the pool, splash pad and waterslide. See website for fees.

Veterans Memorial Park

Located on the corner of Jefferson and Masonic, this park features many amenities, including a splash zone. Park passes are required for entry into the park.

Where to explore  

Nautical Mile

  • Address: Jefferson Avenue, between 9 Mile and 10 ½ Mile roads

The Nautical Mile can be accessed by land or water – featuring a number of marinas, restaurants, entertainment, sports and recreation activities for every season.

Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum

Take a peek into part of St. Clair Shores history at the Selinsky-Green Farmhouse Museum, located behind the St. Clair Shores Public Library. To plan your visit, call or see website for current hours.

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