Kids + Family

It’s not uncommon to meet visitors to the area who have been coming here since they were children…and are now bringing their own kids to experience the same special vacation that they grew up with!

Here are some resources that may be helpful when planning your trip to Glen Arbor + the Sleeping Bear Dunes, for things to do with kids and family:


Glen Arbor Art Association | Glen Arbor, MI
Providing gallery openings, summer art classes and workshops, and year-round culture in the area for all ages to enjoy.

Glen Arbor Park


Glen Arbor Park
Tennis Courts, Playground, Basketball Courts, Small Pavilion, Portable Restroom Facilities
Located at the corner of State Street and Lake Street (Glen Arbor)

Old Settler’s Picnic Area
Small Playground, Picnic Seating, Dock, Restroom Facilities
Located on Dunn’s Farm Road near County Road 616 (Burdickville)

Empire Village Park | Empire, MI
Playgrounds (Large and Small), Beach Volleyball, Beach Access, Restroom Facilities
Located at the end of Niagara Street

Fun Short Trips:

The Dune Climb | Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park
Send the kids up the steep, sandy climb…then watch them speed down with delight!  A favorite for all ages. Restrooms and vending machines available on-site, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Glen Haven | Glen Arbor, MI
Visit the Boathouse Museum (in the Cannery), General Store and Blacksmith Shop for demonstrations.
Restroom facilities available on-site, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Empire Museum Complex | Empire, MI

Historic complex featuring multiple buildings including a Sail & Rail display, a barn with horse-drawn equipment, a fire house, a blacksmith shop, an old saloon and more. Call for current hours to visit, explore and learn!

Things To Do...

Things To Do…

Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail | from Empire, MI to Port Oneida
Ride from Glen Arbor to the Dune Climb along the trail.  Need bikes?  Rent them at The Cyclery in town.  The current trail is 13 miles long, but expansion is in progress.

The Crystal River is the perfect river for all ages and ability levels. It is incredibly gentle and never too deep so even toddlers can enjoy the paddling experience! Trips available through Crystal River Outfitters.


There are many options for family-friendly dining in the area, with both eat-in to take-out options.  If you have a question about the kid-friendly nature of a specific restaurant, we suggest that you contact them directly or email us with your questions.

> Go to List of Dining + Specialty Foods

> Groceries


From sampling cherry candies at Cherry Republic to perusing the toy section at The Totem Shop, there are lots of kid-friendly shopping destinations in Glen Arbor.  Be sure to visit the children’s section at The Cottage Book Shop, as well as staying for their Story Time during the summer.

> Go to List of Specialty Shops

> Go to List of Galleries

>Go to List of Businesses that provide Recreation


Find and Go Seek
A listing of upcoming kid-centric events in the Leelanau and Traverse City area.

Have something to contribute? Send an email to: [email protected] ~ We’d love to hear from you!