Passionate About Genesee County
and the Moms Who Live Here

Day Trip Guide to Ann Arbor

My husband had some vacation days available, and let’s be real, who wants to travel far with a one-year-old who is on-the-move?  So, we decided to do a couple of day trips! I was particularly excited for our day in Ann Arbor. I worked there for four years until becoming a mom, and I still daydream about the food and sights.  

Our daughter still takes a morning nap, so we didn’t hit the road until about 11:00 so that she’d sleep on the hour drive. If your kids are older, there’s plenty you could see before lunch. I recommend a stop to The Petting Farm at Domino’s, as it’s on the way into town.  

I’m in love with the Kerrytown neighborhood of Ann Arbor.  It has so much charm. In particular, I enjoy having lunch in the courtyard of Kerrytown Market & Shops. There are a couple of dining options, but I’m a big fan of The Lunch Room, a vegan restaurant with selections I don’t see everywhere else. Another good option is the famous Zingerman’s Deli, only a block away from this adorable shopping area. And if you visit on a Wednesday or Saturday this summer, the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market will be happening as well.  

Best Bánh mì in Michigan, in a beautiful setting!

Grab a cup o’ joe at Sweetwaters while you’re in Kerrytown, or loose leaf tea from the elegant TeaHaus down the street.  Or head downtown where there are plenty of other coffee options!  The “coffee snobs” will recommend Mighty Good Coffee, RoosRoast, Lab Cafe, or Comet Coffee {which doesn’t have much seating — but is located in the really cool Nickels Arcade}.  If you’re more of a Starbucks kind of mom, I would recommend trying the Midwest chain, Espresso Royale.  

I often hear about other moms taking their kids to the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum. I was a little on the fence about going, because I wasn’t sure if there would be enough for our daughter {who’s not yet walking} to interact with. Boy was I wrong! The gentleman who sold us our tickets was extremely helpful in navigating us to the preschool room on the second floor mezzanine. Luna instantly started crawling up a wooden play structure, her eyes twinkling with joy.  

My husband immediately took to the Engineers on a Roll, which I could only describe as a giant Rube Goldberg for ball pit balls? It was so amazing to see him bonding with her over this attraction! We also had fun in the water tables – both in the Preschool Gallery {complete with smocks}, as well as in the main concourse {complete with fishing poles}. This place definitely has something for every age — no wonder it’s not called a children’s museum! Try going here in the afternoon on weekdays to avoid field trips.  

Father-daughter bonding!

Here are some other great places of interest, particularly for older kids:

These are all located in the central campus area.

Events & Festivals
There’s always something happening in Ann Arbor, but these are a few of my favorite events:

Dinner & Dessert!
Before becoming parents, trying new restaurants was our favorite past-time. In my experience, you can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in the Main Street area, and many of them have outdoor seating! There are a few brewery options, which tend to be our go-to. This time we sat outside at Grizzly Peak Brewing Company. I enjoyed a pesto pasta and blueberry cider.

Time to come clean: I chose to eat in this area because it’s within walking distance of my favorite ice cream spot, Blank Slate Creamery. You have to go here and try at least a couple of flavors — good luck narrowing it down with options like Balsamic Strawberry, Lavender Lemon Honey, and Blackberry Riesling. As their name suggests, the counters are actually chalkboards that you and your kiddos can doodle on while you eat!

No doubt I have only scratched the surface on fun things to do in Ann Arbor!  What are your favorite family activities in the area?

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