39221 Woodward Ave.
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303
The Cranbrook Institute of Science is located on the Cranbrook grounds in Bloomfield Hills, and has many exhibits that are child-friendly. In August, make sure to check out the Bat Walk on Fridays, from 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., where the Organization for Bat Conservation searches for bats on Cranbrook’s grounds; you’ll also learn about bats and their habitats. Tickets are $5 ($4 for members) and make sure to bring bug spray, a flashlight and walking shoes. If bats aren’t your thing, the museum also offers a planetarium, observatory, science garden and more. Cranbrook ticket prices vary. There’s a “before 5 p.m.” admission (free for children younger than 2, $13 for adults, $9.50 for other children and seniors), a reduced-price admission for Friday and Saturday evenings and planetarium and Bat Zone tickets that are in addition to the general admission price. Make sure to check with your local library, as well, as some libraries offer free admission to Cranbrook and other museums for their members.
5020 John R St.
Detroit, MI 48202
The Michigan Science Center is located downtown, near the DIA, and offers many exhibits that rotate. In August, check out the “Fizz, Bang, Science!” exhibits, which change throughout the month. On August 16-17, you’ll learn about how we use science in our daily lives, or attend the “Mix it Up!” exhibit on August 23-24. August 30-31 offers the “Hot or Cold?” Fizz, Bang, Science exhibit, where you’ll learn the basics of chemistry and physical science. Admission for the Science Center varies from $13-21 for adults (the $21 admission includes theater tickets) and $10-18 for youths ages 2-12, and if you buy a membership, you can save on admission; high school and college students with valid ID save 20 percent as well.
220 E. Ann St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum has long been heralded as a great museum for children, and it has a few science exhibits as well. The museum is located downtown, in the Kerrytown area, and parking structures are available nearby. Make sure to check out the “Michigan Nature” exhibit, where kids can learn about nature, the “Light & Optics” exhibit and the “Google Liquid Galaxy,” to name a few. Admission is free for members, $11 for adults and $5 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays only. The museum is also free for babies ages 0 through 23 months.
1109 Geddes Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
The UM Museum of Natural History is one of a few places on campus that has a planetarium, and it also has many other science exhibits. Check out its butterfly garden, Michigan Wildlife gallery, anthropology gallery and geology displays, among others, as well as some of its temporary exhibits all over campus (ie, the “Secret Life of Birds” exhibit in the Shapiro 3rd floor Science Library). Parking is available nearby, and admission is free to individuals and groups of 10 people or less, although there is a suggested donation of $6 per person.
1831 Traver Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
The Leslie Science & Nature Center has fun for all ages. Check out its Scavenger Hunt on August 16th (9 a.m. to 11 a.m., $8 per individual or $30 per family), where kids will hunt for insects, colors, plants, textures and more, or the Super Snakes event (same day, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) where you can meet some snakes through live demonstrations. Early sign-up for both of these is encouraged. The LSNC features a Birds of Prey & Raptor Enclosure, as well as an Animals & Critter House. Its grounds, trails and raptor enclosures are open daily, from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.
Related: Best Children’s Museums in Detroit