Spring Break in Muskegon: Plan for Family Fun

Lakeshore Museum Center

Looking for family-friendly activities during spring break? Look no further than Muskegon County!

Whether you’re seeking indoor or outdoor fun, this Lake Michigan beachtown has something for everyone.

Let’s explore Ten Spring Break Ideas for Families:

Bowling Fun for All Ages

“Strike” it lucky at the bowling alley! Gather the family and head to one of the 6 bowling centers in Muskegon County. From traditional bowling to the unique duckpin bowling at Socibowl by Pigeon Hill, indeed, there’s excitement for all ages.

Hands-On Learning at the Museum

Venture to the Muskegon Museum of History & Science at the Lakeshore Museum Center. Here, children can immerse themselves in hands-on exhibits while learning about local and Michigan history. Don’t forget to snap a photo with Moxie, the life-sized bronze mastodon welcoming visitors at the entrance. Dive deeper into exploration with a visit to the STEM room and the “Coming to the Lakes” exhibit. Grab a guide at the Visitors Center or the Museum and embark on a scavenger hunt. There are 20 “Mini” Moxies hidden throughout downtown Muskegon. Can you find them all?

6 foot bonze statue of mastodon with large bright blue tusks in front of museum seats and balcony viewed from stage in historic theater

Movie Magic on Rainy Days

Rainy spring days call for a cozy family movie outing, because after all, spring weather is not always predictable! Explore your options, including multi-screen theaters like Cinema Carousel and NorthStar Cinema, offering a variety of films for all ages. For a nostalgic experience, head to the Getty Drive-In, one of Michigan’s few remaining outdoor theaters, where you can enjoy double features under the stars. Alternatively, experience the splendor of the Frauenthal Center. Being that historic theater hosts monthly Free Family Movies from September to May.

Hockey Excitement at Trinity Health Arena

Feel the excitement as you cheer on the USHL Muskegon Lumberjacks at Trinity Health Arena! With their kid-friendly theme nights, these hockey games promise fun for the whole family. And what better way to bond than over some tasty tacos from Rad Dads before or after the game?

large, climbable, plastic turtle sits on floor at STEM play area in Montague Library brightly colored STEM play area in Montague Library

Literary Adventures at the Library

Dive into the world of learning at Muskegon County libraries! With engaging STEM play areas, interactive programs, and story trails, there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities to enjoy. Plus, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the learning gardens – especially sure to inspire curiosity in young minds.

Thrills and Adventures 

Seeking adventure? Look no further than Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park, where you can embark on a thrilling Trail Quest, solve riddles, and soar through the air on the dual zipline. Feeling adventurous? Try your hand at archery or tackle the 38-ft outdoor climbing wall.

child on zipline covered by canopy of green leaves trees covered in green foliage stand with trail sign readin g"spring trail"

Spring Strolls Through Muskegon

Slow down and savor the beauty of spring with a leisurely family walk through Muskegon’s parks, trails, and along the pier. Take in the blossoming scenery and keep an eye out for public art displayed along the trails – without a doubt, an outdoor treat for everyone!

Maritime History Exploration

Immerse yourself in maritime history at the USS Silversides Museum. Tour historic naval vessels, including a WW2 submarine and Coast Guard cutter, and gain insight into their roles in history. With each step, you’ll create lasting memories and deepen your appreciation for our maritime heritage.

ww2 submarine docked in muskegon channel  

Be a Butterfly

Strike a pose and spread your wings at the Kelsey Montague mural “What Lifts You” in downtown Muskegon. As part of Kelsey’s ‘Wings Around the World’ series, this mural serves as the perfect backdrop for a memorable family photo – a true testament to the uplifting power of art.

Make a Splash

Don’t forget to pack your swimsuits. Obviously, during your stay the kids will love playing in the pools at our hotels. Especially at Delta Hotels Marriott, Shoreline Inn and Fairfield Inn & Suites.

With all this in mind, remember to book your family getaway at one of Muskegon’s inviting hotels, cozy vacation rentals, charming cottages, or welcoming inns. With convenient locations, and all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, you’ll undoubtedly create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

Here are Southwest Michigan’s best destinations for fall colors, bird watching, paddling and surfing.

Fall in Warren Dunes - Southwest Michigan. Photo Credit : Joshua Nowicki

Lake Michigan’s beaches are beautiful in autumn! 

Discover the best fall beach destinations in Southwest Michigan

Summer isn’t the only time to visit Lake Michigan’s beaches in Southwest Michigan. Fall days and lake temperatures are often warm from September until early October. Then from October through November, pull on a sweater, fleece, or jacket and enjoy the wilder Big Lake waves and less-crowded beaches from golden sunrise to star-studded night. For many, fall is their favorite beach season. Come see why.

Fall in Warren Dunes - Southwest Michigan. Photo Credit : Joshua Nowicki
Fall in Warren Dunes – Southwest Michigan. Photo Credit: Joshua Nowicki

Visit nine Lake Michigan beach towns
If you’re planning an autumn getaway, solo retreat, or fall color tour along the lakeshore, add these Lake Michigan beach towns and their beaches to your itinerary. 

Stevensville

Grand Mere State Park | 7337 Thornton Drive
Grand Mere boasts sweeping dunes, deep blowouts, a mile-long sandy beach, and hikes beneath canopies of colorful leaves. 

Round Barn Winery in Fall | Photo Credit : Joshua Nowicki
Round Barn Winery in Fall | Photo Credit : Joshua Nowicki

St. Joseph

Lions Park Beach | Lions Park Drive
This tranquil beach is a good place to hunt for rocks and beach glass or immerse in the fall beauty on the John and Dede Howard Family Recreational Trail.

Silver Beach County Park | 101 Broad St.

This is one of Southwest Michigan’s most popular year-round beaches with its 2,450 feet of shoreline from the mouth of the St. Joseph River to Park Street. The park gives you access to the South Pier, and you can walk to the beach from downtown St. Joseph. 

Tiscornia Beach Park | 80 Ridgeway St.

Great place to watch freighters, sailboats, and surfers in the fall. Best of all, you can park and walk out onto the North Pier to St. Joseph’s historic lighthouses.  

Benton Harbor/Coloma

Jean Klock Park | Jean Klock Boulevard, Benton Harbor

This is one of the most beautiful, lesser-used beaches in Southwest Michigan. It is also a  trailhead for a 10-mile natural and urban fitness hiking and biking adventure — the trees are autumn showpieces along the way. 

Rocky Gap Park | 1100 Rocky Gap Road, Benton Harbor

You will love the panoramic views of Lake Michigan, especially at sunset. This is also a popular rockhounding site due to all the rocks that wash ashore.

Hagar Park | 5440 M-63, Coloma

Enjoy a picnic beneath red and yellow leaves, toss a Frisbee, or send a kite soaring on the beach. Dogs are welcome. 

Roadside Park | 6930 Bluestar Highway, Coloma

Small, quiet, dog and kayak-friendly beach in the colorful forested dunes.  

New Buffalo

New Buffalo Public Beach & Lakefront Park | 200 Marquette Drive
800 feet of sandy beach near the public boat launch and downtown.

Sawyer/Bridgman

Warren Dunes State Park | 12032 Red Arrow Highway, Sawyer
Three miles of beach frontage, including a separate dog-friendly beach. A top pick for its giant dunes and beautiful fall foliage. 

Weko Beach | 5237 Lake St., Bridgman
Nestled among 42 acres of wooded dunes, it has 960 feet of sandy beach with some of the area’s favorite fall foliage and water vistas. 

Seven favorite fall things to do at our beaches

There are so many ways to fill several fall days in Southwest Michigan. Here are locals’ and visitors’ top picks from high adventures to total relaxation.

Take a fall color tour 

Follow the West Michigan Pike routes in this guide. Along the way, visit our pick-your-own and farm markets to gather just-harvested fruits and vegetables, plus bread, jams, desserts, and more for your fall beach picnic. This is also one of the best times of year to look for colorful rocks, beach glass, and fossils along the water’s edge. 

Explore the colors of Fall in Southwest Michigan. Photo Credit : Joshua Nowicki
Explore the colors of Fall in Southwest Michigan. Photo Credit: Joshua Nowicki

Paddle along the shoreline

Most beaches offer easy access to take your canoe, kayak, or SUP from the parking lot to the shoreline. Several also have launch areas on scenic rivers that empty into the big lake. Shoreline paddles give you gorgeous views of fall foliage along the bluffs and across the dunes.  

Watch for migratory birds on their Lake Michigan flight path 

The migration flight path along Lake Michigan’s shoreline is almost as ancient as the dunes. Fall is a peak time for birdwatching, seeing everything from songbirds and shorebirds to raptors. 

Be captivated by Great Lakes freighters and barges

It’s hard not to be drawn to the St. Joseph River and harbor when the big freighters and barges arrive or depart from St. Joseph. Watching these big ships navigate past the railroad swing bridge is especially enthralling. We hope you will also see the big ships at night easing through the channel by spotlight or their lights reflecting in the still harbor waters — it will take your breath away. Fall is the last season to be awed before the gales of November stop the shipping traffic on Lake Michigan until the next spring. 

Reel in the big ones from our piers, rivers, and the Big Lake

Pier fishing for feisty salmon, trout, and steelhead is a thrill in Southwest Michigan. You can easily access some of our favorite fishing spots from New Buffalo Public Beach, Silver Beach County Park, Tiscornia Beach, and South Haven’s South Beach.

Go surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving

Many people are surprised to learn that you can surf, snorkel and scuba dive off the coast of Lake Michigan. Calmer days on the Big Lake are best for the latter two watersports, but frequent north and south winds make for surfable waves in the fall. You can often spot surfers from the shore at Lions Park, Silver Beach County Park, and Tiscornia Beach — or go out and ride the waves on your board! 

See the best sunsets 

It’s a daily ritual to head to any of our beaches to watch the sun sink below Lake Michigan’s horizon in a swath of peach, yellow, lavender, and scarlet colors brightening the evening sky. Even on overcast evenings, you will still find colors and a peaceful ending to your day on our shore. 

Fall Sunset Southwest Michigan in Dune Grass | St. Joseph MI
Fall Sunset Southwest Michigan in Dune Grass | St. Joseph MI Photo Credit: Joshua Nowicki

Stay over at near-the-beach lodgings

Lodgings in Benton Harbor, St. Joseph, and Stevensville are just minutes from our beaches, resort town shopping, dining, fall festivals, and attractions. It’s a great time of year to get the hotel rate and amenities you want, especially on weekdays. 

Book your fall getaway