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Family Fun: Plan a Vacation with the Whole Crew! 

Family in tow for your vacation? Pure Ludington has plenty of family-friendly fun, and we have rounded up a list of 14 activities you will enjoy. From a visit to the park to an afternoon at the farm, these destinations and happenings will entertain all ages!

1. Paddle a River

Ludington State Park is known for its four-season paddling and floating around the park and Hamlin Lake area. A four-mile canoe trail is perfect for an afternoon on the water. The trail winds along the shoreline and passes through small ponds and features three portages across marshy areas. Or the Big Sable River offers a relaxing float from Hamlin Dam to Lake Michigan.


2. Climb or Visit the Big Sable Light

You won’t want to miss the panoramic views of the state park, Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan from the top of the Big Sable Lighthouse. Climb the tower, visit the keeper’s quarters and stroll the sand dunes.

3. Visit Sandcastles Children’s Museum

Located in Downtown Ludington Sandcastles offers hands-on exhibits and programming in a space designed to explore and discover that learning is fun. With three stories, kids and grown-ups will find themselves immersed in a world of wonder. Learn about transportation, health care, construction, agriculture and hospitality. New exhibits this year include Michigan Woodlands and Hola!


4. Ice Cream and the Park

As twilight makes its presence known, locals and visitors gather together at the peninsula known as Waterfront Park overlooking Pere Marquette Lake. Before you go, choose an ice cream cone from House of Flavors or Kilwin’s, then enjoy watching the SS Badger come into port. The playground is a popular and amusing gathering place for families.hof-4.jpg

5. Find a Spot in the Sand

With several Lake Michigan beachfronts and an incredible inland lake beach, we are sure to have a beach just for you! Choose the perfect spot for sandcastle building, rock hunting, volleyball playing, or just relaxing the day away in the warm sand. Find our beaches here.


6. Pizza and Games

Come for the food and stay for bowling, yard games, live music and more at Stix Ludington. This restaurant and bowling center is a popular destination for families. Adults can grab a pint in the biergarten while kids enjoy cornhole and other lively activities.

7. Meet the Elk

Take a quick drive to Amber Elk Ranch, home of the World Class Bull Elk. Spend the day and take a tour of the beautiful 130-are farm where you can view the huge bill elk or stop by the petting zoo and let the kids get a closer look.

8. Take a Bicycle Ride

The Ludington area has two in-town bicycle trail systems and one at Ludington State Park, offering several choices for some outdoor exercise. Didn’t bring your bikes? You can rent some downtown at Spindrift Cyclesports or Trailhead Bike Shop.


9. Sail on the S.S. Badger

This passenger steamship crosses Lake Michigan daily from mid-May to mid-October and provides a relaxing ride with amazing coastal scenery. Games, movies and activities are also offered on board, providing a unique way to travel.


10. Visit Port of Ludington Maritime Museum

The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum brings history to life with digital storytelling, authentic images and artifacts, and engaging interactive exhibits that entertain and inspire a depper appreciation for the region’s maritime history. You can even captain and steer a ship!

11. Create something beautiful

Enjoy drop-in candle-making experiences for all ages at the candle bar inside The Port Ludington. This stop also has refreshing drinks at Humanitea.

12. Take a thrilling dune ride

Just to the south of Ludington, you’ll find a 450-acre ORV scramble area that is a must-see if you are wanting a thrilling day-trip on the dunes. Mac Wood’s Dune Rides is a rollercoaster of sorts; take a seat and tour the landscape that the powerful wind and water have carved from the shoreline in Silver Lake.

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13. Make furry friends

Pack up the kids and make a day of visiting all of the family-friendly activities at Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo. Explore over 46 activities and meet over 100 unique animals including camels and kangaroos. A farm store also has baked goods, souvenirs and fresh produce. Other locations that are definitely worth the stop are Up North Farm Market & Petting Zoo and Country Dairy, both welcoming visitors daily.


14. Go Camping

Whether you prefer a rustic site or “glamping,” Ludington has camping destinations for all. Pitch a tent in the woods, rent a cabin or bring your RV to any of our campgrounds. Roast some marshmallows, take a hike and make new memories. Find pure ludington campgrounds here.

Share your family vacation photos with us using #PureLudington.