Higgins Lake, Michigan, sits along the southern and western shores of Higgins Lake, a popular fishing a recreational lake in the area. A few miles south of town, Houghton Lake provides even more entertainment opportunities for families staying in Higgins Lake vacation rentals. Check out these popular, kid-friendly attractions and activities and book your relaxing getaway to Higgens Lake today!

1. Spend the Day at the Beach

trees banks
Source: Flickr / George Thomas

You don’t have to venture far from your vacation home to find a family-friendly beach. The beach at South Higgins State Park boasts almost a full mile of shoreline and clear, spring-fed water that’s perfect for swimming. After swimming, play a game of volleyball, let the kids play on the swings, or fish off the pier across the street. If you have small children or you want to avoid the summer crowds, check out the beach at North Higgins State Park. It’s slightly smaller, but it doesn’t get as busy as its counterpart.

2. Go Canoeing, Kayaking, or Tubing Along the AuSable  River

 

Fairly shallow depths, moderate current speeds, and a lack of white water rapids make the Au Sable River a great location for family canoe, kayak, and tubing trips. Visit Campbell’s Canoe Livery or Paddle Brave Canoe Livery or Paddle Brave Canoe Livery & Campground to rent your family’s watercraft then spend the day floating lazily down the river. Day trips last anywhere from one to three hours, depending on your starting and stopping point. Bring a cooler filled with refreshments to keep your little ones hydrated, as well as your fishing gear. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources designated the river a blue ribbon trout stream, and it’s often considered one of the best brown trout fisheries east of the Rocky Mountains.

3. Race Go Karts and Play Games at Lakeland Recreation

gokart race
Take your family to Lakeland Recreation for a day filled with games, amusement park rides, and go kart racing. Play a round of mini golf, walk through the haunted mansion, and ride the bumper cars before playing your favorite video games in the arcade. Let older kids take a swing in the batting cages or kick a field goal at the park’s Kicker’s Challenge. The park also has kiddie rides for children between ages four and seven, as well as a bounce house for children under age 10.

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4. Play Disc Golf at Skinner Park

park kids

Take older kids or teens to Skinner Park for a round of disc golf. The course sits in the woods adjacent to the baseball and soccer fields. It features nine par-three holes. Even though it’s a short course, it’s challenging. Densely-wooded areas often block the disc’s path, making it even more difficult.

5. Explore Houghton Lake on a Pontoon Boat

pier boats

Visit Heights Marina & Boat Rental to rent a pontoon boat, and spend the day on the water. Houghton Lake is one of the largest natural inland lakes in the United States. Spend your day soaking up the sun from the back of the boat, swimming, and fishing. Houghton Lake is home to practically every species of game and panfish in the state, including sturgeon, bluegill, white bass, and yellow perch.

6. Visit the Roscommon Zoo

peacock bird

Children of all ages appreciate viewing animals up close at the Roscommon Zoo. The small zoo is family owned and operated, and it’s home to both wild and domestic animals, including a giant porcupine, peacocks, and a white tiger. Many of the zoo’s animals are highly socialized, to provide unique, interactive learning opportunities for children that include feeding and petting some of the animals.

7. Check Out the Area’s Historic Sites and Monuments

museum red
Source: Flickr / prettyemmy

If your family enjoys history, spend a day touring the area’s historic sites and monuments. Roscommon is home to the Michigan State Fireman’s Memorial, the Au Sable River Center, Gallimore Boarding House, and Richardson Schoolhouse. Tour 11 restored buildings from the 1800s at Historical Village in Houghton Lake. If your vacation falls on the first weekend in August, attend the park’s popular Village Days festival to see all buildings open and operating. To learn about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), visit the CCC Museum. Exhibits teach visitors about the daily life of a CCC member, and it’s housed in a building that’s a replica of the CCC barracks.

8. Play a Game of Vintage Miniature Golf

minigolf golfPutt R Golf is home to a traditional miniature golf course. You won’t find a course with a lot of fancy bells and whistles, but the classic course features several challenges. Putt your golf ball through a loop or tunnel to reach the hole. The player who sinks the ball in the least amount of turns wins. If you have older children who prefer a more challenging game of putt-putt, consider playing a game at Pirate’s Cove — it’s located right across the street from Putt R Golf.

9. Look for Flocks of Kirtland’s Warbler

bird warbler
Source: Flickr / USFWSmidwest

Kirtland’s warbler, one of the rarest members of the wood warbler bird species, typically nest in the area — parts of Ontario, Canada; Wisconsin, and Michigan are the only places these birds nest. Hike through the trails at North Higgins State Park, South Higgins State Park, and Houghton Lake in search of Kirtland’s warblers. They have blueish black and gray feathers, and a bright yellow breast that makes them easier to spot.

 
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