Experience Michigan’s stunning natural beauty near Silver Lake, a small inland body of water just steps from Lake Michigan. Outdoor activities take center stage in this lovely area, which is known for its towering sand dunes and clean waters. Here, you can take a break from your fast-paced lifestyle and spend your days fishing, swimming, and boating as a family. Book a stay at one of many vacation rentals near Silver Lake today. Check out these kid-friendly attractions in and around Silver Lake.

1. Test the Waters

Experience Silver Lake’s best natural assets with a day of swimming. In Silver Lake itself, you can enjoy calm, shallow water and warm temperatures. Alternatively, head to nearby Lake Michigan, which features waves and stunning white-sand beaches. For a memorable experience, go swimming at the end of the day, when Michigan’s legendary summer sunsets sparkle across the water.

2. Go Boating

Get out on the water with a Silver Lake boat rental. Load your kids onto a small sailboat for a fun, fast ride, or opt for an open-top kayak for a leisurely paddle. If you’re visiting with a large group, rent a pontoon boat; hang out on the boat, or park in the middle of the lake for swimming and fishing. Outfitters on Silver Lake also offer a variety of high-speed water sports equipment, including ski boats and Waverunners. Reserve your rentals in advance, particularly if you’re traveling during the busy months of June, July, and August.

3. Go Sandboarding

Fly down the massive Silver Lake sand dunes on sandboards. Like snowboards, these flat boards are designed to slip over the surface of the sand for a high-speed ride. Let your smaller children try the boards on a gentle slope, and take teenagers up to the higher elevations for a longer trip. Boards feature built-in handles for control and steering, and the binding-free top surface allows kids to hop off quickly. Rent sandboards from local outfitters, including Wave Club Water Sports and The Sand Box.

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4. Tour the Little Sable Point Lighthouse

Learn about the Great Lakes boating tradition at the Little Sable Point Lighthouse. This historic structure sits just south of Silver Lake on the shores of Lake Michigan, providing a beacon for sport boaters and freighters. Kids who are at least 3 feet tall can climb to the top of the light to look over the lake; if your children don’t meet the height requirements, the beach offers beautiful views of the lighthouse. For an in-depth experience, call ahead to book an educational tour with a guide from the Sable Points Light Keepers Association.

5. Go Off-Roading

Load up your ATVs, motorbikes, or dune buggies and head to the Silver Lake State Park Off-Road Vehicle Area. With its shifting sands and rolling landscape, this area is a popular spot with off-roaders from around the state. Gather speed as you sail over sand dunes and race down steep slopes. The sand is well-marked, and most riders use tall flags to increase visibility. If you don’t have ORVs of your own, visit a local company such as Silver Lake Buggy Rentals or Wild Bill’s ATV Rentals to find the perfect vehicle for your family.

6. Climb the Dunes

Get a fun family workout by climbing up the towering Silver Lake sand dunes. Hiking is best in the dunes’ central section, which is free of vehicles. Pack plenty of water, and take your time hiking to the top. There, you can look over Lake Michigan, enjoy a picnic, and play in the sand. Ramp up the fun on the way back down; kids and adults love running or rolling down the sloping sides.

7. Catch a Fish

Bring your bait and tackle on vacation and take advantage of the area’s many excellent fishing holes. In Lake Michigan, you can fish from the shore for steelhead and salmon. Silver Lake is home to multiple fish species, including smallmouth bass, pike, crappie, and walleye. Take a short drive north to the Pentwater River to cast for brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout. Under Michigan law, kids aged 17 and younger can fish for free without a license; adults must purchase a fishing license online or from businesses in Silver Lake.

8. Enjoy a Family Adventure

Head to Craig’s Cruisers, Silver Lake’s biggest family adventure center. Ride the paddleboats or bumper boats, enjoy a speedy go-kart ride, and challenge your kids to a game of mini golf. Delight smaller children on the kiddie kart track, which is designed specifically for little ones. Kids and adults of all ages can ride the hair-raising zip line, which sails above the park and provides panoramic views of the Silver Lake sand dunes.

9. Visit a Dairy Farm

Introduce your kids to the inner workings of a family-owned dairy farm at Country Dairy. Each guided tour includes a wagon ride, a trip through the bottling plant, and a visit to the farm’s cows. Kids can watch the milking process and see what the cows eat. At the end of the tour, visitors can try samples of cheese curds and chocolate milk. Book tours any time of year; small children are welcome, and the friendly staff provides a fun, entertaining commentary for everyone in the family.

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