If you’re a parent who can’t imagine how a day at the mall with children can be enjoyable, then you haven’t visited some of Michigan’s finest family-friendly shopping malls. With exciting play areas and kid-friendly stores, these malls make a day out shopping an activity the whole family will enjoy.
Newly-opened in October 2007, The Mall at Partridge Creek is an open-air mall with nearly 90 stores, restaurants and a movie theater, so bring your wallet. The mall’s unique features include bocce ball courts, free WiFi, a play area that includes pop jet fountains for kids to run through, a TV court and a 30′ fireplace. The mall welcomes dogs and has four dog comfort stations onsite. Live music is played every day in the mall’s center court between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
17420 Hall Rd., Clinton Township, MI, 48038. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm.
The Genessee Valley Center is a large, enclosed mall that is ultra family-friendly. The mall’s great outdoors themed play area provides children under 42″ tall a place to play everyday and offers Storytime with Mother Nature on Saturdays at 1:00 and 3:00. On Tuesdays, from 12:15-1:15, gymnastics instructors teach children four and under tumbling, free of charge. Teenagers can join the Teen Board, allowing them to participate in mall events and fashion shows. The mall has also organized a Mallwalker Moms Club, which offers free, bi-weekly exercise classes for moms that incorporate young children.
3341 S. Linden Rd., Flint, MI, 48507; Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am-9pm, 12pm-6pm Sunday.
Mackinaw Crossings is more than an outdoor mall – it is designed to resemble a small Victorian village, with more than 50 shops and restaurants in a quaint setting. The mall offers nightly laser light shows for visitors to enjoy. Families will also love A-Maze-N-Mirrors, an incredible maze of glass and mirrors, the Mackinaw Manor haunted mansion, the mall play area, video games and the movie theater. There are frequent mall events, like Family Fun Days and concerts, so check the event schedule at the website.
248 South Huron Ave., Mackinaw City, MI, 49701
Offering fashion, food, and fun for everyone, The Lakes Mall has it all. For family entertainment, the mall is home to Chuck E. Cheese and Your Plate or Mine, a paint your own pottery store. Your kids will beg to visit the Cosmic Candy Company and the mall’s newest store, FanTOYstic Toys, is sure to be a hit. For lasting memories, stop at one of the three photography studios to capture a family portrait. The food court boasts a play area, strollers, family restrooms and a nursing room.
5600 Harvey Street, Muskegon, MI, 49444; Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm.
Great Lakes Crossing
Shopping here counts as exercise – Great Lakes Crossing is an indoor outlet mall that is so large that walking one lap of the mall equals one mile. Kids will love the food-themed play area within the food court, and can enjoy a carousel and motion rides for a fee. The mall also hosts a movie theater, the Disney store and Jeepers, an indoor amusement park. Guests who travel more than 50 miles may request a Visitor’s Savings Pass with discounts at over 70 stores.
4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills, MI, 48326. Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 11am-6pm.
For exciting shopping, dining and entertainment, visit The Grand Traverse Mall. Your family will enjoy the kiddie rides and soft play area, as well as the antique carousel in the food court. Shop at the Great Lakes Bear Factory or The Children’s Place, or catch a film at the movie theater. Participating in the mall’s My School’s Cool program means that your shopping dollars will earn points for local schools that translate into cash rewards.
3200 South Airport Road West, Traverse City, MI, 49684; Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am-9pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm.