Our Bavarian village was built on timeless traditions that keep families coming back to visit for generations. Frankenmuth offers a deep history of tradition with a fresh modern spin. We can’t wait for you to find a new way to #SeeFrankenmuth as it should be seen: with family. Here are the top 8 things to do with your loved ones when you visit:
1. Make A Big Splash at Our Waterparks
Frankenmuth is home to not one, but two indoor waterparks. Zehnder’s Splash Village is the largest indoor waterpark in Michigan, with more than 50,000 square feet of aquatic fun and a massive retractable roof that will keep your family splashing rain or shine. Parents, pack your suits, too, because a six-story, four-person family raft ride means more time well-spent (screaming at the top of your lungs) together. Zehnder’s also offers a Super Loop Speed Slide, zero-entry pool with water geysers, and water basketball or volleyball for a healthy family competition. Parents can relax in the hot tubs and private, poolside cabanas, complete with adult beverages, cozy lounge furniture, and widescreen TVs. Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Lodge also offers an indoor water park for hotel guests to enjoy. With four indoor pools and three whirlpools, this Bavarian-themed hotel also features a mega arcade and an 18-hole indoor mini-golf course too!
2. Cruise on The Cass River
Cruise Frankenmuth’s Cass River for a one-of-a-kind way to get to know our city. Hop aboard the 12-passenger electric boats of Frankenmuth FunShips for a spontaneous spin on the water during one of their open cruises, or charter the entire boat for some uninterrupted togetherness. Psst, parents: did we mention on-board wine and chocolate tastings are an option, as are adult beverages on all cruises? You’re welcome. Or, head to the dock by the waterfall at Frankenmuth’s River Place Shops to board the spacious Bavarian Belle Riverboat. This authentic paddlewheel riverboat offers 1-hour narrated history tours and amazing views of the city.
3. Test Your Skills On A Treetop Adventure
As if Michigan’s largest indoor waterpark wasn’t enough to get your kids into the idea of family vacation, Frankenmuth is also home to Pure Michigan’s first aerial forest park — Frankenmuth Aerial Park. Here, you can try five trails, seven zip lines, five difficulty levels, and more than 60 challenge bridges! For an even more unique experience your kids won’t soon forget, take to the Adventure Park after dark. The Adventure Park is open as late as 9 pm on weekends for night climbing in the glow of an LED-lit course. Taking your kids ziplining through a forest at night? Polish up your “Parents Of The Year” trophy now, moms and dads!
4. Reconnect Over A Family-Style Feast
Here in Frankenmuth, when we think “family dinner,” we think real food — locally-sourced and prepared with love, then shared around a table with the ones we cherish most. Try two of our Frankenmuth favorites: Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth. Together, these two German gems serve up more than 2 million world-famous chicken dinners annually. At Bavarian Inn Restaurant, your family-style, all-you-can-eat dinner includes everything from platters of premium golden chicken, to warm, German buttered noodles (with an out-of-this-world crispy cracker topping), plus specialty breads and sides. Just across Main Street from the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, look for the Zehnder's of Frankenmuth neon sign (and that giant, can’t-miss chicken-shaped topiary). At Zehnder’s, the dining experience includes all-you-can-eat golden fried chicken, freshly-baked breads, and loads of other favorites like Grandma Zehnder’s irresistible dressing!
5. Visit A Working Farm & A Wildlife Sanctuary
Visit Grandpa Tiny’s Farm, a historical working farm, to teach your little ones where food comes from and take picture-perfect family photos in the stunning fields (the sunflowers are glorious in the spring and summer). Kids will love visiting the animals in the petting zoo plus seasonal activities like pumpkin picking, lavender picking, and a corn maize. Hit the farm store to get your hands on tasty handmade local treats like bunches of dried lavender and fresh honey. Just a few minutes south of Frankenmuth, take your crew to The Wilderness Trails Zoo. Explore trails winding through 56 acres of natural habitats. Kids will love watching exotic creatures like primates, zebras, lions, and more. There are petting and feeding stations throughout the zoo and plenty of opportunities for hands-on fun.
6. Spend Time Outdoors
Get some fresh air and keep your family active outdoors. Heritage Park offers a 0.9-mile path with great views of the Cass River. Heritage Park also boasts picnic facilities, a playground, beach volleyball court, and basketball courts. Check out our events calendar too, for fun festivals and events coming to Heritage Park. In the wintertime, head to hilly Memorial Park, the best place in town for sledding and cross-country skiing. We also recommend exploring the many rails-to-trails pathways near Frankenmuth, where your family can enjoy a car-free environment for walking, biking, and spotting local birds and wildlife.
7. Stock Up On Sweets & Treats
There’s no shortage of sweets and treats to indulge in here. SugarHigh Bakery is a local favorite and winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Be sure to check out their sister store, SugarRush Sweets & Treats too. Try the mouth-watering treats at local fudge purveyors Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen, Zak’s Fudge, and Murdick’s Fudge Frankenmuth. Your kids’ eyes will be saucer-wide watching the live demo of taffy pulling at the Frankenmuth Taffy Kitchen. The stately-home-turned-chocolate-haus known as Zak & Mac’s is another must for candy-lovers. Round out your visit with a stop at Rau’s Country Store, Frankenmuth’s oldest and largest candy shop featuring old-fashioned, nostalgic favorites like Mary Janes & Slo-Pokes.
Whether spending a day splashing at the waterpark, soaring through the trees, or stashing away some souvenir sweets, time in Frankenmuth is always best spent with family. Plan your visit today. Find the perfect place to stay and check for upcoming family-friendly festivals and events.
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