Cabin Fever is hitting as the January weather keeps us indoors. Luckily, Ann Arbor has plenty to do in the winter. Here are some museums that make leaving the house well worth it. Bring the kids for an inexpensive, enriching activity that will keep you out of the cold.
Museum of Natural History University of Michigan
The University of Michigan, Natural History Museum, is a FREE activity. Located downtown, enjoy exhibits that explore the natural world, from molecules to dinosaurs. This museum has something for everyone – the Exploring Michigan exhibit celebrates our state’s rich geological formations, prehistoric life forms, and diverse ecosystems. Experience life-size dioramas of Michigan’s varied habitats and wildlife and hands-on activities that engage people of all ages. The museum is informed by the University of Michigan researchers’ findings, and throughout the museum, you’ll see current research projects by U-M faculty at kiosks. For current exhibits, click here. For current planetarium and dome theater shows, click here.
The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum seeks to create moments of discovery that inspire curiosity, exploration, and respect for STEM and the natural world. Ann Arbor locals have fond memories of taking their children to the Hand’s Museum or even visiting it as a child. The museum is open Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday from 10-5. Admission is $16 or free for members. The newly finished Toyota Steam Park results from over two decades of work with Toyota. It features interactive mechanical exhibits, such as Window Maze Ball Machine, Airfoil, and a first-in-the-world digital Roulette Curve.
University of Michigan Museum of Art
The University of Michigan Museum of Art, or the UMMA, is another free opportunity to get out of the house and enjoy some art. The art is culturally and historically rich, with categories ranging from Photography to Asian Art to Decorative Arts and Designs. Visit the UMMA website for the current list of constantly changing exhibits. The exhibits are constantly changing! For current exhibits, UMMA Gift Shop always carries unique, curated products with new selections. Categories include Creativity, Ramen, Fine-Art, and Contemporary Design. The UMMA cafe offers salads, sandwiches, coffee, tea, and pastries. It is an excellent place to sit down and get some work done or take a quick break from touring the museum.
University of Michigan Computer and Video Game Archive
Located in the Shapiro Library on the University of Michigan’s Central Campus, The Computer and Video Game Archive offers an extensive collection of video games, consoles, board games, and more from the 1970s to today. It is entertaining for everyone – from researchers to video game fanatics to newcomers. Try out the original Playstation or the Pacman table! To enjoy, reserve a spot at least two hours before.
Kelsey Museum of Archeology
The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology houses more than 100,000 artifacts, of which approximately 1,500 are on permanent display; in addition, the museum mounts 2–3 special exhibitions annually. As an exhibit museum at a public university, the Kelsey embraces a vigorous public outreach mission, engaging with residents and visitors of all ages from kindergarten through retirement. It also serves as the headquarters of the University of Michigan’s Classical Art and Archaeology graduate program. To view their exhibits, click this link.
Ann Arbor is full of things to do during the cold winter, from restaurants to shopping and these great museums. If you have any questions about the city, I am here to answer!
For immediate assistance, call us at 734-845-9700 or email Andy Piper at
For immediate assistance, call us at 734-845-9700 or email Andy Piper at email@example.com.