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Top Ann Arbor Museums and Nature Areas

Hands On Museum Ann Arbor

Hands On Museum, Ann Arbor MI

With the weather gradually getting warmer, and also more rainy, there’s no better time than now to explore the top Ann Arbor Michigan museums and nature areas for fun indoor and outdoor activities where you learn something new, too!


Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum – Imaginative and interactive learning are just byproducts of one of the funnest places in town for kids. The museum offers kids (and

their adults) hands-on activities to discover science, technology, engineering, art, and math through active participation. Yes, you should pull, push, poke, toss, jump, and do all those things you can’t do anywhere else! Sign up for their newsletter to learn about scheduled events and reduced-admission days.


University of Michigan Museum of Art – Whatever your interest in art may be, you are likely to find some of it in this world-class facility. From photography to African art, Western art to modern and contemporary, virtually every genre is represented. According to the museum’s website, the collection is among the oldest in the nation and includes more than 20,000 objects. Not sure you have an interest in art? Visit and find out. Membership is free!


Cobblestone Farm and Museum – Take a glimpse into past rural life in Washtenaw County by visiting this Classic Revival home, built in 1845. It is also the site of a weekly farmers’ market on most Saturdays (see the calendar on their website) – even in the winter! Drop-in or scheduled tours of the museum are available, so check their website before visiting for hours.


Museum on Main Street – Built in the 1830s, the museum was moved to its current location in 1990 when it was under threat of demolition. It is not remodeled, so one of its attractions is that it is a genuine example of period construction. This museum is a great look into the past, and a great way to learn about early settlers in the community and how they lived.


University of Michigan Museum of Natural History & Planetarium – This is the place to discover dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, Michigan wildlife, geology and anthropology! With both permanent and temporary exhibits, visitors are encouraged to “look, touch, and question.” Take a tour or explore on your own. The museum is open every day of the year, and admission to the museum is free of charge, so this is an opportunity not to pass up. Small admission fee to the planetarium show. Both the museum and the planetarium have regular events for every age, so be sure to sign up for their newsletter, too.


Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology – Among the treasures to be discovered here is a unique Egyptian mummy coffin and mummy masks, Greek and Roman sculptures, and over 40,000 ancient coins! Special Collections join the museum at different times, so there is always something new to discover. No admission fee, so go and go often!


Beyond Ann Arbor Michigan Museums

While they don’t have the word “museum” in their name, there are a few other places to visit that museum-goers will find every bit as enjoyable.


The Petting Farm at Domino’s Farms – Yes, it is open year round! In addition to walking the grounds and meeting the animals, visit historic Griffith Station and explore a real caboose! In addition to some standard farm animals, you can expect to encounter llamas, alpacas, and peacocks.


Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum – Display gardens, trails and natural areas, and a conservatory are what you will find between these two locations operating within the University of Michigan. With programs and events for both adults and children, be sure to add this to your list of places to visit soon.


Leslie Science Center – The Leslie property was owned by Dr. and Mrs. Leslie who lived there from 1923 to 1975. Dr. Leslie was a professor at the University of Michigan and developed many technologies on this site, which was also used to raise livestock and grow fruit trees, among other uses. The property was left to the City of Ann Arbor to be preserved for the use of children, primarily, and the preservation of the natural environment. An exceptional opportunity to experience the natural environment and learn about nature and its inhabitants.


16 Hands – Considered by many to be a wonderful place to buy art in Ann Arbor, 16 Hands features both emerging talent and well-known, established artists from the area and around the country. They’ve been around since 1975 and are currently located in the historic Kerrytown area. From their website, “We believe that just because something is functional, doesn’t mean that it cannot also be beautiful, and that beauty, found in nature, art, and even everyday objects enriches daily life.” Curious? You should be. It’s cool.


Kempf House – A stunning example of mid-19th century Greek Revival architecture located in downtown Ann Arbor. The museum was the home of the Kempt family, a German – American family who lived there in the late 1800s. The 1877 Steinway piano is still in the music studio! Tours of the restored rooms are available regularly, and special events including lecture series are scheduled throughout the year.


If you have visited any of these amazing Ann Arbor museums or attractions, please leave a comment below to share with others who are making plans. Got a favorite? Do tell! No better time than today to visit wonderful places like these right here in your own community.

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