2019 Summer Camps & VBS for Up North Kids

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of summer camps & VBS to keep your kids occupied and make sure they have fun while school is out, this is IT! Know of a summer camp or VBS opportunity in Antrim, Benzie ,Grand Traverse, Kalkaska or Leelanau County we missed? Email us and we’ll add it!

(updated April 19, 2019)


First Congregational Church VBS
July 15-18

Bible Baptist Church of Traverse City
June 24-28

Bethlehem Lutheran Church VBS
July 22-26

Long Lake Church VBS

St. Francis of Assisi VBS
June 24-28

Central Summer Day Camp (VBS)

East Bay Calvary VBS

Presbyterian Church of Traverse City

Living Hope Church VBS
June 24-28

New Hope Church VBS
June 18-August 22

Lake Ann UMC

Leelanau VBS
June 17-20

Faith Reformed Church
July 8-12

West Side Community Church
July 15-18

Fresh Wind Christian Community
August 12-15


Traverse City Area Public Schools Summer Adventure Day Camps
Ages 3-12

Wooden Pony Camp
Ages 3-10

Lake Ann Camp
4th-12th grade

Young Americans
3rd grade – college

Interlochen Summer Arts Programs
3rd-12th grade

Grass River Natural Area Summer Camp
Ages 6-11

Grand Traverse Conservation District
Ages 4-11

Pathfinder School
Ages 3-12

College for Kids
Ages 3-17

Bay Pointe
Grades K-5th

The Bike Mas Project
1st-8th grade

Grand Traverse Tennis Camp
Ages 3-14

Hockey School

Camp Leelanau-Camp Kohahna

Titan Summer Camps

Camp Invention

Detroit Lions Summer Football Camp
Ages 6-14

Cool Tech Camp – TBA Career Tech Center
Age: currently in 5th-7th grade

August Camp – Drama Kids International
Grades 1-10

Shady Trails Camp

Camp Traverse
Ages 6-12

Young Life Summer Camp

Lake Ann Camp
4th grade-college freshman

Old Town Playhouse Young Company Summer Workshops
Ages 9-16

Camp Island View
Ages 4-12

Camp Tanuga
Ages 1st-9th grade

Battle Cry Camp
Ages 6th – 12th grade

Camp Hayo-Went-Ha
Ages 3rd-11th grade

Grand Traverse Bay YMCA
Ages 3-9th grade

Crystalaire Adventure
Ages 9-13

Camp Lookout
Ages 6-15

Nature Explorers Kids Camp
Ages 3-11

Traverse City/Grand Traverse County Summer Day Camp
Ages 7-12

Traverse Area Community Sailing
Ages 8-17

Trinity Lutheran School Summer Day Camp
Ages 3-15

Young People in STEM
High School ages

Simply Defense (hockey camp)
July 26-28

Made in MI Hockey School
June 17-19
Ages 14-18

Salvation Army Summer Day Camp
June 17-August 9

Grass River Natural Area Summer Camp
Ages 6-11
June 24-August 15

Dance Arts Academy
Ages 5-14
June 3-August 15

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U-Pick Farms

Help kids make the farm-to-table connection by visiting one of the many U-pick farms in Northwest Michigan to pick your own fruits and veggies!

We compiled a list of U-pick farms and, as we visit them, we’ll provide feedback on how the experience was from a kid’s and parent’s perspective. If you have an experience to share with us about one of these farms, let us know! Because fruits and veggies are so seasonal and the picking conditions vary day-to-day, check with the farm before you go to confirm the picking hours and crops.

  • Apples: August – October
  • Blueberries: July – August
  • Cherries: Mid June – July
  • Pears: August – October
  • Nectarines: July – August
  • Peaches: July –  August
  • Plums: July – September
  • Raspberries: July – September
  • Strawberries: June – July
  • Grapes: August – September

Antrim County

Cole Farm, 241 East Eddy School Road, Mancelona MI 49659

Phone: 231-584-2277

Crops: cucumbers, flowers, tomatoes

Coleman Farms, 13295 Coleman Road, Kewadin, MI 49648

Phone: 231-313-2930


Farmer White’s, 11373 US-31, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Phone: 231-632-1500 or 231-264-5313

Crops: sweet & tart cherries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, plums, apples, pumpkins, gourds

Friske Orchards, 10743 North US 31, Ellsworth, MI 49729

Crops: strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples


Good Nature Farms, 1246 US Hwy 31 S, Kewadin, MI 49648

Crops: tart and sweet cherries, apples, peaches, apricots

Phone: 231-264-5300 or 231-735-1191

Guntzvillers Berry Farm, 11122 US 31 South, Elk Rapids, MI 49629

Crops: blackberries, raspberries (red, yellow, black), strawberries

Phone: 231-264-9575 or 231-264-5109

Editors note: Up North Kids stopped by for the 2017 strawberry picking season. Berries were great, very kid-friendly and easy to get to. There was an outhouse (we didn’t need it – yay!) and a small veggie stand where you can purchase pre-picked berries and other seasonal fruits and veggies as well as jams and jellies. They only take cash or checks. 

Kalchik Farms, 8659 Bellaire Highway, Bellaire, MI 48615

Crops: strawberries

Phone: 231-590-7803

Kastanu Farm, 4781 Powell Road, Kewadin, MI 49648

Crops: chestnuts

Phone: 231-264-6055

King Orchards, 4620 North M-88, Central Lake, MI

Crops: sweet & tart cherries, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, apricots, nectarines, apples

Phone: 877-937-5464

Royal Farms, 10455 North US 31, Ellsworth/Atwood, MI 49729

Crops: apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, pumpkins

Phone: 231-599-3222

Traverse Bay Farms, 7053 M-88 South, Bellaire, MI 49615

Crops: raspberries (red, black)

Phone: 877-746-7477

Benzie County

Baatz Blueberry Farm, 3900 Blueberry Lane, Honor, MI 49640

Crops: blueberries

Phone: 231-325-3046

North Star Organics, 1139 Forrester Road, Frankfort, MI 49635

Crops: cherries

Phone: 231-352-4865

Putney’s You Pick Berry, 7603 Love Road, Benzonia, MI 49616

Crops: raspberries (red, black, yellow, purple), blackberries, Saskatoon berries, rhubarb, currants (red & black), gooseberries, vegetables (mixed)

Phone: 231-882-9853 or 231-882-5691

Eden Hill U-Pick, 1001 Eden Hill, Beulah, MI 49617

Crops: asparagus, blackberries, grapes, spices/herbs, raspberries (red, yellow, black), Saskatoon berries, vegetables (mixed)

Phone: 231-871-0920 or 231-633-9728


Grand Traverse County

Buchan’s Blueberry Hill, 1472 Nelson Road, Traverse City, MI 49686

Crops: apples, blueberries, peaches

Phone: 231-223-4846

Edmondson Orchards, 2514 Nelson Road, Traverse City, MI 49686

Crops: cherries (sweet & tart), peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, apples, pumpkins, vegetables (mixed)

Phone: 231-223-7130

Hoxsie’s Orchard Hill Farm Market, 6620 M-72 East, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: apples, pumpkins, squash

Phone: 231-267-9087

The Iris Farm, 5385 East Traverse Highway, Traverse City, MI 49684

Crops: irises

Phone: 231-947-9040

Jacob’s Corn Maze, 7100 East Traverse Highway, Traverse City, MI 49684

Crops: apples, pears, peaches, peppers, pumpkins, raspberries, saskatoon berries, winter squash, tomatoes

Phone: 231-632-6293

McManus Southview Orchards, 313 Garfield Road, Traverse City, MI 49684

Crops: cherries

Phone: 231-946-5867

Orchard Hill Farms, 6578 M-72 East, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: apples, pumpkins

Phone: 231-267-9087

Rennie Orchards, 11221 Munroe Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: apples, apricots, cherries, pumpkins

Phone: 231-264-8387

Santucci Farms, 11789 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686

Crops: cherries

Phone: 517-974-7233

The Saskatoon Berry Patch, 9520 Bates Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: Saskatoon berries

Phone: 231-938-1776 or 231-342-5311

Saskatoon, Michigan, 7924 Sayler Road, Williamsburg, MI 49690

Crops: Saskatoon berries

Phone: 231-360-0311

Shangri-la Too, 12602 Center Road, Traverse City, MI 49686

Crops: apples, cherries, raspberries

Phone: 231-499-0106

Wilson Orchards, 575 Wilson Orchards, Traverse City, MI

Crops: cherries

Phone: 231-946-3607


Kalkaska County

Brokedown Palace Farms, 3073 Kettle Lake Road, Kalkaska, MI 49646

Crops: organic apples, beans, carrots, sweet corn, cucumbers, flowers, melons, onions, berries, peppers, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, strawberries, tomatoes.

Phone: 231-384-1665


Leelanau County

Alpers Berry Farm, 1785 N Setterbo Rd Suttons Bay, MI 49682

Crops: raspberries

Phone: 231-271-6656

Cedar Sol Hydro Farm, 9452 South Cedar Road, Cedar, MI 49621

Crops: cucumbers, onions, peppers, summer squash, strawberries, tomatoes

Phone: 231-883-8080

Cross Farms Saskatoons, 11966 East Sugar Bush Road, Northport, MI 49670

Crops: Saskatoon berries

Phone: 231-386-5406 or 231-432-0083

Gallaghers Farm Market, 7237 East Traverse Highway, Traverse City, MI 49684

Crops: cherries, pumpkins, vegetables (mixed)

Phone: 231-947-1689

Good Neighbor Farms of Leelanau County, 9885 Engles Road, Northport, MI 49670

Crops: apples

Phone: 231-271-5679

Westover Market, 401 West Burdickville Road, Maple City, MI 49664

Crops: blueberries, raspberries (red, black), gooseberries, pumpkins

Phone: 231-228-5514

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Family Beaches in Leelanau County

Leelanau County

Empire Beach

Address: Take M-22 to Empire, then right on Niagara Street. Follow signs to the public beach.


Playground: yes

Lifeguard: no

Picnic area:


Fee: none

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Family Beaches in Grand Traverse County

Grand Traverse County: Traverse City, Acme, Williamsburg, Old Mission Peninsula, Long Lake, Silver Lake, Kingsley)

The greater Grand Traverse area is known for its beaches, but not all beaches are meant for kids. We’ve taken a look at all the beaches across the region and picked out the ones where we think your kids (and you) will have the most fun. We considered bathroom access, picnic tables, playgrounds and a few other important features when compiling our list.

Know of one we missed or have a great picture to share of your kids having fun at their favorite Northern MI beach? Let us know!

Bryant Park


Address: Garfield Avenue/Peninsula Drive

Bathrooms: yes

Playground: yes


Fee: none


Volleyball Beach


Address: Hall Street and Grandview Parkway

Bathrooms: no

Playground: no

Picnic Area: no


Fee: none

Notes: this beach is best for older kids who don’t need a playground or bathroom access at a moment’s notice. It’s close to downtown TC, across from a outdoor sports rental store and right in the heart of West Bay. Parking is very limited but this beach is on the TART trail.

Clinch Park & William G. Milliken Park Waterscape (Splash Pad)

ClinchPark-6-_62083bf8-f0ae-5102-097226ff1546d73f splash pad

Address: Cass Street and the Grandview Parkway

Bathrooms: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes

Hours: splash pad is open generally Memorial Day to Labor Day, weather permitting. 11am-6pm daily

Fee: none

Other: Splash Pad is adjacent to the beach, concessions, rentals (stand up paddle boards, beach chairs, etc.), lifeguard during daytime peak swim times. This beach is really close to downtown Traverse City, adjacent to the marina and on the east side of the Open Space.

East Bay Park Beach/Milliken Park


Address: corner of East Front Street and East Bay Boulevard

Bathrooms: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes


Fee: None


Traverse City State Park Beach

tc state park play tc state park

Address: 1132 US 31 N, Traverse City, MI 49686

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes


Fee: state park pass

Notes: This beach is very close to the parking area. A single bath house centrally located along the beach is accessible, but is a bit of a walk from the far end of the beach.

Brownson Park Splash Pad

Address: 205 S. Brownson Ave., Kingsley, MI 49649

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes


Fee: none

Greilickville Harbor Park

greilickville harbor park play greilickville harbor park

Address: 13132 S West Bay Shore Dr, Greilickville

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes

Lifeguard: no


Fee: none


Bayside Park-Acme Township

Address: US31 North, just south of the US31/M-72 intersection

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Picnic Area: yes (a few picnic tables)

Lifeguard: no


Fee: none

Notes: parking is limited. This park is undergoing renovations in 2017 to improve the playground and functional areas.

Haserot Beach Park    

Haserot Beach

Address: Old Mission Peninsula

Bathroom: yes

Playground: yes

Lifeguard: no

Picnic Area: yes


Fee: none

Notes: also offers boat launch, handicapped toilet, designated swimming area, on-site and close-by parking, basketball court.

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Rain, Rain Don’t Go Away!

Summer in Northern Michigan brings us such great opportunities to get to the beach and go fruit and veggie picking at our favorite farms. Gloomy, rainy days are going to come, though. Here are some fun ways to keep your kids busy if they’re stuck inside! Fair warning: a trip to your favorite “dollar store” may be in order before the rain arrives.

Crazy colander hats! Great for focus and toddler hand-eye coordination, the supplies for these crazy colander hats can be used over and over. My nearly-three-year-olds were super focused on getting the pipe cleaners through the holes. To my surprise, instead of making crazy hats they turned them into spiders! They were occupied for about ½ hour with this activity and then carried them around for another ½ hour. Probably best for toddlers & pre-schoolers.

Balloon ping pong! Super easy and the kids were actually excited to clean up all the toys on the floor before the fun could begin! Of course you’ll need to be cautious of the balloon residue as some of the balloons will pop – we even turned on the ceiling fan full blast to keep the balloon ping pong party lively! A larger space (i.e. the basement) is prudent for this activity since the kids are chasing balloons around without a care in the world, particularly oblivious to tables with corners. We played in a very small living room area without injury so use the space you have! Should be fun for all ages!

Blue Angel Flying School! Challenge your pre-teens to a Top Gun flying challenge. First they have to design and build a flight-worthy airplane and then they have to prove it’ll fly… straight. Keep track of the winners of each round on the target board and use it over and over again.

‘Laser field’ obstacle course! A roll of streamers (crepe paper) and a little masking tape and your older kids will be transformed into 007.

Giant tic-tac-toe! Some masking tape for the game board and paper plates for the game pieces and voila! A game perfect for a rainy day at home or if you’re stuck in a hotel room!

Dinosaur Egg Discovery! Who wouldn’t be curious to see what’s inside the mystery egg? This one takes some preparation before the rainy day – make a bunch and store them for future fun. It’s a basic salt dough recipe with a few additions you’re likely to have at home. Hide just about anything in the egg to keep them curious.

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