GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)- During the summer, Ludington is a go-to spot for families, so as we explore this lakeshore community, we wanted to check out fun things to do with the kids. Heather Tykoski is the City of Ludington’s Community Development Director, and she sat down with us to help families make a fun plan for a day trip or extended visit to Ludington.

Sandcastles Children’s Museum is a great place to create, discover and explore for kids of all ages. Located in the heart of downtown Ludington, the museum is open seven days a week. They offer hands-on discovery while stimulating creativity, curiosity and the love of learning. 

Sandcastles Children’s Museum

129 East Ludington Avenue



Summer hours: Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sunday noon-4 p.m.

Admission: $9, children under one free

Families should also check out the Amber Elk Ranch, located southeast of Ludington. Amber Elk Ranch sits on 130 acres where families can get up close and personal with North America’s largest deer species. They run guided wagon tours that last about an hour, and the tours are weather permitting. Visitors will be able to see cows, calves and bulls depending on the season and which animals are feeling friendly on the day of your visit. 

Amber Elk Ranch

2688 W. Conrad Road



Summer hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.- 6p.m.

Head to the edge of Ludington to check out the Waterfront Park. It’s situated between two marinas with a great view of the carferry dock. There’s a great space for the kids to play. Enjoy a picnic and learn about Ludington history from their nine bronzed sculptures throughout the park.

There’s a great way to stay cool in Ludington at the Splash Pad located in Copeyon Park. It’s free and open to the public, open 8 a.m.- 10 p.m. daily.

There are two lighthouses to explore in Ludington. The North Breakwater Lighthouse is located just off of the downtown area. The lighthouse is open for tours and tower climbs. It’s a beautiful stroll down a half mile pier. It’s open until September 6 and is closed on Mondays.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse is located within Ludington State Park. The lighthouse stands at over 100 feet tall. Built in 1867, it is free of charge during its seven month season, May to October. Visitors can explore the grounds, tour the Keeper’s Quarters, and explore the dunes and the lighthouse tower.