Your kids will certainly remember the cannon firing at Fort Mackinac.
The rich history of Mackinac, Michigan, and our country is presented throughout the historic sites and museums that make up Mackinac State Historic Parks. Kids will see what they learned in the classroom vividly brought to life, while the older members of your party will get a chance to feel like a kid again!
Experience the American Revolution from the British side. As you enter Colonial Michilimackinac, you’re stepping back in time to 1777, as the British prepared to end the American Revolution with a decisive blow. Across the park, move forward in time to 1910, as Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, was a shining beacon to ships on the Great Lakes. Learn how lighthouses work and find out how and why ships sank. In depth medical history is featured at the Dr. Beaumont Museum at Historic Downtown Mackinac, and explore the life of Agatha Biddle and the Anishnaabek people at the 1830s Biddle House on Market Street. Up at Fort Mackinac, the “Military Medicine” exhibit will show you why you should be happy to live in the era you do! Also, kids will be able to get up close with history at the Kids’ Quarters, an exhibit dedicated strictly to kids!
Feel the sawmill come to life as water is harnessed to cut timber into lumber at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park.
The sights and sounds of history fill up our sites, providing a lesson you do not even know you are having! At Fort Mackinac, get up-close and personal as the cannon is fired off over the harbor, then cover your ears on the Parade Ground as authentic 1880s rifles are fired. At the Biddle House chat with interpreters as they cook authentic 1830s recipes over a hearth fire. Hear the clang of the anvil fill up Market Street at the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop.
Over in Mackinaw City, step onto the shore of Lake Michigan at Colonial Michilimackinac and feel the tremble as the cannon or mortar are fired. Inside, learn how British soldiers fired their musket and watch the various civilians of the community – Native Americans, voyageurs, merchants, women, the working blacksmith – cook, do laundry, work with textiles, tend to the gardens, and more! At Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse the lighthouse keeper or keeper’s wife will take you up the tower on a guided tour, or show you how the Fog Signal Whistle worked. Experience the pit saw method of cutting lumber (and possibly be chosen to work!) then venture over to the water-powered sawmill at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park to feel the power of water harnessed to cut timber into lumber.
Our historic sites provide a fun, educational experience in a variety of ways for all of the members of your family. Fort Mackinac features the Kids’ Quarters, an interactive play space that allows you to see, hear and even smell history. Other fun exhibits can be found in the Post Hospital, Office, Guardhouse, North Blockhouse, and in the upstairs of the Soldier’s Barracks. Additionally, soldiers and Victorian Women are located throughout the fort.
Colonial Michilimackinac has the Kids’ Rendezvous on the grounds, allowing kids to retrace the footsteps of the fur trade on an outdoor play space. Inside the fort, exciting exhibits can be found in the Soldier’s Barracks, Commanding Office’s House, the Treasures from the Sand exhibit, the France at Mackinac exhibit, and in the Powder Magazine. Additionally, all members of your family will enjoy the walk around the palisade walls.
The groomed and guided trails at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park will exercise your bodies and mind while taking a leisurely trip through the forest. The Sounds of the Forest exhibit on the nature trail lets you hear nature in a new way, and the Forest Friends Play Area allow our smallest visitors a chance to experience nature in their own way.
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse has a new exhibit dedicated to the science and technology of lighthouses, where you can see and feel how light and sound work! You can also build your own lighthouse and see how a kid in 1910 lived!