10 Things That Make You Feel Like A Kid Again In Greater Kalamazoo, Battle Creek
Everyone should let their inner child out every now and then!
That's why we put together this list of 10 places in greater Kalamazoo where you can feel like a kid again.
And if you're just looking to entertain your kids, well, these places are perfect for that too!
• ABOUT: Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary is a reptile rescue facility that is open to the public and home to hundreds of reptiles who have come to the sanctuary through adoption, donation, rescue, or from other institutions. It even has a "ZOOKEEPER" program that's designed for any age person to learn at their own pace and become an expert on as many topics as they wish regarding the animals and plants at the sanctuary.
• WHERE: 1698 M 66, Athens, MI
• HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
- Regular admission: $6.95
- Senior (55+): $5.95
- 2 & younger: Free
- Military active duty: Free
- Military dependent with ID: $1
- Regular Admission includes access to all animal exhibits, picnic areas, gift shop, amphitheater, sandbox, gazebo, and greenhouse.
- Add a VIP PASS for $3 extra to any ticket. Includes a personalized tour, up-close encounters with special animals, preferred seating at the gator college amphitheater, and a special Q&A session with staff.
• CONTACT: (269) 729-4802
Like the black rhino and blue rhino, drive-in movie theaters are hard to find these days. Lucky for us, there are a couple of drive-in move theaters in the greater Kalamazoo area that will take you back to yesteryear! Just drive your car in, tune your radio to the movie's station, and enjoy the show!
• CAPRI DRIVE-IN THEATER
ABOUT: Capri Drive-In opened on June 6, 1933, and has been a summer staple in Coldwater ever since. Offering two screens that each show two movies back-to-back, you can snuggle in your blankets and watch your car or lawn chair. The theater offers concessions and events, such special screening nights, an anniversary celebration with cake and a Halloween costume contest night.
WHERE: 119 W. Chicago Road, Coldwater, MI
HOURS: The box office opens at 8 p.m.; movies start at sundown. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from late March through fall.
COST: The theatre only takes cash. Admission is $8 for adults; age 5 thru 11 is $5; and kids younger than 5 are free.
CONTACT: (517) 278-5628
• SUNSET DRIVE-IN THEATRE
ABOUT: Sunset Drive-In Theatre opened in 1948 and offers movies on the big screen that you watch from your car or lawn chair! For your ticket, you get two movies in a row. The grounds has a playground to entertain the kids before the movie starts and a concession stand. To hear each weekend's movies, call the theater.
WHERE: 69017 Red Arrow Hwy, Hartford, MI
HOURS: Gates 7 p.m.; movies start at dusk. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the warm months.
COST: $15 per car
CONTACT: (269) 621-4194
ABOUT: The Air Zoo is home to the world's first aviation-themed attraction of its kind. It features more than 50 rare and historic aircraft, including everything from WWII planes to the world's fastest air-breathing aircraft, the SR-71B Blackbird. The Air Zoo isn't just a museum — it also has an indoor amusement park featuring a hot air balloon air ride, a paratrooper drop ride, flight simulator where you get to fly a flighter jet, 4-D movie theater and more. Step into the space section, and you'll see several space artifacts from the defunct Jackson Space Center. And you won't miss the incredible hand-painted mural on the walls — it's one of the largest in the world!
WHERE: 6151 Portage Road, Portage, MI
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
COST: Depending on you admission package:
- Adults: $13.50-$18.50
- Seniors (60+ years old): $10.50-$14.50
- Children (5-8 years old): $12.50-$16.50
- Children (0-4 years old): Free
- Adult Military/Veteran: $5.87-$11.75
-Senior Military/Veteran: $7.40-$9.25
CONTACT: (269) 382-6555
ABOUT: In the heart of downtown Kalamazoo sits this awesome indoor climbing park! Get your Spiderman training in on 10,500 square feet of climbing surface with walls up to 30 feet tall! Whether you're an experienced climber or a newbie, 3 or 80 years old, Climb Kalamazoo has a variety of fun beginner routes as well as extremely difficult advanced routes, so there is always something to play on!
WHERE: 136 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI
- Summer hours (after Memorial Day): noon to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays.
- Regular hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; noon to 10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.
COST: The first visit for an adult (14 years and older) is $30, which includes an adult day pass, equipment rental package, and safety lesson. The cost for youth, 13 and younger, is $15. Prices may vary depending on your personal equipment and experience. Click to see all pricing options.
CONTACT: (269) 385-9891
ABOUT: Possibly the coolest part of visiting Binder Park Zoo is getting nose-to-nose with and hand-feeding one of the largest giraffe herds in the country! The giraffes are part of the Wild Africa section of the zoo, which is a a 50-acre replica of an African national park with cheetahs, ostriches, monkeys and more, an authentic African village, a ranger station, research camp, gold mine and forest farm. If that’s not cool enough, try being a zookeeper for a day or spending the night at the zoo with your family!
WHERE: 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, MI
HOURS: Open daily from mid-April to early-October: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays; open until 6 p.m. on holidays.
- Adults: $13.50
- Seniors: $12.50
Children (2 to 10 years old): $11.50
Children (younger than 2): Free
CONTACT: (269) 979-1351
ABOUT: The Kalamazoo Valley Museum was voted the top small museum in Michigan by readers of Michigan Living Magazine. You can see a 2,300-year-old mummy, take a mission to space, see a movie at the Planetarium, check out made-in-Kalamazoo items, including Gibson guitars, corsets, Stryker and Upjohn medical supplies, a checker cab and more! People of all ages will love the "Science in Motion" hands-on gallery, and there's always something new with its traveling exhibits! For adults, the museum also offers Sunday Series lectures, Friday Night Highlights series, and other discussions and lecture programs.
WHERE: 230 N. Rose St., Kalamazoo
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.
COST: Free admission; Planetarium movie tickets $3.
CONTACT: (269) 373-7990
ABOUT: The West Michigan Glass Arts Center is truly a gem that's tucked into the Park Trade Center in downtown Kalamazoo. Here you can learn everything from blowing glass and bead making to stained glass and fusing glass. Want to simply observe? Stop by between 5 to 8 p.m. during Art Hop on the first Friday of each month to watch free glass blowing demonstrations! West Michigan Glass Arts Center offers classes for all levels of glass workers.
WHERE: 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Ste. 100, Kalamazoo, MI
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday; closed Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
COST: Prices vary depending on class. Click to see classes and prices.
CONTACT: (269) 552-9802
ABOUT: During the winter, Echo Valley offers everything from tobogganing and tubing to ice skating!
WHERE: 8495 East H Ave., Kalamazoo, MI
HOURS: During the winter, the regular hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. (During the holiday season, Echo Valley is also open every weekday.)
COST: Pay for the attractions you select and get unlimited use during the entire day. Fees are the same for adults and children. Echo Valley accepts cash or personal checks with ID (no credit cards).
- Tobogganing: $18
- Tubing: $18
- Tobagganing/Tubing: $18
- Ice Skating (skates available for no additional charge): $7
- Individual season pass (unlimited tobogganing/tubing): $50
- Unlimited ice skating: $25
CONTACT: (269) 349-3017 during the season.
ABOUT: The Gilmore Car Museum was named one of the top car museums in the nation by Antique Automobile Magazine. Step onto the museum grounds, and you'll experience more than 300 vehicles that span more than 100 years of automotive heritage. Make sure you stop by the old-fashioned Shell station, the vintage Disney movie set, the working 1940s diner (where you definitely need to try the frozen custard), and the famous Checker Cabs, which were made in Kalamazoo! One of the coolest and most unique things you can do is learn to drive a Model T at the Gilmore Car Museum!
WHERE: 6865 W Hickory Rd. Hickory Corners, MI
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
COST: Summer (April 1 through Nov. 30):
- Adults (18+ years old): $14
- Students (7-17): $10
- Children (6 and younger): free
- Active Military with ID: Free
Winter (Dec. 1 through March 31): $1 off above prices.
CONTACT: (269) 671-5089
ABOUT: Get your workout in while having fun at the world’s first indoor trampoline park. Experience the weightlessness of bouncing, flipping and landing in a pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes. Come jump around, play ultimate dodgeball, dunk like a basketball pro, or host your birthday party!
WHERE: 5103 Portage Road, Kalamazoo, MI
Summer hours (early June through early September):
- Monday: Open Jump for all ages noon to 8 p.m.
- Tuesday: Toddler Time 10 a.m. to noon (ages 1-5 only), Open Jump for all ages noon to 8 p.m.
- Wednesday: Open jump for all ages noon to 8 p.m.
- Thursday: Open jump for all ages noon to 8 p.m.
- Friday: Toddler Time 10 a.m. to noon (ages 1-5 only); open jump for all ages noon to 9 p.m.; Jumpapalooza 7 to 9 p.m. (all ages)
- Saturday: Open jump for all ages 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sky Jam 7:30 to 9 p.m. (ages 14+)
- Sunday: Open Jump for all ages noon to 5 p.m.
Click to see all hours.
- 30 minutes: $10
- 60 minutes: $14
- 90 minutes: $18
- 120 minutes: $21
- Jumpapalooza: $15
- Sky Jam - $18
- All Jumpers at Sky Zone must wear Sky Socks which cost $1 per pair.
CONTACT: (269) 459-9243