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Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

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Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

We plan to arrive on Mackinac Wednesday afternoon and stay at the Pontiac lodge for the night. What should we do? A few restaurants we are consider for dinner Wednesday -- Yankee Rebel Tavern, Pink Pony, Mary’s Bistro or Village Inn. For Thursday we are open ... should we rent bikes (from where?), take a carriage ride?? Thinking of lunch at the Carriage house. This is our first time on the Island.


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1. Re: Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

All bikes rentals are mostly the same, there are 3 shops directly across the street for the Pontiac Lodge, and the Lake View rental is the least congested. I had lunch at the Carriage House last week and it came to $68.00, no drinks but dessert for 2 people, food was good. The next day we ate at Mary's Bistro next door to the Carriage House and spent $35.00 good food no dessert, same view.

Carriage ride is a must.

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

As far as restaurants - all you mention are good choices. Carriage House is the most expensive, but if it's a nice day and you sit outside, it has a great view. Alternately, Pink Pony and Mary's both offer outside seating and nice views as well.

The Mackinac Island Bike Rental stand is across the street from the Pontiac. All the bike rentals have about the same rate and they don't charge a deposit. They also give you a bottle of water with each bike.

As far as things for the kids, depending on age:

Butterfly House, Haunted Theatre, carriage ride, kite flying, horseback riding and hiking.

In the evening, the ghost tour or comedy show might be good choices. The Ghost Tour starts at the corner in front of the Pontiac, and the comedy show is at the Lilac Tree Hotel.

Once you arrive on the island, I'd suggest picking up a map at the Tourism Bureau kiosk downtown. The State Parks visitor center (across from Marquette Park) sells a great guide book for $1 and it includes hiking and biking route suggestions.

In my opinion, one of the best things to do is to get out of town and explore the island. Visit the East and West Bluffs for great views and beautiful homes and gardens. Visit Ft. Holmes (highest point on the island) and Sugar Loaf.

Most of all, however, is simply relax and have a good time. That's what Mackinac is all about. Have a great trip!

new jersey
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for Charlevoix, Michigan
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3. Re: Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

How old are your kids?

Here are some of my kids' favorite things to do:

1. Ride bikes around the island stopping at British Landing for a snack.

2. The Original Butterfly House (near St. Anne's church).

3. Carriage Ride

4. Visit to the fort during some of the re-enactments.

5. Mini-golf at Mission Pointe. Eat lunch at the restaurant adjacent. There is nothing better than watching the frieghters pass by while mini-golfing!

As for restaurants in town for dinner, my kids love the Pink Pony, Mary's and The Gate House (near the Grand Hotel).

Have a great time! My kids love the Island and I hope yours will too! Moms

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4. Re: Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

Thanks for the replies -- my girls are 4 and 6. Can't wait!

Bay City, Michigan
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5. Re: Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

There is always the playground at the school if they need to let off steam-it is a good playground, too. And there is the library if it should rain..there is a nice deck on back with a couple chairs-you could read them some stories from the library...and bike riding would be a highlight for them, as others mentioned, I would think. And let them play along the shoreline, throw rocks, wade, run, just sit back and let them go! And get them some fudge. :)

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6. Re: Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

My daughter was 3 the first time we took her. She loved the orginal butterfly house, otherwise she just had fun walking around & seeing all the sites. We did one of the "old time" photos and she really enjoyed that. We did the carriage ride but she feel asleep so she missed most of it. We are going again next weekend & she already mentioned she wanted to do that again. Also if your girls like to ride bikes I highly recommend going for a ride around the island or at least part of it.

7. Re: Short trip in Mackinac with 2 kids - what to do?

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