Second Saturdays for Families

Location: First Floor Time Lab, Michigan History Museum, Lansing
Time: Drop-in, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Are you a nature buff? Have you ever wanted to build your own bug hotel? How about building a paper boat to race against friends? Now, it's your turn!

The Michigan History Museum presents these Second Saturdays for Families programs in celebration of our special exhibit, The River that Changed the World. Explore all aspects of river life, from knot tying to navigation to the natural flora and fauna found near our state's river systems.

Adults and kids will love these creative hands-on activities:

  • December 9: Glow Lanterns
    Every outdoors enthusiast knows that having the right equipment is important to having a good time. Don't get caught in the dark without a light! Join us to make your own glow lantern, perfect for lighting the way during any nighttime adventure in Michigan's great outdoors.
  • January 13, 2018: Experiment with Insect Sounds
    Visit Michigan's Au Sable River and you're likely to hear a symphony of insect, animal and water sounds. From mosquitoes to ducks to crickets, each critter makes its own unique sound. Join us to make noisemakers that will bring the symphony of the Au Sable River into your own home!
  • February 10: Pocket Constellations
    Some of the most beautiful views at the Au Sable River appear in the clear night sky. Find out which constellations are visible above the Au Sable River at this time of year and then create your own pocket constellation to take home.
  • March 10: I Spy
    There's much to see and hear in Michigan's great outdoors, and tools like binoculars can help us spot tiny details that we might otherwise miss. Today, put together and decorate a pair of binoculars before joining a game of "I Spy" in the museum exhibits.
  • April 14: Insect-Repellent Bracelets
    Do you enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors during the Spring and Summer? Then you know that insects that bite can get in the way of a good time! Get ready for them today by using simple knot-tying skills to create an insect-repellent bracelet from cord and essential oils.
  • May 12: Michigan Day
    Not a Second Saturdays activity, but a daylong, family-friendly annual event - more details coming soon.
  • June 9: Compasses and Sundials
    There are lots of fancy gadgets out there to help people find their way while exploring Michigan's outdoors - but did you know that you can make your own? Learn how to make a compass and a sundial out of common household materials and then give them a test run to see how they work.
  • July 14: Canoe Marathon
    The Au Sable River Canoe Marathon takes place every July, a 120-mile course from Grayling to Oscoda. Participants canoe many hours, even paddling through the night. In celebration of this exciting Michigan tradition, you can make a miniature boat and find out if it can stay afloat.
  • August 11: DIY Bug Hotel
    Ladybugs, spiders and bees help take care of the environment and are extremely important to ecosystems - even the one in your own backyard. Make a "bug hotel" for your porch, backyard or shed, so these helpful insects will have a place to live during the winter and be ready to pollinate plants and eat mosquitoes in the spring.

Each Second Saturdays for Families program is included with museum admission. You can save on admission and receive other great benefits when you become a Michigan History Center member.


The Michigan History Museum—flagship of the Michigan History Museum System—is located in the east wing of the Michigan Library and Historical Center. Sunday admission and weekend parking are free. Read more Michigan History Museum visitor information.

We invite you to explore our online calendar, where you'll find all Michigan History Center events throughout the state.

Updated 12/20/2017