Nature Notes – Affordable Fun in Michigan

Affordable Fun in Michigan

by Jill K. McDonald

Are you looking for some fun ideas to enjoy the summer? Perhaps you’d like to enjoy time with a friend, a solo afternoon excursion, or an outing with your kids. Are you getting the itch to explore somewhere new, but it needs to be budget-friendly? Well I have a great resource to share with you! Read on! 🙂

First of all, whichever city or town you live in, do you know that great place nearby that’s filled with resources and opportunities? It’s your local library! Libraries are filled with numerous and unique in-person and digital resources. Even if you don’t usually stop that way, open your mind for a moment.

Let me introduce you to a very exciting statewide collaborative program between Michigan public libraries and participating destinations. It’s called the Michigan Activity Pass (MAP).

Michigan Activity Pass Program

Celebrating its 15th birthday this year, the MAP program currently partners with over 450 destinations in Michigan! 

By using your local Michigan library card with this program, you can check out a pass for discounted and free partner destinations. These include museums, art and cultural centers, state parks, recreation areas, nature centers, and more.

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to
  • Then “Plan Your Next Activity”
    1. Enter zip code or city where your starting
    2. How far you want to travel
    3. Your home library
    4. Refine your search (choose all destinations, kid-friendly, ADA compliant, or activity areas of interest)
    5. Then Search (destination results will be in list format, as well as a map)

The Michigan Activity Pass website has a link for step-by-step guided instructions, as well as printable brochures listing the destinations.

Important things to know:

  • Patrons may check out 1 MAP pass per library card every 7 days
  • MAP passes are valid for 7 days from the date it was reserved
  • Before you plan a visit, call the destination or visit their website to verify hours or other pertinent information

If you do not have a current library card, contact your local library or hop on their website. You’ll be set with one in no time and can enjoy some fun adventures with MAP.

If you live out of state, contact your local library to learn about all the exciting resources they offer. You won’t know until you learn! 🙂

Michigan Activity Pass with QR

So whether you’re looking for a fun excursion nearby or across the great state of Michigan, there’s sure to be a destination of summer fun that awaits you at your local library with the Michigan Activity Pass!

Wishing you each a summer filled with wonderful adventures!

Jill K. McDonald is a freelance nature & travel educator, writer, photographer, and speaker. She can be reached by email at or connect with her on Facebook at:

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