EXCITING NEWS and generous opportunity from B2 Outlet Stores, just in time for back-to-school shopping!

B2 Outlet Stores donates 10% to Great Lakes Children's Museum GLCM
GLCM friends, please visit the very cool B2 Outlet Store in the Cherryland Center! When you checkout, use this coupon and you’ll receive 10% off your purchase AND 10% of the purchase will be donated to Great Lakes Children’s Museum!
This coupon is valid NOW through September 15th, 2023- the perfect time to get some GREAT DEALS for back-to-school!
There is no limit to the number of times that a customer can use this coupon, so please continue to stop in and shop throughout the time period!

Cherry Town Fun Night -GLCM STYLE- at the National Cherry Festival!

What is Cherry Town Fun Night- GLCM Style, you might ask? Well, it means our MOST popular activity for kids of all ages- STOMP ROCKETS!
Children will create their own rocket(s) and launch them from the Great Lakes Children’s Museum’s special rocket launchers! Change the trajectory of your rocket by experimenting with different angles, force and momentum, all while getting some exercise and having a GREAT time! Activities are free to all children!
The MET <Michigan Education Trust> will also be attending, sharing fun coloring activities and information about how you can save money while saving for your child’s education- a WIN-WIN!
Join us Wednesday, July 5th from 4pm – 7pm at F&M Park (at Railroad & Washington Streets)

Let’s Make GivingTuesday 2022 the Biggest Yet!

GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement to help people do more good!

How to Give:

There are many ways to be a part of GivingTuesday! You can volunteer your time, lend your voice to a cause, share needed supplies, or donate money. Simply find a worthy cause that’s important to you and connect with them!

For example, if you wanted to include the Great Lakes Children’s Museum in your giving efforts, here are some things we’re in need of (or we’d appreciate):


Social Media

Help us reach new followers with a like or share of our events or posts on FB, Instagram or Twitter


Who Participates?

GivingTuesday means different things to different people, but we all have something to offer. Nonprofits like the Great Lakes Children’s Museum rely on big-hearted benevolence to keep their organizations running smoothly. We appreciate YOU!

#give #collaborate #celebrate #generosity #equity #movement #buildtogether #dignity #commongood #greatlakeschildrenmuseum #glcm

Festival of Trains 2022 Art Contest

Calling all creatives 12 and under! It’s a Festival of Trains Art Contest where we need YOUR help designing a poster to be used throughout Michigan to advertise this year’s Festival! You can also WIN free family passes to the Festival of Trains this year, beginning December 17th!
Official rules:
Entries will be divided into three age groups: Under 5, 5 to 8, and 9 to 12. (13 is too old for this contest, thank you for understanding.)
Winners from each group will receive a Family Pass to the Festival of Trains! The Grand Prize winner will be selected from the top posters of each group. Once a grand prize winner is selected, the Museum will overlay the artwork to include festival details. All contestant artwork will be displayed in the facility throughout the Festival.
Poster size is 8.5” by 11” using any art medium. Posters must be received at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum, 13240 South West Bay Shore Drive, Traverse City, MI 49684 by 4:30 pm on October 28. Have fun using your imagination!
Artwork must include name, age, and either a contact number or email on the back of the poster. That information will be used to contact the winners. There are no entry fees to participate.
The Museum is open seven days per week. Sunday and Monday the Museum opens for noon and afternoon sessions. Tuesday through Thursday there are morning, noon and afternoon sessions. Morning sessions begin at 9:30 am and end at 11:30 am. Noon sessions begin at noon and end at 2:00 pm, and afternoon sessions begin at 2:30 pm and end at 4:30 pm.

2022 Annual Hands-On Learning Auction – February 19!

Please click this link for the A-Ha! Event Video!

Well, that’s a wrap! THANK YOU for another successful Annual Hands-On Learning Auction and “A-Ha!” Event!

Still want to DONATE? Please click here!

We would LOVE that- as a community nonprofit Museum, the fundraising never ends!

Thank you for your support!

2022 Annual Hands-On Learning Auction Sponsors:




Shop Your Museum Day November 13th for BIG Savings!

How can you get your little ones THIS excited when they open up brain-building, educational toys this year?

By selecting from the GLCM’s expertly curated games and toys for kiddos of all ages!

Listen, we know kids. We know what they like- and we know what they need- to grow and develop into their best selves.
Trust the Power of Play Museum Store team to help you find the best toys, games, books, puzzles and GIFT CERTIFICATES that will keep them entertained and engaged for hours!

Shop Your Museum Day Saturday, November 13th!

Support the Great Lakes Children’s Museum by shopping in the Power of Play store!

100% of profits support the Museum, a 501c3 nonprofit charity.

10% off everything in the store from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Members will receive their 10% off for a total of 20% off – WOW!

Last but not least, if we’re out of something you want, we will take special orders at an ADDITIONAL 10% off! Support your local Children’s Museum by shopping our selection of educational books, games, puzzles and toys!


Greet The Newest Team Members

Don’t be surprised if there are new faces at the Museum on your next visit.  In June, we made the decision to stay open seven days per week. About that time Miranda Harrison received once-in-a-lifetime news. Miranda was offered a job teaching students in South Korea and will be leaving mid-July.

Stepping in as our newest Guest Services Assistants are Kaela Bristol and Marissa Fender. Kaela comes from a retail and customer service background and has her Associates Degree from Northwest MI College with a Major in History and Minor in Art. Marissa also has a retail and customer service background. After completing TC Central High School she attended the MI Career & Technical Institute graduating from their Retail Marketing Program.

Kaela and Marissa will start their training next week. We look forward to watching them grow into their new positions. We also value the new energy they bring to the Museum family!

Facilitated Programs & Thursday Visits Coming Up

Beginning June 2 guests will be able to visit the Museum on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays in addition to our “new normal” schedule. As of June 16, the Museum will offer morning, noon and afternoon sessions Tuesday through Saturday, and noon and afternoon sessions on Sundays & Mondays. Morning sessions start at 9:30 am and end at 11:30 am. Noon sessions begin at 12:00 pm and end at 2:00 pm. Afternoon sessions begin at 2:30 pm and end at 4:30 pm. Capacity will be increased from 20 guests per session to 35 guests per session. Reservations are STRONGLY encouraged but walk-ins are welcome if there is space available.

As we move toward a newer sense of normal, we are also returning to facilitated programs. Thursdays will feature the Kids Craft Lab. Fridays will offer our new and improved Storytime Adventure series. Participation will be limited to a maximum of 8 children at a time and children will be able to choose between two groups per session. There will be a $1 charge to cover the cost of materials. As of Thursday, there will be two new entries in the reservation system to allow guests to choose either the Group A or Group B program during their admission session. Guests can also sign up to participate in either program Group during their visit if space is available. Kids Craft Lab materials will also be available in the Power of Play store for those who would rather take the experience home.

With the increase in Covid-19 vaccinations, people may  be wondering whether the Museum is requiring fully vaccinated people to wear masks or not during their Museum visit. It’s not a simple question. Given that half of our guest population cannot be vaccinated currently, and given that it’s still possible to transmit Covid-19 to unvaccinated people, we’re asking those who are vaccinated to wear masks inside the Museum.  We’re still following the social distancing guidelines, sanitizing all the little parts and pieces guests use to engage with the exhibits, and still requiring reservations. Most likely we will be continuing all of those things into 2022.

Under the Governor’s latest guidelines we are allowed to have as many as 140 guests inside the Museum at the same time. Again, approaching this from the conservative side and considering the vulnerability of our youngest guests, we will continue to limit capacity well below the allowed amount through into 2022.

Guests should expect the following during check-in

  1. When walking into the front door, there is a non-touch hand-sanitizer dispenser. Please use it!
  2. The staff will ask your last name. If you didn’t make a reservation, we’ll have you step to the side and get your name and a phone number for contact tracing and we’ll ask you to verify whether you’ve had Covid-19 symptoms in the last 72 hours and whether you’ve been required to quarantine or been around people who have in the last 14 days.  If you made a reservation, we’ll verify your phone number and ask you to verify that your Covid-19 and quarantine answers haven’t changed since you reserved.
  3. If you have coats or belongings you’d rather not carry with you in the Museum, we’ll point out the coat room and hand-washing station in the Great Lakes Room.
  4. We’ll explain social distancing in the Museum.
  5. We’ll point out the multiple hand-sanitizer stations in the Museum and encourage you to use them.
  6. We’ll tell you how to approach the learning experience in the Museum under Covid-19 and explain our check-in/out and sanitization system.
  7. We’ll show you where the bathrooms are and…
  8. We’ll encourage you to explore, have fun and make the Museum yours.


Cherry Ball Drop Contest for Charity!

The Great Lakes Children’s Museum is teaming up with the CherryT Ball Drop to create a ‘design your own New Year’s Cherry Ball’ contest. Money raised through contest voting will go to Goodwill Northern Michigan’s Food Rescue, helping families right here in Northwest Lower Michigan. Here’s how the contest works:

1. Participants pick up a countdown kit at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum by 5pm December 30th

2. Kids decorate their ball and snap a photo. They can decorate it however they want.

3. Starting January 1st, community members donate to vote for their favorite cherry ball!

The ball with the most money donated wins! The prize is $25 to spend in the Children’s Museum’s Power of Play Store. But since all the money raised goes to helping families in need, we all win!

Click to view the Cherry Ball Drop Website!

About Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan

Food Rescue rescues, harvests, repacks, and distributes nearly 2 million pounds of food into the emergency food system every year. That’s enough food to make 1.6 million meals, delivered to a five-county region twice the size of Rhode Island. We work with the 70 food pantries and community meal sites of the Northwest Food Coalition, and with over 150 grocery stores, bakeries, farms, food processors and restaurants who donate food, to do the logistics to put good food to good use in service of neighbors in need in Northern Michigan. Food Rescue is a program of Goodwill Northern Michigan. Find out more: https://mynorth.com/2020/12/goodwill-northern-michigan-feeds-neighbors-in-need/.

Click to view the Goodwill Food Rescue Webpage!

And…. we’re back to “normal”

Yesterday we told everyone our main phone was out and we posted an alternate number.

The GOOD news is everything seems to be straightened out and we’re back to our old number (231 932-4526).  For the time being if you call either the new number released yesterday or our normal main number, you’ll be able to connect.

Whew! Only in 2020!