Things to do in Downtown Alpena over the winter: Kids Edition!

After the last blog post, a few readers asked: What about kid-friendly things to do in Downtown Alpena over the winter months?

Here’s what I could find:

Young kids

1.Preschool Playdate at Alpena Public Library. Every other Tuesday, kids 3-5 years old are invited to a free play date of socializing, playing, and sharing. Parent or caregiver must be present. No registration required. Upcoming event is 1/23 from 10-11 am. No registration required.

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Photo by Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library.

2. Tinker Tuesday at Alpena Public Library. Drop-in for an afternoon of tinkering fun– and explore projects ranging from Makey Makey, Raspberry Pi, 3D Printing, Snap Circuits, sewing and more. Participants must be 5+ or older. Upcoming event is 1/23 from 3-5:30 pm. No registration required.

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3. Explore exhibits at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. Did you know that the Heritage Center is open year-round, and FREE admission? Take the whole family to explore exhibits, go down the dive tubes, and catch a movie in the theater. Winter hours 10 am- 5 pm on Monday- Saturday and Sunday 12-5 pm.

For a bit older, but still under 12

4. Saturday Morning Art at Art in the Loft. Get kids creative in the new year! Upcoming class is Saturday, 1/20 from 10-11:30 am, for ages 5-12. Stay tuned for upcoming kids events at the Loft, who hosts many opportunities during the year. Price for class is $18.

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Kids arts programming at the Loft. Photo by Art in the Loft.

5. Wacky Wednesday! at UCC Church. Every Wednesday from 4:30-5:30 pm, bring your elementary school student for an hour of singing, dancing, snacks and crafts. Hosted by First Congregational Church.  Free and open to the community. Middle and high school students invited to be helpers.

6. Family Yoga at Bella Rose Yoga Studio. Kids yoga is open for all skill levels and a perfect introduction to yoga, inlcuding how to cope with stress, anxiety, and tension.  For kids 12 and under. Upcoming class is 1/27 at 11:45 am. $10/person for drop in rate.

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Photos from a previous family yoga class. Photo by Bella rose Yoga Studio.

7. Student programming at Thunder Bay International Film Festival. On Saturday 1/27, the film festival will have a special kids’ session beginning at 10 am. In addition to kid-specific programming and screenings of student films, kids will be able to make a special reusable tote. For kids 6 and up. Tickets $6.

Older Kids/  Pre-teens/ Teens

8. Coffeehouse Friday’s at Thunder Bay Theatre. Have you heard about TBT’s newest program? Each Friday in February, the theater’s stage will host a local, acoustic musician. Oh, and there will be fresh-brewed coffee from around Michigan. Performances begin at 7 pm. Tickets $15. Coffee $2.

9. Or, explore our coffeehouses in Downtown. Cabin Creek Coffee, the newly remodeled Marketplace Coffee Shop, and As You Wish are all teen-friendly spaces to grab a cuppa, eat something sweet, study, or catch up with a friend.

10. Catch a movie at one of our downtown movie theaters. Downtown is home to two movie theaters that have a variety of screenings. Come on Tuesday’s and see a movie for only $5. Movies showing and schedule found here.

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Outside downtown

Outside of downtown, make sure to check out these other kid-friendly offerings:

Free open skate & glow skating at Northern Lights Arena: Every Friday, NLA offers FREE open skate from 7-8:20 pm. On Sunday’s, they are also hosting special Glow Skating from 2-4:45 pm ($5 admission). Or catch a AHS hockey game.

Visit the new planetarium at Besser Museum: Shows on the museum’s new digital dome sky theater run Wednesday- Sunday. A variety of shows that are targeted as young as age 3 to age 12 and up.

Story time at Turn the Page: The bookstore located next to Neiman’s frequently has story time for younger kids.

Explore trails and recreational areasTake the family for a hike, snowshoe, or ski.

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Pathways at Norway Ridge. Photo by Don La Barre.

What are your favorite kid-friendly activities in downtown? Comment below for what I may have missed!


Blog Downtown Alpena is written by Anne Gentry. Keep the questions coming and I’ll keep the blog posts coming. 

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