Back in September, Jamie and I planned a very impromptu camping trip with our boys over Labor Day weekend. In fact, we felt so inspired by our spontaneity (which is somewhat of a rarity around here), that our little extended weekend jaunt turned into a week-long camping adventure in northern Michigan. I’ll be sharing portions of our trip over the next month or so, along with some of our other trips this fall. But for now, I wanted to start with Colonial Michilimackinac!
It’s right along the water, so you get a great view of the Mackinac Bridge and the Straits of Mackinac. And it’s just a neat piece of Michigan history.
If you’ve never heard of this place before, Colonial Michilimackinac is a fort and fur trading post that was built by French troops back in the early 18th century. It later belonged to the British in the 1760s before Pontiac’s Rebellion. Eventually, Fort Michilimackinac was moved to Mackinac Island. What remained was burned to the ground.
I find this part to be particularly fascinating, because in 1959, they began to reconstruct the fort based on archaeological findings. In fact, you can actually see part of the excavated ruins up close in one exhibit. Excavation is still ongoing. They’ve only unearthed about 65% of the original fort so far. During the summer, you can actually watch archaeologists working on the excavation. So cool, right?
With Liam only being four, we weren’t sure how much he would enjoy. But this place is a really good mix of seeing and experiencing. A lot of the exhibits only held his attention for a brief moment before he was ready to move onto something else.
But he loved being able to talk and ask questions to several of the people in costume we met that day. He grilled one of the soldiers for quite a while about his clothes and the musket he carried.
Liam’s favorite parts were definitely the musket and artillery demonstrations. A close second was the Kids’ Rendezvous playground. We had actually packed our own lunch, so this was a great spot to feed Caleb, have lunch and let Liam run off some energy.
Just in case you hop over to Colonial Michilimackinac’s website, I do want to note that as of October 7th, it has closed for the season. Which is probably just fine, since I’ve heard it’s gotten pretty cold already up there. If you’re interested in visiting Michilimackinac on your next vacay, it will open up again May 2nd, 2018.
Prices are super reasonable – it’s $12 for adults and $7 for kids ages 5-12. You can also save a little bit by ordering your tickets ahead online. We didn’t do that since our trip was so last minute. But it was still worth the full ticket price.
Planning a trip to northern Michigan? Stay tuned, because I have some more posts about our trip coming up!