Visit the Flint Institute of Arts, tour Sloan Museum, explore Applewood Estate and other unique attractions on your weekend trip to Flint. In the evening, listen to a classical music performance by the Flint Symphony Orchestra or head to the Whiting. Families with kids can have fun with hands-on exhibits at Flint Children’s Museum and learn about astronomy at the Longway Planetarium. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Flint Institute of Arts
© Flint Institute of Arts
Established in 1925, the Flint Institute of Arts is one of the largest art museums in Michigan. Its world renowned collection of more than 8000 art objects spans 5000 years and all continents, and it features important and significant American and European art from the 15th century to today.
The museum also has a significant collection of decorative art. The museum offers life-long learning opportunities to diverse audience through various temporary exhibitions, guided tours, lectures, art classes, workshops, and outreach programs. The museum’s 330-seat theater frequently shows relevant videos and movies to students, adults, and senior citizens.
1120 East Kearsley Street, 810-234-1695
2.Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad
© Courtesy of Sinuswelle - Fotolia.com
Crossroads Village is a meticulously recreated historic Great Lakes town depicted as it was at the turn of the last century. One of the 21 Michigan's Genesee County Parks, it will bring you back to much simpler, more relaxed times. Crossroads Village contains more than 34 historic buildings and other structures.
You can take a 40-minute ride on the famous Huckleberry Railroad through meadows and woods along the shores of Mott Lake, visit the Colwell Opera House to catch a show, or check in with one of several craftspeople and maybe learn a bit of their trade. You can go 45 feet up with the Charles W. Parker Superior Wheel or ride hand-painted horses of the C.W. Parker’s fun 1912 carousel.
Watch people dressed in period costumes going about their daily chores or visit the hundred-year-old Atlas Mill. You can even hop aboard the Genesee Belle, a replica of the lovely paddlewheel boat, for a 45-minute trip across the Mott Lake.
6140 Bray Road, 800-648-PARK
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3.Whaley Historic House Museum
© Whaley Historic House Museum
Located on East Kearsley Street, the Whaley House is a historic house museum that dates from the Gilded Age. The museum conducts tours in which visitors learn about the history of the house as well as the history of Flint. Group tours are available and must be made by appointment. The museum welcomes school groups as well as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. The museum hosts several events such as its “History Happy Hour.”
This is a lecture series accompanied by adult beverages: there are many lecture topics like “The Celtic Origins of Halloween.” Other programs include the “Whaley Dinner Club” and the “Vintage Base Ball.”
624 East Kearsley Street, 810-471-4714
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4.Carriage Town Historic District
© Courtesy of Henryk Sadura - Fotolia.com
The Carriage Town Historic District is a historic area in downtown Flint. Native Americans camped in this area before European settlers began arriving. The first settler was Jacob Smith: he made his home in this area in 1819. The name comes from the fact that the Durant-Dort Carriage Company became the largest producer of horse drawn carriages in the world: in 1905 Flint was called the “Vehicle City.”
Many of the workers for this company lived in this neighborhood. In 1908, Durant went on to found the General Motors Corporation.
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© Buckham Gallery
Until the Buckham Fine Arts Project was established in 1983, there was no venue in Flint where contemporary artists could exhibit more ambitious works in various media. To fulfill that need, a group of local artists got together and established Buckham Gallery as a co-op with the goal of making the modern art of local artists accessible to the public.
Their strong belief was, and still is, that the gallery would enrich Flint’s cultural life and broaden the public’s horizons. The gallery presents art and concepts that are not available in any other venue in the town.
Since the gallery opening in 1984, it has hosted over two hundred visual art exhibitions and a number of events such as poetry readings, concerts, performance art presentations, and film showings.
134 1/2 West Second Street, 810-239-6233
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© Atwood Stadium
Atwood Stadium is a large stadium located on University Avenue in downtown Flint. The 11,000 seat stadium is owned by Kettering University. Opened in 1929, the stadium is named after former Flint Mayor Edwin W. Atwood who helped to fund the building of the stadium.
The stadium hosts sporting events such as baseball games, football games, and boxing matches, as well as music concerts and other non-sports events such as political speeches: both Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy spoke to audiences at the stadium.
The stadium has undergone several renovations over the years: in 1968 the grass field was replaced with artificial turf and there were further renovations in 1995 and 2015.
701 University Avenue, 810-762-9735
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© Sloan Museum
Sloan Museum is a museum of science and history. The museum’s permanent displays showcase the history of Michigan, Genesee County, and Flint during the 20th century through hundreds of artifacts, photographs, and documents. A number of rotating temporary exhibitions at the museum primarily focus on history, science, and technology.
One of the most important permanent exhibits is the Buick Automotive Gallery, which features more than 100 Flint-built automobiles and carriages. Longway Planetarium, the biggest in Michigan, is part of the Sloan Museum and is open to the public every day.
Every first Friday of the month there is a special event at the planetarium, and events range from lectures about space to movies and shows.
1221 E Kearsley St., 810-237-3450
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, From LA
© Courtesy of peych_p - Fotolia.com
The Whiting, or The James H. Whiting Auditorium as it was originally called when it opened its door in 1967, is Flint’s performance arts venue. It provides extensive facilities and services to national, international, and regional performing artists. The Whiting presents Broadway shows, comedy, music, dance, and theatre performances, and so much more every year during the season.
Some of the biggest names that have performed at the Whiting include Chris Isaak, Martin Short, Jeff Daniels, Mamma Mia, and Cirque Dreams Holidaze. The Whiting Theater, capable of accommodating 2,043 patrons, is home to the Annual Holiday Pops, Flint Symphony Orchestra, community recitals, graduations, and similar events.
1241 E. Kearsley St., 810-237-7337
9.Flint Children's Museum
© Flint Children's Museum
Located on University Avenue on the campus of Kettering University, Flint Children’s Museum offers many hands-on exhibits for children’s education and entertainment. Founded in 1980 at Flint’s Sloan Museum, the exhibits grew and the museum moved in 1986 to the NorthBank Center.
In 1993, Kettering University donated a facility to the museum and this is now its current home. Some of the educational hands-on exhibits include “Mr. Bones, ” an exhibit that shows how the skeleton works; “Recycled Rhythms,” a musical exhibit; and “Sproutside,” an outdoor education area. The museum also has temporary exhibits, welcomes school field trips, and hosts birthday parties.
1602 University Avenue, 810-767-5437
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10.Buick Automotive Gallery
© Buick Automotive Gallery
The Buick Automotive Gallery is an exhibit of classic automobiles located on Walnut Street. The gallery usually displays about 20 classic Buicks, Chevrolets, and other makes of cars that were built in Flint. Some of the cars on display can be quite old and historic, like the 1910 Buick Bug and the 1912 Little Motor Car.
The gallery also features military vehicles such as the Buick M-18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer. The Sloan Museum’s Perry Archives are also a part of the collection. Here visitors can see a large collection of artifacts, objects, and photographs all related to the history and people of Flint.
303 Walnut Street, 810-237-3440
© Courtesy of Martin Capek - Fotolia.com
Located on East Kearsley Street, the Longway Planetarium is a large and popular planetarium in Flint. Opened in 1958, it features a 60 foot dome and a seating capacity of 130 making it the largest planetarium in the state of Michigan. It is visited by many groups including families as well as students on school field trips who enjoy and learn from the astronomy demonstrations.
The planetarium also offers classes and camps for children. The Digital Full Dome Theater is used for digital art performances, music concerts, screenings of films, and lectures most of which focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
1310 East Kearsley Street, 810-237-3400
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12.University of Michigan-Flint
© University of Michigan-Flint
The University of Michigan-Flint is a public university located on East Kearsley Street. It is one of two University of Michigan satellite campuses. The main campus is located in Ann Arbor and the second one in Dearborn. The Flint campus began as the Flint College of the University of Michigan in 1956. In 1971, it was given its current name and several years later it moved to its current location.
Some of the notable buildings include the David M. French Hall, the William S. Murchie Science Building, and the Frances Wilson Thompson Library. The university offers weekday tours for guests and prospective students as well as organized group tours.
303 East Kearsley Street, 810-762-3300
13.Stepping Stone Falls
© Courtesy of geneseecountyparks.org
Located on Branch Road, Stepping Stone Falls and Picnic Area is a park in Flint. It is one of the Genesee County Parks, the largest county park system in Michigan with more than 11,000 acres of beaches, campgrounds, lakes, rivers, trails, and forests.
Stepping Stone Falls offers many outdoor activities such as bicycling, running, and walking. The Flint River Bike path begins at the corner of Carpenter Road and North Bray Road: this leads to a footbridge that leads visitors to Stepping Stone Falls. The park closes during the winter when snow and ice make the paths unsafe for visitors.
5161 Branch Road, 810-736-7100
14.Flint Farmers Market
© Flint Farmers Market
Flint Farmers Market is a place where you can easily spend the entire day and wonder how the time passed so quickly. During the summer out on the lawn, there is often live local music, storytellers, authors reading their works, or some other kind of major event.
On Saturdays, you can check out one of about 20 crafts people and pick up a special gift. From May to October, 25 flower and produce growers and vendors sell their wares in the pavilion. Load up on supplies for the coming week at the meat market or pick up some poultry, fresh breads and pastries, or local cheese and wine.
Visit the fine art gallery, take a break at the cafe, or pick up some special spices at the Mexican and Middle-Eastern groceries. When you get hungry, you can stop at the hot dog place, Charlie’s Barbecue, a sushi restaurant, a potato place, or the Mexican or Lebanese restaurant. Talk to one of the two chefs who are there to offer advice or check the market schedule for the next fun event.
300 East First St, 810-232-1399
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© Applewood Estate
Applewood Estate is a 34-acre property located on East Kearley Street that is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Built as a self-sustaining farm in 1916, it was the home of the Charles Stewart Mott family. The landscaped parts of the grounds include perennials and roses and an orchard with many varieties of heritage apples.
In addition to the main house with an attached greenhouse, there is a gatehouse and a barn. The estate is currently run by the Ruth Mott Foundation named after the wife of Charles Stewart Mott. In addition to tours, there are many events at the estate such as “Strolling Saturdays” and “Holiday Walk.”
1400 East Kearsley Street, 810-233-3835
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16.Flint Institute of Music
© Courtesy of Minerva Studio - Fotolia.com
Located in the Flint Cultural Center on East Kearsley Street in downtown Flint, the Flint Institute of Music is a music center that includes the Flint Symphony Orchestra, the Flint Youth Theatre, and the Flint School of Performing Arts.
The institute offers classes at its Drama School for children starting from age three. Established in 1971, the institute presents many performances each year including dance, music, and theater.
The Flint Symphony Orchestra plays a full season of concerts at the center as well as free summer “Music in the Park” concerts. For more than 30 years the institute has presented the Nutcracker ballet over the holidays.
1025 East Kearsley Street, 810-238-1350
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16 Best Things to Do in Flint, Michigan
- Flint Institute of Arts, Photo: Flint Institute of Arts
- Crossroads Village & Huckleberry Railroad , Photo: Courtesy of Sinuswelle - Fotolia.com
- Whaley Historic House Museum, Photo: Whaley Historic House Museum
- Carriage Town Historic District, Photo: Courtesy of Henryk Sadura - Fotolia.com
- Buckham Gallery , Photo: Buckham Gallery
- Atwood Stadium, Photo: Atwood Stadium
- Sloan Museum, Photo: Sloan Museum
- The Whiting, Photo: Courtesy of peych_p - Fotolia.com
- Flint Children's Museum, Photo: Flint Children's Museum
- Buick Automotive Gallery, Photo: Buick Automotive Gallery
- Longway Planetarium, Photo: Courtesy of Martin Capek - Fotolia.com
- University of Michigan-Flint, Photo: University of Michigan-Flint
- Stepping Stone Falls, Photo: Courtesy of geneseecountyparks.org
- Flint Farmers Market, Photo: Flint Farmers Market
- Applewood Estate, Photo: Applewood Estate
- Flint Institute of Music, Photo: Courtesy of Minerva Studio - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Flint Institute of Arts
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