Discover Battle Creek Michigan: 7 Top-Rated Things to Do, Eat and See for Families

Battle Creek Michigan | By Sherry Trautman |

Just wait until you discover Battle Creek Michigan's hidden gems! Fabulous gardens, restaurants, hiking trails, giraffes and so much more await you!  We've got your days packed full of fun and adventure while traveling Michigan!


Binder Park Zoo!


Seriously...I ADORE Binder Park Zoo. For starters, they have prairie dogs (squeal!), free roaming peacocks, a tram to Africa where you can feed the giraffes, tons of walking trails and lots of shade trees! Plus there's lots of yearly events for kids AND adults!


Clara's on the River, Battle Creek


Clara's on the River is so picturesque, it's my go-to restaurant while exploring downtown Battle Creek! Not only is this quaint restaurant located on the river but you can eat outside on their beautiful patio surrounded by flowers and a fountain!  



I enjoyed a salmon and zucchini dish that was prepared excellently and my friend really liked her tacos with avocado and black beans.  The menu is really extensive so there's something for everyone!


Leila Arboretum


Wow! What beauty and intrigue! Leila Arboretum is 85 acres of beautiful paved walkways, gardens and 2,500 marked trees and plants.  Lush rolling hills of flowering trees, blooming flowers and waving grasses beckons you to grab your water bottle and head out for a stroll. 



And the best part?  The enchanted Fantasy Forest! If you walk softly, you’ll encounter wise wizards, wonderous trees, whimsical characters and fire breathing dragons!  Oh, and you if you are lucky, you just might meet Groot!

Address: 928 W Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 49037

Hours: Daily from dawn to dusk

Admission: Free!

Accessibility: Wheelchair and stroller accessible outdoors as there are many paved walkways. Restrooms - portajohns


Kingman Museum


The beautiful Kingman Museum is a natural history museum and planetarium located on the grounds of Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek. So after you explore the gardens, take a walk through Michigan habitats, learn how the human body works, and see exotic animals and insects from around the world.

Check out dinosaurs, outer space, and planet Earth!  There are 20 planetarium shows and night sky talk under the stars, so don't miss out on the fun!

Address: 175 Limit St, Battle Creek, MI 49037

Hours: SAT & SUN 10 am-4 pm.

Admission: Kingman Museum is now free to the public on weekends


Lucky Rooster Kitchen and Cocktails


Known for it's locally sourced Italian meals with great drinks, my friend and I decided to give them a try.  She's a vegetarian with dietary restrictions and I lean toward farm-to-table healthy options so we were thrilled this restaurant checked all of our boxes! 

First, I wanted to say the hostess and our server were very very friendly, making our dining experience that much more pleasurable. To get things started, I ordered a fantastic dry Mendoza Malbec and Elizabeth ordered a California sweet Moscato. 

I then ordered a short rib flatbread and the absolutely best tomato bisque I have ever had. Let me just say, I am a tomato bisque aficionado and this was divine. My friend ordered a vegan burger that she devoured. We loved seeing the open kitchen and appreciated the freshly prepared meals. 

Address: 1299 E Columbia Ave, Battle Creek, MI


Ott Preserve

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*Hidden gem alert! I went to visit my friend Elizabeth in Battle Creek this past week and we went for a walk at this fantastic place! It's called Ott Preserve and it's absolutely gorgeous. She has lived in Battle Creek her whole life (I lived there 5 years) and we never knew about this place!! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We walked over several beautiful bridges like this one and passed a lake from a very high elevation which made us feel like we were in Virginia or the like! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #walkingtrails #battlecreek #battlecreekmi #battlecreekmichigan #nature #getoutside #livetoexplore #Michigan #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #puremittigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakesstateofmind #greatlakeslocals #getlost ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #midwestmoment #michiganders #onlyinmichigan#puremichiganders #naturalmichigan #mittenstatelove #photooftheday

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Ott Preserve is a wonderful place to walk your dog, trail walk or simply explore the great outdoors!  We were in absolute awe of the beauty of the marshes, lake overlook, wooded trails and well-kept boardwalks.  The preserve is free with ample parking and well marked trails. 


FireKeepers Casino


If you enjoy gaming, check out the FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek.  Several restaurants and tons of games will keep you entertained for hours on end. Smoking is allowed in the casino. 

Address: 11177 E Michigan Ave, Battle Creek, MI 


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I was just rambling on yesterday about our exciting find called Ott Preserve in Battle Creek. Here's another view of the absolutely stunning preserve. I have a serious love affair with wetlands/marshes and such. So I was happy as a clam when we passed over this marsh. Probably stems from living in Savannah, GA for a while for a job. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This place is so exquisite! Great preserve to go walking or biking with dirt trails winding over boardwalks, bridges, tons of shade trees and outstanding vistas. Yes, all of this is in Battle Creek! Whoot! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #walkingtrails #battlecreek #battlecreekmi #battlecreekmichigan #nature #getoutside #livetoexplore #Michigan #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #travelingmichigan #greatlakesstateofmind #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #puremittigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakesstateofmind #greatlakeslocals #getlost ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #midwestmoment #michiganders #onlyinmichigan#puremichiganders #naturalmichigan #mittenstatelove #photooftheday

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