With a phone number like 1-800-FUN-TOWN, it’s no surprise that Frankenmuth is full of Franken-fun! Undoubtedly it’s why you’ll find visitors from all over the world visiting Michigan’s Little Bavaria any time during our four seasons of fun! Frankenmuth has so much to offer whether you choose to come for a daycation or vacation or if you’re a local looking for a staycation. So grab a notepad and jot down your favorites to fill the day! Here are some free or budget-friendly ways to enjoy Frankenmuth throughout the year!
Putt-Putt Golf at Jellystone Campground
(Cue Yogi Bear voice) “Hey Boo-Boo,” you have to be “smarter than the av-a-rage bear” when looking to have fun in Frankenmuth on a budget! That is why the 18-hole miniature golf course at Jellystone Park™ is right “on par” at only $5* per round! Open to the public – grab your friends and get ready to “putt-putt” some memories into your scrapbook! (Open April – October during office hours, weather permitting.)
Play or picnic in the Parks
What better way to make memories with your family, friends or loved ones on a budget than unplugging from the digital world to plug into nature and be present in the moment? To really live rather than spectate?! Frankenmuth has a number of beautiful parks that offer scenic opportunities to recharge while resting, playing, meditating and more! So pack up a picnic of sandwiches, fruit and juice boxes for your littles, a batch of these delicious blueberry scones and a thermos of your favorite tea to head out with your girlfriends, or a charcuterie board paired with your favorite sparkling grape juice for a romantic afternoon and check out some of these free Frankenmuth attractions:
Cross Park greets visitors at the southern city limit near the Palmer Frankenmuth Gateway Arch. In particular, this 4-acre, mostly wooded landscape offers visitors nature trails, lush green lawn and beautiful views of the Wolkensdorfer Log House, one of Frankenmuth’s historic log cabins operated by the Frankenmuth Historical Association for history education. Additionally, a giant, 50-ft. white cross in tribute to the historic tradition of the Frankenmuth community overlooks BRONNER’S CHRISTmas WONDERLAND and the Silent Night Chapel.
HERITAGE PARKWithout a doubt the most well-known of Frankenmuth’s parks, Heritage Park is host to a whole slew of community events, festivals and activities that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout the year! But even when a special event or celebration is not occurring, Heritage Park offers a wide array of activities:
-Riverwalk Heritage Park is encircled by a scenic, 0.9 mile paved loop that takes you along the Cass River with benches along the way. Tucked in the east corner near shaded playgrounds and pavilions, you’ll find the Eagle’s Nest, home to the Frankenmuth Woodcarvers Guild, which still meets regularly.
-Playtime Heritage Park offers two playgrounds for children to swing, slide and climb; a basketball court; and sand volleyball court. Heritage Park also offers 3 different ball diamonds (available through scheduled use only).
-Kayaking Heritage Park features a (handicap-accessible) canoe/kayak launch into the Cass River to offer unique and extraordinary views of many Frankenmuth landmarks including the Holz-Brücke (wooden covered bridge).
-Picnic Time Choose to sit in one of four picnic pavillions or lay a blanket down by the river’s edge.
At first glance you might miss this oddly shaped, 2-acre park connected to Main Street, but Zehnder Park is definitely a must see! It is there you’ll find one of Frankenmuth’s hidden gems, the Woodcarver’s Pavilion, nestled next to the Frankenmuth Clock Company. The pavilion is home to 27 intricately handcrafted wood carvings by members of the Frankenmuth Woodcarvers Guild that beautifully illustrate some of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Why not grab one of your favorite novels, some of your children’s books, or enjoy these stories and coloring pages from the City of Frankenmuth and find story-time inspiration inside the triangular-shaped landmark?! Tucked a little further back in Zehnder Park is the site of the Frankenmuth Scout Building where children will find a playground and basketball hoops.
GUNZENHAUSEN ST. WALKWAY & CASS RIVER DAM
The Walkway is a short path that runs between Gunzenhausen Street and the Cass River along the flood levee. An overlook platform and benches invite guests to enjoy a view of the Cass River Dam. Or pop on down to the rock ramp and enjoy the river close up. The Cass River Dam is part of Frankenmuth’s Fish Passage project that reconnects fish of the Saginaw Bay to more than 73 miles of historically significant spawning areas.
If nature is “not your thing,” you can still enjoy some of Frankenmuth’s parks! Willkommen Park is an urban plaza on top of the hill on the southwest corner of Main and Tuscola Streets and home to a memorial wall and fountain in honor of the community’s war veterans. Street-side benches provide a perfect resting spot among Frankenmuth’s idyllic streetscape, including a view to three of Bronner’s original storefronts!
One of Frankenmuth’s largest parks at 40 acres, Memorial Park is another local favorite with year-round draws.
-The Palmer Schau Platz (band shell) is home to the Frankenmuth Women’s Club’s free Concert in the Park series during summer; just bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on and enjoy!
–Hund Platz, the ½-acre fenced-in dog park, is the perfect place for your favorite fur-baby to run off-leash and get out all their energy on the dog agility equipment!
-Open to the public and free for use, the disc golf course, spanning almost 6,000 feet through grassy areas and rolling hills, is the perfect way to enjoy the scope of Memorial Park’s layout. (See the 18-obstacle, disc golf course layout.)
-Memorial Park’s tennis courts are the perfect game – set – match for those looking to get active! With eight courts available and open daily until 11 p.m. (when not in use by the school), don’t forget to pack up your racket and tennis balls on your next trip to ‘Muth!
-Memorial Park is also host to the Cass River boat launch and Rose Garden pergola, a popular draw for wedding ceremonies.
Biking, Walking or Running
Whether wandering the winding sidewalks through our quaint community or passing by through the on-road bike lanes, be sure to browse through Frankenmuth’s Biking/Walking resources to plan your route!
“Tourist for a Day” Photography Challenge
Looking for a creative outlet? Whether you’re a seasoned pro or capturing memories on your phone, Frankenmuth’s picturesque charm is perfect for taking on a photo challenge! Print a copy of our “Tourist for a Day” photo list. Don’t forget to share your photos by tagging @BronnersChristmas and using the #SeeFrankenmuth hashtag!
Friday Fun Nights
Frankenmuth’s Friday Fun Nights draws entertainers from all over our great state to fill the town with free, big-city fun! Every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day, catch a number of different live musicians and street performers. Face painting, balloon twisting, magicians and more – oh MI! (Tips encouraged.) Check out the Friday Fun Nights Lineup at Frankenmuth.org.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin Glockenspiel Show
Don’t worry, you won’t have to “pay the piper” to catch this outdoor show – it’s free! Performances are every day at noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The illuminated clock tower at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant plays a selection of songs on the 35-bell carillon. Following is a delightful display of Black Forest wooden figures portraying the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Finely crafted in and imported from Germany, you may enjoy learning more about Frankenmuth’s authentic Glockenspiel (clocktower)
Weiss Centennial Farm Corn Maze
A maize maze to amaze! Open during the fall, Weiss Centennial Farm offers family fun that is sure to delight!
A perfect way to make memories while building navigation skills. Their gigantic 5-acre corn field features more than 2 1/2 miles of paths which create three mazes in one. Looking to increase the challenge? Choose to tour the twisted trails in the evening during the Flashlight Maze!
Other features include:
- two different maze-games
- courtyard games
- farm tour
- farm animals petting zoo
- barrel train ride
All-Inclusive Weiss Centennial Farm Admission Pricing*:
- Adults 16+ (noon-6 p.m.) $10
- Youth ages 3 -15 $8
- Children 2 & under Free
Youth and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Mirror Maze/ Laser Vault
Looking to get lost and “find yourself”? The Ultimate Mirror Maze is sure to deliver. The maze features over 2000 square feet of thousands of mirrors, reflecting endless hallways that are in reality dead ends! Whether you’re wandering backward or forward, you may never know! The Mirror Maze is sure to enchant you with a unique experience every time!
Feeling like a super stealthy spy? Test your skills in The Vault laser beam-challenge. Can you navigate your way through their state-of-the-art laser-alarm system while the clock ticks?!
Enjoy an all-day pass to both attractions for just $10*!
Willy’s Mini Golf
(In the Bavarian Inn Lodge Family Fun Center) Indoor Bavarian-themed golf? Yup, you are in Frankenmuth, after all! The Bavarian Inn Lodge Family Fun Center’s 18-hole miniature golf course is “on par” for frugal fun with an all-day adult’s pass for just $7.50*. Check out pricing for additional ages and options at BavarianInn.com.
Take gaming to a seriously new level with three different arcade options in Frankenmuth! Bring your piggy bank and try your hand at some of the latest games or your favorite classics!
- Bavarian Inn Lodge Gaming Center – The Bavarian Inn Lodge Family Fun Center is an Official Video Game Test Center. It is also among the largest hotel arcades in all of the Midwest, with more than 160 game options!
- Cass River Game Room (in River Place Shops) – Located just off the River Place courtyard, the Cass River Game Room offers over 40 great arcade games with a large redemption prize center to redeem your earned tickets.
- Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark Arcade – If the flashing lights and stimulating music are calling your name, you’ll want to be sure to include Zehnder’s Splash Village Waterpark Arcade in your day. Over 40 games filling the 2,000-square-foot arcade!
Roll Your Own Pretzel
(In Bavarian Inn Restaurant’s Castle Shops) If you’re light on “dough” and in a “twist” over what to do, Bavarian Inn Restaurant has just the thing! Perfect for families, a girls weekend out or a romantic getaway. Make memories while learning how to roll your very own pretzel. Enjoy the
fruits treats of your labor once they have been baked by diving in to your fresh, piping-hot pretzel!
At only $6.49*, sessions occur daily at 2:30 p.m., holidays excluded. Two-hour advance notice and pre-payment required.
Bronner’s Scavenger Hunt or Family & Friends Ornament Challenge
Looking for an experience that will leave you feeling merry and bright? Why not enjoy a scavenger hunt through the World’s Largest Christmas Store. Grab a copy of Bronner’s Scavenger Hunt or create your own ornament challenge by asking friends and family for ideas and see what you can find!
(Bronner’s Bucket List is another fun way to pass the time!)
MUSEUMS, MEMORIALS and TOURS
Silent Night Memorial Chapel
Bronner’s originator Wally Bronner was deeply moved when he first discovered the peaceful chapel in Oberndorf, Austria, in 1976 on one of his European buying trips. He set out on a journey to to replicate that chapel (with permission from the Austrian government) in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Enjoy the the serenity of “Silent Night”resounding through the grounds as you walk up sidewalks lined with over 300 translations of the beloved Christmas carol. Bronner’s Silent Night Memorial Chapel is free to visit and open daily for visitation and meditation.
The Frankenmuth St. Lorenz Lutheran Church was established in 1845 by the first German settlers to the area. The current (third) structure where St. Lorenz resides was dedicated in 1880 and is the tallest building in Frankenmuth. Features include some of the most ornate stained-glass windows (many original from 1880) and a magnificent 2,803 pipe organ. An illuminated Holy Spirit dome painted in the Fresco style found in many European churches is also a highlight! Not to be missed, is the pulpit dating back to 1864 and the ornate alter dating back to 1895. St. Lorenz is an architectural wonder and definitely a Franken-must-see! Take a self-guided tour of the sanctuary from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Or call ahead for a guided tour: (989) 652-6141.
Michigan’s Own Military And Space Museum
Michigan’s Own Military & Space Heroes Museum features an expansive exhibition honoring our state’s military men and women. With 140 displays and a collection of over 700 exhibits spanning America’s seven foreign wars, space program and more, you’ll hardly believe this hidden gem is budget-friendly at only $7* general admission. (See site for additional pricing and discounts.) Pay tribute to Michigan’s heroes, many of whom are gone but never forgotten thanks to the Michigan Heroes Museum.
Frankenmuth Historical Museum
Nestled right in the heart of downtown is the Frankenmuth Historical Museum. Here, for just $2* or a $5* family pass, you can step back in time! Take a tour through an interactive journey of Frankenmuth’s origins! This historic building features an array of beautiful exhibits and a unique gift shop offering locally crafted and European goods.
Grandpa Tiny’s Farm
A community with a heritage largely built on agriculture, Grandpa Tiny’s is a working, historical farm. Proudly carrying and building upon the wholesome tradition, Grandpa Tiny’s makes for an enriching experience the whole family can enjoy! (Open seasonally.)
Grandpa Tiny’s Farm includes many hands-on exhibits, learning experiences, farm animals to pet and even a narrated wagon ride over the “Dollar Bridge” (as available). It’s a wonderful place to plant memories that will last a lifetime for just $5* per person (2 and under free.)
Be sure to check their site for special events like a wide range of “U-Picks” (lavender, pumpkins, sunflowers and more). Additionally, their “Amazing Maize” corn maze in the fall! Special event rates may apply. (Check out our post on Michigan’s Festival Fun | Spring & Summer for details on the Frankenmuth Flower Fest that includes many exciting events and opportunities, both in town and, on this historical farm!)
Come get a taste of Frankenmuth … or simply enjoy the eye-candy by watching some of our most delicious treats being created right in front of you!
Frankenmuth Fudge Kitchen & Zac & Mac’s Chocolate Haus
Everything is better with chocolate! Lookinf dor ways to sweeten up your trip to Frankenmuth? Watch chocolatiers create their amazing original recipes in copper kettles then hand paddled on thick marble slabs. Often you may even find a free sample to try! Or stop inside Zac & Mac’s Chocolate Haus to catch chocolate covered confections being made in their kitchen daily!
For more info:
Frankenmuth Taffy Kitchen
Come see the 37 year tradition of fresh water taffy at the Frankenmuth Taffy Kitchen! Cooked, pulled and kissed right in front of your very eyes! Choose from over 23 flavors and take home a small box of the tasty treats for just $6*!
Great Lakes Olive Oil Company
If sweet is not your thing, choose to stop by the tasting room of the Great Lakes Olive Oil Company for a unique experience! Sample a selection of gourmet, imported olive oil and balsamic vinegar from their first class tasting bar.
Wine & Chocolate tasting at Frankenmuth FunShips
From a wide selection of Michigan wines to delicious, hand-made chocolates, the Frankenmuth FunShips Tasting & Tours company offers an in-store, edible experience to delight that won’t depress your wallet! Enjoy a selection of 6 wines paired with 5 handmade chocolates, or omit the chocolates and opt for a souvenir glass instead for just $5* (sparkling juice can be substituted.) Or choose to enjoy their chocolate tasting for only $3*!
Wine Tasting at St. Julian Winery
Michigan grown – Michigan made! St. Julian’s winery is the oldest and largest in the state, having been operated by the same family since 1921. Their Frankenmuth location offers over 60 products to choose from (choose 6) in a “Standard Tasting” package for just $7* and keep the complimentary logo glass to take home!
WILLKOMMEN TO FRANKENMUTH
This is just a sampling of the many things Frankenmuth has to offer! Be sure to stop by the Frankenmuth Visitor Center to pick up your savings book with over 75 coupons for local businesses! Or check out Frankenmuth’s site for special deals!
We hope you’ll enjoy some of these budget friendly ways to come and #SeeFrankenmuth!
*Prices reflected in this post are subject to change.