Some of the best ways to have fun are free and affordable; for Isabella County community members and visitors, the area’s options are endless! Check our our list of free and frugal fun in Isabella County:

FREE 

Outdoors

Once you are done traveling, it’s important to stretch the legs and get the blood flowing. Stroll through five city parks with the guidance of the GKB Riverwalk Trail/Access Adventure Trail. The trail is a little under two miles long and runs from Chipp-A-Waters Park (south of High Street) to Pickens Field (north of Island Park in Downtown Mt. Pleasant). Island Park features a Splash Park, Skate Park and Timber Town playscape! 

For outdoor enthusiasts looking for a challenge or to embrace the tranquility of nature, explore 18 Isabella County Chippewa Watershed Conservancy preserves at no cost. Hike to the tallest point in Isabella County at Bundy Hill Preserve or bird-watch at Audubon Woods Preserve.

In the winter, head to Mission Creek Woodland Park for a day of sledding! 

Indoors

What’s more relaxing than walking through galleries and exhibitions? CMU’s Museum of Cultural and Natural History and Art Reach of Mid-Michigan’s Morey Family Gallery host exhibitions, year-round, for community members and visitors to enjoy.

Events

Summertime in Mt. Pleasant is truly meant for free family fun. Top summer events include; Art Walk Central (Mt. Pleasant’s version of “Art Prize”), Movies by Moonlight (outdoor movies, every Saturday in August at City Hall), Thrilling Thursdays (activities at Town Center every Thursday) and Max & Emily’s Summer Concert Series (live music every week in August).

When fall arrives, get ready for cider and donuts during Zonta’s Applefest at Papa’s Pumpkin Patch and the Village of Shepherd’s display of 1,500+ carved and lit jack-o-lanterns. In December, celebrate Christmas at the two-day, holiday-themed event the Mt. Pleasant Christmas Celebration

If you’re planning a weekend trip, the second Saturday of every month belongs to Kids & Culture; a free, kids event featuring arts, crafts, programs and more at various locations.

FRUGAL

Outdoors

Isabella County’s hidden gems come in the form of gorgeous parkland and beaches. Voted the most beautiful place in Isabella County by Pure Michigan, Deerfield Nature Park is an adventurer’s dream, no matter the season; Sled, cross-country ski, walk the trails along the Chippewa River or play a round of disc golf at Deerfield Nature Park. For a beautiful sandy beach, new playground and outstanding picnic areas make a trip to Coldwater Lake Family Park in Weidman, Michigan. Small fee for daily use or Isabella County Parks annual pass available for purchase. 

Challenge friends and family to a round of putt-putt at The Golf Center or kick-it at Riverwood Nine8Nine with a game of Footgolf; both located on West Broomfield.

Need to cool down from the summer heat? Paddle, float or walk along Michigan’s laziest river, the Chippewa River.

Indoors

Must-see museums include the Ziibiwing Cultural Center and the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum. With a small fee, you can learn about the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan and other Great Lakes Anishinabek at the Ziibiwing Center and discover, experiment and laugh at the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum. Soar to new heights at The Jump Station; an indoor trampoline and inflatable park offering fun for all ages! After your jump, cool off with some ice cream! 

Flow and glow with a drop-in class at one of the area’s yoga studios; RedBloom Yoga, Yoga on Main (hot yoga) and Ombodies.

Get active at Morey Courts Recreation Center; try a drop-in class or walk the track for $1. Looking for thrills, laughs and snacks? Celebration! Cinema deal days include the CFX Sunday Night movie for $6 and T.A.C.O. Tuesday $6 movies ALL-DAY! 

Events

Throughout the year, a number of local businesses offer classes to get your creativity flowing. Art Reach of Md-Michigan offers a variety of arts and crafts classes for children. 

Create crafts, robotics and more at the Chippewa River District Library – Veterans Memorial Library – located in Downtown Mt. Pleasant. The library offers a variety of classes for small children and teenagers, including crafts, educational speakers, robotics and more! 

Need to get the blood flowing? Check out RedBloom in Downtown Mt. Pleasant for kids and family yoga classes. 

For arts and entertainment, the Broadway Theatre and CMU University Theatre host must-see performances for all ages throughout the year.

For free and frugal winter fun ideas, check out our Winter Fun blog. Check out our seasonal blog, 100 Days… for something to do, every day, each season.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and be sure to use #MeetMtP during your visit!

This article’s featured image was taken by Bri Viglianco Photography.