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:



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. Perfect for a summers day walk or a brisk winters hike. 

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


What’s more relaxing than walking through galleries and exhibitions? CMU’s University Art Gallery as well as Art Reach of Mid-Michigan’s Downtown gallery are open year-round for community members and visitors to enjoy.

Central Michigan offers a variety of museums and galleries that are open to the public and also host events and step-by-step classes year-round. Check out our guide on them here. 


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”), Saturday Farmers Market and more!

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.



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 strike-it at Riverwood/Nine Eight Nine for a round of bowling; both located on West Broomfield.

Need to cool down from the summer heat? Float or walk along the Chippewa River, the cool, clear waters meander from it’s headwaters in glacial hills through it’s gravel bottom course way making it a perfect  temperature, a generally casual flow, a paddlers delight.

. Buckley’s Mountainside Canoes and Chippewa River Outfitters are here for all of your tubing, kayaking, and canoeing needs.


Must-see museums include the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum. For just $10 per person, you can experience interactive exhibits that encourage kids to grow and learn in a new fun way! 


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. 

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 events page for ideas for every season. 

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

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