No matter the time of year, the museums and galleries in the Mid Michigan area can be an enjoyable experience for everyone. Stay warm while attending a step-by-step paint class in the wintertime. And as the weather begins to heat up, cool off inside while exploring and learning at the indoor exhibits. Mt. Pleasant offers a variety of museums and galleries to keep you occupied all year long! Keep reading to see our list of favorites to visit.
Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum
First opening its doors in 2013, the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum is dedicated to establishing fun, unique, hands-on, and educational experiences for children, and enhance the community by inspiring creativity, learning, and curiosity. Become a bee keeper in the Beemazium exhibit. Put on a bee keeper outfit, climb in the honey comb and see real live bees including their queen in the exhibit. Learn what it takes to buy and sell goods at the Honey Money Bank exhibit or plant carrots in the Baby Carrots area. Build a paper rocket and fly it in the air at the Exploratorium area or become an ant crawler and pretend to camp in Pleasant Park, based on Mt. Pleasant’s own Deerfield Park! Don’t forget to get your hands wet in the Water Works exhibit by investigating how water moves around and over obstacles. In the warmer months, the Friendship Field 2.0 let’s kids explore outside with an outdoor kitchen, dinosaur pit, and stage for outdoor play.
The Discovery Museum is best suited for ages 12 and under and hosts monthly events such as Kids at Art on Tuesdays, Music Time on Thursday mornings, Teen Nights one Friday a month, and Little Stemmers the first Friday of the month.
For more information on the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum and to see their full list of events, click here.
Ziibiwing Cultural Center
The Ziibiwing Cultural Center is the Midwest’s premier American Indian museum and cultural center and will provide educational opportunities highlighting the tradition of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe and other Great Lakes Anishinaabe Tribes.
Learn about the original people of the Great Lakes as you tour the museum. Visit the Diba Jimooyung (Telling our Story) exhibit and learn about the struggles to hold onto their land, language and lifeways. Learn some of the language and walk through the 15 areas of the museum. Also, make sure to observe the various collections of art and artifacts from the North America exhibit, which changes annually! Along with exhibits, the Ziibiwing Cultural Center has also become one of Michigan’s most unique meetings and special events host.
For more information on the Ziibiwing Cultural Center, click here.
Art Reach of Mid Michigan
A favorite amongst community members, Art Reach of Mid Michigan provides art education with hands on art classes, community art projects, and features a gallery and artist shop to support local art in Michigan.
Art Reach offers a variety of classes, including adult, all ages, youth classes, and can even host private parties. One of their most popular, Brews and Brushes is a monthly, step-by-step painting class, where guests can bring a favorite beverage along with their creativity. And their community outreach is substantial, ranging from Art Walk Central, a month-long competition in August, to their Festival of Banners, where banners are submitted by community members to be hung on street poles throughout town May through October.
Be sure to stop at the Art Reach Gift Shop & Gallery Downtown on Broadway Street which offers over 150 unique works as well as wholesale goods from Michigan artists. Pottery, jewelry, clothing, handbags, wood works, crochet items, and much more can all be found here!
For more information on Art Reach of Mid Michigan, click here.
For Arts Sake
When trying to support local artists, look no further than For Arts Sake. Here you can sell, teach and make art.
What started as monthly rotations of art pieces at a local diner, eventually became an annual art sale. Now, For Arts Sake has a permanent home in Downtown Mt. Pleasant! Visit For Arts Sake for creative one-of-a-kind pieces.
For Arts Sake also features Mt. Pleasant’s only splatter room for art therapy, where participants are encouraged to express their emotions and release any pent-up frustrations in a creatively stimulating way – by splattering paint using paint brushes and even paint squirt guns! There are no rules to this experience and it is a great way to release emotions and create works of art at the same time.
For more information on For Arts Sake, click here, or to book a class contact them on social media here.
University Art Gallery
Central Michigan University’s Art Gallery is free and open to the public, located in the heart of CMU’s campus, across from the Park Library.
The gallery features 12 – 14 exhibitions yearly as well as related lectures and films. Tours are available for school groups and other visitors at no cost! To find research materials, the Clarke Historical Library houses history of CMU, Michigan and much more, located across the street at the Park Library.
For more information on the University Art Gallery, click here.
Other Museums and Galleries
During the Maple Syrup Festival every April, a couple of museums open in the Village of Shepherd. The Little Red Schoolhouse, a historical one-room school house, as well as The Power House Museum, the Village of Shepherd’s first electric plant and water pumping station, are open to the public on Saturday during the Festival.
The Museum of Cultural and Natural History is located on CMU’s Campus and supports multiple allied university programs. It offers both permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as exhibit cases and school resource kits.
Get custom framing, original art, home décor, and gifts at Main Frame Gallery in Downtown Mt. Pleasant.
By appointment only, find an abundance of historical exhibits and models at the Old Fence Rider Historical Center Museum, located in Edmore, 35 minutes southwest of Mt. Pleasant.
Meet Mt. Pleasant
Whether you’re learning about the Great Lakes Anishinaabe Tribes at the Ziibiwing Cultural Center, or expanding your collection at Art Reach of Mid Michigan, don’t forget to snap a photo and use #meetmtp on social media to help us share the Mt. Pleasant experience and possibly feature your photo! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest in the Mt. Pleasant area.