Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Just For Kids

Let's climb the Dunes! Race you to the top! How fast can you run down? Do you think I could roll all the way down? No doubt one of the biggest attractions for the young people is to head to the Dune Climb.

After you get sand in your hair and clothes, it's time to head for the lake and let the cool clean water of Lake Michigan. Build sand castles on the beach or body surf on the Lake Michigan waves.

Ranger-led Programs

Heroes of the Storm is a re-enactment of a turn-of-the-century shipwreck rescue. This program is designed especially for children and requires some audience participation. This is held at the Maritime Museum. Once a week, we fire the Lyle Gun which was used as part of the rescue process for more than 75 years.

Each evening, there is a free Ranger Program at various places in the park. These are fun for young and old alike.

Be A Junior Ranger

While visiting the park, stop by the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center in Empire, the Dune Center Bookstore at the Dune Climb, or the Glen Haven General Store to get your copy of the Junior Ranger Workbook. The books are FREE!  Complete the challenges in the workbook and return to the Philip A. Hart Visitor Center for a Ranger to check over with you, so you can receive the Sleeping Bear Dunes Jr. Ranger Badge or Patch.

If your work is good (and correct), you'll receive a Junior Ranger Badge or Patch to proudly display for all of your friends to see. In addition, you will receive a certificate signed by the ranger and your name will be added to our list of Junior Rangers for this year on our web site. Best of all, you will have gained valuable knowledge in the stewardship of our National Parks and that's what we really want! The more we all share in caring for our environment, the healthier the Earth will be... and the healthier the Earth, the happier all of us will be. Remember, it's all for our children's children's children... and beyond!

Art Place Navigation

Students from The Art Place (TAP), a non-profit animation studio in Suttons Bay created an animated film about Sleeping Bear Dunes. The film's unique title, "wwwww.sbdnl.tap", is not a website address, but was derived by the TAP students after they spent a week at the Lakeshore learning the "Who, What, When, Where, and Whys" of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore's dune ecology and history.

Sixteen members of TAP spent a week outside exploring the natural and cultural surroundings of the National Lakeshore, then spent just as many hours inside editing and creating the 10 ½ minute movie, which is a collection of five animated films. After spending a week in one of the Lakeshore's historic farms, Kate, from Suttons Bay, remarked, "I loved being a park resident for a week. It was very different than being a day visitor." Twelve year old Andrew liked exploring the dunes at night and going to North Bar Lake. Everyone went on trails they had never hiked, swam at beaches they didn't know were part of the National Lakeshore, interacted with National Park Rangers, and worked on answering in a very creative way the 'Who, What, When, Where and Why' questions about this national park site.

"This was the first time the Lakeshore had ever welcomed a group of artists to work together on a project," said Superintendent Dusty Shultz. Some of the participants remarked on how much fun they had working together so intensively to complete an entire project in such a short period of time. The experience of living in the park, away from phones, television, and email, helped the students focus their creativity, and make lasting connections with each other and with this special place.

Watch the video on YouTube. For more information on TAP and its programs, go to