Whether you plan to arrive with a partner, kids, or all of the above, Ann Arbor is the place for you. Michigan Medicine and our family-friendly city are packed with resources to help you get settled and ready to take on your new adventure together.
Where to Find Support
Family-friendly benefits: Learners will find many family-friendly policies and benefits during their training with us. These include health insurance options for themselves and their qualifying partners, spouses and/or children, as well as child care subsidies and campus resources like lactation rooms.
Parental leave: Benefits for postdocs include parental leave. Ph.D. students fall under the Graduate Student Parental Accommodation Policy covered by Rackham Graduate School. House officer parental leave varies depending on individual situations. For medical students seeking parental leave, talk with your House Counselor to review your specific benefits and collaboratively create a plan to accommodate your situation.
Family support groups: The Students with Children website is a great resource to bookmark for future reference, and these parenting resources from the U-M Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office.
- You can also take advantage of the classes and support groups available to new parents at Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
- There are several Facebook groups for Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit parents, which some learners recommend for seeking advice, ideas for fun activities and meeting new friends.
Where to Put Down Roots
Housing options: First things first, the key to getting settled is finding a place to call home. Some families choose to buy a house or condo, or rent in nearby communities like Ypsilanti, Dexter and Canton, while others choose to live closer to campus in family-friendly grad student housing, like Northwood. Check out your housing options in our Housing section.
Ideas For Your Partner
Job hunting: While it might take a little time and networking, there’s no shortage of leads if your significant other plans to seek employment in Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan is by far the city’s biggest employer. However, there are many opportunities to consider beyond the U, too. Here’s a great place to start the search.
Volunteering: It’s also in the Ann Arbor ethos to give back and be generous with our time and talents. Volunteering in the community is a great way to do just that. Check out the United Way of Washtenaw County for places to get involved, in addition to service opportunities available through your Michigan Medicine connections.
Where to Send Kids to Learn and Grow
Child care and schools: There are many excellent options to choose from when it comes to child care and schools in Ann Arbor, one of the most educated cities in the country.
Michigan Medicine learners recommend asking other parents in your program about their recommendations. Contacting individual schools for in-person visits is another way to get a sense of their culture and vibe. If you have preschoolers, the Ann Arbor Public School system’s annual Kindergarten Round-ups will give you a preview of what to expect.
Child care options can fill up quickly, so learners recommend starting your search as soon as you know you’ll be moving to Ann Arbor.
Keep in mind that U-M Family Helpers can cover care for short-term situations, and Kids Kare is a backup option when children are sick, which the University will subsidize up to 40 hours.
Camps and after-school programs: There are also many after-school programs and summer camps available around town. This directory lists local programs and community organizations that address the functional needs of children with disabilities.
Where to Check Off Your Must-Do To-Do List
Highly ranked and rated, Ann Arbor tops many lists, including #1 Best Place to Live (2018, Livibility.com) and #4 Best City to Raise a Family (2017, Niche.com), which means you’ll have lots of options for quality time.
10 Uniquely Ann Arbor Activities for Kids
- Ann Arbor parks and playgrounds. Our nickname is Tree Town, and you’ll quickly see why. With more than 150 parks and 90 playgrounds featuring everything from swimming to ice skating to day camps and outdoor concerts, you’ll find great places to play. Check out the universal access playground at Gallup Park with a beautiful view of the Huron River.
- Rec & Ed classes. Find high-quality, affordable enrichment and recreation classes through Ann Arbor Rec & Ed, including for the 5-and-under crowd.
- Pet the animals at Domino’s Farm. A little taste of farm life on the edge of the city.
- Look for fairy doors. Look closely for tiny fairy doors scattered around Ann Arbor, a favorite scavenger hunt for little ones.
- Find and conquer the best sledding hills in town. Which one is your favorite? Better try a few to find out.
- Visit the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History.
- Tinker and explore at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, where getting into everything is encouraged.
- Learn a skill, hear a story, or play a game at one of the city’s five public library branches.
- Pick your own fruit at a local orchard or farm. Try the cider and donuts in fall!
- Keep playing all winter at an indoor playground or activity center. Favorites include Kidopolis, 2|42 Community Center, and The Chelsea Treehouse in nearby Chelsea for the younger crowd. Older kids might like Airtime Trampoline and Game Park or the Clueless Escape Room.
Accessible and Sensory-Friendly Activities
Ann Arbor offers many options for accessible play for kids, including a universal access playground in Gallup Park, sensory-friendly events, and low-cost adaptive sports.
C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital offers several support services, and U-M’s food allergy experts offer many resources for families living with food allergies. There are also several organizations and events tailored to a variety of functional needs for kids in Ann Arbor and throughout Metro Detroit.
Bargains & Perks
Dining and birthdays: See where kids can eat free (or at a discount), and discover the most fun places for birthdays and other celebrations around town.
Clothing and resale bargains: Find good deals on clothing and other kid basics at a variety of resale and consignment shops, and annual community shopping events like Just Between Friends and Huron Valley Parents of Multiples Mom2Mom Sale.
Campus perks for kids: Enjoy other perks for young Wolverines, like the Kids Go Blue Club, family-friendly MCard discounts, car seat safety classes, and cool activities and camps on campus.
What Michigan Medicine Learners Say
“Great schools with lots of extracurricular activities and learning opportunities for school-age children.”
— Amber, resident
“The health care offered by the university is extremely good for prenatal and pediatric care.”
— Tova, MSTP student
“Look for child care and get on school lists early.”
— Andrew, resident