GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Summer in West Michigan is filled with fun activities for families! Check out Maranda’s complete Guide to Summer Fun. Every weekday throughout the the summer, Maranda will have a brand new top pick and some other fun weekday events for families across West Michigan. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities, education or just plain fun, there is something for every family. Check back for updates and see Maranda’s Weekend Fun Guides for some more family weekend fun!
Family Fun Events
West Michigan Whitecaps
There are still a lot of opportunities to catch a West Michigan White Caps game this summer. Here is a list of the family fun promotions they have going on.
- Sept. 6 – A Kid Again is having their Birthday Bash.
- Sept. 7 – Dog Day
- Sept 9 – Carnival Night & Tyler’s Amazing Balancing Act
Self-Guided Tours at The Kent County Recycling Center
Learn all about recycling and get a self-guided tour of the Kent County Recycling Center. All ages are welcome, and the event is free. You must wear closed-toed shoes to the tour. The event is open house styled so you can come and go as you please. The open house is a re-occurring event and you can check out the full schedule here.
Other Family Fun Events
Free SoulfulMotion At Garfield Park
Monday August 29th 6:30pm-7:15pm
SoulfulMotion is a fun and upbeat class that focusses on fitness and inspiration. This short but high intense training class is set to Christian and other inspirational music. Any age or level fitness is welcome. The event is free, and no registration is needed.
Fridays at the Farm
Join our friends at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park for tons of family farm-time fun! You’ll get to work together on a quilting project and complete farm “chore challenges” along with farm-inspired stories, games, music and more! Stop by between 11am and 2pm on Friday for all the fun – it’s free with admission!
Free Kids Yoga at Pleasant Park
Saturday morning at 10am it’s time to get the kids out and active! As a part of the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation department’s Free Outdoor Fitness Series, you can attend free yoga! Kids will use the theme of the week to develop their own postures and yoga flow and it’s geared toward kids ages 2-10 years old. Just drop in at Pleasant Park!
Open Play at RLM Amusements
Here’s a good one for teens! RLM Amusements is open on Saturday from 12pm-10pm. For $10, you can get in the door for all day play on dozens of pinball machines and arcade games. Pinball games include Godzilla pro, Avengers Infinity Quest premium and Jurassic Park premium. They also have classic arcade games such a Galaga, Ms Pac-Man, Moon Patrol and Donkey Kong and other games such as NFL Blitz ’99, Big Buck Hunter Pro, Fast and The Furious, a foosball table and an air hockey table. Call to see if there are any schedule changes before heading out at (616) 350-4088.
Family Fun All Summer Long
Whitecaps Games – Baseball is the perfect summer activity! Take the family out to a West Michigan Whitecaps game this summer and make sure to catch their Family Fare Fireworks (at select games) and themed games and giveaways. You can view their schedule here!
Open Swim at the YMCA – Head to the YMCA this summer for open swim at the family pools and splash pads! This is a great idea if the weather isn’t great outside and you want to get the family active. Check out their daily schedule on their website.
Western Michigan’s Dinosaur Park – Check out 7 large-scale dinosaurs at Western Michigan University’s Dinosaur Park. You can find the dinos just east of Rood Hall on the campus and they’re free to visit, all year round! There are six different types of dinosaurs: Brachiosaurus, Spinosaurus, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Utahraptor and Parasaurolophus.
Wrist Band Wednesday – Head out to Craig’s Cruisers for Wrist Band Wednesday all summer long! Check out unlimited Craig’s Cruisers fun all at one price from 4 P.M. to 8 P.M. every Wednesday throughout the summer. Wristbands include Indoor & Outdoor Go-Karts, Laser Tag, Bumper Cars, Mini-Golf, Bumper Boats, Frog Hopper and Cruiser Coaster (weather permitting on outdoor attractions), and guests will have access to the trampoline park and pizza buffet. Head to Craig’s Cruisers where the fun never ends!
Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation
Did you know that the City of Grand Rapids has 75 parks? Nothing beats summer fun then spending time with your family at the park this summer. Whether you are going for a picnic, a walk, or just to play on the playground, there are plenty of fun and free parks in Grand Rapids. Check out a list of the parks here.
SPLASH PADS IN GRAND RAPIDS
Splash Pads are a perfect way for your kids to beat the heat this summer and have fun. Grand Rapids has several splash pads in the area. Here is a list of some in the area that are free and open until September. Each splash pad listed is open daily from 10am to 9pm.
Gerald R. Ford Academic Center
Joe Taylor Park
Mary Waters Park
ANIMALS & NATURE:
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park – Frederik Meijer Gardens has fun all summer long with children’s activities every day of the week including music, art and science! Spend time in the children’s garden for their summer activity series. Also enjoy all of the beautiful scenery, plants and sculptures throughout the gardens, plus enjoy special musical performances throughout the summer season. Take a look at the weekly lineup here!
Kids’ Tram Tour at Frederik Meijer Gardens – Cruise around Frederik Meijer Gardens on the Kids’ Tram and learn about the sculptures through movement! It’s fun for the whole family and all activities can be done seated. Tours are offered Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10:45am, 11:45am, 1:45pm and 2:45pm.
John Ball Zoo’s Washed Ashore – This current exhibit for the 2022 season sends a powerful message about our oceans and how pollution affects them. The Washed Ashore Traveling Exhibits features collections of beautifully designed, giant sea life sculptures made out of debris found on the beaches in Oregon. The colorful sculptures highlight our beautiful and diverse animals while also bringing attention to how we can preserve them better along with our waterways.
Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park – Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto is now open for the season with so many exciting things happening! You can feed giraffes, experience The WIld like never before with their elevated walkthrough Safari, get a bite to eat at Boulder Bites and enjoy over 120 species of animals. You even can host a birthday party there! Keep an eye on their event calendar for special events, including Princess & Superheroes Day! Spend some time outside with your family enjoying the animals, food, fun and more every day of the week all summer long.
Blandford Nature Center – Blandford Nature Center has all kinds of outdoor fun for your family to enjoy. Check out their Summer Adventure Series, Nature Buds or the other fun programming or just enjoy nature with the family by exploring the trails! Check out their events calendar for everything going on this summer!
Binder Park Zoo – A great way to see and learn about some wild animals with fun for the whole family is a trip to Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek! They’re open 7 days a week and kids 2 and under get in for free. Check their website for daily hours and current exhibits!
Gymco Open Gym – A perfect way to get the kids some exercise, especially on the days this summer that are rainy or too hot to play outside. Open Gym happens every day, Monday through Saturday from 12pm-1pm. Kids 6+ can be dropped off after check-in, parents need to accompany kids younger than 6. No matter the age, kids will love climbing the rope, balancing on the beam, jumping on the trampoline and swinging on the bars!
Grand Rapids Public Museum Exhibits – GRPM is never short of some family fun, especially with their two newest exhibits: Pterosaur: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs and Fashion + Nature. The 1928 Spillman Carousel recently re-opened as well. Don’t forget to check out Camp Curious, where kids pre-K through high school will have special access to use the museum as a learning lab all summer!
Sandcastles Children’s Museum – Take a visit up to Sandcastles Children’s Museum in Ludington. This children’s museum helps children and families to explore the world around them through many different exhibits, hands-on activities and discovery. Through multiple exhibits, children of all ages can learn biology, aviation, cooking, building, numbers, theatrics and so much more. There is no shortage of fun at Sandcastles Children’s Museum!
Flick’s Family Film Series – Flick’s Family Film is a great way to keep the kids entertained with their favorite movies while not having to spend a lot of money! Tickets are $5 for anyone over 12 – kids 12 and under get in for free. Catch Sonic the Hedgehog 2 from June 24th through July 21st and The Bad Guys from July 22nd through August 18th. Click here for more details!
Science Fun at the Air Zoo – Our friends at the Air Zoo have fun for all ages all summer long! They have a full calendar full of ton events and activities for kids, including their free Summer STEAM Days – where the community can come out and take part in hands-on science stations for free!
Arts and Crafts:
Kalamazoo Candle Company -Create your own fragrance and candle at Kalamazoo Candle Company. Concoct your original scent and they pour your very own candle to take home! Perfect for a rainy summer day activity.
The Mud Room – Try your hand at the potter’s wheel! Get your hands dirty this spring break and create your very own pottery at the Mud Room.
DAY TRIP IDEAS:
Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village – Take a trip out to Dearborn, Michigan to see everything that the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village have to offer! Learn all about the history of American innovation through 250 acres. With their different attractions, you’ll get a one of a kind experience that everyone in the family will enjoy. Make sure to check out their Heroes & Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume Presented by the Walt Disney Archives exhibit!
Soaring Eagle Waterpark – A trip to Soaring Eagle is perfect for the whole family! You can get day passes to the waterpark, check out all the attractions, enjoy great food and even stay overnight! Make sure to check out their website for current promotions, themed weekends and even information about throwing a birthday party at the park.
Historic White Pine Village – Head out to the lakeshores of Ludington to take a step back in time at Historic White Pine Village. Explore the late 19th – early 20th century pioneer village and it’s 30 historic exhibit buildings. From a one-room schoolhouse to town hall, guests will be able to experience the wonders of Ludington as it was in the late 19th century. Also be sure to take a look at their Children’s Pioneer Camp event on Tuesdays from 10 A.M. – 12 P.M.
Great Lakes Crossing Family Fun – Road trip to Auburn Hills and explore LEGOLAND, Sea Life and Peppa Pig adventures at Great Lakes Crossing. Great Lakes Crossing is Michigan’s largest outlet mall with over 185 stores, restaurants and attractions and there is no shortage of family fun! When you stop by Great Lakes Crossing be sure to check out all of the family attractions that are offered including: SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Peppa Pig World of Play, The Princess Party Spa, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, and so much more.
Lansing’s Impression Five Children’s Museum – Take a trip out to Lansing to visit Impression Five Children’s Museum to explore the world of science through hands- on activities. Kids can explore different scientific topics including: nuclear power, water, kinetics, space and more. Impression Five is a dynamic, interactive space for families to play, create, and challenge their understanding of science together. Visit Wednesday – Sunday: 9:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. all summer long and be sure to check their event calendar for some fun themed activities including Lego Robotics, Pirate Science and Space Explorers!
Flash Flood Water Park – The Full Blast Recreation Center is located in Battle Creek right across from Kellogg Arena and has 88,000 square feet for activities and recreation! The Flash Flood Outdoor Water Park is now open through Labor Day. Looking to go multiple times this summer? They have a great seasonal pass for individuals and families! Otherwise, admission is $12 a person with kids 2 and under getting in for free.
Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Water Park – Take a little day trip to Frankenmuth to visit Zehnder’s Splash Village with over 50,000 square feet of aquatic fun that’s great for the whole family! There’s 2 waterparks, nearby accommodations, family activities and rides and great dining options. Check their website for daily hours and to purchase admission tickets plus hotel rooms!