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!

Today’s Top Pick:

BERLIN YOUTH FAIR- Nothing spells out summer more than going to the fair.  The Berlin Youth Fair is going on now and features fun activities such as a Youth Dog Show, truck and tractor pulls, carnival rides and more!  Did you know that this is Michigan’s Longest running fair?

Family Fun All Week Long:

Wednesday Night Cruise-In Gilmore Car Museum-Wednesday, July 6th 5PM-8PM- Enjoy classic cars and live music at the Gilmore Car Museum.  Better yet, if you own a cool classic or muscle car, it is free to bring it to the Car Museum. 

G’Day Nature!  Clay and Sand Sculpting– Wednesday, July 6th -1 PM-2:30 PM- Grand Rapids Public Library-Main Branch.  Australia is home to many animals that live in a variety of landscapes, including deserts and beaches.  Learn to sculpt an Australian animal out of clay.  While your clay creation is baking, make a batch of kinetic sand to take home.

29th Riverwalk Festival–Thursday, July 7th 8AM-11PM-113 Riverwalk Plaza Lowell, MI 49331- The Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 29th Riverwalk Festival.  There are many activities for you and your family to enjoy.  Those include Live concerts, Flea on the Flat River, Run the Riverwalk 5K, Riverwalk Cruise in and Pinewood Derby to name a few.  The festival goes until July 9th.

Fridays at the Farm- Friday, July 8th– Frederick Meijer Gardens- 11 AM-2PM Enjoy bushels of family fun this summer, with Fridays at the farm.   Children of all ages are welcome and will enjoy farm time fun.  They will be working a cooperative quilting project and completing farm “chore challenges”.  They also will enjoy special farm-inspired stories, games, music and more!

Movies on the Lawn- Friday, July 8th– Grand Rapids Public Library-Yankee Clipper Branch- 7:30 PM to 10:00PM.  Bring a chair and a blanket and join the Grand Rapids Public Library for a their free showing of Raya and the Last Dragon.  Free refreshments and a take home craft will also be available. 

Free Kids Yoga at Pleasant Park-Saturday, July 9th -10AM-10:45 AM- Get outside and get moving with the Free Outdoor Fitness Series put on by Grand Rapids Park.  Children will use the theme of the week to develop their own postures and yoga flow. 

Family Fun All Summer Long

Outdoor Fun:

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!

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.

ANIMALS & NATURE:

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture ParkFrederik 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 AshoreThis 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!

INDOOR FUN:

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 and will be a big hit for kids this summer! 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 Paw Patrol: The Movie until June 23rd, 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 & 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 opening on June 25th!

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 VillageHead 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.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center_54174

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!

MOVIES IN THE PARK:

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Padnos, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and Grand Rapids Office of Special Events are proud to present another season of Movies in the Parks! The Movies in the Park series provides free family entertainment outside. Each event starts at 7:00 pm with music, food, and games before the films start at dusk! Each of the three events will also include free food for the first 150 guests from Daddy Pete’s BBQ.

Friday, July 15 – Encanto at Roberto Clemente Park, 546 Rumsey St SW, Grand Rapids
Saturday, August 20 – Sing 2 at Camelot Park, 2230 Rowland Ave SE, Grand Rapids

GRIFFINS’ BIKE HELMET PROGRAM:

For the 19th Summer the Grand Rapids Griffins will continue their “Put A Lid On It” bike helmet safety program. Hundreds of children will receive a new bike helmet at no cost. There will be Volunteers from the Griffins, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Injury Prevention Program and Put A Lid On It sponsors, will be on hand to properly fit these free helmets for the first 100 kids at each event. Helmets will be distributed to kids ages 1-12, and a parent or legal guardian must be present for a child to receive a helmet. Also Put A Lid On It will host the first ever Griffins Bike Rodeo. Kids age 10 and younger are invited to test both their bike-handling skills, and their knowledge of the rules of the road. While learning about bike safety through a series of fun and challenging stations staffed by officers from the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

July 14 from 1-2 P.M.-Grand Rapids Public Library’s Yankee Clipper Branch- 2025 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids

July 30 from 11 am to 1 P.M.-Griffins Bike Rodeo- Area 2 parking lot behind Van Andel Arena