Maranda’s Guide to Summer Fun 2019

Maranda

Summer is here and I have a complete list of fun activities, events, camps, exhibits, and performances going on around West Michigan! Watch out for my Summer Fun Guide pick of the day!

Weekend Top Picks: July 19th – 21st

Sparta’s Town & Country Days

The Sparta fair and festival in downtown Sparta is happening this weekend with free music, daily kids activities, carnivals, parade, fireworks, and more! Friday, July 19th is the Kids Fun Run and Kids parade!

Lion Day at the John Ball Zoo

In just 25 years, we have lost half of African lions. Only 20,000 remain from a population of 200,000 a century ago. Join John Ball Zoo on Saturday for a day of learning more about what you can do to help the lion population! There will be lion-themed crafts, activities, and conservation information! The first 2000 guests will receive a coupon for a free popcorn when they see the Lion King at Celebration Cinema.

Ionia Free Fair

This free family event includes carnival games, thrill rides, live entertainment, delicious food, rodeo’s, Monster Truck Throw-down, and more! This is an all day event beginning July 11th and goes until July 20th.

Kids Craft Day at Fulton Street Market

There will be an afternoon of family fun for the whole family at the Fulton Street Artisans Market! There will be free crafts and activities for kids from 11am-3pm!

Verizon Backpack Giveaway

Kids going back to school can often be a big expense for parents. This Sunday, July 21st from 1-4pm, Verizon Wireless Zone of Caledonia and Cedar Springs wants to help through their Backpack Giveaway! Backpacks will be passed out on a first come, first serve in the stories!  

National Ice Cream Day

Sunday, July 21st is National Ice Cream Day! Celebrate by having a tasty, cold treat at many of the local ice cream places around the area!

2019 National Baby Food Festival

The National Baby Food Festival is taking place this week, July 17th through the 20th from 10am-9pm in Downtown Fremont, the Baby Food Capital of the World and home of Gerber Products Company. There will be a Kid’s Zone, Community Picnic, Car show, and much more! The festival goes from July 17th-20th.

Monday, July 22nd

Ottawa County Fair

The Ottawa County Fair is celebrating their 60th Anniversary! The fair is starting July 22nd and runs through July 27th. Be sure to check out the carnival rides, food, live music, monster truck showdown, rodeo, and more!

 Splash pads around West Michigan

Hot day in July? There are tons of splash pads throughout West Michigan that you and your families could enjoy! Check out WOTV4women.com for a full list.

Moving to the Music

The Lena Meijer Children’s Garden turns 15 and to celebrate the Frederik Meijer Gardens are hosting tons of birthday themed events! The Moving to the Music will include wonderful music to kids to come dance, sing, and play to local musician’s beautiful tons. This event is 11am-12pm.

Zeelmania

Head to downtown Zeeland for a healthy-living street-fair for the entire community from 6-9pm! This event begins July 8th and runs for the entire month with community based events all while promoting healthy living!

Maranda Park Party Schedule

Thursday, July 25 11am – 2 pm: Garfield Park in Grand Rapids

Summer Reading Club 

My Summer Reading Club is officially underway at West Michigan libraries! Kids read a variety of books throughout the summer for chances to win awesome prizes! Head to your local library and sign up for the Summer Reading Club and to find out more. 

Museums & Exhibitions

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Adults $5, Students with ID: $2
Free for members, children through age 12, school groups, and active military personnel

Fennville Forever Curious Children’s Museum

Wed – Sat, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Admission: $5 per person, including adults

All our exhibits offer hands-on fun and learning opportunities for the whole family. Stop by to see for yourself!

Impression 5 Lansing Children’s Museum

Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Impression 5 Science Center is a dynamic, interactive space for families to play, create, and challenge their understanding of science. Our mission is to facilitate learners in scientific exploration through hands-on exhibits and participatory educational programming.

Meijer Free Days at Grand Rapids Art Museum 

Free general admission to the Grand Rapids Art Museum all day Tuesday’s and every Thursday night. 

Tuesday: 10am – 5pm 

Thursdays: 5pm – 9pm 

Family Night, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

Thursdays, 5-8 p.m.

Every Thursday evening is Family Night, with $1.75 admission per person. Ages 1 and under are free.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

TOYS! Exhibit expanded. 

Experience TOYS! like never before with additional interactive experiences and games available throughout the Museum beginning Saturday, June 15.

More than 15 new interactives will fill the first floor galleria, into the Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibit and on the Museum’s second floor, overflowing from the TOYS! exhibit. Visitors will enjoy playing giant versions of their favorite games including: Battleship, Lincoln Logs, Chess, Connect Four, UNO, Kerplunk, Tic Tac Toe, Lite Brite and more!

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

What’s the Buzz? Learn all about bees with bee related exhibits and programs. 

Summer Storytime at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park 

Expand your kids imagination at Summer Storytime! There will be a variety of sensational stories all summer long! Every Tuesday from 11am – 12pm. 

Music and Performances

Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts in Lowell

Lowell Riverwalk

Thursdays, 7 p.m.

Free, family-friendly outdoor concerts: blues, world music, country, rock, big band, funk, jazz

Concerts in Roger’s Park

Rogers Park – 152 N State St. Sparta, MI 49345

6:30-8:30 p.m.

June 12, June 19, June 26, July 10, July 17, July 24, 

Free music and the Sparta Farmers market will be open till 7 p.m. for you to get your groceries

Holland Street Performers

Every Thursday, June 15 – August 31

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Hudsonville Concerts on the Green 

Free to the public, enjoy beautiful music every Thursday evening in June from 7pm – 8:30pm. 

Outdoor Activities

No Family Left Indoors 

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

Tuesdays through August 13 

No Family Left Indoors continues the tradition of inspiring families to spend time outdoors with free, fun activities around Barry County. These programs are a great way to discover new places, learn about different organizations in Barry County, and have fun outdoors.

Blanford Nature Center

$3 per person or free for members.

Families can visit the chickens, goats, and other animals at the farm, hike the trails, or spend time observing the prey and mammals within the observation area.

Wild Wednesdays at the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary

June 12 and 26, 6:30 p.m.

July 10 and 24 6:30 p.m.

Augusta, MI

Children ages 3 to 7 can explore the bird sanctuary and learn about animals and nature.  Different topics each week.  $5 for adults, $4 for seniors or students, $3 for children, and free for sanctuary members.

Farmyard Wednesdays at Kalamazoo Nature Center

Wednesdays, June-September, 10:30 a.m.-noon

Meet at DeLano Homestead to meet some farmyard friends. 

Movies on Monroe

Grand Rapids

June 21, July 12, July 26, August 9, August 23 

Gates open at 6:00 p.m. Pre-movie entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m. First film starts at 7:30 p.m. followed by an additional feature shortly after the first ends.

LST 393’s Movies on Deck

Muskegon Veterans Museum

June 14, June 21,  July 5, July 12, July 26, August 2 & 16

Sunsets. Sea breezes. Superstars. They’re all on deck at USS LST 393 Veterans Museum for the popular “Movies on Deck” most Friday nights this summer on Muskegon’s downtown waterfront.

Project Night lights – Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

July 10 and August 14

Kids flash flashlights out of their windows at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and local law enforcement and community members respond by flashing their lights back.

Great Lakes Surf Festival

Saturday, August 17
11am-7pm

Pere Marquette Beach Park, Muskegon

Food and Farmer’s Markets

Holland Farmer’s Market – Kid’s Market Activities

Every Wednesday, June 13- August 22

9:30am-11:30am

Fun, educational, hands-on activities designed for children preschool to fifth grade. 

Food Truck Fridays

Fridays, 5pm-9pm

Riverside Park in Grand Rapids, MI

 

Active Activities

Wristband Wednesday’s at Craig’s Cruisers

Wednesdays, 10am-3pm (buffet 11-2) and 4pm-9pm (buffet 5-8)

$25.99 plus tax gets you a wristband that’s good for unlimited indoor and outdoor go-karts, laser tag, bumper cars, mini golf, ropes course, bumper boats, Cruiser Coaster, Ninja Course and froghopper.  Also, the three hour access to pizza buffet is included with the price.

West Michigan Whitecaps

Catch a game at the Fifth Third Ballpark! 
June 14-16 
June 25-July 1

Free Park Day 

Visit any local Kalamazoo park for free including Ramona, River oaks, and more on Wednesday, June 19th all day long! Free goodies and activities will be taking place all day long!

Festival Fun

June 10 – 15 Spring Lake Heritage Festival

June 14 – 15 Byron Center West Michigan Chalk Art Festival

June 14 – 15 South Haven Harborfest

June 29 – 30 Grand Haven Art Festival

July 3 – July 7 Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival

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