Things to Do in Grand Rapids when it Rains
When rain is in the forecast and you have kids to entertain in Grand Rapids, it’s easy for your mind to go blank. We’re here to help with some ideas you can do at home and around the West Michigan area. Probably the toughest decision to make is, stay home and hunker down or get out and have an adventure!
Places to Go and Things to Do around GR on a Rainy Day
- We love Frederik Meijer Gardens at any time of year, but especially when the weather turns grey. Warm up in the tropical conservatory, take in some art, and grab a snack in their cafe. If you time it right, you may be able to visit one of their famous seasonal displays – Butterflies are Blooming in the spring or Holiday Traditions around the World during Christmas season.
- Another go-to haunt for indoor fun is the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. And don’t let your kids have all of the fun while you’re there! Be sure you get your turn at the bubbles and spinning table, too!
- Embrace the wet. Put on your rain boots, grab an umbrella and go for a puddle stomping walk. Or drive by a river and see how high it’s gotten. Rainy days are great for staying home, but they are also great for getting out and trying something new.
- Newly remodeled Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum might not be at the top of your mind when you think indoor fun for kids, but it could be. Take a trip through history with your kids and help them see life through a different lens. It’s one of the institutions that every GR resident should visit.
- Did you know that there is a hands-on art room in the Grand Rapids Art Museum geared towards families? Open most Saturdays and over school breaks, this learning lab works to engage kids with the art they are seeing upstairs. Check their website for open hours.
- Libraries!! Journey beyond your typical library and find a new one. They are all different and offer so much for families. We’ve put together a great list of local library play areas to get you started.
- Make a deluxe fort. Use hair ties, sheets and rubber bands to create a themed fort village. Eat lunch in the fort, read books in the fort by flashlight, or even take naps in there. Sky’s the limit!
- Let them climb the walls at open gym. Most gymnastics facilities host open gym sessions at various times during the week. Gymco, R-Athletics, For the Kidz, Radiant Sports are a few to get you started.
- Mall it Up. Both Woodland Mall and Rivertown Mall offer indoor play options. In Woodland, stop by the breakfast food play area, the train table at Barnes & Noble, and the coin-operated “rides” near Sears. At Rivertown Mall you can spend some time at the treehouse, the carousel, or the children’s area at Barnes & Noble.
- You don’t need to be a member to visit the Kroc Center. Indoor activities include a climbing wall, waterpark, and more. Call or check their website for their current schedule.
- Make your own pizza! If you don’t have all the ingredients, head to the grocery store to get them. If Meijer is your store of choice, don’t forget a ride on Sandy the Penny Horse!
- Bowling is an option most people forget about but it really is kid-friendly. Head to a place like Hudsonville Lanes and kids get bumpers, rolling ramps and a snack bar with scooped ice cream to add to the fun.
- Go swimming. There are many local indoor pools around the area that charge admission just for the day or session. Many are just a few dollars. The open swim at Goldfish Swim school is fantastic.
- See how many raindrops will fit on a penny. Give each child a penny and a clean medicine dropper. Have them add drops, one by one, to the penny. You will be amazed at how many drops will fit. If you want to be scientists, have the kids predict the number of drops that will fit before starting.
- Relive your youth with Movies Mommy Loved (or Daddy, or Grandma…) Kids love to hear about the “good old days.” Pull out a flick from your childhood and watch it with them, pausing now and then to reminisce about what you loved way back when.
- Create something artistic or build with LEGO’s at ArtEngage in Rockford.
- Make cards for upcoming holidays, birthdays, etc. Stamp them on the back with your thumbprint.
- Visit one of the three indoor trampoline parks in the area. They are all different and have special things to offer.
- Take your little ones to Catch Air to enjoy the three story structure with slides and obstacle courses, Nerf ball shooting, bouncy house maze and a bouncy castle slide.
- Host a Cuddle up and Read-a-Thon. Put a quarter in a bucket for every book read then go buy a hot treat with your earnings.
- Give each kid their own ziploc baggie and go to town making Bread-in-a-Bag.
- Check the listings at Celebration! Cinemas, AMC Theatres and Goodrich Theatres to see if there are any popcorn worthy movies showing today.
- Write a letter to someone. A real, bonafide letter. On paper, in an envelope, with a stamp.
- Head to Chick-Fil-A or another indoor playground to have lunch and play.
- If you’re still looking for something to do, check the GRKIDS Event Calendar. We’ve got a huge list of daily events for families just waiting for you!
CHECK IT OUT: Indoor Play Guide for Greater Grand Rapids