Everything You Need to Know for Going Back to School in West Michigan

I know that it’s time to start thinking about fall when I see the school supplies go on sale. Even though I’m not ready for it yet, I am looking forward to a return to routine and having a quiet house again.

We’ve got a pretty powerful back-to-school lineup with tips for getting your school year started on the right foot. To make it even easier for you, we are putting everything all in one place. Keep reading to find our back to school hacks for pleasing the teachers and making lunches as well as our massive list of when kids go back to school in each district.

Simple Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

As a former elementary school teacher, I know how much work teachers put into getting their classrooms ready for a new year. Every little thing parents did to make my life easier was always so appreciated. I noticed such easy things like getting kids to bed early and labeling supplies. Now that I’m on the parent end, I do as much as I can to help out my kids’ teachers.

Packing lunch every day is one task that I am not looking forward to. Of course, I make my son pack his own lunch but I’ve still got to figure out what foods to have on hand for him to use. If you’re a nicer mom than I am, our 10 lunch packing hacks will give you some ideas on how to keep this dreaded task more interesting.

I love a good bargain, so I’m always watching for the back-to-school sales. Shopping the deals, labeling supplies and setting up a homework area are just a few ideas from our list of 10 ways to make a smooth transition back to school.

When does School start in Grand Rapids

Where to Find Sports, Haircuts, Shoes and Field Trips

As I write this, I’m looking at my son’s floppy hair. When it gets long enough for me to run my fingers through it, I know it’s time for a haircut. Check out our list of reader recommended hair salons for a good place to make sure your kids are ready for fall pictures.

Our readers also chimed in on where they like to go shoe shopping. (Don’t forget gym shoes as well, if your school requires that!)

Soccer, baseball, karate, gymnastics… There are so many choices for activities these days. I’m waiting for my kids to ask to do a sport before I enroll them. I am not ready to try to figure out the best places to play all these sports and other extra-curriculars. Luckily, our massive sports guide can help us find the perfect class for our kids when the day comes.

When I think of school field trips, I automatically think of the zoo and the children’s museum. While these are fantastic destinations, our field trip guide has even more ideas on all the cool places there are to go visit, learn and play around Grand Rapids. We also have cool printables and a downloadable field trip and enrichment guide!

When Do Kids Go Back to School in Your District?

If you’re new to the area and researching schools, be sure to look over our schools guide. We can also help you find a great preschool with our separate guide to preschools or find homeschool resources in West Michigan.

Now that Michigan schools are no longer required to start after Labor Day, it can be hard to keep up with when everyone goes back to school. We have assembled a huge list of the first day of school. This list has been divided into public, private and charter schools. 

This list has been updated for 2019.

Aug 5: Innocademy

Aug 19:  Creative Technologies Academy, Cross Creek Charter Academy, Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center, Ridge Park Charter Academy

Aug 20: Vista Charter Academy  

Aug 21:  Black River Public,  Knapp Charter Academy, Vanderbilt Charter Academy  

Aug 26: Chandler Woods Charter Academy, New Branches Charter Academy, River City Scholars, Vanguard Charter Academy, Walker Charter Academy

Aug 27: Excel Charter Academy

Sep 3: Wellspring Preparatory High School, West Michigan Academy of Arts & Academics

Aug 19: Grand Rapids Christian Schools (all campuses), Tri-Unity Christian, Unity Christian High School

Aug 20: Grand Rapids Adventist Academy, Holland Christian School, Holy Spirit Catholic School

Aug 22:  All Saints Academy, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School, Corpus Christi Catholic School, Divine Providence Academy, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Holland Adventist Academy, Holy Trinity Catholic School, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, Our Lady of Consolation Catholic School, St. John Vianney Catholic School, St. Patrick Catholic School – Parnell, St. Robert Catholic School, St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School (K 8/23)

Aug 23: Grand Rapids West Catholic School (orientation 8/22)

Aug 26: Ada Christian School, Byron Center Christian School (grades 6 – 8, all others start 8/28), Covenant Christian High School, Dutton Christian School, Grand Haven Christian, Jenison Christian School, Legacy Christian School, Our Savior Lutheran School, Plymouth Christian School, The Potter’s House,  St. Mary’s Catholic School, West Side Christian School (Young 5’s 8/27), Zeeland Christian School

Aug 27: Allendale Christian School (middle school students, all others start 8/28), AnchorPoint Christian School, Hudsonville Christian School, St. John’s Lutheran Day School – Grand Haven

Sep 4: Calvary Schools of Holland, Libertas Christian School, Sacred Heart Academy, Trinitas Classical School, Zion Christian School (pre-k 9/9)

July 30: Emmons Elementary School – Caledonia Community Schools

Aug 19: East Grand Rapids Public, Godwin Heights Public, Grandville Public, Kentwood Public

Aug 20: Caledonia Public, Grand Rapids Public, Jenison Public, Kelloggsville Public, Lowell Area Schools, Thornapple-Kellogg, Wyoming Public

Aug 21: Hamilton Community, Holland Public

Aug 26: Comstock Park Public, Coopersville Area, Forest Hills Public, Hudsonville Public, Kent City Community, Northview Public, Rockford Public, Sparta Area Schools

Aug 27: Allendale Public, Byron Center Public, Grand Haven Public, Kenowa Hills Public, Spring Lake Public, West Ottawa Public, Zeeland Public

Sep 4: Cedar Springs Public, Saugatuck Public

Back to School Events Around West Michigan

Saturday July 27, 2019

STEAM Day of Play at the Muskegon Walmart

Date: 07/27
Location: Walmart- Muskegon – 1879 E Sherman Blvd

Muskegon

Join us at your local Walmart on Saturday, July 27 from 10 am to 4:30 pm for fun STEAM activities, including how to tie dye, create slime, & make a cereal necklace.

Time: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

STEAM Day of Play at the South Haven Walmart

Date: 07/27
Location: Walmart- South Haven – 201 73rd St

South Haven

Join us at your local Walmart on Saturday, July 27 from 10 am to 4:30 pm for fun STEAM activities, including how to tie dye, create slime, & make a cereal necklace.

Time: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Thursday August 1, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/01
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Friday August 2, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/02
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

10th Annual David D. Hunting YMCA's Back To School Bash

Date: 08/02
Location: David D. Hunting YMCA – 475 Lake MI Dr. NW

Grand Rapids

We are pleased to announce our "10th Annual Back To School Bash!" Friday August 2nd, 2019 at the David D. Hunting YMCA from 6-8pm Each year David D. Hunting YMCA Kid Zone Presents " Back To School Bash." Our free family event provides free school supplies giveaways.  Our event will [...]

Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Saturday August 3, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/03
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Sunday August 4, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/04
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Monday August 5, 2019

DABSJ Backpack & School Supply Drive

Date: 08/05
Location: D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s – 805 Leonard St. NE

Grand Rapids

Help the children we serve start the school year off strong! For many kids and families, the first day of school can be overshadowed by the stress and embarrassment of not having the resources to purchase the proper school supplies. With your help, this doesn’t have to be their reality. [...]

Time: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/05
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Tuesday August 6, 2019

DABSJ Backpack & School Supply Drive

Date: 08/06
Location: D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s – 805 Leonard St. NE

Grand Rapids

Help the children we serve start the school year off strong! For many kids and families, the first day of school can be overshadowed by the stress and embarrassment of not having the resources to purchase the proper school supplies. With your help, this doesn’t have to be their reality. [...]

Time: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/06
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Wednesday August 7, 2019

DABSJ Backpack & School Supply Drive

Date: 08/07
Location: D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s – 805 Leonard St. NE

Grand Rapids

Help the children we serve start the school year off strong! For many kids and families, the first day of school can be overshadowed by the stress and embarrassment of not having the resources to purchase the proper school supplies. With your help, this doesn’t have to be their reality. [...]

Time: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/07
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Thursday August 8, 2019

DABSJ Backpack & School Supply Drive

Date: 08/08
Location: D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s – 805 Leonard St. NE

Grand Rapids

Help the children we serve start the school year off strong! For many kids and families, the first day of school can be overshadowed by the stress and embarrassment of not having the resources to purchase the proper school supplies. With your help, this doesn’t have to be their reality. [...]

Time: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/08
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Friday August 9, 2019

DABSJ Backpack & School Supply Drive

Date: 08/09
Location: D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s – 805 Leonard St. NE

Grand Rapids

Help the children we serve start the school year off strong! For many kids and families, the first day of school can be overshadowed by the stress and embarrassment of not having the resources to purchase the proper school supplies. With your help, this doesn’t have to be their reality. [...]

Time: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/09
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday August 10, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/10
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Sunday August 11, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/11
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Monday August 12, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/12
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Tuesday August 13, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/13
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Wednesday August 14, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/14
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Thursday August 15, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/15
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Friday August 16, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/16
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday August 17, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/17
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Sunday August 18, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/18
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Monday August 19, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/19
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Tuesday August 20, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/20
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Wednesday August 21, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/21
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Thursday August 22, 2019

Sky Zone Back to School Backpack Drive

Date: 08/22
Location: Sky Zone – 3640 29th Street SE

Kentwood

Help local kids get ready for a great school year! From August 1-31, bring in one NEW backpack filled with any five items listed and receive ONE FREE 90 MINUTE JUMP! Sky Zone Grand Rapids will add Sky Zone SWAG and a free 60 minute Jump Pass to each backpack [...]

Time: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm

Is there anything else you need to know to get ready for school? Let me know in the comments!

30 Days of November Fun for GR Kids Includes a Princess Lunch, Veteran’s Day Events and a Santa Parade


November Offers a Blend of Indoor and Outdoor Excitement

Even as the temperatures drop, there are plenty of outdoor activities to entice and entertain this month. Your family can watch parades, run races, and walk in winter wonderlands.

When you need a break from all the cold, indoor adventures await with performances, indoor play, and creative outlets of all types.

Use this list of 30 things to enjoy with your family below. Follow along, or mix them up where you can…either way you’re guaranteed some great family fun!

PRINTABLE NOVEMBER LIST

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