feature image courtesy of Crane Orchards.
This Tiny Town in West Michigan is Surprisingly Active
Normally you have to travel to the big city for unique family adventures. But Fennville somehow offers big family fun with a small town feel. Sounds kind of like a dream town, doesn’t it? These lovely gems are tucked away in the heart of southwest Michigan, conveniently adjacent to the lakefront.
Fennville is just a few miles from the beaches of Saugatuck and about 45 miles southwest of Grand Rapids, offering a surprising amount of fun things to do.
Interesting Things to do in Fennville
202 E Main St, Fennville
Looking for a place to entertain your energetic, curious kids? Interactive and created to be family fun, the Forever Curious Children’s Museum boasts a rock-climbing wall, a pretend “vet clinic,” and a nature club with make-and-take crafts.
With several programs geared towards preschool children through elementary ages, the museum specializes in hands-on learning for children of all abilities and their families.
2 – Express Yourself Art Barn | 6459 130th Ave, Fennville
An amazingly fun time for creative people, Express Yourself Art Barn is a studio where anyone can find something to create.
Located in a barn-turned-art studio, visitors-turned-artists have the choice of numerous projects including painting, mosaics, glass fusing, and jewelry making. For a fee and the cost of the project, visitors can create an item to take home.
3 – Khnemu Studio | 6322 113th Ave, Fennville
Another art studio, though not so much a place for small children as it is for adults and older children interested in art, is the Khnemu Studio.
This craft gallery and studio as well as a sustainable farm offers tours, demonstrations, and special events. Specializing in ceramic arts, Khnemu offers adult pottery classes year round, from beginning classes to more experienced artists.
4 – Fennville Goose Festival | downtown Fennville
There’s even a goose fest, folks. Downtown Fennville will host its annual Goose Festival Oct. 12-14. Food, music, arts, racing, exhibits, car shows… and geese are all a part of this small-town carnival.
Tasty Things to do in Fennville
5 – Evergreen Lane Farm and Creamery | 1824 66th St, Fennville
Love fresh artisan cheese? (Is that a crazy question?) Make sure to stop at Evergreen Lane Farm and Creamery. Here you can sample fresh unique cheese in the tasting room and visit the herd of goats on the farm from which some of these products come.
With names like Chevre, Mattone, and Noella, you can taste a wide variety of hand-crafted specialties.
6 – Gary Crane U-Pick Farms | 6017 124th Ave, Fennville and Crane Orchards | 6017 and 6054 124th Ave, Fennville
Down the road from each other in on the western edge of Fennville are two “you pick” orchards and farms.
Gary Crane U-Pick Farms and Crane Orchards are family-run farms each with their own schedules of fruit picking and activities. Depending on the growing season, blueberries, pumpkins, and varieties of apples are just some of the fruits and other products offered for visitors to enjoy gathering.
Make sure to check out each farm’s growing schedule as well as this 20-acre corn maze.
7 – Blue Star Blueberry Farms | 2647 68th St, Fennville
Blueberry season is in full swing at Blue Star Blueberry Farms. Several varieties of blueberries are available for picking, as well as machine harvested and packed products.
Their selection changes from week to week, so contact them if you are interested in a specific variety. Also, check out their blueberry products such as jams and muffin mixes all made with Blue Star blueberries.
And a Couple of Grown-Up Places to Try
8 – Virtue Cider | 2170 62nd St, Fennville
Definitely a date-night possibly (in fact you need to be 21 years old just to access their website), Virtue Cider is a winery/vineyard that partners with local farmers to produce ciders from heirloom apples.
Using “old-world traditions” with modern craft cider fermentation and aging techniques, you can try the “Cherry Mitten” or the “Michigan Apple” among many other choices.
Enjoy a tasting and tour of the cider house and farm.
9 – Fenn Valley Vineyards | 6130 122nd St, Fennville
Another great date or adult group idea is visiting Fenn Valley Vineyards for wine tasting and tours. Live “Music in the Vineyards” and many wine and food-related events year round make this an interesting place to eat, drink, and generally be merry.
They have a wide selection of wines all made from locally grown fruits with name brands like, “Michigan Awesome” and “Lakeshore.” They also host upscale dinners, private events, “cellar dances,” and even a 10K/5K trail race through the vineyards.
Hop Over to Saugatuck for Even More Adventure
It really would be wrong to recommend visiting this area and not bring up nearby Saugatuck. Recently named by USA Today as one of the “10 Awesome Lake Towns in North America,” picturesque beaches with 200-foot sand mounds overlooking Lake Michigan are a highlight for anyone visiting this area.
Two words: The Dunes. Make sure you take in Oval Beach or Saugatuck State Park where you can enjoy a dune buggy ride to cap off and thoroughly enjoy your smaller-town West Michigan experience.