20 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Grand Rapids

Rainy day kid playing in puddle

Best Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Grand Rapids

When rain looms in the forecast in Grand Rapids and you have kids at home, it’s easy to panic and start thinking of things to do with kids in Grand Rapids when the weather is wet and wild.

Maybe visions of kids going stir crazy and bouncing off the walls form in your mind.

No need to fret, though – West Michigan is stacked with indoor fun options. We’ve gathered Grand Rapids’ classic rainy day ideas here.

If cabin fever has set in hard, there are dozens of indoor play places in Grand Rapids. And if your ambitious kids exhaust this “best of” list below, set them loose with these 200+ indoor activities for kids.

Favorite Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Grand Rapids

1 Visit Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

1000 Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

We love 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 Christmas & Holiday Traditions during the Christmas season.

meijer gardens butterflies are blooming brochure 1

2 Head to a Grand Rapids Museum

An absolute must for indoor fun is the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. 11 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

And did you know there are activities for kids at the Grand Rapids Art Museum? Bonus: admission is free every Tuesday and Thursday night! 101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is always a fun choice, with new kid-friendly exhibits every few months. (Right now you can try flying like a Pterosaur in their new exhibit!) 272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

And the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum might not be at the top of your mind when you think indoor fun for kids, but it’s a really neat place! Take a trip through history with your kids and help them see life through a different lens. 303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

For even more museum options, check out this Big List of Museums, Zoos & Science Centers.

A trip to GRPM is one of our favorite things to do on a rainy day.
Grand Rapids Public Museum

3 Explore the Kids Section at a Local Library

Local libraries are true gems in our communities.

Visit your town’s library or journey beyond 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.

A new favorite is the recently renovated Georgetown Twp Public Library.

Georgetown Twp Public Library childrens area bleu house Rudd
Georgetown Twp Public Library children’s area

4 Climb the Walls at Open Gym

8115 West Olive Rd, West Olive, MI 49460

Many gymnastics facilities host open gym sessions at various times during the week.

Gymco, R-Athletics and GR Gymnastics are a few to get you started.

GRG Grand Rapids Gymnastics girl in Bumblebee class
Grand Rapids Gymnastics open gym

5 Visit the Children’s Play Areas at Local Malls

Woodland Mall – 3195 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Rivertown Crossings Mall – 3700 Rivertown Pkwy, Grandville, MI 49418

Both Woodland Mall and RiverTown Crossings Mall offer indoor play options.

At Woodland, be sure to check out the double-level forest-themed play area in the food court.

At RiverTown you can spend some time at the Magic Treehouse, the carousel, or the children’s area at Barnes & Noble. (Beware – there’s a Build-a-Bear store at Rivertown, so don’t let your kids catch a glimpse unless you want that to be part of your adventure!)

Woodland Mall Play Area Ward
Woodland Mall Play Area

6 Go Swimming, Indoors

Many local indoor pools around greater Grand Rapids offer daily admission.

Looking for more than just a pool?
Check out the Spring Lake Fitness & Aquatic Center, which includes a spiral slide and lazy river.
Holland Aquatic Center is another favorite, with its 150-foot waterslide, Splash Zone, AquaTrack, and zip line!

Spring Lake Aquatic Center waterpark
Spring Lake Aquatic Center

7 Go Bowling

Did you know that in the summertime kids bowl free around West Michigan?

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.
Clique Lanes is good for a retro vibe, and includes a second-story bowling alley!

Clique Lanes Bowling Hunt
Clique Lanes in Grand Rapids

8 Get Moving at an Indoor Amusement Center

West Michigan is home to a bevy of Indoor activity centers.
Find trampolines, foam pits, climbing walls, laser tag, ninja courses, and even go-karts at some locations (Craig’s Cruisers!).

Energy burning destinations include:
BattleGR
Craig’s Cruisers
Rebounderz
Catch Air
Allegan Event
• Tarry Hall Roller Rink
Sky Zone
Altitude Trampoline Park

Tight rope Craig's Cruisers
Craig’s Cruisers in Wyoming, MI

9 Head to the Movies

Check the listings at local theaters to see if there are any popcorn-worthy movies showing.

Celebration Cinema has lots of options for kids and fams.
Kids get in free to Flick’s Family Film Festival every spring & fall.
Get tix for only $4 on T.A.C.O. Tuesday.
Sensory showtimes are great for families, too.

Celebration Cinema Sensory Showtimes

10 Make Art

The Mud Room, Paint a Pot, Accidental Art, and Pour’d are all destinations inviting you into their creative spaces.
Paint pottery, fuse glass, make signs, and more.

11 Find Something Fun on the GR Event Calendar

Hundreds of events for this week are waiting for you! Here are a few happening just today – perhaps this is where you’ll find the things to do on a rainy day in Grand Rapids that sound like fun.

Things to Do at Home on a Rainy Day

If venturing out doesn’t look like fun, here are things to do on a rainy day at home.

  • Create an indoor race car track. Use painter’s or masking tape to make a track on the floor for your kids’ matchbox cars. Make it large scale so they can release some energy racing their cars around! You can even go over furniture to make it more challenging.
  • Watch classic movies. Kids love to hear about the “good old days.”  Pick out a flick from your childhood (hello, Disney+!) and watch it with them, pausing now and then to reminisce about what you loved way back when.
  • Make rainy-day inspired crafts. Take advantage of the rain – let it bring out your crafty side with these fun creations.
  • Bake your own pizza or cookies. If you don’t have all the ingredients, take advantage of the curbside service at Family Fare Fast Lane. No getting wet in the rain!
  • Host a Read-a-Thon for Ice Cream. Put a quarter in a bucket for every book read, and then buy a treat with your earnings.
  • Build a Deluxe Fort. Use hair ties, sheets and rubber bands to create a fort (or set up a tent inside!). Eat lunch, read books by flashlight, or even take naps in there. The (rainy!) sky is the limit!
  • Mail a letter to someone. A real, bonafide letter. On paper, in an envelope, with a stamp.
  • Throw a Dance Party! Turn up the volume and get moving.
  • Make Play Dough. This is a great recipe. Kids will love both making it and then playing with it.
  • Get Creative with Shaving Cream. Spray some shaving cream on your kitchen table and let the kids loose! They’ll have a blast smearing it around, squishing it between their fingers and drawing pictures. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, make some slime with that shaving cream!

Or you can just… go Outside and Play in the Rain!

Put on your rain boots, grab an umbrella and go for a puddle-stomping walk in the rain!

Warm up with some hot cocoa when your kids are done getting wet and cold.

boy jumping in puddles

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