GRR Airport Viewing Area: Enjoy Food Trucks & Plane Watching in 2023

airport observation park grand rapids

The Airport Viewing Area is a Hidden Gem in Grand Rapids

For a different Grand Rapids park experience, head to the Airport Viewing Area!

Pack a picnic and watch planes take off or land or time your visit to take advantage of the food truck days.

grand rapids airport viewing park

GRR reports that on any given day as many as 300 aircraft may take off or land at the international airport so chances are there will be planes to see when you stop by.

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What the Airport Viewing Area is Like

The GRR Airport Viewing Area has plenty of parking, a few picnic tables, a pavilion with clean bathrooms, and filtered water fountains.

Address: 4820 Kraft Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Hours: 8 am – 8 pm and it’s open year-round

Picnic Pavilion and Restrooms at the Gerald R Ford International Airport Viewing Park on Kraft Ave SE in Grand Rapids, MI

Listen in at the Airport Viewing Park

When you visit the airport viewing park, be sure to tune your radio to 1650 AM.

You’ll be able to listen to air traffic controllers, pilots, and GFIA airfield operations staff as they coordinate aircraft into and out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

Airport viewing park grand rapids mi

Will You See Planes?

If you time it right, you’ll be more likely to see planes take off and land at the observation park.

Check the flight schedule at grr.org to see when there will be the most activity and coordinate your visit with that.

Food Trucks at the Airport Viewing Area

Two Wednesdays a month, From May to September you can watch planes and enjoy some great food at the Airport Viewing Park this season.

Airport viewing park food trucks grand rapids mi

In 2023, food trucks will be around on the first and third Wednesday of the month according to this schedule:

May 3 (10 am – 4 pm)

May 17 (4 – 8 pm)

June 7 (10 am – 4 pm)

June 21 (4 – 8 pm)

Airport viewing area food trucks grand rapids mi (

July 5 (10 am – 4 pm)

July 19 (4 – 8 pm)

August 2 (10 am – 4 pm)

August 16 (4 – 8 pm)

September 6 (10 am – 4 pm)

September 20 (4 – 8 pm)

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Get Close to the Planes

This is one of the best places to watch planes take off — unless you’re actually boarding a flight.

Ford airport observation viewing park grand rapids michigan

This is a much more laid back experience – no TSA, no parking fees. Just a nice green space where you can bring a picnic and hang out with family.

Sunsets are Gorgeous at the Airport Viewing Area

The best part of the Airport Viewing Park is the scenery.

This is where you can get a closeup view of airplanes taking off and landing.

It’s fun to listen to the engines and seeing the different types of planes that come into and leave the airport.

You’ll see commercial passenger planes, but you’ll also likely see cargo ships and smaller, private planes as well.

It’s also one of the best places in Grand Rapids to watch the sunset.

How to Find the GRR Ford Airport Viewing Area

Finding the viewing area can be tricky.

Most people wrongly assume that they should drive to the airport to find the viewing area.

GRR International Airport Viewing Area is not accessed via the main airport entrance, though.

To find the Airport Observation Area, you need to approach the airport from the south, on Kraft. Kraft will dead-end at the viewing area entrance.

The airport observation park is located on Kraft Avenue, south of the airport.

Be sure to visit the Viewing Park Facebook page for more information.

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25 thoughts on “GRR Airport Viewing Area: Enjoy Food Trucks & Plane Watching in 2023”

  1. We were in Greenville South Carolina over spring break this year and found the coolest park. It was called “Runway Park” and even had a small restaurant called Runway Café! The entrance to this park was the top part of an airplane With window seats and kids faces on them, it was like a small tunnel. It was actually a scaled down size runway with the lights and everything that went to the other end of the park where you could sit and watch planes land and take off. There were also two small playgrounds, a picnic area and the was a track around the entire park were people were walking, kids riding scooters or bikes. It was the neatest park I have ever been to. My four year old grandson told his mom it was the best day of his life! I’m going to check out our new viewing area and then maybe bring some pictures of runway park for officials to see!!

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  5. We used to do this all the time when we were kids. Then they closed the one we went to when they expanded and I didn’t know they had opened another one!! Very cool we will have to have a picnic lunch there very soon!!

  6. Mike Lichterman via Facebook

    We did a couple of times. I have a handheld scanner (former pilot), so we used that instead. With a good cell phone connection, you can listen in on liveatc.net too.

  7. Melissa @ West Michigan Mommy

    I had no idea! That sounds like a lot of fun. I have always been fascinated with airplanes — it is amazing to me that something so large and so heavy can look so graceful. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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