Your One-Stop Grand Rapids Halloween Resource Guide
Fall is finally in the air here in West Michigan and that means it’s time to think about pumpkin spice, apple cider and Halloween.
I love to celebrate the holidays with my kids, and I confess that Halloween probably gets the most attention. It’s still warm enough to take even my youngest child outside, yet cool enough that we don’t work up a sweat having fun.
There is no shortage of fun-filled Halloween events in Grand Rapids, no matter which area you call home. You can go boo at several different zoos or enjoy harvest festivals at area churches.
My favorite, though, is collecting my Mom Tax after visiting several trunk-or-treat events and trick-or-treating in our neighborhood.
Put on Your Costumes and Gather All the Treats at the Zoo and Trunk or Treats Near You
You wouldn’t know it now, but I wasn’t really into Halloween until I had kids. Then I suddenly loved dressing up and picking out family costumes for us every year. Now that we have such awesome costumes, we need to show them off as much as possible.
My family’s favorite Halloween tradition is going to John Ball Zoo Goes Boo. Nowadays, this is the only time other than Halloween Night that my entire family dresses up.
We love walking around the zoo to see the spooky decorations in the animal enclosures. We also get great treats there.
Last year, they really stepped up their game and had so many non-food or healthier options. Even my health-conscious father-in-law was impressed!
In addition to dressing up for going to the zoo, there are so many other options for Halloween fun in west Michigan. Even someone as ambitious as I am can’t make it to everything, so you definitely will need to select what sounds best for your family.
We always try to hit at least two trunk or treat events in Grand Rapids. There are so many to choose from that it’s impossible to hit them all. If you get lucky, you can find a couple close to each other at the same time and hit more than one in one outing. That’s how you really cash in on the Mom Tax!
Some trunk or treats are very small. It truly is just walking through the parking lot and collecting candy from some very awesomely decorated cars.
For others, that’s just a small part of the fun. At the Kentwood Fall Festival, for example, kids can also enjoy bounce houses, hay rides and face painting. It’s always my mission to find the “best” one every year.
Grand Rapids Trick-or-Treat Times and Indoor Halloween Fun
As October 31 approaches, try something new this year with your family. Similar to Christmastime, drive around town and look for spooky houses.
You can make a scavenger hunt list of what you think you’ll see, like tombstones, mummies, cobwebs and ghosts. Whoever finds the most things on their list wins! I am definitely putting this on our activity list this year.
If it’s Halloween Night in west Michigan, you can be almost guaranteed that the weather will be less than perfect. Since I’m always determined to show off our stellar costumes, we bundle up and trek around the neighborhood regardless of the weather.
The official trick-or-treating window for most areas is 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM. There are a few exceptions so be sure to check our big list to verify your area’s time.
If you’re not as crazy as I am and want to stay warm and dry on Halloween, there are always plenty of indoor options.
Trick-or-treat night at GRCM looks like a great night at the museum, with spooky crafts, activities and candy for costumed kids, all for just $1.75 admission.
I’ve always been interested in some of the annual events like the live Candy Land in Jenison, but I just cannot call it Halloween if we are not outside suffering in the cold, rain, sleet or snow. Think of me when you’re nice and warm!
Who Needs All This Halloween Candy? – Places that Will Buy Your Haul
After your kids are in a sugar coma and you’ve collected your Mom Tax, it’s time to figure out what to do with the rest of their loot. Last year, I was able to convince my kids to take some of their haul to the candy buy-back at Hudsonville Family Dentistry.
They were thrilled to get cash for their Halloween candy and I was happy to get some of that sugar out of our house without tears. Plus we got to feel good about donating our candy to the troops overseas. Everyone wins!
No matter how many or few festivities you attend, enjoy making Halloween memories with your kids!