See if You can Collect All These Instagram-Worthy Photos
In days of yore, Kodak helped shutterbugs by placing placards at tourist destinations across the country, labelling them “Kodak Photo Spots.”
Alas, as Kodak film cameras have waned, these signs have slowly disappeared.
Presenting Instagram Photo Spots Around Grand Rapids
The name may have changed, but the concept remains – people still love taking these iconic photos and sharing them with others. We’ve located picture spots that are so distinctly GR (and west Michigan), they’ll have you putting “s” on the end of Meijer and wanting to sip on a Faygo.
We also have some ideas on what hashtags you can use at each location to keep track of your photography adventures as you explore through your own lens.
Scroll through our list of the top 21 most Instagrammable places in our corner of the world and see if you can predict what number one spot will be before you get there. #GRplays so we an all follow along!
The 21 Most Instagrammable Pics to Take With Your Kids
#21 – Finny at Grand Rapids Public Museum
Whether you take a pic with the actual finback whale skeleton (like in our feature image) or at his mural outside, everyone instantly knows where you went today when they see you with Finny! This over 100-year-old skeleton is iconic not only to Grand Rapids Public Museum, but to downtown Grand Rapids, too. #finntasticGR
#20 – LOVE at Louis Campau Promenade
This sculpture is fairly new to the Grand Rapids scene, but given the popularity of its sister sculptures in other cities around the globe, we are certain that this will quickly become a favorite spot for snapping pictures of those you love. #GRLove
The hustle, bustle and bright patches of color thanks to seasonal, fresh produce make for a dynamic milieu. #MarketDay
#18 – Ryerson Building Atrium at Grand Rapids Public Library
Completed in 1904, the original portion of the main branch of the GRPL has undergone several transitions over the course of the century, the most recent at the turn of the millenium when the Beaux-Arts style of the Ryerson building was more beautifully blended to the mid-century Keeler Wing with the restoration of this magnificent atrium. The ornate detail and ample natural light make it ideal for a quick portrait. #Shelfies
#17 – Ada Covered Bridge
Spanning the Thornapple River, this pedestrian bridge in Leonard Park has long been a favorite spot to capture some idyllic family portraits. #AdaVillage
#16 – Kaleidoscope Tunnels at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
These mirrors make for memorable portraits when you visit the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. #Kaleidoscope
#15 – Fish Ladder along the Riverwalk (just south of 4th Street)
Fish Ladder Park is home to – you guessed it! – a fish ladder. Nestled on the western bank of the Grand River, this fishway helps migrating fish travel past the dams and also makes for a fun spot to take pictures. #JustKeepSwimming
#14 – Man in Space and the fountain at the Gerald R. Ford Museum
The grounds around the Gerald R. Ford Museum allow for fantastic photographs year round, and kids are always happy to pose with the “spaceman.” #GRMI
Many children’s museums have bubble exhibits where you can put yourself into a giant bubble, but very few have their bubbles in such a sunshine-saturated corner.
On the upper level of the museum, flanked by two walls of windows, the bubbles at GRCM catch and reflect light for breathtaking photos. #GRCM
#12 – Dewey Hill (during Coast Guard Fest) in Grand Haven
Erected each summer in honor of the Coast Guard Festival, Dewey Hill’s slope proclaims Grand Haven’s nickname proudly: Coast Guard City, USA.
When viewed from along the waterfront it becomes a fantastic backdrop to document your visit. #CoastGuardCityUSA
#11 – Holland Harbor (Big Red) Lighthouse at Holland State Park
Michigan has over 150 lighthouses and depending on who you ask, Big Red is most photographed of them all. With an easy walk along the north pier in Holland State Park for this frequently-used vista, it’s a claim I’m apt to believe. #MiHolland
#10 – Pantlind Lobby of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
If twelve-thousand pounds worth of crystal chandeliers doesn’t make for the sparkliest of settings, you might need your eye prescription checked. This opulent lobby is full of rich detail and spectacle to add elegance to your next selfie. #AmwayGrand
This 100-foot mural and runner-up in the inaugural ArtPrize, adorns the exterior of the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Full of color and mirrors, it makes for an eclectic and energic photograph.
#8 – Motu Viget (Tire Swing) at Vandenberg (Calder) Plaza
The name of this sculpture is a Latin phrase lifted from the city’s motto and translates as “strength in activity” which is the most fitting description for our vibrant, kid-friendly city.
And yes, homeslice, this is the giant tire swing Kimya Dawson is singing about on the Juno soundtrack. #SwingAway
Built in 1928, this restored carousel is housed in a pavilion offering a vast panoramic view of the Grand River as it juts over the water. #Carouselfie
#6 – De Zwaan at Windmill Island
This Dutch windmill (still fully functioning and milling grains) really pops with a springtime sky and a field of tulips in front. #DeZwaan
#5 – Lorrie’s Button (Big Red Button) at Ah-Nab-Awen Park
This sculpture by Hy Zelkowitz has called Ah-Nab-Awen Park home since 1976 and is a favorite of kids as they are encouraged to climb and explore this exciting piece of artwork. #CuteAsAButton
This impressive 24-foot monument is found at Frederik Meijer Gardens and due to its large size allows for some fun and creative snapshots. #FMG
#3 – The Blue Bridge
This former railway bridge was converted into a pedestrian walkway and painted its distinct shade of blue in 1980. It lends itself to being a great place to snap pics thanks to striking skylines along the Grand River. #GRBlueBridge
A sight so iconic that it’s been incorporated into the logo of the city. Ever since it’s installation in 1969 at Vandenberg Plaza, the vibrant red of this Calder masterpiece has provided an excellent backdrop for all sorts of dramatic pictures. #Calder
#1 – Statue of John Ball at John Ball Zoo
If you don’t take a picture of your kids climbing into his large bronze lap, did you even go to the zoo? Families have been getting their picture here for almost 100 years since the statue was first installed in 1925. #JBZ
Friends who have grown up in Grand Rapids joke that they could make aging flip books with all the accumulated snapshots on what is arguably the most photographed statue in the city.
10 Honorable Mentions That You’ll Probably want to Also Capture
Still not satisfied? We’ve got a slew of honorable mentions that are beloved by locals as well.
Honorable Mention: Lions & Rabbits Stairway Mural along Riverwalk on the north side of Bridge Street by Bridgewater Place.
Honorable Mention: Feeding the giraffes at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park
Honorable Mention: Rockford Dam Overlook
Honorable Mention: Sandy the horse at Meijer #SandyMeijer
Honorable Mention: Sixth Street Bridge
Honorable Mention: The Giant Apple and Michigan Chair at Robinette’s Apple Haus
Honorable Mention: The Staircase Overlook in the Grand Rapids Public Museum
Honorable Mention: Water Wall Feature on exterior of the Grand Rapids Art Museum
Honorable Mention: Gate at the entrance to Lena Meijer Children’s Garden
Did we miss any of your favorite spots to snap pics? We love seeing what families are up to, so if you are posting on social media, use #grplays and be sure to follow us on Instagram @grkids to get even more IG inspiration!