Veteran ArtPrize moms and dads, thanks for sharing your ArtPrize tips for making the most out of this popular annual event. Yes, everyone can have a blast at ArtPrize–no minimum age required!

September 20-October 8, 2017

ArtPrize has grown to be an extremely popular Grand Rapids event, especially on evenings and weekends. If ArtPrize is new to you, or if this is your first visit with kids, take a minute to read over these great tips to maximize your visit. You CAN visit ArtPrize with kids and have a blast!

Here’s a summary of what West Michigan moms and dads recommend for getting the most out of ArtPrize:

Timing is Everything at ArtPrize

  • If possible, go on a week day!
  • If you do go on a weekend, stick to the more spacious, outdoor venues and use our ArtPrize Field Trip Map  to find places that are easy to navigate.
  • Looking to experience ArtPrize favorites before the kids melt down? Our Stroller Tour and Map for ArtPrize 9 is a 90-minute, stroller friendly route.
  • Don’t miss the big events that happen on the weekends. Watch our ArtPrize Family Friendly Events post for special happenings on the day you go.
  • Know where the public restrooms are and plan your trip accordingly. There are restrooms in Ah-Nab-Awen park as well as participating hotels. Also, DeVos Place serves as a good potty stop.
  • Park like a boss! Downtown is packed for ArtPrize, but there are lots of ramps and other parking available. If you’re looking for free parking you can park under the overpass to the west of the Gerald R. Ford Museum or at Park Church (10 East Park Place NE).
  • ArtPrize runs September 20 – October 8, 2017. Monday – Thursday, most venues are open till at least 8:00 PM. Friday and Saturday many venues are open till 10:00 PM and on Sunday till 6:00 PM.  If you have a specific venue you aim to see, please check their hours before going.



Don’t Forget Key Equipment for Adventuring With Kids

  • Dress in layers. The weather typically gets much cooler in the evenings.
  • Bring snacks and drinks. Many venues are outside, making it a perfect place to munch. Or bring a picnic and stop for lunch/dinner along your way.
  • Bring the smallest stroller you have, or leave it home and opt for the baby carrier. Wagons are not recommended.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and footwear. You will be walking a lot!


Engage the Kids at ArtPrize

  • Give older kids CAMERAS and have them snap pictures of things they find interesting.
  • Have older kids bring a little bag or purse to collect ARTIST TRADING CARDS. Go through them together at home.
  • Bring a smartphone and let your older kids help you VOTE for your favorites.
  • Participate in places where kids can CREATE ART.
  • Bring a NOTEBOOK for older kids and have them draw their favorites. It keeps them busy at each piece so the adults can stop and actually look at the art instead of seeing it all at 75 miles an hour…. plus, the kids end up with a cool ArtPrize notebook.

ArtPrize Tips

Look up the Art Ahead of Time

  • Culled with families in mind, our Stroller Route and Map for ArtPrize can help you find art recommended for children.
  • Look up any venue you are unsure of to find out if there is material there you do not want your kids viewing.

Take Advantage of Special ArtPrize Break Spots

  • ArtPrize HUBs are located throughout the city and have volunteers to help with voting, mapping your route and give you a FREE ArtPrize Event Guide. Get more information on the HUBs and their locations here.
  • Stop off at an ArtPrize Labs Drop-In Studio – with two locations, one at the ArtPrize HUB/HQ (41 Sheldon Blvd. SE, open daily 11 AM – 6 PM) and one at Rosa Parks Circle (open daily Noon – 6 PM). The Drop-In Studio offers a quiet space and materials for visitors of all ages to rest, unwind and explore their creative inspiration in a self-directed way.
  • If you’ll be ArtPrizing a lot, consider getting a membership to the ArtPrize Clubhouse. Located at 50 Louis NW, this space is meant for ArtFan members to mix and mingle with artists and media and is a quiet space set apart in a central location. Plus, from 4-6pm each day, refreshements and happy hours drinks are served. Moms tell us this is a great place to nurse, too.


Do you have any other tips to share? Please leave us a comment so other moms and dads can benefit from your knowledge!

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By | 2017-09-19T21:46:27+00:00 September 18th, 2017|Categories: ArtPrize, General, Travel Grand Rapids Tips for Families|Tags: |5 Comments

About the Author:

Melody V
INFJ. Mom of three. Idea chaser. People believer. Inspiration seeker. Together, we make this city amazing. Let's go!


  1. Cindy Oosterhouse via Facebook September 26, 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Lauren Strongin

  2. Carolyn September 25, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Where is best place to park on weekend and go to art prize on a Sunday afternoon.

  3. Kristi Barker Koenig via Facebook September 25, 2015 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Jeff Koenig

  4. Nelson Steinke via Facebook September 25, 2015 at 5:32 am - Reply


  5. Lisa September 18, 2013 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    Great tips! Where are some of the public restrooms downtown?

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