Chase the Rain Clouds Away With These West Michigan Activities

When rain is in the forecast and you have kids to entertain in Grand Rapids, it’s easy for your mind to go blank. We’re here to help with some ideas you can do at home and around the West Michigan area. Probably the toughest decision to make is whether to hunker down at home or get out and have an adventure!


Places to Go Around Grand Rapids on a Rainy Day

1 – Visit Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

We love this place 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 Holiday Traditions Around the World during Christmas season.

2 – Head to a  Grand Rapids Museum

A popular go-to for indoor fun is the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. And did you know there is a hands-on art room in the Grand Rapids Art Museum geared towards families? Plus, every Tuesday is free admission!

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is always a fun choice, with new kid-friendly exhibits every few months. 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.

For a full list, check out our Big List of Museums, Zoos and Science Centers.

Grand Rapids Children's Museum

3 – Explore the Kid’s Section at your Local Library

Journey beyond your typical library 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.

4 – Climb the Walls at Open Gym!

Most gymnastics facilities host open gym sessions at various times during the week. Gymco, R-Athletics and Grand Rapids Gymnastics are a few to get you started.

5 – Go to the Mall

Both Woodland Mall and Rivertown Mall offer indoor play options.

In Woodland, stop by the train table at Barnes & Noble and the coin-operated “rides.” The popular “eggs & bacon” play area at Woodland is currently being replaced, but look for a neat new play area soon.

At Rivertown Mall you can spend some time at the treehouse, the carousel, or the children’s area at Barnes & Noble.

6 – Take the Kids to an Indoor Pool

There are many local indoor pools around the area that charge admission just for the day or session.

If you are looking for more than just a pool, check out the Kroc Center, which includes a climbing wall and waterpark- or the Holland Aquatic Center with its 150 foot waterslide, Splash Zone, AquaTrack and zip line!

7 – Go Bowling!

Did you know that 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.

8 – Fly on a Trampoline

Visit one of the three indoor trampoline parks in the area or head to Catch Air to enjoy the three story structure with slides and obstacle courses, Nerf ball shooting, bouncy house maze and a bouncy castle slide.


9 – Catch a Flick

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

If you time it right, you might even be able to snag some FREE tickets with Celebration Cinema‘s Flick’s Family Film Festival or grab $6 tickets on T.A.C.O. Tuesday.

10- Lunch and Play at Chick-Fil-A or McD’s

Head to Chick-Fil-A or another indoor playground to grab lunch and enjoy some indoor play.

Things to Do at Home on a Rainy Day

11 – How Many Raindrops Can Fit on a Penny?

Give each child a penny and a clean medicine dropper.  Have them add drops, one by one, to the penny.  You will be amazed at how many drops will fit.  If you want to be scientists, have the kids predict the number of drops that will fit before starting.

12 – Relive Your Youth with Movies Mommy Loved (or Daddy, or Grandma…)

Kids love to hear about the “good old days.”  Pull out a flick from your childhood and watch it with them, pausing now and then to reminisce about what you loved way back when.

13 – Make Cards

Prep for upcoming holidays and birthdays. Stamp them on the back with your thumbprint.

14 – Bake your Own Pizza

Or bake 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!

15 – Host a Cuddle up and Read-a-Thon

Put a quarter in a bucket for every book read then go buy a treat with your earnings.

16 – Make Bread-in-a-Bag

Give each kid their own ziploc baggie and go to town making bread in a bag.

17 – 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. Sky’s the limit!

18 – Write a Letter to Someone

A real, bonafide letter. On paper, in an envelope, with a stamp.

19 – Have a Dance Party!

Turn up the volume and get moving!

20 – Make Play Dough

Not only will your kiddos have fun making the dough, but then they get to play with it! Double the fun! (Or, if you’re a brave soul, let them make slime!)

21 – 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!

22 – Embrace the Rain!

Put on your rain boots, grab an umbrella and go for a puddle stomping walk in the rain! Warm up with a “pool party” in the tub when your kids are done getting wet and cold.

What did we miss? Tell us what your family likes to do on a rainy day in the comments!
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