SPORTS – GRAND RAPIDS KIDS AND BEYOND
Little League, soccer, swimming, karate… when it comes to sports around Grand Rapids, there is no shortage of opportunities for your child to get involved. In fact, the number of possibilities make choosing a bit overwhelming, so we’re here to help. Below, you will find a big list of places around greater Grand Rapids that offer sporting programs for kids.
Sports are organized by categories.
Browse through each section below. Whether your child is interested in running around playing soccer or learning new skills through martial arts, our Sports Guide has got you covered!
*The following are sponsored listings.
Soccer is one of the most nationally recognized sports. Now that Grand Rapids boasts its very own minor league soccer team your little goalie will be all the more eager to learn how to play and participate in this easy-to-learn sport. Below you’ll find the best sources for soccer in Grand Rapids.
NW Youth Soccer Association
The NWYSA program serves children ages 2 -15 in the Belmont, Comstock Park, NW Grand Rapids and Walker areas as well as surrounding communities. The goal of the NWYSA is to provide children a fun time within a teaching and learning environment no matter the child’s abilities, providing each child the opportunity to learn the game of soccer through the development of individual skill, fitness, teamwork, fair play and simply a fun time through multiple levels of play (Introductory, Recreational, and Recreational Travel) during fall, winter and spring seasons.
PO Box 202, Comstock Park, MI 49321
Pass FC Soccer Club
Grand Rapids Youth Developmental Soccer Teams are formed to play in competitive leagues in and around the Grand Rapids area against other club teams. All of our coaches are licensed and must pass a background check. The PASS home fields are in Northeast Grand Rapids.
MORE PLACES TO PLAY SOCCER
- River City Futbol Club, multiple clubs from aged 3-6, 7-12, and 13+
- Soccer Buddies, Fall & Spring Seasons, ages 18 months to 12 years
- East Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation, Fall & Spring Soccer Seasons, Ages ranging from 4 years to 5th grade
- YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Fall, Spring, Summer Soccer Seasons, Aged ranging from Pre-K to 8th grade
- Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation, Fall & Spring Soccer Seasons, Ages not listed
MARTIAL ARTS PROGRAMS
Flees ATA Martial Arts
Karate for Kids classes at Flees ATA Martial Arts are a great way to instill integrity, courtesy and respect with children in the local community. Flees ATA Martial Arts Karate programs teach children of all ages the valuable life lessons of, respect, self-discipline, self-control and the ability to safely defend themselves when needed. The life skills and attributes create a personal “Victory in Martial Arts” within the karate for kids. These life skills taught our Professional Team of instructors are truly necessary in becoming a confident individual in today’s society. Interaction in the world around them at an early age is a critical life skill element for any of the community members.
The Flees ATA Martial Arts academy serves the community with the some of the best Karate classes in Grand Rapids. Karate for kids is set with age appropriate programs and classes that are specifically aimed at the physical development and mental capabilities of the younger karate kids in the family. Measuring the results of the individual student and establishing specific goals in the context of the curriculum at FMA Karate For Kids carries over to many other activities and studies in life for young students. Teaching the skill of dedication to completing an activity and meeting the goals is an important part of the program designed by the instructors.
Together with kids their own age, every karate kid youngster can grow with the self-confidence that a top martial arts program develops within the core values of a program. The reliable program of self-improvement and leadership offered at Flees ATA Martial Arts can ultimately be a key turning point for the kids in the family. It’s not hard to see the impact a karate lesson can have on young person who needs more confidence from within and by creating that “Personal Victory” in Martial Arts.
“It isn’t just self defense, it isn’t just martial arts, it is a whole lifestyle. We have seen improvements in attitude and schoolwork and our kid takes pride in asking to help out more than we ask of her. The other parents made sure to make me feel welcome and help me to understand all of the stuff that goes along with this. I am so excited to continue with the ‘black belt life’!”
-D. Traxler (Grand Rapids)
MORE PLACES TO DO MARTIAL ARTS
- Big Dog Taekwon-Do, taking children, teens and adults
- YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, Fall, and Spring, for ages 5 – 14
- Kentwood Parks & Recreation, Ages not listed
For information on other Martial Arts programs in greater Grand Rapids, please view our Martial Arts Guide.
Did you know Grand Rapids, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and Lansing all have minor league baseball teams? West Michigan is in love with baseball and has been for years! Whether you’re a Tigers fan or secretly rooting for a different team, love of baseball runs deep through the veins of Michiganders. Many parks throughout Grand Rapids boasts a baseball diamond (or four) and on the weekends you might see a few games running. If you’re looking to get your kids in on the action, look no further than the programs we’ve got listed here!
Baseball Concepts’ camps empower our community by building quality character values in kids through the game of baseball. Our professional style instruction will focus on providing cutting edge baseball skills and drills for players at all ability levels in an extremely fun way.
What do we do well? Our staff can teach and our staff knows baseball. Our staff is comprised of former MLB players, college coaches, as well as current and former college baseball players. Your child will walk away from a camp with cutting edge baseball instruction that will certainly improve their baseball skills. More importantly, we focus on building character that kids need for success in life. Check this out: Camp Action
We offer (12) baseball camps each year, most camps are held indoors in Zeeland MI, but we also travel to Rockford and Traverse City each summer and deliver quality programing to kids in those communities as well. Our camp instruction is delivered in a fun and creative way, and we build fantastic “Gatorade Skills Challenges” into each camp to spice up our drills stations into high energy yet friendly competitive fun. Kids love it! Meijer Stores is our official sponsor and we provide ‘free’ t-shirts to all participants. We also offer private one on one lessons all winter long. Baseball Concepts in the news: Fox 17 News
Baseball Concepts is a vendor of Dick’s Sporting Goods and Little League International, offering The Ultimate Coaching Kit products. “Our goal is to reach kids and parents through the game of baseball by teaching sound baseball fundamentals as well as essential life skills”, said Jeff VanHuis president and founder of Baseball Concepts. “Our camps, one on one training, and our books/DVD’s all strive to make baseball a highly positive experience for kids on the field and parents in the stands”. If you are a parent looking for exceptional baseball instruction that is affordable, but also is staffed by highly trained professionals – these camp events are for you! Baseball Concepts has developed a copyrighted instructional program that will give your player everything needed to be successful.
“I just wanted to say thanks for working with all the boys. Paxton really enjoys your camps and looks forward to attending future ones. I’m so impressed with your teaching skills and how positive you always are. My husband and I also appreciate how you guys focus on kids having a positive attitude. The world needs more coaches like you!” – Tina Borgman (Fremont, MI)
MORE PLACES TO PLAY BASEBALL
- Algoma Little League
- Allendale Little League
- Belding Little League
- Byron Township Little League
- Caledonia Little League
- Georgetown Little League
- Grandville Little League
- Hamilton Littlle League
- Holland Little League
- Hudsonville Little League
- Kellogsville Little League
- Lowell Little League
- Northeastern Little League
- Northern Little League
- Northview Little League
- Northwestern Little League
- Pinery Park – Wyoming
- Rockford Little League
- Southern Little League
- Sparta Little League
- Thronapple Valley Little League – Ada Michigan
- West Ottawa Little League
- Western Little League
- Wolverine Ball – Belmont
- Zeeland Little League
With as much water as Michigan has, it’s important that everyone knows how to swim. Grand Rapids and the suburbs and cities surrounding are filled with fantastic places for swimming and learning how to swim. Read on to find a great place near you to get lessons or just in a little time in the pool.
Goldfish Swim School
With a maximum of four children per instructor and an inviting, playful atmosphere, Goldfish offers the best experience for kids of all skill levels to learn to swim and improve. Our water is kept at 90 degrees and filtered with a state-of-the-art purification system. Stop by for a tour, or call us to enroll your child.
Who doesn’t love tennis? Some of us just run around the court chasing the ball, and some of us are actually pretty good. If you’re looking to get your child better at tennis and love what it does for their health, then look no further!
MVP offers tennis programs for all ages and all skill levels. Programs include USTA 10 and Under Tennis, a perfect format for learning beginning tennis skills, as well as youth lessons and leagues, focusing on improving technique and developing match tactics necessary for court play.
There’s more than just back riding when it comes to horses. There’s trail riding, galloping, jumping hurldles, and even vaulting (a type of gymnastics on horse back). Equestrian programs are varied and exciting, but safe and always under the supervision of an instructor. Read on for more informatin on the amazing equestrian programs in the Grand Rapids area.
Come enjoy the horse-human connection with our 20 well trained horses and ponies of all sizes. Any level, age or ability is welcome!
*Equestrian vaulting for ages 3+! Vaulting combines elements of gymnastics and dance performed to music on a moving horse. The horse moves in a circle on a line controlled by a lunger. Vaulting teaches balance, rhythm, confidence, teamwork and social skills. No prior riding or gymnastics experience is required. Come Try it out every Saturday from 12-1pm for only $15!
*Riding Lessons for ages 2-100! One hour long wholistic lessons in a small group setting include: learning safety on and around the horse, grooming, tacking, riding and more! Riders learn how to ride English, Western and bareback in our indoor arena. Young riders, ages 2-6, can have a 30 minute private lesson in our KinderPony program.
*Therapeutic riding and adaptive vaulting is offered one-on-one for special needs individuals. Most students quickly relax and harmonize with the horse, gaining balance, coordination, and body strength through the constant stimulation of countless muscles. All sorts of exercises provide a variety and sense of achievement, which is a great boost for the rider’s confidence and self-esteem. It’s also FUN!
*’Own-A-Horse Camp’ Riders age 6+ experience what it is like to own a horse! They will learn all aspects of horse care including: feeding, grooming, stable managment, and how to ride. Play games to learn horse and saddle parts, horse colors, different breeds and how a horse thinks.
Riding by appointment only – call or email today!
“ A Horse Lovers Playgound”
8001 Patterson Ave. Caledonia, MI 49316
“My daughter Maria has been involved with Karin’s Horse Connection since 2012. She started riding with Karin when she was only three years old and instantly fell in love with all of Karin’s gentle, sweet, and awesome horses. Karin’s riding instructors and Karin have developed Maria into a skilled rider.
Before riding, Maria loved gymnastics and dance. Karin invited Maria to try out for Karin’s equestrian vaulting team. Vaulting is an awesome sport and I highly recommend it for ALL kids, even kids with physical or emotional special needs. It is a combination of dance and gymnastics on horseback.
Vaulting develops upper body and core strength like no other sport-all while the kids are having “fun.” It also helps kids develop self-confidence. Vaulters gain extensive knowledge of horsemanship (grooming, tacking up, lunging, feeding, etc.)
If you are looking for a place where your child will grow-emotionally, physically, and spiritually–all while having fun and making friends, then Karin’s Horse Connection is the place for you.”
~Michelle M. (Grand Rapids, MI)
Meadowview Farm offers Hunter/Jumper style horseback riding lessons for all levels and ages. We offer a progressive program designed around each rider’s needs and goals. Riders will learn basic riding skills, horsemanship skills and gain a sense of confidence around horses. Private, semi private and group lessons are available.
If The Drive has taught us anything, it’s that Grand Rapids is ready to learn how to dribble. If your little one is ready to learn how to dribble and shoot just like our very own minor league basketball team, check out what Grand Rapids has to offer below!
Michigan Basketball Academy
At MBA we are passionate about teaching the fundamentals of basketball while fostering the values and lesson learned through sports. If you are looking to help your kindergarten player or your high school player we have a program to meet their needs. Check out our website for camps, clinics and private lessons today!
Does your little one have big olympic dreams of getting the gold like Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings? Volleyball programs are the best place to get the olympic dreams started and Grand Rapids has some great ones!
From Kindergarten through 12th grade MVA programs can help your player work on beginner to advanced level volleyball skills to establishing the correct form and footwork while fostering a passion for volleyball. From the sand to the indoor courts we have a variety of ways to keep FUN and hard work a part of your players time with us!
Being on the Western side of the state, some of us may not agree on whether the Lions rule, or if the Bears are the best, but one thing is for sure, we all love football! Whether you’re looking for traditional football, or flag football, West Michigan has what you’re looking for!
National Flag Football
National Flag Football is the largest NFL youth flag football organization in the country for boys and girls Pre-K (4 years of age) through 8th grade. This program provides young players a fun and exciting opportunity to engage in non-contact, continuous action while learning lessons in teamwork.
Choose from one of the 5 convenient Grand Rapids locations – Rockford, East Grand Rapids, Forest Hills, Kentwood, and Grandville.
Modern golf has been around for about 600 years. West Michigan boasts some of the finest golf courses and instructors in the nation. We even have a golf course boasting a new form of golf; footgolf!
Maple Hill Golf
If you’re looking for a place to swing the clubs, check out Maple Hill Golf— a golf course AND retail shop!
Maple Hill Golf has become the #1 golf retailer in Michigan and a local favorite for customers looking to demo the latest golf equipment or enjoy a round on the 18- hole, executive length course. Now featuring Junior Golf and Footgolf, Maple Hill Golf is the hot spot fot kids learning to love golf.
- Southside Ice Arena, Public Skate, Skate Lessons, Hockey
- Connonsburg Ski, Skiing, Tubing
For information on other Skating places in greater Grand Rapids, please view our Skating Guide.
For information on other Skiing, Tubing, and Luge places in greater Grand Rapids, please view our Ski, Tube, or Luge Guide.
Movies like Princess Bride, The Three Musketeers, and Star Wars: A New Hope make sword play look like, well, sword play. However, fencing is serious work, and often called a ‘gentleman’s sport’. Fencing, while not a difficult sport to learn, is a difficult sport to master. It has a very defined set of rules and requires a great deal of discipline. It’s an olympic sport, and if you watch the sport intently you can see why some people learn to love it more than any other sport.
DANCE & GYMNASTICS PROGRAMS
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