GRAND RAPIDS SPORTS & RECREATION GUIDE 2019

Grand Rapids loves sports! We have the Whitecaps, the Griffins, the Drive, and the Grand Rapids FC. And, we have SO MANY options for youth sports.

Grand Rapids is bursting with programs for kids of all ages, interests and abilities. Whether it is soccer, lacrosse or martial arts, our guide will get you started on finding the right physical outlet for your little athlete.

The list is organized by sport, so browse through each section and figure out the best fit for your child. No matter their athletic interests, there is a team in Grand Rapids for them!

SPORTS MENU

ACTION/ADVENTURE
BASEBALL
BASKETBALL
Cycling
EQUESTRIAN
FENCING
FOOTBALL
GOLF
ICE SKATING & HOCKEY
LACROSSE
MARTIAL ARTS
SOCCER
SPEED AND AGILITY
SWIM
TENNIS
ULTIMATE FRISBEE
VOLLEYBALL
Wrestling

SOCCER PROGRAMS

Soccer Grand rapids Kids

*The following are sponsored listings.

Soccer is considered the most popular sport in the world and if you walked around most towns in West Michigan on a fall or spring weekend, you’d probably agree.

You’ll find kids everywhere dressed in their soccer uniforms, on their way to or from a soccer game. If this sport is popular in your house, our list includes several options to get your kids out on the soccer field.

Michigan Futbol Academy offers soccer options for athletes as young as 3 all year long! We exist to positively impact the lives of children and families by providing educational programs that build Character, develop Capability, and strengthen our Community – ALL through the sports of soccer and futsal.

Participants in all youth programs will focus on fundamental skills as well as foster a passion for the game.

Check out our programs for Kids:

Little Rascals: Birth Years 2014-2016
Little Rascals combines exciting games and skill development in introductory age-appropriate sessions for an unmatched introduction to soccer. Our goal at this age is to teach players sweet skills and help them fall in love with the beautiful game!

616: Birth years 2006-2013
616 is Michigan Futbol Academy’s community soccer program that provides players with access to quality coaching and facilities while keeping costs and commitment low.
This program is all about providing players with quality training, instruction and league play, regardless of skill or commitment level.

MFA’s mission is simple: Teach. Life. Sport. We strive to develop our athletes on and off the court, through the way we teach and through sport.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

5435 28th St Ct SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | (616) 401-4832
WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK

“As a parent, I want high-character coaches who care, and I want those coaches to push my daughter to be the best that she can be. MFA provides that for my daughter and I wouldn’t want her to play anywhere else.”

The NW Youth Soccer Association is a program that offers introductory, recreational, and recreational travel levels of soccer for children ages 2-15 regardless of the community in which they live.

Fall Season Signups: Early Signup Discounts Begin In May, Regular And Late Signups June Through September.

Spring Season Signups: Early Signup Discounts Begin In November, Regular And Late Signups February Through April. Email us at [email protected].

CONTACT INFORMATION:

PO Box 202 | Comstock Park, MI 49321 | (616) 514-0637
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Cedar Area Select Soccer Association (CASSA), was formed in 1998 to develop area soccer players who had success playing recreational soccer but were ready to advance their game to a higher level.

Through its affiliation with the Grand Valley Soccer Association (GVSA), CASSA has been able to provide the best competitive, yet safe environment for local players to develop.

CASSA is recognized as a non-profit organization by the State of Michigan. As an endorsed non-profit organization CASSA is organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes while fostering competition among amateur soccer athletes under the age of 19.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

2300 13 Mile Road | Rockford, MI 49341 | (989) 233-1187
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

Competitive youth Select & Premier soccer. Fun, family-focused and Grand Rapids based. Find out more at rapidsfc.com or email us at [email protected].

CONTACT INFORMATION:

WEBSITE

MORE PLACES TO PLAY SOCCER

SWIMMING PROGRAMS

swimming Grand rapids Kids

In our Great Lakes state, teaching kids to swim feels like a necessity. If your child loves the water or wants to become a better swimmer, there are many great opportunities.

Our list includes both lessons and swim team options, giving kids of all interests and abilities a place to enjoy the sport of swimming.

Ready to make a splash? MVP Athletic Clubs offer both members and non-members a variety of swimming classes and programs for all skill levels.

Whether you are an experienced swimmer or just getting comfortable with the water, MVP has the perfect swim program for you. Our American Red Cross certified programs are designed to help build skills and confidence in and around the water.

Group or private lessons are available year-round for kids ages 6 months and up.

Summer Swim Clinic:
MVP swim clinic offers kids ages 5+ a six-week fun-filled swim experience to designed to help develop and improve stroke techniques and learn starts and turns. The program will help build team culture and improved their event times in three inter-squad swim meets.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

MVP Athletic Club – Crahen | 115 Crahen Ave NE | Grand Rapids 49525
MVP Atheltic Club – Holland | 650 S Waverly Road | Holland 49423
MVP Athletic Club – Rockford | 515 E Division | Rockford 49341
MVP Sportsplex | 4035 Burton St SE | Grand Rapids 49546
(616) 575-6221 | WEBSITE | FACEBOOK – MVP Sportsplex | FACEBOOK – MVP Crahen

“Over the years, four of our children have gone through swim lessons at MVP Sportsplex. MVP’s swim program has been a great tool for our children learning basic water safety, survival skills, endurance, and stroke technique. My children have thoroughly enjoyed their swim teacher and their warm therapy pool!”

Our shiver-free pool and state-of-the-art swimming facility are simply the back drop to our play-based learning experience. Our teaching philosophy, The Science of Swim Play, is used to build lifesaving water skills that are specially designed to make learning fun through guided play for beginners from 4 months to 12 years old.

Our lessons provide your child with lasting skills, respect of the water, and great memories! Family Swims are also a great way to get your families feet wet. Explore our fun, safe, tropical facility and get a glimpse of the experiences we create for our Goldfish Families.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

2845 Thornhills Ave | Suite S | Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | (616) 259-0725
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

MORE PLACES TO SWIM

For information on other swim programs in greater Grand Rapids, check out Favorite Swim Lessons in Grand Rapids.

BASKETBALL PROGRAMS

basketball Grand rapids Kids

When our son was just a toddler, he would love pointing out all of the basketball hoops he could find as we drove through town. It became obvious to him and to everyone else in the car how many people love basketball.

West Michigan is filled with opportunities for kids who want to take their basketball skills from the driveway to the big court.

At Michigan Basketball Academy we are passionate about fostering the values and lessons learned through sports.

We are focused on three distinct pillars with our athletes: 1) Their fundamental skills, 2) Their physical athleticism, and 3) Their enhancement of life skills. These life skills include self-confidence, leadership, hard work, what it means to be a teammate, respect, determination, how to be humble yet be sure of yourself, listening and applying, and having fun through competition.

We expect our athletes to learn and grow in this game and also as young men and women.

Our 616 program provides a low cost and low commitment option for athletes looking to improve their basketball skills and foster a love for the game. It focuses on teaching fundamental techniques and skills to help develop players of all skills.

MBA’s mission is simple: Teach. Life. Sport. We strive to develop our athletes on and off the court, through the way we teach and through sport.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

5449 28th Street Ct SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | (616) 608-5905
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER

“As a parent, I can say my son would not have been able to accomplish his goal of playing in high school if we had not invested in MBA. MBA offers multiple skill levels so that even the kid at the lower end of the skill range can accomplish their goal of growing their basketball skills just because they love the game.”

MORE PLACES TO PLAY BASKETBALL

TENNIS PROGRAMS

tennis Grand rapids Kids

If you have a child eyeing to be the next Serena Williams or Roger Federer, there are many youth tennis programs available, starting as early as age three years old! West Michigan tennis options for kids are on our list below.

MVP Athletic Clubs offer tennis programs for all ages and skill levels.

For young athletes, MVP offers USTA 10 and Under programs designed to bring ALL kids into the game by using specialized equipment and shorts courts in a fun and exciting play format. Players will learn basic tennis strokes, correct form, scoring and rally skills and serves.

MVP offers an expansive juniors tennis program (10+) designed to offer opportunities for athletes to build on their knowledge of the game and advance their skills. Junior Programs include Middle School Tennis, MVP Stars, MVP Elite, MVP Tour and High School Tennis.

To help keep athletes’ skills sharp over the summer, MVP offers Summer Tennis Academy designed to build the person behind the player. Daily instruction consists of work on every aspect of the player’s game, including supervised match play and tournaments challenging players to utilize the skills they have been working on.

All Tennis Pros carry certifications in either US Professional Tennis Association or Professional Tennis Registry.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

MVP Athletic Club – Crahen | 115 Crahen Avenue NE | Grand Rapids 49525
MVP Athletic Club – Holland | 650 S Waverly Road | Holland 49423
MVP Athletic Club – Rockford | 515 E Division | Rockford 49341
MVP Sportsplex |4035 Burton Street |Grand Rapids 49546
(616) 575-6221 | WEBSITE | FACEBOOK for MVP Sportsplex | FACEBOOK for MVP – Crahen

MORE PLACES TO PLAY TENNIS

EQUESTRIAN

horseback riding Grand rapids Kids

At some point it seems every kid wants a horse, and can you blame them? Horses are amazing animals so it makes perfect sense that kids would enthusiastically want to join an equestrian team.

These local equestrian organizations will help your kid fill that horse-sized hole in their heart.

Karin's Horse Connection

Come enjoy the horse-human connection with our 25 well trained horses and ponies of all sizes. Any level, age or ability is welcome!

Equestrian vaulting for ages 3+  combines elements of gymnastics, dance, and music on a moving horse.

Riding lessons for ages 2-10 includes one hour wholistic lessons in a small group. 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 individuals with special needs.

In ‘Own-A-Horse Camp’ riders aged 6+ experience what it is like to own a horse! They will learn all aspects of horse.

Riding by appointment only.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

8001 Patterson Ave | Caledonia, MI 49316 | (616) 570-1106
WEBSITEFACEBOOK

Giddyup!

We asked our readers where we could take kids to ride horses for the day and you gave us answers! We gathered that information in one place in case you missed it.

Use this list to find out more about where to take your kids for a day of riding or lessons. Plus, each of these locations comes recommended by one of our Facebook fans – you can’t beat that!

VOLLEYBALL PROGRAMS

volleyball Grand rapids Kids

Whether they play on a court or in the sand, volleyball is a fast-paced sport that many kids enjoy. Is volleyball of interest to your child? Take a look at the camps and clubs on our volleyball program list.

Michigan Volleyball Academy Offers volleyball options for athletes as young as Kindergarten all year long!

Participants in all youth programs will focus on serving, attacking, hand-eye development, footwork and movement patterns, over-the-net drills and skills, movement skills, underhand skill training emphasis, overhand fundamentals, ball movement training, 3 contact same side and small court play.

Check out our programs for Kids.

VolleyKids: K-4th Grade
VolleyKids is an introductory clinic designed for our youngest athletes in K-2nd grade and 3rd & 4th grade. Participants will learn basic volleyball techniques and movements and will begin to foster a passion for the game!

This clinic is run on a lowered net, with light recreational balls and is open to both boys and girls.

Youth Academy: 5th-6th Grade
Our Youth Academy Program participants training alongside our 12 and under competitive level teams once a week. This program is designed to develop young athletes by introducing and reinforcing basic skills and techniques while continuing to foster a passion for the game.

Classes are open to both boys and girls!

MVA’s mission is simple: Teach. Life. Sport. We strive to develop our athletes on and off the court, through the way we teach and through sport.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

5435 28th St Ct SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | (616) 608-5905
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

“As a mother of two MVA players, my biggest prayer is that my girls will grow up and live their lives with purpose, grit, confidence and integrity. The programs at MVA have made a significant and lasting impression on my girls. The coaches are world class and invest in the character of the girls.”

MORE PLACES TO PLAY VOLLEYBALL

JUNIOR GOLF

Junior Golf Grand Rapids

Golf is a great sport for kids and many parents love that kids can take what they learn and continue with this sport into adulthood.

We are fortunate to have so many outstanding courses in West Michigan, and equally as lucky that so many of these courses offer junior golf programs. Sign up your little golfer for one of the programs below.

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 for kids learning to love golf.

CONTACT INFORMATION

5555 Ivanrest Ave SW | Grandville, MI 49418 | (616) 538-0290
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

The First Tee is an international youth development organization introducing the game of golf and its inherent values to young people.

Through after school and in school programs, we help shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing our nine core values such as integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf. And it’s making a difference.

CONTACT INFORMATION

3450 36th St. SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49512 | (231) 742-6744
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

MORE PLACES TO PLAY GOLF

ICE SKATING & HOCKEY

Living with our cold Michigan winters, it is no surprise that hockey and ice skating are popular options for kids’ athletics. Whether your child loves to hit a puck on the ice or twirl around on it, there are several local programs to get someone started in hockey or ice skating.

Southside Skating School provides opportunities for skaters of all ages and skill levels to experience the wonderful sport of skating, all year round!

In each Learn to Skate session, skaters receive weekly instruction by our CERTIFIED coaching staff,  2 open skate passes, and skate rental. Choose from many class options including Snowplow Sam for young new beginners, and Learn to Play Hockey for skaters with experience.

We follow the curriculum of Learn to Skate, USA, preparing skaters for a lifetime love of skating and to help them achieve their goals whether it’s general skating abilities, or advancing to hockey or figure skating.

For more information and to register, please visit our website: www.southsidearena.com/learntoskate.

CONTACT INFORMATION

566 100th St SW | Byron Center, MI 49315 | (810) 623-1754
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

“I am so glad we chose Southside’s Learn to Skate program for our daughters! As a former skater, I am so pleased by the progress they’ve made, their excitement to skate, and the individual attention they receive! The coaching staff is wonderful, and we look forward to lessons each week!”

Learn to Skate at L.C. Walker Arena. Progressive ice skating classes offered two times per week during the school year. Applicable to hockey skills or figure skating.

The figure skating club is based at L.C. Walker and offers private ice and lessons to recreational and competitive skaters. Email [email protected] for more information.

CONTACT INFORMATION

470 W Western Ave | Muskegon, MI 49440
WEBSITE

MORE PLACES TO GET ON THE ICE

For information on other skating, hockey, and other winter sports in greater Grand Rapids, please view our Winter Outdoor Play Guide.

LACROSSE

Lacrosse continues to gain popularity. It combines concepts and skills from several different sports and is a great option for the kid who loves a fast-paced, action-packed game. Lacrosse programs for your athlete are listed below.

Michigan Lacrosse Academy provides lacrosse programming for the kindergartener looking to try lacrosse for the first time, all the way to the elite high school athlete.

Fundamental skills will be taught as well as a focus on our core values that apply to life beyond the sport. Your child will be able to grow in their knowledge of lacrosse as well as begin to foster a love for the sport.

Little Laxers is an introductory clinic for beginners. Participants will learn the basic techniques and movements in order to begin to foster a passion for the game! The Youth Training Program will combine instruction & games each week. MLXA will provide all necessary equipment.

MLXA’s mission is simple: Teach. Life. Sport. We strive to develop our athletes on and off the field, through the way we teach and through sport.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

5449 28th Street Ct. SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | (616) 608-5905
WEBSITEFACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

“My son had shown an interest in lacrosse and I loved that the clinics at MLXA were a fun way to introduce him to Lacrosse. The coaches were energetic and he was able to learn a lot and foster a new passion for this sport.”

MORE PLACES TO PLAY LAX

MARTIAL ARTS PROGRAMS

Martial Arts, Karate, Tae Kwon Do

White belt, red belt or yellow belt? No matter the skill level, martial arts programs have something for every child. Find the right program for your family here. Several martial arts programs are listed below.

Our Youth Jiu-Jitsu classes are for ages 5-16
*Little Warriors (5-7)
*Junior Warriors (8-12)
*Teen Warriors (13-16)

Students will learn the best martial art for self-defense while enhancing problem solving skills, boosting self confidence and learning patience and discipline, in a fun and positive environment.

Our Head Coach, Jadyson Costa, 3rd degree Black Belt BJJ, facilitates all classes and makes learning fun.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

6770 Old 28th St SE | Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | 616-914-5338
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

“Fighthouse MMA has become a second home to my kids. They both love their jiu-jitsu instructor, Jadyson, who does an amazing job with the kids in his classes. Jiu-jitsu has taught them to believe in themselves and to be confident, along with training them to focus and persevere. Jiu-jitsu has made them stronger physically and mentally. I would highly recommend Fighthouse MMA”

Peggy Douthett (mother of a Little Warrior and Junior Warrior)

MORE PLACES TO DO MARTIAL ARTS

ULTIMATE FRISBEE

There are many things to love about getting your child involved in ultimate frisbee.

It is a fast-paced sport giving your child a lot of physical activity, and as a parent you’ll love that there is very little equipment that you are required to purchase.

And really, who doesn’t love throwing a frisbee?

We offer programming for 4-12th graders. Six schools offer programs during the Fall and Spring along with club opportunities during the summer and winter.

No experience required! Only equipment needed are cleats and a disc.

Our coaches play professionally, coach on the college and national level, and may offer you a scholarship to play for their collegiate team one day.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Greater Grand Rapids Area | (616) 606-DISC
WEBSITE

FOOTBALL

With over 100 million people tuning in to watch the Super Bowl each year, it is no wonder that many kids ask to join a football team.

If someone in your family is wanting to be the next Barry Sanders or Tom Brady, check out our listings of both flag football and traditional tackle football programs below.

Join the largest flag football organization in the country! This is a 5 vs. 5, non-contact, recreational, co-ed format. We try to limit teams to 10-11 players to maximize playing time.

This is an exceptional program for first time players who want to learn the fundamentals of football. This is also a wonderful opportunity for players who may want to continue to enhance their skills before taking the next leap into tackle football. There are no try-outs and everyone participates! Ages 4-14 welcome!

* 7 week season, with 7 practices and 6 games
* First week is a meet/greet along with a practice, and each week following will be a 1-hour practice, and a 1-hour game (2 hr time slots)
* Teams are formed based off grade, school and buddy request (no guarantees)
* Each participant will receive a NFL reversible jersey and a flag belt
* Participants in grades Pre-K to 3rd grade will all receive a participation trophy
* For the Madden divisions (grades 4-8), the top four teams in each division will qualify for playoffs, that will be played during the final week of the season. The winners and runners up will receive awards.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

2055 Franklin Road | Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302 | 248-454-9700
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

“Great recreational activity for boys and girls. Both my son and daughter love playing.”

Aaron C. (Facebook)

MORE PLACES TO PLAY FLAG FOOTBALL

MORE PLACES TO PLAY YOUTH TACKLE FOOTBALL

BASEBALL PROGRAMS

baseball Grand rapids Kids

There is a reason people have been singing the classic song Take Me Out to the Ball Game for years. Baseball is fun, both to play and watch.

Whether it is signing up for little league or a competitive travel program, options are everywhere for the baseball enthusiast.

WRESTLING

While my children love to challenge each other to a good wrestling match, the sport of wrestling is certainly more than just play.

It requires conditioning, strength and skill. As a parent, you’ll love that children are paired against children in their same weight class, making it a very level playing field for all kids.

Sign up for a wrestling team at one of the local programs listed below.

MORE PLACES TO WRESTLE

SPEED & AGILITY

Speed and agility training has become popular as a way for kids to take their athleticism to the next level. Being quick and having better control of your body can benefit just about every sport.

Looking to sign your child up for one of these training sessions? Check out our list below.

MORE PLACES FOR SPEED & AGILITY

FENCING

While fencing may seem like something that only happens during a duel in a medieval movie, it is a sport that is still popular today, especially with kids and adults who love to combine physical movement with strategy.

Whether your child is looking for lessons or would like to compete on a team, there are options for both below.

Take your first step to becoming an Olympian! These camps and classes are designed for individuals with little or no fencing experience. Participants will not only have fun but will become acquainted with fencing stance, movement, strategies and rules. All equipment is provided.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

WMFA, P.O. Box 230063 | Grand Rapids, MI 49523 | (616) 401-0197
WEBSITE

MORE PLACES FOR FENCING

CYCLING

There is nothing like watching a child learn to ride a bike for the first time. You can see the sense of freedom and adventure riding a bike brings.

If your child still loves to get on a bike and go, joining a cycling or mountain biking club might be a great fit. The bonus with this activity is that you can often do it as a family!

MORE PROGRAMS FOR CYCLING

ACTION AND ADVENTURE

What sounds more fun to a kid (or adult for that matter) than laser tag, learning water sports or climbing through an adventure park? Not much can compare to that!

If your child is looking for a way to be active, outside of the traditional sports listed in our guide, check out our list of places for action and adventure sports.

BattleGR Tactical Games Laser Tag and Archery Tag® programs brings the fun of a long time favorite game of Laser Tag or Archery with a strategic twist.

With multiple different strategic games each session is something fun and unique. We will be focusing on how to work as a team to achieve an objective, communication, and what makes a great leader. Our 4/6 week programs are great for those kids who don’t enjoy sports.

They will get the exercise you want while having fun playing games.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

4735 Lake Michigan Dr NW Suite E | Grand Rapids, MI 49534 | 616-345-0698
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK

“Henry has been having a blast with this program. His brothers both want to participate in the summer session, and I’m sure he’d love to see more programs at school this fall.

Thank you for providing this unique opportunity after school. I’m always looking for physical activities for my non-sporty child and he’s been loving laser tag. He comes home with rosy cheeks and exciting stories!”

Liz

MORE PLACES FOR ACTION AND ADVENTURE

DANCE & GYMNASTICS PROGRAMS

For information on dance programs in greater Grand Rapids, please view our Guide to Music, Theater, Art, and Dance Classes in Grand Rapids.

For information on gymnastics programs, please check out our Gymnastics Guide.

Would you like to see your sport featured? Click here!

Grand Rapids Kids Sports Guide

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