100+ Summer Activities for Kids: Your Go-to List of Summer Things to Do in West Michigan

things to do in summer activities : girl in pool

Epic List of Things to do in the Summer in Greater Grand Rapids

Few things are as magical as summertime in West Michigan. But, as you know, summer is short and we have to plan to pack in as much warm-weather fun as possible.

To help, we put all of the family-friendly places to go and things to do in the summer in one spot.

things to do in the summer with kids

Now you can spend less time scrolling and more time building sand castles, playing tag and eating popsicles with your family this summer. Hooray!

Take a look at this bucket list of 100+ summer activities for kids in Grand Rapids – it’s your ticket to West Michigan summer fun. Let’s go!

The West Michigan Summer Bucket List for 2024

Summer is short and sweet in Michigan and we’re determined to enjoy every minute. Thankfully, we have a ton of summer outing ideas to pick from.

No matter how you choose to enjoy the summer, you can say there are lots of summer activities for kids near me in West Michigan.

Partners regularly step up to support the mission of Grand Rapids Kids. We’re proud to work with them.

Take a trip to one or more of these special West Michigan attractions and it’ll be a summer highlight for sure. Thanks for supporting our sponsors!

Summer Fun at Tarry Hall Roller Rink

IDEA 1:

3330 Fairlanes Ave SW, Grandville, MI 49418 - (616) 534-8235

"Great place for kids to go for affordable fun. They keep the rink safe and moving at all times. Highly recommend this place for birthdays and other celebrations!!"


What to Expect:
Spend your summer roller skating!!

Public skating sessions are open all summer long, put some wheels on your feet for a great time in the air conditioning.

Let us host your summer birthday party! Packages available for all sizes of groups during our public skating sessions or rent the whole rink for a private party.

*We're running a HUGE summer promotion: book a private party in June, July, or August and get $100 off! Email us for details and use the promo code #GRKIDS100

Spend more of your time enjoying your party than working it and let us handle clean up at the end!

We're open every week for public skating:
• Thursdays: 12:30 PM -2:30 PM
• Thursdays: Adult Night 8:30 - 11:00 PM (18+ only)
• Fridays: 7:00 - 10:00 PM
• Saturdays: 6:30 - 9:30 PM

All ages welcome (except for Adult Night on Thursdays)!


Summer Fun at Grand Rapids Children's Museum

IDEA 2:
11 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 - (616) 235-4726

"Absolutely awesome for anyone with a curious child!"


What to Expect:
GRCM is two floors of hands-on interactive exhibits and daily drop-in programs that inspire learning through play.

GRCM has been a playful destination in downtown Grand Rapids, MI for over 25 years and 4 million guests!

Explore the nationally traveling exhibit Emotions at Play with Pixar's Inside Out open June 1 - September 8, 2024! Hands-on and digital experiences focus on the five emotions featured in the award-wining film: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear.


Summer Fun at The Mud Room @ Knapp's Corner

IDEA 3:
1971 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 - (616) 259-7269

"Loved it! We had fun painting our ceramic items. The staff is so friendly and helpful and the environment is very warm and welcoming!" -Angie K.


What to Expect:
Include a visit to The Mud room in your staycation plans!

This studio has been a local favorite since 1996 and has earned multiple Grandtastic Awards.

All ages can paint pottery (check their website for hours). Don't worry if you're "not creative..." Their friendly staff will help anyone feel like an artist!

Register ages 7-15 in advance for a Camp Mud clay class, or sign up for glass fusing and potter’s wheel lessons. Classes fill up, so RSVP early!

Stay updated by following their socials or sign up for e-news to hear about other artful happenings for the whole family.


Summer Fun at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium & Peppa Pig World of Play

IDEA 4:
4240 Baldwin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48326 - (248) 409-6001

"Great place to take the kiddos. Had a wonderful time. The staff is very friendly and helpful." Google Review


What to Expect:
Enjoy the ultimate day of Summer Fun with the family at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium and Peppa Pig World of Play in Auburn Hills, Michigan!

All three attractions are located at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets mall in Auburn Hills, right off I-75, and just over 2 hours from Grand Rapids.


Summer Fun at The Holland Farmers Market

IDEA 5:
150 West 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423 - (616) 355-1138

"Shopping at the Holland Farmers Market really is fun for all ages. My kids love picking out their own fruit for snacks and listening to the street performers there!"


What to Expect:
The Holland Farmers Market is your destination for fresh, local food and free family fun all summer long!

Shop from over 75 vendors every Wednesday and Saturday in Downtown Holland from 8 AM–2 PM, rain or shine!

Join us for Market Story Time and free Kids Activities on Wednesdays from 9:30–11:30 AM from June 14 to August 12, sponsored by Corewell Health.

And ask about our new Power of Produce passport program, where kids can earn free fruits and vegetables and a fun prize package just for visiting the Market, thanks to our partners Alignwell Chiropractic!


Summer Fun at Downtown Holland

IDEA 6:
150 West 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423 - (616) 796-1210

"My kids love coming to the Gentex Street Performer Series! After getting a balloon animal and watching the break dancers, we always have to end the night with ice cream!"


What to Expect:
Enjoy free fun for the entire family in Downtown Holland every Thursday night at the Gentex Street Performer Series!

Stroll along 8th Street every Thursday evening from 6:30 PM-8:30 PM from June 15 to August 13 to enjoy the sights and sounds of musicians, jugglers, break dancers, caricature artists, magicians, balloon twisters, and so much more as they perform for free all along the sidewalks. Just don't forget to tip!

Psst...the Downtown Holland Social District is also open during the Series so you can grab an adult beverage from nearly 20 participating establishments to sip while you stroll!


Summer Fun at Action Wake Park

IDEA 7:
3320 Hudson Trails Dr, Hudsonville, MI 49426 - (616) 827-7903


What to Expect:
The Ultimate Summer watersports experience!

Our facilities give guests the opportunity to play on water slides and learn how to wakeboard, water ski and kneeboard in a controlled environment without the need for a boat, bringing the joy of water sports to a whole new audience.

With a full circuit inflatable water park for endless family fun, we promise to deliver you a premium experience!


Summer Fun at Allegan Event

IDEA 8:
439 River Street, Allegan, MI 49010 - (269) 430-3961


What to Expect:
Conveniently located 30-minutes from Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Holland, Allegan Event is Michigan’s largest indoor ropes course and offers endless adventurous activities for families and guests of all ages to explore.

Attractions include the heart-pumping ropes course with zip rails, the Tykes ropes course for little children, climbing walls, and outdoor mini-golf and maze.

Stop by the arcade for more fun and games, then refuel in the food and beverage area.


Summer Fun at John Ball Zoo

IDEA 9:
1300 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids, MI 49504 - (616) 336-4300


What to Expect:
Join us this summer at John Ball Zoo for a new season of unforgettable experiences and new animals!

Get ready for a season loaded with close encounters, special experiences, hands-on fun and of course, lots of animal friends who are eager for you to visit.

Latest happenings this summer season include the return of the Lantern Festival; Breakfast with the Animals; Rock, Roar and Pour; Gorilla Exploration Virtual Reality Experience; and Dino Adventures.


Summer Fun at Craig's Cruisers Family Fun Centers

IDEA 10:
5730 Clyde Park Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49509 - (616) 530-2900
651 Chicago Dr, Holland, MI 49509


What to Expect:
Sun’s out, fun’s out! Summer memories start at Craig’s Cruisers.

Open daily all summer long!

Craig’s Cruisers is West Michigan’s destination for family fun with three locations, including Grand Rapids, Holland and Muskegon.

Heat up the competition with a round of mini-golf or go-karts. Laugh and play on the arcade floor and refuel with pizza.

Plan your visit at craigscruisers.com.


Summer Fun at Accidental Art

IDEA 11:
355 Northland Drive NE, Rockford, MI 49341 - (616) 915-4842


What to Expect:
Pottery painting at Accidental Art should be on your summer bucket list!

Accidental Art is a paint your own pottery studio located just outside downtown Rockford. This hidden gem has been open for over eight years.

No experience or talent necessary!

Come on in and pick out a piece of pottery. We supply all of the paint and supplies needed to create a one-of-a-kind piece of art.

We can't wait to help you create a masterpiece and memories that will last a lifetime!


Summer Fun at Pinball Land

IDEA 12:
114 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341 - [email protected]


What to Expect:
Pinball Land is West Michigan's ultimate retro arcade experience.

Here, you don't need any quarters or tokens - just pay admission and the games are free to play!

We have beautifully maintained pinball machines and all of your favorite classic video arcade games. Come in and play whenever you'd like, or host a birthday party or field trip.

Relive your favorite arcade memories and make new ones with your kids at Pinball Land!


Summer Fun at The Grand Rapids Public Library

IDEA 13:
111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 - (616) 988-5400


What to Expect:
Summer Reading Challenge
May 28 – September 7, 2024

Join the Grand Rapids Public Library's Summer Reading Challenge!

Pick up a Summer Reading Challenge passport and complete reading challenges designed for all ages.

Track your progress and earn prizes as you go!

Participation (at any Grand Rapids Public Library location) is free and does not require a library card.

Learn more at www.grpl.org/summerreading


Summer Events in Grand Rapids for Today & This Weekend

Looking for last minute ideas for things to do in the summer? Stay up-to-date on summer events in Grand Rapids with our fully-loaded events calendar.

Or, use our weekend planner to create the most amazing summer weekends.

If you’d rather get summer things to do delivered to you, the GRKIDS newsletter is the place to be.

If social media is how you like to stay informed, join us over there. We’re on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

Summer Festivals & Events

Fairs and Festivals are a big part of West Michigan’s things to do in the summer, perhaps because we love community and celebrations.

It’s easy to enjoy walking around in the warm sunshine, listening to the sounds of kids laughing and playing nearby, trying elephant ears, shopping with local artisans, or taking a spin on the colorful Ferris Wheel.

grand haven kite festival
Grand Haven Kite Festival

Here are a few of our favorite Grand Rapids summer events for your summer bucket list:

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival at John Ball Zoo. April 10 – June 16, 2024. Asian-inspired lanterns light up the zoo after dark. Also fun to see during the day. 1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Grand Rapids Lantern Festival - one of the great summer activities for kids
Grand Rapids Lantern Festival

Tulip Time in Holland. May 4 – 12, 2024. In addition to the millions of tulips, festival-goers can expect parades, Dutch dancing, carnival activities and more. Holland, MI 49423

Festival of the Arts in downtown Grand Rapids. June 7 – 9, 2024. With performance stages across the city and a street lined with cultural food booths, the Festival of the Arts is a delight for your senses and is one of the highly anticipated Grand Rapids summer events.

Kent County Youth Fair in Lowell. July 29 – August 4, 2024. Animals, cotton candy, and rides, oh my! This week-long county fair features themed days like Heroes Day and Auction Day. Tuesday is Reading for Rides Day, where kids earn free rides for reading. 225 S Hudson St, Lowell, MI 49331

coast guard festival grand haven mi
Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival is July 26 – August 4, 2024. This annual celebration of all things Coast Guard includes parades, memorials, picnics, carnival rides, fireworks, car show, craft fair and so many more summer things to do. Downtown Grand Haven, MI.

~ More Fairs and Festivals

Concerts & Movies in the Park

Classic Grand Rapids summer event: Concerts in the Park!

Whether at Meijer Gardens or in a local neighborhood, concerts and movies in the park are on the calendar most every day of the week of the summer. Toss a blanket in the car – you never know when you might want to stop and listen to the music.

Movie in the Park
Free Movie at MLK Park in Grand Rapids

In addition to the main event, you’ll often find food trucks and other entertainment on hand before the show.

Bonus: These events are typically one of the free things to do in the summer, so get ready to soak up the sights and sounds at your favorite park.

~ Concerts & Movies in the Park Schedule

Treat Your Taste Buds

Summertime is all about the treats! Whether it’s Superman ice cream, fresh picked produce or following your favorite food truck around town, this list is full of tasty summer outings.

Ice Cream

Is it even summer until you get a scoop of Superman ice cream? Beat the heat by visiting West Michigan ice cream shops like Jersey Junction or Frosty Boy, where you can cool off with unique flavors and indulge your sweet tooth. 

Housemans Ice cream shop Byron center
Houseman’s Ice Cream Shop in Byron Center, MI

Downtown Market435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Grab lunch and check out a Kid’s Wednesday in July at the Downtown Market.

Food Trucks

Find a food truck and order something you’ve never tasted before. There are about 60 food trucks in Grand Rapids!

Farmer’s Markets

Fill your basket with fresh produce at a farmer’s market.

Fruit & Flower Picking

We are lucky to live in West Michigan for so many reasons. But one of the best is the easy access to so much fresh produce and opportunities to head out to a variety of U-Pick Fruit stands. Same goes for U-pick flower places!

you pick blueberries

Fruit picking schedule:

Strawberries – early June

Cherries – early July

Raspberries – mid-July

Blueberries – early August

Peaches – mid-August

Apples – early September

Flower Picking – different varieties are ready for picking at different times of the year

Lavender – peeks in mid-July

Sunflowers – late summer

~ West Michigan U-Pick Fruit Guide

Hit the Beach

Pack the towels and toys, slather on the sunscreen and spend the day at one of Lake Michigan’s best beaches.

North Beach Park18775 N Shore Dr, Ferrysburg, MI 49409

Head to Ferrysburg for the Grand Haven beach without the state park crowds. In addition to the beach, this park has playgrounds, hiking trails and amazing views. 

North Park Beach Ferrysburg MI
North Beach Park in Ferrysburg, MI

Versluis Park3650 Versluis Park NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

No time to head to the big lake? Get your beach fix right here in Plainfield Township. It has an accessible beach ramp, two playgrounds, hiking trails – and it’s free.

~ West Michigan Beach Guide

Splash Pads & Pools

Not a fan of the sand at the beach? Or no time for a road trip?

West Michigan is filled with amazing splash pads and pools. There’s sure to be one near you.

Millennium Park 1415 Maynard Ave SW, Walker, MI 49534

This place is full of outdoor summer activities for kids. The splash pad is a favorite because it’s really big and completely fenced in. Parents of little kids don’t have to worry about someone wandering off – hooray!

Lamar Park2561 Porter Street SW, Wyoming, MI 49519

This park features an accessible playground and the splash pad is no exception.

Aqua chairs allow people of every ability to enjoy the splash pad, complete with soaker stations, a water tunnel, a fire hydrant, and dumping buckets in a variety of bright, vibrant colors.

Lamar Park Splash Pad Wyoming Michigan
Lamar Park Splash Pad in Wyoming

Grand Rapids City Pools

While splash pads are great for little kids, sometimes nothing beats plunging into an outdoor pool.

The city of Grand Rapids maintains several pools throughout the city. They’re typically open from early June through Labor Day weekend.

~ West MI Splash Pads & Pools Guide

Amusement Parks

It’s hard to beat the excitement of a day out at a local amusement or adventure park.

From putt putt to go-karts and everything in between, West Michigan is home to a variety of outdoor family fun centers for you to explore.

Take a wild ride on Shivering Timbers and the other roller coasters at Michigan’s Adventure. 4750 Whitehall Rd, Muskegon, MI 49445

Thunderhawk Rollercoaster Michigans Adventure
Thunderhawk roller coaster at Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon, MI

Be Dutch for the day at Nelis’ Dutch Village. 12350 James St, Holland, MI 49424

Heat up the competition with a round of mini golf or go-karts at Craig’s Cruisers. Laugh and play on the arcade floor and refuel with pizza. Find more family fun at their Holland, Muskegon, and Silver Lake locations. 5730 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming, MI 49509

~ Putt Putt, Go Karts and Zip Lines

Water Parks

When it’s hot outside, we need refreshing things to do in the summer. The solution: splish-splash and with just a quick dash, you could be frolicking at a nearby water park destination.

Michigan’s Adventure – 4750 Whitehall Rd, Muskegon, MI 49445

Most of waterparks in Michigan are indoors. That alone sets the WildWater Adventure outdoor water park at Michigan’s Adventure apart from the crowd. (This seasonal park opens on June 8, 2024.)

Favorite features include lazy river, wave pool, water slides and kiddie area.

Action Wake Park Inflatable Waterpark
Aqua Park at Action Wake Park in Hudsonville, MI

Action Wake Park3320 Hudson Trails Dr, Hudsonville, MI 49426

Known for their water sports and wake boarding, Action Wake Park now has a water park, too. This inflatable aqua park features 10 elements and is a fantastic option for cooling off on a warm summer day.

Holland Aquatic Center150 W 8th St, Holland, MI 49423

The play area at the Holland Community Aquatic Center includes a children’s play area, circular slide and lazy river. Plus a zero entry wading pool for the littlest splashers.

~ water parks

Urban Adventures

There are so many things to do in the city of Grand Rapids. Here’s some of our favorites:

Grand Rapids RiverWalk560 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

This FREE Hidden Gem Walk around downtown begins and ends at Fish Ladder Park. It includes stops at Calder Plaza and Ah-Nab-Awen Park.

Dreamchaser-mural-by-Kevin-Wolfrom-Ottawa-Ave-Hunt
Dreamchaser mural by Kevin Wolfrom on Ottawa Ave in Grand Rapids, MI

Mural Crawl

Grand Rapids is full of amazing art. Street art is no exception.

Use our mural crawl to create your own scavenger hunt to find the best murals in Grand Rapids.

~ things to do in Grand Rapids

Enjoy Nature

Get into the great outdoors by exploring an area nature center, hitting the water or hopping on your bike.

Blandford Nature Center1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Check out a backpack for a themed hiking experience.

Outdoor Discovery Center 4214 56th Street, Holland, MI 49423

Observe the quiet beauty along the Rabbit River Preserve.

michigan nature centers - outdoor discovery center
Outdoor Discovery Center in Holland, MI

Kayak

Marvel at the scenery in a more active way as you paddle a kayak down a local river.

Biking

Gather up your friends and take in the sights as you bike down a West Michigan bike path.

~ nature centers and bike paths

Family Fun Centers

Beat the heat at an indoor family fun center around west Michigan.

Craig’s Cruisers5730 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming, MI 49509

Ride the indoor roller coaster or play on the bumper cars.

craig's cruisers frog hopper ride
Frog Hopper ride at Craig’s Cruisers in Wyoming, MI

BattleGR284 Dodge NE Suite 100, Comstock Park, MI 49321

Your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to have a blast playing tactical laser-tag.

Urban Air12331 James St, Holland, Michigan 49424

Bounce on the trampolines, climb the walls and more at Urban Air.

Rebounderz7500 Cottonwood Dr, Jenison, MI 49428

Play life-sized Foosball in a specially designed arena.

Rebounderz life size foosball players
Be a Foosball player at Rebounderz in Jenison MI

Amped Virtual Reality 2923 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Explore alternate realities or go inside your favorite video games.

~ family fun centers

Animal Adventures

Whether it’s at a zoo or a petting farm, West Michigan has plenty of options to get up close and personal with animals.

John Ball Zoo1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Chacoan peccaries (pig-like animals) join the line up at John Ball Zoo in 2024, as well as several other new animals. Plus a new virtual reality experience.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park8313 Pratt Lake SE, Alto, MI 49302

See the rhinos and take a walking safari tour at Boulder Ridge. Pay extra to experience special animal adventures.

boulder-ridge-zoo-petting-farm-1
Petting farm at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto, MI

Deer Tracks Junction7850 14 Mile Rd NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Sign up for the safari ride and play in the giant, unique play structures. Or, interact with the deer, yak, elk, goats and more.

Lewis Farms4180 M-20, New Era, MI 49446

Animals at Lewis Farms include zebus, llamas, alpacas, miniature horses, emus, wallabies and prairie dogs, to name a few. If you go, be sure to check out all of the other things to do in the summer, from the giant slide, to playgrounds and more.

Lewis-Farms-overview
Lewis Farms in New Era, MI

Critter Barn2950 80th Ave, Zeeland, MI 49464

Visit their new barn and get ready to interact with rabbits, chickens, ducks, cats, hogs, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, turkeys, pot-bellied pigs, geese, a pony and a horse!

Anderson & Girls Orchards – 2985 N Sheridan Rd, Stanton, MI 48888

This farm is packed with summer activities for kids, with everything from reindeer to camels to hedgehogs to lemurs. Don’t forget to visit the goats. Bonus – it’s free to visit!

~ petting zoos and animal farms

Cultural Attractions

West Michigan has fantastic museums and cultural attractions, both indoors and outdoors.

Frederik Meijer Gardens 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Search for all the “animals” at the Michigan Farm Garden, take a tram ride, or play in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens.

Grand Rapids Public Museum272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Learn about Grands Rapids past and present plus so much more. Note that the carousel is closed until spring 2025.

Visitors exploring Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Streets of Old Grand Rapids
Explore the streets of Old Grand Rapids at Grand Rapids Public Museum in Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum11 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Kids (and kids at heart) love to play and learn at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

Windmill Island Gardens1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423

Dance to the music of an Amsterdam Street Organ at Windmill Island Gardens.

~ museums and cultural attractions

Creative Things to Do in the Summer

Take a break from the summer heat and make something beautiful at an area art studio.

The Mud Room1971 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Get creative at The Mud Room by painting pottery pieces, wooden signs, fusing glass and more.

painting at the mud room
Paint pottery at The Mud Room in Grand Rapids, MI

Accidental Art355 Northland Drive NE, Rockford, MI 49341

Brush up some fun by painting pottery at Accidental Art.

~ art studios

Camps & Classes

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean learning has to stop. Your kids can expand their knowledge and skills all summer long, even on break from school.

It’s all about finding the right rhythm and balance for your tribe. Whether you’re a list-making taskmaster or a carpe diem drifter, we’ve brainstormed some of our favorite ways to learn from the classroom of life.

Vacation Bible School

Find a nearby VBS program with our West Michigan VBS Round-Up.

Pine Ridge Summer Camp Zip Line
Zip line at Pine Ridge Summer camp

Summer Camp

Sports, arts, STEM, day camp or overnight camp. Find whatever fits your needs in our summer camp guide.

~ VBS and summer camps

Old Fashioned Fun

Arcade games, drive-in movies, baseball games… some things to do in the summer are classics for a reason. They never stop being fun!

Pinball Land114 Courtland St, Rockford, MI 49341

No need for any quarters or tokens at Pinball Land – just pay admission and the games are free to play!

Retro Electric Arcade 2163 W. Main St, Lowell, MI 49331

Retro Electric Arcade is a free-play arcade and nostalgic retail shop with all the old arcade games you remember (if you were around in the 80s), awesome pinball machines, and a whole bunch of rad retro toys and collectibles.

Retro Electric Arcade Lowell
Retro Electric Arcade in Lowell, MI

The Lost City12330 James St, Holland, MI 49424

Try for a new skee-ball high score or play other arcade games at The Lost City.

Whitecaps4500 W River Dr NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321

Take the kids out for peanuts and Cracker Jacks at a Whitecaps baseball game.

West Michigan Whitecaps Baseball Game
Whitecaps ball game in Comstock Park MI

Getty Drive In920 E Summit Ave, Muskegon, MI 49444

Take in a double feature from the comfort of your minivan at an area drive-in movie.

Free Things to Do

No need to pay for summer fun. West Michigan has plenty of free summer things to do.

Lace up and get steps in on one of our local hiking trails.

cascade peace park hiking grand rapids michigan trail
Cascade Peace Park in Grand Rapids, MI

Do a playground crawl this summer and find a new-to-you park to enjoy.

Log some books and earn loot with a summer reading program.

Splash pad here, a splash pad there – when it comes to spray parks, there are dozens of options.

Millennium-Park-splash-pad-kids-Siemens
Millennium Park Splash Pad

Get a Michigan Activity Pass for free or discounted admission—or other discounts—at hundreds of Michigan state parks, campgrounds, museums, trails, arts & cultural destinations and more.

Holland Playland446 W 40th St, Holland, MI 49423

Kids won’t tire of all the fun to be had at the two-story-tall indoor playground.

Holland Indoor Playground
Toddler area at Holland Playland in Holland, MI

KDL Perks Pass

Get into area attractions for free with your Kent District Library card. Check out complimentary guest passes to places like Circle Theater, Meijer Gardens and more.

GRPL library card – Main Branch – 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Kids will feel so grown up when they get their very own library card from Grand Rapids Public Library.

Musical Fountain

Don’t miss the musical fountain in Grand Haven as lights and water synchronize to popular music. Special themed nights occur throughout the summer.

Grand Haven - Musical Fountain

Get bowled over and save when you sign your kids up at KidBowlFree.com, allowing kids to bowl for free all summer at area locations like Hudsonville Lanes or BAM! in Holland.

~ free summer things to do

Favorite Parks

Parks are one of the best summer activities for kids. Visit an old favorite or find a new one near you.

Millennium Park1415 Maynard Ave SW, Walker, MI 49534

Paddle around in a tandem kayak or paddle boats at Millennium Park.

Paddle boats at Millennium Park in Walker, MI

Airport Observation Park4820 Kraft Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Picnic while you watch airplanes land and take off at the Airport Observation Park. Visit on Wednesdays to grab something from a food truck.

Airport viewing park food trucks grand rapids mi

Fallasburg Park1124 Fallasburg Park Dr NE, Lowell, MI 49331

March through the covered bridge and splash in the stream at Fallasburg Park.

Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park462 N Scenic Dr, Muskegon, MI 49445

Head on over to Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park within Muskegon State Park for zip line and archery, or ride the luge – on wheels!

Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park zipline
Zipline at Muskegon Sports Park in Muskegon MI

Saugatuck Dunes State Park 6575 138th Ave, Holland, MI 49423

Hike through the delightful 300+ acres of parkland at Saugatuck Dunes State Park. It not only includes 2.5 miles of Lake Michigan, but it’s also home to 13 miles of hiking trails through the sand dunes. 

~ West MI Park & Playground Guide

Adrenaline Rush Summer Things to Do

Get your heart pumping with one of these more adventurous things to do in the summer.

Cannonsburg6800 Cannonsburg Rd, Belmont, MI 49306

Soar through the skies on the zipline.

Muskegon Sports Park462 Scenic Drive, North Muskegon, MI 49445

Try the summer luge at Muskegon Sports Park – it’s the only wheeled luge track in the United States.

Luge in the summer at Muskegon Sports Park in Muskegon, MI

TreeRunner Adventure Park2121 Celebration Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Conquer one of the seven courses offered at TreeRunner Adventure Park, an aerial park full of climbing and zipline thrills.

Action Wake Park3320 Hudson Trails Dr, Hudsonville, MI 49426

Learn how to wakeboard at Action Wake Park.

Allegan Event439 River Street, Allegan, MI 49010

Master the rope courses at Allegan Event.

kids play place indoor playground allegan event family fun center
Try the ropes course at Allegan Event in Allegan MI

Tubing

Can you really call yourself a Michigander if you haven’t been tubing down a river?

Day Trips

With their long days and short nights, the summer months are the perfect time for a day trip. Here’s some of our favorite places for summer fun in Michigan.

The Ledges at Fitzgerald Park133 Fitzgerald Park Dr, Grand Ledge, MI 48837

Explore the majestic ledges, 300 million-year-old ancient sandstone rock formations, at Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge, just west of Lansing.

ledges at Fitzgeral park

USS Silversides Submarine Museum 1346 Bluff St, Muskegon, MI 49441

Check out USS Silversides, a real WWII submarine, in Muskegon. Groups of 20 or more can even sleep on board.

USS-Silversides-Museum-dad-and-kids-at-controls-system
USS Silversides Museum in Muskegon, MI

Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary1698 M-66, Athens, MI 49011

Turtles, snakes, lizards, and, of course, alligators (and more) are all waiting to greet you on your visit.

WMU DinosaursRood Hall, Western Michigan University, 2101 Wilbur Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49006

Western Michigan University’s Dinosaur Park offers an immersive experience with 13 scale-sized dinos. Future paleontologists, geologists and other curious visitors will love it!

Parasaurolophus at WMU Dinosaur Park in Kalamazoo, MI

Muskegon Boat Ride560 Mart St, Muskegon, MI 49440

Level up your next date night with a boat ride down the Muskegon Channel on board the Aquastar.

The Capitol Building100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933

Spend the day in Lansing and be sure to tour the Capitol.

Sleep Under the Stars

Summer is the perfect time to star gaze at your favorite West Michigan campground.

best camping in michigan

Or upgrade your camping trip and go glamping instead.

Road Trip

If travel plans are on your summer bucket list, then you are in the right spot.

There are so many fun road trip ideas from Grand Rapids to beautiful places around pure Michigan, the surrounding Midwest region, and even Canada. There’s no better time to pack the car and hit the road than during the summer season.

Heading up north to find more things to do in the summer in Michigan is a ritual for many families.

St. Joseph

St. Joseph has more than just beautiful beaches; this Lake Michigan town is worth the visit all year round with food, shopping, hiking and its own little piece of Michigan wine country.

Detroit

Discover the zoo, Belle Isle, local gems and more when you visit Detroit.

Detroit-Zoo-Arctic-Ring-of-Life-Patti-Truesdell
Polar Bear in the Arctic Ring of Life at the Detroit Zoo. Photo credit Patti Truesdell.

Mackinac Island286 Grand Ave, Mackinac Island, MI 49757

Put your pedal to the metal as you bike your way around Mackinac Island. Stay at the Grand Hotel for the most iconic island experience. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Head to one of Michigan’s national parks and climb the dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes – plus 4th grade families can visit for free.

sleeping bear dunes dune climb

Upper Peninsula

Venture over the bridge to the land of the Yooper when you go to MarquettePictured RocksTahquamenon Falls and beyond.

pictured rocks upper peninsula boat tour
Pictured Rocks in Munising MI

Frankenmuth

Immerse yourself in rustic German culture (or enjoy the indoor water parks) as you stay at “Michigan’s Little Bavaria,” Frankenmuth.

Ann Arbor

A Squared (A2), Tree Town, Wolverine Town. Whatever you call this city northwest of Detroit, Ann Arbor is a place that holds entertainment for all ages and family types.

Indianapolis, IN3000 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46208

Fedoras are optional as you take on the role of archaeologist at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum – an absolute must when you visit Indianapolis.

Children’s Museum at Indianapolis, IN

Chicago, IL

Hop aboard the Amtrak and take the train to Chicago.

Niagara Falls

With its close proximity to Canada, Niagara Falls is easy to get to from Port Huron, MI. It’s a great way to save time to see this breathtaking wonder.

Travel Farther

Take your road trip a beyond the tri-state area and visit one of these great places.

Milwaukee

Load the car right onto the high speed ferry from Muskegon to Milwaukee.

Kentucky

There’s more than just horses in Kentucky. Along with aquarium, zoos and parks, there’s also plenty of caves to explore.

Mammoth-Cave-Kentucky-Tourism
Take a guided tour through Mammoth Cave in Kentucky

St. Louis

See the science center, botanical gardens, zoo and of course the famous arch when you visit St. Louis.

Washington, D.C.

Unlock the secrets for touring our nation’s capital with kids.

Have fun!

Need a few more ideas for things to do in the summer? We have even more places in our kids activities guide.

Leave us a comment and tell us your favorite summer activities for kids!

Map of Summer Things to Do

find summer things to do near me

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *