What’s Going on This Weekend for Families? • July 17-19, 2020

what's going on this weekend for families

Middle of Summer Sunshine

Everything is up in the air this summer.

When it comes to things to do with kids, this year I’m looking for things that are social-distancing friendly. We’re not going out as often as we used to, but we are making our way to a few select places.

From our perch at GRKIDS we’re starting to see more organizations schedule events. They look different this year – like EGR’s movie in the park is limited to the first 100 people that show up. And John Ball Zoo’s Princess Day involves socially-distant photo ops.

However you choose to spend your family time this weekend, we wish you safety, health, and fun.

Every attraction or event included below is linked to a business website. Please use this to confirm the details, hours of operation, and any requirements guests must follow before visiting.


john ball zoo feature image

Princess Day at John Ball Zoo is August 12, 2020

Aug 12 @ John Ball Zoo
Whether fairy or wizard, prince or princess, everyone is invited to come in costume to Princess Day on Tuesday, July 21st from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at John Ball ...


The following are selected events happening this weekend.

Visit the full event calendar to see everything going on. (Preschool families, also look here.)

Fri • JULY 17, 2020: 1 pm
Home School Information Sessions @ HSB, Inc.
5625 Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
» Learn how to homeschool in MI! Visit the website for a list of session dates and info. $15

Fri • JULY 17, 2020: 5-10 pm
Pop-up Carnival @ The Pinnacle Center
3330 Highland Drive, Hudsonville, MI 49426
» 5pm-10pm. The Summer has not been cancelled and neither has the fun! Come and enjoy rides and food with your community. By reservation only.

Fri • JULY 17, 2020: 7:30 pm
CANCELED! Sparta’s Hot Summer Nights with Trixy Tang
201 E Division St, Sparta, MI 49345
» UPDATE: This event has been canceled! 7:30pm-10pm. Head to downtown Sparta’s new Town Square for a night of hot summer flashback to the 80’s fun. This is a safe distance event with tickets required for spaced seating in the social gathering area.

Fri • JULY 17, 2020: 8:30 pm
East GR Movies in the Park 🆓
650 Lakeside Drive, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506
» Movies are FREE, will begin at dusk and are shown on an inflatable screen. Come early for a good seat and bring a blanket or lawn chairs. Event will be regulated on a first-come, first serve basis, allowing up to 100 individuals.

Sat • JULY 18: 9 am
Babysitting Class
2120 76th St. SW, Byron Center, MI 49315
» Babysitting Class- May take place outdoors or at a pavilion. Please call 878-1998 to pre-register or email [email protected]

Sat • JULY 18, 2020: 9 am
Learn to Ride @ Action Wake Park
3320 Hudson Trails Dr., Hudsonville, MI 49426
» 9am-12pm. Bring the kids, bring the family for a morning of watersports fun! Wakeboarding & Kneeboarding $25, equipment included. Ages 7+

Sat • JULY 18, 2020: 10 am
Ottawa Sands Park Field Day 🆓
18153 N Shore Dr, Ferrysburg, Michigan
» 10am-2pm. An afternoon of family-friendly activities, tasty food, and an opportunity to weigh-in on future improvements to Ottawa Sands County Park.

Sat • JULY 18, 2020: 11 am
Meet Blandford’s Wildlife Ambassadors
1715 Hillburn Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
» Blandford’s Wildlife staff will introduce you to their amazing animal residents! Learn about their stories, their species, and what you can do to protect their wild relatives. Registration required, members $5, non-members $8, 2 and under- Free.

Sun • JULY 19, 2020: 3 pm
Wildlife Encounter: Turtles in a Nutshell 🆓
10317 N. Cedar Dr., Grand Haven, MI
» You’ll be introduced to the life histories and unique features of the Turtles of Michigan. Bring your own lawn chairs or blanket for sitting on the grass. Registration is required.

Rent a Motor Boat

You don’t have to own your own boat to enjoy the lake life in Grand Rapids.

There are numerous boat rental places across the region that can set you up for a day or more of water fun. Some even provide watersports rentals, like water tubing or water skiing equipment.

Details here »boat tubing boat rentals grand rapids michigan

Get in a Round of Mini Golf

Did you know that there are over 20 places to mini-golf in West Michigan? My favorite involve ice cream. Find a fun spot here.


The Grand Rapids Public Museum is reopened on Monday, July 6! Visit with your family to spark curiosity this summer, including with the extended exhibitions Bodies Revealed and TOYS! The Museum experience will look different, including capacity limits, mask requirements, and augmented high-touch areas. Advanced ticket purchase required (grpm.org). Watch the video below to learn more about what to expect.

NEW John Ball Zoo Classes!

Sign up for these new summer classes at the zoo. Early July dates have been released.

» Zoo Adventures: Be the first to greet the animals in the morning! Enjoy opportunities to greet the monkeys and chimps as they get their breakfast, meet ambassador animals, and enjoy park and pond explorations. Offered Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. -10:30 am.

» Bricks-4-Kidz: The Zoo is partnering with this great local business to give kids the opportunity to build their own LEGO animals! While their creations may not be 80,000 bricks, it will be a ton of fun and include an opportunity to meet an ambassador animal. All participants will receive a voucher for admission into the Zoo after the class to see the BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise exhibition. unnamed


Deal alert: Have you heard about Amped Virtual Reality’s STEM camps?

They include robotics, virtual reality, and coding. I love that you can customize the days your kids attend to fit your schedule. Call 616-608-5508 and mention GRKIDS to save 10% off your day camp purchase.

amped reality coding


Ope! We Just Discovered 102 Free Things to do in Michigan

These free Michigan family activities help you explore the Mitten State on a budget. There are free Michigan travel ideas in every corner of the state.
Ope! We Just Discovered 102  Free Things to do in Michigan


GRR’s Airport Viewing Area: The Little-Known Park Where You Can Watch Planes Take Off

Airport Viewing Area The Airport Viewing Park is one of the Hidden Gems in Grand Rapids You can pack a picnic and watch planes take off or land at the GRR International Airport Viewing Area! ...
airport observation park grand rapids

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