Best Things to Do with Kids in West Michigan

Things to Do with Kids - Beyond Van Gogh Grand rapids MI

Find Things to Do with Kids in West Michigan

Whether you have a tot in tow or a set of teenagers, kids and adults alike love exploring Greater Grand Rapids.

Use this ultimate list of things to do with kids in Grand Rapids and West Michigan to get you started.

You’ll find details on hundreds of family fun events, activities, and local attractions right here.

Things to Do with Kids Today

Looking for something to do today?

There are so many things to do with kids in Grand Rapids every day of the week.

Here’s how to find them:

check the event calendar

The event calendar is up-to-date and loaded with fun things to do with kids. Click the graphic below to see all the local family fun events going on today, tomorrow, and in the future.

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look at the weekend roundup

Every Wednesday, we post our top picks for the weekend. Want something to do with kids for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? This is a great bet.

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Outdoor Amusement centers

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Michigan is a giant outdoor playground filled with family fun.

Are you ready to spend the day outside having fun with your family at an outdoor amusement center?

Whatever the season, there is an outdoor adventure waiting for you. There are a ton of things to do with kids in West Michigan when the weather is nice.

Choose from mini-golf (putt putt,) practicing your skills in a batting cage, zipping through the trees at an outdoor adventure park, racing go-karts, riding roller coasters, or having too much fun on the bumper cars.

Craig’s Cruisers

5730 Clyde Park SW, Wyoming, MI 49509

Lake Arvesta Farms Waterpark

05264 Co Rd 687, South Haven, MI 49090

Muskegon Zip Line & Luge

462 N Scenic Dr, Muskegon, MI 49445

Nelis’ Dutch Village

12350 James St, Holland, MI 49424

Michigan’s Adventure

4750 Whitehall Rd, Muskegon, MI 49445

PS- We have exclusive ticket deals for Michigan’s Adventure for 2022!

Museums, Gardens, Zoos & Cultural Attractions

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Kids learn about the world through play and hands-on activities.

West Michigan’s museums, zoos, and cultural attractions are host to art, animals, history, science, gardens and more. Rotating exhibits ensure there’s always something new to explore.

Here are a few standout family fun places in this category:

Air Zoo

6151 Portage Road, Portage, MI 49002

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

11 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

2 Floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. This is one of the all time GR favorite things to do with children.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504

GR Children’s Museum

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

8313 Pratt Lake SE, Alto, MI 49302

John Ball Zoo

1300 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Kids will go ape over the Grand Rapids Zoo. The aquarium, petting zoo, lions, tigers, bears, red pandas, pernguins and meerkats are always a hit with families. Add to that an adventure ropes course, zip line experience, and gem mining and you’ve found one of the fun places for kids in West Michigan.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal park

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Windmill Island Gardens

1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423

Things to Do with Kids: outdoor Recreation

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Outdoor Recreation – Grand Rapids Guide Things to Do with Kids Outside

Want to enjoy our lakes? Get out on the water in a canoe or kayaktry your hand at fishing, or relax in a hammock

Grab your discs and visit one of many disc golf (or Frisbee golf) courses in the region. 

Parks and playgrounds can be enjoyed in different ways all year.

No matter where you are in West Michigan, you can be sure to say that there are dozens of things to do with kids where you can be active and enjoy family fun.

Here are some of our favorite outdoor options:

Millennium Park Boathouse

1415 MAYNARD AVE SW, WALKER, MI 49534

Tandem Kayaks, Stand-Up Paddleboards, Single Kayaks, Canoes, Row Boats, and Paddleboards are all available by the hour. Rates are reasonable – kayaks are just $8 for an hour.

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SUP Rentals at Millenium Park

John Ball Parks

JOHN BALL PARK 1300 FULTON W, GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49504

Tucked away on the west side of Grand Rapids are four playgrounds sitting just outside of John Ball Zoo in John Ball Park. There are 4 Playgrounds, one of which is Universally Designed.

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Fitzgerald Park and the Ledges

133 FITZGERALD PARK DR, GRAND LEDGE, MI 48837

This Michigan hiking gem is a gold mine of adventure. The Ledges are 300 million-year-old ancient sandstone rock formations spanning close to 5 miles along the Grand River through two Eaton County park trails and one Grand Ledge city park.  In some places, the rocks tower 60 feet over the shores of the Grand River.

The Ledges Fitzgerald Park

Downtown GR Urban Gems Hike

Use this easy-to-follow walking tour to find places in Downtown Grand Rapids that you might not otherwise discover. 2.5 miles.

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Spend an afternoon hiking this hidden gem loop along the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids

where to play disc golf

outdoor pools, splash pads & water parks

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If you live in Michigan then you are no stranger to big lakes and big water fun.

There are also a lot of small water adventures for kids, from water slides to water playgrounds, to kiddie pools, and more.

Check out this list of water-based things to do with kids.

Here are a few standout family fun places in this category:

Millennium Park

1415 MAYNARD AVE SW, WALKER, MI 49534

Admission is required for the splash pad and beach area.

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Splash Pad at Millennium Park

Maplewood Park in Jenison

8000 12TH AVENUE, JENISON MI 49428

maplewood Park in Jenison

Great Lakes Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens

1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Great Lakes Garden Water Play at Frederik Meijer Gardens
Great Lakes Garden at Meijer Gardens
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FESTIVALS & FAIRS

Spending a day – or even a weekend – at a fair or festival is a memorable way to have family fun. Watching performances and checking out the sights is often a free thing to do with kids.

Have some fun with kids at summer festivals and fairs.

Enjoy riding carnival rides, eating funnel cake, or attending concerts on the fairgrounds.

The family fun continues into the fall. Relish in donuts, cider, pumpkins, and autumn treats at fall festivals & fairs in Grand Rapids. 

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Kite Festival at Grand Haven State Park

BEACHES

Michiganders live for beach season!

There is nothing like the sound of water lapping the shore and the feeling of warm sun on your shoulders. Get to know the personality of the many beaches around Grand Rapids and West Michigan and soon you’ll have a favorite.

From Lake Michigan to inland beaches, there is a beach near you right now.

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INDOOR FAMILY PLAY CENTERS

No matter the time of year, indoor play places and playgrounds are a great option for kids when they need to burn off extra energy.

If it’s raining or too cold to play outside, these are the places for kids you will want to visit.

Summertime is also a great time to look for indoor things to do. Consider a trampoline park, rollerskating venue, bowling alley, or museum. You can beat the heat by visiting these air-conditioned family fun places.

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High Ropes Course at Allegan Event in Allegan, MI

INDOOR WATERPARKS

Plan a long weekend or a day trip to one of the best indoor waterparks in Michigan.

The whole family will enjoy waterslides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and more at these water-based attractions.

If you’re looking for fun things to do with kids, a day at the waterpark is always at the top of the list.

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eat & Drink

When it comes to great food and drink, Grand Rapids is making its mark, and us locals know exactly where to find the best grub!

Craft beer breweries. Local distilleries. Home-style cooking.

Inspired by places near and far, West Michigan restaurants are creating cuisine we’re sure you’ll want to tuck into and savor. And yes, it’s okay to bring the kids.

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SPORTS

There’s no shortage of places to go in West Michigan when it comes to playing sports or learning how to play sports.

Or, watch the pros play.

Greater Grand Rapids is home to the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Grand Rapids Griffins, GR Drive and a handful of other sports teams. Taking part in sports – or watching them – is one of the classic things to do with kids.

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FAMILY FUN ON THE FARM

West Michigan is home to a large number of farms offering family fun and educational tours.

Get close to animals, learn about farming, pick fruit, and experience rural life with real farmers.

Many local farms offer summer u-pick fruit options and will open up their farms to families with bounce houses, country stores, petting zoos and more.

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KIDS CLASSES, LESSONS & EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES 

One great option for things to do includes enrolling kids in classes. 

Kids can learn how to cook, sew or knit. Enjoy some family fun painting pottery, making art or building something.

Is your child most interested in the fine arts? Find music lessons or dance classes at dozens of places around Grand Rapids.

Little Picassos will find many things to do at local art classes.

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Classes, lessons & extracurricular Activities for kids in west michigan

SPRING Things to Do with Kids

Spring is time for many of us to break out of the house and leave cabin fever behind.

But what to do now that we’re coming out of hibernation – and starting to get back to outdoor fun? Can you even remember what is going on around town?

Well, you don’t have to, because we do. And we’re sharing them all here.

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SUMMER Things to Do with Kids

Summer is short and sweet in Michigan and even though summer 2021 is still going to look a little different than normal, we’re going to enjoy every minute.

This list of all the things to do in the summer in Grand Rapids and the Lakeshore is your ticket to West Michigan summer fun.

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FALL Things to Do with Kids

Fall in West Michigan might just be my favorite season, and that is saying a lot after coming off of summer in the Mitten State.

But there is something magical about the cool air, changing colors, shorter days, and the oh-so-good food this time of year (fresh cider and homemade donuts, please).

If you are like me, having to pack away the flip-flops and shorts isn’t so bad, knowing that autumn is right around the corner. Below you will find some amazing fall activities for the whole family.

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HOLIDAY FAMILY FUN

Christmas in Grand Rapids is magical, for kids and parents alike. 

The twinkling lights, fresh snow, and the excitement in the air all make this a memorable time of year. If you are like me, you want to soak in as many of these holiday moments as you can.

Use this Holiday Family Fun Guide to find

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WINTER Things to Do with Kids

If you’re looking for things to do when the weather is cold, we have a list of endless ideas on how to spend your time. From outdoor cold weather ideas to warm indoor activities, this is the place for you.

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Snow Tubing in Michigan Boyne Highlands
Winter Family Fun: Snow Tubing

FREE FUN

Free Fun Things to Do With Kids Around Grand Rapids – There are dozens of free things to do in Grand Rapids and West Michigan, including beaches, playgrounds and storytimes.

Up for a road trip? Check out 101 free things to do with kids in Michigan. 

Stay local and explore the lakeshore or head up north to Traverse City and into the U.P.

Or head east to Lansing and Detroit. No matter your final destination in Michigan, there are dozens of possibilities for free family fun.

Let the free things to do with kids continue into mealtime.

Many restaurants offer kids eat free or cheap times throughout the week.

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