Complete List of Things to Do with Kids in West Michigan: Grand Rapids to Holland & Beyond

things to do with kids near me - grand rapids west michigan

Looking for Family Fun Places & Things to Do with Kids in West Michigan?

Search no more!

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

To get you started, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of things to do with kids in Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

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

Looking for something to do today? We’ve got you covered.

Use this family fun list as a resource to visit and discover the many great local attractions across Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

Many fun places for kids are open all year round such as indoor play centers and waterparks.

And, as an added bonus, many West Michigan breweries and restaurants are family-friendly (we are Beer City USA, after all!) making it easy for parents to enjoy a craft brew while out and about with the kids.

Some are seasonal like:

  • outdoor amusement centers
  • outdoor pool & splash pads
  • recreation spots
  • beaches

Parks and playgrounds can be enjoyed in different ways all year. Different seasons also lead to different kinds of farm fun. 

The various cultural experiences around Grand Rapids, like museums and zoos, are open differently at different times of the year — and always have something new to explore.

West Michigan loves a good fair or festival and we can tell you where to find them.

We’ve also got the guides to help you find sports classes and any other kind of lesson or extra-curricular your kids want.

We’ve even included many FREE things to do with kids in Grand Rapids and West Michigan!

We hope you find it helpful while planning your upcoming trips and outings with friends and family.

Know of places for kids that aren’t listed?

Please send me an email. 
Thanks for helping us find the best things to do with kids!

Table of Contents

  • Things to Do TODAY
  • Outdoor Amusement Centers
  • MUSEUMS, GARDENS & ZOOS
  • OUTDOOR RECREATION
  • SPLASH PADS & POOLS
  • PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS
  • FESTIVALS & FAIRS
  • FARM FUN
  • BEACHES
  • Eat & DRINK
  • SPORTS
  • INDOOR WATER PARKS
  • INDOOR PLAY CENTERS
  • KIDS CLASSES & LESSONS
  • SPRING
  • SUMMER
  • FALL
  • WINTER
  • HOLIDAYS
  • FREE FUN

Things to Do with Kids Today

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

Are you wondering what’s going on today, tomorrow, or this weekend?

Visit our calendars to see all the local family fun events going on.

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Outdoor Amusement Centers

Michigan is a giant outdoor playground filled with family fun.

Whatever the season, there is outdoor adventure waiting for you. Are you ready to spend the day outside having fun with your family? There are so many 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.

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Outdoor Go Karts at Craigs Cruisers Family Fun Center

MUSEUMS, GARDENS, ZOOS & CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS

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.

Have a favorite? Many organizations offer memberships so you can go again and again!

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

JOHN BALL ZOO: 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.

Frederik Meijer Gardens: When looking for fun places for kids, Meijer Gardens must be on your list.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum: 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.

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Bubble Exhibit at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum in Downtown Grand Rapids, MI
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Drums in the Africa Exhibit at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, MI

OUTDOOR RECREATION

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. 

Saddle up a horse at one of several Grand Rapids area stables.

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

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OUTDOOR WATER PARKS, SPLASH PADS & POOLS

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

There’s also a lot of small water adventure for kids, from water slides to water playgrounds, to kiddie pools and more.

Check out this list of water-based outdoor activities for kids:

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PARKS & PLAYGROUNDS

If you’re in West Michigan, you’re close to a park or playground.

Locals love their parks and take every opportunity to get the family outside to play on playgrounds, toss the frisbee, or hike the trails.

Many parks have special amenities or features covered in our West Michigan park and playground reviews.

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Ottawa Sands Park Hiking Trail

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

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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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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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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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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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

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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