Ultimate Toddler Activities Guide: 27 Exciting Things to Do with Toddlers in West MI

toddler activities

Toddler Activities in West Michigan & Grand Rapids

When your toddler is on the move and ready to play, we all know that means it’s time to go! 

Thankfully when it comes to things to do with kids in Grand Rapids, we’ve got you covered. 

Use this list for all the best toddler activities around, from play areas to classes of all kinds for every kind of kid.

And if you have a favorite spot you love to visit for toddler activities, we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Goldfish Swim School Toddler & Baby Classes

Top Toddler Play Places

In West Michigan, you just never know what the weather will do. But even if it’s freezing cold, too hot, or raining cats and dogs, toddlers still need to get their energy out.

Use this list of pint-sized places to find nearby indoor play places and active things to do with toddlers.

Included are destinations ripe for climbing, singing, and dancing so you can get out of the house and have fun together.

Here’s our roundup of the best places to go with a toddler in West Michigan:

*Be sure to check business websites or call ahead to confirm your plans. Business hours, pricing, and availability change often.

1 – Visit a Play Cafe

Coffee Clubhouse: 3858 52nd St SE, Kentwood, MI 49512
EverPlay Cafe: 6886 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Itsy Bitsy Play Cafe: 5426 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Stomping Grounds: 9028 North Rodgers Ct SE, Suite E, Caledonia, MI 49316
Tia’s Play Cafe: 1533 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Play Cafes have sprouted up all around the Grand Rapids area, and it’s no surprise why!

This is a great spot to let your kid run around safely, get energy out, and socialize with other kids, all while you enjoy a cup of coffee.

Meet here for a playdate, or come just for a change of “toy scenery”. No matter the reason you go, you and your toddler are sure to have a great time of play together.

Stomping Grounds Play Cafe
Stomping Grounds Play Cafe

2 – Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

11 Sheldon Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

While there are two floors of awesome fun just waiting to be discovered at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, the Wee Discover exhibit is where toddlers will want to go.

Why is this special toddler area fantastic?
It’s mostly closed off from the rest of the floor.

That’s great because you don’t have to worry about big kids cruising through and there’s only one way in/out, making it easier to keep an eye on little escape artists.

Bonus – Children under 1 are free! 

3 – Grand Rapids Public Museum

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is a great place to play a giant “I Spy” Game!

Push your toddler in the stroller and let them take in all the sights. Stop every now and then to try out the hands-on experiences in the museum, too.

Note: the carousel is closed for renovations until Spring 2025. 

Grand Rapids Public Museum

4 – Curiousity Courtyard & Children’s Garden at Meijer Gardens

1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Curiousity Corner – An inviting, colorful play space located indoors on the lower level of Frederik Meijer Gardens. Explore ten different activity stations while there. Free with admission. 

Curiousity Courtyard at Meijer Gardens

Children’s Garden – Open year-round, the children’s garden is an expansive play area that is completely fenced in. With a treehouse, water play areas, sand digging section, mazes, and lots of interactive art, this incredible outdoor space is a must for kids.

Children’s Garden Treehouse at Meijer Gardens

5 – Tumble Around During Open Gym

If your toddler has more energy than your house can contain, check out an open gym at a nearby gymnastics center.

Let them run around for hours balancing on beams, jumping, climbing, and racing to their heart’s content.

Some of our favorite facilities for open gym are R Athletics, Grand Rapids Gymnastics, and For the Kidz Gymnastics. Because we know sometimes jumping into a foam over and over again is the only thing that will get all that 3-year-old energy out!

Grand Rapids Gymnastics

Toddler Activities with Animals

Visiting petting zoos and animal farms is often one of the favorite things to do with toddlers – and for good reason!

Toddlers are fascinated by animals and their antics.

The next time you’re on the prowl for fun toddler activities, consider visiting one of these animal-filled destinations:

6 – John Ball Zoo

1300 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Offering camel rides, a funicular, lions, tigers, bears, monkeys, and an animal farm-like petting zoo, visiting John Ball Zoo is one of our favorite things to do with toddlers in Grand Rapids.

The Zoo is built on a hillside, so come prepared to walk. Although the recently renovated zoo is more stroller-friendly, some find it easier to use a child carrier.

7 – The Critter Barn

2950 80th Ave, Zeeland, MI 49464

Opportunities abound at Critter Barn to interact with rabbits, chickens, ducks, cats, hogs, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, turkeys, pot-bellied pigs, geese, a pony and a horse!

From feeding and petting, to caring for the animals and learning all about them, Critter Barn has it all!

8 – Deer Tracks Junction

7850 14 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs, MI 49319

As you might guess, there are dozens of deer to pet at Deer Tracks Junction. But there are also yak, elk, and goats at this petting farm.

Visitors can take an air-conditioned stagecoach ride where the animals may come right up to you for a visit.

Feed cups are available to purchase for many of the animals and there’s also a giant play structure, making this a great animal farm for kids.

9 – Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

8313 Pratt Lake SE, Alto, MI 49302

Located on 80 acres of land, Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park is a unique, hands-on experience for the entire family.

It’s got a smaller footprint than zoos, making it a bit more manageable for toddlers. It’s also flat and most walkways are paved – a bonus for those with strollers.

The park is home to a distinct collection of exotic animals and reptiles, and the variety and unique atmosphere make Boulder Ridge anything but your average zoo.

A Zebra at Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

10 – Fellinlove Farm

6364 144th Ave, Holland, MI 49423

Fellinlove Farm is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing dynamic experiences for all ages and abilities.

At this petting zoo farm, guests can not only pet the animals, but they can also get right into the pens with miniature llamas and donkeys.

Free Things to Do with Toddlers

Toddler activities don’t always have to be expensive. Use this handy list to find free things to do with your toddler.

11 – Take a Hike at Blandford Nature Center

1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Enjoy the nature and beauty of the Michigan wildlife system at Blandford Nature Center. With over eight miles of trails to walk and 260 acres of land to explore, you’re bound to have an adventure at every visit.

The short and easy trail from the Welcome Center to The Farm makes this hike a family favorite. Every kid will agree that the play area and sheep, goats, and chickens at The Farm are the highlight of the hike!

The Farm Play Area at Blandford Nature Center

12 – Take a Stroller-Friendly Walk

Here are a few tried-and-true stroller-friendly trails that will make you and your toddler happy:

and so many more.

Reeds Lake Pathway

13 – Watch Airplanes Take Off at the Airport Viewing Park

4820 Kraft Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Head to the GRR Airport Viewing Area and let the airplanes do the entertaining.

It’s never been more fun to watch airplanes take to the sky than it is at this designated viewing area. With ample parking, clean restrooms, water fountains, and picnic tables, it makes for a fun activity on a beautiful day.

And, every Wednesday from June – August, skip packing lunches and catch the food trucks instead!

grand rapids summer activities - airport viewing park

14 – Visit Holland Playland

1446 W 40th St, Holland, MI 49423 (Entrance D)

Holland Playland is an indoor toddler play area for kids 6 months – 2 years.
Bonus – there’s a coffee shop for parents to enjoy. FREE admission.

Holland Indoor Playground
A toddler play area designed for kids 6 months – 2 years.

15 – Enjoy the Woodland Mall Play Structure

3195 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

This large climbing play structure is best suited for more adventurous toddlers on a daytime visit (while the big kids are at school). Find it near the food court.

Play area at Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids

Find the Best Parks for Toddlers

Another timeless thing to do with toddlers: spend time at a park.

If you are visiting a park for toddlers, you know that playgrounds with smaller play equipment, soft surfaces, stroller-friendly access, and playground fences are appreciated amenities.

For the best parks for toddlers, choose from this list:

16 – GR Township Park

1836 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525

Grand Rapids Township Park (a hidden gem tucked away from the township fire department) has a large playground that is sectioned into age-appropriate play areas good for toddlers to older kids. It’s easy to see all of the different play areas at one time.

The play area is surfaced with woodchips and surrounded by flat, paved walking paths.

There is a whole section of the park with toddler-sized play equipment. There’s also a lot of green space at the park for kids to run around and burn up some energy.

Grand Rapids Township Park playground

17 – Frog Hollow Park in Wyoming

2050 Metro Ct SW, Wyoming, MI 49519

Parents gush about Frog Hollow Park. Why?

The park is fenced in, has just one entrance/exit, is ADA accessible, and full of age-appropriate toddler activities.
Parents get peace of mind at this great playground!

While it’s perfect for kids of all ages and abilities, toddlers enjoy the play equipment built specifically for little kids.

Parents enjoy the added safety that comes with the rubber topped playground

Frog Hollow Playground in Wyoming, MI

18 – Imagination Station in Grand Haven

1 Y Dr, Grand Haven, MI 49417

The Imagination Station Grand Haven is located behind the Tri-Cities YMCA parking lot and is decked out with a lighthouse, anchors, familiar street signs, and a Coast Guard boat.

In addition to cool landmarks, the slides, rock walls, and rope structures are sure to be a hit, too.

It’s perfect for toddlers – it has toddler-sized play equipment and the entire playground is fenced in. The playground is handicap-accessible and the surface is soft and bouncy.

19 – Allendale Community Park

6676 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale MI 49401

Allendale Community Park has TWO splash pads (the smaller splash pad is just the right size for toddlers) and a giant sandbox.

In addition to the large playground equipment, there is a smaller, mostly-shaded toddler-sized playground, too.

Allendale Park sandbox

20 – Whistlestop Park in Byron Center

2120 76th St SW, Byron Center MI 49315

Whistlestop Park is super stroller-friendly and features a pond surrounded by a Storywalk. Hop from placard to placard and read the story as you walk around the pond.

You can also fish in the catch-and-release pond or play on the toddler-sized swings and slides.

whistlestop park byron center (3)
Storywalk around the pond at Whistlestop Park

21 – Pinewood Park in Kentwood

2000 Wolfboro Dr SE, Kentwood, MI 49508

Pinewood Park’s big draw is the large, colorful play structures with multiple climbing features and slides.

For toddlers, there are smaller slides and spaces to play. Besides the play structures, there is a sandy area for digging and playing, and the splash pad is an obvious delight for toddlers.

All play areas are over mulch.

Pinewood Park in Kentwood

Water Play for Toddlers

From splash pads to indoor pools, West Michigan is full of spots to take your toddler to cool off in the summer or get some energy out during the colder months.

22 – Get Splashy at an Area Splash Pad

Splash pads have sprung up all over West Michigan in the past few years. Ranging from very small to really big, there are a variety to choose from.

In addition to the mega splash pad at Millennium Park, the splash pads at Lamar Park in Wyoming, Veterans Memorial Park in Wyoming, and Tanglefoot Park in Spring Lake are great for toddlers.

Veterans Memorial Park Splashpad Kentwood
Veterans Memorial Park Splashpad in Kentwood

23 – Take A Swim Year-Round at Holland Aquatic Center

550 Maple Ave, Holland, MI 49423

Whether you’re in the mood for a mid-winter pool day, or you’re just looking for a fun indoor pool day for the whole family, Holland Aquatic Center is the place to be.

Head to the Splash Zone to find the waterslide, cannon sprayers, zipline, play area, lazy river, and zero-entry wading pool. With so much more to explore you can bet this is a great spot for a fun family day.

Indoor pool in Holland, Michigan.

24 – Cool Off at a Toddler-Friendly Beach

The best beaches for toddlers aren’t too busy, have things to do other than swimming, and don’t involve parking headaches.

Some of our favorites include:

  • Versluis Park in Plainfield Township. This small sandy beach offers free admission and is close to Grand Rapids. Plus, there’s a playground near the beach, picnic tables, and a nice shady area. It’s a short walk from the car to the beach. Modern restrooms are also a perk.
  • North Beach Park (just north of Grand Haven.) This Lake Michigan beach is a hidden gem. It’s not huge, but it is usually not very busy. There’s a great playground structure, picnic tables, and a dune hike. Parking is fee-based and the beach is a bit more of a walk – you have to go down a sandy hill to get to the water.
North Park Beach Ferrysburg MI
North Park Beach in Ferrysburg, MI
  • Myers Lake Park in Rockford is a smaller lakeside park that has lots of trees and grassy areas as well as the beach. There’s not a lot of sand here. Modern restrooms, free admission, and easy parking make this a draw for families.
  • Millennium Park Beach & Splashpad. Admission gets you into both the beach and the splashpad. The splashpad is one of the largest in West Michigan and a great treat for families. The beach is sandy, but the sand is a little grittier than you’ll find on Lake Michigan beaches. Since it’s an inland lake, though, you don’t have to worry about big waves. Restrooms, changing rooms, concessions, and multiple playgrounds make this a nice choice for toddler activities.
Millennium Park in Grand Rapids

Toddler Playtimes & Events Calendar

Of all the things to do with toddlers in our area, there’s no shortage of fun events for toddlers! Take a peek at a few of our favorites below.

25 – Explore Local Toddler Playtimes & Events

Searching for toddler activities near me? Or open toddler playtimes (aka toddler time) in Grand Rapids and Lakeshore area? Look no further!

Top-Voted Grand Rapids Paid Toddler Times – 2024

Following are the area’s top rated paid toddler times, as voted on in our annual Best of Grand Rapids Awards.

If you’re looking for a place to begin your toddler time hunt, start with these.

winner icon 70x70 Winner: For the Kidz Gymnastics

1. For the Kidz Gymnastics
2. Craig’s Crusiers – Grand Rapids
3. Rising Starz Gymnastics & Fitness
4. Kindermusik with Miss Ashley- Grand Rapids
5. Gymco (closing at the end of summer 2024)
6. Mary Free Bed YMCA
7. Joyful Sounds Music Studio – Music Together
8. Little Feet Movement
9. Newton Aerial Academy

Byron Center Toddler Rec

Use this list of events of area toddler activities (plus free toddler times) happening today and in the near future:

Toddler Storytimes

26 – Fill Your Calendar With Storytimes

Toddler activities wouldn’t be complete without storytime!

Storytimes go beyond reading a book – look for storytimes in Spanish, that incorporate music & movement, or have special themes to mix things up.

As an added bonus, libraries have great play areas for kids! Some of our favorites include East Grand Rapids KDL branch, Wyoming KDL branch, the Hudsonville Library, and the Main GR Public Library.

Upcoming toddler storytimes are listed below:

toddler activities art

Classes for Toddlers

27 – Sign up for Toddler Classes

When it comes to toddler classes, West Michigan has options. Class-based toddler activities not only let your child socialize while they learn, they are often gateways to parent friendships, too.

toddler activities soccer class
Gymnastics Classes for Toddlers • Parent and TotAges 1-3Gymco 2306 Camelot Ridge Ct SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Gymnastics Classes for Toddlers •
You and Me
 18 months – 3 yearsFor The Kidz Gymnastics1391 Gezon Pkwy, Wyoming, MI 49509
Gymnastics Classes for Toddlers • Parent and Tot18 months – 3 years oldKids Unlimited Activity Center596 Baldwin St Ste 2, Jenison, MI 49428
Gymnastics Classes for Toddlers • Parent and Tot18 months – 3.5 years Northstar Gymnastics724 Byrne Industrial Dr, Rockford, MI 49341
Gymnastics Classes for Toddlers •
Bee & Me
18 months – 3 years Champion Gymnastics2424 Van Ommen Dr, Holland, MI 49424
Gymnastics Classes for Toddlers • Parent and Tot18 months – 3 yearsGonyon’s Gymnastics622 Chatterson Rd, Muskegon, MI 49442
Gymnastics Classes for Toddlers • Parent and Tot18 months – 3 yearsGRG Gymnastics1601 Galbraith Ave, Ste 301, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Community Classes for Toddlers • Parent and Tot18 months – 5 yearsToddlers on Track for School 320 Amity, Lowell, MI 49331
Community Classes for Toddlers • Parent and TotBirth – 5 years Play and Learn Groups143 Bostwick Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Community Classes for Toddlers • Parent and TotBabies – KindergartenBright Beginnings PlaygroupsVarious Locations, Grand Rapids, MI
Music Classes for Toddlers • Parent and Tot 3 months – 4 years Little FeetVarious Locations, Grand Rapids, MI
Music Classes for Toddlers • Parent and TotAges 0-4Joyful Sounds Music 959 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Swim Classes for Toddlers • Parent and Tot4 months – 35 monthsGoldfish Swim School2845 Thornhills Ave SE, Ste S, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Swim Classes for Toddlers • Parent and TotAges 0-5Zeeland Recreation320 E Main, Zeeland, MI 49464
Soccer Classes for Toddlers • Parent and Tot15 months – 3 yearsSoccer Buddies2100 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Mommy & Me Classes for Toddlersup to age 3Mommy & Me ClassesVarious Locations, West Michigan
Classes for Toddlersup to age 3Parks & Rec DepartmentsVarious Locations, West Michigan
Skating Classes • Parent and TotAges 3 – 4Keyes Institute of Ice Hockey30 Coldbrook NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Have a toddler activity suggestion? Leave it below!

2 thoughts on “Ultimate Toddler Activities Guide: 27 Exciting Things to Do with Toddlers in West MI”

  1. Hello I love GR Kids. You save me so much time and research. I used to have time go to websites to find fun, call places, google, print and put into a notebook and calendar, fun events. You’ve made it so easy. I just print or save to my phone. I’ve learned of sooooo many new places. Thank you . I did just click on Jesters Court and unfortunately they closed forever, due to Covid19.

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