There are so many things you can get out of the house and do with your children in Grand Rapids! Being a stay at home moms myself, I needed to find ways to entertain the kids that didn’t involve sitting in front of the TV everyday or playing with the same ole things day in and day out!
My kids and family love adventure, so it was always a priority of mine to find fun things to go out and do on a weekly basis that they could look forward to. Now. I know COVID may be standing in the way of some of these things at the moment, but this won’t be forever and the fun activities listed below will still be here when all is back to normal!! In no particular order, these are some of our absolute favorite things to do in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas!
My kids love all things children museums. Whenever we head on a new vacation or town, it is one of the top things we search for to do with the kids! The Grand Rapids Children Museum is not too far from us and is a great way to make a little day trip out and explore some new activities!
Be prepared to hunt for some parking or get there early, before they open so you’re not having to fight with trying to find a parking spot. Most spots are metered, so make sure to carry some extra change with you as well!! Kids under 1 yr old are always free and kids and adults are just $9 per person!
The museum has two levels of fun ranging from a little tots area, interactive imaginative play areas like a full grocery center, a medical play zone, and so much more!! Plan to be here for hours to visit it all! It is a must visit with with the entire family and is surly one of our favorites!!
For more information checkout Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.
Your kids are sure to love this museum as there is an activity or something to see for everyone in the family! Ride the 1928 Carousel, take a walk through what it was like in the 1980s in Grand Rapids, or tour the amazing animal exhibits made of all LEGO bricks! You’ll be sure to have a blast here! Tickets start at just $3/child and $8/adult! Save this activity for a rainy day for loads of fun!!
For more information checkout the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
Every city has a library that you should check out times for free drop in story time, interaction with other families and kids, and learning! You can drop in for story time, sign your kids up for a class or attend an event that is great for every age in your family!! This is a great place and resource to use all year long, especially in the colder, winter months!!
For more information check out the Grand Rapids Public Library.
Take a walk through cute little shops, restaurants and even take a moment to bring the kids by the Cherry Street park with splash pad in the summertime! Just a great area to get outdoors and enjoy the surroundings, go for a walk, and soak in the Grand Rapids culture!!
There is so much to do here and to keep the entire family busy! Visit the indoor aquatic center equipped with 25 yard lap lanes, a 28-foot water slide, lazy river, and hot tub! Or, you can even head outside to their splash pad area with play structure during the warmer summer months! If you’re not wanting to swimming, check out their fitness center, gym, climbing wall, game room or even just explore their outdoor campus!! The aquatic center starts out at just $3/child per hour! Totally worth the fun!!
For more information check out The Kroc Center.
The zoo is always a great family fun activity for the warmer weather months! Best part, you can purchase a membership and go as many times as you would like or just pay by the day! So many classes to choose from too! You can do art at the zoo, host a birthday party there, or even sign your kids up for educational classes as well! Endless possibilities to do here with the family!!
For more information check out the John Ball Zoo.
Looking for a little something different rather than your average animal zoo? Look no further! This park is a completely unique and hands on experience for the entire family! The park is 80 acres just about 20 minutes outside of Grand Rapids in a little town called Alto, MI!
This park is known for their distinct collection of exotic animals and reptiles! The owners started this park as a small hobby raising white-tailed deer and elk and eventually branched out into bigger species such like buffalo.
The grounds houses nearly 1,500 different animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish!! Kids under 2 yrs are always free and children and adults range from $10-14/person! You for sure have to check out this one of a kind experience!
For more information check out the Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park.
Need something to cool off in the summer months? You can head on over to one of the three huge pools in Grand Rapids! They have shallow ends for the littles and a deep end and huge water slides for the bigger kiddos! Guaranteed to give the entire family hours of fun in the sun!! Open to both residents and non-residents for as little as $4/person!!
Oh the gardens! We have yet to explore the entire area at the gardens as it is so large, but our absolute favorite is going in the Spring time to see the butterfly house! When going, pick one or two activities to explore! The 158 acre campus could take up to eight hours to explore the entire grounds in one day!
My best advice, is to split up your visits into separate days so you are sure to keep the kids happy and engaged! Adults are $14.50/person and kid rates range based on age from $4-7/child.
Our absolute favorite is to go see the butterflies from March 1st-April 30th! They have over 60 species of butterflies to see and over 7,000 butterflies flying around the at any given time! It is so cool! We even had butterflies that would land on us during the tour! Get there early, as it gets packed fast and there will be a line!!!
For more information check out Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
Head outdoors for some absolutely free fun at Millennium park. With over 1,400 areas of outdoors activities, your family is sure to find something to do here! Hang out at their playground, splash pad and beach, or take a hike on their paved paths! The beach and splash areas do require a small fee, however, all other areas are completely free to use! Pack a lunch for a nice family picnic, ride your bike, and just enjoy the natural outdoors with your family!!
Who doesn’t love a huge red button? Yep, you read that right! A ginormous red button sculpture in this park has been around for nearly 40 years and is a must see for kids! After you visit the button, take a walk along Grand River on their beautiful paved sidewalk! Make sure to stop by the Gerald R. Ford Museum to check out the beautiful fountain too!
Need a fun winter activity to do? Stop by this park with the family and go for a skate! Enjoy outdoor ice skating with the entire family! Skate rental is free with your admission into the park! Grab your family and head out for a day of winter fun!!
My family loves to go out to local farmers markets! You never know what fun things you’ll get to see and explore there! Take the family out to shop some of the fresh and small local business shops! It is open year round and also includes a nice, protected and covered shopping area! Make sure to bring a large insulated bag for you to shop around with and lots of cash!!
For more information check out Fulton Street Farmer’s Market.
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For the Love of Photography is an East Lansing, Michigan based family photographer. Amanda specializes in newborn, baby milestone, maternity, family, and motherhood fine art photography. Serving the greater Lansing area: Dewitt, Grand Ledge, Okemos, Lansing, Williamston, Haslett, Howell, Brighton, Novi, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and surrounding areas
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