GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Now that summer is in full swing, here is a list of fun things to do that are free or low-cost! Check out these activities for the week of August 25 – 31 in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Spring Lake, Muskegon and more!
Monday, August 25
MARANDA’S PICK: Zeelmania
Bring the family to Zeeland tonight for Zeelmania! Free fun in downtown Zeeland from 6-8 p.m.
The Richland Park Horse Trials (Richland)
August 22-25, 2013 OLYMPIC EQUESTRIANS IN OUR BACK YARD!! Bring the whole family out for a weekend filled with exciting equestrian action! Eventing is known as the “horse triathlon” as it tests the ability of both horse & rider as they compete in a combination of dressage, cross-country jumping and stadium jumping. The Richland Park Horse Trials is the culmination of a dream held by SW Michigan business owners, Bob and Kay Willmarth, who founded and continue to organize and host this amazing event on their farm! The Richland Park Horse Trials attracts riders from around the globe as well as local riders. There will be over 500 horse and rider teams competing this year. There are spectator shuttles to escort guests around the gorgeous grounds. There is also a trade fair offering shopping and concessions. You do not need to know a thing about horses to enjoy this spectacular event. Come out and spend the day or the entire weekend. Admission is free, but there is a parking fee. All parking proceeds benefit the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center in Augusta, MI. Cheff offers therapeutic riding to children and adults with disabilities.
Meijer Gardens: Weaving Tales @ Meijer Gardens (Mondays at 10am until Aug. 30)
Join a professional weaver and our own story time volunteers for this unique opportunity to help create a children’s garden tapestry!
Tuesday, August 26
MARANDA’S PICK: To the Rescue Returns to Grand Rapids Children’s Museum!
Kids can drive little engine #7 Get a chance to dress up like rescue workers, help in ambulance, fly a pilot rescue helicopter but most importantly, learn how to play it safe! 9:30 AM – 05:00 AM , Cost: included with general admission.
Meijer Free Tuesday at the Grand Rapids Art Museum from 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM!
Stories and Ice Cream: Eat your ice cream and listen to stories in a outdoor courtyard! Arrive at 11:15 to get your ice cream. Then join us in the courtyard for stories from 11:30-12:00. Storytime provided by Hop Scotch children’s store. Event held at Furniture City Creamery, 958 Cherry St. SE.
The Little Star That Could – Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium
Learn about our solar system through the Little Star as he searches for planets of his own to protect and warm. Programs are $4 per person (visitors must also purchase general admission), and are free to Museum members. Programs are also available for school visits.
Wednesday, August 27
MARANDA’S PICK: The Robot Zoo at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum
This is the final week to check out The Robot Zoo at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum! Kids of all ages will love this FREE Exhibit at the amazing FREE Museum!
Fun with your Food – Holland Farmers Market (with Holland Area Arts Council)
The Holland Area Arts Council will teach children how to use their imaginations to turn fruits and vegetables from the Farmers Market into fun characters using googly eyes, pipe cleaners, pom poms and fabric. Free – 9:30am-12pm
Kalamazoo Nature Center Boomers and Beyond: Kellogg Bird Sanctuary
When: Wed, August 27, 10am – 1pm Where: Kalamazoo Nature Center, North Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo Township. Join the Kalamazoo Nature Center for an off-site field trip to hike and study birds at Kellogg Bird Sanctuary! Carpool or ride in a Nature Center van. Bring a bird book and binoculars if you have them. Meet at KNC main parking lot. Note earlier meeting time! Don’t forget your lunch, we’ll picnic together to finish up.
Thursday, August 28
MARANDA’S PICK: Walk the John Ball Zoo with Priority Health. Registration is at 8am, walk at 8:30am. $5 registration gets you a t-shirt, refreshments, the walk and admission to stay and play in the zoo!
Final night for the Holland Street Performers!
Enjoy close to 100 performers from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Main Street! FREE!
Alice in the Children’s Garden Wonderland at Meijer Gardens – Frederik Meijer Gardens
Summertime is fun time in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden. Join us as we explore music, art, weaving and worms. Whether this is your first visit or your fiftieth, you’ll find something new to experience and explore. Activities vary daily. Check the Information Center for more details. Enjoy a unique version of Alice in Wonderland, with actress Marisa Purcey. Form the white rabbit and the talking flowers to the un-birthday party, have fun with Alice and predict ending to the story. Free – 11:00am
Free Thursdays at the Muskegon Museum of Art
Drop in for a free tour of the Muskegon Museum of Art every Thursday. If you prefer a guided tour, docents will lead you through the Museum’s new Centennial Collection every Thursday between 1:00pm and 3:00pm. No reservations needed! Call the museum for more information at 231-720-2574 or visit them online at
Tall Ships Visit Muskegon
The Nina and the Pinta will be at Heritage Landing in downtown Muskegon from August 27- September 1. Tour these museum ships to learn about life aboard a ship in the 15th century, about Columbus’ many voyages, the mechanics of the ship, life aboard today, and much more. Admission is $8.00 for adults, $7.00 for seniors (age 60+), $6.00 for ages 5-16 (not in a school group), age 4 and under are free! Group & School Tours require a minimum of 15 people and costs $5 per person. Hours are 9:00am to 6:00pm. For information call (787) 672-2152.
Friday, August 29
MARANDA’S PICK: Flick’s Family Film Festival-FREE MOVIES FOR KIDS!
At any Celebration Cinema. Today thru September 4th kids 12 and under can see “Nut Job” and adults pay just $5
There’s just a few days left to explore the Dream It, Build It Lego Exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Exhibit closes August 31, 2014.
Singing with Sculptures: A Kid’s Tram Tour at Meijer Gardens – Frederik Meijer Gardens
We’ll be Comin’ Round the Gardens this summer on a singing Kids’ Tram Tour. Riders will have the opportunity to participate in rhythms, rounds, rhymes and raps as we roll along, learning about our sculptures through fun and familiar songs like The Wheels on the Tram and Did you Ever See a Spider? The event takes place at 10:45am Adults: $3, Children: $1
Saturday, August 30
Maranatha Free Summer Concerts (Muskegon) Great summer concert line up at Maranatha! First concert of the summer is Saturday, June 21. Doors open at 6:30pm. Location is 4759 Lake Harbor Rd., Norton Shores. This and all the summer concerts at Maranatha are FREE! You can bring your lawn chair and listen from outside also!
John Ball Zoo Zipline (Grand Rapids)
($6 public, $5 members) A 4-story, 300 foot zipline. Riders securely harnessed before stepping off of a platform and flying over the zoo petting corral to another ridge. Must be at least 65 lbs and 43” tall. Closed-toe shoes required.
John Ball Zoo Sky Trail Ropes Course (Grand Rapids)
(6$ public, $5 member)
4 stories tall with 2 climbing levels. Gives you a chance to test your courage and strength, but once you get the hang of it, it’s downright fun! Children must be 48” tall to participate. Closed toe shoes are required!
Sunday, August 31
Fulton Street Artisan’s Market – Fulton Street Farmers Market – 11:00am-3:00pm
A venture that started in the summer of 2005, The Fulton Street Artisan’s Market has grown to be a wonderful venue for all kinds of arts, from acrylic paintings to fiber arts to bath and body items, and everything in between. All items are handmade by local Michigan artists. We offer goods that are unique, eclectic, sophisticated, and rustic, all embraced in an atmosphere that is both warm and welcoming. The Fulton Street Artisans Market is a great place to spend your Sunday afternoons this summer. So come down and enjoy the Magic of the Market. (weather permitting) Every SUNDAY ~ June – September 11AM – 3PM.
Meijer Gardens: Science Sundays (Grand Rapids Charter Township)
Free with admission. Become a science sleuth through learning facts about frogs, investigating insects, finding out about fossils, and exploring terrific trees!
For more great ideas for the weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) check out the Five Star Family Fun Update!