GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Summer in West Michigan is filled with fun activities for families! Check out Maranda’s complete Guide to Summer Fun for July 6 – 12. To have a complete list of family events emailed to you each week, click here to subscribe to Maranda’s Five Star Family Fun Update.
MARANDA’S PICK: Camp Curious, Grand Rapids Public Museum
Monday, July 6 – Thursday, August 13
Summer fun happens at the Grand Rapids Public Museum! Please join us to explore the wonders of Science, History, Culture, Art and FUN! For 9 weeks this summer, kids aged 4-16 can use the Museum as a learning lab – experimenting and growing – all while having a great time in one of the area’s most history-rich and “cool” environments.
“Jingle ARRGH the Way,” DeWitt Theatre, Holland
July 6 – August 7
HSRT Children’s Performance Troupe presents a Christmas Pirate Adventure. 10:30 a.m. showings on July 6, 8, 27, 31, and August 5. 1:30 p.m. showings on July 24, 29, and August 3, 7. $15 general admission.
Tuesday, July 7
MARANDA’S PICK: Fun on the Farm, Teusink’s Pony Farm, Holland
July 7, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Pony ring rides, hayrides, animals to feed, fishing, a hay maze, and more! Children: $7, adults: $5.
Adventure Day, Sarett Nature Center, Benton Harbor
July 7, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Explore off the trail at Ross Preserve. Wear old clothes, including long pants. Bring water and lunch. $8 for non-members. $5 for members. Recommended for kids ages 8 and up.
Young Explorers: Fishing Frenzy, Ada Park
July 7, 10 a.m. – noon
Learn how to bait your hook and cast your line, then search for the best spot to hook a “big one” at the Ada Park pond. Fishing poles and bait supplied or bring your own. Ages 5 – 7. $5 per child.
LEGO Workshop at ARTengage, Rockford
July 7, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Who doesn’t love pirates and LEGOs!? Learn about, then build your very own pirate out of LEGOs to take home and keep forever. After building your creation, keep those creative juices flowing with playtime in the Creation Station featuring over 40,000 LEGOs, marble runs, magnetic building systems and light-up blocks. ($25)
Kids Cabaret Talent Share, Foundry Hall, South Haven
July 7, 6:30 p.m.
Sign-up begins at 6:30 p.m. Kids and families can show off their talents on stage. Free, donations appreciated!
United States Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus Concert, Overlander Bandshell, Portage
July 7, 7 p.m.
As the premier touring musical representatives for the United States Army, the group travel thousands of miles each year presenting a variety of music to enthusiastic audiences throughout the nation and abroad. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and your family to enjoy this free performance and celebrate community.
Wednesday, July 8
MARANDA’S PICK: Young Explorers: Fishing Frenzy, Ada Park
July 8, 10 a.m. – noon
Learn about fishing equipment and where the “big fish” like to live. Go fishing at the Ada Park pond. Fishing poles and bait supplied or bring your own. Ages 8 – 11. $5 per child.
Comics Workshop with Cartoonist Sam Carbough, Grand Rapids Public Library
July 8, 10:30 a.m.
Sam Carbaugh, a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies and author of the recently published, “Comics! Investigate the History and Technology of American Cartooning,” will teach you how to create your very own comics! Learn how to draw basic comic characters and how to create, publish, and distribute your own minicomics! All drawing levels are encouraged to attend. For first through fifth graders.
A Day in the Life of a Zoo Veterinarian, John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids
July 8, 3 p.m.
Get the inside scoop of what goes on behind the scenes at the zoo from Dr. Ryan Colburn, head veterinarian for John Ball Zoo. Free program held in the Administrative Building next to the zoo entrance. Admission to the zoo not included. Registration required at www.grpl.org/register.
Thursday, July 9
MARANDA’S PICK: Maranda Park Party, Berlin Raceway, Marne
July 9, noon – 2 p.m.
Free event with inflatables, rides, games, activities, crafts, music, and prizes! Free lunch to anyone under 18 while supplies last.
ARTengage! Open Paint and Creation Station, Rockford
July 9, 8 – 9 a.m.
ARTengage! is the place where creativity rules! Open Paint $20, Creation Station $8/hr/child.
Adventure River Trip, Leonard Field, Ada
July 9, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Enjoy a river adventure as you paddle a canoe on the Thornapple and Grand Rivers starting at the Ada Covered Bridge. Learn paddle strokes, boat control, water safety and teamwork followed by a fun trip down the river. Canoes, paddles and safety gear are provided. $25 per child (ages 10-13).
Water Family Fun Night, Vergennes United Methodist Church, Lowell
July 9, 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Inflatable water slide, kiddie pool, slip n slide, and more! Dinner provided at 5:30 and activities start at 5:45. Bring beach towels, change of clothes, and lawn chair. Bring non-perishable food items, if able, to benefit food pantry at Flat River Outreach Ministries in Lowell.
The Velveteen Rabbit, Holland Civic Theatre
July 9 – 11, 7 p.m.
The classic children’s book comes to life on the stage! 7 p.m. showings July 9-11, 16-18. 2 p.m. matinee on July 18. $10 admission.
19th Annual Lowell Riverwalk Festival, downtown Lowell
July 9 – 11
Concerts, arts & crafts show, parade, classic car and motorcycle shows, Kidz Zone, kayaking, food booths, used book sale, shopping, street entertainers, fireworks, and more!
Friday, July 10
MARANDA’S PICK: Slip & Slide Friday, Kroc Center, Grand Rapids
July 10, 5 – 8 p.m.
Bring the whole family down to the Kroc Center for a giant slip & slide! Free! Tubes provided. Bring your swimsuit and towel.
Little Sprouts Story Hour, Outdoor Discovery Center, Holland
July 10, 10 – 11 a.m.
Introduce kids to the outdoors through books and outdoor adventures. Read books, take hikes, meet animals, and have lots of fun. Dress for the weather! Registration is welcome.
Make It Take It, Michigan’s Heritage Park, Whitehall
July 10, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Children can make a drop spindle and learn how to spin wool at Michigan’s Heritage Park! $5 to take home your spindle, or leave it for the next visitor.
Skyzone for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kalamazoo
July 10, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Skyzone is celebrating its 100th store in the U.S. by giving back to the community. Skyzone Kalamazoo is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters for the day. 10% of profits will go to BBBS and Skyzone corporate will match the amount raised.
July Toddler Time: Toddler Yoga, Forever Curious Children’s Museum, Fennville
July 10, 11 a.m. – noon
Back By Popular Demand – Toddler Yoga! Reservations appreciated, walk-ins welcome. $4.50 per person, under 1 free. Please bring your own mat
Monster Truck Throwdown, Berlin Raceway, Marne
July 10, 7 p.m.
The return of the Monster Truck Throwdown, plus gravity-defying freestyle motocross and Tee’d Off, a jet-powered golf cart! Fun for all ages. Tickets available online.
July Art Hop, West Michigan Glass Art Center, Kalamazoo
July 10, 5 – 9 p.m.
Watch live glassblowing and lampworking demonstration in our studios. Tour the Reflections Gallery for glass artwork from over 20 local artists. Free!
Hook, Line & Sinker (Kids’ Fishing), Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, Mattawan
July 10 – 11
A fun experience for kids 3-16. Catch and release, all equipment provided. 5 – 7 p.m. on Friday, 9 – 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Egelston Wolf Lake Festival, Flickema Park, Muskegon
July 10 – 11
Pancake breakfast Saturday morning, 5K run, car show, arts and crafts fair, food vendors, children’s activities, parade.
Grand Haven Beach Vault, S. Harbor Drive
July 10 – 11
A carnival of vaulting on the shores of Lake Michigan! See the events, swim in the lake, shop in downtown Grand Haven. Free admission!
Saturday, July 11
MARANDA’S PICK: Mr. Potato Head Super Saturday, Muskegon Art Museum
July 11, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Free Family Fun Day is a spuddy kind of Saturday at the MMA. Admission and activities are free, compliments of MMA Education Partner Alcoa Howmet.
Dutton Days, Dutton
Community pancake breakfast, parade, live music all day, free kids’ zone, craft/vendor area.
Rockford 11th annual Kids Triathlon, North Rockford Middle School
July 11, 9 a.m.
Competition of swimming, biking, and running. Distance is determined by age group. Registration fee: $20. See website for registration information.
Star Wars Night, West Michigan Whitecaps, Fifth Third Ballpark
July 11, 7 p.m.
More than 40 Star Wars costumed characters will be in attendance for photos. First 1,000 fans through the gates get a Droid hat. Select game-worn jerseys will be raffled off to benefit the Whitecaps Community Foundation. Family Fare fireworks after the game.
Spielberg Series: “E.T.,” Park Theatre, Holland
July 11, 8 p.m.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Film starts at 8 p.m. $5 admission.
Kalamazoo County 4-H Open Horse Show, Kalamazoo County Expo Center
July 11 – 12
Horse show is open to the public with more than 65 classes for nearly every riding discipline. Show is held rain or shine. Admission and parking are free for spectators. Visit the website for registration information and forms.
BlackRock Medieval Fest, The Olde World Village, Augusta
July 11 – August 2
Step back in time for live entertainment, vendors, jousting, food, and more! $10 admission. Kids 12 and under are free!
Sunday, July 12
MARANDA’S PICK: Golden Anniversary Party, Windmill Island Gardens, Holland
Windmill Island Gardens celebrates 50 years with free activities including wooden shoe races, carousel rides, petting zoo.
Bring Your Dog Day, West Michigan Whitecaps, Fifth Third Ballpark
July 12, 1 p.m.
Bring your dog to the ballpark! Dog wash in front of the ballpark from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to benefit Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. First 1,000 kids eat free. Get autographs and play catch on the field before the game, along with other fun activities. Kids can run bases after the game.
Amazing Honey Bees, Frederik Meijer Gardens
July 12, 1 – 4 p.m.
“Bee” amazed this weekend as you take a closer look at the fascinating world of honeybees. Discover different aspects of bees and beekeeping by viewing and making a beeswax candle. Find out how to communicate like a bee by participating in a “bee dance.” Learn some amazing aspects of honey by tasting several different types and watching a honey-inspired cooking demonstration.
Zeelmania, downtown Zeeland
Mondays, July 6 – August 31, 6 – 8 p.m.
Downtown Main Street is transformed into a healthy living street fair with inflatables and activities. Free!
Free Tuesdays, Grand Rapids Art Museum
Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Free admission every Tuesday thanks to Meijer Free Tuesdays. Reduced admission to special exhibitions! General admission is also free on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., underwritten by Meijer.
Wristband Wednesdays, Craig’s Cruisers, Wyoming
Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
$22 gets you a wristband that’s good for unlimited indoor and outdoor go-karts, laser tag, bumper cars, mini golf, ropes course, bumper boats, and frog hopper. Also get three hour access to pizza buffet!
Summer Wednesdays, Kalamazoo Valley Museum
Wednesdays through August 5, 1 – 4 p.m.
Each Wednesday, the museum will offer ten different free crafts for visitors. Special planetarium shows and Challenger Learning Center missions offered each afternoon during Summer Wednesdays.
Farmyard Wednesdays, DeLano Farms, Kalamazoo Nature Center
Wednesdays through August 26, 10 a.m. – noon
Fun farmyard programs with a different theme each week. Aimed for children ages 2 to 8. $2 program fee per participating child in addition to regular admission.
Kids Activities at the Holland Farmers Market
Wednesdays through August 26, 9:30 a.m. – noon
Each week, the farmers market hosts creative, educational, hands-on activities for children ages 3-10. Free!
Open Swim, Bouws City Pool, Holland
Daily, 1 – 4:30 p.m. & 6 – 8 p.m.
Open swim Monday – Sunday. Organized aquatic activities from Holland Aquatic Center Thursdays 1 – 4:30 p.m.. Children 15 and younger are free! Adults: $1 for residents, $2 for non-residents.
Family Night, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
Thursdays, 5 – 8 p.m.
Every Thursday evening is Family Night, with $1.50 admission per person. Ages 1 and under are free.
Playing at the Plaza, Hastings Spray Plaza
Thursdays through August 27
Children’s entertainment at noon, teen art program at 2 p.m., evening music at 6:30 p.m.
Street Performer Series, downtown Holland
Thursdays through August 27, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Head downtown every Thursday to experience every kind of performance art imaginable! Jugglers, musicians, mimes, clowns, acrobats and more!
Coloring Club, Carolyn Stich Studio, Holland
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – noon
Come for coffee, muffins, and some coloring fun! $15 donation. All proceeds go to Kids’ Food Basket.
Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Family Day, Fifth Third Ballpark
Sundays, 1 p.m.
Every West Michigan Whitecaps Sunday home game. First 1,000 kids eat free! Get autographs and play catch on the field before the game. Run the bases after the game. Enjoy face painters and balloon twisters.
Sunday Family Hike, Hemlock Crossing Nature Education Center, Holland
Sundays, 2 – 3:30 p.m.
Family-friendly hikes are designed to encourage exploration through trail activities that focus on seasonal happenings at Hemlock Crossing. Topical updates highlighted in NatureE-mail sent out every Thursday. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for e-mails. Free!
LowellArts! Exploring Africa with Art! Free Youth Art Classes
Through August 11, 1 – 3 p.m. or 3 – 5 p.m.
Students ages 7 to 12 are invited to a series of free workshops exploring Africa with art. Guest artists will work with students to create visual and performance art based on the culture and traditions of Africa.
Splash Zone, Holland Community Aquatic Center
Through August 23
Open swim for kids of all ages. Single visit: $5.50; Splash Packs (groups of 4 or more): $4.50 per person. $1.25 for Holland residents with ID.
Muskegon South Pierhead Light Tours, Pere Marquette Beach
Through Labor Day
Tours given of South Pierhead Light Monday and Tuesday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $4 for adults and $2 for kids.
Kidstruction Zone, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
Children can explore construction-related trades by scooping and pouring gravel, building a brick tower, move wheelbarrows, and use a conveyer belt. Included with admission.
The Discovery of King Tut, Grand Rapids Public Museum
Through January 2016
Exhibition explores the legendary tomb and its treasures as they were at the moment of their discovery. Tickets: $18 for adults, $17 for seniors, $13 for children 3-17, children 2 and under are free. Discounted admission for members. Tickets include general admission and free carousel ride.
Browse fresh fruits, vegetables, products, and goods from local farmers. Many markets have activities and events for children. Click the link to find a farmers market near you.