Maranda’s Guide to Summer Fun: July 27 – August 2

Coast Guard Festival

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 27 – August 2. 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.

Ongoing events in West Michigan

Maranda's Guide to Summer FunMonday, July 27

MARANDA’S PICK: Ottawa County Fair, County Fairgrounds, Holland
July 27 – August 1
Moto sports, rodeo, mobile zoo, midway, kids activities.

Investigate the Japanese Garden, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids
July 27, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
One-day class for kids 10-14. Go on a visual scavenger hunt in the Japanese Garden, create a mini garden, wire a bonsai tree, try calligraphy and watercolor, and make a small bamboo easel. Bring lunch and a water bottle. Members: $50. Non-members: $57.

Festival Idol, Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival
July 27, 7 p.m.
Watch locals perform their amazing talents in an “American Idol”-style talent competition. Waterfront Stadium. General admission: $5. Children under 5 are free.

“A Little Princess,” Grand Rapids Civic Theatre
Through August 2
The classic story of Sara Crewe, based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Check website for show times and ticket prices.

Tuesday, July 28

MARANDA’S PICK: Kids Day, Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival
July 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Games, displays, storytelling, face painting, arts and crafts.

1 Goal 1 Passion Summer Basketball Camp, Godwin High School
July 28 – 30
Former MSU player Mateen Cleaves’ program teaches basketball and life skills. Session 1 for ages 8-12: 9 a.m. to noon. Session 2 for ages 13-17: 1 to 4 p.m. $1 charge. Check registration availability online.

Picnics in the Park, Ah-Nab-Awen Park, Grand Rapids
July 28, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Food trucks, drop-in sports, exercise classes, music, and entertainment. Free!

Animals Galore, Southside Vineyard Church, Wyoming
July 28, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Free community party for families! Food, games, crafts, bounce house, and petting zoo!

No Family Left Indoors, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Hastings
July 28, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Hike the North Country Trail. Meet NE of Middleville at Crane Road to hike a section of the trail that stretches from North Dakota to New York. Free!

Wednesday, July 29

MARANDA’S PICK: Summer Wednesdays, Kalamazoo Valley Museum
July 29, 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.

Thursday, July 30

MARANDA’S PICK: Maranda Park Party, Northwestern Middle School, Battle Creek
July 30, noon – 2 p.m.
Free event with inflatables, rides, games, activities, crafts, music, and prizes! Free lunch to anyone under 18 while supplies last.

Knickerbocker Free Family Film Series, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland
July 30, 7:30 p.m.
See “The Apple Dumpling Gang” for free!

Friday, July 31

MARANDA’S PICK: Birthday Street Party, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
July 31, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Animal-themed birthday party! Create animal masks, make your own pet rock, play games, win prizes, and more! All outdoor birthday activities are free! General admission required to play inside the museum.

National Lock-In at the Library, Herrick District Library, Holland
July 31, 6 p.m.
For teens entering 6th-12th grade. Registration & Permission Slip Required. Stay at the library after hours events galore! Skype with YA authors, compete in games with teens from across the USA, make crafts, play games, eat junk food, and more!

Movies on Deck, USS LST 393 Veterans Museum, Muskegon
July 31, 10 p.m.
Watch “A League of Their Own” outdoors on the deck of the LST 393. Bring chairs and refreshments. Free! Donations are welcome. Concessions available for purchase.

Free Kids’ Movies, Celebration! Cinema Woodland
July 31 – August 6
“When Marnie Was There” free for kids 12 and under. $5 for everyone else.

Saturday, August 1

MARANDA’S PICK: Grand Parade & Fireworks, Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival
August 1
The Grand Parade starts at 11:45 a.m. at Sheldon & Colfax. Fireworks show at the waterfront at 10 p.m.

Coast Guard Festival Ship Tours, Grand Haven
August 1, 10 a.m. – noon
Meet Coast Guard personnel and learn how U.S. Coast Guard Cutters break through ice in the Great Lakes. Free!

Blueberry Bash, Stokes Homestead Farm Market, Grand Junction
August 1
Live music and entertainment, blueberry pie eating contests for kids and adults, games and activities.

Lakeshore Street Party, Washington Square, Holland
August 1, 3 – 9 p.m.
Celebrate West Michigan music, food, and entertainment. Includes family-friendly activities. Free!

Knapp Street Church Car Show, Knapp Street Reformed Church, Grand Rapids
August 1, 4 – 8 p.m.
Car show with awards. Family fun activities including face painting, bounce house, and carnival-style games. Food available for purchase. Free admission!

St. Joseph the Worker Church August Festival, Lamar Park, Wyoming
August 1 – 2
Music, dancing, children’s activities, car show on Sunday, food, and more! 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Sunday, August 2

MARANDA’S PICK: Reptile Weekend, Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek
August 1 – 2, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Learn about reptiles and amphibians. Touch more than 100 different species from around the world! Free with zoo admission.

Ongoing Events

Mondays at the MFF, Kent County Recycling and Education Center, Grand Rapids
Mondays through August 17, 2 – 6 p.m.
Open house-style event lets families and kids learn about reducing, reusing, and rethinking their cast-offs through fun, interactive crafts. Different theme each week. Free! Closed-toed shoes required.

Zeelmania, downtown Zeeland
Mondays through 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.

Story Time in the Heights, Dog King, Grand Rapids
Tuesdays through August 25, 7 – 8 p.m.
Story time sponsored by GVSU College of Education. Each child age 0-12 will receive a free ice cream cone and a free book. Stories are read to children from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m.

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!

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 $1.75 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 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
Through November
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.

Library Events
There are always fun events happening at your local library. To find a branch near you, click: or

Farmers Markets
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.

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