Maranda’s Guide to Summer Fun: August 3 – 9

Michigan Pirate Festival
Michigan Pirate Festival - photo courtesy Facebook

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 August 3 – 9. 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

Monday, August 3Maranda's Guide to Summer Fun

MARANDA’S PICK: Michigan Pirate Festival, Grand Haven
August 3 – 9
Pirate re-enactors invade Grand Haven! Kids can pick up a treasure map from Loutit District Library to lead them around downtown Grand Haven in search of fortune. Festival moves to Harbor Island for the weekend with family activities Saturday and Sunday. Adults: $5. Children under 13 are free.

“The Automobile Adventure of the Abernathy Brothers,” Parchment Community Library
August 3, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Presentation by Fred Colgren of the Gilmore Car Museum focuses on the story of Bud and Temple Abernathy, ages 6 and 10, who traveled from their home in Frederick, Oklahoma, to New York City on horseback and then from New York City back to Oklahoma, by automobile, by themselves. The emphasis is on geography and the personal characteristics of courage and commitment. Free and open to all ages!

Del Shannon Days, Coopersville
August 3 – 8
Car show August 7-8, tractor show, Miss Coopersville pageant, vintage train rides, fireworks, pie bake-off, downhill derby, food, music, and more!

Tuesday, August 4

MARANDA’S PICK: National Night Out, throughout West Michigan
August 4
An annual evening dedicated to making communities safer. Lock your doors, turn on your porch lights, and head outside to get to know your neighbors. Many neighborhoods are having events and activities, or check out one of the public events below.

National Night Out, Salvation Army Kroc Center, Grand Rapids
August 4, 5 p.m.
Meet local police, firefighters, and their canine pals. Try the giant slip & slide, then watch “Paddington” indoors. Activities begin at 5 p.m. Movie starts at 7 p.m. Free!

National Night Out, Christ Community Church, Grand Rapids
August 4, 6 – 9 p.m.
Meet Kentwood police officers and firefighters and McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog. Face painting, bounce houses, slip and slides, live music, lawn games, raffles, and fiveaways.

National Night Out, Feyen Zylstra, Grand Rapids
August 4, 6 – 9 p.m.
Meet Walker area police officers and firefighters. Prizes, bounce houses, games, crafts, music, hot dogs, sno-cones. Free!

Discovery Days: Wiggly Worms, Ada Township Park
August 4, 10 a.m. – noon
Nature graft and guided discovery experience. $5.

No Family Left Indoors, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, Hastings
August 4, 6:30 – 8 p.m.
Explore McKeown Bridge Park for fishing, building, and flying kites and roasting hot dogs with Barry County Parks and Recreation. Free!

Wednesday, August 5

MARANDA’S PICK: Farmyard Wednesdays, DeLano Farms, Kalamazoo Nature Center
August 5, 10:30 a.m. – noon
Fun farmyard programs are for children ages 2-8 and anyone with a love of animals! $2 program fee per participating child (in addition to regular admission). The theme for August 5 Tools & Tractors!

Young Explorers: Rocks and Fossils, Ada Park
August 5, 10 a.m. – noon
Learn how rocks are formed from the forces of heat, water, and pressure deep in the Earth. Make your own rock collection and search for quartz crystals. $5 per child.

Wild Wednesday: Duck, Duck, Goose! W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, Augusta
August 5, 7 – 8 p.m.
Learn about the special characteristics that make waterfowl unique and allow them to survive in their environment.

Unity Christian Music Festival, Muskegon
August 5 – 8
One of the largest Christian music festivals in the U.S. Free games and kids activities. Affordable food options. Kids 5 and under are free.

Thursday, August 6

MARANDA’S PICK: Adventure Race, Ada Park
August 6, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Work in small teams on this super challenge as you walk, run, bike and maneuver through challenges through Ada Township Park and the Grand River Natural Area*. Maps and clues will help you find each check point and reach the finish line! $10 per child (ages 10-13). *Requires your own bike & helmet or check with us to borrow one.

Summer Luge & Archery! Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, Muskegon
August 6, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Get out and have some fun at the Winter Sports Complex, summer style! $15.00 for 4 runs on the summer luge track and 3 rounds at Archery.

Live Laugh Love 5K Run/Walk/Roll; Riverside Park, Grand Rapids
August 6, 5:30 p.m.
The Live*Laugh*Love 5K Run/Walk/Roll benefits the Live Laugh Love (LLL) Program of the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. Timed 5K, half mile Kids’ Dash, family activities such as a water balloon toss, sidewalk chalking, music, and other carnival like games. $10 for Kids’ Dash. Packet Pick-up & Late Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. 5K & Kids’ Dash begins at 7 p.m.

Kentwood Movies in the Park, Pinewood Park
August 6, 7 p.m.
Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and snacks and settle in for a movie. Selection will be decided the Friday before the showing, and will be G or PG. Food available for sale. No alcohol allowed in the park.

Knickerbocker Free Family Film Series, Knickerbocker Theatre, Holland
August 6, 7:30 p.m.
See “An American Tail” for free!

Northside Family Fun Fest, Walker Park, North Muskegon
August 6 – 8
Parade, car show, art fair, and “Taste of the Northside.”

Kalamazoo Ribfest, Arcadia Creek Festival Place
August 6 – 8
Live Music from Country music artists like Craig Morgan, Chase Bryant, and Blue Oyster Cult. Free before 4 p.m., $10 after 5 p.m.

52nd Annual National Blueberry Festival, downtown South Haven
August 6 – 9
Four-day festival is held in various locations in and out of doors in South Haven. Check schedule of events online.

Friday, August 7

MARANDA’S PICK: WGVU Kids Day, John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids
August 7
Admission for kids is $2.

Creek Stomp, Macatawa Greenspace, Holland
August 7, 9 – 10:30 a.m.
Explore Noordeloos Creek at the Macatawa Greenspace with a naturalist in search of insects, fish, crayfish and crustaceans! No bare feet or open-toed sandals. Meet at the parking lot off Paw Paw Drive. All materials will be provided. Children 10 years old and under must be accompanied by a participating adult. Free!

August in Ada Children’s Fair, The Village Green, Ada
August 7, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Free games, rides, crafts, fun, and entertainment. Food and refreshments available for purchase.

Kids Tunes at Noon, Windmill Island Gardens, Holland
August 7, noon – 1 p.m.
Concert series just for kids! Featured performance is Dilly Songs, presented by Aaron Vande Wege. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and feel free to pack a picnic lunch. Free! Pets welcome if kept on a leash.

Art Hop “Ice Cream Social!” West Michigan Glass Art Center, Kalamazoo
August 7, 5 – 9 p.m.
Cool off with a scoop of ice cream in a glass bowl created by youth in the 2015 Summer Glass Camp. Enjoy glassblowing demonstrations and the exhibit in the Reflection Gallery. Free!

Free Kids’ Movies, Celebration! Cinema Woodland
August 7 – 13
“Goonies” free for kids 12 and under. $5 for everyone else.

Saturday, August 8

MARANDA’S PICK: Sparta Celtic Festival, downtown Sparta
August 8
Music, food, beverages, crafts, and fun for all ages.

Hey 5K!, Union Depot, Muskegon
August 8, 8 a.m.
Fun run/walk for families follows the sites of historic downtown Muskegon while supporting the family-friendly, non-profit radio station 88.9FM. Family and group rates available.

Castle Grande 2015, Grand Haven
August 8, 9 a.m.
Take part in an effort to build the tallest, widest sandcastle Lake Michigan has ever seen! Professional group from Sand Fanatics will be there with tips. Bring your own bucket and shovel or borrow supplies on site. Event is free and open to all!

Breakfast on the Farm, Hood Farms Family Dairy, Paw Paw
August 8, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Farm tours, family fun, and breakfast served until noon. Free tickets available after July 8 at various locations. See website for details.

Free Kids’ Carnival, Wealthy Park Baptist Church, Grand Rapids
August 8, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Carnival games, face painting, cotton candy, sno-cones, prizes, and more! Lunch provided!

International Summerfest & Black Arts Festival, Mill Race Park, Battle Creek
August 8, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Experience the variety of cultures in the Battle Creek area through food, dancing, entertainment, and art.

Full 4 in 1 Show – Autograph Night, Galesburg Speedway
August 8, 6:45 – 11 p.m.
Adults $12; Children 6-12 $5; Under 5 Free; Senior 60 & Over $10

Superhero Night, West Michigan Whitecaps, Fifth Third Ballpark
August 8, 7 p.m.
Dress up as your favorite super hero! Family Fare fireworks after the game!

Sunday, August 9

MARANDA’S PICK: 52nd Annual National Blueberry Festival, downtown South Haven
August 6 – 9
Last day of the annual festival in South Haven! Check schedule of events online.

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!

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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