GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) Summer in West Michigan is filled with fun activities for families! Check out Maranda’s complete Guide to Summer Fun. 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.
Summer 2017 Summer Fun Guide
Summer Reading Club
There’s a way kids can stay strong – mentally and physically – all summer long. The Summer Reading Club is officially under way at most West Michigan libraries. The club is a great way for kids to keep reading all year long so all their hard work during the school year isn’t wasted.
Kids read books throughout the summer for a chance to win awesome prizes from Meijer, John Ball Zoo, and the West Michigan Whitecaps, The grand prize is an overnight getaway to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets with passes to LegoLand and Sea Life, lunch at Rainforest Cafe and a $400 shopping spree to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets.
The Summer Reading Club is free! Sign up at your local library.
Camp Kroc, Grand Rapids Kroc Center
Through September 1
- Campers aged 5-12 attend Monday-Friday and enjoy activities like arts and crafts, sports, music, games, swimming, rock climbing, drama and talent shows, archery, giant slip and slide rides and weekly field trips.
- Cost per week: $125 per member child/$150 per non-member child per week.
- Before and after care are also available for an additional $35 per week.
- Diagnosis: Fun!
Kids can explore the health sciences and see what it’s like to be a nurse, surgeon, doctor, or medical technician in the newest exhibit at the museum. Regular admission costs.
- Amazing Dinosaurs
Dig up fossils, examine dinosaur habitats, come face to face with your favorite dinos, put on a dino puppet show, see if you can make T. Rex sounds, and more. Open through June 25th.
- Professional educators will share the thrill of science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, and aerospace science with campers through hands-on activities and interactive experiments.
- Prices and times vary on age and topic. Visit website to see specific information.
Movies begin at dusk in Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown GR. Bring your own blankets, chairs, drinks, and snacks. Local vendors will be on site serve up treats and pre-movie entertainment beginning at 7pm.
- June 16
7:00 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (G)
9:30 PM Pan’s Labyrinth (R)
- July 7
7:00 PM Mrs. Doubtfire (PG-13)
9:30 PM Forrest Gump (PG-13)
- July 21
The Book of Life (PG)
- August 4
The Bodyguard (R)
- August 16
Remember the Titans (PG)
Pitch Perfect (PG-13)
- Free for members and $3 for non-members.
- Families can visit the chickens, goats, and other animals at the farm, hike the trails, or spend time observing the prey and mammals within the observation area.
List of splash pads and pools across West Michigan
Click here for the list
- All throughout the summer, varying days each week.
- Free projects and interactive labs for children of all ages, all summer long.
- Collaboration of programs and services for children that promote creativity, problem-solving skills, and time to explore.
- Your library card can be your best travel companion.
- This summer you are able to discover hundreds of Michigan’s cultural destinations and natural attractions with just your Michigan library card.
- You can “check out” free or discounted admission passes and other offers to hundreds of Michigan state parks, campgrounds, museums, trails, arts and cultural destinations.
- Tuesdays, 10am-5pm
- Free admission every Tuesday thanks to Meijer Free Tuesdays.
- Reduced admission to special exhibitions.
- General admission is also free on Thursdays from 5pm to 9pm.
- Tuesdays, 10am-4pm
- Science-based activities and interactive displays with a new theme each month.
- Included with a general admission.
Maranda Park Parties will be coming to six West Michigan communities this summer. Each party is full of fun activities, games, rides, music, prizes, and more! Best of all, everyone is invited and everything is free! All parties are on Thursdays from noon to 2 p.m. Free lunch for anyone 18 and under starts at 11:30 a.m., while supplies last.
2016 Maranda Park Party Schedule
- June 22 – Lamar Park, Wyoming
- June 29 – Smith Ryerson Park, Muskegon
- July 6 – Bronson Park , Kalamazoo
- July 13 – Kollen Park, Holland
- July 20 – East Kentwood High School, Kentwood
- July 27 – Northwestern Middle School, Battle Creek
- Check out their summer camps – click here
- Over 1,500 animals including lions, tigers, bears and chimpanzees.
- John Ball Zoo brings brings behind-the-scenes training and care to the public side of the exhibit daily.
- Both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
- Interactive experiences include a funicular (tram), zip line and high ropes course.
- Summer Hours Begin
Monday, June 12, 2017
Check our Hours for more details!
- Bouws Pool Opens
Monday, June 12, 2017
- World’s Largest Swimming Lesson
Thursday, June 22, 2017
- Resident Appreciation Day
Sunday, June 25 2017
HPSD Residents get in free with a valid ID!
- First Responders’ Picnic & Open Swim
Saturday, August 12, 2017
- Mondays, 6-8pm
- Family free fun, downtown Zeeland.
- July 10 is the kickoff night.
- July 17 is throwback night.
- July 24 is superhero night.
- July 31 is city fair night.
- Street fair with family-friendly events like face painting, inflatables, petting zoo, and more.
- Mondays- Zumba at Rosa Parks 5:30pm-6:15pm, Ballroom Dancing at the Blue Bridge 7:30pm-8:15pm
- Tuesdays- Strong by Zumba at Blue Bridge 5:30pm-6:15pm
- Wednesdays- Yoga at Sixth Street Park 12:15pm-1pm, POUND at Blue Bridge, 5:30pm-6:15pm
- Thursdays-Kickboxing at Blue Bridge, 5:30pm-6:15pm
- Fridays- Yoga from 6-7pm on the Blue Bridge, hosted by Seva Yoga
- Tuesdays through August 15, 6:30-8pm
- Free program allows families to explore the outdoors together.
- Different event each week.
- Wild Wednesdays – June 14 & 28, July 12 & 26 6:30-7:30pm
- Children ages 3 to 7 can explore the bird sanctuary and learn about animals and nature.
- Different topics each week.
- $5 for adults, $4 for seniors or students, $3 for children, and free for sanctuary members.
- Kalamazoo Valley Museum
- June 17 – September 17, 2017
- Crossing the threshold of these exhibits means traveling back in time to explore the age of the dinosaurs.
- In “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice,” visitors move through the exhibit, encountering unfamiliar landscapes, touchable dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes, and opportunities to investigate clues about what the dinosaurs left behind.
- The exhibit features three distinct sections: Land of Fire (a warm dinosaur habitat), Land of Ice (a cold dinosaur habitat), and a Field Research Station.
- Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice was created by Minnesota Children’s Museum and nationally sponsored by The David B. Jones Foundation.
- Wednesdays through August 30, 9:30am-11:30am
- Each week, the farmers market hosts creative, educational, hands-on activities for children preschool to fifth grade.
- Must be accompanied by an adult.
There is always something new to do at the Kalamazoo Nature Center with featured programs every month for kids and adults.
There is a family program every Sunday at 2 pm and special events throughout the year.Stop by the Visitor Center to check out a special KNC backpack loaded with fun supplies and activities! Each backpack contains binoculars, field guides, a bug jar, magnifying glass, informational sheets, and an activity book, and more!
- Wednesdays, 10am-3pm (buffet 11-2) and 4pm-9pm (buffet 5-8)
- $24.99 plus tax 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 froghopper.
- Also, the three hour access to pizza buffet is included with the price.
- Wednesdays, 5pm-8:30pm
- See classic cars, enjoys oldies music, door prizes, food, and sweet treats.
- Participants get a coupon for $3 off a Fricano’s pizza.
- Weather dependent.
- Thursdays through August 31, noon-8:30pm
- Head downtown every Thursday to experience every kind of performance art imaginable.
- Jugglers, musicians, mimes, clowns, acrobats, and more.
- Thursdays, 5-8pm
- Every Thursday evening is Family Night, with $1.75 admission per person.
- Ages 1 and under are free.
- Sundays, 1pm (during home games – check schedule above)
- 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.
- Sundays, 1-3pm
- Bring your own picnic lunch and go on a cruise on the Grand Lady Riverboat.
- Beverages and treats available for purchase on board.
- Captain narrates history of steamboat and Grand River. Kids can steer at the big wheel.
- Boarding at 12:30pm.
- Reservations recommended but not required.
- Adults $15, children 10 and under free with purchase of adults tickets.
- The Critter Barn engages children with real farm work, and gets them outdoors.
- The Critter Barn is a nonprofit educational farm spanning 3 acres.
- The farm is a West Michigan attraction located in Zeeland Township within Ottawa County.
- Deer Tracks Junction is a Family owned and operated Agri-tourism business.
- Come and visit the farm, meet the amazing animals, try some delicious homemade ice cream and make new friends.
- Races every Saturday at 6:30pm
- Click above for schedule and other special events
- Don’t wait for snow, luge in the summer.
- Slide down the only wheel luge track in North America.
- You can also check on Trail Quest, become an archer and stay at a nearby campground.
- June 23 – Back to the Future III
- June 30 – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
- July 14 – Enchanted
- July 21 – Remember the Titans
Free for kids 12 and under – only $5 for everyone else. Celebration! Woodland
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Opens Friday, June 16
- Sound of Music – Opens Friday, June 23
- Sandlot – Opens Friday, June 30
- Pee Wee’s Big Adventure – Opens Friday, July 7
- Back to the Future – Opens Friday, July 14
- Iron Giant – Opens Friday, July 21
- Annie – Opens Friday, July 28
- Big – Opens Friday, August 4
- Wizard of Oz – Opens Friday, August 11
- Fantastic Mr. Fox – Opens Friday August 18
- Princess Bride – Opens Friday, August 25
- How to Train Your Dragon – Opens Friday, September 1
Now open for the summer.
- Four HUGE outdoor movie screens!
- In-car stereo sound
- Pizza and more at our full concession stand
- Kids play area
- Tuesday Bargain Nights – $7 each for adults, $5 each for kids 6-12yrs. Kids five and under are free! (Regular adult admission other nights $10.50 each, $7.50 for kids.)
- Gates open at 8 pm. Arrive early and get your favorite spot and a hot dog!
920 E Summit Ave
Muskegon, MI 49444
- Enter the wonderfully puzzling world of Mindbender Mansion, an eclectic place full of brainteasers and interactive challenges guaranteed to test the brain power and problem solving skills of even the most experienced puzzlers.
- Visitors to this fun and quirky mansion are invited to join the Mindbender Society by gathering hidden clues and secret passwords scattered throughout the various thematic rooms of the house.
- The clues and passwords are revealed by solving select brainteasers and group challenges.
- Master each of the 40 individual brainteasers and the five large-scale group activities.
- In order to solve these puzzles, visitors must identify patterns, think ahead, use logical reasoning, and look at the problems from different perspectives, setting aside reconceived ideas.
- The essential scientific tasks of problem solving and critical thinking are at the heart of Mindbender Mansion.
- Explore the neuroscience principles at work in each challenge, and polish your communication, collaboration, leadership, and teamwork skills as you manipulate a tilt table, form patterns in rolling chairs, keep up with a conveyor belt, maneuver a flying machine, and more.
- It’s a favorite spot for aviation enthusiasts, families, and photographers, and now the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Viewing Park has more room, amenities, and conveniences for those that visit the park.
- The viewing park, situated on Kraft Avenue north of 52nd Street, is the ideal place to watch aircraft take off and land.
- With the new improvements, parking spaces nearly doubled from 56 current spaces to 104 in the renovated lot. Additionally, there are four bus parking spaces to accommodate school and tour groups.
- Guests will have more than double the seating of the old park with new picnic tables and benches being added – including six of these tables in the pavilion area.
- Permanent restrooms, a filtered drinking fountain, new signage, and more trash receptacles were also a part of the improvements.
- It is especially popular during the summer months when dozens of “bird-watchers” flock there daily to watch the planes come and go.
- The airport viewing park provides unmatched entertainment for aviation buffs and families, and the park-like space is furnished with picnic tables and litter barrels for picnickers.
- While at the viewing park, tune in your radio to 1650 AM to listen to air traffic controllers, pilots, and GFIAA airfield operations staff as they coordinate the safe passage of aircraft into and out of GRR.
- The airport viewing park is open daily from dawn to dusk.
- The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is a synchronized water and light show accompanied with music of all varieties.
- Each 25-minute show features a variety of well-known music and plays daily at dusk from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
- Tours, museums, and artifacts depict the region’s celery farming heritage at this center.
- In addition, the center features an 1856, one-room schoolhouse, a 1931 grain elevator, playground facilities, a picnic area, biking and walking trails, the Hayloft Theatre, and summer festivals such as Family Festival, New Orleans Festival, and Michigan Shakespeare Festival.
- Seven weeks of craft-making for kids ages 3 and up
- $5 per session or $12 for 3 sessions
- New crafts each day, new themes each week
- Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays from June 12 – July 28 from 10am to noon
- Times offered weekly throughout the year to all community members (not just those enrolled)
- Children and family can spend the afternoon or evening in the pool together
- $5 per person/$15 per family
- Goldfish Swim School of Grand Rapids
- 2845 Thornhills Ave. SE
- Select bowling centers and schools around the country are participating in the first ever Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed by bowling centers to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.
- Children whose age does not exceed a limit by a participating bowling center are eligible to register for 2 free games a day, all summer long, courtesy of the participating bowling centers along with the schools and organizations.
They are a family owned Blueberry Farm & Farm Market! They offer seasonal, fresh fruit and vegetables from May to October.
- Curiosity Labs will continue this summer at the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) as part of their ongoing science programming, making science accessible and fun for children and families. Curiosity Labs take place once per month on Saturdays and change focus each time.
- Labs take place at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on their scheduled date. Labs are designed for children to work alone or to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. It is recommended children 8 and under have a parent or guardian with them. Tickets can be purchased at grpm.org/science or by clicking on the “Events and Programs” button on the homepage.
Boys & Girls Club of Muskegon Lakeshore
Free day camps at various locations
List of festivals and fairs:
Caledonia Western Week – June 20-23
Montcalm County Fair – June 25- July 1
Berlin Fair – July 4-July 8
Riverwalk Festival – Lowell – July 6-8
Ionia Free Fair – July 13-22
Van Buren County Youth Fair – July 17-22
National Baby Food Festival – July 19-22
Kalamazoo County Youth Fair – August 8-12
Calhoun County Fair – August 12-19