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8 Activities To Do With Your Kids in Grand Rapids, MI

If you’re looking for fun local places to explore with your kids, Grand Rapids has something for you. From outdoor adventures to museums and more, there’s something every member of the family will enjoy in this city.

Still, if you don’t know where to look, planning a family day can feel like a challenge. That’s where Goodman Acker comes in. We’ve put together this list of family-friendly activities in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to get you started.

John Ball Zoo

8 Activities To Do With Your Kids in Grand Rapids, MI - John Ball Zoo
Image via Flickr by music2fish2 (eric lanning) | Licensed by CC BY 2.0

Head over to Grand Rapids’ own John Ball Zoo to get up close and personal with your kids’ favorite critters. This amazing zoo not only is easy to visit but also boasts a range of animals and habitats sure to delight kids and adults alike.

From amphibians to lemurs, penguins to tigers, and everything in between, this zoo has it all. The zoo also offers a range of classes and other educational offerings to take the experience to the next level. Check their schedule to sign up for fun kid-friendly classes like live animal figure drawing to treat your family to a unique activity.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

You can’t go wrong with a visit to Grand Rapid Children’s Museum if you’re looking for a fun way to spend the day with the kids. The museum regularly changes and rotates its exhibits, so you’ll have plenty of excuses to keep coming back for more.

This fun spot seeks to build minds and bolster healthy development through play and keeps the focus on kids through interactive activities and exhibits. Watch the delight on your children’s faces as they check out the classic activities like Legos and blocks, pretend to be firefighters, climb inside gigantic bubbles, and more.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

If your kids are inspired to go museum-hopping after spending time at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, you’re in luck. Our hometown boasts an array of great places to learn and explore. Start with a trip to the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the oldest museum in Michigan.

Founded back in 1854, the Grand Rapids Public Museum today boasts over 250,000 artifacts and specimens. You won’t want to miss a show at the Chaffee Planetarium, which draws on the latest technology to deliver a rich, realistic trip through universe. The museum also features in-house exhibitions alongside traveling exhibits they bring in throughout the year.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

Better known as GRAM, the Grand Rapids Art Museum has cultivated a love of art in the community for more than 100 years. The museum boasts an array of exhibitions, so if your children are into art, you’ll want to add GRAM to your list of places to explore together.

Yet another amazing museum in Grand Rapids the team at Goodman Acker recommends, GRAM is the place to go for families who want to get the creativity flowing. In addition to the inspiring exhibitions, the museum offers various family-friendly events and workshops. From gallery chats to drop-in studios to family days and beyond, GRAM makes for the ideal way to spend a day with the kids while immersing yourself in amazing art.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

There’s something for everyone at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, another gem located in Grand Rapids.  Meijer Gardens spans 158 acres, offering the largest tropical conservatory in Michigan along with indoor theme gardens and outdoor gardens, nature trails, sculptures, and so much more.

If you’re visiting with kids, this amazing place has various interactive activities perfect for the younger members of your group. Pay a visit to the Great Lakes Garden, a mini-replica of the Great Lakes where kids can build a bridge, launch a boat, or walk on all the Great Lakes States. Or, head over to the Storytelling Garden for a puppet show or story time. Looking for a peaceful spot to relax and watch the wildlife? The kettle pond, a unique feature of the Woodland Shade Garden, is a great place to unwind while looking for ducks and turtles.

Grand Rapids Parks

In the mood for some more outdoor fun? Just head over to one of the many parks in Grand Rapids. The 75 parks across the city mean there’s a local spot for everyone to enjoy. Some of the many highlights include:

  • City Splash Pads: Stop by one of the 14 free-to-use splash pads located in various parks throughout the city to let kids cool off on hot summer days.
  • Ottawa Hills Park: The first universally accessible playground in Grand Rapids, Ottawa Hills Park features two playgrounds designed for younger and older kids, rubber surfacing for accessible and soft landings, sensory play objects, and picnic areas to relax and enjoy a laid-back meal after a busy day outdoors.
  • Rosa Parks Circle: Rosa Parks Circle is a public art space that transforms into an ice skating rink when the temperatures drop.

Grand Rapids Griffins

Whether your kids are already huge hockey fans or they’re feeling inspired by their ice skating session in Rosa Parks Circle this winter, Grand Rapids is the place to go when you’re ready to take in a game. The Grand Rapids Griffins are the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, and they play right here in Grand Rapids.

See future NHL stars and enjoy the family-friendly atmosphere with tickets to a game. If your kids really want to get in on the action, they can even join the Griffins Kids Club!

Fulton Street Farmers Market

History and fun come together at Fulton Street Farmers Market, which has connected farmers, food creators, and artists with the community since 1922. Bonus points? You can get your weekly food shopping done while you explore this entertaining space with your kids.

Fulton Street Farmers market has 118 outdoor booths plus additional space for indoor booths. Look forward to quite the assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat products, and other hand-crafted goodies whenever you stop by.

That concludes Goodman Acker’s list of some of the best family-friendly activities in the Grand Rapids area. Do you have another local activity you think should make it on this list? Get in touch so we can share your recommendation.

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