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9 Family-Friendly Things to Do in Grand Rapids, Michigan


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Grand Rapids, Michigan is a great destination for one-day trips and weekend getaways. Individuals and families alike enjoy it.

With a store of shops and restaurants, art galleries and museums, parks and attractions, and so on, the selection of family-friendly fun can get overwhelming; this city connects you to the history of the Midwest. Regardless of the time of the year, there are always public activities in Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids is home to President Gerald R. Ford and provides a myriad of tourist attractions. Grand Rapids is situated among stunning views of the Grand River. The city is home to nature parks and a growing culinary culture that's found in all districts. Here are some of the best things you and your family can do in Grand Rapids.

1. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum features an interactive video and holographic representation of Ford's life. A holographic representation of Gerald Ford's White House gives you a look at life in his oval office. The museum organizes events and exhibits, making it a great place to visit when on vacation in Grand Rapids. The "Canine Warriors" and "K9 War Stories" exhibits cover the struggles of canines and humans during global wars on terror, for example.

2. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park provides educational and recreational experiences with a mix of cultural touch. Since its opening in 1995, the park has shaped and transformed the art culture in the Midwest. It has the largest three-story conservatory in Michigan and in the entire mid-west of the USA. It is featured by a waterfall, rock garden, and rare exotic plants. The Lena Meijer Children's Garden is an interactive botanic garden where kids can explore tree houses, a log cabin, and a butterfly labyrinth.

The Garden's outdoor amphitheater features surreal acoustics and tiered-lawn seating for 1,900 people. The sculpture gallery hosts over 300 works of world-famous bronze sculptors. The park has amazing indoor and outdoor gardens, wetlands boardwalk, and picturesque forest trails.

3. John Ball Zoo

A lion lays on a rock at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Image via Unsplash by Jeremy Avery.

The John Ball Zoo has a lot of animals and presents plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning. As you enter the zoo, you'll see the John Ball statue, which was installed in 1925. Pompeo Coppini sculptured the bronze sculpture based on a design submitted by Gertrude Van Houten, a local schoolgirl. Whether you love lions, chimps, or pandas, John Ball Zoo of Grand Rapids is your best destination. The zoo offers fun activities like zip-lining, camel rides, and tram rides to the highest peak of Grand Rapids.

4. Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum began in 1854 as the Lyceum of Natural History.

The museum captures the history of the Midwest in its three permanent exhibits of science, history, and culture. With over 250,000 artifacts collected from West Michigan, the museum provides an authentic history of the Midwest. Most tourists visiting the museum find the Planetarium and Cook Carousel Pavilion intriguing areas to visit. The museum has a gift shop, cafe, and its own Meijer Theater.

5. Meyer May House

The Meyer May House was designed for a renowned Grand Rapids clothier. This two-story house is Michigan's Prairie masterpiece and features a hipped roof, pale brick, and long broad eaves. Built in 1908 by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Meyer May House is designed to incorporate nature into the house. The ceiling panels, art glass windows, and lanterns interact to provide interior spaces with natural ambient light. The building is open to the public for free with Wright's original designs and furniture.

6. Grand Rapids Children's Museum

Located in downtown Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Children's Museum was built in 1916. It offers interactive education and drop-in programs that encourage learning through play. It features glass walls that allow passersby to view the indoor activities outside. The staff organizes over 18 exhibits, including the Aunt Daisy's Farm, Puppet Stage, Wee Bank, Buzzy Buzzy Bees, and Wee Discover. This is a reasonable trip for the children when their school hasn't yet taken them.

7. Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve

When you visit Grand Rapids, don't miss the ecosystem preserve managed by Calvin College. Students are who make this nature preserve possible and accessible to the public. Calvin College students work on preserving plants and animals. You can hike through the preserve to see Michigan's indigenous plants, watch birds, and enjoy the fresh air. The preserve hosts the Bunker Interpretive Center. This facility is famous for its unique displays 5,000 square feet of space that hosts both students and visitors.

The center promotes learning through interactive experiences, allowing visitors to learn about wetlands and hardwood forests. This open exhibit displays unique plant species native to the Midwest.

8. Grand Rapids Symphony

The Grand Rapids Symphony is a community-supported orchestra. It was created as a cultural resource for the people of Michigan. It plays for the Grand Rapids Ballet Company and Opera Grand Rapids, featuring a wide variety of music performances. With hundreds of performances throughout the year, you won't miss something when you are in town. You can catch up with symphony performances in parks, theaters, and other places within the district.

9. Blandford Nature Center

Blandford Nature Center is one of the premier nature getaways in Grand Rapids. With over four miles of trails, this center hosts scenic views, streams, and meadows. Known for its wildlife programs, the center also hosts special events like the Fall Harvest Fair and Sugarbush.

The nature center has many attractions and art galleries right now.

Grand Rapids deservedly won the best city to raise a family and Beer City, USA. It has an impressive art scene, craft breweries, farm-to-table dining, and historic mansions. If you happen to sustain injuries or get into an accident in Grand Rapids, start with finding an attorney at Goodman Acker. We understand federal and state laws so that you can navigate the legal bureaucracies of your personal injuries.