16 Amazing Things to do in Grand Rapids this Year!

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things to do in grand rapids
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For nearly a century, the small Michigan city of Grand Rapids enjoyed a global reputation for excellent wood furniture, and Michigan’s Grand Rapids Was Once Known as Furniture City. This is America’s furniture capital.

Professional musicians make up the Grand Rapids Symphony, which can be found in the United States in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and there are many things to do in grand rapids.

The gaming part of grand rapids

The West Michigan Whitecaps play in the Midwest League and are the Detroit Tigers’ High-A affiliate team. They host their home games at LMCU Ballpark in Comstock Park, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids.

Home ice for the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins is at Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids Griffins won the Calder Cup in 2013 and 2017 as the American Hockey League’s top team and are affiliated with the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.

About 13 miles southeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan’s city center, you’ll find Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Cascade Township. While the Kent County Board of Commissioners holds title to the building, an outside agency is responsible for its operation.

1. Things to do in Grand Rapids

Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, grew up in Grand Rapids, which is located in western Lower Michigan.

In addition to the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum are also great places to take the kids in Grand Rapids, and there are a lot of things to do in grand rapids.

These are the most beautiful grand rapids attractions.

1.1. Spend some time in the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Indoor and outdoor locations are available at the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The outside gardens feature beautiful blooms and tranquil greenery in various landscape designs.

Outdoor sculptures are in scenic natural settings, with winding roads and natural backdrops like trees and waterways.

Exotic plants from all over the world can flourish in the tropical setting provided by the Lena Meijer Conservatory, which spans five stories. Bronze sculptures by well-known artists from across the globe are on display in indoor sculpture galleries.

The Meijer gardens feature a library, a gift shop, highlighted art and artisans, and special flower exhibitions (bonsai, dahlias, roses, etc.), and its indoor gardens are organized by type.

If you’re not up to walking the entire huge site, the trolley cars will get you where you need to go. It’s wonderful to visit Frederik Meijer gardens any time of year.

Location: 1000 E. Beltline N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49503

things to do in grand rapids
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1.2. Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

Both visual and performing art are displayed at the UICA by local and foreign artists. The museum features rotating exhibits on various topics meant to educate and intrigue the public.

The museum is also involved in citywide public art projects and hosts public events, courses, and activities. Visitors can take a guided tour of the museum with one of the gallery’s docents.

Location: 17 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1.3. Have an Adventure at the John Ball Zoo

Huge and small creatures worldwide can be seen at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids. You can feed spider monkeys, bears, penguins, and pelicans, to name a few of the up-close and personal animal interactions offered in john ball zoo and many more things to do in grand rapids.

You may also go behind the scenes by observing a chimpanzee training session and learning about the animals’ daily needs. You can get your hands dirty by working with the animal ambassadors to learn about and handle a variety of small creatures (including reptiles, birds, and mammals).

At Red’s Hobby Farm, you can brush a goat, ride a camel, or try your hand at zookeeping.  The zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from all over the world. These range from the ferocious lions and tigers of Africa to the cute sloths of the tropics and even a pair of bald eagles.

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1300 West Fulton Street

things to do in grand rapids
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1.4. Gerald Ford Presidential Museum

Animals big and tiny from all over the world can be seen at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids. One of its best characteristics is the variety of up-close encounters and animal interactions offered to guests, including the opportunity to feed bears, penguins, pelicans, and spider monkeys.

Two further examples of these kinds of behind-the-scenes activities are watching a chimpanzee being trained and learning about the things they need to survive on a daily basis.

The zoo is also home to a wide variety of other animals, including lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, flamingos, iguanas, and even bald eagles.

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1300 West Fulton Street

1.5. Get Your Game On at Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

When in Grand Rapids, take the kids to the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum so they may play, learn, discover, and experience many things to do in grand rapids.

Among the most frequented spots is “Little Grand Rapids,” a miniature city replete with a bank, grocery store, auto mechanic, and doctor’s office where visitors may look at x-rays and learn about the human body.

The playground features a bubble room, classic toys like Legos and Lincoln Logs, and a room where kids may experiment with weird instruments and create as much noise as they desire.

Location: 11 Sheldon Avenue NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1.6. Grand Rapids Public Museum

The museum(where you can expect surprising things to do in grand rapids) has several displays about the history and culture of Michigan. To give tourists an authentic feel for the city of Grand Rapids in the 1890s, one street has been rebuilt, right down to the stores.

Location: 272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1.7. Grand Rapids Art Museum

Grand Rapids Art Museum’s increasing collection is housed in a LEED Gold-certified green facility downtown. It has a lot of different kinds of modern art by regional, national, local, and international artists.

A new series focuses on contemporary Michigan artists, while additional galleries house permanent and loaned collections on a wide range of topics. Beautiful paintings, drawings, and prints can be found in the museum’s special archives and research library.

These paintings, from the 1400s to the current day, are carefully shielded from light damage and can be viewed by request.

Location: 101 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1.8. Blandford Nature Center

The 143 acres that make up the Blandford Nature Center’s grounds have woodlands and pastures. The nature center’s mission is to foster environmental stewardship via instruction in the workings of the natural world.

The facility serves as a wildlife rescue, providing medical attention to injured animals; some of the animals treated there never return to the wild because of their ailments. The center provides numerous opportunities for people of all ages to get in touch with nature and wildlife through hands-on programming. 

In addition to collecting fresh eggs, children can visit with the farm’s resident goats, lambs, and chickens.

Location: 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1.9. Go to the Fulton Street Farmers Market

Grand Rapids’ Fulton Street Farmers Market has been a staple for a century.

There are probably over a hundred different sellers at this outdoor market, offering anything from classic farm goods and veggies to their unique handmade wares at Fulton street farmers market Artisans sell amazing, handmade products, including organic cosmetics and accessories.

Location: 1145 Fulton Street E, Grand Rapids, Michigan

things to do in grand rapids
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1.10. Heritage Hill Historic District

Heritage Hill in Grand Rapids was the city’s original neighborhood and was previously home to many important people in the town’s development.

If you’re looking for the neighborhood association for Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Heritage Hill Historic District, you can find it at the Heritage Hill Association.

1.11. Visit the Downtown Market Grand Rapids to shop

You can’t spend a day exploring Grand Rapids with new things to do in the grand rapids without stopping by the Downtown Market. Foodies will be in gastronomic heaven here, with a plethora of options.

There are a lot of downtown attractions here in downtown grand rapids.

Anyone needing a pick-me-up should visit a premium coffee shop or indulge in organic, handcrafted ice cream.

If you’re looking for the greatest quality meats and vegetables and some unusual pantry essentials.

Location: 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, Michigan

things to do in grand rapids
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1.12. Best coffee shops in Grand Rapids

  • Corridor Coffee

Corridor Coffee, located on Stocking Avenue, is a pleasant neighborhood café with a co-working space on the second level. Soft décor, dark wood floors and fixtures, white walls, and warm lighting create a nice feeling.

Corridor Coffee sells Intelligensia coffee and gluten-free baked items from Rise. The café’s no-contract monthly membership includes unlimited batch brew coffee, discounts on espresso beverages and snacks, and high-powered wireless Internet.

Location- 637 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

  • Mayan Buzz Cafe

Mayan Buzz Café is a Central American-themed coffee restaurant that serves amazing coffee. The café’s bright décor, culturally varied and welcoming staff, and personable baristas offer beautiful coffee drinks in a warm and dynamic atmosphere.

The café sells americano, cappuccino, macchiato, espresso-baked sips, pour-overs, cold brews, and brewed teas. It offers comfortable seating, a fireplace, free high-speed wireless Internet, and a big-screen TV for sports and news updates.

Location- 208 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

  • Kava Kasa

Kava Kasa serves the Pacific Island root drink kava on Cherry Street. Riccardo Schinina and Karen Salerno created the café to share the drink’s health advantages with the community.

Kava is famed for its relaxing effects on both mind and body and is drunk around the world as an anti-anxiety and anti-stress medication, as well as a muscle relaxant. The café serves kava, loose-leaf teas, and healthy smoothies in various flavors in a laid-back, casual setting.

Location- 962 Cherry St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506, 

1.13. Wildlife Education Center

The Card/Riley Conservation and Wildlife Education Center is a facility that spans 5,000 square feet and can be found on the campus of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids, Michigan, is home to the Bunker Interpretive Center (BIC), which may be found in the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens, and you can have a good time with things to do in grand rapids.

It is housed in Room 011 of the Arts, Sciences, and Education Commons building on the ground floor.

Kids at Ferris State University, students in grades K-12, and members of the community from throughout the state of Michigan will be able to use the Card/Riley Conservation, and WE Center as a resource for learning thanks to the organization’s primary mission.

1.14. Fish Ladder Park

In Grand Rapids, a stepped concrete sculpture serves as public art and a stairway for fish swimming upstream.

Here you can explore countless things to do in grand rapids.

Joseph Kinnebrew, a local artist, constructed this five-step concrete environmental ladder to help salmon leap over a six-foot dam to the breeding grounds.

The location along a pedestrian path next to the Grand River makes Fish Ladder Park an attractive tourist attraction. For the entertainment of visitors of all ages, the migratory journeys of trout, steelhead, and salmon can be followed upstream.

Location: 560 Front Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, Michigan

1.15. Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve

Come and marvel at the wonderful creation that God has made

The Ecosystem Preserve and Native Gardens provide visitors with an abundance of different ways to get in touch with nature.

Get your walking boots, binoculars, sketch pad, camera, or diary ready because you’ll find inspiration and restoration among the trees, ponds, grasses, flowers, and many living creatures.

Within the confines of the city of Grand Rapids(a lot of things to do in grand rapids) comes a haven of tranquillity in the form of the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve and Native Gardens.

The preserve spans over 100 acres and is home to various natural ecosystems and plant communities that give countless opportunities to get outside and connect with nature.

Visit them, stroll on their trails, sign up for a class or other educational program, or sit back and relax.

This great resource is available to everyone who would like to participate with us in preserving, restoring, protecting, and appreciating the miraculous things that God has created.

1.16. Lake Michigan Beaches

If you enjoy the sand, sun, and shore, West Michigan is the place to be. With 300 miles of beautiful beachfront, lucky visitors and locals can easily access the beaches that dot Michigan’s coastline.

One of the reasons Grand Rapids receives high reviews from travel experts like Expedia, Lonely Planet, Thrillist, and others is the possibility of combining a big-city escape with a beach holiday here in west Michigan. Here you all will know more things to do in grand rapids.

Within a one-hour drive from downtown Grand Rapids, you may reach 22 beaches around Lake Michigan at west Michigan. Some of our favorites are listed here.

  • Meinert Park –

Meinert Park(Hidden Gems) is a tranquil outdoor getaway in northern Muskegon County. Small, unspoiled beach surrounded by grassy dunes and magnificent viewpoints. Visitors can climb a dune for a panoramic view of Lake Michigan and the surrounding area.

Hiking, swimming, kiteboarding, boating, and camping are popular at Meinert Park in west Michigan. Picnic benches and a shelter are near the parking lot.

things to do in grand rapids
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  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park –

This beach is beautiful. This is the best beach for nature lovers. You won’t instantly see Saugatuck Dunes State Park’s 2.5 miles of shoreline. To get there, walk through 200-foot-tall coastal dunes. The trek isn’t difficult, but it’s not easy.

From the parking area, four trails go to Lake Michigan. The Beach Trail is 34 miles in west Michigan.

The park offers picnic tables, vault toilets, 2.5 miles of unspoiled coastline, and a 300-acre nature area popular with birdwatchers and hikers.

2. Frequently asked questions(FAQs)

Q.1. Which of these best describes Grand Rapids’s fame?

Once famous for its high-quality household furnishings, Grand Rapids is better known as the country’s “Office Furniture Capital.”

Q.2. Why do tourists travel to Grand Rapids?

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is full of pleasant surprises, from world-class attractions and outdoor recreation to a nationally acclaimed culinary and craft beverage industry. Here you can experience amazing things to do in grand rapids.

Q.3. Where does Grand Rapids stand out?

The city contains two art museums, a zoo, and theatres. Opera, symphony, and ballet are professional. Over 750,000 people visit Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park each year. Grand Rapids Public Museum is located on the Grand River.

Q.4. Can you live cheaply in Grand Rapids?

Grand Rapids(where you can explore a lot of things to do in grand rapids), one of the country’s most affordable towns, combines big-city facilities with small-town affordability and charm. Grand Rapids is 12% cheaper than the national average, and housing is reasonable at $113,600.

3. Conclusion

When on vacation, Grand Rapids is a wonderful city in Michigan to look at and learn more things to do in grand rapids.

There is something for everyone here thanks to the dynamic combination of art, culture, history, business, food, drink, recreation, and nature that can be found here.

This list will assist you in deciding how you would like to spend your precious time off over the holidays.

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