by Leslie P 

We asked and you answered. What are some of the unique “things to do around Kalamazoo” before your kids grow up? Thanks to our readers, we have compiled a wide-range of ideas, activities and events that you may want to check out while your kids are still young enough to enjoy them.


There is something for every season, so grab your 2018 calendar and start planning!
  1. Visit the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery during the summer and take part in their catch and release fishing basics. For ages 3 to 16.
  2. Hold a baby alligator at Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary.
  3. Take a spin on the Carousel at Crossroads Mall in Portage.
  4. Get up close and personal with animals during a weekly Creature Feature or stroller stroll at the Kalamazoo Nature Center.
  5. Visit Wild Africa at Binder Park Zoo and feed the giraffes.
  6. Learn about fire safety and visit a fire station during Fire Prevention Week.
  7. Meet your favorite book characters and take home a children’s book at Kalamazoo Public Library’s Party in the Park during the summer.
  8. Get your magnifying glass and attend the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts’ Art Detective Program. Additionally, admission to the KIA is always free for children under 12.
  9. Take off on a visit to the toddler room at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo. They will love the mini rides and activities.
  10. Root for your favorite local college team by visiting a Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College or Kalamazoo Community College sporting event!
  11. Pick fresh fruit at a local U-pick farm.
  12. Go “retro” with a visit to Klassic Arcade in Gobles.
  13. Take a wagon ride and pick apples at Stokes Homestead Farm Market.
  14. Go K-Wings! “Chuck-A-Puck” at a Kalamazoo Wings Hockey Game and don’t forget to find Slappy the Mascot!
  15. Enjoy delicous pancakes and syrup at Kalamazoo Nature Center’s Maple Sugar Festival.
  16. Bounce over to Sky Zone Kalamazoo during “Toddler Time” where they can jump with friends their own size.
  17. Watch the hot air balloons soar at the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival.
  18. Dine with royalty during a Princess Tea at Henderson Castle.
  19. Plan a visit to the FREE Kalamazoo Valley Museum. The Burton Henry Upjohn Children’s Landscape section of the Kalamazoo Valley Museum is specifically designed for hands-on learning for children age two to five.
  20. Take a walk at the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary to spot a variety of birds on their three miles of paths.
  21. Stay steady at the outdoor Millennium Park Ice Rink. Skates are available to rent.
  22. Visit a story time at Barnes and Noble or Bookbug.
  23. Cool off at the fun splash pad at River Oaks Park in Galesburg.
  24. Take a dip at the Kik Pool at Upjohn Park.
  25. Visit Delano Homestead Farmyard for Farmyard Wednesdays in the summer to help feed the animals.
  26. Bounce, slide and play games at Jungle Joes Family Fun Center.
  27. Take in a Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Family Discovery Concert at Chenery Auditorium.
  28. In the spring, watch beautiful butterflies at the annual Butterflies are Blooming event at Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids.
  29. Take a ride on the Holly Jolly Trolley in Downtown Kalamazoo over the winter holidays.
  30. Learn beginning gymnastics skills at Kids Gym during one of their open gyms.
  31. Watch the fun Do-Dah Parade in downtown Kalamazoo to see fun floats from local organizations.
  32. Visit Old Dog Tavern on a Saturday morning to groove to music by BenJammin Educational Music.
  33. Take in a Children’s Storytime at the Kalamazoo Public Library or Portage District Library.
  34. Enjoy a toddler-friendly obstacle course, music and play time at a Just Move Fitness Play Date. It’s a toddler party!
  35. Ride the zip line, tube slide and pumpkin train during a visit to Gull Meadow Farms. They also have many fun events during the fall season.
  36. Visit the Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery during their open season to feed the fish for free. Just stop by their Visitor’s Center for your free feed token.
  37. Let your kids create a masterpiece by painting a piece of pottery at Art Bayou.
  38. Attend one of the Children’s programs at Leila Arboretum in Battle Creek.
  39. Take a seat in tractors, trucks and emergency service vehicles at the Big Truck Petting Zoo at the Portage District Library.
  40. Head over to Battle Creek to be part of the “World’s Longest Breakfast Table” and Cereal Fest, where they will get the chance to meet some of their favorite breakfast characters and enjoy some cereal.
  41. Visit “Gene the Pumpkin Man” Farm to pick out a pumpkin.
  42. Help them find their favorite donut at Sweetwater’s Donuts.
  43. Pick a car to root for at the Kalamazoo Speedway.
  44. Visit all of the farm animals at the Kalamazoo County Fair in the summer where “kids day is every day.”
  45. Step back in time and dine at George and Sally’s Blue Moon Diner at the Gilmore Car Museum.
  46. Breakfast with their favorite character? Check out the fun themes at Burdick’s for Breakfast series.
  47. Skate with their favorite characters during a Character Skate at Wings West.
  48. Learn about and meet animals during a FAWN Camp at Binder Park Zoo for children ages 2-5.
  49. During the month of July, Find Waldo around Kalamazoo.
  50. Test out instruments during a Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo.
  51. Cheer on the Kalamazoo Growlers Baseball Team at a home game.
  52. Attend a special discount children’s movie at Celebration Cinema Crossroads during Flick’s Family Film Festival or a Morning Movie at Goodrich Kalamazoo 10 at special times throughout the year.
  53. For families with children under the age of five, attend a FREE Fontana Crybaby Concert.
  54. Travel to space during a planetarium show at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.
  55. Go for a walk through Bishop’s Bog Preserve in Portage. Don’t forget to download their wildlife guide!
  56. Visit the Long Road Christmas Light Display this holiday season.
  57. Trick-or-Treat at Binder Park Zoo’s ZOO-BOO in October.
  58. Go rollerskating at RollerWorld or Long Lake Roller Rink.
  59. Take a family bike ride on the Portage Bikeway.
  60. Take in the Schoolcraft 4th of July Parade.


Did we miss one of your family favorites? Please let us know so we can add it to the list.







By | 2017-12-29T19:33:13+00:00 January 4th, 2018|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Newly Published, Parent resources|Comments Off on 60 Things To Do In Kalamazoo Before Your Kids Grow Up

About the Author:

Leslie is passionate about promoting everything the Kalamazoo area has to offer. A mother of two, she enjoys reading mystery novels, trying out new recipes and browsing Pinterest for new ideas.