[note] We want to thank Experience GR for hosting us in Grand Rapids. We appreciate their hospitality. All opinions are my own. [/note]
by Jill P
Have you wondered what there is to do in Grand Rapids with kids? We love heading to Grand Rapids whenever we can. Grand Rapids is just a one-hour drive and offers many opportunities for family fun.
Grand Rapids is Michigan’s second-largest city and is located on the west side of the state. It is vibrant, full of life, and has many forms of entertainment and learning for all ages. In 2017, Grand Rapids was named the “Best Food City in Michigan” by Thrillist and was named “The Best River Town” in the Outside Magazine’s “The 25 Best Towns of 2017” list.
Grand Rapids also happens to be home of ArtPrize- the world’s largest, radically open art competition, and the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, the second most visited attraction in Michigan. Grand Rapids is an experience in itself.
From a variety of indoor play places to family-friendly restaurants to great outdoor places to explore, your kids will love the options available in Grand Rapids. There is something for everyone!
Grab the kids and head out to explore all the Grand Rapids has to offer. You’ll be glad you did!
PLACES TO PLAY
Catch Air – This is one of our favorite play places in town. It is perfect for rainy days and those days your kids need to burn excess energy.
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum – GRCM is the perfect play for kids 5 and under to explore. There is definitely enough to fill a few hours at this museum and your younger children will love all of the great hands-on opportunities to explore. See our full review here.
AirTime Grand Rapids
AirTime Grand Rapids-Another great indoor play place in Grand Rapids. They have trampolines, a Ninja Warrior course, rock climbing wall, arcade, and more.
PLACES TO DISCOVER
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park– Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park has plenty for the family to explore. You’ll find a beautiful outdoor Garden and Children’s Garden. Bring an extra set of clothes for your kids if they love playing around water. One of our favorite exhibits is the Butterflies are Blooming Exhibit that takes place annually each Spring. The Japanese Garden is a must if you have not yet visited. It is a world-class venue.
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Grand Rapids Art Museum– Great works of art, stroller-friendly and an awesome gift shop, make this museum a great stop for your family. We loved the temporary exhibits during a recent visit.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
Grand Rapids Public Museum – There are three floors available for exploring in this museum. Be on the lookout for their rotating exhibits on the 3rd floor. Currently, you can find Mindbender Mansion running now through September 3, 2017.
John Ball Zoo
John Ball Zoo – John Ball Zoo is entertaining for kids of all ages. It’s definitely worth the trip to Grand Rapids and one of our favorite zoos in Michigan! Your kids will love to explore and see the animals. For an extra fee, you can try the sky trail ropes course, zip line, funicular, or ride a camel.
Love’s Ice Cream
PLACES TO DINE
Downtown Market – We stop at the Downtown Market at least once a month. We love Slows BBQ for family style dining and Love’s Ice Cream is a must!
Rose’s – A favorite of many that live near East Grand Rapids. A decent kids menu and the caramel corn at the end of the meal is always a hit with kids. You’ll love the lake view and family friendly atmosphere.
Blue Water Grill
Blue Water Grill – Another favorite restaurant with a lake view is Blue Water Grill. It is located a few miles north of Meijer Gardens, off the East Beltline. The outdoor dining option along with relaxing music makes it one of our favorite Grand Rapids area restaurants in the summer time.
Electric Cheetah– A fun kids menu plus food that the adults will love.
GP Sports inside the Amway Grand – Need to grab a quick meal while you are downtown Grand Rapids? GP Sports is a sports bar and they have plenty of kids meal options and an atmosphere that is laid back.
What’s your favorite place to visit in Grand Rapids? We’d love to hear your favorite places to share with our readers. Leave a comment in the comment section below.