by Amy L.

February may be the shortest month of the year, but there are still plenty of great free or cheap events for families just waiting for you to enjoy! We hope you’ll enjoy these 20 events in Kalamazoo and surrounding areas.




Photo: St. Joseph Today Facebook

St. Joseph Magical Ice Fest, St. Joseph

Friday, February 2nd – Sunday, February 4th

Join in the fun at the 14th Annual Magical Ice Fest! Although there are some paid events during the festival, there are several free or cheap activities for families to enjoy. Kids will love taking a picture on the giant ice throne, taking part in magical Saturday with magician John Dudley, and the weekend-long scavenger hunt.

Storytelling Festival,  Kalamazoo

Friday & Saturday, February 2 & 3

The Sixth Annual Storytelling Festival at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum celebrates family stories February 2-3, 2018. Starting with Art Hop Friday Night from 5 to 8 p.m., the fun continues on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Storytellers, musicians, authors, illustrators, and vendors will share their love for family stories.

Musician and artist Dan Smith will showcase his family portraits, as well as perform Friday night at 5. Author Deanna Scelzo will share and autograph her books Winter In My “Hood” and “Chillin” In The Barn, illustrated by Dan Smith. Entertainer Louie from New York will provide back-to-back concerts with family songs at 6 and 7 p.m.

Michigan author Lisa Wheeler kicks off the Festival Saturday morning at 9:30. Comedian, actor, motivational speaker, and storyteller Tim Cusack will entertain with family stories at 11:30 a.m. Bring your lunch or purchase one and join us for a family concert by Gemini at 1 p.m. La’Ron Williams weaves stories at 2:30, followed by Elisha “Mother” Minter at 4:30 p.m. Museum admission, vendor fair, and Storytelling Festival are all free.


Art Hop at the KIA: Family-Friendly Cosplay Party, Kalamazoo

Friday, February 2nd

A family-friendly cosplay party from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm (no weapons please) will include art-making, refreshments, a costume contest with prizes for adults, teens, and youth, and the first look at a new exhibition, My Hero! Contemporary Art and Superhero Action.


Poetry Writing Workshop, Kalamazoo

Tuesday, February 6th

Students in grades 6-12 will write poetry in honor of Black History Month alongside Amber Pyor of the Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative. The event will take place at the Kalamazoo Public Library-Powell Branch from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. There are other dates for the workshop, so be sure to check out the Kalamazoo Public Library event page for more details, dates, and times.


King of Rag : A Scott Joplin Showcase, Portage

Friday, February 9th

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will honor the great African-American composer and pianist Scott Joplin in an original production. The KSO will perform several of Joplin’s works and tell the story of his life and work from 2:00 pm-3:00 pm. The event will take place at the Portage District Library. Registration is required.


Birding Basics, Portage

Saturday, February 10th

Families will learn tips from the experts about identifying local birds and attracting them to their yards. Binoculars will be available for families to borrow or you can bring your own. Dress for the weather! The event will take place from 10:00 am-11:00 am at Celery Flats Historical Area.


Art Detectives, Kalamazoo

Saturday, February 10th

Kids ages 4-8 and their parents will enjoy this free event at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts! Families will read a story together, look at the galleries, and make art, event runs 11:00 am – 12:30 pm.


Endangered Species, Portage

Sunday, February 11th

Come learn about endangered species and what you can do to help! Families will learn what it means for an animal to be endangered, what causes animals to become endangered, and how zoos and other organizations are saving animals. Families can get up close and look at animals at Schrier Park in Portage from 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Kids will be inspired and learn how even they can help endangered animals survive.


Tchaikovsky Discovers America, Kalamazoo

Sunday, February 11th

For just $5 per ticket, families will enjoy an afternoon of music featuring composer Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Families will learn about his life in Russia, his love of music and his fears of conducting. Pre-concert activities begin at 2:00 pm and the performance will begin at 3:00 pm.


National African American Read-In 2018, Kalamazoo

Tuesday, February 13th

The Kalamazoo Public Library will host an all-day event featuring the works of African American writers at the Alma Powell Branch. Participants will read books, listen to stories, and share books. Special guest readers will visit throughout the day. Families are welcome to attend with their children.


RELATED: Toddler Activities & Classes for $10 or Less – Winter 2018


Chinese New Year Celebration, Kalamazoo

Thursday, February 15th

Students in grades Kindergarten-Fifth grade will enjoy listening to a story, doing fun activities and tasting fortune cookies. The event will take place at the Eastwood Branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library from 4:30-5:30 pm.

Photo: Portage MI Parks & Recreation Facebook

Winter Jamboree & Cross Country Ski Class, Portage

Saturday, February 17th

The City of Portage Parks and Recreation will host the Winter Jamboree at Milham Park Golf Club from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. The free events will take place from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, featuring snowshoeing, kayak sledding, sled dog races, sledding, snowman building, ice bowling, and fat tire biking demo.


Winter Bird Walk & Great Backyard Bird Count, Mattawan

Saturday, February 17th

The Audubon Society of Kalamazoo will host a winter bird walk at 10:00 am where families will learn about Michigan birds that do not migrate away for the winter. The program be held at the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery and will last 90 minutes. The weather may be exceptionally cold in the open fields, so dress warmly! All ages are welcome.

Photo: Kzoo Family & Baby Expo

Kzoo Family & Baby Expo, Kalamazoo

Sunday, February 18th

Families will have loads of fun at the Kzoo Family & Baby Expo! Come and learn about great resources in the Kalamazoo area, play in the bounce house, participate in creative movement, superhero visits and more. The event is free and will be held at the Radisson Plaza Hotel from 10:00 am-3:00 pm. Families will enjoy free performances as well as prizes throughout the day.


Critter Trackin’ Tike Hike, South Haven

Sunday, February 18th

Young children will love this fun nature walk as they and their families join Julie Collard, TJ Wilkinson, and the Little Adventurers’ Club to look for animal tracks. The event will take place at the Black River Preserve at 3:30 pm. The walk is free but RSVP’s are appreciated. Call 269-324-1600 or email Miko at if your family plans to attend!


Creative Science Night, Hastings

Wednesday, February 21st

Families with children in preschool through fifth grade will enjoy a fun night of hands-on science activities together. The Pierce Cedar Creek Institute is hosting science night alongside the Hastings Public Library from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm.


Give a Hoot About Owls, Portage

Friday, February 23rd

Learn more about owls with this fun, family-friendly program. February 23rd is mid-winter break for many elementary schools, so this daytime program at Celery Flats Historic Area is a great chance for families to get outside and learn together. The program begins at 12:00 pm and will last one hour.


Photo: Kalamazoo State Theatre

Snow White and the Seven Drawfs with the Zoomobile, Kalamazoo

Saturday, February 24th

The Kalamazoo State Theatre will host an afternoon of fun to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the movie Snow White and the Seven Drawfs. There will also be a woodland creature presentation from the Binder Park Zoo Zoomobile. A portion of ticket sales will go to the Binder Park Zoo. Tickets for children under 12 are $7.50 and adult tickets are $10.


Winter Carnival, Portage

Saturday, February 24th

Make plans to attend the 2nd annual Winter Carnival where families can enjoy an afternoon of fun at Portage Northern High School. Entry to the carnival is free, and families will marvel at the magic of Brian Penny, attractions and inflatables. Tickets for traditional carnival games $5 for 10 tickets and $10 for 25 tickets.


Author Kwame Alexander at Kalamazoo Public Library, Kalamazoo

Wednesday, February 28th

Newbery Medal Winner Kwame Alexander will visit the Kalamazoo Public Library – Central Branch from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. The New York Times Bestselling author is known for his books The Crossover, Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, and many more.









By | 2018-01-31T06:22:46+00:00 February 1st, 2018|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Newly Published|Comments Off on 20 February “Don’t Miss” Free or Cheap Family-Friendly Events Around Kalamazoo

About the Author:

Amy is an elementary school teacher and mother to two young girls. She enjoys spending time with family and being active within the community. In her free time, she likes to sew, read, and take her dog for long walks.