Affordable or FREE Things for Kids to Do in August Around Kalamazoo

Free fun families kalamazoo

Tackle the Summer Bucket List this August

Ahh, the lazy days of summer.

Have you made a summer bucket list? If so, now would be an excellent time to check off any activities you were hoping to enjoy.

And, if you didn’t make any official list, but are looking for a few bonus activities and adventures to round out the summer, you’re in luck.

We have put together a list of August’s best FREE or inexpensive fun for kids. Festivals, downtown Kalamazoo happenings, special library events – there are plenty of ideas to end the summer on a great note.

Want more family fun ideas? Be sure to check out our Ultimate Kalamazoo Summer Fun Guide, with over 100 suggestions for everyone.

Thanks to our sponsor, the Air Zoo

The Air Zoo is a world-class, Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace and science museum with over 100 rare and unique aircraft and spacecraft; inspiring interactive, multi-sensory, exhibits; full-motion flight simulators; indoor amusement park rides; and hands-on, science-based camps and classes.

August 18 is National Aviation Day Open House at the Air Zoo Milham Road Flight Discovery Center.

Free (or Affordable) Fun for Kids this August

Thursday, August 1

Battle Creek’s Fantasy Forest, located inside Leila Arboretum will host a free concert series on Thursday evenings in August. Listen to Bobby Holley and Sonny Holley’s Motown Band this week.

Bring a chair or blanket and join the City of Portage for the Overlander Bandshell Summer Concert Series, featuring Alan Turner and the Steel Horse Band – high energy country.

Friday, August 2

Live music, great scenery, fun summertime games, and amazing food, Lunchtime Live has it all. Get the family out of the house this summer and head to Bronson Park in Downtown Kalamazoo for a Friday afternoon on the town.

Explore downtown Kalamazoo and enjoy an evening of art exhibits and events at the August Art Hop.

Bring your family and friends for an entertaining night out at Friendship Park in Battle Creek for the FREE concert series, Vibe at 5. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a Motown tribute performed by Tony Fields Music along the river.

Visit Downtown Kalamazoo for Vintage in the Zoo HOP-UP Block Party at Bates Alley in downtown Kalamazoo. This event will feature a selection of the best local vendors you have come to know, artists and music.

Saturday, August 3

Get your crafting skills on at Home Depot Kids Workshop to build a rocket pencil box – just in time for back to school.

The Kalamazoo Breastfeeding Coalition is proud to host the 2019 Big Latch On at Upjohn Park. All are free to join this community event.

Learn about The Art of Headwrapping: Explore the Beauty of Headwraps Around the World. Wearing headwraps is a beautiful way to add more style, beauty, and color to your look. Learn to wrap your own headwrap with your own fabric or practice with one provided. 

Sunday, August 4

Hike a trail, meet live animal ambassadors, visit the DeLano Farmyard and view the indoor exhibits at Kalamazoo Nature Center’s Free Summer Sunday.

Enjoy a great outdoor concert during Maple Lake Summer Concert Series at Maple Lake Amphitheater in Paw Paw. Catch former The Voice contestant, Lucas Holliday, performing this week.

Enjoy ice cream, carnival games, hot dogs, fire trucks and a parade during Texas Township Ice Cream Social and Children’s Carnival. Proceeds from the event benefit the Great Lakes Burn Camp and Texas Township Firefighters Association.

Take an outing to Three Rivers and visit the Scidmore Park Petting Zoo. The petting zoo is open during Saturdays and Sundays during the summer.

Come out to beautiful Kindleberger Park in Parchment for a relaxing evening at The Stage for the Kindleberger Summer Concert Series. Bring the family, your appetite, and lawn chairs or blanket for an entertaining night of exceptional live music.

Monday, August 5

Visit the Antwerp Sunshine Activity Room on Mondays from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM all summer long to create space-themed projects. Create a Candy Constellation Game this week at Maker Monday.

Get moving together with an interactive Drum and Dance performance with Rootead at Oshtemo Township Park.

Tuesday, August 6

What better way to celebrate summer than an hour of yoga in the sunshine at Leila Arboretum’s Kaleidoscope Garden. Cost is $5 for drop-in.

Some stories are for writing, others are for singing. Learn about the stories behind famous operas, and hear classical opera sung live at Opera Hour: Storytelling through Song at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Library.

Wednesday, August 7

Get a backpack and helmet (first 150) at Backpack & Helmet Giveaway / Bike Rodeo. Ascension Borgess Rehabilitation staff will be available and onsite to fit backpacks and helmets, answer questions, and provide education.

Jump in a bounce house, enjoy live music, watch a self-defense expo, play in a cornhole tournament during Summer Palooza at Voyage Church in Kalamazoo.

Sit and relax and enjoy the music with family and friend during Downtown Kalamazoo’s Beats on Bates throughout the summer.

Thursday, August 8

Catch the movie, Mary Poppins Returns during Second Reformed Church’s FREE Family Movies this month. Pizza and popcorn included.

Friday, August 9

Make a book with help from an instructor from the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center during Bookmaking at Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch.

Join Daniel Tiger at Family Health Center’s annual Back To School Bash with WGVU’s Be My Neighbor Day. Enjoy free school supplies, carnival rides, bouncies, games, concessions and prizes.

Catch the movie How to Train Your Dragon- The Hidden World at Dutton St. Park for Kzoo Parks Summer Cinema.

Saturday, August 10

Head to South Haven this weekend for sports, shopping, food, drinks, farms, kids games, and music during the annual 2019 National Blueberry Festival.

Sunday, August 11

Visit Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo for the family-friendly Sunday Brunch Food Truck Rallies. There will be a delicious variety of food along with live entertainment and games.

Monday, August 12

Celebrate National Bowling Day at Airway Lanes with two free games.

Discover the cosmos through hands-on interactive stations and develop a deeper understanding for space and space exploration during Apollo Adventure with the Michigan Science Center at Kalamazoo Public Library Eastwood Branch.

Tuesday, August 13

Join Just Move Fitness as you stretch, move, and dance, dance, dance during Summer Family Fun – Just Move at Portage District Library.

Hear Fish Stories with Kalamazoo Public Library Librarians at the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery and do a fun craft. Feed the fish while you are there.

Wednesday, August 14

Bring the kids to Y’OPA Frozen Yogurt to enjoy a delicious treat and attend Summer Story Time.

Get a great workout during Workout Wednesdays at Arcadia Creek Festival Place. Rootead will lead this session.

Thursday, August 15

Visit with live animals, explore your own senses and learn how animals use theirs to survive during Animal Senses with John Ball Zoo at the Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch.

Friday, August 16

Catch and release bluegill and bass fishing at Hook, Line and Sinker Kid’s Fishing at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery. For children ages three to 16 all summer long.

Saturday, August 17

Enjoy a free pool day at Kik Pool (last day the Kik pool is open for the season).

It’s Luau time! At the second annual Ramona Park Luau, enjoy carnival games, inflatables, balloon animals, music, a fire show by Island Dancers and watermelon eating contest.

Sunday, August 18

Visit Bates Alley in Downtown Kalamazoo for The Zoo Moto Show. This series features a mix of vintage and custom European, Japanese, and American motorcycles, along with custom shops, vendors, and great food offerings from the restaurants lining the Alley.

Did you know that during WWII, W.K. Kellogg Manor House was a Coast Guard Station on Gull Lake? Attend WWII Years at the W.K. Kellogg Manor House to see artifacts, vehicles, uniforms, and vintage ads on display from this time.

Tuesday, August 20

Get an introduction to robotics through hands-on activities and demonstrations during Robotics POW at Kalamazoo Public Library Alma Powell Branch. Includes robot building, computer coding, and programming. All materials provided.

Wednesday, August 21

Let your toddler burn energy during Toddler Open Play at Kingdom Sports. Available on Mondays and Wednesdays, year-round. New summer hours.

Cruise In at the Gilmore Car Museum to check out old vintage cars, enjoy a visit to Sally’s Blue Moon Diner and catch a performance by Megan Dooley.

Thursday, August 22

Play Games Galore at Ransom District Library. Meet new friends and learn new games. Bring your own game or play one of the library’s.

Friday, August 23

Grab some popcorn and snacks at Celery Flats in Portage for Portage Movies in the Park: How To Train Your Dragon- The Hidden World.

Saturday, August 24

Celebrate summer at Hastings Summerfest. Featuring arts and crafts vendors, concessions, free trolley rides, children’s activities, parade, car show and live entertainment – there is something for everyone.

The Kalamazoo Balloon Fest will take to the skies at the 7th Annual Kalamazoo Balloon Fest at Gull Meadow Farms.


Join the Portage Department of Public Safety for the annual Pig Out with Public Safety. This FREE back-to-school event provides kids with backpacks and school supplies needed for the upcoming school year as well as other hands-on activities and food.

Enjoy the warm summer night air during a Romance Beach Bonfire. S’mores making materials provided.

Sunday, August 25

Meet some live animal ambassadors who live in the desert during Desert Dwellers at Schrier Park.

Wednesday, August 28

Feed the fish and try out a nature-related craft at Hooked on Nature: Preschool Program at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery.

Thursday, August 29

Celebrate the release of the newest book from Dave Pilkey, Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls during a Dog Man Party at Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch.

Kick off the 2019 Portage Central High School Football Season with the grand opening of McCamley Field at First Night Under the Lights. Enjoy food trucks, a community carnival, and alumni tents.

Friday, August 30

Pack a picnic and a blanket or your favorite lawn chair for Fridays At The Fountain: Family Friendly Concert Series in Marshall. Listen to local musicians and enjoy the summer weather together as a community.

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