Embark on your Summer Bucket List in July with Low-Cost Fun for Kids
July is the month to celebrate red, white, blue and so much to do in Kalamazoo.
Between Summer Camps, celebrated Independence Day Parades and Activities, library programs, crafting events, festivals, free movies, and concerts – whew, there isn’t enough time in July for kids to utter the oft said “I’m bored” phrase.
We’ve highlighted a whopping 50+ activities and events for kids to try that won’t leave your wallet empty.
Visit our event calendar regularly as new events are added. (We’ve highlighted events with the FREE icon).
Free (or Affordable) Fun for Kids this July
Below is a warm-weather list to get you started with free, or nearly free fun for the family.
Monday, July 1
Join the Summer Adventure Lunch Bunch at Vicksburg Library, a Book Club for students who have completed grades 4-8.
See a city made entirely of LEGOS at the Portage District Library. The Western Michigan Lego Train Club will show their amazing creations, including new additions for this year. Available during open hours through July 6.
Show of your PS4 and Nintendo Switch gaming skills at Open Gaming: Super Smash Bros. Tournament at Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch. Winner will receive an awesome prize.
Tuesday, July 2
Don’t forget about FREE Morning Movies happening all summer long at Kalamazoo 10. This month features Hotel Transylvania 3, Goosebumps, Smurfs, The Emoji Movie and A Dog’s Way Home.
Young astronauts are invited to the Otsego District Library for a viewing of the movie Space Jam. Free popcorn and space juice will be provided.
Wednesday, July 3
Put on your spacecraft suits and get ready to create out-of-this-world projects during SpaceCRAFTS at Otsego District Library. For grades K-5.
Enjoy a delicious meal at the Free Community BBQ Rib Dinner at God’s Kitchen of Michigan. Dinner is FREE and open to the public.
Thursday, July 4
Check out our Independence Day Guide for special events happening today.
Learn the basics of how to shoot a bow and arrow at Arrows Away Archery at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery. All equipment is provided. This program is for those ages eight years and up.
Friday, July 5
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.
Bring your own drink and a pillow to sit on for Summer Adventure – Movie Time at Vicksburg Library. Popcorn will be provided.
Visit Downtown Kalamazoo for Vintage in the Zoo HOP-UP Block Party at Bates Alley in downtown Kalamazoo this summer. This event will feature a selection of the best local vendors you have come to know, artists, music, and a soon to be announced large-scale community art project.
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.
Saturday, July 6
Head to Lawton for a full day of family fun at Summerfest 2019. The day will feature a parade, car show, craft show, band show, and fireworks.
Teens can stop in to the Kalamazoo Public Library Eastwood Branch for Breakfast Club. Enjoy breakfast, games, crafts, and other special activities.
Get your crafting skills on at Home Depot Kids Workshop to build a tow truck.
Pet your favorite alpacas Gabby and Sweet Pea, take selfies with the donkeys, learn about the sheep and goats at Open Farm Day at CanDo Acres.
Sunday, July 7
Enjoy a great our door concert during Maple Lake Summer Concert Series at Maple Lake Amphitheater in Paw Paw. Available on Sundays during the summer.
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.
Monday, July 8
Drop by the Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch to make a different craft or project each week at Kids’ Workshop. Best for grades 3-5.
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 Space Windsock this week at Maker Monday.
Hop On The Five and come over to Kalamazoo Public Library Eastwood Branch for crafting, eating, dancing and gaming. For grades 6-12.
Tuesday, July 9
Every Tuesday you can grab a movie for $5 Ticket Tuesday at the AMC Theatre with an AMC Stubs Membership.
Build your lightsaber, enjoy Jedi snacks, and prepare for Jedi Training with Star Wars characters at Otsego District Library. For grades K – 5th, registration is required.
Catch the movie Black Panther at Northside Association for Community Development for Kzoo Parks Summer Cinema.
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.
Discuss the history and timelines of Spider-Man at Character Talk at Portage District Library. You’ll explore written comics as well as movies, TV shows, and video games.
Wednesday, July 10
Feed the fish and try out a nature-related craft at Hooked on Nature: Preschool Program at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery.
Rapunzel and Flynn Rider will be visiting the Antwerp Sunshine Branch library to read stories, pose for photos, and do a craft with the kids at Princess Storytime.
Sit and relax and enjoy the music with family and friend during Downtown Kalamazoo’s Beats on Bates throughout the summer.
Get a great workout during Workout Wednesdays at Arcadia Creek Festival Place. Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers will lead this week.
Attend the Family Musical, Disney’s Freaky Friday at Kindleberger Park in Parchment as part of the 2019 Kindleberger Summer Festival of the Performing Arts. The show runs through July 14.
Thursday, July 11
Enjoy youth performances, artistic workshops, food and games during Youth Day – Black Arts Festival at Bronson Park.
Do your kids love bubbles? Watch Bubbleman Ron as he uses an ordinary soap bubble solution to create square bubbles, merry-go-round bubbles, bubbles inside of bubbles and tornado bubbles at Galesburg Charleston Memorial District Library.
Come celebrate what’s unique about you, unique about others, and learning to appreciate our differences with Prevention Works: Youth Connection at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Library.
Friday, July 12
Teens can learn how to cook at Teen Mug Club at Three Rivers Public Library. They will learn how to make one lunch item and one dessert.
Join Acting Up Theatre Co. at Paw Paw District Library for a free summer reading program.
Saturday, July 13
Find treasures at Verhages Fruit Farm & Cider Mill Market at the Mill. Farm Market is a vintage-inspired, flea-market style, upscale shopping event featuring amazing local vendors.
Susan Iervolina and her students will demonstrate their craft at Dances of India at Portage District Library. Afterward, you will get a chance to try a dance yourself. Perfect for all ages.
Ever wonder what it’s like in the library when it’s closed? Come to Teen Time: Lock-in at Comstock Library and find out as they lock the library after hours. Enjoy snacks, games, and other activities.
Sunday, July 14
Kids can enjoy activities, crafts and an obstacle course at Flescher Field during Oshtemo’s Music in the Park. This week enjoy “bluegrass with some bite” by the popular Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band.
Monday, July 15
Stop by Barnes and Noble for stories and treats at Weekly Storytime. You don’t want to miss their special bookmark treasure chest.
Enjoy the fun and creativity of arts and crafts this summer at Comstock Library during Family Art. Create a lion mask with help from a parent.
Tuesday, July 16
Celebrate the launch of the Apollo 11 by blasting off rockets of your own during Rocket Science at Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch.
Join Just Movie Fitness as you stretch, move, and dance, dance, dance during Summer Family Fun – Just Move at Portage District Library.
Create a solar painting on canvas at Antwerp Sunshine Library.
Celebrate the new Lion King movie with refreshments, live music, dancing and crafts at the Lion King Party at Kalamazoo Public Library Alma Powell Branch.
Join the Galesburg Charleston Memorial District Library for a history and science presentation from the Kingman Museum. Learn about NASA’s history, and its future, with the Moon.
Wednesday, July 17
Get your craft on at Camp Creativity at Michaels. Crafts rotate each session for a small fee.
Attend Outdoor Discovery Center: Animal X-Files, special agent naturalists as they investigate the unexplained and mind-bending animals of Michigan at Antwerp Sunshine Branch Library.
Thursday, July 18
Blast off! Each week astronauts in training will create a rocket out of different materials during Rocket Launchers at Otsego District Library.
Join the Kalamazoo Junior Academy for a night of creating different projects and crafts during Make-and-Take.
Watch Teen actors from The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre’s Academy of Theatre Arts present a 60-minute version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It at the Celery Flats Amphitheatre in Portage.
Friday, July 19
Enjoy refreshments as you groove and mingle with other participants during Silent Disco at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch.
Saturday, July 20
Enjoy games, vintage cars, vendors, and water play during Paw Paw Days 2019 Car & Truck Show in downtown Paw Paw.
Browse the 46th Annual Richland Art Fair at Richland Village Square. General admission is free.
Sunday, July 21
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.
Monday, July 22
Make crafts, hear llama stories, and visit with real llamas from the Little Ol’ Llama Farm during Llama Love at Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch.
Tuesday, July 23
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, July 24
Take your sidewalk doodling to a new level with Artist David Zinn at Sidewalk Chalk Art at Portage District Library.
Launch projectiles across the lawn during Catapult-a-Palooza at Ransom District Library.
Thursday, July 25
Make your own unique block print during Printmaking: Block Prints at Kalamazoo Public Library Central Branch. Learn how to carve a linoleum block to create your own stamp.
Friday, July 26
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, July 27
Stop by the 4th annual free Air Fair at the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport. It will be a day full of games, giveaways, planes, aircraft, and food.
Enjoy all things dairy at Dairy Open House at W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Guests can enjoy a wagon ride, check out tractors and learn about Michigan’s agricultural landscapes.
Shop the Sidewalk Sales in Downtown Kalamazoo. Special family fun zone hours are offered.
Monday, July 29
Get creative together during Family Art: Painting With Water at Comstock Library.
Tuesday, July 30
Freeze things, smash stuff, and pick up lots of cool science during Subzero Science with the Air Zoo at Kalamazoo Public Library Oshtemo Branch.
Wednesday, July 31
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 or enjoy a visit to Sally’s Blue Moon Diner.
Read a book together, look at some out-of-this-world art, and create our very own galactic masterpieces during KIA Art Detectives at Portage District Library.