by Jill P 

May is here! Where did the month of April go? This month, we have a number of FREE or Cheap Things that you’ll want to check out during the month. (We define cheap as $7 or less per person.) Check out one of the following!




1. Meijer Kids Fun Run

May 6 at 6:00 pm

Borgess Nazareth Campus on Gull Road

  • The Meijer Kids Fun Run is a celebration of good health for youth up to age 12. This 1-mile non-competitive event is held at the Borgess Health & Fitness Center. The run is started in “waves” by age group, and parents may walk and push strollers at the back of the pack. All children receive a finisher’s medal.
  • The event is FREE, however registration is required. For children registering after April 24, t-shirts will be available for $5 while supplies last. Tip from a parent: come with a parking strategy in mind. This is a very busy event, so plan accordingly.


2.  11th Annual National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day Carnival

May 5 from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Kalamazoo Expo Center

  • This event celebrates children’s mental health and helps to reduce the stigma of receiving mental health services for youth and families in a free, fun, and interactive atmosphere. It provides education regarding children’s mental health issues, the services available for youth and families in our community, and how best to access those services. FREE.


3. 5th Annual Touch-A-Truck

May 7 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Kalamazoo Expo Center and Fairgrounds

  • Rain or Shine! Gates will open at 10:00 am for a 2 hour Siren-Free Zone (no horns or sirens) with general admission following from 12:00-2:00 pm. Cost is only $10 per family, $4 for adults, and $2 for children (2 and under free). Enjoy a hands-on opportunity to see, learn about, and explore an assortment of unique vehicles like fire trucks, police cars, garbage trucks and heavy machinery. With over 50 vehicles, there is something for everyone.


4. Bicycle Safety Camp Adventure

May 14 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Haverhill Park

  • Kids will receive a free bicycle helmet and helmet fitting! Learn about bike safety on the obstacle course and have the opportunity to ride a segment of the Northwest Portage Bikeway with Portage   Police bike officers! Get a picture with princesses, superheroes and mascots and get “hands on” with a fire truck and police car. Local bike mechanics will be available to “tune up” your ride. FREE.


5. Astronomy Day 2016

May 14 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Portage District Library

  • The Kalamazoo Astronomical Society will once again bring astronomy to the people by hosting a day of exciting and informative activities at the Portage District Library and Kalamazoo Nature Center. This free event, aimed at the general public, including families with school age children, is intended to widen knowledge and appreciation of science, particularly of astronomy.
  • Activities include: solar observing, educational and informative displays, hands-on activities for children, our Ask the Astronomer booth, and special presentations on galaxies and our new robotic telescope. FREE.

Tulip Time

6. Tulip Time Festival 

May 7 – 14

Holland, Michigan, various locations

  • There are 3 parades to enjoy. The Dutch Marktplaats offers Dutch food, merchandise, and demonstrations. Throughout town, you’ll have many chances to experience traditional Klompen (wooden shoe) dancing, as well as the Art & Craft Fair, Quilt Show, carnival rides, concerts, theatrical shows, fireworks, trolley tours, and so much more! FREE, but certain activities are available for an additional fee.


7. Family Fishing Fair

May 21 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Ramona Park

  • Bring the entire family to celebrate the onset of summer on this exciting day at the shoreline. Families of all ages and abilities can experience the numerous benefits associated with fishing, boating and aquatic conservation. Enjoy engaging activities such as lure making, knot tying and fly casting. Try out a kayak or SUP and much more. Local fishing guides and professional organizations will share their expertise to help your family start a lifetime of fishing memories. Fishing equipment will be on hand for those hoping to reel in their first (or next) catch of the day. FREE.


8. Paddle Demo’s with Lee’s Adventure Sports

May 14 from 12:00 pm- 4:00pm and May 21 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Ramona Park

  • Sign up for a demo of paddleboard from Lee’s Adventure Sports and the Portage Parks & Recreation Department.
  • FREE.


9. KSO Peter and the Wolf

May 21 at 10:30 am and 12:00 pm

Kalamazoo Public Library-Central location

  • A well-loved family classic Peter and The Wolf, written and composed by Sergei Prokofiev, comes to life as it is performed by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Woodwind Quintet. Enjoy an Instrument Petting Zoo, meet the musicians, and create a craft based on the story all before the performance! Fun for the whole family! Siblings welcome. This concert is part of the KSO Family Fun Chamber Series. Registration Required. FREE.


10. 10th Annual Charlton Park Day/County-wide Yard Sale

May 28 from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Historic Charlton Park

  • Bring the whole family to Charlton Park Day. There will be free hot dogs, chips, drinks. Come on out and tour the buildings, maybe play some old fashioned games by the old school, meet some of the volunteers that will be in the buildings. Come on out for Charlton Park Day, FREE admission. This day is in honor of Irving Charlton the founder of Charlton Park.


Plus, don’t forget the Five Area Attractions Offer Free Reciprocal Admission in May to Members. This only happens during May, so make sure that you take advantage of it this month.


Enjoy the month of May!








By | 2016-05-03T04:58:21+00:00 May 3rd, 2016|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Guides, Newly Published|Comments Off on FREE or Cheap Events in May That You’ll Want You Won’t Want To Miss

About the Author:

Jill is a mom of a busy 9 year old son. When not working the website, Jill likes to hike, cook, and read in her free time.