Free (or Cheap) Things To Do This Spring 2015-04-20T13:55:04+00:00


This post is brought to you by Bookbug.


Bookbug is Kalamazoo’s wonderfully creative and family-friendly independent bookstore. Stop in for story time on Thursday mornings at 10, or check out any one of their many literary events.

Bookbug |  3019 Oakland Drive | Kalamazoo | 269.385.2847

Monday-Saturday 10:00-7:00 | Sunday 12:00-5:00




by Jill P


Spring in finally here and there’s plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy all of the fun things that our area has to offer. We all love free, right? Well, there’s a ton of things to do for free (or cheap – $10 for a family).

Most of these events can be found on our Event Calendar. You’ll want to check the individual events for more information about times, locations, etc. as this is just a quick summary.

Enjoy the fun events of Spring!


Inexpensive Ways to Have Fun Around Kalamazoo This Spring (April and May)


1. Join the fun at Bookbug on April 10 for the Art Hop into Spring with Young Violinists and Violists! These gifted young violinists and violists have a variety of favorite Classical, Celtic, folk and pop tunes to play. Free.

2. Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo on April 10 and May 1. Art Hop is always free and it’s a good chance to mix and mingle with your fellow Kalamazoo residents while checking out the local art scene.

3. Just Move Fitness and More is offering playdates to get the kiddos active and to have some fun. The upcoming April 13 and May 11  playdates are free.

4. Kalamazoo Valley Museum is always free! Catch a show in their planetarium for just $3 per person such as Cardboard Rocket playing March 28 through June 13.

5. 9th Annual Charlton Park Day on May 23 from 11 am to 4 pm. Free admission, free hot dogs, chips and drink.

6. Sunday, April 19 is Summer Camp Extravaganza & Interactive Health Fair at the Sherman Lake YMCA. A great way to check out summer camp and try some of their summer activities. Free.

7. 4th Annual Touch-A-Truck Event by the Junior League of Kalamazoo on May 9 at the Kalamazoo Fairgrounds. The entire family can get in for just $10 and a great way to see, sit in, and touch over 50 unique vehicles.

8. Free Family Fishing Fair at Ramona Park on May 16. There are many free activities, such as fishing at our shoreline, trying your hand at kayaking courtesy of Lee’s sporting goods, learning about boating safety, discovering our local environment with the Kalamazoo Nature Center, and many other activities.

9. Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market opens on May 2 and runs every Saturday from 7 am – 2 pm. The Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market is a great way to get you in the mood for Spring!

10Free or Cheap Spring Movies are at both Celebration Cinema and Kalamazoo 10 and runs through the end of April. Check listing for individual movie times and dates.

11. Sit in on the daytime activities of the 40th Stulberg International String Competition on May 16. Daytime semifinals are free and open to the public.

12. Kalamazoo Rock and Gem Show at the Kalamazoo Expo Center on May 1 – May 3. $3 admission for adults, 12 and under free. At the show explore and discover the world of rocks, minerals and fossils. Your kids can pan for gold, learn about silver smithing, play a game, polish a Petoskey stone and more!

13. BenJammin Educational Music with BenJammin & Analisa at Old Dog Tavern on April 4, 11, and 25. These are fun and educational music events that teach kids concepts such as health, hygiene, conflict resolution, and core subjects through interactive music. Free or donation accepted.

14. The 53rd Annual Michigan Youth Arts Festival runs May 7-9 at WMU. Over a thousand of Michigan’s best young artists will be showcasing their talents in visual arts, vocal music, film, theatre, creative writing, spoken word, dance and instrumental music. Free.

15. The 10th Annual National Children’s Mental Health Day is on May 7 from 4 pm -7 pm. Admission is free. 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.


16Earth Day Celebration at the Kalamazoo Nature Center on April 18 from 9 am to 4 pm. Free Admission on Earth Day. You’ll find community activity tables, children’s crafts, Nature’s Playground open, free trail hiking. and more!

17. Astronomy Day 2015 at the Portage District Library on April 25. This event is intended to intended to widen knowledge and appreciation of science, particularly of astronomy. Free.

18Family Bike Fest on May 16 from 10 am to 1 pm at Mayor’s Riverfront Park. Free.

19. April 11 is the Young Vocalists Concert at the Light Fine Arts Center. Winners of the Bach Festival’s annual Young Vocalist Competition perform in this special award recital.

20Leila Arboretum will be opening soon. For $2 per person on April 24, join their Arbor Day Celebration. Meet the Trees of Leila Arboretum through games, crafts, and hands-on activities.

21. Mom-to-Mom sale by WKFR is just $3 for adults and 5 and under are free. One of the area’s largest Mom to Mom sales on May 9.

22Crescendo Academy of Music student recitals are free. April 18 is one of the upcoming recitals. Attend to listen to these great students in learning.

23Tillers Annual Plow Day Open House in Scott’s on April 25. Free. See what happens on a farm where oxen and horses do the work of tractors.

24. Portage Earth Day Festival is on April 25 at Celery Flats which includes live music, exhibits, games and giveaways such as seedlings. The event provides opportunities to become more ecologically friendly. Free.

25. Check out Art Detectives at the KIA on April 11 and May 9. Children hear stories about art, go into the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts galleries to see and learn about the art on display, and do art in the Kirk Newman Art School. It’s all free!

26Global Youth Service Day on April 18 is a great way to have your older kiddos volunteer in the community. Check with Volunteer Kalamazoo for specific opportunities to volunteer.

27. May’d in Michigan Event is May 23-25. Support Michigan artisans, crafters, companies, growers, entertainers and those who produce anything here in Michigan.  Admission is free.

28. All Ears Theatre Presents “Little Red Riding Hood is on May 2. Enjoy one of these radio classics for free.

29. Edible Book Festival is on April 10. Yes, how fun does this sound? Get creative and see details on how to enter your edible book for free.

30Movies in the Park by the Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department begin with the showing of Jurassic Park on May 29. Free.

31Barnes and Noble offers many weekly story times for free. Check out Event Calendar for details of each event.

32. Take a bike ride on the Portage Bikeway or the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. Gotta love our great trails! Free fun for the family.

33. The Family Fishing Clinic offered by the Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department on May 2 is free. This FREE family-friendly fishing clinic promises to teach you the basics of fishing including techniques and insider tips to the sport of fishing, and necessary gear.

34. Check out our Easter Egg Hunt Round-up for some great Easter Egg Hunts happening Easter Weekend. Most of the activities are free.

35. Southwest Michigan Cultural Exchange program for the month of May. With your membership from one of the participating museums, you can get into the others for FREE  for the entire month of May. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity.

36Flywheelers Farm History Day on May 8 offers students, teachers and chaperones a chance to learn about life on a rural farm in the early 1900s. Free.

Need more ideas? Check out our Spring Break Staycation Guide for activities happening during Spring Break.


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