100+ Fun Things to Do in Kalamazoo: The Complete List for Families in Southwest MI

things to do in kalamazoo with kids

Over 100 Fun Things to Do in Kalamazoo with Your Family

Southwest Michigan is brimming with ideas and activities for families all year round. Over 100 ideas you say? Absolutely!

With so many options, it’s hard to know what to try out first. Indoor or outdoor activities? Local attractions and family-friendly events? All covered in this easy to navigate resource guide of things to do in Kalamazoo.

We’ve even covered FREE things to do with kids in Southwest Michigan and Kalamazoo.

Which ones will be added to your family short-list?

Whether you’re new to Southwest Michigan or a Kalamazoo native, scroll on and get ready to fall in love with Kzoo (and that’s K-zoo, never Kazoo).

Anything not covered that you think is a must to add? Make sure to let us know or submit an event here.

Crescendo Academy of Music

Music instruction for all ages and abilities. Online and in-person options available!

Private Instruction • Group Classes • Chamber Ensembles • Crescendo Fiddlers Music Together® Mixed Ages, Babies, & Rhythm Kids

Programs for infants to adults; need-based financial assistance available.

Crescendo Academy of Music

Indoor Play 

Southwest Michigan weather can turn on a dime. Parents and caregivers need to have in our back pocket a list of options for indoor play and fun things to do in Kalamazoo that offer plenty of inspiration for toddlers and big kids alike.

Kalamazoo offers many centers that are perfect for running, jumping, sliding and swinging. Kids can burn off energy jumping on a trampoline, try their hand at bowling or explore interactive museums.

AIr Zoo
Visit over 100 air and spacecraft at the Air Zoo in Portage, MI

Outdoor Recreation 

Everyone loves exploring, and family outings provide an opportunity to discover all the best that Michigan Outdoors has to offer. You’ll find suggestions for toddlers, teens, and adults.

There is no shortage of hiking and bike trails in the area; from paved to more rustic exploring, Southwest MI has trails for all ages and interests.

With so many lakes in our great state, take advantage of the best paddling water fun Kalamazoo has to offer with kayaking or canoeing.

Giddy up – it doesn’t matter if you’re a horse expert or novice, try horseback riding at one of several Kalamazoo stables.

Things to do in Kalamazoo - Outdoor - child on horse
Kids can learn to ride horses at one of several Kalamazoo, MI stables

Parks and Playgrounds 

Parents understand that having a go-to park or playground is a real sanity saver. These Kalamazoo area spots offer plenty of space to romp and enough outdoor entertainment to make them worth loading up the kids and heading out.

We’ve highlighted the amenities at each park – such as sports fields, on-site trails, swing types and pavilion access.

Kalamazoo Park
This new playground at Texas Drive Park was installed in July 2021

Museums and Cultural Attractions

If you’re looking for cultural attractions in Southwest Michigan, you’re in luck. The best family museums in Michigan are as entertaining as they are educational. Your kids will have so much fun they won’t even know they’re learning.

Plan a trip with your family to make field trips fun. Keep in mind the annual Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange Program, with opportunities to visit several museums.

You may also be interested in: Medieval Castles and Museums

Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a must-visit in Kalamazoo, MI

Animal and Farm Fun for Families

Kids and animals go hand-in-hand. Southwest Michigan is home to amazing places to get up close and personal to a wide variety of animals.

Summer is the best time to find u-pick fruit, including organic varieties. Get your pumpkins and apples in the fall and Christmas trees in December.

Kids will have a blast at visiting a farm with bounce houses, wagon rides, country stores, corn mazes, petting zoos.

Family at a farm - Gull Meadow Farms
Corn mazes are a favorite thing to do in Kalamazoo during the fall


Summertime means beach time for Michigan families.

Get to know the best features – attractions, food, bathroom availability – for all of the beaches near Kalamazoo and across Michigan. From Lake Michigan to inland beaches, there is a beach near you right now.

Ramona Park Beach in Portage, MI is local favorite

Splash Pads and Outdoor Water Fun 

When the sun is blazing down its heat in Michigan, families may all be asking the same question: Where can we go swimming? Luckily for us, there are a number of options to take a dip or run under a water fountain. 

Find cool water playgrounds with kiddie pools, fountains, geysers, pumps, and spray features that kids love.

Looking for a bit more water action? Southwest Michigan provides many exciting ways for families to enjoy boating with historic tours and boat rides. 

And don’t miss out on a pirate sailing adventure in South Haven.

Splash Pad
Cool off at a southwest Michigan splash pad (pictured: River Oaks)

Indoor Water Parks

Pack the swimsuits and plan a family trip to where it’s delightful any time of year.

Kids won’t be able to get enough of the waterslides, lazy rivers, and wave pools at an indoor water park.  A number of the resorts offer stay-and-play packages with added attractions such as mini-golf, arcade, food deals, to make for the perfect weekend getaway. 

Things to do for Families - Indoor Water Park - Double JJ Resort
Families love to play at Double JJ resort in Rothbury, MI

Festivals and Fairs

Festivals & Fairs are a family affair where all ages can enjoy performances. And most festivals are often free things to do in Kalamazoo. You’ll enjoy sifting through all the events to land on something that’s truly special and unique that your family is sure to love.

The annual festivals that greater Kalamazoo hosts are the perfect place to start.

Festivals and Fair for Families in Southwest Michigan - Air Show
The Air Show is a favorite southwest Michigan festival