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

Things to Do in Kalamazoo

Over 100 Fun Things to Do in Kalamazoo with Kids

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 are covered in this easy-to-navigate resource guide of things to do in Kalamazoo.

Which ones will be added to your family shortlist?

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).

City of Kalamazoo

Local Events

Our event calendar brings together events for families to enjoy: story times at libraries, concerts, Santa visits, fireworks, trunk-or-treats and more.

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

Find all SWMI activities in one convenient spot plus weekend picks with suggested fun for Friday through Sunday every week.

Things to Do This Weekend

~ Kalamazoo Event Calendar

Indoor Play

Southwest Michigan weather can turn on a dime.

Parents and caregivers need to have in their back pocket a list of options for indoor play places and fun things to do in Kalamazoo that offer plenty of inspiration for toddlers and big kids alike.

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

Jungle Joe's Indoor Play
Jungle Joe’s in Portage MI

~ Indoor Play Places

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.

Kalamazoo Hiking Trail
Chipman Preserve in Galesburg MI

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

kayaking in Kalamazoo southwest michigan kayak Plainwell Kayak Company
Plainwell Kayak Company

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

Parks & Playgrounds

SWMI is packed with green spaces offering playgrounds, basketball, pickleball, bike trails, volleyball and more.

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.

Kalamazoo Park Playground
Children’s Nature Playscape on Bronson Park in Kalamazoo MI
Portage Playground
West Lake Nature Preserve in Portage MI

~ Parks & Playgrounds

Museums & 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.

Air Zoo southwest michigan cultural exchange
The Air Zoo in Portage MI

In October, remember the annual Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange Program, with opportunities to visit several museums for free if you have a membership at one of the participating locations.

SWMI Cultural Exchange
SWMI Cultural Exchange Participants

~ Children’s Museums in Michigan

Animals & Petting Zoos

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.

Find zoos, sanctuaries and more petting zoo options near Kalamazoo.

Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary
Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary in Athens MI

~ Zoos, Sanctuaries & Petting Zoos

Farm Fun & Local Produce

Local farms provide delicious food for farmers markets and opportunities for u-pick fruit, including organic varieties.

Kalamazoo Farmers Market
Kalamazoo Farmers Market

In the fall, kids will have a blast at visiting a farm with bounce houses, wagon rides, country stores, corn mazes and petting zoos.

Kids feeding farm goats
Gull Meadow Farms in Richland MI


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.

families at the beach - Ramona Park Beach
Ramona Park Beach in Portage MI

~ Lake Michigan & Inland Lake Beaches

Splash Pads & Outdoor Water Play

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.

Florence Street Splash Pad in Kalamazoo MI

~ SWMI Splash Pads

Festivals & 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.

Field of Flight Air Show in Battle Creek MI

~ Festivals and Fairs

Local Restaurants

We take our food seriously in SWMI, with a huge variety of cuisine and strong opinions on the best restaurants in Kalamazoo.

If dining out with kids, be sure to take advantage of Kids Eat Free nights to help make dinner more affordable.

Date Night Restaurant- Bird Dog
Bird Dog in Mattawan MI
Cove Lakeside Bistro in Portage MI

~ Kalamazoo Restaurants