Explore your downtown, Kalamazoo! We have amazing events planned for you this month, including Restaurant Week, Salsa Cookoff, and Sidewalk Sales.  See you downtown!

162 E. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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Your July Guide to Fun and Affordable Around Kalamazoo

Summer is in full swing and July is loaded with FREE and inexpensive activities for the kids to have fun and learn in the process! From movie nights and concerts to art classes and animal encounters, there will be sure to be something to interest each and every member of your family.

Check out our picks for must-try activities for all ages. We’ve listed over 25 events that are free (or reasonably priced) to enjoy with the family this July!

Don’t forget to check out our EVENT calendar as activities are always being added. 

Printable List

Want a handy printable version of the July events around Kalamazoo? Right here –

Things to Do in Downtown Kalamazoo

July is the month to explore downtown Kalamazoo. 

Want an affordable way to discover Kalamazoo’s diverse dining options?  Make sure to attend Downtown Kalamazoo Summer Restaurant Week, coming up July 21st through July 29th. Pick your price and even have the chance to hop from one restaurant to the next for just $10. Visit one of Kalamazoo’s oldest restaurants and a landmark – Coney Island, where the coney dog is a little over $2, perfect for an afternoon lunch break.

Don’t miss one of the most popular events as part of restaurant week- Downtown Kalamazoo Summer Salsa Cookoff

Bring the family and your appetite to explore all of the culinary delights Downtown Kalamazoo has to offer!


Downtown Kalamazoo Events

Friday, July 6th

Lunchtime Live! Presented by Lake Michigan Credit Union

Bronson Park, Kalamazoo | 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Live music, great scenery, fun summertime games, and amazing food….Lunchtime Live! has it all! Get the family out of the house and head to Bronson Park in Downtown Kalamazoo for a Friday afternoon on the town. Lunchtime Live! will be at Bronson Park every Friday for the month of July!

Art Hop

Downtown Kalamazoo | 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Celebrate an evening of art exhibits and events, one of the great things to do in Kalamazoo. This free event is held on the first Friday of every month. Bring the family and explore downtown.

Wednesday, July 11th

Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga | 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga (SUP Yoga) combines a love of nature, adventure, and yoga – whether you are a first-time paddle boarder or a lifelong yogi, come explore a yoga practice on the water! Location: Woods Lake. Additional sessions:  July 18 and 26.

Pre-Natal Yoga session starts on July 11th (6:00 PM) at Down Dog Yoga Center. Prenatal yoga is an ideal way to support your body, mind, and well-being during pregnancy. Or, for post-partum mom’s, consider the MamaCore class starting on July 12th (7:15 PM).

Animal Instincts Big or Small

Kalamazoo Valley Museum | 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Visit the KVM and create animals with similar traits but opposite sizes. Design a giraffe fan and color a mole bookmark, stencil an elephant bag and color a mouse magnet, color a camel puppet and create an ant catchall, comb a lion’s mane and scratch a poodle design, and color a hummingbird stained-glass window and an ostrich ornament.

Wednesday, July 18th

SpacePark 360

Kalamazoo Valley Museum | 2:00 PM

Planetarium Show – travel through an amusement park that spans the Solar System. Computer generated graphics create unique but somewhat familiar rides at each of the planets. $3/ticket.

Saturday, July 21st

Downtown Kalamazoo Summer Restaurant Week

Downtown Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo | July 21st – July 29th

Restaurant Week kicks off July 21st and allows restaurants in Downtown to highlight what makes them truly special with a price fix menu. This allows for more innovative pairings, affordable food options and the chance to “hop” from place to place with the price fix (starting at $10).  Treat yourself to a week of “food heaven.”

Downtown Kalamazoo Summer Salsa Cook-Off

Consumer’s Credit Union, Kalamazoo | 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Salsa Cook-Off is one of the most popular events in Downtown Kalamazoo each summer. Various shops, restaurants, and food trucks prepare their best salsa and everyone is invited to try them all – from mild to spicy! Vote for your favorite at this fun and FREE event.

Thursday, July 26

Kalamazoo Mall Summer Sidewalk Sales

Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo | July 26th – July 28th 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Don’t miss Downtown Kalamazoo’s Annual Sidewalk Sales event –  offering local opportunities to eat, shop and play along the Kalamazoo Mall.

downtown Kalamazoo Sidewalk Sales

Tuesday, July 31

Market Fresh Yoga | 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Grab your yoga mat and join Down Dog Yoga for a delightful, outdoor yoga practice at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market. Wake up your body and soak up the energy of our local community – a great way to start your day!

Free (or Affordable) events around Southwest Michigan

Sunday, July 1st

Family Scavenger Hunts at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery

Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, Mattawan | 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Scavenger Hunts are for all ages and typically take about an hour to complete. This family activity is free of charge and fun for the entire family.

Monday, July 2nd

Bike the Zoo’s Community Bike Ride

PFC Natural Grocery and Deli, Kalamazoo | 6:00 PM

BikeTheZoo hosts a free community bike ride every first Monday of the month April through October. 

Dorr Fourth of July Celebration

Dorr Township South Park, Dorr | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

FREE family fun night at Dorr’s South Park.  Bring the family for games, face painting, FREE hot dogs and ice cream, food booths and carnival rides.

Tuesday, July 3rd

Breakin’ 101 at Ostego District Library

Ostego District Library, Ostego | 10:00 AM

Sign up for one of the two July class sessions. Explore all aspects of the art of Breakin’ (Breakdance), the original Hip Hop dance. Classes are available for grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  

Wednesday, July 4th

City of Plainwell Fourth of July Fireworks

City of Plainwell, Plainwell | 10:00 PM – 10:30 PM

The City of Plainwell will display Fourth of July fireworks at the airport!

Check out other activities and parade options to celebrate Independence Day with our complete listing of 4th of July Fireworks, Parades and Events.

Thursday, July 5th

“The Greatest Showman” Movie at Ostego District Library

Ostego District Library, Ostego | 4:00 PM

Calling all middle and high school friends, enjoy FREE popcorn, and watch this box-office hit at the library!

Arrows Away Archery at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery

Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, Mattawan | 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow with this introductory course! All equipment is provided. This program is for ages 8 years and older (including adults) and is free of charge! The Arrows Away Archery program occurs every Thursday in the month of July.

Three Rivers Free Movie in the Park

Memory Isle Park, Three Rivers | 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Bring the family and watch a free showing of “The Greatest Showman.”

Saturday, July 7th

Lawton Summerfest 2018

Lawton Public Library, Lawton | 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Visit Lawton as the city shuts down main street for Summerfest 2018! Events include: car show, craft show, parade, live band, and fireworks.

Three Rivers Summer Programs in the Park

Scidmore Park Petting Zoo, Three Rivers | 1:00 PM

The kids will love these FREE educational programs, located just outside the zoo gates at Scidmore Park every Saturday at 1:00 PM, rain or shine.  

  • July 7 – Experience the Wild:  Meet a variety of exotic animals, including a Patagonian cavy and a miniature caiman.
  • July 14 – Hawks, Eagles, and Owls, Oh My!:  The Lake Milton Raptor Education Center presents a variety of raptors.
  • July 21 – Giant Python Day:  Muxlow Exotics brings a variety of reptiles for you to touch and learn about, including a giant python.
  • July 28 – Rhythm in the Blue:  Kalamazoo Nature Center presents the wild musicians of the wetlands. Meet one of nature’s musicians in person.

Sunday, July 8th

Zion Lion Reggae Band at Oshtemo’s Music in the Park

Flesher Field, Kalamazoo | 6:00 PM

Bring the family out for a free outdoor concert featuring Zion Lion Reggae Band, plus hands-on art and activities for kids.

Monday, July 9th

Science of Music at Ransom District Library

Ransom District Library, Plainwell | 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Learn how sounds waves and vibrations are put together to make music. Get a glimpse of the history of rock-and-roll while grooving to some great tunes!

Community Appreciation Day at Flash Flood Water Park

Flash Flood Water Park, Battle Creek | 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

FREE admission from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM for ages 12 & Under, $5.00 admission for 13 and up. Hot dogs and soda will be $1.00.

Tuesday, July 10th

Painting Classes at Antwerp Sunshine Library

VBDL Antwerp Sunshine Library, Mattawan | 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM

VBDL Antwerp Sunshine Branch offers two kids painting classes: one at 11:00 AM and the other at 3:00 PM. Registration required and a $5.00 fee is required at the time of sign-up. 

Guitar Painting for Teens at Ostego Public Library

Ostego District Library, Ostego | 4:00 PM

Teens will have a blast painting a stunning guitar that will look great in any room! Registration is required for this event!

Thursday, July 12th

Lisa Jenn Bigelow Presents: Drum Roll, Please

Bookbug, Kalamazoo | 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Welcome Lisa Jenn Bigelow back to Kalamazoo for release of her amazing new book, DRUM ROLL, PLEASE. Meet Lisa, hear from her new book, and enjoy a performance by Kalamazoo Academy of Rock alumnus, Jacob Rollins.

Nelson’s Wildlife Safari-Animals From Around the World

Comstock Township Library, Comstock | 6:30 PM

Wildlife Safari bring the magic and adventure of animals to life for a truly unique hands on experience! Kids of all ages will see and touch creatures both great and small from around the world through the Adventure Story Presentation. Registration is required for this event.

Post Band Concert Series

Festival Market Square, Battle Creek | 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Bring the family and lawn chairs to enjoy a fun summer evening. The Post Band Concert Series will be held Thursday, July 12th and Thursday, July 19th.  

Friday, July 13th

Movies in the Park: U-Pick the Flick

Upjohn Park, Kalamazoo | 7:30 PM

There is something special about watching a movie outside!  Family friendly activities will begin at 7:30 PM and continue until the movie begins at sunset. Food and snacks available for purchase. Another U-Pick movie will be held on Friday, July 27th.

Festival Market Square Movies in the Park

Mill Race Park, Battle Creek | 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

A FREE family event featuring pre-movie activities beginning at 8:00 PM followed by a showing of Cars 3 at dusk!

Movies in the Park: Coco

Celery Flats, Portage | 9:00 PM

Come see the movie Coco at Celery Flats. Seating will be on the lawn in front of the Grain Elevator, so bring a blanket or chair. Popcorn will be available for purchase.

Saturday, July 14th

The Princess and the Pit Stop Storytime at Barnes & Noble- Battle Creek

Barnes & Noble, Battle Creek | 11:00 AM

The Princess and the Pit Stop Storytime at Barnes & Noble- Portage

Barnes & Noble, Portage | 11:00 AM

Featuring appearances by fairy tale favorites including the Tortoise and the Hare, the Frog Prince, and all of the Wicked Witches, this mash-up of race cars and royalty is a celebration of both girl power and horsepower.

Monday, July 16th

Revel & Roll West

Revel & Roll West, Kalamazoo 

Grab some bowling shoes and head to Revel & Roll West as they will be offering FREE Bowling every Monday all summer long.

Tuesday, July 17th

Concert in the Park in Mattawan’s Memorial Park

Mattawan Park, Mattawan | 7:00 PM

Enjoy FREE family-friendly, live music in Mattawan’s Memorial Park! Bring lawn chairs & a picnic and enjoy great music. Terrestial Peasants open the show at 7:00 PM followed by flamenco guitarist Gladius. 

Wednesday, July 18th

The Great Dairy Adventure in East Lansing

MSU Pavilion, East Lansing | 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Bring the entire family to East Lansing to learn more about dairy farming while sampling free ice cream and other dairy products. Make sure to grab a camera and the picnic basket, and head out to the MSU Pavilion for a “dairy” fun-filled day!

Shakespeare in the Park

Celery Flats, Portage | Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 2:00 PM, Friday and Saturday 7:00 PM

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre Academy of Theatre Arts presents Shakespeare Outside: The Comedy of Errors. Shakespeare’s shortest and most farcical play about mistaken identity, has everything from puns and wordplay to slapstick and physical comedy. Shows are FREE, however, a ticket will be required due to limited seating.

Thursday, July 19th

Oshtemo Movies in the Park

Oshtemo Park, Kalamazoo | 9:00 PM

A FREE showing of the movie classic, Roman Holiday, will be offered at Oshtemo Township Park. All movies start at dusk. Free popcorn compliments of Kalamazoo 10!

Friday, July 20th

Car Seat Check

Westwood Fire Department, Kalamazoo | 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM

A certified Child Passenger Safety Technician will check your child’s car seat, booster seat or seat belt for correct fit, working order and proper installation. No appointments necessary.

Tuesday, July 24th

Dairy Open House

W.K. Kellogg Farm, Hickory Corners | 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Come and delight in MSU ice cream and cheese, while in sight of the cows whose milk creates these dairy foods! Celebrate farming with family activities and wagon rides to learn about Michigan’s agricultural landscapes.

Thursday, July 26th

Free Day at Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Musuem

Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Musuem, Albion | 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Kids ‘N’ Stuff museum FREE day offers free admission to all guests. 

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Musical Story Book and Instrument Petting Zoo

Comstock Township Library, Comstock | 11:00 AM

Hear and see favorite storybooks illustrated with great music by KSO’s Burdick-Thorne String Quartet. Each program includes a craft activity, a narrated telling of the story with music, and interactive learning led by the musicians. Registration is required for this event.

Maranda Park Party

Bronson Park, Kalamazoo | 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

The Maranda Park Party returns to Kalamazoo again this summer. The Park Party includes FREE activities, games, entertainment and, of course, prizes! 

Saturday, July 28th

You Can Play the Ukulele at Richland Community Library

Richland Community Library, Richland | 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM

Join Ben Hassenger and learn to play the Ukulele.  This one hour lesson will teach basic chords and songs. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.  

2018 AZO Air Fair

Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport, Portage | 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

The AZO Air Fair is an opportunity for the community to come enjoy the unique experiences the Airport can provide. The event features up close and personal interaction with different types of aircraft on display, airline ticket giveaways, local food trucks, and many other family friendly activities.

By | 2018-06-29T06:44:39+00:00 July 2nd, 2018|Categories: Around Kalamazoo, Kids, Newly Published, summer fun, Things to Do|Comments Off on July Things to Do with Kids Around Kalamazoo – Many Free!

About the Author:

Laura is the mom of two young children and enjoys living in the Portage area. A teacher at heart, she is often exploring venues in the area that offer fun and educational activities for her family. Laura enjoys running, reading, trying new recipes, and relaxing with her family.