Fun Staycation – Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Fun Staycation

If you’re looking for things to do in and around Grand Rapids this summer, here are a few fun staycation ideas to get you started.

Gardens and Museums

Frederik Meijer Gardens
Beautiful gardens and sculpture park with a lot of space for kids to roam, including the Lena Meijer’s Children Garden. Check out hours and admission rates. And my kids love to roll down the hill by Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum – Thursday evening is Family Night from 5:00p – 8:00p with $1.50 admission per person, ages 1 year and above

And there’s always the Grand Rapids Public Museum, including the recently Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium and Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Hiking in Michigan

Outdoor Hiking and Fun

Yankee Springs Recreation Area – Middleville
30 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of challenging mountain bike trails, 9 miles of horseback trails, as well as two public beaches, picnic shelters, and two universally accessible fishing piers one at Gun Lake and one at Deep Lake.

Blandford Nature Center – Grand Rapids
Visit the Wildlife Center or walk the Wildlife trail.
The interpretive center is currently open free of charge Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, and Saturday from 12 to 5pm. All non-members will pay a $3.00 admission fee.

The trails are open every day from dawn until dusk.

Saugatuck Dunes State Park – Saugatuck
Hike the trails and have a picnic in the picnic area. The Lake Michigan beach is a 0.6 mile hike from the picnic parking area.

Rosy Mound Natural Area – Grand Haven
We love Rosy Mound and enjoy the 0.7 mile hike to the Lake Michigan. Perfect, quiet place to go for a swim. Keep in mind there is no life guard on duty and no dogs allowed. Motor vehicle parking fees are in effect from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

West Michigan Whitecaps Games

Lawn seating is $5 all season long at West Michigan Whitecaps games.

Every Monday home game is a Bulletin Night – grab your Church bulletin on Sunday and bring it with you to any Monday home game and you’ll receive 1/2 off all Box and Reserve seating (excludes lawn seats).

Animal Lovers

John Ball Zoo – Grand Rapids
I’ve been going to John Ball since I was a little girl. Grizzly bears, chimpanzee, lions, wallabies and more.

Coming in early June, the Crawford Amur Tiger exhibit opens. I’m going to have some excited little boys.

Find the hours and rates.If you’re planning to make multiple trips, pick up a household membership for $70. This gets you FREE admission at John Ball and FREE or reduced admission to over 140 other zoos and aquariums.

Critter Barn – Zeeland
Browse around the farm, enjoy a tour with a Critter Crew member, meet rabbits, chickens, ducks, cats, hogs, cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, turkeys, pot-bellied pigs, peafowl, geese, and a horse! Learn about farm life. Hold, pet, cuddle, feed, watch, interact and learn.

Admission is FREE, donations are welcome.Check out the Critter Barn hours.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park – Alto
Located on 80 acres of land in Alto, MI, Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park is a unique, hands-on experience for the entire family. The park boasts a distinct collection of exotic animals and reptiles, and the variety and dynamic atmosphere make Boulder Ridge anything but your average zoo.

Check out the Boulder Ridge admission rates and hours. If you plan to make multiple trips this summer, pick up a family membership.


Fun at the Orchards

Our kids LOVE going to the orchards and picking fruit. It’s one of the highlights of our summer and fall.

DeLange’s Redberry Farm
U-pick strawberries (June) and raspberries (August-mid October). Perfect for strawberry rhubarb jam or freeze strawberries for smoothies.

DK Orchards – Conklin
I’ve been going to this orchard since I was a little girl (formerly Vince Brown Farms). We picked peaches and apples each year with my Grandpa and Grandma – good memories!

You get to ride on a wagon behind a tractor out to the orchards and you can’t beat the prices. Each year we can quarts and quarts of apple sauce and peaches with the produce that we pick.

Robinette’s Apple Haus – Grand Rapids
I haven’t personally gone here, but I’ve heard fantastic things about it…donuts! If they happen to be making cider, you may watch it being made (during the fall). There are corn mazes and hayrides in the fall.

There’s a mountain bike trail that you can ride for $3 a day. A helmet is required and a waiver must be signed.

Crane Orchards – Fennville
We love to go to Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant with Grandpa and Grandma and pick a few apples in the orchard.
Sweet Cherries – Picking usually begins late of June
Peaches – Picking usually begins the end of July or early August.
Fall Apples – Picking usually begins in early September & continues throughout October.
20-acre corn maze in September

No credit cards accepted at the orchard.

Millennium Park

Places to Cool Off

Millennium Park
Includes a six-acre beach and splashpad and nearly 20 miles of trails. Check out the hours and admission fees.

Lamar Park Splash Pad – Wyoming
Have a picnic and enjoy the FREE splash pad and play ground.

In addition to Rose Mounds and Saugatuck Dunes (under hiking), here are a few more Lake Michigan parks…
PJ Hoffmaster (Muskegon) – this is one of my favorites with hiking in the beautiful woods.
Holland State Park – Holland (make sure you make a stop at Captain Sundae – two words: Pirate’s Booty)
Tunnel Park – Holland
Grand Haven State Park

Michigan Adventures
Amusement park and water park – check out ticket prices and hours.

Celebrations and Festivals

Festival of Arts 2014 – June 4, 5 and 6, 2014
Festival of the Arts is a community celebration in downtown Grand Rapids, featuring arts, entertainment, food and fun activities for the entire family.

Lakeshore Art Festival – Muskegon – July 4 and 5, 2014
A unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food and fun along the scenic shoreline. The Lakeshore Art Festival features hundreds of artists and crafters, a Children’s Lane, a food area including a Michigan Food Market, and street performers.

Coast Guard Festival – July 25-August 3, 2014
Every day is filled with activities, events, and attractions for all ages. Many activities are FREE, and you will find plenty of fun and choices from Kids Day to the Street Dance and Cruise-In Car Show, to carnival rides, picnics, Grand Parade, and ship tours.

So there you have it…

I’d love hear any other Grand Rapids staycation ideas that you have. Feel free to leave a comment below.


  1. Stephanie Kay says

    I’ve never been to Grand Rapids but your list makes me want to plan a trip! Maybe someday I’ll make it out that way. But for now we’re working on a project called R is for Rhode Island. Basically it’s our own alphabet book filled with quintessential RI activities and places. It’s a lot of fun being a tourist in your hometown!

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