Experience More...

 

Newsletter Signup

Sign-up for the Experience Grand Rapids newsletter, The Travel Link.

 

Online Visitor's Guide

2015 Visitors Guide

Chock-full of information to help you plan your trip... more




Grand Rapids Insider

Grand Rapids Insider

view all posts
bicycle in the grass in a Grand Rapids park

Nature Nearby: Parks, Trails, Woods, and Wildlife Within 10 Minutes Of Downtown Grand Rapids

Though Grand Rapids' downtown is often bustling, nature is never far away: green havens can be found throughout the city and all along the Grand River corridor. More than two dozen natural environs ca...more

Posted March 26, 2015

 

Family Playcations

 

Grand Rapids Insider

Grand Rapids Insider

view all posts
bicycle in the grass in a Grand Rapids park

Nature Nearby: Parks, Trails, Woods, and Wildlife Within 10 Minutes Of Downtown Grand Rapids

Though Grand Rapids' downtown is often bustling, nature is never far away: green havens can be found throughout the city and all along the Grand River corridor. More than two dozen natural environs ca...more

Posted March 26, 2015
Family Biking
Grand Rapids Griffins

Baseball - Top 10

 Pirates at GRPM
Kinder Dutch Dancers
 

Indoors and out, Grand Rapids is bursting with great family activities and entertainment as winter turns to spring!

Active Fun

IYou can skate indoors every Saturday and Sunday at Griff's Icehouse, the official practice facility of our Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team.

Tarry Hall Roller Rink offers open skating on Friday, Saturday and evening weekends - parent admission is just $1 with a child's paid admission ticket.

Break out the swimsuits and head to one of our indoor water parks. Castaway Bay at Ramada Plaza Hotel features a three-story, 180-foot waterslide and a relaxing spa. The Big Dip at Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites South also has a three-story waterslide plus activity, lap and vortex pools.

Craig's Cruisers Family Fun Center offers lots of indoor adventures, including go-karts, laser tag, bumper cars, high ropes and more.

Hit the lanes for a few games of family bowling at Fairlanes Family Entertainment Center (southwest Grand Rapids), Westgate Bowling Center (northwest) or Wengers Bowling Center (northwest).

Paved biking and hiking trails through all sorts of terrain provide a great opportunity to observe nature waking from its winter slumber.

The Pajama Dash 5K is an invigorating run through the charming Alger Heights neighborhood, followed by the Jammie Jog, a fun run for kids aged 12 and under. March 28.

The Calvin College 5K Spring Classic & Family Fun Run winds through the scenic campus of one of the area's largest colleges. April 25.

Sports Fan Fun

The Grand Rapids Drive, an NBA affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, continues its successful inaugural through the beginning of April.

The Grand Rapids Griffins, primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, skate all the way through April 18 in downtown's Van Andel Arena - named the #1 place to watch a minor-league hockey game.

Berlin Raceway, which hosts super stocks, super lates, outlaw late models, 4 cylinders and more, opens its 2015 season on April 4.

The West Michigan Whitecaps, a Detroit Tigers affiliate, open their 22nd baseball season at Fifth Third Ballpark on April 9 - with 20+ additional home games through May. Lots of kid-friendly promotions all season long!

Exploration Fun

Real Pirates at Grand Rapids Public Museum tells the story of the first authenticated shipwreck in U.S. waters, with more than 150 authentic artifacts - treasure, weaponry, personal items and more. Through April 19.

Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies are Blooming at Frederik Mejier Gardens & Sculpture Park is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the nation, featuring thousands of winged wonders flying freely in a Tropical Conservatory. March 1 - April 30.

John Ball Zoo opens for the season on Sunday, March 1. Be among the first to meet Neo, the new baby bongo (a large forest antelope) born over the winter. The Zoo also offers special "Kid's Night Out" programs on April 17 and May 15.

CELEBRATE! A Community Arts Day is a free event for people of all ages to experience dance, music and visual art in a fun, unique learning environment. At Grand Rapids Ballet March 28.

The West Michigan Pet Expo at The DeltaPlex features animal acts, exotic animals, educational seminars, thousands of pet products, an adopt-a-pet area, and more. March 28-29.

Art of the Lived Experiment Family Day lets the whole family get creative, in conjunction with a disability art exhibition at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. April 11.

Little GR is a new role-playing, dramatic-play exhibit at Grand Rapids Children's Museum, featuring real-life environments normally off-limits to children. Opens April 30.

Holland's Tulip Time Festival, named the nation's best small-town festival, takes place just 30 minutes west of Grand Rapids. It serves up a week's worth of family-friendly fun, including:
5K, 10K and Kids Fun Run, May 2
Art & Craft Fair, May 2-3
• Fireworks over Lake Macatawa, May 2
Kinderplaats Carnival, May 2-3
Quilt Show, May 2-9

King Tut imageThe Discovery of King Tut at Grand Rapids Public Museum reconstructs the tomb and treasures of the Boy King, and presents more than 1,000 replicas of important finds from the time of his reign. May 16 - September 1.

Drop-In: Family Saturdays at Grand Rapids Art Museum offers hands-on art-making activities for children and families, plus gallery activities. Every Saturday from 1-4 pm.

Kids' Cooking Classes at the Downtown Market get children into the kitchen, cooking easy recipes while learning new culinary techniques and integrating new food.

Entertainment Fun

Butterfly Ballet is a Grand Rapids Ballet School Junior Company production told through the eyes of a newly emerged butterfly. At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, in conjunction with the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit. March 21.

The Bunny Train is an 80-minute excursion through the countryside on the Coopersville & Marne Railway accompanied by the Easter Bunny and her cast of wacky, musical characters performing in each of the train's antique passenger coaches. March 28, 29 and April 1.

Spring Break for Kids: Carnival of the Animals is a ballet performance perfect for the whole family, complete with a costume dress-up, temporary tattoos, a free ballet class and a special performance. Presented by Grand Rapids Ballet, April 7-8.

Mythbusters: Jamie and Adam UNLEASHED features the popular duo from the Discovery Channel TV program, in a fantastical evening of on-stage experiments, audience participation, exciting videos and behind-the-scenes stories. April 16.

Master Arts Theatre presents The Beverly Hillbillies, a stage production based on the perennially popular TV show. April 16 - May 7.

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre presents Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day, a children's musical based on the popular book. April 24 - May 3.

    Hotel Package

    Breakfast Package

    Always Available
    JW Marriott Grand Rapids

    Enjoy a fabulous night out and a relaxing morning in at the JW. Rates starting at $199 plus tax for Standard room. Breakfast Package includes: Deluxe overnight accommodations (Friday or Saturday night) Complimentary self-parking Breakfast for two adults and two children at six.one.six Contact us for reservations.

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly

    Culture Pass Grand Rapids

    October 01, 2013 – December 31, 2015
    Riverfront Hotel-Grand Rapids

    Package Includes: Room with a King bed or 2 double beds with river view (based on availability), free breakfast vouchers for up to 2 adults and 2 children in The Landing Restaurant, One complimentary Culture Pass Grand Rapids- a benefit card that gives access to exclusive discounts and specials from local arts and cultural organizations, complimentary late check out (1:00 PM day of departure). https://riverfronthotelgr.com/rooms/specials

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly
    Dates Unavailable
    12/31

    Dream Stay for Family

    Always Available
    Riverfront Hotel-Grand Rapids

    $119.00 (Add'l. $20 for weekend)

    Family travel just got a little bit easier with the exclusive Dream Stay for Family package at Riverfront Hotel. Start each morning of your trip on a full stomach, and after the day's adventures are done, take advantage of free, in room Wi-Fi to share photos with friends at home or plan your next trip.

    Package includes:

    • Kids 5 & under eat free
    • In-Room Service of free large pizza with 2 liter soda
    • Enjoy a large indoor heated pool, whirlpool, and Dry Sauna
    • Complimentary hot breakfast, Internet, and free onsite parking.
    • Game Room
    • Activity book
    • Late Checkout till 2pm

    Terms & Conditions: All rates and rooms are subject to availability. Offer cannot be combined with other promotional offers, award stays, or meeting/group stays. Availability and rate will be confirmed at time of booking and will vary by length of stay, date and are based on occupancy per room. Rate does not include service fees, taxes, incidental charges or gratuities. Rate includes breakfast for up to two adults and two children 5 years old and younger registered in the same room. Breakfast does not include gratuities or alcoholic beverages. Blackout dates apply. Other hotel policy or restrictions may apply. Riverfront Hotel reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time. Any modification or cancellation of reservations will be subject to the policy set forth by the Riverfront Hotel.

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly

    Early (Noon-3PM) Check-In or Late 2PM Check-Out

    Always Available
    Prairieside Suites Luxury Bed & Breakfast

    Each cost $25.00 and are bookable online along with ALL packages.

     

    Booking Method
    Visit Their Website

    Explore Grand Rapids Package

    June 01, 2013 – March 31, 2015
    Riverfront Hotel-Grand Rapids

    Package includes: Room with a King bed or 2 Double beds with a River view (Based on availability). 2 Admission tickets to one of the following Grand Rapids attractions: *Frederick Meijer Gardens *Grand Rapids Art Museum *Gerald R. Ford Museum Free breakfast vouchers for up to 2 Adults and 2 Children in The Landing Restaurant. Complimentary late check out up to 1:00 pm.. www.riverfronthotelgr.com/rooms/specials

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly
    Dates Unavailable
    12/31

    Frederik Meijer Gardens Package

    Always Available
    Ramada Plaza Hotel

    Includes overnight accommodations, a $25.00 Old Chicago Certificate, complimentary round trip shuttle transportation, and two adult passes to Frederik Meijer Gardens (children’s passes available at ticket counter at gardens) starting at $139.00.

    Booking Method
    Visit Their Website

    Frederik Meijer Gardens Package

    November 01, 2011 – November 01, 2023
    Prince Conference Center at Calvin College

    Come visit one of Grand Rapids most prized attractions. The Frederik Meijer Gardens is ready for you to come and explore it. Whether traveling alone or with your family the Frederik Meijer Gardens will keep your day packed full of adventures. Attractions such as the Children's Garden, Tropical Conservatory, Arid Garden or the Carnivorous Plant House are just a few stops in your day. Visiting relatives during the holidays? Don't miss out on the "Christmas and Holidays Traditions around the World". You and your family will enjoy the spirit of the season while taking a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, hopping on the trolley or riding on the train around the Railway Garden, the choice is yours! This package includes two tickets to the Gardens ($24 value), and we are just a mile down the road from the Gardens.

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly

    Gas Card Package

    October 06, 2014 – December 31, 2017
    Residence Inn by Marriott Grand Rapids West

    Package Includes one night's accommodations in a studio/one bedroom/two bedroom suites, deluxe hot breakfast buffet each morning, and wireless internet access and 1 $25 gas card

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly

    Get-A-Way & Play

    Always Available
    Ramada Plaza Hotel

    Includes deluxe overnight accommodations for up to four people, four Castaway Bay wristbands, and a Craig’s Cruisers entertainment voucher that includes four passes to Craig’s Incredible Pizza Buffet, Craig’s Cruisers activity passes and 20 Game Credits, starting at $139.00.

    Booking Method
    Visit Their Website

    Island Birthday Party Package

    Always Available
    Ramada Plaza Hotel

    Includes ten Castaway Bay wrist bands, two large one-topping pizzas, three 2-liter Pepsi products, $10 in game tokens, all for $179.00 + tax. (package valid Sundays only) Call hotel directly for booking - (616) 949-9222

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly

    Meijer Gardens

    Always Available
    Holiday Inn Express Grand Rapids Southwest

    Package includes the free hot express start breakfast in the morning and 2 tickets to Meijer Gardens. More tickets can be bought at the gardens. The hotel also has an indoor pool and spa. Rates vary depending on room type and start $129.99 and up plus tax.

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly
    Booking Code
    Meijer Garden

    Old Fashioned Fun Package

    November 01, 2011 – November 01, 2023
    Prince Conference Center at Calvin College

    The Grand Rapids Public Museum has many full time exhibits and special exhibits that will intrigue everyone. Stop by and see the history of furniture city, stroll the old streets of Grand Rapids, or go on a scavenger hunt through the hallways. You can also take a ride on a carousel from 1928 above the Grand River. Offer includes: General admission to the Grand Rapids Public Museum for up to four guests, 2 adults and 2 children, Four carousel rides, 10% off total purchases at the museum cafe and curiosity shop, and enjoy our new bedding package, complimentary wireless internet, and complimentary hot breakfast to get your day started right.

    Booking Method
    Call Hotel Directly

    Old Fashioned Fun in Grand Rapids, MI

    Always Available
    Country Inn & Suites Grand Rapids Airport

    Have some old fashioned fun at the Public Museum! Offer includes: General admission to the Grand Rapids Public Museum for up to four guests Four carousel rides 10% off total purchases at the museum cafe and curiosity shop Swimming in our indoor pool after a long day of fun Daily breakfast, featuring waffles with syrup and whipped cream Terms and Conditions Guests will receive the Grand Rapids Public Museum package voucher at check-in.

    Booking Method
    Visit Their Website

    Pizza Plunge Package

    Always Available
    Ramada Plaza Hotel

    Includes overnight accommodations in a standard king or two double, a 2-liter bottle Pepsi product, one large one-topping pizza, and four Castaway Bay passes, starting at $119.00.

    Booking Method
    Visit Their Website