Visit Grand Rapids to experience the magic of distinct seasons. The beguiling blossoms of spring. Long summer days that fade into glorious sunsets. A fall harvest of spectacular color and abundant agriculture. Snowy winter landscapes that are an invitation to play.
Average highs ranging from the mid-40s to the upper 60s over the course of the season track with the reemergence of the region’s lush natural wonders. Pack with layers in mind, as there can be a significant temperature variation from morning to night. Dress warm for a morning hike, remove a layer or two to spend the day exploring downtown and local attractions, then check the forecast for appropriate after-dark wear. The temperature warms appreciably throughout May, ending with many summer-like days.
The annual Butterflies are Blooming exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park kicks off March in colorful fashion and the Holland Tulip Time Festival extends the eye candy into May. Golf season typically begins in early spring, as soon as courses give the go-ahead. Hikers and bikers take to the trails with eyes wide open to appreciate a profusion of wildflowers and tree blossoms. John Ball Zoo and Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park reopen with new spring babies on display. April brings comfortable weather for afternoons at the ballpark watching the West Michigan Whitecaps and evenings cheering on the daring drivers at Berlin Raceway.
With high temperatures ranging between 78˚F and 82˚F, summer in Grand Rapids offers consistently gorgeous weather. Short sleeves and shorts rule the day – and most nights, too, though it can occasionally get cool enough for long pants and a light jacket. Be sure to pack sunscreen and shades, and a swimsuit and beach towel if you’re so inclined. You can bask in the heat at the Millennium Park beach, just five minutes from downtown GR, and at 20+ Lake Michigan beaches 30-45 minutes away. Cool off as needed in refreshing, crystal-clear waters.
Daylight stretches up to 16 hours during the summer, giving you plenty of time to play in the sun. ‘Tis the season for outdoor concerts, festivals and community events – from the Meijer Gardens Summer Concert Series to African, Asian-Pacific, Greek, Hispanic and Polish festivals to 4th of July and Labor Day celebrations. Golf, hike, bike, fish and swim to your heart’s content. Sit down to a delectable meal and cold craft beer on a sun-splashed patio or lakeside deck.
Take a day trip to a beach town, then spend the night living it up in GR.
High temperatures range from the 70s in September to the mid-40s in November, reflecting the dramatic transitions of the season. September is often still beach weather, though the evenings begin to cool down – a light windbreaker might be in order. October gets crisp, spurring the onset of fall colors and calling for fleece and sweatshirts. Break out the coats for November, as we often get a first light dusting of snow in the first week or two.
Pleasant September weather fills our parks, trails and golf courses with activity from dusk ‘til dawn, and our downtown with outdoor art for the international ArtPrize competition. October brings fall color tours, farm market visits, apple and pumpkin picking, and fresh-made cider and donuts. The November chill finds more people gravitating indoors to enjoy new performing arts seasons, museum exhibits, pro hockey and basketball, and the delicious flavors of fall – it’s no coincidence that Restaurant Week GR takes place toward the beginning of November.
Winter begins with an average high temperature of 47˚F on November 15 and ends at 50˚F on March 31 – but there’s a whole lot of fluctuation in between. (Scroll down for a temperature chart.) Our first inch of snowfall generally falls around Thanksgiving, and we average about 77” of snow for the season, though the total has ranged from to 51” to 116” since 2010. Bring a warm coat, gloves, hat, scarf and check the weather forecast to see if you need boots – we can have stretches in between snowstorms with no snow on the ground.
Locals tend to embrace the cold and snow of the season, bundling up to hit the hiking and fatbiking trails, and to snowshoe, ski, sled and ice skate. Our months-long World of Winter Festival takes place entirely outdoors, with Instagram-worthy art installations, games, tours, performances and other family-friendly activities. If you’re more inclined to cozy winters, savor the warmth of comfort foods and craft beverages at restaurants, breweries, distilleries and cideries – many of which will serve you outside in heated snowdomes or in front of crackling fires. Here are even more ideas for indoor fun.
|Avg. High||Avg. Low|
|Jan||29° F||14° F|
|Feb||33° F||16° F|
|Mar||43° F||24° F|
|Apr||57° F||35° F|
|May||69° F||45° F|
|Jun||78° F||54° F|
|Jul||82° F||58° F|
|Aug||80° F||57° F|
|Sep||72° F||49° F|
|Oct||60° F||39° F|
|Nov||46° F||30° F|
|Dec||34° F||20° F|
Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $20.00 Culture Pass.