Dynamic Variation:

Things to Do in Grand Rapids

With an endless supply of activities, attractions, bars, breweries, restaurants, and shops, there’s always something new to explore. To get you excited about your next getaway, here is a sneak peek of things to do in Grand Rapids.

Attractions 

There are lots of Grand Rapids, Michigan attractions worth a trip to the area. Like the family favorite John Ball Zoo, located in the west end of the city. The zoo is home to over 2,000 different animals and inspires visitors to get involved in conservation and learn about the creatures that inhabit our world. From the Forest Realm home to pandas and tigers, to the Africa wing, the Americas habitats, and more, there’s enough to see here over multiple trips. Plus, the zoo puts on regular events, like parties, live feedings, and interactive challenges. 

Another popular Grand Rapids attraction is the Van Andel Arena, a multi-purpose event center with room for up to 12,000 spectators. Sports teams like the Grand Rapids Griffins, Gold, and Rise play at Van Andel, but the venue also hosts concerts and local events. So check the schedule to see what’s on during your visit. 

There are plenty of other ways to keep busy throughout your time in the area, including a fun selection of tours, admiring the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and visiting museums where you can soak up local history and culture. Check out other popular Grand Rapids, Michigan attractions

Museums, Arts, & History 

By far one of the best things to do in Grand Rapids is wandering around one of the city’s many museums. Head to the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Pearl Street, where the story of West Michigan is on display. A highlight of the Public Museum is its planetarium, which puts on regular shows and presentations. When in town with the whole family, stop by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, where kids can get a hands-on learning experience at rotating exhibits that make science and history fun.

Arts and culture aficionados will appreciate the Grand Rapids Symphony, which has been around since 1930. With concerts and educational programs every month, there’s always a chance to appreciate music when you’re in town. If visual art is your favorite medium, check out the Grand Rapids Art Museum or Center Art Gallery, and stop by the Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives or the Voigt House Victorian Museum to learn more about local history. Start your cultural exploration here.

Outdoors

While you’re in the area, take advantage of the 75+ green spaces nearby, including parks in Grand Rapids, MI where you can take a stroll, enjoy a picnic, or gather with friends. Miles of cycling, walking, and hiking trails offer you lots of different ways to get moving outdoors, or you can book a tee time at one of the many public golf courses within 30 minutes of the city. Thanks to accessible parking and trails, there are outdoor adventures available for people of all physical abilities. 

Discover why Grand Rapids has been named both Best River Town and one of the Top 10 Water Towns in the US with fun activities on the water. You can paddle the Grand River, lounge on the beach of one of the 50+ lakes just outside of the city center, or even fish for steelhead right downtown.

Shopping 

Shopping in Grand Rapids, MI is a highlight of any stay—leave room in your luggage for unique items from locally owned businesses! Start at the Downtown Market, where 18 food vendors set up shop, selling everything from hot meals to specialty grocery items and more. At Grand Rapids’ many thrift shops and antique stores, you can pick up gently used items to reduce your carbon footprint. If you’re in the mood for a great deal, head to the outlets and save on big-name brands like Nike and Loft.

Nightlife 

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down! If a vibrant nightlife scene is what you’re after, head to one of the many bars in Grand Rapids where you can sip craft beer and cocktails while making new friends. Choose from chic wine bars, casual breweries, dance clubs, and other watering holes, where you can take in a comedy show, sing karaoke at the top of your lungs, or listen to live music. Find bars in Grand Rapids

Beer City

Although the first brewery in the area wasn’t opened until 1996, Beer City has certainly made up for lost time. Now there are over 40 craft breweries in Grand Rapids, MI. So sip your way through Grand Rapids or take a brewery tour, where you can learn how your favorite beers are made (and sample some along the way). You can even design your own brewery crawl by using the Beer City Ale Trail, a map that highlights the breweries, cideries, meaderies, and distilleries in the area. Or download the Beer City Brewsader App, which gives you the chance to win free swag if you visit eight different establishments. Visit breweries in Grand Rapids, MI.

Flights of Flavor

Flights of Flavor are unique food and/or drink pairings that let you sample multiple flavors at once. You'll find them at some of the area's best restaurants and breweries - and you'll get rewarded for trying them!

Shopping
Shopping

Local Gifts to Give from Grand Rapids

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Dive Bars to Check Out in Grand Rapids

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Locally Crafted Hard Seltzer in Grand Rapids

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Save on Attractions with Our Culture Pass

Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $28.00 Culture Pass.

Area Things To Do

Beer City

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