It’s the season of rebirth – and with hopeful signs of progress against the COVID-19 virus, Grand Rapids is welcoming the return of some big annual events, the reopening of major attractions and the renewal of nature’s growth cycle.
Michigan mandates requiring face masks, social distancing and capacity restrictions remain in effect – check our travel updates for details – but things are looking much brighter than last year at this time. Come join us for a spring fling!
Note: Spring hasn’t fully sprung yet, so check this page often for new developments and sign-up for our newsletter.
Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $20.00 Culture Pass.
Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies are Blooming at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park features 60 colorful species of butterflies and moths flying freely around visitors in the Gardens’ Tropical Conservatory. It’s the nation’s largest temporary butterfly exhibit, and it runs from March 1-April 30.
John Ball Zoo opens for the season March 27, with reduced admission prices through April 25. Be among the first to see the zoo’s red panda cub triplets and check out BRICKLIVE Supersized! – 30+ toy brick sculptures of small and mighty animals magnified to an eye-popping size.
The Holland Tulip Time Festival is scheduled for May 1-9. Details and events are still being planned but one thing is sure: there will be millions of tulips bursting forth for visitors to see.
Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at the Grand Rapids Public Museum presents a quartet of multimedia shows:
Grand Rapids Art Museum honors one of the area’s most esteemed and beloved figures with its Mathias J. Alten: An Enduring Legacy exhibit (through April 24). Her Ideas, Her Stories: Women Artists from GRAM’s Collection showcases the work of 10 artists who identify as women, with work ranging from the 1930s today (through March 31).
Sean Kennedy’s Wild Connections Made with LEGO® Bricks is on display at Grand Rapids Public Museum through May 2. GRPM’s Under the Arctic, which explores climate change through the lens of a thawing Arctic environment, runs through April 25.
Opening Day for the West Michigan Whitecaps baseball team is May 11. It’s not yet known what outdoor capacity limits might be in May, but the team anticipates welcoming fans to celebrate its promotion to a High-A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, in the newly renamed LMCU Ballpark.
Speaking of museums: Get Culture Pass GR to save on admissions to downtown museums and John Ball Zoo – its just $20 for a limited time!
Restaurants, breweries, cideries, coffee shops and distilleries can now be open for indoor dining and drinking. Pent-up demand and capacity restrictions mean that space is at a premium – always check ahead to see if reservations are recommended or required.
Many eateries continue to offer heated outdoor spaces for dining service . Even more are maintaining their robust carryout and delivery programs – perfect as warmer weather tempts us to eat outside in Social Zones, parks and our own backyards.
The 20+ gourmet food vendors in the Downtown Market Grand Rapids are also open for business, including relative newcomers Alt City Beverage Company , High Tide Soda and Pinktail Poke. Opening this spring: Gaby’s Gourmandise, featuring sweet and savory baked goods that hail from Chef Jean-Gabriel Ferrandon’s native France.
The Downtown Market hosts Flight Fridays every Friday in March, featuring all manner of flights, bites and Market delights.
Check out some of the recent additions to the local dining scene:
Hiking and biking trails are a great way to get out and get active – and you can watch the progress of spring growth all around you. We have more than 60 paved and natural trails in the area, through all sorts of terrain.
If you prefer urban hikes, consider plotting your own tour of outdoor sculptures and murals. Or join a Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park curator for a guided day tour of downtown GR murals on May 14.
Get back in the swing of things at 35+ area golf courses – they can’t wait to welcome you back to the links.
Spring brings steelhead runs to West Michigan waters – and these feisty, chrome-colored fish are readily catchable in downtown’s Grand River and elsewhere. Be sure to get your fishing licenses online.
Take a break from your ordinary routine (and thrill the kids) with a stay at a hotel with a pool – there are more than 50 of them to choose from in Kent County.
Schedule a day of go-karts, mini-golf, laser tag, and other kid-friendly diversions at these family fun centers:
The Grand Rapids Symphony presents a series of virtual concerts this spring: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons (Feb. 5-March 6), The Soldier’s Tale (Feb. 26-March 27), The Art of Dance with Grand Rapids Ballet (March 12-April 10), Lights, Camera, Music! Featuring Works by John Williams and More (April 23-May 22) and Beethoven & Haydn: The Student Becomes The Master (May 14-June 12).
Grand Rapids Ballet presents two virtual works: Collective Force (March 26-28), featuring collaborations by the world’s most celebrated and in-demand choreographers, and Jumpstart: On Film (April 30-May 2), a filmed performance choreographed by Grand Rapids Ballet Dancers.
Circle Theatre continues its popular Virtual Theatre series with Spoon River Anthology, a collection of monologues based on the classic collection of poetry by Edgar Lee Masters and recorded by community actors. Mondays from March 1-April 12.
St. Cecilia Music Center welcomes renowned musicians for a series of FREE virtual concerts:
The Grand Rapids Griffins are in the midst of a 30-game AHL hockey season. Some fans are allowed in Van Andel Arena (check their website for availability) – plus all home games are being televised on local TV station WXSP.