Dynamic Variation:

Grand Rapids Spring Activities

Flowers aren’t the only things blooming in Grand Rapids this spring – some of our favorite attractions and activities return along with the warmer weather. It’s also a season of personal renewal, and there are all sorts of opportunities to learn, explore and grow. Plus, you’ll find entertainment for all ages, including special kid-friendly things to do for spring break … and beyond. Scroll down for some great ideas!

Art & Culture

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Visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum for a quartet of visually arresting exhibits:

The Grand Rapids Public Museum presents two wildly divergent but equally fascinating exhibitions:

  • Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs features rare fossils, life-size models and interactive exhibits, including the chance to “pilot” two species of these winged reptiles over prehistoric landscapes. At Grand Rapids Public Museum starting March 5.
  • Fashion+ Nature showcases a wide variety of scientific specimens and fascinating garments from the Museum’s Collections. Opens April 23.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park reopens its remodeled sculpture galleries with a dazzling exhibition of works by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. Planets in My Head includes many works rarely or never before seen in the U.S., including paintings, photos, prints, film and a sculpture created especially for this event. Opens April 1.

Women in Uniform includes rarely displayed art from the Naval History and Heritage Command that depicts female Navy personnel. At Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum through May 6.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum welcomes Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel on May 20. This globally successful exhibition reproduces the artist’s ceiling paintings in stunning detail so visitors can experience them from an up-close, life-sized, never-before-seen perspective.

Manufactured Narratives: Chronicles of Textile Artists highlights fiber artists who weave stories through their artwork. At Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts through May 7.

See the Tony- and Grammy-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen at DeVos Performance Hall, courtesy of Broadway Grand Rapids, May 3-8.

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre presents the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots, featuring music by Cyndi Lauper. April 29-May 22.

Circle Theatre serves up a mix of stage productions and concerts, including Nobody Does it Better: The Music of James Bond (April 15), the Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical Rent (May 5-21), Get Ready: The Music of Motown (May 9) and Divine Divas: Iconic Women of Pop (May 16).

Attend a performance of the Grand Rapids Symphony at DeVos Performance Hall – the spring lineup includes The Beauty of Spring (April 29-30), REVOLUTION: Music of the Beatles (May 13-14) and Mahler’s Resurrection (May 20-21).

See the Master Arts Theater production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, featuring songs from the Disney animated movie. April 21-May 7.

Join Opera Grand Rapids for Turandot, the Puccini opera that transports audiences to a fantasy of ancient China and features opera’s most iconic aria, “Nessun Dorma.” April 22-23.

Grand Rapids Ballet performs A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare’s comedic tale of whimsy and love, at Peter Martin Wege Theatre, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1.

Jewish Theatre Grand Rapids presents Biloxi Blues, the Tony Award-winning Best Play written by Neil Simon. May 12-22.

Shen Yun combines classical dance, innovative multimedia effects and all-original orchestral works for a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience exploring five millennia of traditional Chinese culture. At DeVos Performance Hall May 26-27.

Get Culture Pass GR to enjoy exclusive admission and event discounts at many of the area’s top cultural attractions.

Entertainment & Exploration

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The laughs continue all spring with comedy concerts by  Katt Williams (April 23), Harland Williams (May 6), Helen Hong (May 6) and Tom Segura (May 22), plus 3-4 weekly sketch and improv comedy shows at The Comedy Project.

Bring the whole family to Van Andel Arena for Stars on Ice, featuring Olympic gold medalist Nathan Chen and the best of the U.S. Figure Skating Team (May 13), and WWE SmackDown, pitting your favorite SuperStars against each other in the ring (May 20). 

Here’s one for the little kids: Baby Shark Live swims into DeVos Performance Hall on April 15 with Baby Shark and his Pinkfong in a singing and dancing adventure under the seas.

Take a Spring Wagon Ride Through the Orchard at Robinette’s Apple Haus as the apple and cherry trees are in bloom. April 30, May 7 & May 14.

Head 30 minutes west of Grand Rapids to the Holland Tulip Time Festival – parades, entertainment, artisan markets, fireworks and millions of tulips in bloom. May 7-15.

Join bonsai artists, aficionados and admirers from across the Midwest for a stunning display of trees at the Meijer Gardens All-State Bonsai Show, May 14-15.

Visit 7-8 historic private homes and 2-3 historic public buildings on the annual Heritage Hill Home Tour, May 21-22.

Live Music

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See some of music’s biggest names in concert at Van Andel Arena: Megadeth & Lamb of God (April 19), Shinedown (April 24), Elevation Worship & Steven Furtick (April 27), Journey (May 4), Brooks & Dunn (May 6),  Sting (May 7), Justin Bieber (May 12), All Star Legends of Hip Hop (May 21) and REO Speedwagon, Styx Live & Loverboy (May 31).

St. Cecilia Music Center brings Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra (April 14), Shawn Colvin (May 12) and Judy Collins (May 18) to its acoustically pristine concert hall.

The DeltaPlex hosts Wiz Khalifa, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony & Ying Yang Twins (May 7), and Mexican music sensations La Adictiva Y Pancho Barraza (April 30) and El Fantasma (May 28).

The West Michigan Gay Men’s Chorus presents its Spring Concert at St. Cecilia Music Center May 7.

Check out the concert schedules at GLC Live at 20 Monroe, The Intersection, Listening Room Grand Rapids and The Pyramid Scheme for event more great music.

Food & Drink

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Choose a beautiful spring day to tour local breweries by foot, pedal or van – and don’t miss these great craft beverage events:

Visit the Grand Rapids Downtown Market 7 days a week to shop and dine at 20+ artisan food stores and restaurants under one roof.

Head to Riverside Park for Food Truck Fridays starting May 20. There’ll be 12-17 food trucks rotating weekly plus kayak and canoe rentals on the last Friday of each month through August. On May 22, Roll’n Out - GR’s Largest Food Truck Rally comes to downtown Grand Rapids with 20+ trucks, entertainment, family-friendly activities and more.

Check in to eight local breweries to become a Beer City Brewsader® and earn a free t-shirt.

Check out some of the area’s best coffee, wine bars, margaritas, tacos, nachos, sweet treats, frozen yogurt shops, pizza places, and themed bars and restaurants.

Search our restaurant listings by cuisine and location to find exactly what you’re craving for every meal.

Sports & Outdoor Rec

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Watch the city’s pro sports teams as they wind down or ramp up their seasons:

Get out and get active! April 1 is the unofficial start of the area’s golf and fishing seasons – but there are sure to be some golf courses opening at the first hint of nicer weather and the steelhead run starts in downtown’s Grand River in March.

Bike and hike 60+ local trails to get your legs and your heart pumping while enjoying the signs of spring. Pull your mountain bike out of storage and hit our groomed trails (as long as they’re not too wet). Rent or bring your own canoe, kayak or paddleboard to venture out onto warmer waters.

Join 15,000 or so of your fellow running enthusiasts for the 45th Annual Amway River Bank Run, featuring the largest 25K in the country and the USATF km Open Championship, plus 25K handcycle/wheelchair, 10K, 5K run and 5K walk events. May 14.

Animal Adventures

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Wander through a tropical observatory filled with 7,000 tropical butterflies at Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies are Blooming, an annual Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park exhibit. March 1-April 30.

Greet 2,200 animals as they emerge from winter seclusion at John Ball Zoo – it opens March 25 and offers reduced admission through May 6. Washed Ashore, a collection of 16 large and colorful sculptures made of debris collected from beaches, debuts at the Zoo April 30.

Get up close to rare, exotic and endangered animal species when Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park opens for the season in early May

Keep your eyes peeled for animal activity as you wander the trails at Blandford Nature Center. You can also help with livestock chores on the Blandford farm on select March days.

Holidays & Commemorations

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Cinco de Mayo is May 5 – celebrate with a delectable meal at a local Mexican restaurant. Noche Zapoteca at downtown restaurant MeXo is a special Cinco de Mayo meal featuring food and drink inspired by the Zapotecs, an indigenous people of Mexico, on May 6.

Mother’s Day is May 8. Treat Mom to:

Memorial Day is May 30. Coopersville & Marne Railway celebrates by inviting veterans of all military branches to join them for a free 90-minute ride in rail cars similar to those used for troop trains during WWII. Also on the schedule May 30:

  • Small-town parades in Jenison, Walker and Zeeland.
  • You can watch the Zeeland Memorial Day Parade pass by at Tripelroot Brewery, serving special beermosas, mimosas and breakfast. 

Save on Attractions with Our Culture Pass

Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $20.00 Culture Pass.