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    Summer Activities in Grand Rapids

    Grand Rapids is the perfect place for a cool summer vacation. Our compact size and long hours of sunlight let you have way more fun in less time – you can hit the golf course, the bike trail, the beach and the big city in one glorious day. Extend your stay to sample even more of our fantastic art, music, food, craft beverage and family fun scenes!

    The Grand Outdoor Videos

    Play, relax and have fun in the fresh, clean air of Grand Rapids and Kent County. Take a look – then come explore our outdoor offerings for yourself!…

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    Summer To Do List

    Lakes & Rivers

    Enjoy the Pure Michigan Lake Effect at more than 50 lakes and four...

    Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

    One of the world's top 30 must-see museums.

    Beach Fun

    Summer fun at the beach is always a win! Just a short drive from GR too!

    John Ball Zoo

    Home to more than 1,100 animals from five continents with hand-on...


    Bike hundreds of miles of trails, in and out of the city.

    Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

    Learn about native son and 38th President, Gerald R. Ford.

    Tours & Experiences

    Immerses yourself in the culture, cuisine and lifestyle of Grand Rapids!

    West Michigan Whitecaps

    Check out the Whitecaps baseball at Fifth Third Ballpark.


    Explore art, history, horticulture, a President's legacy and more

    Ideas for a Summer Visit

    Summer is the time to make the most of our Grand Outdoors: Relax on a beach or on the water. Wander the grounds of a sculpture park or zoo. Ride a go-kart or a zipline. Golf, fish, bike, hike … the opportunities are endless. See more great ideas below.

    ‘Tis the season for outdoor concerts. Fifth Third Bank Summer Concerts at Meijer Gardens lead a huge lineup of open-air venues and events on the Grand Rapids Music Trail.

    Spend an afternoon at the ballpark or a night at the races – see the West Michigan Whitecaps play baseball or visit Berlin Raceway for smokin’ stock-car action.

    Shop Tanger Outlets, an open-air mall, for brand-name merchandise at discount prices. Shop Fulton Street Farmer’s Market and other outdoor farm markets for just-picked produce from local family farms.

    Dine al fresco at 130+ restaurants with outdoor patios and decks. Sample food truck fare at weekly downtown and Riverside Park gatherings. Or pack a picnic basket with scrumptious food from downtown-adjacent Bridge Street Market or Martha’s Vineyard – then head to one of 100+ nearby parks for a meal with a view.

    Pick your own strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches and more on the Fruit Ridge … or purchase just-picked fruits and vegetables from the 30+ family farm markets there. Many markets offer hayrides, petting zoos and other fun activities for kids.

    Swim, sunbathe, canoe, kayak, paddleboard, hit the splashpad and explore 20 miles of paved hiking and biking trails at Millennium Park – just five minutes from downtown. John Ball Zoo and the Mines Golf Course are right around the corner.

    Visit the beaches and beach towns of Lake Michigan to swim, scale a sand dune, stroll a pier, shop for one-of-a-kind goods and more, all as close as 30 minutes from Grand Rapids.

    Become a Brewsader® – enjoy a cold craft beer at eight of 40+ Beer City Ale Trail breweries to join the exclusive club and get an official t-shirt..

    Explore local and global culture in air-conditioned comfort at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum and Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. (Get Culture Pass GR to see them all for less.)

    Enjoy authentic food and entertainment at festivals honoring diverse cultures: Asian-Pacific (June 14-16), Hispanic (August 9-11) African (August 10), Greek (August 16-18), and Polish (August 23-25).

    Stretch your walking muscles on a self-guided audio or app-based tour of downtown landmarks, or a guided tour of area breweries.

    Check our Tours & Experiences page for even more opportunities to immerse yourself in local culture, cuisine and lifestyles!

    Quick View

    Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

    This 200-acre attraction features the most comprehensive outdoor sculpture collection in the...

    • Neighborhood: Northeast
    • 1000 East Beltline Ave. NE
    • Interests: family, art-&-culture
    Quick View

    John Ball Zoo

    Over 2,000 animals and more animal touching exhibits than any other zoo in Michigan; tigers, petting...

    • Neighborhood: West Side
    • 1300 W. Fulton St.
    • Interests: family
    Quick View

    Fifth Third Ballpark - Home of the West Michigan Whitecaps

    Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The Whitecaps play April through September at Fifth Third...

    • Neighborhood: Northeast
    • 4500 West River Dr. NE
    • Interests: outdoor-recreation, sports
    The Insider Experience>
    Eat, stay, and play like a local this summer
    Resolutions to Keep During Your Next Trip to Grand Rapids

    Many people kick off the new year with resolutions to get healthier, save money, or learn new things while others eschew...

    Amy Busse
    January 8, 2020
    Paddling Grand Rapids: So Much Water, So Many Choices

    Grand Rapids has been named America’s Best River Town (Outside Magazine) and one of the country’s Top 10 Beach Towns...

    Experience GR Team
    August 7, 2019
    10 Fun Facts About Restaurant Week GR

    Did you know, Grand Rapids generates a broader variety of produce than every state, except California? West Michigan is...

    Kirsetin Morello
    July 31, 2019

    Summer Hotel Packages

    Plan your summer getaway with a hotel package that includes a special perk geared around a specific Grand Rapids highlight – from beer to food to culture and beyond. Consider enriching your stay even further with immersive Tours & Experiences.