Grand Rapids is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is located on the Grand River, about 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. With a population of around 200,000 people, it is the second-largest city in Michigan after Detroit.
Grand Rapids is known for its vibrant downtown, which is home to many museums, art galleries, restaurants, and shops. The city is also known for its craft beer scene, with many local breweries producing some of the best beer in the country.
In addition to its cultural attractions, Grand Rapids is also a hub for business and education. The city is home to several colleges and universities, including Grand Valley State University and Calvin College. It is also a center for healthcare, with several hospitals and medical centers located in the area.
Overall, Grand Rapids is a diverse and dynamic city with much to offer visitors and residents alike. Its combination of cultural attractions, business opportunities, and natural beauty make it a great place to live, work, and visit.
Here are 30 fun things to do in Grand Rapids, Michigan:
- Visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park – This beautiful park features 158 acres of outdoor gardens and sculpture exhibits, as well as a conservatory, an outdoor amphitheater, and a cafe.
- Explore the Grand Rapids Art Museum – The museum has a collection of more than 6,000 works of art, including pieces by artists like Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.
- See the fish at the John Ball Zoo – The zoo has over 1,100 animals from around the world, including a diverse collection of fish and marine life.
- Go for a bike ride on the Kent Trails – This 15-mile trail system winds through the city and offers beautiful views of the Grand River.
- Enjoy the nightlife in downtown Grand Rapids – The city has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and restaurants to choose from.
- Attend a concert at the Van Andel Arena – This 12,000-seat arena hosts concerts and other events throughout the year.
- Learn about history at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum – The museum tells the story of the life and presidency of Gerald R. Ford, the 38th President of the United States.
- Take a stroll along the Grand River – The riverfront area is a popular spot for walking, jogging, and biking.
- Have a picnic at Riverside Park – This beautiful park features over 200 acres of green space, as well as a playground, picnic areas, and walking trails.
- Visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum – The museum has exhibits on science, history, and culture, as well as a planetarium and a carousel.
- Check out the local craft beer scene – Grand Rapids is known for its many breweries, and there are plenty of tasting rooms and brewpubs to visit.
- Take a tour of the Founders Brewing Company – This popular brewery offers tours and tastings of their award-winning beers.
- Watch a movie at the Celebration Cinema – This movie theater has multiple locations throughout the city and offers the latest blockbuster films.
- Visit the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts – This art gallery features contemporary art exhibitions, film screenings, and live performances.
- Go ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle – The downtown park has an ice rink that is open to the public during the winter months.
- Take a walk through the Blandford Nature Center – This 143-acre nature preserve features hiking trails, wildlife exhibits, and educational programs.
- Attend a live performance at the DeVos Performance Hall – This 2,400-seat theater hosts concerts, musicals, and other performances throughout the year.
- Shop at the Downtown Market – This indoor market features over 20 vendors selling fresh produce, artisanal foods, and other local products.
- Take a tour of the Heritage Hill Historic District – This neighborhood is home to over 1,300 historic homes, many of which date back to the 19th century.
- See a baseball game at Fifth Third Ballpark – This minor league baseball stadium is home to the West Michigan Whitecaps.
- Explore the trails at the Biking and Hiking Trail at Millennium Park – This 1,500-acre park features miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as a beach and picnic areas.
- Visit the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Viewing Area – This outdoor viewing area is a great spot to watch planes take off and land.
- Play a round of golf at one of the many local golf courses – Grand Rapids has several beautiful golf courses to choose from, including the Thornapple Pointe Golf Club and the Thousand Oaks Golf Club.
- Go shopping at the Woodland Mall – This indoor shopping center has over 100 stores, including popular brands like Macy’s and J.C. Penney.
- Visit the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum – This interactive museum is designed for children and features hands-on exhibits on science, art, and culture.
- Take a kayak trip on the Grand River – Several local companies offer kayak rentals and guided tours of the river, allowing you to see the city from a new perspective.
- Explore the trails at the Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery – This family-owned orchard and winery features scenic walking trails, apple picking, wine tastings, and more.
- Attend a show at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre – This community theater puts on a variety of productions throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and comedies.
- Take a day trip to Lake Michigan – Grand Rapids is just a short drive away from the beautiful beaches and sand dunes of Lake Michigan.
- Enjoy a meal at one of the city’s many excellent restaurants – Grand Rapids has a thriving culinary scene, with many restaurants serving farm-to-table cuisine and locally-sourced ingredients. Some popular options include Grove, The Green Well, and Brewery Vivant.