10+ Amazing Things to Do in Grand Rapids

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Grand Rapids is a city in the state of Michigan, located in the western part of the state. It is the second-largest city in Michigan, with a population of over 200,000 people. The city is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, as well as its numerous breweries and restaurants. There are various amazing things to do in Grand Rapids Michigan that you will see here.

Grand Rapids is home to several universities, including Grand Valley State University, Calvin University, and Aquinas College. The city is also known for its medical and healthcare facilities, with the Spectrum Health hospital system headquartered in Grand Rapids.

The Grand River runs through the city, and several parks and recreational areas are along its banks, including Millennium Park and Riverside Park. Grand Rapids is also home to several museums and cultural institutions, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.

Overall, Grand Rapids is a diverse and dynamic city with plenty of things to see and do, making it a popular destination for both visitors and residents alike.

Things to do in Grand Rapids Michigan include:

1) Grand Rapids Art Museum

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The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is a contemporary art museum located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. The museum features a collection of over 5,000 works of art from around the world, including American and European paintings, sculptures, photography, and contemporary art.

The building itself is a work of art designed by world-renowned architect Kulapat Yantrasast. It features a modern design with a glass façade that provides natural light throughout the galleries.

Some of the notable works in the collection include pieces by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, and Richard Diebenkorn, among others. The museum also has a growing collection of contemporary art from artists around the world.

Address: 101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

2) Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

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Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a huge botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park. The park features a variety of indoor and outdoor gardens, as well as over 300 sculptures by artists from around the world.

Notable features of the park include a Japanese garden, a farm garden, and a conservatory that houses a variety of tropical plants and flowers. The park also has several hiking trails, nature trails, and a gift shop and café.

In addition to the gardens, the park also features a variety of indoor galleries, including a collection of works by renowned artist and sculptor Auguste Rodin. There is also an amphitheater that hosts a variety of concerts and events throughout the year.

Address: 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

3) John Ball Zoo

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The John Ball Zoo is a popular destination in Grand Rapids, Michigan, featuring over 1,800 animals and 250 species from around the world. The zoo is located on a 140-acre site and is dedicated to conservation, education, and recreation.

Some of the most popular exhibits at the John Ball Zoo include the African savannah, the South American rainforest, and the North American wetlands. Visitors can see a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, and many more.

In addition to the animal exhibits, the John Ball Zoo also features a variety of attractions and amenities for visitors, including a zip line, a ropes course, a funicular, a playground, and several dining options.

The John Ball Zoo is a great place to visit for families and animal lovers and is committed to promoting wildlife conservation and environmental education.

Address: 1300 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

4) Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

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The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan., It is dedicated to the life and legacy of President Gerald R. Ford, the 38th President of the United States. The museum offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the life and career of one of America’s most influential presidents.

The museum features a variety of exhibits and displays, including a replica of the Oval Office, where visitors can see what the president’s office looked like during his time in office. There are also exhibits on the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the Cold War, among others.

In addition to the exhibits, the museum also houses a research library and archives, which contains a wealth of information and resources for researchers, scholars, and students interested in studying President Ford and his administration.

Address: 303 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

5) Blandford Nature Center

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The Blandford Nature Center is a non-profit nature education center and wildlife sanctuary. The center offers visitors a chance to explore and learn about the natural environment of the region.

The center covers 264 acres of forests, fields, and wetlands and offers a variety of trails for hiking, bird watching, and other outdoor activities. Visitors can also take participate in guided nature walks and educational programs on topics such as birding, wildlife ecology, and nature photography.

In addition to the outdoor activities, the center also offers a variety of indoor exhibits and educational programs, including classes, workshops, and summer camps for children.

The Blandford Nature Center is an amazing destination for anyone interested in nature, wildlife, and the environment. It offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages and is committed to promoting conservation and sustainability in the local community.

Address: 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

6) Downtown Market 

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The Downtown Market is a vibrant indoor marketplace for all the shopping lovers out there. The market offers a variety of local and artisanal foods, products, and services., It is a popular destination for foodies, shoppers, and anyone looking for a unique and authentic shopping experience.

In addition to the food vendors, the Downtown Market also has several shops and boutiques selling handmade crafts, artisanal gifts, and unique home decor. Visitors can also take participate in cooking classes, workshops, and other educational programs that focus on cooking, gardening, and sustainability. This is a perfect place to look for things to do in grand rapids this weekend. 

The Downtown Market also features a large outdoor plaza that hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, farmers’ markets, and food festivals.

The Downtown Market is a great place to visit for anyone looking for a taste of local flavor and culture and offers a unique and authentic shopping experience and to do some fun things to do in grand rapids.

Address: 435 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, United States

7) Grand River

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The Grand River is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. The river is home to a variety of fish species, including smallmouth bass, walleye, and catfish, making it a popular spot for fishing.

The Grand River is a beautiful and iconic feature of Grand Rapids. It offers visitors and locals alike a chance to connect with nature and enjoy the beauty of Michigan’s waterways. Things to do in Grand Rapids Michigan: visit the Grand River, enjoy the outdoors, and experience the beauty of Grand Rapids.

Address: 70 03-20 #373-001, Grand Haven, MI 49417

8) Van Andel Arena

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The Van Andel Arena is a multi-purpose arena located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is home to the Grand Rapids Griffins, a professional hockey team, as well as a variety of other sporting events, concerts, and entertainment shows.

The Van Andel Arena is also a popular destination for community events, such as graduations and trade shows. The arena has several concession areas and amenities, including luxury suites and club seating, making it a great venue for corporate events and entertainment.

It is a premier entertainment destination in Grand Rapids, offering visitors a chance to enjoy top-notch sporting events, concerts, and other entertainment shows in a modern and state-of-the-art facility. Add this to your things to do in Grand Rapids Michigan. 

Address: 130 W Fulton St, Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

9) Beer City

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Grand Rapids is known as “Beer City, USA” due to its vibrant and thriving craft beer scene. The city is home to over 80 breweries, which produce a wide variety of unique and flavorful beers.

In addition to beer-related activities, there are many other fun things to do in Grand Rapids. Visitors can explore the city’s museums, such as the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, or enjoy the beauty of nature at places like Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, and the White Pine Trail. 

The city also offers entertainment venues like the Van Andel Arena and the Pyramid Scheme, as well as outdoor activities like kayaking and fishing on the Grand River. With so many options, there’s something for everyone in Grand Rapids.

Address: 2650-D, E Beltline Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, USA

10) White Pine Trail

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The White Pine Trail is a popular rail trail that runs approximately 92 miles from Comstock Park, just north of Grand Rapids, to Cadillac in northern Michigan. The trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering scenic views and opportunities for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling opportunities.

The White Pine Trail passes through several small towns and communities, offering visitors a chance to explore the local history and culture of the area. The trail also features several amenities, such as picnic areas, restrooms, and parking, making it easy for visitors to enjoy a day trip or extended adventure on the trail.

Overall, the White Pine Trail is a great destination for anyone looking to connect with nature and experience Michigan’s unique history and culture.

Address: 12 Mile Rd NE, Rockford, Michigan, United States

Lesser-Known but Still Fascinating Places to Explore

  1. The Pyramid Scheme – The Pyramid Scheme is a bar and entertainment venue in downtown Grand Rapids that features a variety of events, including live music, comedy shows, and game nights. It also has an arcade area with classic and modern games.
  2. Grand Rapids Public Museum – The Grand Rapids Public Museum is a natural history museum that features exhibits on the region’s history, including Native American culture, fossils, and wildlife. It also has a planetarium and a carousel.
  3. Heritage Hill Historic District – The Heritage Hill Historic District is a residential neighborhood located just east of downtown Grand Rapids. It features a variety of architectural styles, including Victorian, Italianate, and Craftsman homes, and is a popular destination for walking tours and historical home tours.
  4. Rosa Parks Circle – Rosa Parks Circle is a public plaza in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids that hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and ice skating in the winter.
  5. La Grande Vitesse – La Grande Vitesse is a large public sculpture located in front of City Hall in downtown Grand Rapids. The sculpture, created by artist Alexander Calder, is a striking example of modern art and has become a symbol of the city’s commitment to public art and culture.

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