Your West Michigan Summer Bucket List

There’s nothing quite like summer in West Michigan. We are spoiled to have the best weather and amazing events and amenities to go along with it! If you’re looking for ways to keep yourself, your kids, or both entertained this summer - we’ve got you covered! Check out our West Michigan Summer Bucket List below!

 4th of July Fireworks Downtown Grand Rapids

There’s nothing quite like the 4th of July fireworks display on the river in downtown Grand Rapids. All over the city you have opportunities to watch the fireworks from roof tops, restaurants, and patios. If you want a truly unique experience, you can even rent out rooms on the river side of the J.W. Marriot and Amway Grand, on the 17th floor or above, and watch the fireworks at eye level or from the above!

 Beach Day at Holland State Park

It’s no secret that us Michiganders love a good summer beach day, and there are few better beaches in West Michigan than Holland State Park! You’ll find a large expansive beach where you can watch boats go in and out of the channel, watch sunset off the pier, and enjoy ice cream from the shop on the beach. A short walk down the boardwalk and you’ll find yourself at the Ottawa Beach General Store on Lake Macatawa, which is a beach day staple for treats and supplies!

Walk the Boardwalk in Grand Haven

Another West Michigan summer must do is walking the boardwalk in Grand Haven! Starting at the heart of the city, you can take the boardwalk all the way to the pier and beach to watch the sunset. Along the way you can grab ice cream from Temptations, a Pronto Pup, or a treat from any of the numerous other shops and restaurants! Cap your walk off with a sunset on the pier and it’ll be a night to remember!

 Summer Concert Series at Fredrik Meijer Gardens

Every summer Fredrik Meijer Gardens draws in thousands of visitors, but not everyone comes just to see the beautiful exhibits. Believe it or not, Frederik Meijer Gardens is also an incredible performance venue that boasts an amazing concert series every summer! If you’re looking to enjoy a top tier musical performance in an intimate and incredible venue, then catching a show here is a must! You can take a look at their line up for summer 2021 here

Float Down the Muskegon River

There’s little better than taking an afternoon midweek to grab your inner tube, a couple of friends, and float down the Muskegon River! A favorite spot to do this is near Newaygo! There are multiple businesses that will even supply innertubes and shuttle you to the drop off point up-river so that you can simply enjoy the day and float back to your car! Pinkies Tubes is a great option if this sounds up your alley!

Ice Cream at Captain Sundae

For anyone that has spent any time in West Michigan, you know that this is a summer staple along the lake shore. Popular with everyone (even past presidents) Captain Sundae is a summer tradition! Be sure to stop in and try one of their legendary ice cream concoctions!

The Holland Farmers Market

Open every Wednesday and Saturday, the Holland Farmers Market is the go to spot for fresh produce and high quality goods! With over 65 different vendors and everything from fresh produce to flowers, plants, baked goods, meats, and chesses – there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Saugatuck Dune Rides

Arguably one of the best kept secrets in West Michigan, Saugatuck Dune Rides is a must this summer! Grab the family and strap into the open top dune scooter to enjoy an hour-long excursion along Lake Michigan’s shoreline! You’ll climb tall dunes and ride through stunning forests while also learning a bit more about the history of the area!

John Ball Zoo

Spreading out over 31 acres and hosting over 2,200 individual animals, John Ball Zoo has entertainment for all ages! With designated children’s exhibits and adult night out events everyone has something to look forward to!

Hike and Bike at Riley Trails

Get out and get active by hiking or biking at Riley Trails on Holland’s Northside! Situated on over 300 acres you’ll be able to spend time in a beautiful natural forest setting for hiking, biking, and fishing. Get outside and enjoy some of the beautiful summer weather!

Grand Rapids Children Museum and Public Museum

Education can be fun, hands on, and also feel like play! Be sure to visit the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum as well as the Grand Rapids Public Museum this summer for fun, hands on learning experiences! Ride the carousel at the Public Museum after looking at over three floors of exhibits and experience the ever changing and engaging play exhibits at the Children’s Museum! Both are a great way to get out of the house but also continue learning this summer!

Holland Street Performers

Every Thursday night the City of holland shuts down traffic on downtown 8th st, transforming it into a pedestrian only entertaining area that is full of street performers! With talent ranging from aerialists, to musicians, dancers, and magicians The Summer Street Performer Series is a must do!

Outdoor Discovery Center De Witt Birds of Prey

Seize the opportunity to get up close and personal with nature by Visiting the Outdoor Discovery Center and the De Witt Birds of Prey Exhibit! The exhibit and center are free to visit 7 days a week, providing a fun and informational experience for all ages!

Hudsonville Community Fair

The Hudsonville Community Fair is widely regarded as one of the best summer activities in West Michigan! At the fair you can expect to find a variety of carnival rides and games, as well as Motor cross, tractor pulls, demolition derby, and livestock show to name a few of the attractions. This year, the 2021 fair is August 23-28 so be sure to stop by and fill your craving for junk food!

White Caps Baseball

West Michigan is known for its minor league sports teams. In fact, in 2019 Grand Rapids was named the #1 Minor League Sports Team Market in America! A night at the LMCU Ball Park to Watch the White Caps is a tradition of many families in West Michigan. With a different theme almost every night and promotions like dime dog night, the entire family will have a blast!

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