The 10 Best Things To Do In Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a treasure trove of cultural, historical, and natural attractions that beckon travelers from near and far. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this vibrant city offers a plethora of activities that promise to enrich your experience. From the lush landscapes of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park to the bustling streets of the Downtown Market, there’s something for everyone. Let’s dive into the top 10 must-do activities that will make your Grand Rapids adventure unforgettable.

1. Explore the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Imagine wandering through a serene oasis where art and nature blend seamlessly. The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a world-class destination that offers just that. With a sprawling 158-acre campus, this spot is perfect for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Stroll through the outdoor sculpture park, marvel at the seasonal exhibitions, and don’t miss the tropical conservatory. It’s a feast for the senses that you won’t soon forget.

2. Get Creative at the Grand Rapids Art Museum

Art buffs, rejoice! The Grand Rapids Art Museum, affectionately known as GRAM, is a modern marvel in the heart of the city. It’s home to an impressive collection of both contemporary and Renaissance art. The museum’s sleek design and rotating exhibits ensure there’s always something new to discover. Plus, their Friday Nights at GRAM offer music, workshops, and free admission – talk about a cultural hotspot!

3. Catch a Show at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

For a night of entertainment, the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is the place to be. It’s one of the oldest community theatres in the country, and it’s still going strong. From Broadway musicals to thought-provoking plays, the Talent here will blow you away. The intimate setting makes every performance feel personal, and you’ll leave with memories that last a lifetime.

4. Savor the Flavors at the Downtown Market

Foodies, get ready to indulge. The Downtown Market is a culinary haven with over 20 vendors serving up everything from artisan cheeses to freshly baked pastries. It’s a great place to grab a bite, shop for local produce, or even take a cooking class. The market’s vibrant atmosphere is contagious, and you’ll find yourself coming back for more.

5. Take a Brewery Tour

Grand Rapids didn’t earn the title “Beer City USA” for nothing. With an abundance of craft breweries, a brewery tour is a must. Founders Brewing Co. is a local legend, but don’t stop there. Each brewery has its own unique flair, offering everything from bold IPAs to smooth stouts. Hop on a guided tour or create your own beer trail – either way, you’re in for a treat.

6. Visit the John Ball Zoo

Animal lovers, unite! The John Ball Zoo is a family-friendly attraction that’s fun for all ages. Get up close with over 1,500 animals, including lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!). The zoo also offers unique experiences like camel rides and a funicular that provides stunning views of the city. It’s a wild adventure that’s both educational and exciting.

7. Kayak the Grand River

For the adventurous at heart, kayaking down the Grand River offers a refreshing perspective of the city. Paddle through the heart of Grand Rapids and take in the sights from the water. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a first-timer, the river’s gentle flow makes for a pleasant journey. Rentals are available, so all you need to bring is your sense of adventure.

8. Stroll Through the Historic Heritage Hill

Step back in time as you walk through Heritage Hill, one of the nation’s largest urban historic districts. Admire the stunning architecture of over 1,300 homes dating from the 1840s to the 1920s. The neighborhood’s charm is palpable, and it’s easy to imagine the stories hidden within these walls. Don’t miss the annual Heritage Hill Home Tour for an inside look at these grand residences.

9. Unwind at Rosa Parks Circle

Rosa Parks Circle is the heartbeat of downtown Grand Rapids. This lively public space hosts concerts, festivals, and even ice skating in the winter. It’s a great spot to relax, people-watch, or join in on the fun. The circle’s namesake, civil rights icon Rosa Parks, is honored with a commemorative plaque that adds depth to your visit.

10. Discover the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

Last but not least, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum is a wonderland for the young and young at heart. Interactive exhibits encourage learning through play, and the hands-on approach keeps kids engaged. It’s a place where creativity and curiosity come to life, and adults can’t help but join in on the fun.


  • What’s the best time of year to visit Grand Rapids?

    Grand Rapids shines in all seasons, but many find the fall particularly enchanting with its vibrant foliage. Summer offers a full slate of festivals, while winter’s snow brings a charm of its own.

  • Are there any outdoor activities in Grand Rapids?

    Absolutely! From kayaking on the Grand River to exploring numerous parks and trails, outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty to do.

  • Is Grand Rapids family-friendly?

    Without a doubt! Attractions like the John Ball Zoo and the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum cater to families, ensuring fun for all ages.


Grand Rapids is a city brimming with culture, history, and endless opportunities for adventure. Whether you’re soaking in the beauty of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park or savoring a craft beer, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest. This city’s blend of urban excitement and natural beauty creates a unique experience that’s hard to match. So pack your bags, bring your curiosity, and get ready to explore the best that Grand Rapids has to offer. Trust me, it’s a trip you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.