West Michigan has so much to offer, but when summertime comes around, it can sometimes be hard to think of things to do. We only get a few months to properly enjoy the beautiful Michigan weather and it’s important to make every day count because no one wants to waste that precious sunshine time. Wherever you are in the world, if you are near us here in Grand Rapids, I’m happy to divulge my secrets for summer fun. With such a short window, we want to help you find things to do in West Michigan in the summer!
Take a Hike!
If you are anything like me, then you enjoy spending time in nature. I absolutely love going on hikes and you can almost bet your life on the fact that if I have a day off at Green Wellness during the summer, I am in the woods. Since I have spent my time in so many different woods around the West Michigan area, I can narrow my recommendations to a few places. If you want to explore all of my favorite, you should read my blog on hikes, otherwise I would highly recommend checking out either Lamoreaux Park or Ken-O-Sha Park.
Lamoreaux is my favorite place to go for a quick 1.5 mile hike with the main loop having one side adjacent to Grand River and the other half is through the beautiful woods. I often go off trail to look at the gorgeous flora and fauna that often feels like they’re jumping out at you. Each time I go to this park, I feel like I am stepping into a land unforgotten. Who doesn’t want that for a summertime adventure?
Another really good place to go, especially if you have a family, is Ken-O-Sha Park. If you’re intentional about the time of year you go, you can see the salmon mating in the Plaster Creek. There is also a play structure for kids to enjoy and a wooden horn that you can sit in to hear the sounds or the running water more loudly. Both are truly beautiful West Michigan options when trying to think of something fun to do on a gorgeous summer day.
Don’t Forget the Gardens!
Walking outside and enjoying nature doesn’t have to be done wearing hiking boots and the Fredrick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a phenomenal option. If you are from Grand Rapids, there is no way you haven’t been here, even if just for a concert, but that doesn’t diminish the beauty of a visit here. If you have children, there are so many fun family oriented things to do, including a storytelling garden, a curiosity courtyard, and interactive water elements for those really hot days.
There is so much to do if you don’t have children, too. If you are a plant lover, you will likely see flora that you have never even heard of either the different climate rooms or in the giant gardens outside. If you just like art, there are many historic and wonderous sculptures that you can check out. I have never had a bad visit to Fredrick Meijer Gardens. I have never brought a guest who wasn’t instantly amazed. If you want to make a summer memory, I would recommend checking out the Fredrick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
What about a Movie?
Another great option for a beautiful summer’s night is to check out the Getty Drive-In movie theater in West Michigan, or whatever drive in theater is closest to you. If you haven’t spent an evening in the back of your car with pillows and blankets watching a movie on a giant screen, you are missing out. For the cost of a ticket, $12 for an adult at the Getty Drive-In theater, you get to watch two movies instead of just one, so it feels like you’re saving money by going to a drive in.
There are a four really large screens that show different back to back features that you can choose to watch from and the movie pairings often go really well together. For this theater the movies being shown are released week after week so you never feel like you’ve seen all that the theater has to offer. The Getty Drive-In theater in particular has a phenomenal concessions stand so you can still enjoy all of the snacks that are essential to any traditional movie theater experience. I really like the privacy that watching a movie in your own car offers. It’s almost like you have the theater to yourself. I cannot stress enough how fun of a summer activity this really is!
Don’t Forget a Snack!
Summertime snacks are also a quintessential part of any summer experience. Luckily in West Michigan we are fortunate to have access to a ton of farmer’s markets that can offer access to some of the most fresh and delicious home grown products. From local honey to fresh fruit, I have never left a farmer’s market disappointed or empty handed. It is always deeply rewarding knowing that I am supporting local businesses and the people in my community. Supporting farmer’s markets is a great way to help the economy, support those around you, and uplift your community.
The West Michigan farmer’s market that is at Cherry street here in Grand Rapids also usually has live music from local musicians so you even get a show with your food adventure. It is rare to see the market up and running without someone playing a beautiful song on the guitar or hearing a singer serenade you as you walk by. I can also sometimes find art from local artists, like prints of paintings, and some of my favorite jewelry has been purchased at farmer’s markets. I have a ring that I found at a market years ago that I wear weekly and I cannot imagine my life without it at this point. If you’re stomach is grumbling during these gorgeous sunshine times, check out the farmer’s market.
Keep us posted!
If you’re in West Michigan, let us know which, if any, of our fun things to do in the summer that you try. We would love to hear about your experience at the sculpture garden or what movie you saw at the drive in theater! You can reach out to us at 866-244-4223 toll free and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.