15 family-friendly things to do this summer

Nelis’ Dutch Village, Holland Photo: Dan Irving
Nelis’ Dutch Village, Holland
Photo: Dan Irving

1. Learn something new

Make an afternoon out of a visit to the Outdoor Discovery Center and learn more about the great outdoors. Take in an educational program or view an interpretive exhibit.

Outdoor Discovery Center, Holland

2. Have some indoor fitness fun

Beat the crowds at the beach by going to the aquatic center. Slide down the 150-foot-long slide, relax in the hot tub and take the kids to the Splash Zone.

Holland Aquatic Center, Holland

3. Discover Dutch heritage

Hop on the full-size Ferris wheel, learn a few dance steps and touch a goat at the petting zoo at Nelis’ Dutch Village. Don’t forget to save time for a tasty and authentic Dutch meal.

Nelis’ Dutch Village, Holland

4. Go berry picking

Hand-pick all the blueberries your family can eat or buy already-picked berries and specialty blueberry treats at S. Kamphuis Blueberries.

“You’ll be berry thankful you came to S. Kamphuis Blueberries!”
   -Amy Wysocki, manager, S. Kamphuis Blueberries

S. Kamphuis Blueberries, Holland

15 things DeZwaan Windmill and Drawbridge
Photo: Holland Area Visitors Bureau

5. Journey to the Netherlands

View acres of beautiful gardens, see the authentic windmill and let the kids ride the antique carousel or play in the playground and children’s gardens at Windmill Island Gardens.

Windmill Island Gardens, Holland

6. Enjoy the natural beauty of a county park

Take the family for a hike along 6 miles of trails and bask in scenic views at Hemlock Crossing. Or, visit the Nature Education Center for wildlife exhibits and animal viewing.

Hemlock Crossing, West Olive

7.  Feel the Zeel

Monday evenings in July from 6–8 p.m., take your family to some free outdoor fun at Zeelmania, a healthy living street fair. Activities vary by week.

Zeelmania, Zeeland

8. Get hands-on with animals

“The Critter Barn offers hands-on fun and learning experiences with farm animals for kids from 1 to 99!”
-Mary Rottschafer, founder and director, Critter Barn

Critter Barn, Zeeland

9.Let kids be kids

The kids can run wild and be free on the 10,000-square-foot wooden playground, Imagination Station. Climb, slide, run, jump or swing away the hours. A new playground will be built in the fall of 2018.

Imagination Station,
Grand Haven

Imagination Station Photo: Photo Courtesy of Grand Haven CVB
Imagination Station
Photo: Photo Courtesy of Grand Haven CVB

10. Try something different

Whether it’s renting a stand-up paddle board, kayak or a pontoon, now is the time to head out on the water for a new adventure with Big Lake Outfitters. Charter fishing is an option, too.

Big Lake Outfitters, Saugatuck

11. Let your imagination run wild

“The children’s museum is a perfect place to drop in for an hour or two of fun, interactive play to escape rainy days — or the heat — or burn off extra energy, and it’s easy for parents to keep an eye on the kids while they explore.”
-Wendi Onuki, executive director,
Forever Curious Children’s Museum

Forever Curious Children’s Museum, Fennville

12 Get creative and express yourself

Everybody can get crafty! Take an hour or an afternoon to paint something or make a piece of jewelry at Express Yourself Art Barn. Try your hand at a glass or wood project, too. 

Express Yourself Art Barn,

13. Head to the beach

Go for a hike through the sandy dunes at Mount Baldhead Park, then climb down the 302 steps to enjoy the sandy shores along Oval Beach. Take in the amazing views of the woods and the lake.

Mount Baldhead Park, Saugatuck

14. Ride a trolley

Hear about the history of Grand Haven while taking the family out for a ride aboard a vintage trolley with Harbor Trolley. The trolleys travel down the waterfront, through downtown and into east town.

Harbor Trolley

15. Step back in time

Take a peek back in time to the history of the area and learn about the people that once walked the same streets as you at Tri-Cities Historical Museum. The museum has two different locations in Grand Haven.

Tri-Cities Historical Museum, Grand Haven