ArtPrize and Other Grand Rapids September Events for Families

Find family fun to break up the back-to-school grind with these upcoming Grand Rapids September events in 2018.

Say goodbye to the summer season with a family activity (or two) in the city. From scenic bicycle and boat rides to Grand Rapids’ acclaimed ArtPrize, there are plenty of fun ways to reign in the cooler temps and nature’s changing color schemes with those you love.

Don’t know where to start? No problem! We’ve compiled the list to get you started. So read on, and get planning your trip to one of these Grand Rapids September events.

Sunday Picnic Cruises

Ongoing every Sunday through Oct. 28, 2018

  • Address: The Grand Lady Riverboat, 825 Taylor St., Jenison
  • Phone: 616-457-4837
  • Time: 1-3 p.m.
  • Costs: $15/adult, free for ages 10 and under with adult ticket purchase

Rain or shine, all aboard The Grand Lady. Sail down The Grand River where you can see evidence of West Michigan’s logging history. As the leaves begin to change, a boat ride is the perfect way to witness autumn’s reign. Bring your own picnic lunch; no outside beverages are allowed, though they’re available for purchase.

Ghost of Grand Rapids Historic Walking Tours 

Sept. 7, 15 and 28, Oct. 5, 13, 19 and 26 and Nov. 2, 2018

  • Address: Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library Street NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 269-220-9496
  • Time: contact for details
  • Costs: $10/advance, $15/at the door

Start at the library and take a trek to some reportedly haunted spots in the area including the AT&T building, the Pantlind Hotel, the Ashton building and many others.

Art in the Park 

Sept. 8, 2018 

  • Address: Garden Club Park, 3426 13 Mile Road NE, Rockford
  • Phone: 616-866-3282
  • Time: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Costs: free

More than 60 area artists set up shop to sell jewelry, pottery, paintings, woodwork and other creations at this annual.

Easttown! Streetfair 

Sept. 8, 2018 

  • Address: Easttown Community Association, 415 Ethel Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-451-3025
  • Time: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Costs: contact for details

Celebrate the community with live music by Bronze Wold, The Rocket King and many others; plus food vendors, art displays, crafts and more.

Grand Valley American Indian Lodge Pow Wow 

Sept. 8-9, 2018

  • Address: Riverside Park, 2001 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-456-3696
  • Time: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Costs: free

This 57th annual celebrates Native American traditions and culture through dances, crafts, music, food and more.

Chuponcito – USA Tour 2018 with Armando Roal

Sept. 9, 2018 

  • Address: 20 Monroe Live, 11 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 844-678-5483
  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Costs: varies

Chuponcito the clown makes his way from Mexico to Grand Rapids to perform his hilarious show for kids and grown-ups of all ages.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time 

Sept. 13-15, 20-23 and 27-29, 2018. 

  • Address: GRCC Spectrum Theatre, 160 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-234-3387
  • Time: starts at 8 p.m. Sep. 13-14, 20-22 and 27-29; 3 p.m. Sept. 23
  • Costs: $24-$28

The Actor’s Theatre of Grand Rapids presence a show about 15-year-old Christopher, who is really good at mathematics but struggles with everyday life. When he is falsely accused of killing the neighbor’s dog, he launches an investigation to clear his name.

GrandCon Gaming Convention 

Sept. 14-16, 2018

  • Address: DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-460-1540
  • Time: 8 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
  • Costs: contact for details

Is your family big on games? Experience the fun on a grand scale at GrandCon, where participants can cosplay, play games, meet industry game designers, shop vendors and more.

Fallasburg Arts Festival 2018

Sept. 15-16, 2018

  • Address: Fallasburg Park, 1124 Fallasburg Road, Lowell
  • Phone: 616-897-8545
  • Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Costs: free

Twenty miles east of Grand Rapids, grab your creative cohorts, hop in the car and drive to Lowell for LowellArts 50th annual art festival in Fallasburg Park. Swing by food booths courtesy of local eateries and craft booths maned by artists from around the country. Check out the children’s craft area, artistic demonstrations and live music.


Sept. 19-Oct. 7, 2018

  • Address: downtown Grand Rapids
  • Costs: free

Every autumn, downtown Grand Rapids explodes with art: paintings, sculptures, abstract designs on micro and macro scales and more – ArtPrize has it all. Artists compete for $500,000 and the vote is open to the public. Last year, the competition represented artists from 44 states and 44 countries. It’s an immersive exhibit on a grand scale – there’s nothing quite like it. And the best part is, it’s free to attend.

African American Arts and Music Festival 

Sept. 21, 2018 

  • Address: Calder Plaza, 351 Ottawa Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-458-4226
  • Time: 5:30-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday
  • Costs: free

Check out African art displays, enjoy cultural dances and take in scrumptious African food and music.

McCartney and More 

Sept. 21-23, 2017

  • Address: DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-454-9451
  • Time: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Costs: $18/general, $5/students

Jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli performs some of the songs by Paul McCartney and the Beatles.

Allendale Rotary Foam Dash 5K Fun Run 

Sept. 22, 2018 

  • Address: Allendale High School, 10760 68th Ave, Allendale
  • Time: 8-10 a.m.
  • Cost: $25, free/12 and under

This run puts a twist on the everyday 5K by having runners run through mountains of foam. Register before Sept. 7.

Harvest Fest 

Sept. 28-30, 2018 

  • Address: Rockford Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 17 S. Monroe, Rockford
  • Phone: 616-866-1081
  • Time: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Costs: contact for details

This festival features a classic car show, kids’ activities, crafts and other family fun.

Fall Festival

Sept. 30, 2018

  • Address: SS Peter and Paul Parish, 520 Myrtle St. NW, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-454-5611
  • Time: 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Costs: free

Celebrate the changing of the seasons with this autumnal fest. Indulge in a pulled pork dinner, listen to folksy music; try your hand at carnival games; bounce in the inflatable house; and visit the beer tent and farmers market.

Kids’ ArtFest 

Sept. 30, 2018

  • Address: outside Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, 11 Sheldon Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-235-4726
  • Time: noon-5 p.m.
  • Costs: free/event, $5/museum admission

Kids can experience ArtPrize on a mini scale Sept. 30 on Sheldon and Library streets outside the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. The little Picassos can tye-dye t-shirts, make an art project, listen to music and more.

Looking for even more fun ways to fill your family’s trip to the state’s west side? Check out our lists of the best family fun play centers, top museums and coolest indoor water parks in Grand Rapids.

This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly. 


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