Family Fun in the Heritage Hill Historic District

Step back in time at the Heritage Hill Historic District featuring 19th-century houses, entertainment, gourmet food and more.

Fancy a stroll through an immemorial neighborhood? You’re in luck! The quaint Heritage Hill Historic District is a five-minute walk from downtown Grand Rapids. 1,300 buildings, dating back to 1844, line the streets – featuring Greek Revival and Prairie designs. There’s even a self-guided walking tour brochure available, courtesy of Heritage Hill Association, that features many of the architectural gems of this “open-air museum.”

Are mom and dad wanting to get away for a weekend? Heritage Hill’s grand houses make it the ideal escape. Choose from a number of bed and breakfasts to book a romantic and relaxing stay.

But the fun doesn’t stop at B&Bs or exploring the architectural splendor. There are plenty of detours to excite the kids, too – like a gourmet pizza shop, a bookstore chock-full of tall tales and toys, a neighborhood park with a swanky jungle gym and more.

Here, thanks in part to Experience Grand Rapids, is a list of attractions sure to please the entire family.

Bishop Baraga Bookstore

  • Address: 360 Division St. S, Suite 1B, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-245-2251
  • Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Calling all bibliophiles! Step into this quaint bookstore to peruse new releases. From novels to liturgical books, there’s something for every bookworm. Find greeting cards, art, baby gifts, kids’ toys and church wares, too.

Lyon Street Cafe 

  • Address: 617 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-635-2194
  • Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Need a pick-me-up before touring architectural feats? This cafe has got you covered. Find your espressos, pour overs, cappuccinos and lattes, complete with latte art. For those living or attending school a short stint away, the wooden booths and bar propped in front of a large picture window make the place an ideal space to study.

Martha’s Pizza 

  • Address: 208 Union Ave., Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-726-6609
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-midnight daily

Get 12-inch, gourmet pizzas here. Made with house-made sauces, they’re all baked to perfection in a stone-hearth oven. Choose among crispy Neapolitan, whole wheat and gluten-free crusts. With choices like meat lovers’, garlic-laden, Hawaiian, pesto and vegetarian pies – you’re sure to tickle your taste buds, no matter your craving.

Martha’s Vineyard

  • Address: 200 Union Ave. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-459-0911
  • Hours: 8 a.m.-midnight daily

A specialty wine and gourmet grocer, Martha’s is open late so those burning the midnight oil won’t go hungry. Peruse a global wine selection. Find imported and local brews, small-batch liquors, fresh deli meats and cheeses. You can taste test these eats on Fridays, from noon to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Meyer May House

  • Address: 450 Madison Ave. SE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-246-4821
  • Hours: Free admission 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-4 p.m. Sundays

Designed in 1908, this restored prairie-style house is now owned by the furniture manufacturer, Steelcase. During the hours listed above, visitors can tour the two-story house for free. Reservations required for groups of 10 or more. Parking available on Logan Street and Madison Avenue.

Nantucket Baking Company

  • Address: 615 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-350-9292
  • Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Known for their non-processed and handmade products, this baking company features tasty spins on artisan breads, soft pretzels, cakes and pastries. So whether you’re looking for the ideal sandwich bread, a flaky dessert for brunch, or a birthday cake, this shop’s got what you need.

O’Connor’s Homebrew and Supply

  • Address: 619 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-635-2088
  • Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

O’Connor’s is run by a batch of veteran brew experts and provides brewers with the equipment, ingredients and know-how to make and improve their own mean batches.

Pleasant Park

  • Address: 400 Pleasant St. SE, Grand Rapids
  • Phone: 616-288-7209
  • Hours: sunrise-sunset

Opened to the public in 2014, this neighborhood park boats of having Grand Rapids’ newest playground, which features a jungle gym, bike racks, swings, slides and a small hill for sledding in the wintertime.


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