4 Grand Rapids Festivals Families Love

Ready to try something different? We picked out a few Grand Rapids cultural experiences and festivals to delight your family.

Whether your family delights in the beauty of lantern displays or enjoys captivating storytelling of independent cinema, Grand Rapids’ festivals promise to engage. Here, we share four popular celebrations that you can find only in Grand Rapids:

Christkindl Market is a Grand Rapids seasonal delight

1. The Christkindl Market, a European-style Christmas village, wowed attendees in 2023 and returns to the Grand Rapids Downtown Market in 2024. Expect unique gifts, delectable treats, and joyful festivities in a charming holiday atmosphere. 

Kids love this unique experience! The holidays are a great time to visit Grand Rapids, so make plans around this enchanting event, slated to be even bigger and better this year. Nov. 15-Dec. 23, 2024. 

Grand Rapids is an art destination

2. ArtPrize is an annual international art competition typically held in September. It features artwork displayed throughout the city in various venues and showcases ideas, dialogue, innovation, inclusivity — and Grand Rapids itself. 

“Neat art festival with a variety of pieces throughout the city of Grand Rapids! Free and accessible to all. Great to walk around town and explore new places and art,” says Lisa L. in her Yelp review. ArtPrize is freely accessible and offers a platform for visual or experiential art. Sept. 13-28, 2024.

Grand Rapids ArtPrize
Grand Rapids ArtPrize. Photo Credit: Nick Irwin / Experience GR

3. The first weekend of June is always the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts. Art exhibits, event stages, cultural booths, plus food, fun and family activities all span downtown Grand Rapids. This festival began in 1970 to celebrate the Alexander Calder sculpture La Grande Vitesse that debuted in 1969. Now the festival is all about performance, regional artisan displays, youth art and cultural immersion. 

Eliza B. on Yelp offers her review: “The accessibility to art is unprecedented (this includes performance and visual art) and all of the food booths are run by local non-profits. This thing we simply call, ‘Festival’ is no doubt part of what puts GR and West MI on the map.”

In 2024, visit the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts on June 7, 8 and 9.

Visual storytelling, lights and animals really wow kids…and their parents 

4 Step into a world of light at Grand Rapids Lantern Festival April 10-June 16. Witness works of art light up the John Ball Zoo. Marvel at handcrafted Asian lantern displays, illuminating the zoo and weaving together tales of wildlife and Asian culture in a spectacle of light and storytelling. April 10-June 16, 2024.

Make sure to find out if there’s a festival going on while you’re planning to visit. Also, consider some of these hot-spot attractions, and take a look at some exciting museums. show your kids and teens how much fun Grand Rapids can be!

Content brought to you by Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers. Learn more at buyfordnow.com. Find more articles like this at Metro Parent’s Ultimate Family Road Trip Guide. 

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