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Something fun to do in or near Grand Rapids, MI

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We will have a few hours to kill there. We like museums, shopping, and ethical zoos (no large captive marine mammals at a minimum). We will all be fully vaccinated (whoot!). 

Places between Grand Rapids and northern Indiana could also work. 

All ideas appreciated and welcome!

Edited by MercyA
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The GR museum is nice.  Frederick Meijer Gardens is awesome.   The zoo is nice and working towards larger enclosures, etc.

If you have the time, come to the Lakeshore and climb some sand dunes, visit the beaches, etc......esp if that is something you don't have near you.

Feel free to PM me   I am 45 minutes west of GR.

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I live in GR.

The Public museum is...fine...but it would not be high on my list if I were traveling.

Similarly, the zoo is good for a small zoo, but it is no Cincinnati. 

The Meijer Gardens are amazing - that would be high on my list...but best when the weather is good.

The Air Zoo in Kalamazoo (between Grand Rapids and northern Indiana) would also be a strong contender.

Grand Rapids also has a very pleasant, picturesque downtown area that is nice to walk around. There are lots of parks, bridges, sculptures, etc.

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Meijer Gardens were awesome. We went when the kids were younger, and we had just finished a unit on Da Vinci, and had read Leonardo's Horse by Jean Fritz. Then we saw the sculpture, The American Horse, inspired by Da Vinci, at the gardens. That was great timing and seemed magical to the kids. Good book if you haven't read it. 

And yes, if you haven't done sand dunes, you have to do that!

So much to see along the coast, you will wish you had more time! If you like shopping in small shops, Saugatuck is a great little kind of artsy town. We went there a few years ago.  Holland was not like I remember it when I was a kid. Too touristy, and a trap.  

Also on our last trip, we stopped and had a leisurely hike (a walk)  here: https://berriencounty.org/1297/Galien-River-County-Park

This is in New Buffalo, further south just before the border. So if your kids are needing to get out and burn some energy, this was a nice walk. It had some boardwalks that looked over the marshes.  Cool concept. 

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Thank you all so much! We are not far from the Indiana Dunes, so we probably will try to do something different in Michigan.

I'd like to go to the gardens, but we will see how the other two people in the family vote. 😉 

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