Hot to Go: Summer Fun in West Michigan
Photo: Grand Rapids Pride.

Summer is upon us, and it’s time to prepare for a season of fun in the sun, in Grand Rapids and beyond.

The official first day of summer may not be until June, but it’s always a good idea to plan ahead, especially considering how fast the season flies by every year.

From festivals to camping to concerts, here are Revue’s suggestions to get your summer juices flowing.


Getty Drive-In 

920 E. Summit Ave., Muskegon  |

The Getty in Muskegon is one of the few drive-in theaters still around, and it’s a special experience. Gates open at 8:00 pm and movies start at dusk; if you’re not a night owl, then plan your movie night in late spring or early fall. There’s a concession stand on site, and you can even order food online and have it brought to your car. Pre-purchasing movie tickets online, in advance, is encouraged to ensure you get to see the shows you want and also to avoid long waits in the busy season. 

Kentwood Summer Concert Series

June 6-August 15  |

Grab a blanket or chair for lovely free concerts on Thursday evenings on the Kentwood City Hall Lawn. Enjoy a variety of music like Roosevelt Diggs, The Bootstrap Boys and the Sarena Rae Band every week, from 7-8:30 p.m. Arrive early to explore the Kentwood Farmers Market! There’s always a variety of food trucks as well to keep you fueled, and you’re welcome to bring your own beer or wine. Plus: Check out the Kickoff to Summer celebration on June 8, with a cornhole tournament, beach volleyball, face painting and more!

TreeRunner Adventure Park
2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids

Climbing, balancing, leaping and zipping from tree to tree is one of my favorite activities. Is this obstacle course among the leaves an intense workout? Yes, but it’s also incredibly fun. It’s safe, too, as you’re attached to a wire at all times. It’s also easy to social distance here. One ticket gets you a three-hour experience, with seven aerial trails of various difficulty. Once you’ve completed the beginner and intermediate trails, come back another time to master the expert level!

West Michigan Archery Center
3500 10 Mile Rd. NE, Rockford  |

If you have a bow and arrow, head to West Michigan Archery Center for outdoor target shooting. They have a 3D course that takes you through the woods, with a number of targets along the trail. Whether you want to become the next Robin Hood or you need hunting practice, this is the place to be.


Aman Park
0-1859 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids

Aman Park is a great little system of woodland trails tucked away off Lake Michigan Drive. The forest here is full of blooming flowers and dead trees, creating a unique ecosystem. There isn’t much parking, which is part of the appeal; if you show up and can’t find room for your car, don’t force it! 

The Highlands

2715 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids  |

It’s rare to a highly manicured golf course transform into a lush, 121-acre nature preserve with flourishing biodiversity, but Blandford Nature Center has achieved it with The Highlands. If you want a beautiful place to stroll along nearly 3 miles of crisscrossing trails and see nature up close (including lots of great bird-watching), this is the place to be. And it’s free! 

Pickerel Lake
6001 Ramsdell Rd. NE, Cannonsburg

Pickerel Lake is a lovely nature preserve tucked away in the Rockford area. Because it’s a preserve, nature is pretty much left to its own devices, allowing for a ton of unique sights. Walk around the lake for a beautiful view of the trees reflecting on the water.

Provin Trails
2900 4 Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids

Right down the road from Robinette’s, Provin Trails can get busy. But there’s so much freedom to roam, you really don’t have to worry about being overcrowded. If you head to the center of the park, you’ll encounter a huge hill of sand in the middle of the woods, which is perfect for running down — or sledding, in the winter. 

6800 Cannonsburg Rd., Belmont  |

You clearly can’t snowboard at Cannonsburg right now, but what you can do is bike up to 11 miles of trails around the hill. It’s a great workout, and extremely different from a flat, paved trail, so make sure you’ve done your squats. The trails are also open for hiking or running! When you’re done, head to Cannonsburg’s Sweet Spot, which offers a huge variety of sweet treats as well as alcoholic beverages and gourmet toast. It’s perfect for fueling you beforehand or relaxing you after. 


Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival & Highland Games

June 21-22  |

Despite by only being a few years old, this festival is already attracting more than 7,000 people eager to be a part of such a unique experience in West Michigan. Musically, you can expect 16 Irish and Celtic bands to play on two stages over two days, along with Scottish pipe and drum bands throughout the event, and dance demonstrations. One huge draw here are the Highland Games, featuring more than 70 men and women competing in events like caber-tossing and hammer-throwing. Plus: Food, clothing, and plenty of tasty beer, as the event is sponsored by Guinness.

Festival of the Arts
June 7-9  |

Grand Rapids’ biggest celebration of local art, music and food is one of the longest-running festivals in the state. Completely free to the public, it features six music stages, plus theater, poetry, dance and much more. 

Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival
June 14-16  |

The annual Asian-Pacific Festival celebrates as much Asian and Pacific-Islander culture as it possibly can in one weekend. You’ll find traditional attires, martial arts demonstrations, fashion shows, Luau and much more, including (of course) all kinds of Asian-Pacific food.

Greater Grand Rapids Pride Festival
June 22  |

Celebrating the LGBTQ+ community, Grand Rapids Pride Festival is one of the largest single-day events in the area, now entering its 36th year. Expect all the music, performers, rainbows and other fun of years prior, with local bands performing.

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival
July 26-August 4  |

Honoring the men and women of the United States Coast Guard, this festival celebrates with ship tours, live music, food, a carnival and street dancing throughout Grand Haven.

Burning Foot Beer Festival
Muskegon  |  Aug. 26  | 

Burning Foot Beer Festival is a celebration of beer, beach, art and music, and it’s back bigger than ever before this year with more space and more vendors! The festival is held in August along Lake Michigan’s beautiful lakeshore in Muskegon, offering the perfect way to end the summer. Beach camping and barefoot entry make it unique—the Brewers’ Ring makes it extraordinary.

Lantern Festival

John Ball Zoo  |  Through June 16  |

This is less of a typical festival and more of a breathtaking, truly unique experience at John Ball—a one-mile light tour, featuring handcrafted Asian lantern displays that illuminate the zoo and work in conversation with the wildlife housed there. Grab a snack and soak up the magical lights and sounds for over an hour as you stroll through John Ball in the dark of night.