Kalamazoo, Mich. — Summertime is definitely our favorite season here in Kalamazoo.
One of the reasons we like it so much is that there are a ton of family-friendly things to do. Best of all? Many of them are free!
Take a look at these free family-friendly things to do in and around Kalamazoo this summer from Jill Piwko of KZOOkids.com:
• Gilmore Car Museum: Wednesday Night Cruise-In
Every Wednesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. May through September, the Gilmore Car Museum hosts hundreds of old-time cars. It’s a wonderful chance to wander around on a sunny evening and look at the cars or have great frozen custard at George & Sally’s Blue Moon Diner.
• Kalamazoo Valley Museum: Hands-On Happenings
The Kalamazoo Valley Museum (KVM) will offer its Hands-On Happenings activities 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays from June 25 through Aug. 6. Each Hands-On Happening focuses on KVM’s two summer exhibits: The Robot Zoo (opening June 14) and Speedbump (opening June 21). There is a great variety in each week’s activities, and we attend as many Wednesday Hands-On Happenings as we can!
With more than 38 miles of weaving pathways, the Portage Pathway offers families a chance to get out and enjoy a family bike ride. The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is another great option with its 17 miles of trails; we love the ride from downtown Kalamazoo to the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Both are great options to get the family together and enjoy some active time.
• Endless number of great parks and playgrounds
We have so many great parks for the kids to play at here in Kalamazoo County. Some of our favorites include Richland Park, Oshtemo Park and the Upjohn Park Boundless Playground. Each park is unique in what they offer. A great way to spend a sunny day!
Grab a blanket, picnic basket and your kids then head out to one of the free Kindleberger Park Summer Concerts starting 6:30 p.m. Sundays June 15 to Aug. 17. The series is family friendly and offers a great opportunity to sit back and enjoy a different style of music each week.
Our favorite weekend of the summer is June Jubilee. This year June Jubilee runs from June 6 through June 8. Between the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Art Fair and the crazy Do-Dah Parade, the kiddos will have a ton to do and see. More than 180 artists will be on hand for the art fair, setting up a variety of colorful artwork in 13 different media. The Do-Dah parade encourages the wacky, fun and craziness in all of their participants. This parade is a local favorite and so much fun to watch!
• Art Hop
On the first Friday of every month beginning at 5 p.m., the Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo is the place to be. During Art Hop, local businesses and organizations display the work of local artists and some even offer musical performances or art demos. We love how the entire community gets involved. We love that the Art Hop is family-friendly and open to everyone.
• Summer Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market
The Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market is a wonderful community market with more than 100 vendors converging at the 1204 Bank St. location 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays from May to November (and also 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays from June through October). The Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market is full of everything from fruits and veggies to meats, cheeses, breads, spreads and more. Pair this variety with kids’ activities and family entertainment offered at the market, and you can see why the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market is the place to visit with the family.
Want more? Click for more cool things to do in Kalamazoo!