FREE family summer fun in greater Kalamazoo

This entry was posted in Attractions & Recreation, on May 19th, 2014 .
things to do kalamazoo kids

Jill Piwko is the director of KZOOkids.com and mom of one active 5-year-old son. She loves being out and enjoying all of the things that Kalamazoo offers. You can often find Jill hiking, cooking and experiencing things with her family in and around Kalamazoo.

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.

gilmore car museum

Photo courtesy of Jill Piwko. Stop into the Gilmore Car Museum with the family this summer! Only want to enjoy a meal at the Blue Moon Diner? You don’t need to pay the museum’s admission fee!


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!

Kalamazoo things to do kids

Photo courtesy of Jill Piwko. The Kalamazoo Valley Museum in downtown is offering free Hands-On Happening exhibits this summer.

Bike Riding: Portage Pathway and Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

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.

Kalamazoo bike trail

Photo courtesy of Jill Piwko. Take the family on a bike ride on one of Kalamazoo’s great trails!

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!

Kalamazoo playground

Photo courtesy of Jill Piwko. Some of Jill Piwko and her son’s favorites parks include, Richland Park, Oshtemo Park and the Upjohn Park Boundless Playground.

Outdoor Summer Concerts Series at Kindleberger Park

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.

June Jubilee: Do-Dah Parade and Kalamazoo Institute of Arts – Art Fair

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!

kalamazoo things to do

Photo courtesy of Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc. The annual Do-Dah parade brings the silly and satire to the streets of downtown Kalamazoo. Come get some laughs at this hilarious tradition!

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.

Downtown Kalamazoo Michigan

Photo courtesy of Michael Buck. Come to downtown Kalamazoo for the free Art Hop! See and buy artwork from regional artists in downtown retail and restaurant locations. Some spots also offer a free beverage and snack! This event happens on the first Friday of every month (with some exceptions).

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.

kalamazoo farmers market

Photo courtesy of Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market. The Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market features more than 100 vendors and is open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays May through October.

Want more? Click for more cool things to do in Kalamazoo!

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