This summer, every weekend brings something to celebrate in Kalamazoo! Whether you’re looking to surprise dad with a fun and unique getaway or you’re bringing the whole family to town in honor of Juneteenth, brace yourself for a jam-packed weekend of events and entertainment.
After pontooning it up on the ever-clear waters of Gull Lake, boutique shopping along the Kalamazoo Mall, hiking among the magnificent pines at the arboretum or sipping Oberon in the beer garden at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, you’ll quickly see how the days fly by.
Good thing once the sun goes down, we channel our daytime energy into rallying our way through some legendary Kalamazoo nightlife with a Micro/Mini Car Show at Bates Alley and the Gilmore Car Museum, the United Kennel Club Premier Nationals at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center, and much more. Read on to plan your weekend getaway for June 18-20 in Kalamazoo!
2021 Micro/Mini Car World Meet
Gilmore Car Museum, 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, MI 49060
The first Micro/Mini World Meet in 11 years will be held at the Gilmore Car Museum, North America’s Largest Auto Museum, on Saturday, June 19, from 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Two trophies will be awarded at June’s World Meet: a People’s Choice Award, which will be determined by the general public, and an Exhibitor’s Choice Award, which will be decided by the exhibitors.
In addition, a panel of kids (age 6–14) will participate in the Hagerty Youth Judging program and evaluate a handful of cars in five “best of” categories: electrical, interior, design, paint, and engine compartment. Ribbons will be awarded to the top three cars selected.
A preview event with live music and activities will be held the day before, starting at 4 p.m. at Bate’s Alley in downtown Kalamazoo.
Juneteenth falls on a Saturday this year, and so many Kalamazoo organizations are planning celebrations to enjoy! Soul Artistry is hosting a virtual Celebration of Freedom Event, and the Black Arts and Cultural Center is hosting a Virtual Paint Party.
Where to Stay
It couldn’t be easier to enjoy a safe weekend getaway in Kalamazoo! Take advantage of the many hotel and lodging packages available that come with everything you need to enjoy a trip to Kalamazoo, including overnight accommodations, free hotel parking and more. Check out details of these packages, as well as other itineraries below, and book your stay today!
More Things to Do
Kalamazoo is a four-season destination, and it can get pretty hot here in the summertime! Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for water activities to help you cool down. Visit of one of the many public beaches in and around Kalamazoo, or consider heading out to Gull Lake to rent a pontoon boat for the afternoon from Gull Lake Marine.
Hiking and Biking Trails
Adventure is right outside your door here in Kalamazoo! One of the best perks of visiting Kalamazoo is the opportunity to enjoy the amenities that accompany an urban environment, while also being able to access nature and serenity within just minutes! Check out our guide to adventure and recreation for all the information you could want and need on hiking and biking trails in the area.
Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries
Some would argue that Kalamazoo is most famous for its craft beer scene; home to Bell’s Brewery and their 4 time award-winning Two Hearted Ale, the nationally celebrated and unofficial Kalamazoo holidays that are Bell’s Oberon Day and Eccentric Day, and so much more.
If beer isn’t your thing, no worries. Our distilleries, wineries and craft cocktail bars (along with their makers) are a vibrant culture of their own. Check out our guide dedicated to all the craft beverage things you’ll find in Kalamazoo.
The various hidden courtyards, gardens and charming decks are one of our city’s best kept secrets! Check out our guide to Downtown Deck and Patio Dining.
Kalamazoo is now home to the Downtown Social District and within it the Central Commons Refreshment Area. You can grab a drink from a participating business and enjoy it while you stroll and shop through downtown.
Family Friendly Activities
Kalamazoo Nature Center
The Kalamazoo Nature Center encompasses 1,100 acres — with an 11-acre arboretum, the DeLano Pioneer homestead, and 14 nature trails covering more than 10 miles of varied habitats from ponds to prairies, fens and forest, and all things in between.
With both indoor and outdoor activities, this is a place for people of all ages to come relax, exercise, learn, see animals up-close, and more. Golf cart tours are available for people with limited mobility. In celebration of Juneteenth, KNC will offer free admission June 19 through July 19, as a way to celebrate freedom and share the healing and nourishment that nature can provide for all.
Grab your family and friends and head to Homer Stryker Field to cheer on the Kalamazoo Growlers. The Growlers have continued to renovate Homer Stryker Field each offseason to create one of the most comfortable, unique and fan friendly ballparks in the country.
Rocket Fizz and Spirit of Kalamazoo
Rocket Fizz is a rainbow colored explosion of sweets, fun and nonsense. This retro candy and soda pop shop has over 500 different flavors of soda, as well as roughly 102 flavors of taffy! Creative customers can pick up a soda from Rocket Fizz, then head across the street to the Spirit of Kalamazoo for ice cream and have their treat be transformed into a float! Don’t forget to check out all of their Kalamazoo-themed merchandise and grab a souvenir. We’re partial to these awesome Kalamazoo: Made For You t-shirts.