When what the whole family needs is a little fresh air and to get outside four walls together, the answer is here: at these parks and playgrounds sprinkled across every nook and corner of Grand Rapids! Pack a picnic with everyone’s favorite snacks and venture out as a family to check as many of these parks as possible off your spring and summer bucket list:
Walker — Millennium Park
One of the largest urban parks in the country, Millennium Park feels more like a mini-vacation than a local greenspace! Explore on 18 miles of trails — dotted with wooded areas, wetlands, observation decks, and boardwalks — or treat the kids to a day at the splash pad, sandy swimming beach, and clear, 100-acre lake, complete with paddleboat rentals and two playgrounds!
Grand Rapids — Riverside Park
With its two disc-golf courses, two playgrounds, ball fields, paved biking trail, and a huge pond with a barrier-free fishing dock — what’s not to love about Riverside Park? Choose from plenty of grassy picnic areas, all ready to go with tables and grills, and enjoy an entire afternoon together at this tree-lined, riverfront spot!
Ada — Roselle Park
A 240-acre nature preserve with both paved and natural trails along the Grand River, Roselle Park has features little ones will love (that you won’t find anywhere else). Let the kids climb the silo observation tower to catch views from the top, overlooking the entire park — then enjoy the exterior rock-climbing wall, nature-themed playground, and picnic area.
Cascade — Cascade Township Park
With two baseball and softball diamonds, a soccer field, sand volleyball court, 18 holes of disc golf and four tennis courts — plus a playground with a springy, rubberized surface and unique swing and climbing features — you’ll have no trouble keeping the kids entertained here for hours, no matter their ages!
East Grand Rapids — Manhattan Park
East Grand Rapids’ largest city park, Manhattan Park boasts a picnic shelter with grills and tables, a lively playground, softball diamonds, sand volleyball courts, and ample rustic nature trails for exploring.
Rockford — Townsend Park
With picnic areas and two playgrounds tucked along the wooded hills of the Bear Creek valley, little explorers will waste no time finding ways to connect with nature here! Let the kids wade and splash in cool Bear Creek, hike the trails through towering pine plantation, then play on the playgrounds and picnic at the pavilion, or in comfy camp chairs in the woods.
Lowell — Fallasburg Park
Home to a beautiful, historic covered bridge crossing over the Flat River, picnic areas and a disc-golf course, plus three unique playgrounds and ample spots for fishing — Fallasburg Park is a top pick when you’re looking to venture out as a family near Lowell. You can even guide the kids as they follow along with interpretive signage that shares local area history, and see several historic buildings preserved from the original Fallasburg village.
Caledonia — Lakeside Park
Offering beautiful views of Lake Emmons, access to the popular Paul Henry Thornapple Trail, and plenty of places to drop in a line — this Caledonia park is a piece-of-cake choice when you’re looking to plan a fun afternoon with the kids! Run the bases together at the ball diamonds, enjoy two playgrounds, find your perfect spot to fish, and wrap up with a picnic overlooking the lake.
Kentwood — Pinewood Park
Gaga ball to basketball courts, a ball and soccer field to skate ramps — Pinewood Park has it all, including a splash pad and colorful playground! Enjoy two shaded pavilions and plenty of greenspace to run around, fly a kite, or spread a picnic out on the grassy lawns!
Wyoming — Lamar Park
Come to Lamar Park in Wyoming for baseball fields, basketball courts, a playground with a rock-climbing wall, and multiple picnic areas with grills — but stay for its impressive splash pad, universally accessible and open from June 1 through Labor Day.