Family Fun Activities in Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo is a wonderful city for families. The name of the city is often shortened to "Kazoo" in the names of many fun things to experience. One example is the annual event in September called Kanoe the Kazoo, which is a guided canoe trip down the Kalamazoo River. Here are some family-fun activities to be enjoyed in Kalamazoo, MI and the surrounding area.
A park that is nice to visit for a picnic and to go to for a hike on the trails is Markin Glen County Park. It has a large lake. It offers swimming, fishing, and camping. Another good choice is Milham Park, where you can wade in the creek and feed the ducks, while the kids enjoy the playground.
The Kalamazoo Nature Center is located on the Kalamazoo River. It is a nice place to explore to learn more about the local habitat and local history. It has a vintage farmhouse and a homestead. Guided hiking tours and educational programs are available that are designed for families.
Going for a tranquil walk or riding on a mountain bike are good things to do at the Al Sabo Preserve. Looking to keep the kids entertained? Many of them will be fascinated by the large reptiles kept in the Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary.
A fun thing for kids and parents is to shop for locally-produced farm products that can be found at Kalamazoo Farmers Market. Pumpkins of all sizes along with squash of many kinds are sold by Gene the Pumpkin Man. Fresh fruit, juices, and ciders are for sale at the family-owned and operated Verhage Fruit Farm & Cider Mill.
Arts & Crafts
The West Michigan Glass Arts Center has glass-blowing classes for students of all ages.
A visit to the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum is a must. Kids get to sit in the cockpit of the planes and see a WWII bomber that was pulled from Lake Michigan and then restored. There are indoor amusement rides and classes for children to learn about science.
The Kalamazoo Valley Museum has many hands-on exhibits that children can use to learn about the weather, the local history, and how to play music.
The Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts has a lower-level "please touch" interactive gallery where kids can play and make art.
Musicals and Plays
Kalamazoo State Theater and Miller Auditorium have concerts, musicals, and plays for families to attend together.
The Capri and Sunset Drive-In movie theaters are open during the summer and charge one entry-fee for a full car of people.
The abundant choices of indoor activities are helpful during the winter weather. The Little Gym of Kalamazoo is a facility that provides a safe exercise space for toddlers. Just Move Fitness & More has an indoor obstacle course designed for toddlers.
Kingdom Sports has indoor, full-scale, playing fields with artificial grass.
There are five branches of the Kalamazoo Public Library. Kids can play with the available toys, puzzles, puppets, dolls and enjoy reading children's books.
Jungle Joes Family Fun Center is a 12,000 square foot activity center where kids can climb, bounce, and play. Sky Zone Trampoline Park is an indoor facility for jumpy kids. Climb Kalamazoo has a rock climbing wall for children.
The Kalamazoo Growlers baseball team plays at the Homer Stryker Field. Echo Valley is fun for winter sports like tobogganing and sledding.
- The Final Clue is a family-oriented escape room amusement center. A family has to work together to figure out the clues, to escape the room before the time runs out.
- The Airway Fun Center is great for those who love bowling, go-carts, and laser tag.
- Craig's Cruisers is indoor 120,000 square feet family fun center with an indoor track for go-carts. It has bumper cars, a trampoline park, laser tag, and a large video game arcade.
- Nova Virtual Reality has VR games that create full-immersion experiences.
Annual Kalamazoo Festivals
Kalamazoo has many festivals and public events throughout the year that are family-friendly. The popular ones include:
- Kalamazoo Ribfest: Mouth-watering, tasty barbecue is the focus of this event.
- Hippie Fest: This is a "peace and love" music and art festival. Kids under 10 are free.
- Kalamazoo Blues Festival: The best blues bands from around the country perform at this event.
- Do-Dah Parade: Being silly and goofy at this parade is part of the show.
- Kalamazoo County Youth Fair: This five-day event is held in August. It is designed for families with children.
- Vintage in the Zoo: This is a vintage-clothing shopping extravaganza with free balloons for the kids.
- Audiotree Music Festival: This two-day event with over 20 bands is held during September.
- New Year's Fest: This party happens in downtown Kalamazoo every New Year's Eve. Bring the kids to watch the fireworks.
In the other cities near Kalamazoo, there are even more things to do with kids. Some favorites include visiting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Sleepy Bear Dunes, and feeding the giraffes at the Bender Zoo. Active families can go horseback riding at Waterloo Recreational Area and try skiing or snowboarding at Mr. Brighton Ski Resort. Michigan has plenty of wonderful things for families to do together.
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