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15 MORE Things All Grand Rapidians Should Do at Least Once

A few weeks ago we went through the 15 things that anyone who lives in Grand Rapids should do or try at least once. Obviously, we couldn’t just stop at 15 considering there’s so much to do in this awesome city!

So here are 15 MORE things all Grand Rapidians should do/try at least once.


John Ball Park Zoo
John Ball Park Zoo (Photo from John Ball Zoo)
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Located just a few miles away from Downtown GR, the John Ball Zoo is a fun place to check out for anyone and everyone of all ages!

The zoo has over 2,000 animals and a ton of exhibits to see, including the Living Shores Aquarium, Tigers of the Realm and animals from specific continents.

There are also different “experiences” like zip lining and a camel ride. Most of these experiences are only available during the summer season but you can get more information here.

For the kids, the zoo offers camps, classes, tours and you can even throw a birthday party for your child!

See hours and admission prices here.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
 

Stella’s is an AWESOME place. If you’re all about the throwback vibes than you need to come here.

There are retro arcade games for you to play; there’s always some old show on their TV’s like The Jetsons or The Munsters, the drinks are served in mason jars and let’s not forget about the food… specifically the burgers!

Stella’s was voted “Best Burger in America & GR” in 2012, 2014 and 2015. They’re a half-pound of amazingness. All the burgers are stuffed and topped with more amazingness. Every bite is juicy and filled with flavor, exactly how a burger should be. My personal favorite is the Gov’t Cheese. Don’t forget to add the fried egg on top!

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything you order at Stella’s but once you have a burger… that’s pretty much all you’re going to be ordering every time you go back.

Check out their menu here.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
3

See a Comedy Show at Dr. Grins

Downtown G.R. (B.O.B.)
 
 

Who doesn’t love comedy?

Dr. Grins is located on the 3rd floor of the B.O.B. and you’ll see anyone from a national stand up act to local talent.

You can make the experience even better by ordering dinner and drinks while you’re having some good laughs.

They’ve got shows Thursday-Saturday with different showtimes available.

Check out a lineup of shows Dr. Grins has now through the end of May.

 
GR-on-Tap
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Formerly known as America on Tap, this is a can’t-miss beer festival.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday, July 16th at the Calder Plaza and expect a lot of booze!

At this event, you’ll be able to sample over 200 beers from the best craft beer breweries in the country, which of course means lots from right here in Michigan!

You can’t have a beer festival without food and music. In addition to drinking a bunch of beer, you’ll also be able to eat different foods from all around West Michigan while enjoying some live music.

Don’t forget to give your shot at the classic Hammerschlagen game.

Purchase your tickets now.

 
Christine George/Townsquare Media
Christine George/Townsquare Media
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Check out ArtPrize

Downtown G.R.
 
 

ArtPrize is one of the biggest events in Grand Rapids! It draws hundreds of thousands of people each year. It’s even recognized as the most-attended public art event on the planet!

For 19 days, Downtown Grand Rapids is filled with people checking out and browsing different art pieces. Artists from all around the world submit their own art to be a part of this event in hopes of winning the grand prize winner of $500,000. You get every type of art you can possibly imagine and it’s hard not to get lost in some of the pieces.

The best part about this event is that it’s completely free and open to the public!

This year’s ArtPrize will be from September 21st through October 9th.

See all the art from ArtPrize 7 here.

 
WZZM
WZZM
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Attend a Grand Rapids Drive Game

Walker (DeltaPlex Arena)
 
 

The Drive is an affiliate of the Detroit Pistons and if you’re a basketball fan, than you have to at least go to one game.

It’s exciting, it’s fun and it’s the perfect night out with your family, a date-night or with a group of friends.

A schedule of events and purchasing tickets are available here.

 
Hippie Hash from Anna's House [Christine George/Townsquare  Media]
Hippie Hash from Anna’s House [Christine George/Townsquare Media]
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Have Breakfast at Anna’s House

G.R, Holland, & Grandville
 
 

This is definitely #1 on my top 3 of breakfast places in the area.

There are 4 different locations to choose from: 2 in Grand Rapids (Beltline and Plainwell), Grandville and Holland.

Anna’s is open daily for breakfast and lunch only, and it’s ALWAYS packed… and for good reason! Their food is AMAZING!

The decor is like a modern diner with inviting colors and the toaster wall is the coolest.

You’ll love whatever you order at Anna’s. But I do recommend getting their fresh squeezed orange juice, no matter what. It’s so fresh that it tastes like an orange smoothie.

Check out their menu on the website here.

 
Matt Millhouse/Townsquare Media
Matt Millhouse/Townsquare Media
 

What better way to spend the winter days than ice skating? You’ve got the snow falling, the beautiful lights and the music.  It’s fun for the family, with a group of friends or makes for a great date night.

Open skating opens in December and runs through March every year and admission is very reasonable. If you go often you can even purchase a season pass.

You can see some of the pictures from this past year on their Facebook page.

 
Cannonsburg-Logo
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Cannonsburg Ski Area is the place to go for skiing, snowboarding and tubing down the snow hills.

They’ve got 9 lifts and runs for beginners and those that are more advanced. They even offer lessons for those that are just starting out.

Also, their zip lining will be open soon and you can take a Canopy Tour and zip line through the tree tops.

You can purchase a season pass for the upcoming 2016-2017 season here.

 
Photo Courtesy of Amway
Photo Courtesy of Amway
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This is where you need to be if you want to celebrate 4th of July! This event attracts 100,000 people, if not more, every year.

Not only are the fireworks beautiful to watch over the bridge and water but there’s lots to do before the fireworks set off at 10:30 p.m.

For example, there are different family activities, music/live entertainment, and a ton of food to choose from. The best part is this is FREE to the public!

This year the Amway Family Fireworks will be Saturday, July 2nd.

Check out last year’s photos here.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
 

It doesn’t matter what you see, you just have to catch some type of show at DeVos Performance Hall.

You can see anything from ballet, a Broadway performance, opera, etc.

I recently went during LaughFest and it is a beautiful facility.

There a lot of cool shows worth seeing coming up. You can see a list of them here.

 
152119952
ThinkStock
 

Is there anything more romantic than taking a carriage ride through downtown Grand Rapids?

Classic Carriage offers rides year-round even for tours and special occasions, such as a wedding or birthday.

Even if you don’t have a special someone to share a ride with it’s still a fun and exciting way to travel around the city.

Rides are available by appointment only. Give them a call 24 hours in advance at (616) 498-6090.

 
Wendy Reed/Townsquare Media
Wendy Reed/Townsquare Media
13

Watch the Fish at the Fish Ladder

 
 

This isn’t something you’d probably spend an entire day doing but it’s at least cool to check out the fish jump up the “ladder.”

I’m not too sure if you can fish at the ACTUAL ladder but you can definitely fish nearby!

 
Johnnie Walker/Townsquare Media
Johnnie Walker/Townsquare Media
14

Get Something to Eat from the Food Trucks

Downtown G.R. (In front of the GRAM)
 
 

Yes, it’s true, we have a lot of great food in Grand Rapids but sometimes nothing tastes better than grabbing something quick and fresh from the food trucks.

As the weather starts to get nicer you’ll notice that every Thursday food trucks are lined up near and in front of the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

It’s quick, convenient and of course, delicious! And you can find anything you’re craving such as BBQ, Mexican, deep fried anything, gelato, etc.

 
Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media
15
 
 

Another reason to get you out enjoying the downtown area in the summertime.

Festival of the Arts brings you tons of live entertainment like dancing, singing, theater; activities for the family; and different food stations.

You will appreciate different cultures and what each one has to offer after attending Festival of the Arts.

This year’s event takes place June 3-5th.

 

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