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Best Activities for Kids at Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts

The 48th annual Festival of the Arts is this weekend in Grand Rapids!

Festival opens at noon on Friday and runs until 6PM on Sunday.

Take look at our guide for kids and enjoy Festival 2017!

As Grand Rapids continues to grow, Festival of the Arts remains at the center of it all. Festival of the Arts showcases local musicians, artists, food and the spirit of Grand Rapids. Festival features popular standbys like Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s souvlaki, but there is always something new too.

Kids have many opportunities to get involved hands-on at Festival, but little legs can get tired quickly. Not to mention stroller-pushing arms. It’s best to plan ahead, even down to what the kids will wear. Have them wear something comfortable that will be okay if it get a little paint or glue on it.

Rosa Parks Circle is a good place to start with kids. It’s the home of the new “Kid’s World” and will include a lot of activities and entertainment all weekend.

Take advantage of all of the free activities and entertainment available over one of the best weekends of the year to be in Grand Rapids…and don’t forget to bring some money for food too!

Matt Milhouse
Matt Milhouse





The glue-in the most popular part of Festival for many kids. Children are welcome to create works of art with wood, glue and recycled materials. The finished piece will take some time to dry so stop here before you’re done for the day so it will be all set before you go home. You’ll find the glue-in at Rosa Parks Circle.


Steve Frost, ThinkStock
Steve Frost, ThinkStock


With multiple stages running from Friday through Sunday, you can find something fun to get the kids dancing by just walking from stage to stage. A quick look at the performance guide will help for planning purposes.

Maybe your kids would prefer to watch a dance performance rather than be the ones dancing? Dance groups will be performing too. You’ll find fun options for kids at all stages, but especially at the Rosa Parks Circle Stage.


Matt Milhouse
Matt Milhouse





Kids 4-12 are welcome to show off their painting skills at Rosa Parks Circle. Try stopping here early so your creation can dry while you walk around downtown having more fun.


Matt Milhouse
Matt Milhouse



With a total of 26 food booths, even the pickiest eater will find a lot to love. Mom and dad will too. All food booths are operated by West Michigan nonprofit organizations, so you will be supporting a good cause too.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s souvlaki is always a can’t miss item, but that is just the start of it. You’ll also find ice cream, egg rolls, golumpki, tamales, elephant ears, rib tips, shrimp and more!


Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Sidewalk Chalk and Face Painting



Stop by the lawn of the Federal Building and let the kids have some fun with chalk or get their face painted.


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