Grand Rapids, Michigan

A- Overview:
Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second largest city is a center of commerce, culture and conventions. Grand Rapids combines the sophisticated convenience of a large urban center with the warmth and charm of a small town. A temperate climate assures mild winters and pleasantly warm summers. For hundreds of years people have flocked to this region for its beauty and natural resources.

Over 2,000 acres of parkland are located throughout the City, and are available for residents and visitors. Enjoy a family picnic, hike the trails, and take advantage of the many recreational activities. Many of the parks also host ethnic festivals, concerts, and public outdoor art, sculpture, and historical monuments. A new city park of 1500 acres that will provide water sports is scheduled to be completed by 2010. Grand Rapids already has so much; yet, it is always preparing for the future.

Grand Rapids was named for the rapids of the Grand River, the waterway that provided power and a means of transportation for the settlement from its earliest days. An abundance of wood from area forests made possible the growth of the furniture industry.

While many residents make their homes in the suburban communities and townships surrounding Grand Rapids, in recent years, people have begun to rediscover the advantages of downtown living. Luxury condominiums provide a high-rise view overlooking the Grand River. Heritage Hill, downtown’s closest neighborhood, offers tours of its historic homes. More than 60 architectural styles are reflected in the 1300 residences.

The recently opened 12,000 seat Van Andel Arena is home to the Grand Rapids Griffins professional hockey team. Besides hockey, the city also hosts the minor league Hoops basketball team and the Whitecaps, a Detroit Tigers baseball team affiliate. Canoeing, rock climbing, hiking and skiing are all popular in the area.

Families with children love Grand Rapids. The city offers numerous indoor activities, as well as outdoor fun. Many nature centers and the John Ball Zoo remain open even during the winter months, allowing visitors a unique and interesting view of the plants and animals. Summer-time brings out the wet and wild with popular wave pools and water slides. Those interested in a more quiet activity may wish to explore one of many interactive museums or art centers.

Whether you are relaxing in an Eames lounge chair, or touring a Frank Lloyd Wright house, you will notice that design matters. Grand Rapids has been known through the years as “The Paris of Furniture Design” and “The Furniture City.” In the Van Andel Museum Center, visitors can view an operational reconstruction of an early 20th century furniture factory and walk through an 1890s downtown street of shops, featuring the sights and sounds of the times.

If you spend one vacation in Grand Rapids, you will see why this beautiful city is a place to which many return year after year.

B- City Information:
Population: 185,437

Elevation: 612 feet

Location: Grand Rapids is located in Kent County (of which it is the county seat) north of Kalamazoo between Muskegon and Lansing along Interstate 96 on the banks the Grand River near Lake Michigan.

Time Zone Grand Rapids is in the eastern time zone. When it is noon in New York City; it is also noon in Grand Rapids.


Grand Rapids has a temperate climate which offers mild winters and pleasant summers. Each season is unique and beauiful.

Average Temperatures:














When to Go

Summer offers traditional warm weather activities beginning in early June and lasting until early September. In Autumn, the days are warm; the nights are cool, and the leaves blaze with brilliant colors. In winter, February is the favored month to enjoy snow sports. November and April have some gray, cold days with rain and sleet. May brings a cascade of greenery followed by blossoms and plants and trees in full bloom. No matter what the season, there are interesting activities to enjoy.

Business Hours

Banks are usually open weekdays 9 to 3 and some Saturday mornings; the post office from 8 to 5 weekdays and often on Saturday mornings. Shops in urban and suburban areas, typically open at 9 or 10 daily and stay open until anywhere from 6 to 10 PM on weekdays and Saturdays, and until 5 or 6 on Sundays.


New Year’s Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May;

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Veterans Day November 11

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31.

Customs & Duties

Arriving in the United States

Contact the U.S. Customs Service (inquiries, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20229, 202/354-1000


The U.S. electrical standard is 110 volts/60 cycles AC. Visitors from other countries, traveling with dual-voltage appliances will not need a converter, but they will need a plug adapter. The standard U.S. electrical outlet takes a plug of two flat pins set parallel to one another.


Ambulance, Fire, Police (Phone: 911).


The sales tax in Michigan is 6%.

Lodgings and meals are taxed in addition to this.


At restaurants, a 15% tip is standard for waiters; up to 20% may be expected at more expensive establishments.


The country code for the United States is 1. The area code for Grand Rapids is 616.

All U.S. telephone numbers consist of 10 digits – the three-digit area code, followed by a seven-digit local number. If you’re calling a number from another area-code region, dial “1” then all 10 digits. For calls within the same local calling area, just dial the seven-digit number.

Directory & Operator Information

For assistance from an operator, dial “0”. To get a local or national telephone number, dial 411; in a few places it is necessary to dial 555-1212.

International Calls

International calls can be direct-dialed from most phones; dial 011, followed by the country code and then the local number (the front pages of many local telephone directories include a list of overseas country codes). To have an operator assist you, dial “0” and ask for the overseas operator.

Getting There

By Plane

Gerald R. Ford International Airport


Gerald R. Ford International Airport has recently gone through a $50 million renovation to give it a sleek new look. Its hassle-free service provides nonstop flights to 16 hub cities including Detroit, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Toronto and more!


Amtrak’s Pere Marquette offers daily rail service between Grand Rapids and Chicago, providing fast and convenient rail connections to many destinations. (800) 872-7245


Intercity bus transportation arrives and departs from the Greyhound Bus Terminal located at Wealthy Street and Grandville Avenue. (616) 456-1709 or (800) 231-2222

Metro Transit

Grand Rapids and surrounding areas are served by Rapid buses of the Interurban Transit Partnership. Rapid buses run 7 days a week and include evening hours. Routes originate at the Downtown Transit Center on Ionia Avenue and Lyon Street. Buses stop at marked stops and shelters. (616) 776-1100


Grand Rapids Trolley Co., LLC

332 Kingswood Dr. SE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 954-7000

Grand Rapids Trolley is bringing back the best of the past by providing West Michigan with a unique and elegant transportation service. It’s fun to ride the trolley.

By Car

Due to the interstate highway system, Grand Rapids is only a few hours drive from most major midwestern cities.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Frank Lloyd Wright designed over 70 buildings in Michigan. Almost all of Mr. Wright’s designs for Michigan were single-family homes (or planned developments of homes). Two of these homes are in Grand Rapids.

J. H. Amberg House

Grand Rapids, Michigan 1909

This home is located very near to the Meyer May house, in the historic Heritage Hill neighborhood. The design was started by Frank Lloyd Wright and finished by Marion Mahony.

Meyer May House

450 Madison SE

A Frank Lloyd Wright designed prairie style house built in 1908 for the founder of May’s of Michigan clothing store It was restored by the Steelcase Corporation from 1985-1987.

Open free to the public on Tues and Thurs 10 – 2; Sundays 1 – 5.

Voigt House

115 College Avenue SE

Grand Rapids, Michigan

(616) 456-4600

Regular open house tours are conducted for the public every Tuesday, 11 – 3 and the second and fourth Sunday of the month from 1 – 3.

Admission charged

Built in 1895 for Carl Voigt, this French Chateau is perfectly preserved with original furnishings. Visit Voigt House and discover fascinating details of everyday life from the turn-of-the-century. This 19th century home is preserved with the original furnishings and personal possessions of Carl G. A. Voigt and his family. Tour the opulent home, carriage house and historically landscaped grounds.

Seasonal programs on life in Grand Rapids during the Victorian era. Open Tuesdays and 2nd and 4th Sundays. Admission charged.

Heritage Hill Historic District

126 College Ave. SE, Five blocks east of downtown

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 459-8950

A national historic district embracing over 60 different architectural styles. Self-guided walking tour brochure is available.. Annual Home Tour the first weekend of October.

Amway Corporation

7575 E. Fulton Road


Introduction to Michigan at work. Tour extensive Amway World headquarters and learn all about the growth, products and markets of one of the world’s largest direct-selling companies.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

1000 East Beltline Ave. NE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 957-1580

(888) 957-1580

Admission charged. Children (4 and under): Free

Mon-Sat 9:00 -5:00; Sun noon -5:00. Thurs 9:00 -9:00 June – August.

The 125-acre Gardens and Sculpture Park features the monumental Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse, indoor and outdoor gardens; Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; nature trails; sculpture galleries; and over 100 world-class sculptures.

Homestead Acres

6720 Ainsworth Road

Ionia, MI 48846.00

(616) 527-5910

Farm tour for Adults: $3.00, Children: $2.00

Open May-October. Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed Sunday. Weekdays by appointment.

A working farm with rare and exotic animals, farm tours and retail store with fiber, yarns and sweaters. Please call ahead to schedule tours.

Meyer May House

450 Madison Ave. SE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 246-4821

Call for hours. Admission free.

Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The last tour each day begins one hour prior to closing. Closed Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and all major holidays.

This 1908 masterpiece of the prairie-style design is one of the most complete restorations of a Frank Lloyd Wright house in existence.

Paul Collins Fine Art

220 Lyon St. NW, Suite 101

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 742-2000

Tuesday-Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or by appointment. Closed Sunday and Monday.

This gallery looks at the world through the eyes of artist Paul Collins whose subjects are the people of Senegal, Kenya, America, Israel, Japan, the Sioux Nation and Black American heroes.

The Grand Lady Riverboat

4243 Indian Mounds Dr. SW

Grandville, MI

(616) 457-4837

Fax: (616) 457-2231

Open May-October. Call for reservations.

Varies, call for information.

Call for dining reservations and a full schedule of cruises.

The Grand Lady is a 150-passenger stern wheel riverboat that offers sightseeing cruises, and meals featuring live entertainment.

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

41 Sheldon Blvd. SE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 454-7000

Monday-Thursday and Saturday 11:00 – 4:00 ; Friday 11- 8:30

Gallery admission free.

A multi-disciplinary contemporary arts center programming in the visual arts, performance art, music, dance, film and literature. Artist’s services are provided..

Gerald R. Ford Museum

303 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI -5353

Telephone: (616) 451-9263

Open daily from 9:00 am – 4:45 pm. (Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day).

Experience America’s most entertaining presidential museum. Attend a White House State Dinner, step inside the Oval Office and see the original Watergate burglar tools.

The permanent exhibits are the core of the Museum’s program. They allow visitors to participate in history, not just view it, while learning the highlights of the lives of President and Mrs. Ford. In addition to the permanent exhibits, a succession of temporary exhibits draw upon the rich holdings of the entire Presidential libraries system, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, and others.

Gerald R. Ford Library

The Ford Library (in Ann Arbor, Michigan) and Museum (in Grand Rapids, Michigan) promote popular interest and scholarly research in U.S. history during the post-World War II era, especially the Ford presidency (1974-77).The Library collects and preserves the archival record, and aids public access. The Museum presents an ambitious program of exhibits and special events. Both are part of the presidential library system administered by National Archives and Records Administration.

Van Andel Museum Center

From I-196 East, use Lake Michigan Drive Exit (75) east to downtown.

9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday

Noon to 5:00 pm on Sundays

Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Years Day and Easter.

Admission charged.

Children under age 3 admitted free.

Three floors of permanent and traveling exhibitions exploring regional history, City history, natural history, Native American Culture, and the decorative arts. A spectacular

Many visitors find it advantageous to start on the 3rd floor and work their way down to the first floor

Van Andel Arena

call Sky Dome Information Line at 616-456-3663 for current show topics.

No one is seated after the beginning of a performance. Visitors leaving during a performance may not be readmitted. No flash photography during a program.

Shows daily and extra shows on Saturdays and Sundays.

Grand Rapids Griffins

130 W. Fulton St.

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 774-4585

This IHL team offers the coolest game in town. The Griffins, the primary affiliate of the Ottawa Senators, play in the beautiful Van Andel Arena. Call (616) 222-4000 or (800) 585-3737 for ticket information.

Grand Rapids Hoops

2500 Turner Ave. NW

Grand Rapids, MI

This CBA Basketball franchise is loaded with shooting stars. See tomorrow’s NBA players today! Non-stop action and fun November through April at the DeltaPlex. Call (616) 559-7936 for more information.

Grand Rapids Rampage

130 W. Fulton St.

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 559-1871

The ArenaBowl XV World Champions play at Van Andel Arena with action packed football May through August. Call (616) 222-4000 or (800) 585-3737 for individual tickets or (616) 559-1871 for group tickets.

West Michigan Whitecaps Baseball

4500 West River Dr. NE

Comstock Park, MI

(616) 784-4131

(800) CAPS WIN

Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The Whitecaps play April through September at Old Kent Park. For ticket information, call (616) 784-4131.

Curiosity Shop

Open 7 days a week 361 days a year from 10:30 – 5:00 Mon – Sat. Noon- 5:00 on Sundays.

Teachers receive a 20% discount for classroom purchases.

The antique restored operating carousel is open 9-5 Mon-Sat and Noon – 5 on Sunday. The Curiosity Shop is a treasure trove of educational, interesting, and fun merchandise, representing all aspects of the Museum’s Collections: Furniture, Astronomy and the Stars, Victorian Life, Carousels, Nature, Natural Habitats, Native American Culture, Grand Rapids and Michigan History. A section is available for children, adults, grandparents and collectors.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

155 N. Division Ave. at Pearl St., downtown

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 831-1001

Admission charged.

Members and Children under 6: Free.

Fri. 5:00pm- close: free.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 – 6:00 Fri. 11- 9:00.

GRAM presents exhibitions of national caliber and regional distinction. Its collection spans from Renaissance to modern art. Call for information on exhibitions and programs

Common Gentry Carriage Co.

Sand Lake, MI

(616) 636-4398

Charge per hour. Seats up to six people per carriage.

Call for prices and hours.

Serves downtown Grand Rapids Friday and Saturday evenings 7:00 p.m. to midnight

Horsedrawn carriage tours of 30 and 60 minutes through downtown Grand Rapids and Heritage Hill Historic District. They include a historical tour and descriptions of Victorian homes.

Coopersville & Marne Railway

Interstate 96, exit 16 or 19

Coopersville, MI

(616) 837-7000

Admission varies.

Seasonal. Call for hours of operation.

Experience a wonderful and leisurely mode of travel on the Coopersville & Marne Railway, an old-fashioned passenger train. Specialty theme trains include Murder Mystery Dinner Train.

La Grande Vitesse Sculpture

Calder Plaza, Ottawa Ave. between Michigan and Lyon NW

Grand Rapids, MI

La Grande Vitesse means “the great swiftness,” or “the grand rapids.” Internationally known sculptor, Alexander Calder, designed this piece specifically for this site. It was installed in 1969.

River Mountain Golf

5301 Northland Drive NE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 365-0606

Come experience the thrills and excitement of rugged terrain, mountains, and cascading falls all as you play a challenging round of adventure golf that’s fun for the whole family!

Berlin Raceway

2008 Berlin Fair Dr.

Marne, MI 49435

(616) 677-5000

Half-mile asphalt short track features Saturday night racing in the Late Model, Sportsman and Super Stock divisions. Specialty races include ASA, ARCA, ISMA, Super Sprints. Season runs April – September.

US 131 Motorsports Park

1249 12th St.

Martin, MI 49070

(616) 672-7800

(888) 702-1399

A 1/4-mile dragstrip featuring weekly bracket races, Super Chevy and IHRA special events. August 2002, all new 1/2-mile paved oval with seating for 11,000.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Blandford Nature Center

1715 Hillburn Ave. NW

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 453-6192


Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Trails are open dawn to dusk. Closed major holidays. Woods, ponds and streams preserved within the city. Animal exhibits and trails open every day, free. Admission charged for seasonal programs on maple syrup production, pioneer history and crafts.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

11 Sheldon Avenue


With carefully planned true-to-life displays, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum invites children to “please touch” interactive exhibits. Contact the museum for a schedule of traveling exhibits and programs.

Council of Performing Arts for Children


This theatrical group provides nationally known professional theater groups for children of all ages. The productions are offered at the lowest possible cost to encourage appreciation of and enjoyment of theater arts. Call for dates and places.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

155 North Division Street


The museum offers a Children’s Gallery where children are encouraged to become involved in art and color experiments.

Gypsum Mine Tour

1200 Judd SW


Tour deep into the mine, and hear about the history and geology of gypsum mining. Spend time exploring for rocks.

John Ball Park Summer Theater

1300 West Fulton


Directly adjacent to the zoo is the Circle Theater. Three children’s shows run twice daily, Tuesday through Saturday, from June through August. Five main stage shows are also performed regularly during the season.

John Ball Zoological Garden

1300 West Fulton


Over 500 species of animals from all over the world make this zoo their home including Siberian Tigers, eagles, penguins, wart hogs, and snow leopards. The zoo offers a fresh water aquarium, snake house, and a display of tropical plants. On the grounds are barbecue grills, a baseball diamond, and play areas to ensure fun for everyone.

Public Museum of Grand Rapids

272 Pearl Street NW


This museum and planetarium have many fascinating things for families to see: 1928 Spillman carousel, 1890s Gaslight Village-a turn-of-the-century-street, Michigan mammals, Indian artifacts, prehistoric exhibits, and sky shows for youngsters.

Maze Craze

2845 Thornhills


An enormous indoor maze. There are two levels of six-foot-wide twists and turns. Maze changes weekly and is handicapped accessible.

Public Museum of Grand Rapids Van Andel Museum Center

272 Pearl St. NW

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 456-3977

Admission charged. Children 2 & under: Free.

Fee charged for special exhibits, planetarium and carousel rides.

Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday noon to 5:00 p.m. Closed Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday and Thanksgiving Day.

World-class exhibitions about history, nature, science, regional cultural heritage, Native Americans, 19th-century Grand Rapids cityscape and more. Ride a 1928 carousel; visit an early 20th century furniture factory; walk through a 19th century street of shops and hear the sounds from over 100 years ago.

Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at Van Andel Museum Center

272 Pearl St. NW

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 456-DOME (3663)

Admission is charged.

Call for schedule.

Spectacular educational sky shows for all ages. Laser light shows set to popular music. State-of-the-art Digistar theater. Shows change several times a year.

Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

11 Sheldon Ave. NE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 235-4726

Admission charged. Children under 2: Free. Thursday evening is Family Night, admission is only $1.00 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat 9:30 – 5:00 ., Thurs 9:30 -8:00. and Sun. noon – 5:00.

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum celebrates childhood and the joy of learning by providing hands-on exhibits that inspire learning and encourage self-directed exploration.

IMAX® Theatre at Celebration! Village

2121 Celebration NE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 530 SHOW

Admission charged.

Located on the corner of Knapp St. and East Beltline. The IMAX® large format film presentation is the most intense cinematic experience in West Michigan. (May be too loud and intense for very young children.)

AJ’s Family Fun Center

4400 Ball Park Dr. NE

Comstock Park, MI .00

(616) 785-0077

Call for information.

Seasonal. Call for hours of operation.

AJ’s is your one stop for total family excitement! They offer go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, bumper boats, arcade, food and prizes. Group rates and professional catering available.

Celebration! Cinema

2121 Celebration NE

Grand Rapids, MI

Call for admission.

Located on the corner of Knapp St. and East Beltline. Seventeen-screen theatre featuring state-of-the-art projection and digital sound.

Coopersville Farm Museum

375 Main St.

PO Box 64

Coopersville, MI

(616) 997-8555

Admission charged.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 pm

A regional museum focusing on rural, agriculture and farm life. The museum presents regularly changing exhibits, displays, demonstrations and performances. A retail store is on site.

NASCAR Silicon Motor Speedway

3700 Rivertown Parkway

(616) 724-2277

E- Events & Entertainment:
Arts and Entertainment

UICA has three galleries, named in honor of the organization’s past locations, and each has a different focus. The Front Street Gallery presents the work of emerging local artists; the Race Street Gallery offers the avant-garde works of regional, national and international artists, and the Monroe Avenue Gallery showcases community collaborations, traveling exhibits and special shows.

Actors’ at Spectrum Theatre

160 Fountain St. NE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 234-3998

Fax: (616) 234-4092

This state-of-the-art downtown facility offers five main stage productions year round. Box office (616) 234-3946.

Broadway Theatre Guild

Office: 161 Ottawa Ave. NW

Suite 603

Grand Rapids, MI -2721

(616) 235-6285

Fax: (616) 235-6282

The Guild presents Broadway touring productions at DeVos Hall. Admission varies with each show .

Community Circle Theatre

Office: 161 Ottawa Ave. NW

Suite 408

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 456-5535

Fax: (616) 456-8540

Community Circle Theatre presents five main stage and two children’s shows from May through September at John Ball Park. A school and family series is presented September through May.

Grand Rapids Ballet Company

Office: 341 Ellsworth Ave. SW

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 454-4771

Fax: (616) 454-0672

This professional ballet company offers classical ballet performances at DeVos Hall with symphony orchestra accompaniment and additional diversified repertory. December brings the annual holiday favorite The Nutcracker.

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre

30 N. Division Ave.

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 222-6650

Fax: (616) 222-6660

Enjoy live theatre in a historic landmark. The second largest community theatre in the US provides eight main stage productions annually. Musicals, comedies, dramas and children’s theatre.

Grand Rapids Symphony

169 Louis Campau Promenade NW

Suite 1

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 454-9451

Fax: (616) 454-7477

Grand Rapids Symphony presents classical, casual classics, pops, family series, and lollipop concerts September-May. In the summer the orchestra presents outdoor Bank One Picnic Pops concerts at Cannonsburg Ski Area.

Jewish Theater Grand Rapids

Performances held at Spectrum Theatre

160 Fountain St. NE

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 234-3946.

Jewish Theater Grand Rapids presents, thought-provoking and entertaining theatrical productions with Jewish themes that are relevant to people of all cultural backgrounds.

Master Arts Theatre

75 Vee St. SW

Grand Rapids, MI 49548

(616) 455-1212

Fax: (616) 667-9913

The Theatre offers a four main stage production season, touring performances, educational classes, Youth Summer Stock and Arts Day Camp. Master Arts is guided by a Christian world view.

Opera Grand Rapids

Office: 161 Ottawa Ave. NW

Suite 204

Grand Rapids, MI

(616) 451-2741

Fax: (616) 451-4587

Opera Grand Rapids, West Michigan’s only professional opera company, features rising national and international artists in three fully staged productions at DeVos Hall each season, which runs from October through May.



1sst week in January : annual Victorian Dinner fundraiser. The elegant Voigt House dining room will be the scene of this one-of-a-kind event, where each evening ten guests enjoy an eight course Victorian-style dinner served by costumed maids and butlers. The table will be resplendent with the original Voigt china, silver and crystal. The proceeds from the purchase of the dinners benefit the programming at Voigt House Victorian Museum.


Jump Start

This UICA fundraiser began in 1986 as a small gathering of artists who wanted to purchase one another’s art. The event is now held on the Saturday closest to Valentines Day and has grown into a highly anticipated auction of unique artwork.


2nd week Walk Michigan Lincoln Park

mid-month: YWCA Take Back the Night Walk Downtown

3rd week: Pietro’s Run Fasta Eat Pasta 5K Run Southeast Grand Rapids


1st weekend: Daffodil Parade Black Hills North of Hall, West of Godfrey

Mid-month: Walk Michigan Plaster Creek Trail

3rd week: John Ball Arts and Crafts Fair John Ball County Park

Last weekend: Grand Macker Calder Plaza and Downtown Streets

Memorial Day weekend: Ceremonies and Parade Downtown Streets


1st weekend: Annual Festival Downtown

1st weekend: Front Runners 5K Run Riverside Park

mid-month: Antique Car Show Riverside Park

mid-month: Walk Michigan Huff Park Nature Walk

3rd weekend: Lesbian/Gay Life Celebration Riverside Park

Last weekend: Fishing Derby Richmond Park


4th of July Celebration Ah-Nab-Awen Park

1st weekend: Hollyhock Lane Parade Calvin/Giddings Area

mid-month: Kids Park Party Lincoln Park

mid-month: Band Concert in the Park Riverside Park at Guild Street

mid-month: Walk Michigan Riverside Park

3rd week Richmond Park Festival Richmond Park

3rd week American Legion Parade Downtown Streets

end of month German Fest Calder Plaza

end of month Peacefest Garfield Park

end of month Band Concert in the Park Riverside Park at Guild Street


3-5 Soul of the City Calder Plaza

7 National Night Out Kick-Off Martin Luther King Park

mid-month: Festa Italiana Calder Plaza

mid-month: Celebration in the Park Aberdeen Park

mid-month: Walk Michigan Garfield Park

mid-month: Riverside Arts and Craft Fair Riverside Park at Guild Street

end of month Polish Festival Calder Plaza


Labor Day Parade and Rally City Streets and John Ball County Park

first week Celebration on the Grand Downtown Fireworks: Friday Parade: Saturday

first week Hispanic Festival Calder Plaza

mid-month: Mexican Independence Day Festival Calder Plaza

mid-month: Cottage Bar Chili Cook-Off LaGrave at Fulton


Pulaski Day Parade Bridge/Stocking/Walker Streets


Veterans Day Parade Downtown & Veteran’s Memorial Park

mid-month: Jaycee’s Santa Claus Parade Downtown

End of month: Brew-ICA

UICA’s ever-popular annual beer-tasting .Celebrate the art of beer with over 80 microbrews from Michigan and around the world. Beer, h’ors d’oeuvres as well as the bluegrass


Children’s Christmas Parade S.E. Grand Rapids Streets

Holiday Artists’ Market

UICA’s Holiday Artists’ Market features the original works of over 40 artists from throughout the Midwest. Original art includes paintings, jewelry, pottery, textiles, glass, photography and sculpture. Free admission.

Early in the month

Annual Holiday Artists Market, featuring gift items by over 40 West Michigan artists, holiday music and munchies. Friday : 5-9 pm; Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm. Admission Free.