When you need a family vacation, look no further than Grand Rapids. The metropolitan center of western Michigan is the perfect place for families. From stunning outdoor spaces and sandy beaches to indoor amusement to cool you down. See why we love it and enter to win a complete family vacation from Experience Grand Rapids

Get ready for 48 hours of fun in Grand Rapids! Enter to win an overnight stay at the Embassy Suites – Downtown, family 4-packs to FOUR all-star attractions AND a $100 VISA gift card.

If you haven’t had the chance to visit Grand Rapids, here’s an overview of all the fun your family can have:

John Ball Zoo

If you feel like you’ve been to zoos before and don’t need another one, John Ball Zoo is not your average zoo. When you arrive you’ll think you’ve entered a nice big park because there are multiple playgrounds by the parking lot. Once you enter, it’ll feel like you’ve arrived at a hidden oasis. Take the Funicular  ($4 per person) up the hilly terrain to the top of the zoo and begin your adventure. The Zoo is organized by continent and animal habitats can be viewed by guests from multiple angles and entry points. You’ll enjoy seeing the animals surrounded by greenspace with engaging elements like bridges and climbers to keep them busy. The zoo has over 1,300 animals including lions, tigers, chimpanzees, red pandas, and newly homed koalas.

Animals aren’t the only ones with fun things to climb on. There is a nature based Clubhouse for kids and climbers throughout the zoo to get them moving like the animals.

Stop by this summer to check out the temporary larger-than-life animal display. Washed Ashore is an artist installation, featuring multiple animals created out of materials left on Oregon beaches – it’s a good learning lesson and beautiful photo opportunity.

Frederik Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park

The Frederik Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park is beautiful and expansive – wear walking shoes because there’s plenty to see. Start your visit inside at the Convservatory and Children’s Garden Discovery Experience, then head out to the Children’s Garden. Wear water shoes/sandals because your kids wont’ be able to resist the massive Great Lakes water table. Let them make a splash then stroll along the boardwalk to through the wetlands to the treehouse fortress. Kids love running across the bridges and from different treehouses. Afterwards let them get ‘lost’ in the garden maize. Throughout the gardens you’ll spot beautiful animal sculptures that will capture their attention – including a couple of dragons.

Pull out the map of the grounds and decide where to go next – the Sculpture Park, Japanese Gardens, Michigan’s Farm Garden or Frey Boardwalk.

Grand Rapids Public Museum 

Don’t be fooled by the name, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is made for kids and families and features 3 floors of hands-on fun. Walk the streets of old Grand Rapids, come face to face wtih dinosaurs, and stroll through the A to Z exhibit to learn new things. Don’t miss out on the carousel that recently re-opened and sits on enclosed space overlooking the Grand River.

Grand Rapids Children Museum

Grand Rapids Children Museum is a miniature world for kids of all ages with a construction site, medical center, farm and shopping center. Bubble tables and tains put it to over the top excitement for littles. If you have a Mo Willem Pigeon lover at home, prepare to make a trip this fall too because The Pigeon Comes To Grand Rapids from September to January.

Embassy Suites – Downtown

The Embassy Suites – Downtown is the PERFECT place to stay. Located along the river with beautiful views of the city and a short, scenic 20 minute walk to the Grand Rapids Public Museum (designed with kids in mind) and Grand Rapids Children Museum. It’s about a 10 to 15 minute drive to the other destinations mentioned below. The room are large, there’s an indoor pool, complimentary family-friendly happy hour and a quality complimentary breakfast in the morning.

Want to learn more about Grand Rapids? Visit ExperienceGR.com or sign up for the Experience Grand Rapids monthly newsletter to help you plan your next visit.

Photo credit: Facebook