10 Awesome Things to Do at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids MI
Millennium Park Grand Rapids
Address: 1415 Maynard Ave SW, Walker, MI 49534
Phone: (616) 791-2357
Hours: Open Daily 7 am – 9 pm
Millennium Park Grand Rapids is one of Michigan’s hidden gems, offering amazing opportunities to connect with nature and have fun in the sun without leaving the city.
There are many exciting things to do and interesting sights to see in Grand Rapids, but did you know about Millennium Park, the largest urban park in West Michigan?
Located in the Walker area on the outskirts of Grand Rapids, Millennium Park is a popular spot for family outings and fun activities, and for good reason; there is plenty to do throughout the park’s 1,400 acres.
With endless miles of hiking trails, a beach, splash pads, fishing ponds, boat rental, park playgrounds and more, this is a top spot for outdoor adventure in Kent County. If this is your first time hearing about this beautiful park located on the banks of the Grand River, you may be wondering what sorts of attractions it has to offer.
That’s why I’ve put together a list of 10 awesome things to do at Millennium Park, to save you the time and effort of researching. Please note that there are some fees for park activities.
Read on for a list of the top things to do in Grand Rapids Millennium Park and start planning your visit to Grand Rapids Michigan now!
Note: Pets are allowed anywhere except for the beach area. Only service dogs are allowed on the beach.
Have a Picnic at One of the Millennium Park Picnic Shelters
Going on a picnic is a great way to relax and refuel, while enjoying the outdoors! If you want a spot in the shade, there are a couple of shelters to choose from—the beach picnic shelter and the family picnic shelter. Both shelters have a cluster of picnic tables available on a first-come first-serve basis. There are also restrooms nearby and plenty of outdoor recreation areas.
Didn’t pack a lunch? No problem! There is a concession stand serving snacks, drinks, hot food, and cold treats in the Van Andel Beach House, conveniently between both public shelters!
Plan a Beach Day at Millennium Park Grand Rapids
Millennium Park Beach
Why drive all the way out to South Haven or Grand Haven when you can enjoy the beach here in Grand Rapids? Bask in the sun or go swimming in the designated swim zone, clearly marked to keep you safe from fishing and boats.
If you were looking to have a picnic but didn’t land a spot at one of the tables, don’t worry. The six-acre beach is a great place to lay down a blanket or towel and enjoy your packed lunch or food from the nearby concession stand in the beach house.
Bonus? It’s a short walk from one of the many convenient parking lot, and the park features paved trails to the beach and splash pad.
Also in the beach house are lockers and showers to safely store your belongings and rinse off. There are fees varying by age groups to get into the beach and splash pad, but seasonal passes are also available. Young children ages 2 and under get in for free.
Millennium Park Splash Pad
There is even a splash pad for kids of all ages, featuring sprayers, buckets, and other fun water activities! The splash pad is completely enclosed, which makes it a little easier to keep your eyes on little ones.
Since the park is open until late in the evening, you can also watch the beautiful Michigan sunset.
Play at the Playground at Millennium Park Grand Rapids
If you’re looking for more fun activities for the kids, Millennium Park has three large play structures for your kids to play to their heart’s content.
There is also a sheltered play area for toddlers, and swing sets for people of all ages to enjoy. The playground can be easily accessed from lots A and B, and it’s close to the picnic areas and concessions so your little ones can have a bite after working up an appetite.
In addition, there is also a climbing structure located in the beach area.
Explore Nature Along the Hiking and Biking Trails
Millenium Park Trails Network
For a more quiet and serene activity, try hiking, biking, or taking a stroll along the park’s many trails. All located within the 1,400 acres, these trails stretch for an expansive 18 miles.
Most of the park trails are paved, but there are also boardwalks and well-maintained dirt trails. These paths branch through beautiful forests, open fields, and wetlands. It’s also great for photography.
Fall in Michigan is a great time to visit Kent County Millenium Park, too.
The expansive network of trails, including the Lake Leota Trail, Apple Blossom Trail, Fred Meijer Trail and the Hansen Nature Trail, are perfect spots for viewing Michigan fall colors. You’ll see white pine and a mix of towering hardwoods on these nature trails.
Thanks to these amazing park trails, you can enjoy nature’s beauty while still at the edge of town. How cool is that?!
Looking to “have a ball?” Enjoy more physical activities by playing sports like basketball or sand volleyball. The full-sized basketball court is located in the northeast end of the main recreation area.
As for the volleyball courts, one is at the north end of the main recreation area, while the other is in the beach area. Get here fast, because it’s first-come first-serve!
What’s a day at the lake without some good old fishing? Recreational fishing is one of the top pastimes in Michigan, and Grand Rapids Parks Department kept that in mind when developing this amazing Kent County park.
The best thing about fishing at Millennium Park? You’re permitted to cast a line in any lake in the park, and there are numerous decks and boardwalks that are perfect for the activity.
There are a few restricted areas around the main recreation area, but most of the park is free game! But just to note, ice fishing is not allowed anywhere in the park.
Take a Boat Out on the Lake
If you want to have more fun at the lake, try renting a boat from the DeVos Family Boathouse. There are kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, and paddle boards available from May 20 through Labor Day. Boating is a great way to spend the day, and there are 100 acres of water to explore.
Make sure to check availability and rates. Those with seasonal passes get a $2 discount.
Note: Private boats are not allowed, in order to protect the lakes from invasive species.
Hold a Group Event or Throw a Party at Millennium Park
Need a good place to celebrate an occasion with enough space for all your guests? There are two open shelters available for rent at a rate of $175 per day.
Both of these shelters can seat up to 140 guests, and there are two charcoal grills at each one. There is also water and electricity available, and both are wheelchair accessible and located near restrooms.
Have an even bigger event going on? There is an expansive open pavilion also available for rent called the Grant Pavilion, for private or public events.
This structure can hold 350+ guests with rental rates ranging from $350 to $700 per day. There is one large grill and access to water and electricity. It is also wheelchair accessible like the other shelters. The Grant Pavilion is located in the Secchia Meadows area of Millennium Park.
Go Skiing or Snowshoeing in Millennum Park Grand Rapids
Want to enjoy the “winter wonderland” in Millennium Park outside of season of operation? While most recreational activities and restrooms are closed between November 1 and April 30, trails branching throughout the park are still open to the public for cross-country skiing, fat-tire biking, or snowshoeing!
Some trails through the main recreation area are also plowed Monday through Friday for those who would rather hike in boots.
Attend Live Events at Millennium Park
Besides recreational activities, there are also various events held in Millennium Park.
There are many events held throughout the year, from educational activities and nature cleanups to live shows and concerts. Come join the fun and make unforgettable memories.
PRO-TIP: There is so much to do outdoors in Grand Rapids throughout the year, including hiking the Paui Henry Thornapple Trail or snowshoeing at Johnson Park.
Map of Millennium Park Grand Rapids
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About the Author-
Aiden Peltier is a content writer for My Michigan Beach who is currently in their senior year studying at Grand Valley State University, with a major in Writing. They have enjoyed writing and drawing since they were a child, and they take a lot of inspiration from music and nature. They are currently exploring many opportunities in the writing field and plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in December 2022.