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Stay Cool This Summer at Grand Rapids Pools & Water Playgrounds

Grand Rapids Pool

Summer is almost here, which means that warm weather is sticking around. Stay cool during the last days of spring and all summer long by visiting the City of Grand Rapids pools and water playgrounds, which open this Friday, June 9, 2017. Too hot to walk or bike? Get on board one of The Rapid’s air-conditioned vehicles and we’ll get you where you need to go.

The city’s pools are located at Briggs Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Richmond Park. There are also a number of water playgrounds/splash pads scattered around the city. Adult residents will be charged $2 for open swim at pools. Children between the age of one and 17 can enter for $1. For nonresidents, it’s $4 for both adults and children. All babies under the age of one get in free. For those seeking to visit the pool regularly throughout the summer, for just $80 a family pool pass for up to six people will allow for unlimited swimming during open hours.

Swim hours, lessons and splash pad locations can be found on the city’s website. So grab your swimsuit, towel, and let us take you and your family to these swimming destinations:

GRAND RAPIDS POOLS

1. BRIGGS POOL

Briggs Park is located at Lafayette and Knapp NE.
Hours: Monday – Thursday: 12:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 12:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Ride Route 11 to get there.

2. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. POOL

Located at Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Fuller and Franklin SE
Hours: Monday – Saturday: 12:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Routes 2, 5 & 19 can get you there.

3. RICHMOND POOL

This pool is located at Richmond Park at Richmond and Tamarack NW.
Hours: Monday – 12:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Saturday: 12:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Get on board Routes 7 and 9.

GRAND RAPIDS WATER PLAYGROUNDS

ALGER PARK – 921 ALGER STREET SE

CHERRY PARK – 725 CHERRY STREET SE

FULLER PARK – 300 FULLER AVENUE NE

GERALD R FORD MIDDLE SCHOOL – 851 MADISON AVENUE SE

HEARTSIDE PARK – 301 IONIA STREET SW

HIGHLAND PARK – 523 GRAND AVENUE NE

JOE TAYLOR PARK – 1030 BEMIS STREET SE

LINCOLN PARK – 231 MARION AVENUE NW

MULICK PARK – 1632 SYLVAN AVENUE SE

ROOSEVELT PARK – 739 VAN RAALTE DRIVE SW

WILCOX PARK –  100 YOUELL AVENUE SE

You can purchase passes for riding The Rapid on our website, at Central Station, TVM locations and at local retailers. Use The Rapid’s Trip Planning tool to find out the nearest stop and route to your chosen Grand Rapids water park destination.

Posted in Places to Go on

Ride The Rapid to Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille for Year-Round Military Discounts

Brann's Steakhouse and Grille

Delicious meals and great hospitality aren’t the only things Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille serves up daily. Memorial Day may be over but veterans and active U.S. Military members can receive discounts every day when dining at Brann’s.

Sizzling sirloin steaks, huge burgers and racks of ribs are just a few of the most loved item menus at Brann’s. And with four locations within our service area, Brann’s is the perfect transit and wallet-friendly destination for the whole family.

Discount We Love

Every Monday, Brann’s offers a 25 percent discount to veterans and active military members. Tuesday through Sunday, the discount for veterans and active military is 15 percent.

In order to qualify for the discount, veterans or active military members must show their veteran’s identification card, administration card, or another form of military identification while dining at any Brann’s location.

Transit-Friendly Brann’s Locations

—  Brann’s Leonard
401 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
—  Tommy Brann’s 
4157 Division Ave S, Wyoming, MI 49548
—  Brann’s Grandville
3475 Fairlanes Ave SW. Grandville, MI 49418
—  Brann’s Cascade
5510 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Plan your trip! 

We partner with FOX 17 to bring you budget-friendly destinations located steps away from Rapid bus stops. For more information on Brann’s menu items and locations, visit branns.com.

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Places to Go: Festivals, Street Party and More this June

Local First Street Party Crowd

June is the month for festivals! Whether it’s a festival celebrating local art, Asian culture or just a street party, downtown Grand Rapids has it covered in the upcoming weeks.

Warm weather is here to stay. This month, keep your calendar full with a variety of outdoor activities and festivals with excitement for the whole family. Whether it’s exploring local art, rocking out to your favorite bands or catching a movie — The Rapid can get you there!

Festival of the Arts

Celebrate art and kick-off the summer with Festival of the Arts June 2-4! This free, three-day community event takes place in downtown Grand Rapids at Calder Plaza and features several stages of performances, a juried Regional Arts Exhibition and dozens of food booths run by nonprofit organizations. Plus, creative activities for children and adults to make their own art as well as purchasing art from West Michigan artists.  

BONUS: Every purchase at Festival from food to art to t-shirts and posters gives back to the West Michigan community.

Ride the Silver Line, 11, 13 and 50 to get there.

Local First Street Party

Ride with us for some fun in the street just a short walk away from Rapid Central Station. The14th Annual Local First Street Party takes place Saturday, June 3 from 3 p.m. to midnight outside of Bistro Bella Vita and is free to attend! Join us in celebrating the best of West Michigan’s local music, local food, local beer and local entertainment. This year you can expect a bubble and craft table, photo booth, henna tattoos and more.

Routes 1, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12 + can get you there.

Movies in the Park

Grab your blankets and chairs because the fifth season of Movies in the Park kicks off on Friday, June 2! This free outdoor movie event returns this year with a new LED screen and earlier start times, which means every night will feature two movies.

June’s movies include Zootopia and Star Trek on June 2 and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory and Pan’s Labyrinth on June 16. Just catch a ride to Ah-Nab-Awen Park. Free programming starts at 6 p.m. With DJ Adrian Butler and Gabriella de la Vega of WYCE’s El Mundo Musical. Local food vendors will also be available onsite.

Routes 7, 9 can get you there.

Opening of Pools & Water Playgrounds

Cool off at Grand Rapids pools and water playgrounds beginning on Friday, June 9. The city’s pools are located at Briggs Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Richmond Park. There are also a number of splash pads scattered around the city. Adult residents will be charged $2 for open swim at pools. Children between the age of one and 17 can enter for $1. For nonresidents, it’s $4 for both adults and children. All babies under the age of one get in free. For those seeking to visit the pool regularly throughout the summer, for just $80 a family pool pass for up to six people will allow for unlimited swimming during open hours.

Routes 2, 5, 9, 11 +  can get you there.

Active Commute Week

Challenge yourself to think actively about how you get around from June 12-16. During this one week challenge, compete as an individual or as part of an Employer Challenge Team. Awards and Prizes will be given to winning participants for commuting actively. The following forms of active transportation are acceptable and encouraged: cycling, walking, riding the bus, carpooling, running, longboarding and skating. Don’t limit yourself–use these forms of transportation for daily errands–not just going to and from work or school. Register now!

Routes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 + can get you there.

Uptown Grand Rapids Eat, Shop, Rock

Ride The Rapid to Uptown each Thursday throughout the month of June for four exciting fun-filled evenings. Uptown’s Eat Shop Rock will feature free entertainment in each of the four business districts from 6-9 p.m. Walk around, enjoy the live music, dig into delicious food, head to your favorite shop and explore all that Uptown has to offer.

Dates & Live Music Venues

– June 1: East Hills (ICCF- 920 Cherry)

– June 8: Eastown (Eastown Veterinary Clinic parking lot – 1350 Lake Dr. SE)

– June 15: Wealthy Street (The Winchester – 648 Wealthy)

– June 22: East Fulton (900 Block of East Fulton)

Routes 4, 5, 6, 14 + can get you there.

Thoroughly Modern Millie

From June 2-18, don’t miss the production of Thoroughly Modern Millie at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. The 2002 winner of six Tony® Awards including Best Musical, this musical will transport you to 1922 New York City. Millie Dillmount is searching for a new life and the draw of all things modern: bobbed hair, short hemlines, jazz music, and women entering the workforce. This musical is recommended for teens/adult audiences.

Routes 1, 4, 6, 13, 14, 15 can get you there.

2017 Grand Rapids Asian Festival

On Saturday, June 10, head to Rosa Parks Circle for Grand Rapids’ very first Asian Festival. This inaugural one-day event will showcase the different cultures, food, arts, music and more that Asia has to offer.

Join origami and chopsticks workshops as well as interactive dance performances representing cultures from Bollywood to Laos! Participating restaurants will be serving food from their regular menus with some exciting exclusive festival-only additions. There will be a large variety of entertainment from lion dances, martial arts demonstrations, singers, a local celebrity hairstylist, and a live Asian band.  This is a free, public event with fun for all ages.

Routes 6, 9, 11, 13 and the Silver Line can get you there.

PedalGR

Dust off your bike and put some miles on it this summer. You can  PedalGR meets on June 14 and June 21 for a casual-paced group social ride beginning at Founders Brewing Company. The rides average 9-11mph and are accessible to almost all rider skill levels. Routes change for each ride but there is often a stop planned somewhere along the ride.

Since Founders is located across the street from Rapid Central Station, this ride is very accessible. Just use our bike racks to bring your bike with you to Founders.

Baby & Me Tour

On Tuesday, June 27, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is inviting mothers, fathers, caregivers and grandparents in for an interactive tour and discussion inspired by the latest exhibitions and permanent collection. Expect a special kind of outing where no one minds if the baby lends their opinion with a coo or a cry. Strollers are permitted and carrying or babywearing is encouraged from patrons. This tour is free; visitors enjoy free admission every Tuesday at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Baby & Me Tours are perfect for children age 0 – 18 months. The tour will meet at the Visitor Services desk in the lobby. Reserve your spot online or by calling Visitor Services at 616.831.1000.

Routes 6, 9, 11, 13 can get you there.

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The Rapid + WGVU Morning Show: Walk, Ride + Roll for Active Commute Week 2017

Active Commute Week 2017

On May 15, we sat down with Shelley Irwin on the WGVU Morning Show to talk about Active Commute Week taking place June 12 – 16! Michael Bulthuis of The Rapid and Johannah Jelks of She Rides Her Own Way talked about the benefits of walking, riding and rolling for commuting.

Whether it’s by your own two feet, on two wheels or on the bus, active commuting isn’t just good for your health, it’s good for the community and the environment. Active Commute Week is all about encouraging individuals and organizations to challenge themselves to try an active commute for a week. There’s a trip challenge with exciting prizes, pit stops for Bike to Work Day and a final happy hour celebration at Long Road Distillers to close out the event.

REGISTER NOW

It’s fast, easy and free to register by completing the individual form. Don’t forget to note your organization when you sign up if it’s applicable. You will be notified by The Rapid when your account is ready. Participants can track trips on theWest Michigan RideShare site. The deadline for logging trips is at 12:00 p.m. Friday, June 16, so we can tabulate results. Participants also have the opportunity to log their intended evening trips by noon on Friday.

Listen here for more details and benefits of Active Commute Week!

Posted in Events on

The Rapid Holds Job Fair to Recruit Bus Operators, Diesel Technicians and Administrative Staff

Rapid Central Station

Help keep your community moving! The Rapid is recruiting for several different job positions. We’re hosting a job fair to find exceptional candidates to join our award-winning team as bus operators, diesel technicians, tire technician and administrative assistant.

The job fair will take place on Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Rapid Central Station’s Community Room on the second floor, which is located at 250 Grandville SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

We offer competitive pay, great benefits, and the opportunity to work with a group of people who take pleasure and pride in making an important difference in the lives of others.

BUS OPERATORS

–  Starting wage is $17.91/hour
–  No experience necessary
–  No CDL necessary
–  Paid training
–  Valid Michigan Driver’s License
– Must have knowledge of the street and road system of the city.
–  Less than 4 pts on your license
–  Fluent in English

DIESEL TECHNICIANS

–  Starting wage is $20.56 + .45 shift premium
–  Second and third shift availability
–  One-year minimum experience
–  Electrical
–  Engine
–  Transmission
–  Brakes
–  Suspension, etc.

TIRE TECHNICIAN

–  Starting wage is $20.56 + .45 shift premium
–  Third shift
–  One-year minimum experience
–  Wheel & tire inventory control
–  Wheel & tire inspections
–  Repair suspension components
–  Wheel bearing adjustments
–  Mounting tires, etc.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

–  Starting Wage is $13.69 (26-32 hours/week)
–  One-year minimum experience
–  Microsoft Office Suites experience
–  Strong organizational skills
–  Excellent communication skills
–  Responsible for a high volume of filing & scanning
–  Highly confidential environment

JOB FAIR

Date: Saturday, June 3, 2017
Time:  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Rapid Central Station, Second Floor Community Room
250 Grandville Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

More information on these positions is available online at www.ridetherapid.org. If you can’t make it to these job fairs but are still interested in applying, applications are accepted Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at our Administrative offices located at 300 Ellsworth Avenue SW in Grand Rapids.

The Rapid is an equal opportunity employer and encourages minorities and women to apply.

Posted in News on

Uber + Transit Collaborate to Benefit Rapid Riders

Uber App

Good news for Android Transit app users! Ride-sharing app Uber and real-time public transportation app Transit have collaborated to launch a new feature to benefit Rapid riders.

Uber noticed many of its users are using the service in conjunction with public transportation.On Tuesday, May 16, Uber and Transit launched their collaborative effort to benefit those who appreciate a variety of mobility options in the 47 cities throughout the U.S. Uber now automatically recognizes whenever a rider’s end destination is at or near a public transit stop and displays upcoming departure times.

Get Started

Make sure you have both Uber and the Transit app downloaded on your Android smartphone. Once installed,  tap on the display to open the public transit navigational app for directions, service disruption updates and more.

The hope for this collaboration is to make it easier for people to get from A to B and to eliminate the need to shuffle between various different apps, according to a blog post from Andrew Salzberg, Uber’s head of transportation policy and research.

“At both Uber and Transit, we envision a future in which every journey is shared using a combination of transit options,” Salzberg writes.

The ultimate goal, he writes, is to create better-connected cities, a viable alternative to car ownership and reduced traffic and parking concerns.

“While there’s still much more work to do, we’re excited that our integration with Transit can help us get one step closer to this reality,” Salzberg writes.

Outside of Grand Rapids

The Transit app works with a number of different public transit options in each participating city.

Here in Grand Rapids, it provides real-time data from The Rapid. In Detroit, the app draws information from the Detroit Department of Transportation and Transit Windsor. In Ann Arbor, the app draws its information from The Ride transit service and from U-M Transit.

Though further expansion is expected in the future, Uber’s new service is currently only available on Android devices and only in 47 U.S. metropolitan areas.

 

Posted in Rider Stories on

There’s More to the Ride: Brad’s Story

Brad at the Grand Rapids Ballet

“The Rapid means freedom, independence, self-possession. It gives me the ability to get out in the community, meet other people, be involved and to do the things that I enjoy doing.”

We recognize people know The Rapid as Grand Rapids public transportation system. But there’s more to The Rapid than buses on the street or the bus stops and shelters you see in your neighborhood.

Last year, we provided 11.5 million rides. That’s a big number. It’s easy to forget that every ride is taken by a person, a person with a story. Through our new educational campaign, we are providing glimpses into the lives of a few of our riders. We asked them to share – in their own words – how The Rapid is a part of their lives and a part of the fabric of our community, and now we want to share those stories with you.

Meet Brad, a Grand Rapids citizen, and rider. He uses The Rapid’s fixed-route buses and GO!Bus service to get where he needs to go. When Brad learned that he had a degenerative eye disease, he began looking for a community with a strong public transportation system that could allow him to remain independent. He found that, and so much more, in Grand Rapids.

When Brad learned that he had a degenerative eye disease, he began looking for a community with a strong public transportation system that could allow him to remain independent. He found that, and so much more, in Grand Rapids.

Posted in News on

Bus Operator of the Month: April 2017

Each month, we have the opportunity of honoring a Rapid Bus Operator who has gone above and beyond in their job to keep the community moving. These bus operators are nominated by their peers and awarded by the Transportation Department for their hard work and dedication.

Bus Operator Maggie H.

BUS OPERATOR OF APRIL 2017: MAGGIE H.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT THE RAPID?

I started my driving career in 1979/80 with the public schools. However, I just celebrated 10 years this past January with The Rapid. That’s a total of 38 years as a driver!

WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT YOUR JOB AS A BUS OPERATOR AT THE RAPID?

I like the passengers best–young, old, rich poor–I have love for them all.

WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Music of all types is a great backdrop to my life as I grew up in a musical family. I like to sing and play my saxophone when I have the time. Aside from music, I’m an idealist. I’m passionate about imagining a world where people treat each other right, where love prevails.

Congratulations, Maggie! Thank you for all you do.

Posted in Rider Stories on

Rider Stories: I Didn’t Choose the Bike Life. The Bike Life Chose Me.

Bike

The following is written by Ken Miguel Cipriano, a Grand Rapids citizen and Rapid rider.

From biking around Burton Heights with my brother and neighbor in the late 90’s to present day bombing down Division heading downtown on my way to work, biking around town was my first form of alternate mobility. What’s the saying about your first love? You never forget them?

I’ve made it a part of my life to walk, bike, and ride public transit. Sure it saves me a ton, and I mean a ton of money, but that’s not the main reason I do it. I do it in part to relate to my father. Wherever I go I try and retrace my father’s footsteps when he first came to this country, all alone. Whether it’s walking all of Grand Rapids (my father used to walk past 44th street) or walking all of Manhattan. I do it to connect to how my father felt in a foreign land with no money or transportation. I do it to connect to my surroundings.

That’s exactly how it feels when you walk, bike, or take public transit! You see your city with new eyes. You notice the street level features of your block, you notice the different smells certain neighborhoods have, you notice which neighbor is the bravest to start grilling on a 40-degree day in early spring. You start to realize how large your city can be if you literally stop to smell the roses.

So let me drop some knowledge you may or may not know about going carless. When going straight home after work, a rarity, I average about 17 minutes on my bike. That’s Center City to the southside, about three miles in rush hour traffic. Jealous yet? The other nights I have meetings or events to attend I pull out my phone and check the ETA on the bus routes. If I’m going to the westside I like to hop on the DASH and either walk, if I have time, or bring my bike and pedal. Going east is easy so I just hop on the Route 6. Southbound is my favorite because if I miss the Silver Line, I just walk over to the Route 1 and it usually arrives right as I walk up.

Zoning out on the bus is possibly my second favorite thing to do when I’m commuting. Listening to music and just looking out the window or people watching helps me to just unwind and be present. Then there’s jumping on two wheels and going fast!

So you might be thinking to yourself, but Ken how do you bike to work, go to meetings, and do activities? Check the pictures below for my must carry when riding my bike. There is work mode, chill mode, and soccer-mom mode. Also, I’m the captain of a local team for the Grand Rapids Champs League, so I haul all the goodies!

Ken's Bike Bag for Work

Work mode:

   – Converse Chuck’s keep my feet breathing and feel best in my bike’s toe cages.

   – Backpack to keep my laptop, portfolio, and work clothes.

   – Waterproof bag, because getting caught in a downpour really sucks for your gadgets.

   – Boombotix Bluetooth stereo for blasting vibes

   – Gloves to save me from getting road rash again. Never again…never again.

   – Phone holder for checking my phone when friends change plans and send me to the other side of town, thanks, guys…

   – Wallet with my ID, credit card, and 31- day pass, because Division has so much glass that you’re bound to catch flats. Nothing is worse than catching a flat and realizing you either forgot your bus pass or it expired.

 

Ken's Bike Bag
Chill mode:

   – Converse Chuck’s not getting paid to say this they’re just extra comfortable for riding

   – Backpack usually for a sweatshirt and an extra tee

   – Boombotix for playing better music at the light than the car next to me. People don’t play enough 2pac.

   – Gloves

   – Wallet

   – Phone holder

Ken's Soccer Bike Bag

Soccer Mom mode:

   – 150 Liter Base camp waterproof bag

   – Soccer ball, futsal ball, ball pump

   – Futsal shoes, Soft ground cleats, turf shoes, socks

   – 2 one-gallon Gatorade jugs, because we drink at least that much.

   – First aid kit, cones, extra jerseys

   – Gloves

   – Wallet

   – Phone holder

So now you know why you should ride your bike, and I just let you know what you should bring while on your bike, all that’s left is to tell you how to ride your bike around the city. Spoiler alert…go fast.

You can find two kinds of cyclists, one who usually bikes on trails and country roads or the ones who stick to the city. Since I stay away from all the SUV madness on country roads, here are a few tips for riding in the city:

   1. Say goodbye to Midwest Nice: Your safety is of the utmost importance. So be loud and be seen. If you’re driving recklessly around me you’ll hear a loud and long “AAAAYYYYOOOOO!” or “ YO YO YO”. Either way, I try to make sure to be heard, and I’m not afraid to give a car a love tap when they inch over too much.

   2. Move fast. This one might feel counterintuitive but once you’re out on Fulton or Division and you’re pedaling at 5 mph it feels scarier as cars zoom past you because of your relative speed to them. 

   3. Helmet and gloves. You don’t want to gash your head or hands up

If you see me and my 150L bag zipping by in the city be sure not to honk, just roll down your window and give me an “AYO” We need to keep these streets friendly, it’s always good to have another friend and set of eyes out there.

See you on the blacktop.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ken Miguel Cipriano has lived in Grand Rapids since 1990. He works for Silicon Valley-based startup but holds his office here in downtown Grand Rapids. He likes to pull weeds, practice Muay Thai, watch Indie Films, and get in arguments. Ken has slept on a park bench overnight in Boston in the fall and has walked NYC all night because he didn’t have enough money for a hotel. You can see Ken riding down Division on his bike, running around the Southside, or on every bus line across the city.

Learn more about bicycles on The Rapid here.

Posted in Places to Go on

Places to Go: May 2017 Event Guide

Blue bridge grand rapids

April showers bring May flowers, so here’s to hoping for good weather and beautiful blooms all month long. The spring forecast also offers another excuse to catch a ride on The Rapid and let us do the driving to your work and play.

May is jam-packed with a variety of activities that all ages will love. Ride the bus to the John Ball Zoo to celebrate the environment, get in some exercise with yoga or a fun 5k and make time to relax outdoors at lunch at Rosa Parks Circle. Save a bit of cash while riding with us to events throughout our service area by buying a  One-Day Pass or a 10-Ride Ticket. And don’t forget, all rides on the DASH routes and the Silver Line’s No-Fare Zone won’t cost you a penny.

Here are some events we’re looking forward to this month:

1. Party for the Planet at John Ball Zoo

Ride Routes 12 and 50 to visit the John Ball Zoo on Saturday, May 6, for Party for the Planet! This event is a celebration of conservation, recycling and our natural world in honor of Earth Day. Animals that are threatened or endangered will be showcased with ideas on what you can do to help save these valuable species right here in Grand Rapids. Zookeepers will be doing presentations on the conservation field work they are conducting at our local zoo with talks focused on Piping Plovers, Massasauga, Kirtland’s Warbler, Wood turtles and the migratory Monarch butterflies. Click here to learn more about conservation efforts at the Zoo and how you can get involved!This event takes place from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Explore the zoo and meet up with local organizations local organizations that are enabling positive methodologies in the conservation. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children 2-13 and children under 2 are free.
BONUS: We’ll be there! Stop by our table. 

2. Free Fridays Yoga with a View The Blue Bridge

Exercise outside on Friday, May 12, at the Blue Bridge! All you need is your own mat and you can join in on this free, fun event. Routes 9, 11, 12 and the Silver Line to near the Blue Bridge. If you’re in for a longer walk, ride any route headed to Rapid Central Station and enjoy the walk over. This event takes place from 6-7 p.m.
Free Fridays Yoga is sponsored by Seva Yoga and the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department. 

3. Relax at Rosa

Rosa Parks Circle

Every Tuesday in May, visit Rosa Parks Circle for free lunchtime entertainment. This season, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. will once again be highlighting a diverse lineup of local bands and large games to play like chess, shuffleboard and Jenga. Upcoming musicians include Avalon Cutts-Jones and Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish. Participating food trucks include Gettin’ Fresh, What The Truck and Daddy Pete’s BBQ. Routes 6, 9, 11, 13 and the Silver Line can get you to Rosa Parks Circle. You can also hop on board a DASH route.

4. Vintage Street Market

On May 14, ride Routes 1, 2 or the Silver Line to shop to your heart’s content at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market monthly Vintage Street Market. Whether you are looking for that perfect couture vintage dress, or a hand painted vintage sideboard, the Vintage Street Market is where you’ll find that exciting treasure to complete your collection. This year’s Vintage Street Market is sure to be bigger and better than ever. Shop from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and then enjoy food and fun from other Downtown Market vendors.  

5. Kent County Resource Fair

This free family event to learn about services available in our community at low or no cost. Visit the Kent County Resource Fair at the Boys & Girls Club–located at the corner of Madison and Franklin–on May 18, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Attendees can enter to win giveaways,  enjoy light refreshments, resources and connections to community partners. For adults ages 21 and older. This event is made possible with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Hecho posible por Los Centros para El Control y La Prevención de Enfermedades y Kent County Health Connect.

Ride Routes 2 and 3 to get to the Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids.

6. KD aLe Book Club: Osgood Brewing

Books and brew come together at the KD aLe Book Club. Bibliophiles ages 21+can gather to enjoy some craft beer from Osgood Brewing while talking about what they’ve been reading on May, 18, from 7-8 p.m. Expert book recommendations from KDL librarians included. Ride to Osgood Brewing on Routes 8, 24 and 28

7. Glow Night at the Adventure Park

Ride Route 15 to visit the Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park for Glow Night hosted every Friday and Saturday night beginning in May. The suspended obstacle course will be lit up with LED lights and black lights. Admission for adults and kids over 14 years or older is #39, kids 13 and under at $35, while kids 4-6 are $20. Pricing includes three hours of time in the park. Make your reservation today. 

8. Heritage Hill Home Tour

Get on board and ride with us to Heritage Hill to explore amazing historic homes and buildings. The 48th Annual Heritage Hill Home Tour opens doors to eight restored private houses and four historic public buildings on Saturday, May 20 from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 21 from 12-6 p.m. Tour turn- of-the-century homes owned by prominent early Grand Rapidians, including an elegant prairie-style Frank Lloyd Wright, a quaint Gothic cottage, an Italianate beauty and a simple repurposed 1900 carriage house.

Advance tickets are $18 and available at the Heritage Hill Association office or online. Tickets the weekend of the tour are $25.

9. Westside Stride Free Pub Run

Catch a ride on Route 7 to head to the corner of Summer and Bridge Streets every Wednesday in May for a free weekly community pub run/walk! This is the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy the weather while getting some exercise and meeting new friends. Participants of all fitness levels are invited to this 5k event. After exercise, meet up for beverages and dinner at one of the many local Bridge Street establishments.  Join the Westside Stride Facebook Group

10. Made in Michigan Pop-Up Marketplace

Visit the Downtown Market to shop Michigan-made artisan gifts, local treats and other goodies. This event takes place on May 27 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  After you fill your shopping bags, grab some lunch inside the market hall.