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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.


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.

Written by The Rapid

The Rapid (Interurban Transit Partnership) is the authority that provides a variety of public transportation services for the Grand Rapids metro area and beyond. It is organized and operates under Michigan Public Act 196 of 1986.