Things to do in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Contents

Kalamazoo, Michigan, is a vibrant city with much to offer visitors. Located in southwestern Michigan, this city boasts a rich history, outdoor recreation opportunities, and cultural attractions that make it a popular tourist destination.

In this article, we’ll explore some things you can do in Kalamazoo to make the most of your trip.

Introduction

Overview of Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kalamazoo is a mid-sized city that is home to more than 73,000 residents. It is known for its diverse cultural offerings, innovative spirit, and strong sense of community.

Things to do in Kalamazoo, Michigan

With its thriving downtown, attractive neighborhoods, and rich history, Kalamazoo has something to offer everyone.

Kalamazoo is a popular tourist destination for a variety of reasons. Its scenic location on the banks of the Kalamazoo River makes it an excellent place for outdoor recreation. At the same time, its many museums, theaters, and cultural institutions provide plenty of indoor activities.

The city is also home to many delicious restaurants, unique shopping opportunities, and exciting events and festivals.

Places to visit in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Outdoor Activities

Kalamazoo Nature Center

Overview of the center

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the outdoors. This beautiful park covers over 1,100 acres of land and features a variety of wildlife, nature trails, and picnic areas.

Visitors can hike or bike on the trails, see animals up close in the exhibits, or relax and enjoy the park’s natural beauty.

Animals and exhibits

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is home to various animals, including reptiles, birds of prey, and other wildlife.

Visitors can learn about these animals through interactive exhibits and demonstrations, which provide an up-close look at the creatures that call the park home.

Nature trails and picnic areas

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a great place to enjoy the great outdoors. The park has several trails open to hikers and cyclists and several picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal in the fresh air.

Milham Park

Overview of the park

Milham Park is a popular destination for families and kids in Kalamazoo. This park features a variety of amenities, including a playground, picnic areas, and sports fields. Visitors can enjoy a game of tennis, basketball, or baseball or relax and take in the beautiful scenery.

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Amenities and attractions

Milham Park is a great place to spend a day with the kids. The playground features several structures designed for kids of all ages, and there are plenty of picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal in the fresh air. The park also has several sports fields, making it an excellent place for families who want sports.

Milham Park
Milham Park Bridges” by aislinn2000 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Activities for families and kids

Milham Park is a popular destination for families and kids in Kalamazoo. Some of the top activities for families and kids in Milham Park include:

  • Playgrounds and Play Structures: The park has multiple playgrounds and play structures for kids to enjoy, including swings, slides, and jungle gyms.
  • Picnic Areas: Milham Park has several picnic areas with tables and grills, making it a great place to enjoy a family picnic.
  • Sports and Games: The park has multiple fields and courts for sports like soccer, basketball, and tennis, as well as a disc golf course.
  • Nature and Wildlife: Milham Park has a variety of natural areas, including forests and wetlands, that are perfect for exploring and observing wildlife.

Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

Overview of the trail

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is a popular destination for cyclists, hikers, and walkers in Kalamazoo. This trail stretches for over 35 miles along the banks of the Kalamazoo River, offering stunning views and opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Length and accessibility

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is a long trail covering 24 miles of completed paved asphalt trail. It is accessible to hikers, cyclists, and walkers, making it an excellent place for outdoor recreation for all ages and abilities. With several entry points along the trail, visitors can start and end their hike or bike ride at any point.

Scenic views and stops along the way.

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail offers stunning views of the Kalamazoo River and the surrounding countryside. As you hike or bike along the trail, you’ll encounter several scenic stops, including picnic areas, fishing spots, and rest areas.

Cultural Attractions

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Overview of the museum

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art. This museum features a diverse collection of art and artifacts, including works by famous artists like Rembrandt and Monet and special contemporary art exhibitions.

With a focus on education and community engagement, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is a great place to learn about art and connect with others.

Permanent collections and special exhibitions

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts features a variety of permanent collections, including works by famous artists like Rembrandt and Monet. The museum also hosts special exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the work of contemporary artists worldwide.

Programs and events

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is more than just a museum; it’s a cultural center that offers a variety of programs and events to visitors. From workshops and lectures to art classes and concerts, there’s always something going on at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

Overview of the museum

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is an excellent destination for families and kids in Kalamazoo. This museum features a variety of interactive exhibits and displays that showcase the history and culture of the region.

Visitors can learn about the city’s history, see demonstrations of traditional skills, and explore interactive exhibits that bring the past to life.

Interactive exhibits and displays

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region interactively and engagingly. The museum’s exhibits and displays are designed to be both educational and fun, making it an excellent destination for families and kids.

Programs and events

In addition to its exhibits and displays, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum also offers a variety of programs and events to visitors. From educational workshops and lectures to fun activities for kids, there’s always something going on at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

Kalamazoo State Theatre

Overview of the theater

The Kalamazoo State Theatre is a historic theater in the heart of Kalamazoo. This beautifully restored venue has been a staple of the city’s cultural scene for over 90 years and is still a popular destination for concerts, performances, and events.

Performances and events

The Kalamazoo State Theatre is a versatile venue that hosts various events and performances throughout the year. From concerts and plays to comedy shows and film screenings, there’s always something going on at the theater.

History and architecture of the building

The Kalamazoo State Theatre is a stunning example of Art Deco architecture, featuring intricate details and ornate design elements that make it one of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

The theater has a rich history, dating back to its original opening in 1927, and has been carefully restored over the years to maintain its original beauty and grandeur.

Food and Drink

Kalamazoo Farmers Market

Overview of the market

The Kalamazoo Farmers Market is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. It is held every Saturday from May through November and features a wide selection of locally grown produce, specialty products, and handmade goods.

Local produce and specialty products

Visitors to the Kalamazoo Farmers Market can expect various locally grown produce, including fresh fruits and vegetables and specialty products like honey, cheese, and baked goods. The market is a great place to buy fresh, locally-grown produce and support local farmers and artisans.

Places to go in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Events and activities

In addition to shopping, the Kalamazoo Farmers Market also offers a variety of events and activities throughout the season. These events include live music, cooking demonstrations, and children’s activities.

Bell’s Brewery

Overview of the brewery

Bell’s Brewery is one of the country’s most well-known and respected breweries and is a popular destination for beer lovers visiting Kalamazoo. The brewery was founded in 1985 and has since become one of the largest and most successful craft breweries in the United States.

Tour options and tasting room

Visitors to Bell’s Brewery can take a tour of the brewery, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process and the history of the brewery. The brewery also has a tasting room where visitors can sample various award-winning beers and seasonal offerings.

Award-winning beers and seasonal offerings

Bell’s Brewery is known for its high-quality, award-winning beers, which include favorites like Two Hearted Ale and Oberon. The brewery also offers a variety of seasonal beers throughout the year, making it an excellent destination for beer lovers looking for something new and exciting.

Food Trucks and Street Eats

Overview of the food truck scene

Kalamazoo has a thriving food truck scene, offering various cuisine options for visitors. From classic street food like hot dogs and tacos to more eclectic choices like Thai street food and vegan cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Kalamazoo’s food truck scene.

food truck on Kalamazoo campus
Food Truck on Campus” by jima is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Variety of cuisine options

The food truck scene in Kalamazoo is incredibly diverse, offering various cuisine options worldwide. So whether you’re in the mood for comfort food or something exotic, you will find something to suit your taste in Kalamazoo’s food truck scene.

With so many great options, knowing where to start in Kalamazoo’s food truck scene can be challenging. Some of the best food trucks in the city include Thai-riffic!, El Camión, and The Pita Wagon, while some of the most popular dishes include Thai street food, pita wraps, and tacos.

Shopping and Entertainment

Kalamazoo Mall

Overview of the mall

The Kalamazoo Mall is a popular shopping destination in the city, offering many stores and restaurants. This indoor mall is the perfect place to spend a day browsing and shopping for gifts, clothes, and household items.

Stores and restaurants

The mall features a variety of stores, from high-end fashion retailers to discount stores. In addition, plenty of restaurants and cafes make it easy to take a break and enjoy a meal or a snack.

Kalamazoo Mall
Kalamazoo Mall” by simonk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Entertainment options

In addition to shopping and dining, the Kalamazoo Mall offers many entertainment options, including a movie theater and a planetarium. This makes it an excellent destination for families, groups, and couples.

Arcadia Creek Festival Place

Overview of the festival place

Arcadia Creek Festival Place is a popular outdoor venue that hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. There is always something going on at this lively and energetic venue, from concerts to food festivals.

Events and festivals

The Arcadia Creek Festival Place is home to many popular events and festivals, including the Kalamazoo Blues Festival, the Kalamazoo Ribfest, and the Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival. These events attract visitors from all over the region, making the festival place a must-visit destination.

Live music and entertainment

In addition to festivals and events, the Arcadia Creek Festival Place also features live music and entertainment, making it a popular destination for visitors and locals. So whether you’re a music lover, a foodie, or simply looking for a fun night out, the Arcadia Creek Festival Place is the place to be.

Celebration Cinema Crossroads & IMAX

Overview of the cinema

Celebration Cinema Crossroads & IMAX is a movie theater that provides a unique movie-watching experience with its large IMAX screen. The cinema offers a wide range of films, from the latest blockbusters to indie films, allowing visitors to choose from a diverse selection. The theater also features a spacious lobby and comfortable seating, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all movie-goers.

Movie options and events

The cinema is known for its state-of-the-art sound and projection systems, which deliver a truly immersive movie experience.

Celebration Cinema Crossroads & IMAX also feature special events like movie marathons, special screenings, and more. Visitors can check the cinema’s website or visit in person to learn more about the events and movie showtimes.

Food and drink menu

In addition to offering a fantastic movie-watching experience, Celebration Cinema Crossroads & IMAX has a food and drink menu that complements the cinema’s entertainment options.

Visitors can choose from various snacks and drinks, including popcorn, candy, soda, and more. The cinema also features a full-service bar that offers a selection of beers, wines, and other alcoholic drinks.

Summary of Top Things to Do in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Kalamazoo, Michigan, offers a variety of activities for tourists and residents alike. From outdoor adventures at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and Milham Park to cultural attractions such as the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Foodies will love the Kalamazoo Farmers Market and the award-winning beers at Bell’s Brewery. At the same time, shopping and entertainment options are abundant at the Kalamazoo Mall, Arcadia Creek Festival Place, and Celebration Cinema Crossroads & IMAX.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations

If you are planning a trip to Kalamazoo, check out the fantastic options available. Kalamazoo has everything if you’re looking for outdoor activities, cultural attractions, food and drink, shopping, or entertainment. And if you need more information or ideas, check out the resources available to help plan your trip.

Additional Resources for Planning a Trip to Kalamazoo

Visit the city’s official tourism website for more information on things to do in Kalamazoo. You can also check out local blogs and travel guides for recommendations and insider tips on the best things to see and do in the area. You will have a wonderful time in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with many unique options.

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