30 Terrific Things to Do in Kalamazoo (2024)

Looking for an unforgettable adventure in Kalamazoo? We’ve got you covered with our top picks of the most thrilling activities this vibrant city, festival place, has to offer. From festival places to college towns, there’s something here for everyone to shop and enjoy friendly things. So, buckle up children and get ready to embark on a journey filled with excitement and wonder.

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Eager for more? How about catching a show at The Civic Theatre? Experience the magic of live performances ranging from Broadway-style musicals to thought-provoking dramas that will captivate your senses.

1. Visit the Kalamazoo Valley Museum

If you’re looking for an educational and enriching experience in Kalamazoo, a visit to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a must. This fascinating museum offers a wide range of exhibits and activities that cater to all ages.

One of the highlights of the museum is its focus on local history. You can explore exhibitions that delve into the rich heritage of Kalamazoo, from its early settlement to its industrial growth. Learn about influential figures who have shaped the city’s history and discover how Kalamazoo has evolved over time.

Address230 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
HoursTuesday-Saturday: 10 AM – 4 PM, Sunday: 12 PM – 4 PM (Closed Mondays) 
ParkingPaid parking available in nearby lots and garages 
*Extensive collections covering science, history, and art of Southwest Michigan

For science enthusiasts, there are interactive displays that showcase various scientific principles in an engaging way. From hands-on experiments to demonstrations, visitors can learn about topics such as physics, biology, and astronomy while having fun at the same time.

Art lovers will also find something to appreciate at the museum. The art gallery features rotating exhibits that highlight both local talent and renowned artists from around the world. Whether you’re interested in paintings, sculptures, or mixed media installations, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts special events throughout the year. These events include workshops, lectures by experts in various fields, film screenings, and live performances. Keep an eye on their calendar so you don’t miss out on any upcoming activities that pique your interest.

A trip to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum provides not only entertainment but also valuable learning opportunities for visitors of all ages. Immerse yourself in history, science exploration or artistic expression – this museum truly offers something for everyone!

2. Explore the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and those looking to explore the vibrant cultural scene in Kalamazoo. With its diverse collection, engaging exhibitions, and educational programs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The institute boasts an impressive collection of over 4,500 artworks spanning various periods and styles. From Renaissance masterpieces to contemporary installations, you’ll find a rich tapestry of artistic expression. The museum showcases works by renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andy Warhol.

One highlight is the Kirk Newman Art School within the institute. It offers classes and workshops for all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist looking to refine your craft, you’ll find a wide range of courses in painting, drawing, ceramics, photography, and more.

In addition to its permanent collection and art school offerings, the institute hosts rotating exhibitions that showcase different themes or specific artists. These temporary exhibits provide fresh perspectives on art movements or delve into specific aspects of an artist’s work.

Beyond its role as a gallery space, the KIA also serves as a hub for community engagement through various events such as lectures by visiting artists or curators. These events offer opportunities to learn directly from experts in the field while fostering dialogue among attendees.

Visiting the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts not only allows you to appreciate world-class artwork but also supports local arts education initiatives. By exploring this cultural gem nestled in downtown Kalamazoo, you contribute to fostering creativity within the community.

So whether you’re seeking inspiration or simply want to immerse yourself in beauty during your visit to Kalamazoo, the KIA promises an enriching experience that will leave lasting memories.

3. Enjoy a show at the Kalamazoo State Theatre

The Kalamazoo State Theatre is a must-visit destination for entertainment enthusiasts. With its rich history and stunning architecture, this venue offers an unforgettable experience for both locals and tourists alike.

  1. Historic Charm: The Kalamazoo State Theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1927. Its vintage charm adds to the overall ambiance of any performance, creating a unique atmosphere that transports you back in time.

  1. Diverse Performances: From live music concerts to comedy shows and theatrical performances, the Kalamazoo State Theatre hosts a wide range of events throughout the year. You can catch your favorite musicians, comedians, or even Broadway productions right here in downtown Kalamazoo.
  2. Intimate Setting: Unlike larger venues, the intimate setting of the Kalamazoo State Theatre allows for an up-close and personal experience with performers. No matter where you’re seated, you’ll feel connected to the stage and fully immersed in the performance.
  3. Acoustic Excellence: Known for its exceptional acoustics, this theatre ensures that every note sung or spoken resonates beautifully throughout the space. Whether it’s a powerful ballad or a witty punchline, you won’t miss a beat when attending a show at this iconic venue.
  4. Community Engagement: The Kalamazoo State Theatre actively engages with its community by hosting local talent showcases and partnering with nonprofit organizations for fundraising events. By attending shows here, you not only support artists but also contribute to initiatives that benefit the local community.

So whether you’re looking to enjoy live music from your favorite band or laugh out loud at a comedy show, make sure to add experiencing a performance at the historic Kalamazoo State Theatre to your list of things to do in town!

4. Walk through the Kalamazoo Nature Center

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful retreat. Here’s why you should explore this beautiful natural haven:

  1. Trails for all levels: The center boasts an extensive trail system, catering to hikers of all skill levels. Whether you’re an experienced trekker or just starting out, you’ll find a trail that suits your abilities. From easy strolls to more challenging hikes, there’s something for everyone.
  2. Immerse in diverse ecosystems: As you wander along the trails, be prepared to encounter various ecosystems unique to Michigan. Explore lush forests filled with towering trees and vibrant wildflowers. Marvel at wetlands teeming with life and listen to the melodious songs of birds in their natural habitats.
  3. Educational opportunities: The Kalamazoo Nature Center offers educational programs and guided tours led by knowledgeable staff members who are passionate about conservation and ecology. Learn about local wildlife, flora, and fauna while gaining a deeper understanding of environmental sustainability.
  4. Family-friendly activities: This nature center caters to families as well! Engage your children in interactive exhibits designed specifically for young learners or embark on scavenger hunts along the trails—perfect for keeping them entertained while fostering their love for nature.
  5. Photography paradise: With its breathtaking landscapes and abundant wildlife, the Kalamazoo Nature Center provides endless photo opportunities that will make any shutterbug rejoice! Capture stunning shots of colorful butterflies fluttering among flowers or snap pictures of majestic deer grazing peacefully in meadows.
  6. Escape from city life: Located just minutes away from downtown Kalamazoo, this serene sanctuary allows visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of city living without venturing too far from civilization.

5. Check out the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum

The Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum is a must-visit attraction in Kalamazoo for aviation enthusiasts and science lovers alike. Here are some reasons why you should make it a part of your itinerary:

  1. Immersive Exhibits: The museum boasts an impressive collection of aircraft, spacecraft, and interactive exhibits that provide visitors with a hands-on experience. From vintage planes to modern jets, you’ll get up close and personal with the wonders of flight.
  2. Educational Opportunities: The Air Zoo offers educational programs for all ages, making it an ideal destination for school field trips or family outings. Kids can participate in workshops, camps, and STEM-based activities that promote learning through exploration.
  3. Flight Simulators: Ever wondered what it feels like to pilot an airplane? At the Air Zoo, you can hop into one of their state-of-the-art flight simulators and take control of various aircraft models. It’s as close to flying as you can get without leaving the ground!
  4. Historical Significance: The museum showcases significant moments in aviation history, such as World War II fighter planes and artifacts from NASA missions. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of how aviation has evolved over time and appreciate the contributions made by pioneers in the field.
  5. Fun for All Ages: Whether you’re young or young at heart, there’s something for everyone at the Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum. Families can enjoy interactive displays together while individuals can delve into their own areas of interest within aerospace and science.

6. Stroll around Bronson Park

Bronson Park is a must-visit destination in Kalamazoo, offering a serene and picturesque atmosphere for visitors of all ages. This charming park is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy some quality time with family or friends. Here are some reasons why you should include Bronson Park on your list of things to do in Kalamazoo:

  1. Beautiful Landscaping: As you wander through Bronson Park, you’ll be greeted by lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and well-maintained pathways. The park’s meticulous landscaping creates a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling city.
  2. Historical Significance: Bronson Park holds historical significance as it was established in 1839, making it one of Michigan’s oldest parks. It serves as a reminder of the city’s rich heritage and provides an opportunity to appreciate its architectural treasures.
  3. Public Art Displays: Throughout the park, you’ll find various sculptures and art installations that add an artistic flair to your stroll. These captivating pieces provide interesting photo opportunities while adding cultural value to the surroundings.
  4. Relaxing Atmosphere: Whether you’re seeking solitude or want to engage in social activities, Bronson Park caters to both preferences. You can find peaceful spots under shady trees for quiet reflection or join community events such as concerts or festivals held here throughout the year.
  5. Central Location: Situated in downtown Kalamazoo, Bronson Park offers convenient access to nearby attractions like theaters, museums, shops, and restaurants – allowing you to easily explore more of what this vibrant city has to offer.

So next time you’re in Kalamazoo, make sure not to miss out on strolling around beautiful Bronson Park! Its serene ambiance combined with its historical significance makes it an ideal spot for relaxation and exploration.

7. Taste local brews on a Kalamazoo Beer Tour

If you’re a beer enthusiast, a Kalamazoo Beer Tour is an absolute must-do when visiting this vibrant city. With its rich brewing history and thriving craft beer scene, Kalamazoo offers an array of unique flavors and styles that are sure to delight your taste buds. Here’s why you should embark on a beer tour during your visit:

  1. Discover Local Breweries: Kalamazoo is home to several renowned breweries, each with its own distinct personality and brewing techniques. Take a tour of Bell’s Brewery, one of the largest independent craft breweries in the country, known for their iconic Two Hearted Ale and Oberon Wheat Ale. Or explore Arcadia Brewing Company, where you can savor their award-winning British-inspired beers.
  2. Sample Diverse Flavors: From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts and refreshing lagers, Kalamazoo’s breweries offer an impressive range of flavors to suit every palate. Whether you prefer bold and robust brews or lighter options bursting with fruity notes, there’s something for everyone on these tours.
  3. Learn About the Brewing Process: Gain insights into the artistry behind crafting exceptional beers as experienced guides take you through each step of the brewing process. Discover how ingredients like malted barley, hops, yeast, and water come together harmoniously to create your favorite pint.
  4. Engage with Knowledgeable Brewers: Interact with passionate brewers who love sharing their expertise about different beer styles and flavor profiles. They’ll gladly answer any questions you have while providing fascinating anecdotes about the history of brewing in Kalamazoo.
  5. Support Local Businesses: By participating in a beer tour, not only do you get to enjoy delicious brews but also contribute directly to the local economy by supporting small businesses within the community.

So grab your friends or make new ones along the way, and embark on a Kalamazoo Beer Tour to experience the city’s vibrant beer culture firsthand. Cheers!

8. Catch a game at the Waldo Stadium

If you’re a sports fan or simply enjoy the excitement of live games, catching a game at the Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo is an experience you won’t want to miss. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Home of Western Michigan University Broncos: The Waldo Stadium is the home field for the Western Michigan University (WMU) Broncos football team. Watching a game here allows you to witness top-level college football action and cheer on your favorite team.
  2. Electric Atmosphere: The stadium has a seating capacity of over 30,000 spectators, creating an electric atmosphere that adds to the thrill of watching a live game. Whether it’s feeling the collective energy of cheering fans or being part of spirited chants and traditions, attending a game here guarantees an unforgettable experience.
  3. Exciting Football Program: WMU Broncos have established themselves as one of the most successful Mid-American Conference (MAC) football programs in recent years. They have competed in multiple bowl games and produced talented players who have gone on to play in professional leagues like the NFL.
  4. Family-Friendly Environment: Attending a game at Waldo Stadium is not just for die-hard fans but also families looking for wholesome entertainment options. You can bond with loved ones while enjoying great football action and indulging in delicious stadium food.
  5. Affordable Entertainment: Ticket prices for WMU Broncos’ home games are generally affordable compared to those of professional sporting events, making it accessible for everyone to enjoy this thrilling experience without breaking their budget.

So grab your friends or family members, put on your team colors, and head down to catch an exhilarating game at Waldo Stadium!

9. Shop at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market

The Kalamazoo Farmers Market is a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists. This vibrant market offers an array of fresh produce, artisanal goods, and unique crafts. Here are some reasons why you should explore this bustling marketplace:

  1. Support Local Farmers: By shopping at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market, you directly support local farmers and artisans in your community. You can find an abundance of locally grown fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, and more. Not only will you be getting high-quality products, but you’ll also be contributing to the sustainability of small-scale agriculture.
  2. Discover Fresh and Seasonal Produce: The market is a treasure trove of seasonal delights. From juicy strawberries in summer to crisp apples in fall, you’ll find a wide variety of fresh produce that changes with each season. Shopping here allows you to connect with nature’s bounty while enjoying flavors at their peak.
  3. Experience Cultural Diversity: The Kalamazoo Farmers Market reflects the diverse cultural heritage of its vendors and customers alike. As you stroll through the stalls, you’ll encounter different cuisines such as Mexican tamales or Indian samosas being prepared right before your eyes. It’s a great opportunity to broaden your culinary horizons.
  4. Engage with Artisans: In addition to farm-fresh food items, the market showcases handcrafted goods created by talented local artisans—everything from handmade soaps to intricate pottery pieces can be found here. Supporting these artists not only helps them sustain their craft but also allows you to take home one-of-a-kind treasures.
  5. Enjoy Community Events: The market hosts various events throughout the year that add even more excitement to your visit! From live music performances to cooking demonstrations featuring local chefs showcasing delicious recipes using ingredients sourced from the market itself – there’s always something happening that brings people together.

Visiting the Kalamazoo Farmers Market is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the local culture, support small businesses, and savor the freshest produce. Don’t miss out on this vibrant hub of community and culinary delights!

10. Relax at the Markin Glen County Park

Markin Glen County Park is a serene and picturesque destination in Kalamazoo, perfect for those seeking relaxation and tranquility. With its beautiful natural surroundings and various recreational activities, this park offers something for everyone.

  1. Nature Trails: Explore the park’s extensive network of nature trails that wind through lush forests and alongside scenic lakes. Immerse yourself in nature as you take leisurely walks or invigorating hikes, enjoying the fresh air and stunning views.
  2. Picnic Areas: Bring along a delicious meal or snacks to enjoy at one of the park’s many picnic areas. Spend quality time with family or friends while surrounded by nature’s beauty. Don’t forget to pack a blanket to spread out on the grass!
  3. Fishing Opportunities: If you’re an angler, bring your fishing gear along! Markin Glen County Park features several lakes where you can cast your line and try your luck catching fish such as bass, bluegill, or catfish.
  4. Swimming Beach: On hot summer days, cool off at the swimming beach within the park. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear water or simply relax on the sandy shore while soaking up some sun.
  5. Playground Area: Kids will love exploring the playground area equipped with swings, slides, and climbing structures. Let them burn off energy while having fun in a safe environment.
  6. Camping Facilities: For those looking for an extended stay amidst nature’s beauty, Markin Glen County Park offers camping facilities with both tent sites and RV hookups available.

With its abundance of outdoor activities and peaceful atmosphere, Markin Glen County Park provides an ideal escape from city life without venturing too far from Kalamazoo’s center.

11. Bike the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail offers an incredible biking experience for both locals and visitors. Spanning over 22 miles, this scenic trail winds through picturesque landscapes, providing a perfect opportunity to explore the beauty of nature while enjoying a refreshing bike ride.

  1. Scenic Beauty: The trail takes you through diverse natural settings, including lush forests, open meadows, and serene riverbanks. As you pedal along the path, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views that change with each season.
  2. Accessibility: With multiple access points throughout Kalamazoo County, it’s easy to hop on your bike and start exploring. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cyclist, there are sections of varying difficulty levels to suit everyone’s preferences.
  3. Family-Friendly Fun: Biking the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail is an excellent activity for families looking to spend quality time together outdoors. The wide paved pathway ensures safety for riders of all ages and skill levels. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day out of it!
  4. Connecting Communities: One unique aspect of this trail is its ability to connect various communities in the area. It passes through several parks where you can take breaks or enjoy recreational activities such as fishing or birdwatching.
  5. Health Benefits: Cycling has numerous health benefits, including improving cardiovascular fitness and building strength in your legs and core muscles. By biking along this scenic trail regularly, you can incorporate exercise into your routine while immersing yourself in nature.

So grab your helmet, pump up those tires, and hit the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail for an unforgettable biking adventure that combines outdoor exploration with physical activity! Whether you’re seeking solitude or want to enjoy some quality time with loved ones amidst stunning scenery – this trail has something for everyone.

12. Attend the Kalamazoo Blues Festival

The Kalamazoo Blues Festival is a must-attend event for music lovers and blues enthusiasts. Held annually in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this festival brings together talented musicians from all over the country to showcase their skills and entertain audiences with soulful blues melodies.

  1. Immerse yourself in the blues: The festival offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of blues music. From traditional Delta blues to modern interpretations, you’ll experience a diverse range of styles that will leave you tapping your feet and swaying to the rhythm.
  2. Talented lineup: The festival boasts an impressive lineup of renowned artists who are masters of their craft. You can expect performances from both established names and emerging talents, ensuring there’s something for everyone’s musical taste.
  3. Engaging workshops: In addition to live performances, the Kalamazoo Blues Festival also features interactive workshops where attendees can learn about various aspects of blues music. Whether it’s mastering guitar techniques or understanding the origins of different styles, these workshops provide valuable insights into the art form.
  4. Family-friendly atmosphere: The festival prides itself on creating a welcoming environment for people of all ages. Families can enjoy spending quality time together while enjoying great music and participating in fun activities designed specifically for kids.
  5. Supporting local talent: Alongside national acts, the festival showcases local musicians who contribute significantly to Michigan’s vibrant blues scene. Attending this event not only allows you to enjoy fantastic performances but also supports local artists by providing them with a platform to share their talent with a wider audience.

13. Explore the Gilmore Car Museum

If you’re a car enthusiast or simply appreciate automotive history, a visit to the Gilmore Car Museum is a must when in Kalamazoo. This expansive museum showcases over 400 vehicles spanning more than a century of automobile manufacturing.

Immerse Yourself in Automotive History

At the Gilmore Car Museum, you’ll have the opportunity to explore various exhibits and collections that highlight different eras and aspects of car culture. From classic cars from the early 1900s to iconic muscle cars from the 1960s, there’s something for everyone.

Highlights of the Collection

The museum boasts an impressive collection with notable highlights such as:

  • The Lincoln Motor Car Heritage Museum: Showcasing rare Lincolns dating back to 1915.
  • The Cadillac-LaSalle Club Museum: Featuring beautifully restored Cadillacs and LaSalles.
  • The Model A Ford Museum: Focusing on Henry Ford’s famous Model A.

Interactive Experiences

One unique aspect of visiting this museum is the chance to participate in interactive experiences. You can hop into one of their vintage automobiles for a ride around their historic campus or even take part in driving classes offered by experienced instructors.

Special Events and Exhibits

Throughout the year, the Gilmore Car Museum hosts special events and temporary exhibits that provide visitors with even more opportunities to delve into automotive history. From themed car shows to workshops on restoration techniques, there’s always something happening at this dynamic institution.

Whether you’re an avid car collector or simply curious about automobiles, exploring the Gilmore Car Museum will transport you through time and immerse you in fascinating stories from automotive history.

14. Visit the Fort Custer Recreation Area

If you’re a nature lover or enjoy outdoor activities, visiting the Fort Custer Recreation Area is a must when in Kalamazoo. This expansive park offers a wide range of recreational opportunities and beautiful natural scenery.

Hiking and Biking Trails

The Fort Custer Recreation Area boasts over 25 miles of hiking and biking trails, perfect for those looking to explore the outdoors. Whether you prefer an easy stroll or a challenging hike, there are trails suitable for all skill levels. Don’t forget to bring your camera along as you’ll encounter stunning views of forests, wetlands, and even wildlife along the way.

Fishing and Boating

Anglers will be delighted by the excellent fishing opportunities at Fort Custer’s three lakes: Whitford Lake, Eagle Lake, and Morrow Lake. These lakes are home to various fish species including bass, pike, walleye, and panfish. You can cast your line from shore or rent a boat if you prefer to venture out onto the water.

Camping Facilities

For those who want to extend their stay at Fort Custer Recreation Area, camping facilities are available. The campground features both modern sites with electrical hookups as well as rustic sites for a more primitive experience. With amenities such as showers, restrooms, picnic areas, and playgrounds nearby, it’s an ideal spot for families or groups of friends looking to immerse themselves in nature.

Hunting Opportunities

Fort Custer also offers hunting opportunities during designated seasons. From deer hunting to small game hunting like rabbit or squirrel hunting; it’s important to check regulations before planning your visit if you’re interested in this activity.

15. Enjoy the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is a must-see attraction for music lovers visiting the city. With its rich history and exceptional performances, it offers an unforgettable experience that showcases the talent and artistry of musicians from around the world.

  1. World-class Performances: The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra presents a diverse range of concerts throughout the year, featuring renowned guest artists and conductors. From classical masterpieces to contemporary compositions, each performance is meticulously crafted to captivate audiences of all ages.
  2. Exceptional Talent: The orchestra comprises highly skilled musicians who have honed their craft through years of training and dedication. Their passion for music shines through every note they play, creating a mesmerizing symphonic experience that resonates with listeners.
  3. Community Engagement: In addition to its regular concert series, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra actively engages with the local community through educational programs and outreach initiatives. These efforts aim to inspire young musicians, promote music education in schools, and foster a love for orchestral music among people of all backgrounds.
  4. Historical Significance: Established in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra has played an integral role in shaping the cultural fabric of the region. Its longstanding presence has made it an iconic institution that continues to enrich lives through its powerful musical performances.
  5. Venues: The orchestra performs at various venues across Kalamazoo, including Miller Auditorium on Western Michigan University’s campus and Chenery Auditorium downtown. Both venues offer excellent acoustics and comfortable seating arrangements that enhance your listening experience.

Attending a performance by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is not just about enjoying beautiful music; it’s about immersing yourself in an artistic journey filled with emotion and inspiration.

16. Go antiquing in the Kalamazoo Mall

If you’re a fan of unique and vintage finds, a visit to the Kalamazoo Mall is a must-do during your time in Kalamazoo. This charming outdoor shopping district is home to several antique shops that offer an array of treasures waiting to be discovered.

  1. Explore a variety of antique shops: The Kalamazoo Mall boasts numerous antique stores, each with its own distinct collection. From furniture and home decor to vintage clothing and collectibles, there’s something for everyone’s taste and interest.
  2. Uncover hidden gems: Antiquing is like going on a treasure hunt – you never know what you might stumble upon. Delve into the racks and shelves filled with items from bygone eras, and you may find unique pieces that add character to your home or wardrobe.
  3. Embrace nostalgia: Stepping into an antique shop can transport you back in time. Whether it’s browsing through vinyl records or flipping through old postcards, these nostalgic items evoke memories from different generations.
  4. Support local businesses: By exploring the Kalamazoo Mall’s antique shops, not only do you have the opportunity to find one-of-a-kind items but also support local small businesses that contribute to the charm of this vibrant community.
  5. Connect with history: Antiques have stories embedded within them – they’ve witnessed eras long gone by. Each piece has its own history waiting for someone like you to uncover it; every item holds some level of historical significance worth exploring.

Next time you’re in Kalamazoo, take some time out of your day to go antiquing at the Kalamazoo Mall. Immerse yourself in a world filled with nostalgia as you browse through unique treasures from days gone by—while supporting local businesses along the way!

17. Take a class at the Glass Art Kalamazoo

If you’re looking for a unique and creative experience in Kalamazoo, consider taking a class at Glass Art Kalamazoo. This art center offers a variety of glass-making classes for both beginners and experienced artists.

  1. Learn from skilled instructors: At Glass Art Kalamazoo, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from knowledgeable and experienced instructors who will guide you through the process of creating beautiful glass artworks. They will teach you various techniques such as glass blowing, fusing, and torchworking.
  2. Explore your creativity: Taking a class at Glass Art Kalamazoo allows you to tap into your creative side and explore the fascinating world of glass art. Whether you’re interested in making jewelry, sculptures, or functional objects like vases or bowls, there’s something for everyone.
  3. Hands-on experience: One of the highlights of taking a class at Glass Art Kalamazoo is getting hands-on experience with the materials and tools used in glass art. You’ll have the chance to work with molten glass or manipulate fused pieces to create your own unique artwork.
  4. Meet fellow artists: The classes offered by Glass Art Kalamazoo provide an excellent opportunity to connect with other artists in the community who share your passion for creativity. It’s a great way to network, exchange ideas, and gain inspiration from others.
  5. Support local arts: By participating in classes at Glass Art Kalamazoo, you are supporting local arts organizations that play an essential role in promoting artistic expression within the community.

Taking a class at Glass Art Kalamazoo is not only educational but also an enjoyable way to spend your time in this vibrant city.

18. See a play at the Farmers Alley Theatre

If you’re looking for a memorable theatrical experience in Kalamazoo, make sure to catch a play at the renowned Farmers Alley Theatre. This local gem offers an intimate setting where you can immerse yourself in captivating performances by talented actors.

  1. Diverse Productions: The Farmers Alley Theatre showcases an impressive range of productions, from classic plays to contemporary works and everything in between. Whether you’re a fan of Shakespearean tragedies or prefer thought-provoking dramas, there’s something for everyone here.
  2. Top-notch Talent: The theatre is known for attracting exceptional talent both on and off the stage. From seasoned professionals to up-and-coming stars, the performers at Farmers Alley Theatre deliver outstanding performances that will leave you spellbound.
  3. Intimate Atmosphere: Unlike larger venues, this theater provides an intimate atmosphere that allows for a more immersive experience. You’ll feel like you’re part of the action as you witness powerful emotions unfold just feet away from your seat.
  4. Community Engagement: The theater actively engages with the community through various outreach programs and educational initiatives. By attending their shows, not only do you get entertained but also contribute to supporting local arts and culture.
  5. Accessible Location: Conveniently located in downtown Kalamazoo, getting to Farmers Alley Theatre is easy no matter where you are in town. Plus, nearby parking options make it hassle-free to attend a show without worrying about finding a spot for your car.

So why not step into another world and enjoy an evening filled with laughter or tears? Head over to Farmers Alley Theatre for an unforgettable theatrical experience that will leave lasting memories.

19. Visit the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary

If you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, visiting the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Kalamazoo should be at the top of your list. This sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to observe and learn about various bird species in their natural habitats.

Immerse Yourself in Nature

The sanctuary spans over 110 acres, providing ample space for birds to thrive and visitors to explore. As you stroll along the well-maintained trails, you’ll encounter diverse ecosystems ranging from wetlands to forests. Each habitat attracts different bird species, offering an enriching experience for both beginners and seasoned birdwatchers.

Discover Fascinating Birds

With over 70 species of birds calling this sanctuary home throughout the year, there’s always something new to discover. From majestic Sandhill Cranes to colorful warblers, each visit presents an opportunity to witness these feathered creatures up close and personal.

Educational Opportunities

The W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary is not only a place for enjoyment but also serves as an educational hub. They offer various programs and events tailored towards educating visitors about conservation efforts and avian research initiatives. Whether it’s attending a workshop or participating in guided tours led by knowledgeable experts, you’ll leave with a deeper understanding of our winged friends.

20. Explore the Kalamazoo College campus

Kalamazoo College is not just a place for learning, but also a beautiful campus to explore. Here are some highlights of what you can expect when visiting:

  1. Architectural Beauty: The Kalamazoo College campus boasts stunning architecture that blends both historic and modern styles. From the iconic red-brick Stetson Chapel to the sleek Hicks Student Center, every building has its unique charm.
  2. Lush Green Spaces: As you walk through the campus, you’ll be surrounded by lush green spaces and well-manicured lawns. It’s a perfect spot to relax or have a picnic with friends while enjoying nature’s beauty.
  3. The Quad: The heart of the campus is known as “the Quad.” This expansive open area is lined with trees and benches, creating an inviting atmosphere for students and visitors alike. Take a stroll or find a cozy spot to sit and people-watch.
  4. Artistic Expression: Art enthusiasts will appreciate the various sculptures scattered throughout the college grounds, showcasing creativity in different forms. Keep an eye out for thought-provoking installations that add an artistic touch to your exploration.
  5. Academic Excellence on Display: Kalamazoo College prides itself on its academic programs, which are evident even outside of classrooms. Look for informative displays highlighting achievements in research, community engagement projects, and innovative initiatives led by students and faculty members.
  6. Historical Significance: Founded in 1833, Kalamazoo College holds significant historical value within its walls. Discover interesting stories about past events or notable alumni who have made their mark on society during your visit.
  7. Engaging Events: Throughout the year, Kalamazoo College hosts various events open to both students and visitors alike – from guest lectures by renowned speakers to cultural festivals celebrating diversity within their community.

Exploring the Kalamazoo College campus offers a glimpse into its rich history, academic excellence, and artistic ambiance. Whether you’re a prospective student or simply curious about this esteemed institution, taking the time to visit will leave you with an appreciation for both its educational offerings and captivating surroundings.

21. Enjoy a picnic at Milham Park

Milham Park is the perfect spot in Kalamazoo to enjoy a delightful picnic. With its beautiful green spaces, scenic trails, and serene atmosphere, it offers an idyllic setting for spending quality time with family and friends. Here are some reasons why you should consider having a picnic at Milham Park:

  1. Lush surroundings: Milham Park boasts lush greenery that provides a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The park’s well-maintained lawns offer ample space for spreading out your blanket and enjoying a leisurely meal.
  2. Picnic shelters: If you prefer shaded areas or want to protect yourself from unexpected weather changes, there are several picnic shelters available throughout the park. These shelters provide convenient seating options and can be reserved in advance for larger gatherings.
  3. Scenic views: As you savor your meal, take in the stunning views of Portage Creek that meanders through the park. The tranquil water flowing amidst nature’s beauty creates a picturesque backdrop for your outdoor dining experience.
  4. Recreational activities: After enjoying your picnic feast, engage in various recreational activities offered by Milham Park such as frisbee golftennis courts, or volleyball nets nearby to keep everyone entertained.
  5. Family-friendly amenities: Milham Park features playgrounds where kids can have fun on swings, slides, and climbing structures while parents relax nearby on benches or under shade trees.
  6. Convenient facilities: Restrooms are conveniently located throughout the park so that visitors can freshen up after their meals without any hassle.
  7. Accessibility: The park has paved paths that make it accessible for individuals with mobility challenges or strollers so that everyone can easily navigate through its vast expanse.

So pack up some delicious treats and head over to Milham Park for an unforgettable picnic experience surrounded by nature’s beauty.

22. Attend Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo

Art Hop is a must-attend event for art enthusiasts visiting Kalamazoo. Held on the first Friday of every month, this vibrant and lively event showcases the city’s thriving arts scene. Here are some reasons why you should make sure to attend Art Hop:

  1. Explore Local Art: Art Hop provides an excellent opportunity to discover and appreciate local artists’ work. As you wander through downtown Kalamazoo, you’ll encounter numerous galleries, studios, and businesses that open their doors to showcase a diverse range of artwork.
  2. Engage with Artists: One of the highlights of attending Art Hop is the chance to meet and interact with talented artists themselves. They are often present at their exhibits, allowing visitors to learn about their creative process and ask questions about their artwork.
  3. Variety of Mediums: Whether your preference lies in paintings, sculptures, photography, or mixed media art forms, there’s something for everyone at Art Hop. The event features an eclectic mix of artistic mediums that cater to different tastes and interests.
  4. Live Performances: Alongside visual art displays, live performances add an extra layer of entertainment during Art Hop evenings. From musicians playing soulful tunes on street corners to captivating dance performances in public spaces, these live acts create a dynamic atmosphere throughout downtown.
  5. Support Local Businesses: Attending Art Hop not only allows you to appreciate art but also supports local businesses in Kalamazoo’s downtown area as they collaborate with artists for this event.
  6. Community Spirit: With its inclusive nature and welcoming atmosphere, Art Hop fosters a sense of community among attendees who share a common love for creativity and expression.

So mark your calendars for the next First Friday and immerse yourself in the artistic wonders that await during Kalamazoo’s monthly celebration of creativity!

23. Take a historic tour of Henderson Castle

If you’re a history buff or simply enjoy exploring the past, taking a historic tour of Henderson Castle is an absolute must-do when visiting Kalamazoo. This iconic castle, built in 1895, offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the city’s rich heritage.

  • Immerse yourself in Victorian-era architecture: As you step inside Henderson Castle, you’ll be transported back in time to the grandeur and elegance of the Victorian era. The castle’s stunning architecture features intricate details and ornate decorations that will leave you awe-inspired.
  • Learn about local history: During the tour, knowledgeable guides will share captivating stories and historical facts about both the castle itself and its significance within Kalamazoo’s history. You’ll gain insights into the people who lived here and their impact on the community.
  • Explore beautifully preserved rooms: From opulent ballrooms to cozy sitting areas, each room in Henderson Castle tells its own story. Marvel at antique furniture, exquisite artwork, and period decor as you wander through this architectural gem.
  • Discover hidden secrets: One of the highlights of a historic tour is uncovering hidden secrets within the castle walls. Whether it’s secret passageways or mysterious legends surrounding certain rooms, there are plenty of intriguing surprises awaiting curious explorers.
  • Enjoy breathtaking views: As you explore different levels of Henderson Castle, don’t forget to take in the panoramic views from its tower. Admire sweeping vistas of Kalamazoo while imagining what life was like for those who once called this enchanting place home.

A visit to Henderson Castle offers not only an educational experience but also an opportunity to appreciate timeless beauty and craftsmanship. So make sure to add this historic tour to your itinerary when exploring all that Kalamazoo has to offer!

24. Visit the Echo Valley Winter Sports Park

If you’re looking for some winter fun in Kalamazoo, don’t miss out on visiting the Echo Valley Winter Sports Park. This popular destination offers a variety of activities that are perfect for individuals and families alike.

One of the main attractions at Echo Valley is their tubing hill. With multiple lanes and a magic carpet lift to take you back up to the top, it’s easy to spend hours sliding down the hill and enjoying the thrill of speed. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced tuber, this activity is sure to bring smiles and laughter.

For those who prefer skiing or snowboarding, Echo Valley has got you covered too. They have several slopes ranging from beginner-friendly to more challenging runs. You can bring your own equipment or rent everything you need onsite. Plus, they offer lessons for all skill levels, so even if you’ve never hit the slopes before, you can learn from experienced instructors.

But it’s not just about tubing and skiing at Echo Valley; they also have a beautiful ice skating rink where you can glide across the ice with friends or family members. The rink is well-maintained and provides a picturesque setting for creating lasting memories.

To make your visit even more enjoyable, Echo Valley offers cozy warming huts where you can take breaks between activities and grab some hot chocolate or snacks. These huts provide respite from chilly temperatures while allowing visitors to soak in the stunning winter scenery.

25. Go disc golfing at Oshtemo Township Park

If you’re looking for a fun outdoor activity in Kalamazoo, why not try disc golfing at Oshtemo Township Park? Disc golf is a popular sport that combines elements of traditional golf with the excitement of frisbee throwing. Here are some reasons why you should give it a shot:

  1. Beautiful Setting: Oshtemo Township Park offers a picturesque backdrop for your disc golf adventure. With its lush greenery, rolling hills, and well-maintained fairways, this park provides the perfect setting to enjoy nature while engaging in an active game.
  2. AccessibilityWhether you’re an experienced player or new to the sport, Oshtemo Township Park caters to all skill levels. The course features multiple tee pads and basket placements that allow players to choose their preferred difficulty level.
  3. Affordability: Disc golf is a budget-friendly activity compared to traditional golf courses. At Oshtemo Township Park, there are no greens fees or expensive equipment rentals required. All you need is a set of discs (similar to frisbees), which can be purchased at affordable prices.
  4. Socializing Opportunity: Disc golf is not only about playing; it’s also an excellent opportunity to socialize and connect with fellow enthusiasts. You can join local leagues or tournaments held at the park and meet like-minded individuals who share your passion for the game.
  5. Physical Exercise: Engaging in disc golf provides numerous health benefits as it involves walking long distances while throwing discs from one hole to another. It’s an enjoyable way to get some exercise without feeling like you’re working out.

So grab your discs and head over to Oshtemo Township Park for an exciting round of disc golf! Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or simply want to spend quality time outdoors with friends and family, this activity offers something for everyone.

26. Learn at the Kalamazoo Public Library

The Kalamazoo Public Library is not just a place to check out books; it offers a wealth of learning opportunities for people of all ages. Here are some reasons why you should consider spending time at this library:

  1. Extensive Collection: The library boasts an extensive collection of books, magazines, newspapers, and digital resources. Whether you’re interested in fiction or non-fiction, history or science, there’s something for everyone.
  2. Educational Programs: The Kalamazoo Public Library hosts various educational programs throughout the year. From workshops on writing and research skills to engaging lectures by guest speakers, these programs provide valuable learning experiences.
  3. Technology Access: The library provides access to computers with internet connectivity and other technology resources like printers and scanners. This allows individuals who may not have access to such tools at home to utilize them for educational purposes.
  4. Children’s Services: For younger learners, the library offers storytimes, reading clubs, and interactive activities that promote literacy development in a fun way.
  5. Tutoring Support: Students can take advantage of tutoring services offered by the library staff or through partnerships with local organizations. These services can help students excel academically by providing additional support outside of school hours.
  6. Research Assistance: If you’re working on a project or need help finding information on a specific topic, librarians are available to assist you in your research journey.
  7. Community Engagement: The Kalamazoo Public Library actively engages with the local community through events like book clubs, author visits, and discussion groups where individuals can connect over shared interests and ideas.

27. Attend the Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival

The Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival is a must-attend event for beer enthusiasts. With over 150 breweries showcasing their finest brews, this festival offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore and taste a wide variety of craft beers. Here are some reasons why you should mark your calendar for this exciting event:

  1. Craft beer galore: The festival brings together an impressive selection of craft breweries from across the country. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and refreshing sours, there’s something to satisfy every palate. Whether you’re a seasoned beer connoisseur or just starting your craft beer journey, this festival provides an excellent platform to discover new flavors and expand your knowledge.
  2. Meet the brewers: One of the highlights of the Kalamazoo Craft Beer Festival is the chance to meet the passionate individuals behind your favorite brews. Brewers from renowned establishments will be present, ready to share insights about their brewing process and answer any questions you may have. It’s a unique opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge about different brewing techniques and learn more about the stories behind each pint.
  3. Live music and entertainment: As you indulge in delicious beers, live music fills the air at the festival grounds, creating a vibrant atmosphere that adds to the overall experience. Local bands and musicians take center stage, providing lively tunes that complement your tasting adventure.
  4. Food pairings: To enhance your tasting experience further, food vendors offer delectable bites specifically curated to complement various beer styles available at the festival. Whether it’s savory snacks or mouthwatering dishes infused with beer-infused ingredients, these culinary delights ensure that you never go hungry while exploring all those fantastic brews.
  5. Support local businesses

28. Explore the Western Michigan University campus

The Western Michigan University (WMU) campus offers a plethora of attractions and activities that are worth exploring. Here are some highlights:

  1. Beautiful Architecture: WMU boasts stunning architecture, blending modern and traditional styles. From the iconic Heritage Hall to the sleek Sangren Hall, you’ll be captivated by the blend of aesthetics.
  2. Nature Trails: Take a leisurely stroll through WMU’s nature trails, offering serene landscapes and lush greenery. These trails provide an excellent opportunity to unwind amidst nature.
  3. Artistic Exhibits: The Richmond Center for Visual Arts showcases an array of captivating art exhibits from talented students and renowned artists alike. Immerse yourself in creativity as you explore these thought-provoking displays.
  4. Waldo Library: Step into Waldo Library, where knowledge comes alive! With its vast collection of books, cozy study spaces, and state-of-the-art technology resources, this library is a haven for learners.
  5. Miller Auditorium: Catch a live performance at Miller Auditorium – one of Michigan’s premier performing arts venues! From Broadway shows to musical concerts, there’s always something exciting happening here.
  6. Sporting Events: Cheer on the Broncos at various sporting events held on-campus throughout the year! Experience the electric atmosphere as you support WMU’s teams in basketball, football, hockey, and more.
  7. Bronco Mall: Indulge in some retail therapy at Bronco Mall – your one-stop destination for shopping on campus! Browse through clothing stores or grab a quick bite at one of the eateries available here.

Whether you’re interested in art exhibitions or outdoor adventures along scenic trails – Western Michigan University has it all!

29. Enjoy a meal in the Vine Neighborhood’s eclectic restaurants

The Vine Neighborhood in Kalamazoo is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide range of dining options to suit every palate. Whether you’re craving international cuisine or classic American dishes, you’ll find something delicious to satisfy your taste buds.

  1. International flavors: The Vine Neighborhood boasts an impressive array of international restaurants that will transport your taste buds around the world. From Mexican taquerias serving up authentic street tacos to Thai eateries dishing out flavorful curries, there’s no shortage of global culinary delights to explore.
  2. Farm-to-table freshness: Many restaurants in the Vine Neighborhood prioritize using locally sourced ingredients, ensuring that you enjoy fresh and seasonal flavors with every bite. You can savor farm-fresh produce, sustainably raised meats, and artisanal cheeses while supporting local farmers and businesses.
  3. Unique dining experiences: Step into one of the neighborhood’s charming cafes or bistros for a unique dining experience that goes beyond just great food. Some establishments feature live music performances or art exhibits, creating an ambiance that adds another layer of enjoyment to your meal.
  4. Craft beverages: Pair your meal with craft beers from local breweries or sip on handcrafted cocktails mixed by talented bartenders who take pride in their creations. The Vine Neighborhood offers plenty of options for those looking to indulge in quality libations alongside their delicious meals.
  5. Community atmosphere: One thing that sets the Vine Neighborhood apart is its warm community atmosphere. Many restaurants are family-owned and operated, providing personalized service and making you feel like part of the neighborhood fabric as soon as you step through their doors.

30. Take a scenic drive through the Kalamazoo countryside

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, taking a scenic drive through the Kalamazoo countryside is a perfect option. Here are some reasons why you should consider hitting the road:

  1. Breath-taking landscapes: The Kalamazoo countryside is known for its picturesque views and stunning landscapes. As you drive along winding roads, you’ll be greeted with rolling hills, charming farms, and vibrant foliage during different seasons.
  2. Peaceful retreat: Driving through the countryside offers a serene experience away from crowded tourist spots. You can enjoy some quiet time alone or with loved ones while immersing yourself in nature’s beauty.
  3. Opportunity for exploration: Along your drive, keep an eye out for hidden gems such as quaint towns, local markets, and roadside stands selling fresh produce or homemade goodies. These unexpected discoveries add excitement to your journey.
  4. Photography opportunities: If you’re into photography, the Kalamazoo countryside provides ample opportunities to capture breathtaking shots of nature at its finest. From colorful sunsets to fields of wildflowers, every turn presents a new chance for that perfect snapshot.
  5. Relaxation therapy: Taking in beautiful scenery has been proven to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. A leisurely drive through nature allows you to unwind and recharge while enjoying the calming effects of greenery.
  6. Escape into history: Some areas along your route may have historical significance worth exploring further—for example, old farmhouses or landmarks that tell stories about Michigan’s past—adding depth and interest to your trip.

So next time you find yourself in Kalamazoo looking for something off-the-beaten-path, hop in your car and embark on a memorable journey through the enchanting countryside!

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it, a comprehensive list of things to do in Kalamazoo. From exploring museums and theaters to enjoying outdoor activities and attending festivals, this vibrant city offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a fun day out, Kalamazoo has got you covered.

Now that you know all the exciting options available to you, it’s time to start planning your visit. Grab a friend or family member, pack your bags, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Kalamazoo. Don’t forget to check the local event calendars and websites for updated information on timings and any special events happening during your stay.

So what are you waiting for? Kalamazoo is calling your name. Go ahead and explore this hidden gem in Michigan. You won’t be disappointed!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular attractions in Kalamazoo?

Kalamazoo offers a range of popular attractions, including the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, and Air Zoo Aerospace & Science Museum. Visitors can also explore nature at the Kalamazoo Nature Center and enjoy performances at the Kalamazoo State Theatre.

Where can I find local craft beer in Kalamazoo?

You can taste local brews on a fun-filled Kalamazoo Beer Tour. The tour takes you to different breweries in town where you can sample a variety of craft beers and learn about the brewing process from knowledgeable guides.

Are there any outdoor activities in Kalamazoo?

Absolutely! You can walk through the beautiful trails at the Kalamazoo Nature Center or bike along the scenic Kalamazoo River Valley Trail. For disc golf enthusiasts, Oshtemo Township Park offers an excellent course to enjoy with friends and family.

What cultural experiences are available in downtown Kalamazoo?

Downtown Kalamazo is brimming with cultural experiences. You can attend Art Hop, a monthly event showcasing local artists’ work throughout various venues downtown.

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