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Cheap Entertainment in Grand Rapids, MI

Kristen and I have been home for the week (with children) on vacation. As such, we've had to find ways to entertain them and ourselves during the day. The alternative is 1) wasting a vacation and 2) going insane while watching 2 toddlers in one house for hours on end.

Yesterday we went to Millenium Park, a new park that the city of Grand Rapids/Kent County created on the northwest side of the city. It's not far from John Ball Park Zoo (where we went on Tuesday) in some ways.

Millenium Park has (among other things) places to grill and eat picnic lunches, a beach (not open yesterday), and lots of playground equipment. Children can play there for hours. The equipment includes a climbing wall, some very tall slides, familiar equipment such as teeter-totters redesigned to the point of being unrecognizable (but still usable), and some things that I'm not sure I can even describe.

Abby and Rebecca did not want to leave.

Another option for cheap entertainment: Grand Rapids' airport's viewing area.

Though closed after 9/11, the airport viewing area is open again. If you drive slightly to the south of the airport, you can stop on a hill with some picnic tables and watch planes take off. It was a bit slow initially when we arrived, but within the hour we'd seen some 7-8 planes take off or land.

Rebecca and Abby hung onto my legs when the larger planes took off, but again, did not want to leave.

We intend to hit Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts some time this weekend.


Funny, we discovered the viewing area accidentally about two weeks ago while driving around looking for places to look at the planes. We've been back twice, I think, since.

I imagine that it's one of those things parents end up checking out. Kids generally love planes.

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