For those planning an excursion to the lakeshore city of Grand Haven Michigan, it is often a must to stop at the Grand Haven Musical Fountain. Located on Dewey Hill, the fountain has been a fixture in the community since 1962 and brings a smile to everyone’s face.
About the Grand Haven Musical Fountain
Imagine a hot summer night while enjoying an ice cream cone or celebrating the end of a great day at the beach, listening to your favorite tunes accompanied by dancing streams of water and color.
While Grand Haven has a variety of restaurants, shops, beautiful beaches, and a brewery, the musical fountain really stands out.
The Grand Haven Musical Fountain was inspired into being when a gentleman from the city observed a similar fountain overseas. At the time of its construction, the fountain was considered one of the world’s largest musical fountains.
Over the years, the fountain “hasn’t changed a lot,” but now “everything’s run off a computer.” However, Vivian adds, “All of the piping is original and two out of the three pumps are original.”Dan Vivian, administrative liaison for the musical fountain
The Grand Haven Musical Fountain draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every summer with its colorful lights and music, especially during the Fourth of July and Coast Guard Festival. The best viewing spot is the waterfront stadium on the channel. Get there early during festivals to claim a spot.
The show has even attracted visitors from around the world. Throughout its history, people have pulled up in their vehicles, climbed onto their hoods, and watched the show take over the nighttime sky.
Today, there is a full stadium, and it is unlikely that you’ll have parking right on the waterfront, but you will find lots of fun to enjoy here.
Nightly Grand Haven Musical Fountain Performances
The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is a musical water show put on in the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium. Quite the spectacle, this is an exceptional experience for anyone who wants to relax on a warm summer evening.
About the Show
This show combines music, lights, and water to create a vibrant display and tell a story. The water is sprayed upward to create a water screen on which lights are shown, creating what seems to be a visual dancing light.
The show is synchronized to well-known music that you may want to hum along to. A great group of volunteers helps finalize the selections of music, creating quite a variety.
For about 25 to 30 minutes, you will watch the lights, water, and action while the music plays. This occurs each night from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Just arrive at the Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium early to watch the show after sunset.
If you are visiting in the off-season, the water fountain show is typically available on Fridays and Saturdays earlier in May, as well as in September, weather permitting.
NOTE: The City of Grand Haven maintains and operates the fountain. There is no charge for visiting and experiencing the show, but you can make a freewill donation that helps maintain the fountain and ensure that guests can continue to enjoy the show in the future.
Planned Grand Haven Musical Fountain Themed Shows
Throughout the history of the Grand Haven Musical Fountain’s performances, there have been many themed shows, which have a special focus.
Prior to 2005, most of the waterfront shows were themed performances. From 2005 through 2013, there was a computerized system put into place, which meant that the authentic versions were no longer played, including many from 1962 through 2005.
In 2014, though, things changed when a new themed show debuted at the stadium and drew in audiences again. Along with enhanced lighting and some new features, that 2014 performance helped revitalize the attraction.
Current Themed Shows
For both the annual Fourth of July and Coast Guard Festival, the City of Grand Haven presents elaborate fireworks performances. Prior to these fireworks, though, the musical fountain presents special holiday-themed shows.
You can view the latest schedule of themed performances on the fountain’s website or Facebook page. Some of them include “I am the Fountain,” produced in 2022 by Terry L. Stevens; “Encanto,” produced by Peter and Ruth Stark in 2022; and “Frozen 1, 2, Live!” produced in 2021 by Ryan STayhorn and Ryan Marshall.
Other themes you may see available include “The Greatest Showman,” “Jimmy Buffett,” “The Best of Pixar,” and “Christmas in July,” among many others. Each of these themes takes as many as 60 hours to create, making them a very special addition to the lineup of performances.
More Things to Do Near the Grand Haven Musical Fountain
You’ll only need an hour or so of your day to see the Grand Haven Musical Fountain. For the rest of your time in Grand Haven Michigan, consider these fantastic activities and attractions.
Grand Haven State Park
Spend some time enjoying the waterfront at Grand Haven State Park. It has a sandy area perfect for building a few sandcastles. And, you can enjoy boating, water skiing, and fishing.
Tri-Cities Historical Museum
Take a few minutes of your day to explore the Tri-Cities Historical Museum to learn about the region’s history and the important role it has played in the development of this part of Michigan. The exhibits are hands-on, and the staff is very knowledgeable.
West Michigan Antique Mall
If you want to find treasure, check out the West Michigan Antique Mall. It is a fantastic place even if you are not a collector — yet.
Grand Haven Lighthouse
Built in 1839, the Grand Haven Lighthouse is, perhaps, one of the most recognizable components of the Grand Haven skyline. Depending on the time of year, you may get to explore it up close. It has a lighted catwalk that creates a beautiful sight when the sun starts to set in the background.
Restaurants Near the Grand Haven Musical Fountain
For those planning to spend some time at the Grand Haven Musical Fountain, you’ll certainly want to arrive ready to relax as the nighttime sky lights up. That means enjoying dinner before you arrive. There are a number of excellent choices for restaurants in Grand Haven Michigan.
The Paisley Pig Gastropub
For something fun, check out the Paisley Pig Gastropub. Not only is the tavern-style food fantastic, but the location offers some great craft beers.
The café is fun with an eclectic vibe, and the staff is fantastic. The menu is designed to allow you to eat locally sourced cuisine that’s prepared nearly from scratch. Build your own burger, enjoy a salad, or try one of the artisan pizzas.
Snug Harbor, located on South Harbor St, is the perfect location to visit when you want to enjoy a waterfront view while sampling exceptional food.
The menu offers something for everyone, including beef barbecue and Asian options, such as Thai Shrimp and Miso Honey Chicken. Plus, there are seafood options, like seafood fettuccine, and even a few Tex-Mex options on the menu.
The Copper Post
Along Washington Ave, you’ll find The Copper Post, an excellent choice for a hearty meal and good drink.
This highly rated location has a robust menu that includes Nola Shrimp starters, burgers, and The Ultimate Smash Challenge — two five-patty cheeseburgers with sambal chili paste, ½ pound of fries on top of that, and just 10 minutes to eat it all.
If you are looking for breakfast to start your day in Grand Haven, you’ll want to check out these restaurants.
With all of your favorite breakfast foods available, Anna’s House is an excellent choice if you want lots of options. There are dairy-free dishes, fantastic vegan and vegetarian items, and an extensive line of gluten-free choices.
On top of that, this family-owned restaurant offers a family-friendly and budget-wise menu that is sure to fill you up for the entire day.
Two Yolks Café
Small, intimate, and with the best cup of coffee you’ll find, Two Yolks Café is an excellent choice for breakfast. Try the griddle options, including the buttermilk pancakes or the cinnamon swirl French toast.
You may also want to check out the stuffed hashbrowns, such as the corned beef and stuffed hash varieties.
Hotels Near the Grand Haven Musical Fountain
Finding the perfect place to stay while visiting Grand Haven Michigan does not have to be challenging. Here are some outstanding recommendations.
Harbor House Inn
An option if you want to be close to all of the city’s amenities, Harbor House Inn is an excellent choice. You can walk to many area attractions, including restaurants and the waterfront itself.
Also, the inn is only a short, five-minute drive to the Grand Haven Musical Fountain. It is a beautiful, home away from home that has 19 guest rooms — all with private bathrooms and many with stunning views.
The Boyden House
Another fun location, this time on South 5th St, The Boyden House is a beautiful property that looks as though it is from a different era (and that’s because it is!) Each of the well-appointed rooms has been fully restored to its original features.
You can see the details here, as this home brings true charm and class to your stay. The historic home is located in the downtown area within a 10-minute walk to Lake Michigan and the beachfront area itself.
Looking Glass Beachfront Inn
The name says it all — Looking Glass Beachfront Inn has much to offer, including a stunning view of the waterfront. It is a small bed and breakfast that offers excellent accommodations.
The high-quality mattresses, sunsets with wine, and the breeze coming in off the lake make this a special destination. Even better, it is about 1 mile from downtown Grand Haven.
Plan Your Visit to the Grand Haven Musical Fountain
Spending some time on the waterfront could be just what you want and need to do. With the Grand Haven Musical Fountain as one of the things that you can experience when you visit, there is no doubt that this is the type of community you will want to enjoy for more than just a long weekend.