Whether you’re planning a solo trip or a family outing, Millennium Park Grand Rapids is its own bit of paradise in West Michigan.
With more than 100 state parks and recreation areas, and more than 900 miles of trails across more than 300,000 acres, there’s little doubt that there’s a lot of Michigan to explore. No matter what part of Michigan you’re in, there’s always plenty to see, plenty to do, lots of fun to have, and lots to explore.
But if you’re looking for something unique and a different area of the Mitten State to explore, heading to the west side of the state is a must.
A spot where you can do a little bit of everything, Millennium Park on the southwest side of Grand Rapids is the place to be. This urban park is the largest of its kind in West Michigan and connects four major cities together — Grand Rapids, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville.
About Millennium Park Grand Rapids
Planning for Millennium Park began in 2000, and this ambitious project seeks to eventually reclaim 1,500 acres of heavily-used land for public recreation — roughly twice the size of New York’s Central Park.
In its early stages, the project was eventually submitted to the Secchia Millennium Commission and given the name Millennium Park by the Kent County Board of Commissioners. Then, the park celebrated a grand opening in July 2004 after years of work.
Since then, it has become a favorite of West Michiganders for all that it has to offer. The park is lush with natural resources and offers plenty of space for wildlife to thrive, a 6-acre beach, boat rental facilities, more than a dozen miles of trails, and many more opportunities for relaxation and recreation.
Having Fun at Millennium Park Grand Rapids
So what can you do at Millennium Park? The question should really be, what can’t you do here? It offers all the ingredients for a perfect outdoor adventure and has something for visitors of all ages. In addition to concessions, pavilions, and grills, let’s check out all of the features this park offers.
Millennium Park Beach & Splash Pad
If you’re looking to cool off on a hot day, you don’t need to go all the way to Lake Michigan to do it! Millennium Park features a beach on a clear, 100-acre, man-made lake that’s awesome for swimming. It even keeps safety in mind with a designated swimming area.
The Mehney Splashpad is a fantastic way for kids to keep cool. It features more than a dozen splashers, sprayers, buckets, and other water features that are great for everyone, from toddlers to older kids.
Daily admission is available for the beach and Millennium Park splash pad, and the park also offers season passes.
One of the nice things about the beach and splash pad, in addition to the fun they offer, is that all the amenities you need are close by. The beach offers locker and changing rooms and restrooms.
When you get hungry, there’s a concession stand with snacks, hot food, and other treats. Plus, there’s plenty of room to enjoy your food at picnic tables spread across the VanAndel Beach House.
Boat Rentals at Kent County Millennium Park
One of the best things about Millennium Park is its 100-acre lake, where the possibilities for fun are endless. While you can swim, float, and play beach games in the water, you can really make your trip to Millennium Park a unique one by renting a boat.
The DeVos Family Boathouse offers kayaks, paddleboats, stand-up paddleboards, and canoes for rent. So, you can take off on a solo adventure or rent a boat for your whole family.
Boaters at Millennium Park Grand Rapids can access the lake around the beach and recreation area. Also, you can access Lake Leota to the north by paddling under a trail bridge. With 100 acres of lake and 4 miles of shoreline to explore, renting a boat isn’t a bad way to spend the day.
It’s important to note that private boats aren’t allowed on park property to protect against invasive species.
Biking & Hiking Trails in Grand Rapids
If you’re a person who likes to go exploring, Millennium Park has plenty of space to roam. It has an extensive network of trails, covering about 18 miles total within the park’s 1,400 acres. Most of the trails in the system are paved, but there are also several rustic trails for a more natural experience.
The Millennium Trail Network connects to the larger network of Kent Trails. It also connects to Grand Rapids via a trail along Wealthy Street, which provides easy access to the southwest part of the city.
If you’re looking for a spot to start a bike ride in Millennium Park, try the Meadows, which is across from the beach and features an amphitheater, a pavilion, and access to the trails.
As you ride, you’ll find gentle, hilly terrain on the park’s north side and flatter trails along the lake and river. No matter your skill level, this makes for a wonderful scenic ride.
Most of the park’s paved trails are open to rollerbladers, bikers, foot traffic, and other human-powered devices, but motorized traffic is not allowed. If you need help navigating the park’s trails and the trails in the surrounding area, the My City Bikes App offers maps at your fingertips.
Millennium Park Playgrounds
If you’re looking for a place where your kiddos can have fun and burn some energy, Millennium Park Grand Rapids has you covered.
It’s home to Kids’ City, a large kids’ area with three separate play structures all in one place. There’s a shaded structure for toddlers, swing sets and unique climbing structures, and play areas with more slides, bridges, and ladders than you can shake a stick at.
Kids City is easy to reach from a few of the main parking lots and is situated between the park’s main recreation area and the beach. So, once your kids are done playing, they can go for a swim in the lake.
The playscape is also close to both of the park’s open picnic shelters, so it’s an excellent spot to pack a picnic basket and sit down to a family lunch on a nice day before going off to the beach or letting your youngsters have fun at the playground.
Fishing at Millennium Park
Fishing is a quintessential pastime, especially in Michigan, and throughout Millennium Park Grand Rapids there are plenty of fishing decks with easy access to the water.
All of the park’s lakes are open to regular fishing, and the park map shows exactly where you can and can’t go to cast a line. So bring your fishing rod and bait to try your luck casting for bass or panfish.
Basketball & Volleyball Courts
Millennium Park Grand Rapids features a full-size basketball court that’s first-come, first-served. On the northwest end of the park’s main recreation area, it’s the ideal spot to have a friendly game of basketball between family or friends.
Two sand volleyball courts are also in the main recreation area. One faces the lake in the beach area, and the other is at the north end of the recreation area. If you’re looking for an activity to involve the whole family or a group of your friends, a game of sand volleyball and then a dip in the lake are the perfect combo on a hot day.
Millennium Park Grand Rapids Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Millennium Park?
Millennium Park is located at 1415 Maynard Ave SW in Walker Michigan, but it connects Grand Rapids, Walker, Grandville, and Wyoming.
When is Millennium Park open?
Millennium Park is open from May 1 to October 31 from 7 a.m. to sunset.
What is there to do in Millennium Park?
There are plenty of opportunities for relaxation and recreation at Millennium Park, including boat rental facilities, picnic areas, a beach, a splash pad, and much more.
Is there any admission cost to go to Millennium Park?
There’s a fee to get into Millennium Park, as well as fees associated with the splash park and boat rentals. But, everything else, including parking, is free.
Adventure Awaits at Millennium Park Grand Rapids
With nature trails, beach access, a playground, fishing spots, plenty of amenities, and more, Millennium Park Grand Rapids is the perfect spot to have an outdoor adventure. So, gather up your family and friends, grab your swimwear and lawn chairs, and get ready to have fun!
Whether you’re going for a simple family picnic, or you want to rent a boat and have some fun on the water, a day at Millennium Park is a day well spent and one you won’t soon forget!