2015 marks the 46th annual Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids. The celebration runs June 5 - 7.

View the top options for kids at Festival 2015, then bring the entire family downtown for great food, music and hands-on art activities!

Festival of the Arts is the unofficial start of summer in Grand Rapids. Thousands have come together for nearly 50 years to celebrate amazing work from talented local artists.

Festival gives children a chance to enjoy food, music and other performances that they may never have experienced before. Kids can also create art and participate in many activities free of charge.

Here are some can't-miss opportunities for kids at Festival 2015!

  • Matt Milhouse
    Matt Milhouse

    The Food

    One of the highlights of any day out with the kids is the food, whether it's at a Whitecaps game, the park or just about anywhere else. Festival of the Arts is no different. Festival offers kids a chance at their favorites including popcorn, ice cream and even deep-fried Oreos.

    With a total of 28 food booths, all operated by West Michigan nonprofit organizations, there are many opportunities for the kids to expand their palate and try something new. I was surprised to learn that my kids love vegetarian spring rolls last year. Worst-case scenario (or is it best-case?) the kids don't like the new food and you'll have more on your plate.

    Don't miss Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church's souvlaki!

  • Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images
    Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

    Sidewalk Chalk

    Stop by the lawn of the Federal Building and kids can enjoy creating a masterpiece out of chalk on the sidewalk for all to see!

  • Alenate/ThinkStock


    With multiple stages and three days of performances there is no shortage of great opportunities for kids to dance, laugh, listen and appreciate a variety of age-appropriate performances from some of the most talented people in West Michigan.

    Highlights include weekend-long storytelling and improv at the County Courthouse, dance and choral performances at the Calder Stage, and live music constantly playing at other stages throughout the city.

  • Matt Milhouse
    Matt Milhouse


    A chance for the kids to get a little messy while showing off their creativity! Kids paint whatever they like, then you can enjoy some food or music while Festival volunteers hold your artwork until it's dry and you're ready to take it home. Located at the Fifth Third parking lot.

  • Matt Milhouse
    Matt Milhouse


    Paint and chalk are a lot of fun, but kids seem to really love getting their hands dirty with glue at Festival! Kids build planes, towers, abstract modern art and just about anything else. Festival's Glue-In is always popular. Festival volunteers will hold your kids' creation while it dries until you're ready to take it home. Located at the Fifth Third parking lot.

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