We've all seen the lists "you know you're a ______ when", "you know you're a ________ fan when", etc., but we've never seen one that is distinctly Grand Rapids.

So, we've set out to fix that. We polled our co-workers, friends, and family members to come up with the ultimate list of ways you know you grew up in West Michigan.

  • You choose Faygo over Pepsi/Coke. Mmm... Rock N' Rye (And it's "pop", not "soda".)
  • You know that driving 20 minutes in most directions can take you from “in the country” to “big city”.
  • You remember when the biggest movie theater in the U.S. was in Wyoming, Mich. and it had 20 screens (then called Studio 28).
  • You remember when Studio 28 only had 2 screens.
  • You went to the Drive-in at the Vista (now Meijer in Standale), the Cascade Red, Blue or Green, or the Plainfield Drive In.
  • You went to the drive-in church at Woodland Drive In (now Lowe's on 28th and the East Beltline).
  • You went rollerskating at Woodland Skating Center or Terry Town Skating (in Grandville)
  • You shopped at Woodland, Eastbrook, and North Kent malls.
  • You could shop at neighborhood grocery stores or Meijer stores that only sold groceries.
  • You drank Towne Club pop.
  • You watched "Bozo", "Buck Barry", "Captain Woody" (played by Andy Rent) and "Romper Room" on TV as a kid (and they were all produced locally!).
  • You bought hamburgers at "Hot 'N Now", "Mr. Fables", or "Sambo's".
  • You went to the "Clock Restaurant" on Alpine for food after the bar closed (now Qdoba).
  • You remember "Zooella" the elephant at John Ball Park Zoo.
  • You remember the waterpark called "Arnie's Funland" on 28th Street (behind ArtVan).
  • You went to "Plank Road Farm" as a kid (south of G.R. at the Bradley exit).
  • You remember the "House of Dark Shadows" haunted house on South Division (at Mr. Jim's Wildlife Sanctuary).
  • You remember Michigan's Adventure when it was called "Deer Park Funland" and it didn't have any roller coasters.
  • You remember going to "Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor" on your birthday (it was located in the parking lot of Woodland Mall).
  • You went to Village Inn Pizza (on Alpine or 28th) for pizza and the sing along with the piano and banjo player.
  • You remember "Showbiz Pizza" (before it became Chuck E. Cheese).
  • You did your grocery shopping at "Eberhards" or "Family Foods".
  • You remember when the WZZM Weatherball was downtown (on top of what was then called the Michigan National Bank Building).
  • You did your banking at Michigan National Bank, Union Bank or Old Kent Bank.
  • You remember having to drive to either Wings Stadium (in Kalamazoo) or L.C. Walker Arena (in Muskegon) to see a big concert.
  • You think El DeBarge was the biggest pop singer of the '80s.
  • You remember the Old Kent River Bank Run.
  • You think The Intersection is in Eastown.
  • You went to Grand Valley State COLLEGE.
  • Vernors is the only ginger ale you drink.
  • You've been to Club Eastbrook.
  • You played in Gus Macker and watched the Grand Rapids Hoops.
  • You know what a "FIP" is.
  • You used to spend hours perusing the music selection at Believe In Music.

What did we miss? There have to be some things that you experienced in your time in Grand Rapids (especially if you grew up here) that we should add to our list!


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