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Old 06-07-2012, 05:46 AM
 
64 posts, read 146,997 times
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I am wondering for those of you who are familiar with East Grand Rapids- is there a community pool to take the kids to in the summer & is it nice? What other summer activities are there for kids (i'm thinking along the lines of park district activities)? Are there lots of things for younger kids (age 6 and under) to do in the immediate area during the year (library, other classes in EGR)? thanks for any info you can provide!!
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:05 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
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EGR is part of the GR metro. I think most families in EGR (as with nearly every other inner-ring suburb) use the entire metro as their playground.

Just to put this in perspective, nearly everyone moving into EGR has kids or is planning on them. It's a family-focused community so there is absolutely no shortage of things to do with your young kids. It's not all free, but there's lots that is either really cheap, or completely free.

Specifically to answer one of your questions, there are community pools in EGR at Wealthy Elementary and the High School but they are indoors, so we actually use them more in the cooler months than in the summer. Grand Rapids has community pools but they are open for a very short season and always on the block for 0budget cuts, so I would not count on them being open (but when they are, they're very clean and safe).

To that end, here are the first few things I could think of that we do with our kids outside in the summer (our kids are under 7 years old):

A) Meijer Gardens (enormous children's garden, with water stuff in it... little ones often wear a swim suit)
B) GR YMCA is an option, but we let our YMCA membership lapse when we moved here. That said, it's a great facility.
C) We joined a swim club (Heather Downs is in an EGR neighborhood, Orchard Hills & MVP are popular and nearby but more expensive)
D) Lake Michigan (Holland / Grand Haven)... the kids best memories seem to be forged at the beach. We try to go weekly.
E) Millenium Park beach (GR)...
F) Parks (within EGR, as well as GR Township, Wilcox Park in GR)
G) Library branch in EGR is incredibly popular with young families (story time for little ones, classes for older ones)
H) Kayak in Reeds Lake (EGR) or the rivers (Thornapple, Grand) or on Lake Michigan (used kayaks are cheap)
I) Biking (White Pine Trail, Reeds Lake Trail)
J) Playgrounds around EGR are popular. Wealthy Elementary stays pretty shady on hot days. Manhattan Park is very sunny for those cooler days where being in direct sunlight is nice.
K) Hikiing in EGR: Hodenpyl Woods, Manhattan Park with the kids (very short easy trails, perfect for little kids)
L) Hiking the nature center at Calvin College (<5 minutes drive from EGR, or an easy/safe bike ride if you put your kids in a bike trailer)
M) Fishing for blue gills from Waterfront Park in EGR
N) GR Fulton St. Farmers Market on Saturdays (get them treats, buy our produce)
O) Whatever festival is going on (there's one every weekend within an easy drive to a nearby town).
P) GR Public Museum or GR Children's Museum followed by lunch at Rosa Parks Circle (from the Dog Pit or Parsley's usually) and ice cream at Kilwin's (now that they're open on the circle).
Q) Concerts or Movies in the park (EGR, Tuesday nights in summer)
R) Canoe the Rogue River (Rockford)... short enough for kids, nice trip and ends in ROckford where you can get ice cream, food, etc.
S) EGR Parks & Rec has an extensive lineup of classes/activities for kids. So does Grand Rapids & Forest Hills both of which are close enough that you can use their catalogs for things to do as well.
T) EGR Reeds Lake Art Festival
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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There are two indoor pools at the schools- the shiny newer one at the high school is kept at competition temperature (high 70s) which may be a bit cool for small humans unless they move around a whole bunch. The older pool at Wealthy School is kept warmer. Info and use schedules here:

City of East Grand Rapids : Pools

If you're thinking outdoor pool, I've driven past MVP Sports on Burton and they've got a nice set-up with I think a waterslide:

MVP Sportsplex, Grand Rapid's Premier Gym and Fitness Center | MVP Sports Clubs
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:26 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
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One quick add-on... fees and hours for Grand Rapids community pools:
Grand Rapids pools fees take a dip | WOOD TV8
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:46 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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The Grand Rapids city pools open this year do have zero entry/splash areas and waterslides.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,742,937 times
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The GR city pools are nice, but aren't open for very long this summer.

Orchard Hills is not far from EGR, near Fulton and Crahen. We know a lot of people who belong to that pool.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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I'm very surprised to hear there's no outside community pool in EGR. Having one indoors just isn't the same.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Cumming, Georgia
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It's been a long time (at least 20 yrs)...there's a outdoor community pool just north of Boston, 2-3 blocks east from Eastgate where Andrea's Pizza is located. I have no idea if the pool is still there or not.

Anyone know?
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Old 06-07-2012, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
8,226 posts, read 16,828,129 times
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The country clubs like Cascade Hills tended to fill the outdoor pool niche.
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Old 06-08-2012, 06:54 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mich2fla View Post
It's been a long time (at least 20 yrs)...there's a outdoor community pool just north of Boston, 2-3 blocks east from Eastgate where Andrea's Pizza is located. I have no idea if the pool is still there or not.

Anyone know?
That is "Heather Downs"... it's a small swim club in that you have to pay.

When I think "community pool" I think of low-fee, zero-membership requirements pool. EGR doesn't have that outdoors (possibly due to space constraints, not sure where it would go... Manhattan park maybe?)
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