Things to do around Grand Rapids during Labor Day weekend

Audra Gamble

While many Grand Valley State University students head home to their families for the long Labor Day weekend, there are still quite a few that stick around the Grand Rapids area. For those that are remaining on or near campus, below is a list of events happening around town during the long weekend.

1. To soak up the last rays of summer sun, go kayaking on the Grand River. For a $20 rental fee, individuals can kayak or canoe down the Grand River on any day of the weekend. To check availability and reserve a time online, visit

2. On Friday or Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., visit the Fulton Street farmer’s market to pick up some fresh produce from local farmers. The market is located on 1147 Fulton St. in East Grand Rapids.

3. To kick off the weekend with an evening tour of Grand Rapids, take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city on Friday or Saturday evening. Carriage rides are available from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information about the carriage rides, visit

4. For a more educational option, visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s planetarium to see “The Little Star that Could,” a show that teaches about the solar system. The show is at 11 a.m. on Saturday and at 1 p.m. on Sunday. The planetarium is located at 272 Pearl St. NW in Grand Rapids. Or, for a less structured exploration of the night sky, take a look at the stars at the Veen Observatory on Saturday from 9 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. Admission for adults at the observatory is $3. The observatory is at 3308 Kissing Rock Ave. SE in Lowell. However, the observatory is only open for stargazing if the sky is clear, so call (616) 897-7065 to make sure it is open.

5. The West Michigan Whitecaps, the baseball team located in Grand Rapids, are playing the Great Lakes Loons on Saturday at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday at 1 p.m. There will be fireworks on Saturday night. Both games are located at the Fifth Third Ballpark at 4500 W River Dr. NE in Comstock Park. For tickets and more information, visit

6. On Labor Day, visit the Ah-Nab-Awen Park in Grand Rapids for Labor Fest 2014. The Labor Fest includes a classic car show, a bouncy house, face painting, live bands and more. In addition to the festivities, there will be local artists there selling their work and an exhibit about iron workers. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is offering free admission all day for the holiday as well. Labor Fest begins at 11 a.m. and continues until 5 p.m. For more information about the event, visit