Grand Rapids is a great city, every time we visit I tell myself we’ll go more often because even though it’s on the other side of the state, it isn’t that far away. Although it isn’t that far away geographically, it’s almost the polar opposite of Detroit. As previously noted, Grand Rapids has an advantage in the neighborhood contest but after exploring their downtown, I think Detroit wins. Downtown Grand Rapids is big and as well maintained as Disney World but I was surprised by the lack of foot traffic on a Saturday. When we went for an evening stroll around town, I was shocked to find very few shops and restaurants and NO pharmacies (we needed swim diapers). Since there are many signs for condos and apartments, I expected a few more amenities. Nevertheless, it’s a great town and we had a wonderful time.
Grand Rapids Children Museum: A miniature world for kids of all ages (construction site, medical center, shopping center) with hands-on activities! We spent a couple hours there but easily could have spent half the day. Lucas had a blast, held his own with the big kids and made some friends with some younger ones.
Frederik Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park: The entire reason for our trip was to take Lucas to the Children’s Garden and it was a beautiful day to enjoy and explore. The park is expansive, we spent half the day there and didn’t see everything. Lucas loved the Great Lakes water table and tree fortress. Since we spent the trip showing him things and asking him to pose, he decided to take Chester along for the visit and had him join in the activities.
Amway Grand Plaza: The most glamorous hotel we have ever stayed at and they have Scarlett O’Hara curtains, so it’s basically the most amazing place ever. I’ve never felt inclined to live in a hotel before but if I did, this would be the place. I also left with some of the best memories I’ll ever have: playing in the pool with Danny & Lucas and my Mom ordering all of the food off the room service menu for us to enjoy a late night dinner. I also bought Danny some super fancy beer chocolates at the gift shop.
Terra: I can say without doubt that Terra will be our go-to place in Grand Rapids. Not only was the food delicious and reasonably priced (the biscuits and gravy was on the side menu and more than enough food), it was the most kid-friendly place I’ve ever been. They had cute plastic plates, forks, and sippy cups AND a little nook with books/toys for kids. It seems so simple, I don’t know why more restaurants don’t offer dishes your child could hypothetically throw.
Stella’s Lounge: We ate lunch at Stella’s and I failed to order their GQ famous stuffed burger but Danny did and enjoyed it. We were also too short on time to play their arcade games but I love places with vintage games. Regardless of my inability to take advantage of all that Stella’s has to offer, Lucas took full advantage of his visit with Uncle Cory and picked up the tab.