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Things To Do In Kalamazoo

Located halfway between Chicago and Detroit, Kalamazoo is a mid-sized town with fun attractions for the whole family. With several locally sourced cafés and farm-to-table restaurants, some of the city’s best entertainment options are culinary. Kalamazoo is also only 45 minutes from the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Keep reading to learn more about the city’s craft breweries, local festivals, and downtown attractions.

Kalamazoo’s downtown area is one of the city’s top attractions. This bustling neighborhood is full of restaurants, stores, and hidden gems.

Other popular things to do near Kalamazoo include:

  • The historic Kalamazoo Mall, the first pedestrian mall in the United States
  • Heritage Guitar Inc., a national guitar manufacturer in downtown Kalamazoo
  • The Air Zoo, a unique aeronautical museum with a theme park vibe
  • The Arcadia Creek Festival Place, home to the Kalamazoo Blues Festival and the Kalamazoo Ribfest
  • The Gilmore Car Museum, home to more than 400 classic cars and a retro 40s-style diner

Trying to save some money? Kalamazoo is home to several inexpensive farmers markets, happy hours, and free activities.

Some popular and cheap things to do near Kalamazoo include:

  • The Art Hop, a free monthly tour of the city’s artistic attractions
  • The Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market, an outdoor marketplace with free samples galore
  • Rugger’s Up & Unders, a college-style sports bar with great specials on beer
  • Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, a 22-mile path that leads to Lake Michigan
  • Bronson Park, Kalamazoo’s oldest green space, named after the city’s founder

With everything from art Institutes to local breweries, Kalamazoo has plenty to offer tourists and locals alike.

Some of the most popular attractions near Kalamazoo include:

  • Henderson Castle, an opulent mansion built in 1895
  • Lake Michigan, located less than an hour away from the city by car
  • The Kalamazoo State Theatre, a historic theatre that opened in 1927
  • Kalamazoo Valley Museum, a hands-on educational facility that focuses on science, technology, and history
  • The Bach Festival, an event dedicated to the choral works of prominent composer J.S. Bach

Don’t let your daily routine get stale. Spice it up with one of Kalamazoo’s parks, cultural attractions, or restaurants.

A few exciting activities near Kalamazoo include:

  • Hunan Gardens, a family-owned Chinese restaurant since 1992
  • The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a movie theatre that also serves food and drinks
  • Los Amigos, a tasty Mexican restaurant with strong drinks and decent prices
  • Coexist Café, a locally sourced coffee shop with a collegiate vibe
  • Old Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant, a locally owned Irish pub that offers tastings and tours

Despite its size, Kalamazoo is no stranger to nightlife. If you’ve been thinking about crawling the bars or watching live music, you’re in luck.

Some of the best nighttime activities near Kalamazoo include:

  • Listening to live piano and jazz at the Monaco Bay Piano Bar
  • Testing your luck at Firekeepers’ Casino in nearby Battle Creek
  • Partying on the rooftop of the Entertainment District, a posh bar and nightclub
  • Riding the mechanical bull at the Wild Bull Saloon
  • Sipping a brew at District Square, an outdoor beer garden with live musical performances every weekend

In Kalamazoo, weekends are the ideal time to see live music, commune with nature, and appreciate art.

Some of the best weekend activities in Kalamazoo include:

  • Escapology, one of the best escape rooms in the state
  • Bell’s Comstock Brewery, one of the oldest craft breweries east of Colorado
  • The planetarium programs at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum
  • The Kalamazoo Nature Center, a green space that spans ten square miles and includes 13 separate trails
  • Vicksburg Historic Village, a museum dedicated to preserving the appearance of the town in the late 1800s

With museums, waterparks, and kid-friendly businesses, Kalamazoo has plenty of activities for the whole family.

Some of the best family-friendly things to do near Kalamazoo include:

  • River Oaks Park, a green space with a splash pad, playground, and a dog run
  • Skyzone, an indoor gravity park outfitted with trampolines and foam pits
  • Rocket Comics, Toys & Collectibles, a local comic book store with a wide selection of vintage toys
  • The Airway Fun Center, offering bowling, laser tag, mini golf, air hockey, and more
  • Jungle Joe’s Family Fun Center, a children’s amusement center that serves tasty finger food

Planning your next date night? Kalamazoo is home to a savory selection of restaurants, cafés, and sweet shops.

Some of the best date spots in Kalamazoo include:

  • Rustica, an upscale european-style restaurant
  • Martell’s, an italian restaurant with lakefront seating and a great wine selection
  • Ambrosia Therapeutic Massage, a local spa with highly rated couples’ massages
  • Cherri’s Chocol’art, a chocolatier with sweet treats for anniversaries and birthdays
  • Confections & Convictions, a locally owned sweet shop that will bring out the kid in you

Kalamazoo offers everything from sports clubs to nature tours. This diversity makes it easy to plan excursions with your friends, family members, or coworkers.

Some of the best group activities near Kalamazoo include:

  • The Final Cue, an escape room for up to seven people
  • The June Jubilee, an annual festival celebrating the beginning of sumer
  • Climb Kalamazoo, a unique 12,500 square foot climbing facility near downtown
  • The Kalamazoo Wings, a local hockey team that belongs to the ECHL Western Conference
  • The Breweries of Kalamazoo Walking Tour, offered every Saturday from June to September

Ready for a break from the day-to-day grind? Relax with some retail therapy, a massage, or a quiet place to think.

Some of Kalamazoo’s best things to do indoors include:

  • Tromblay Salon, one of the best places for high quality manicure or pedicure
  • Willow Day Spa, offering invigorating massages, facials, scrubs, and more
  • The Black Owl Coffee Shop, a local café that serves coffee made with beans that were roasted in the same building
  • Handmade Kalamazoo, a cute boutique that carries locally sourced clothing and home goods
  • The Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts, a quiet museum with a rotating collection of artwork

Kalamazoo is home to a diverse assortment of trails and park. It also offers easy access to the banks of Lake Michigan.

A few of the best outdoor activities in Kalamazoo include:

  • Lake Michigan, located less than an hour’s drive from Kalamazoo
  • The Kalamazoo Nature Center, which includes 100 acres of wooded countryside
  • Woods Lake Park, a serene lake with a playground and a sandy beach for swimming
  • Cold Brook County Park, a 276-acre park with a campground and three boat-ready lakes
  • The 35-mile Kal-Haven trail, which offers access to South Haven and Lake Michigan

Ready for a break from chain restaurants? Live life like a Kalamazoo native with a few of these hidden gems and local favorites.

A few must-see places near Kalamazoo include:

  • Chau Haus Schnitzel Station, a German restaurant with live musical performances
  • Shawarma King, a mediterranean restaurant with generous portions
  • Shakespeare’s Pub, a local bar and grill with 44 beers and tap
  • The Union Cabaret & Grill, a sleek venue with tempting happy hour specials
  • Cookie’s 5-Star Grill, a soul food restaurant with killer chicken and waffles