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Top 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

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

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

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