Summer is fast approaching, and people are always looking for ways to entertain themselves in the great outdoors. Grand Rapids is full of awesome outdoor activities for people seeking to bask in the sunshine. I figured I'd highlight a few of them for you.

  • Sun Of A Beach Festival

    Friday, June 13th from 6-10 p.m. Channel 957 will be hosting the Sun Of A Beach Festival right here in downtown Grand Rapids!

    Get ready for cheeseburger in paradise, with your toes in the sand while sipping on your boat drinks as Downtown Grand Rapids is converted into Margaritaville!

    Make sure to get inside early and reserve your spot; beach chairs and beach blankets are encouraged (please leave the beach umbrellas at home). Come hungry as we have a great lineup of regional and local food vendors.

    Features great music from Jimmy Buffet tribute band Parrots of the Caribbean and Zac Brown tribute band ZBTB!

    Get your tickets here!

  • Visit Frederik Meijer Gardens

    Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is an amazing place to spend a sunny Summer day. You can walk the grounds discovering new things at every turn. I'm pretty sure that it's impossible to really see every single thing Meijer Gardens has to offer in one visit. In fact, they say they encourage visitors who wish to experience Meijer Gardens fully to plan at least four hours and up to eight hours to enjoy all there is to offer.

    Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
  • Check Out The John Ball Park Zoo

    Who doesn't like the zoo? The John Ball Park Zoo, right in the middle of Grand Rapids provides entertainment for children and adults alike.

    If you haven't been in a while, you'll also notice some changes. The zoo has put in a new entrance plaza and has upgraded their gift shop.

    And this year they've added the Tigers of The Realm exhibit!

    John Ball Zoo is open daily at 10:00am and close at 4:00pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for kids 3-12, 2 and under are free.

    Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images
  • Take A Bike Ride

    Grand Rapids, and West Michigan in general, is host to a plethora of great bike trails. The Fred Meijer Heartland Trail, which stretches 41 miles, will take you from Greenville all the way to Alma!

    Want to keep it all within the 616? You can do that, too! Kent Trails is a 15 mile, non-motorized trail that is the result of a collaborative planning effort between the Kent County Parks Department, the cities of Grand Rapids, Grandville, Walker, Wyoming and Byron Township.

    Traveling through these six governmental jurisdictions, the trail follows abandoned railroad line, surface streets and easements, to provide linear parkway in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area.

  • Drink On A Patio

    My personal favorite outdoor nice weather activity is drinking outside. After all of those months cooped up inside, waiting for the snow to melt, there's nothing better than enjoying a cocktail on a patio while the sun shines down on you.

    Many Grand Rapids eateries (and drinkeries) boast amazing patios where you can sit, relax, and have a beverage.