Spring Dreams are Made of These

Feeling ready for a change of seasons? Spring is soon upon us, and arriving with it are a host of fun opportunities such as Downtown Holland’s annual Girlfriends Weekend, a chance to relax with Spring Break, and the excitement of the upcoming Tulip Time Festival.

If you are interested in a getaway with your girlfriends, you won’t want to miss Girlfriends Weekend. Shops and restaurants around downtown Holland roll out the red carpet and welcome you and your friends in style. We’re talking a fashion show, luau party, shopping, drink specials, shopping, swag bags, in-store specials, giveaways and more. It’s your chance to relax or live it up with your girlfriends! If you haven’t already registered, registration is still open!

Looking for Spring Break family fun? From high-octane indoor recreation to artist workrooms where you can let your creative juices flow, the Holland area has something for everyone. Kids of all ages will love the wide variety of Spring Break activities, while parents will appreciate the kid-centric atmosphere that makes Holland one of the 10 Best Cities for Families. Here are six activities to put on your Michigan staycation Spring Break itinerary:

  1. Generations of kids can have fun splashing around at the Holland Aquatic Center. The Splash Zone features a gigantic 150-foot indoor water slide and lazy river, as well as a zero-entry wading pool for little kids. Older kids will get a kick out of the center’s larger pool with diving boards, zip lining and massive inflatables.
  2. Voted one of the country’s best trampoline parks, Urban Air in the Holland area has much more to do than just jumping. Offering ninja warrior courses, battle beams, a ropes course, tubes playground and a virtual reality gaming center, it’s the ultimate indoor adventure park with play spaces for kids of any age.
  3. If your kids enjoy letting their imaginations run wild, a visit to Paint a Potin Holland provides a fantastic creative outlet. The whole family can pick out a mug, plate, vase, or small figurine to paint however they choose.
  4. For an indoor-outdoor experience that’s safe from the elements yet still gets you in touch with the natural world, visit the Critter Barn. Pet a barn full of sheep, chicks, bunnies, and other baby animals in the spring. You can even play farmer by collecting eggs in the coop or bottle feeding a kid (the baby goat kind!).
  5. Garsnett Beacon Candle Co. provides another creative outlet. You can experiment in the shop’s fragrance studio with more than 85 scents, take your favorite oils and pour them into a container of your choice to create a personalized candle!
  6. Parents can treat the kids to some classic arcade fun and relive their own glory days at Holland’s BAM!, voted the Best Family Entertainment Center in West Michigan. Skee-Ball? Check. Bowling? Yep. There’s also a multi-level laser tag arena, high ropes course, climbing walls, escape rooms, axe throwing and more.

Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the well- known Tulip Time Festival coming up just around the corner! This year’s theme is bikes and blooms in celebration of the 95th anniversary of the festival. Running May 4-12, it’s an exciting week full of Dutch dancing, tulips, parades, carnival faire, music, quilts… and more tulips! Spend the day at the Artisan Market, see the Quilt Show & the beautiful display of tulips at the Immersion Garden. Drive down Tulip Lane or walk thru Centennial Park and admire the colorful blooms. Enjoy shopping and dining in our downtown as you head over to the Window on the Waterfront & Windmill Island Gardens for even more tulips.

With so many fun upcoming events, be sure to visit Holland, Michigan for all we have to offer!

Holiday Magic in Holland, Michigan

Celebrate the holidays in Holland, MI with an endless list of exciting events during this magical season. We may be biased, but Holland does it best when it comes to holiday festivities. Holland is steeped in tradition; some old (like Sinterklaas), and some new. So, don’t wait too long to make your travel plans, book your next trip to Holland, Michigan where the magic abounds!

Magic at the Mill

Speaking of magic, Magic at the Mill is back again this year and we couldn’t be more thrilled! What is Magic at the Mill? It’s a holiday light display show at Windmill Island Gardens. Enjoy an incredible light show with friends and family. Enjoy the street organ playing holiday music, take a ride on the antique carousel or shop for last minute gifts. Explore the island decked out in holiday decor and even visit with Sinterklaas! The event is every Friday & Saturday in December from the 1st -16th.  Tickets can be purchased online for specific time slots, ranging from 5-9 pm. They won’t last long, so get them while you can.

Holiday Open House

Stroll the beautiful streets of downtown at the Holiday Open House on Nov. 18. Stop in the shops for holiday treats, free gift-wrapping, refreshments, discounts, giveaways, and more. Rather ride than walk? For the first time ever, hop on and off the Snowflake Express Trolley for a free tour of 8th Street in downtown Holland. Don’t forget to say hi to Santa’s reindeer!

Parade of Lights

Santa Claus is also coming to town! Come and watch the Parade of Lights on November 28 at 6:30pm. There will be over 75 floats, trucks, marching bands and more decorated from top to bottom. This luminous procession is fun for the family and a holiday tradition for the entire community.


Find more magic at the 26th Annual Kerstmarkt, running every Friday and Saturday, November 18-December 16. More than 18 booths will be set up at the 8th Street Market in front of the Civic Center Place. Sip on a steaming cup of glühwein and snack on authentic Dutch foods as you stroll past the chalets with their selection of unique holiday treasures. The market will also feature handbell concerts, dog sled visits, and even Dickens Carolers.


Christmas Cards 

We’re excited to announce our Christmas Cards created by Carolyn Stich are here! Featuring a jolly snowman taking a selfie taking a selfie by Big Red, our famous lighthouse. This year, all proceeds benefit Hands of Hope Foundation. Inside message: “Warmest Wishes from Big Red’s Winter Wonderland.” These unique cards are available for purchase at: Carolyn Stich Studio, Holland Area Visitors Bureau, The Holland Kerstmarkt, Van Wieren Hardware and Magic at the Mill (while supplies last).

Harvest Holland This Fall

What do watercolor windmills, running shoes, geodes, and muskets have in common? September in Holland!

Kick off the first month of fall at the Art on the Island Gala. Enjoy free admission to Windmill Island Gardens, vote for your favorite artistic rendition, and even purchase a piece you love to take home. Next up, the Holland Haven Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8k. Pick your distance and race along the beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. For precious stones, be sure to check out the 53rd Tulip City Gem and Mineral Show, and to relive the Battle of Gettysburg, don’t miss the Van Raalte Farm Civil War Muster. Finish the month with a tour around the world at International Festival.

Fall Fest

Fall Fest comes to downtown Holland the first weekend in October. Experience the historic city center decked out with corn stalks and hay bales and buzzing with activities. Witness giant pumpkins getting carved, medium-sized pumpkins sculpted into captivating displays, and mini pumpkins painted by your kids at the farmers market. Then, marvel at street performers and a windmill-side artisan market. When the sun sets, procure a harvest-themed beverage and admire all the flickering jack-o’-lanterns.

(For more fall fun, why not do some leaf peeping as you explore vineyards, orchards, and breweries following the Handcrafted Passport?)

Day of the Dead

Whether you honor your ancestors, dress up to scare away ghouls, or just like gathering candy, Holland has an event for you on October 28th.
From 10 til noon, littles dressed in ghost and Barbie costumes will converge on downtown Holland to Trick or Treat along 8th Street. Then, it’s onto the Holland Armory for music, dance, and art in celebration of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Finally, after the kiddos are down for naps, adults can head back downtown for Taps and Treats to sample Halloween sweets perfectly paired with a stout or IPA companion.

A Cornucopia of Musical Adventures

There’s a harvest of music in Holland this fall. The Park Theatre hosts the most with a packed line-up of tribute bands ranging from Elton Rohn to Fooz Fighters, performances by popular regional bands, and the annual ParktoberFest.

Classical music afficionados will flock to Hope College’s Great Performance Series with its Grammy-winning jazz, chamber ensembles, and harpist who mixes old with new tunes. Also amazing, Holland Symphony Orchestra’s autumn performances feature Brahms and a piano tribute to the planets, and the Holland Museum hosts a musical evening about Idlewild, Holland’s “Black Eden.”

Parading into the Next Season

Holland loves a parade and hosts SEVEN each year, three in the fall. The Labor Day Truck Parade features rumbling trucks, free ice cream, and giveaways. For more big rigs, the Fire Truck Parade kicks off Fire Safety Week with 50 fire trucks rolling down 8th Street. To wrap up November and usher in the holidays, the Parade of Lights has 75 floats plus (more) trucks, antique cars, walkers, and marching bands all decked out in thousands of sparking lights. What a way to escort Santa into downtown Holland!

Pick a season, any season, and there’s always something happening in Holland. Check out what’s on for today, tomorrow, and even next year at the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s calendar of events.

Unique Fall Experiences in Holland

Fall colors, pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating all are must-do autumn activities, and the Holland area is a great place to enjoy all of them. (More on that later.)

Holland is also the only place for a variety of other unique fall activities that will make the season extra special this year. Where else can you meet Abraham Lincoln, plant bulbs for the world-famous Tulip Time Festival and hear Cuban Changüí music live?

For an extraordinary experience this fall, check out the calendar of fascinating events and things to do in the Holland area. Here are seven you won’t want to miss:

Relive one of the Civil War’s most pivotal battles during the Van Raalte Farm Civil War Muster. On the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, the 160-acre park in Holland will host a reenactment of the bloodiest day in American history. Activities also include professional impressions of historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Robert E. Lee and others. Plus, there will be military drills, battlefield medical scenarios and a Civil War-era church service. All activities are free.

Enjoy a stroll along the cobblestone streets of charming downtown Holland while it’s all dressed up in fall décor. Shop boutique stores you won’t find anywhere else and dine in distinctive restaurants with delicious menus you’ll love to discover. Then, treat yourself to an upscale experience of the silver screen at Sperry’s Moviehouse, or visit Hope College’s 111-year-old Knickerbocker Theatre for its Fall Film Series that tees off with The Phantom of the Open.

Eat your way around the world from one food vendor to the next at the International Festival of Holland. While the community’s Dutch heritage takes center stage during Tulip Time in the spring, this fall you can taste Ethiopian Shiro and African Mandazi and hear live music featuring the sounds of Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. There’s also a Children’s Fiesta with hands-on activities including art and dance.

While you don’t need a passport to experience cultures from around the globe at the International Festival, you can use a Handcrafted Passport to enjoy the best of craft beverages in the Holland area. Just pick up a passport from the Holland Area Visitors Bureau at 78 E. 8th St. downtown and get it stamped at any (or all!) of the 18 participating breweries, wineries and distilleries. Get at least 10 stamps and you’ll receive a “Handcrafted in Holland” bar blade to commemorate your journey!

Holland’s iconic Tulip Time features tens of thousands of tulips, and you can plant some of the bulbs this fall during one of many activities that are part of the Holland Fall Fest. The quintessential celebration of fall-themed fun features all the staples of the season, along with some special twists: Watch professional carvers turn 1,000-pound pumpkins into giant jack-o-lanterns, ask a downtown street performer to paint your face or make a balloon creature, and browse an artisan market of arts and crafts. Plus, many of the vendors at the Holland Farmers Market this fall will be right in the midst of a bountiful harvest! For more fall fun, be sure to come back to Holland on Halloween weekend for family-friendly trick-or-treating at downtown storefronts.

What’s fall without some fall color peeping? Sandwiched between the vast expanse of Lake Michigan and the dark blue waters of Lake Macatawa, Holland’s Mt. Pisgah sand dune is a spectacular viewing spot over 150 feet high! There also are scenic road routes for fall color in the Holland area with recommended stops including Tunnel Park, Saugatuck Dunes State Park, Crane’s Orchard & Pie Pantry and Fenn Valley Winery.

Not to look ahead to winter in Holland just yet, but the holidays will be here soon! Get ready for the festivities with several November events including Shop Til You Drop when many stores stay open late and offer special discounts of up to 30%, the annual outdoor Kerstmarkt Holiday Market, promotions and giveaways to celebrate Small Business Saturday, and the incredible Parade of Lights that brings Santa Claus to town along with dozens of floats, antique cars and marching bands!

Summer Fun in Holland, Michigan

The Beach

Arguably the best place to be in Holland, Michigan during the summer months, the sandy shores are a favorite getaway.  Stroll the white sandy beaches at Laketown, camp out at Holland State Park and enjoy the sun setting over Lake Michigan before retreating back to your campfire, or, walk through a concrete tunnel that actually cuts right through the sand dune at Tunnel Park! There are plenty of beaches in Holland, Michigan to explore this summer.  So, take your time, make some memories, and enjoy some of the finest stretches of lakeshore in Michigan.

4th of July Fireworks

Enjoy our Celebration Freedom with fireworks and family fun! This year Celebration Freedom will kick off at 1:00pm on Wednesday, July 4 at Kollen Park.  Celebration Freedom includes: vendors, children’s games, inflatables, martial arts demonstrations, live music, food booths, and an array of other free family fun activities. At dusk  fireworks will be explode over Lake Macatawa.

Fireworks will also be shot off over Lake Michigan, also around dusk. For best viewing, head to Holland State Park.

Fun on the Water

With the summer season in full swing, it’s time to venture out to the lake. Ideal water conditions provide the perfect play ground for stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking, and much more! Interested in a charter excursion? No problem, we have charter fishing boats for those who want to land the perfect catch, and power and sailboats for those who want to cruise! Looking to rent a Sea-Doo to ride along the waves of Lake Macatawa? We have those, too! With plenty of boat and water sport rentals, you’re sure to have an adventurous day on the lake.

Click here for outdoor activities!

Downtown Street Performer Series

In need of a fun family activity to fill your Thursday evenings? From 6:30pm -8:30pm, visit Downtown Holland as Street Performers showcase their talents for all. The lineup changes from week to week and varies from live music to juggling, to tap-dancing and acrobatics. There’s always something new to see as you travel down 8th Street. So, take your time and wander the street (it will be closed to traffic, keeping you and your little ones safe), and enjoy the talents and entertainment of our Street Performers!

Ride Your Bike!

With over 150 miles of paved and separate-use bike paths, there is a road, path, or trail to suit your biking needs.  Holland has plenty of off-road trails and adventures for fat tire and mountain biking, as well as long scenic lakeshore rides for road biking. If a bike rental better suits your travel plans, several bike shops in Holland offer rentals, which include a helmet and lock.
Check out our free bike brochure here.

Handcrafted Passport

Get a real taste of the local hops, grapes, and spirits scene by experiencing our very own Handcrafted Beverage Passport! Visit any of the participating breweries, wineries, or distilleries and enjoy the beverage that they are known for, hear the individual establishment’s story, and learn about their handcrafted product. The passport provides a space on each page to jot down tasting notes leaving a handy reference for visitors and locals alike!

When you take the Passport to a participating establishment, it will be stamped with each artisan’s specially designed stamp; those collecting all of the stamps can return their Passport to the Visitors Bureau for verification where they will receive a custom-stamped “Handcrafted in Holland” bar blade, compliments of the Holland Area Visitors Bureau.

Click here for details and to see a list of participants
Click here to watch our Handcrafted Beverge Passport video!
*Special Thanks to City of Holland for creating our video*

Visit Windmill Island Gardens

Windmill Island Gardens

Visit Windmill Island Gardens, one of Holland’s must-see attractions and our very own “treasure island”! Spend an afternoon wandering through 36 acres of beautifully manicured lawns and gardens filled with over 122,000 tulips during our annual Tulip Time Festival; the tulips are replaced with breathtaking annuals and perennials for the summer months.

In a nod to our Dutch heritage, enjoy performances by authentically-clad Dutch dancers, complete with wooden shoes; take a spin on the imported hand-painted Dutch carousel, and listen to an antique Amsterdam street organ, also straight from the Netherlands!

Take a guided tour of the 260-year-old working windmill, DeZwaan, (The Swan), that arrived in Holland from the Netherlands in the mid- ‘60s, and remains the only authentic working Dutch windmill in the United States. And don’t miss the opportunity to step out onto the fourth-floor deck where you can catch a birds’ eye view of the lush gardens, dikes, and canals surrounding the mill. For a more in-depth understanding of DeZwaan, keep an eye out for our Dutch-certified miller (the only one in North America) and watch as she grinds locally-sourced winter wheat into flour and corn into meal (available for purchase in the gift shop).

The tastes of DeZwaan are embedded in our community from the grains used in local craft beers and spirits, to the breads and doughs used by local bakers and chefs. Proud of the “mill to table” tagline, the vision of DeZwaan feeding its community, (which goes back over two centuries), has far exceeded expectations! Be sure to make Windmill Island Gardens a “must see” destination for your west Michigan touring! And don’t leave without grabbing a bag of mill-ground flour while you’re there!

View Big Red Lighthouse

Holland’s beloved and popular “Big Red” lighthouse, which stands proudly at the south side of the Holland Channel, has a long and rich history dating back to the first structure built on that site in 1870. Currently the lighthouse is owned and maintained by a non-profit lighthouse commission and is Michigan’s most photographed lighthouse.

For the best view of Big Red, visit the Holland State Park where you can walk along the board walk to the north pier (wheelchair accessible). You can also view Big Red from Mt. Pisgah, where the dune stair case takes you 157 feet above sea level.

The Holland Harbor Lighthouse is an integral part of the history of Holland. A stormy history it is filled with disappointment countered by determination. Soon after the Dutch settlers came to the area in 1847, their leader, Dr. Albertus C. Van Raalte, wrote to the governor and the U.S. Congress requesting funds for the building of a harbor. Van Raalte knew from the beginning that if this new community were to flourish, access to Lake Michigan, to and from Black Lake, (now Lake Macatawa) was essential. However, the entrance to the lake from Lake Michigan was blocked with sandbars and silt.

Repeated requests for government help were made in the years that followed but to no avail. All the while, the Holland settlers made numerous attempts to establish a harbor. A permanent pier was built into Lake Michigan that was battered year after year by winter storms. Dredging was done both by hand and machine.

In 1860, citizens managed to cut a new channel-present location from Lake Macatawa to Lake Michigan. It was deep enough for barges to float from Lake Michigan into Lake Macatawa.

In 1866, harbor officials received word from Congress that they would receive an appropriation for work on the harbor.

In 1867, the Federal Government took over improvement of the harbor. Additional monies came in 1870, 1871 and 1872 but it was not until the turn of the century, fifty years after the effort was begun, that the harbor was substantially completed. It was too late for Holland to become an important commercial port, but not too late to help foster a thriving resort business. The Graham and Morton shipping lines made two trips daily from Chicago bringing eager vacationers to the lakeshore.

In 1893, a Life Saving Station opened on Lake Michigan. Ten years later it was replaced by a U.S. Coast Guard Station.

The first lighthouse was erected with $4,000 of federal funds in 1870, twenty years before the harbor was complete. It was a small, square, wooden structure that stood on an open platform on legs above the deck of the pier. On top was a lantern deck with a ten-window lantern room.

The lighthouse keeper had to carry his lighted oil lamp along a catwalk, which stretched from the shore where he lived to the lamp under a lens or magnifying device. When fog obscured the light, he signaled incoming boats by blowing an 18 inch fish horn often used on sailboats.

Steel Tower-Early 20th Century Improvement

Both the pier and the wooden lighthouse had taken a beating from the weather over the years. So after the turn of the century, when the harbor was finally finished, a breakwater was built.

The steel tower was an obvious improvement from the wooden structure. Not only could it better withstand severe weather, it could be spotted by incoming vessels as far away as thirteen miles.

When fog lay on the lake, as it so often did, a light signal was useless. It was obvious that a fog signal, stronger than a fish horn, must be incorporated. In 1907, a steam operated fog signal was installed. Two coal fed Marine boilers produced steam to sound the locomotive whistle used as a fog signal. The 1907 building was built as a fog signal building only. It had no light (the light stood adjacent to it as a separate sructure unitil 1936 when the Coast Guard consolidated the two structures by putting a light tower on top of the fog signal).

To house the signal, the 12th Lighthouse District, which had federal jurisdiction over the lighthouse, designed and constructed a separate building, the basis of today’s lighthouse. This structure, unlike its two predecessors, was not placed on legs, thereby affording greater stability. The wood upper level is Queen Anne Victorian in style. The steeply sloped roof gables and Palladian window motif that are still still intact evidence this. The original roofing material was probably cedar shakes.

Originally, both the steel tower and the fog signal building were painted pale yellow with a deep maroon base. In 1956, however, the Coast Guard sandblasted the tower and painted it bright red to satisfy a requirement for the aids to navigation that a structure or light on the right side of any harbor entrance must be red.

This final phase of lighthouse development brings us to the structure as we know it today. In 1934 the light was electrified. In 1936, plans were made to abandon the steam driven fog signal, now nearly 30 years old, and install air powered horns using electricity as a power source for air compressors. Electrification also marked the end of the era of lighthouse keepers that had spanned 68 years.

Lighthouse Keepers

The first lighthouse keeper was Melgert van Regenmorter, appointed to service in 1870 at an annual salary of $540. He served until April, 1908, just prior to the steam fog signal going into operation. It is said that he wanted no part of the new technology.

Between the years of 1908 and 1912, three different keepers shared time tending the light, Charles Bavry, George J. Cornell and Edward Mallette. Their relatively short terms of duty indicate that it took a special type of individual to withstand the constant pressure of maintaining the signal.

The last active lighthouse keeper was Joseph M. Boshka who came to Holland in 1912, after serving 15 years in the Lighthouse Service. Joseph Boshka, known as “Cap”, served until 1940. He retired to reside in Macatawa one year after the federal Lighthouse Bureau was abolished and the Coast Guard took over responsibility for aids to navigation.
In addition to tending the light and signal, the keeper and his assistants also stood watch. This was especially important during the use of the steam powered foghorn since it took about 45 minutes of firing up the furnace to build up enough pressure for operation. Watch was generally broken down into six-hour shifts. All work activities and times of operation were recorded in the watch log.

In 1934, when the lighthouse was wired for electricity, electric air compressors for the horn were installed. The light turned on automatically at the right time and the fog horn was activated by remote control leaving the lighthouse keeper basically without a job.

Lighthouse Commission

In 1971 the lighthouse was declared to be surplus since the Coast Guard could not justify the expense of repair and maintenance of this structure that no longer housed the electrically operated light and fog horn. Private citizens started a petition and letter writing campaign to save the lighthouse. In 1974 the Holland Harbor Lighthouse Historical Commission was formally organized to coordinate the effort, even crafting the name of “Big Red” to personify the lighthouse and generate awareness to save it.

In 1978 the Coast Guard transferred ownership to the commission and, with it, the responsibility for the preservation of the lighthouse. Repairs and maintenance of the lighthouse are paid for out of endowment funds raised by the commission.

Twice a year, the Coast Guard inspects the facility and maintains the light. A new $6,000 light that can be seen for 20 miles has been installed. The use of a fog signal had been discontinued. The original Fresnel lens is on display in the Holland Museum.

Over the years, “Big Red” has taken on a life of its own, popular with painters, photographers, beach-goers, and boaters. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting in the shade of a tree, and watch the river empty into Lake Michigan, while the red sentinel stands guard on the opposite shore.

Top 10 Places for Families

Finding the perfect place for family fun isn’t hard to do in Holland, Michigan. Whether you are looking for fun outdoor recreation, traditional Dutch activities, or indoor play, there are plenty of options for fun and adventure!

Dutch Village

One of Holland’s favorite attractions, Dutch Village offers an authentic Dutch experience for the whole family. A quaint, yet interactive cultural throwback to the Netherlands, Dutch Village is home to fully costumed employees dedicated to immersing the family in Dutch traditions. Make your own Dutch “Stroopwafel” cookie, enjoy demonstrations of how the Dutch make wooden shoes, participate in traditional Dutch dancing, experience the petting zoo (De Kinderboerderij), taste Dutch Brews and local beers, and even enjoy the Ferris Wheel in its small theme park!

The Beach

Kick off your shoes and enjoy the sand beneath your feet at any of our Holland beaches! Visit the Holland Michigan State Park for an expansive beach front, walks on the pier, and stunning views of Lake Michigan. Head to Tunnel Park to walk in Michigan’s only concrete tunnel through the dunes, or use the wooden staircase to walk up the dune and dune jump down to the beach!


Holland’s one-stop family fun indoor entertainment center! BAM! Is known for its tagline: Eat. Drink. Play. Repeat…and for good reason! With Multi- level laser tag, bowling, mini and monster bowling, karaoke, high ropes courses, and a huge arcade (that rotates its games frequently), there is non-stop action! While the kids play, parents can enjoy a brew from the on-site brewery, or enjoy a meal from the full-service restaurant. With a variety of cool prizes and treats, your family will have a great time at BAM!

Windmill Island Gardens

Take a few hours to walk 36 acres of the beautifully manicured grounds of Holland’s own treasured Island! Explore the gardens, dikes and canals, take a ride on a hand-painted Dutch carousel, enjoy the music from an antique Amsterdam street organ, and shop for Dutch souvenirs in the Dutch “village” themed gift store. Spend the afternoon and tour the 250-year-old DeZwaan Windmill, the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the United States!

Critter Barn

Open six days a week, year ‘round, this active farm provides an unforgettable hands-on learning experience for the whole family. The Critter Barn strives to educate with its teachings and demonstrations on animal care, agriculture, and even instructional education on how local farmers to grow our food! Bottle feed a calf or kid, milk a goat, play with the kittens in the kitty corral, hug a bunny, and even find eggs from the hens! With a heated barn, the Critter Barn is a favorite year ‘round destination!

Square Play Café

– A fun place for parents to grab a cup of coffee or their favorite café drink, while the kids play! Square Play Café is filled with adventure and imagination. The toys and interactive play stations are switched out frequently in order to provide fresh experiences and enthusiasm. Think of it as an indoor classroom/toy room combined with a café atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot for kids to play while the parents visit and chat over their cup of joe! And, if the kids work up an appetite while playing, the café sells awesome children’s snack foods like string cheese and applesauce! This place is a win for kids and parents alike!

Kollen Park

A local favorite, Kollen Park is located along the shores of Lake Macatawa. Along with the Heinz Waterfront Walkway, this site design award winning park sits on 24-acres of waterfront public access. Public boat launch access, various fishing decks, and a boardwalk that stretches to South Shore Village, border the park along the water, while the playground and manicured lawns border the streets. Take the entire family and spend the evening catching a sunset, fishing, walking on the Heinz Waterfront Walkway, playing on the playground, and even taking in some of the summer outdoor concert series, and free movie in the park series put on by our friends at @cityofholland!

Holland Community Aquatic Center

Grab your bathing suits and towels and head to The Holland Community Aquatic Center for non-stop water fun. With the Splash Zone indoor water park, you have plenty of options for play. Enjoy the 150-foot water slide, vortex pool, Alpine Challenge, zip line, water cannons, tumble buckets, Wiggle Bridge, Aqua Track, and much more! Don’t feel like the Splash Zone? No worries, enjoy the state of the art 50-meter pool, sauna, and fitness room. It’s open 7 days a week, so it’s the perfect destination for exercise, relaxation, and fun!

Outdoor Nature Centers

With two GREAT outdoor education centers, you can’t go wrong! Holland is home to both the 18- acre DeGraaf Nature Center, and the 150-acre Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway. Both centers have live animals on site, educational and interactive programs for the family, trails to explore and hike, and naturalists on site to educate and inform. For outdoor enthusiasts, there is plenty of exploring and adventure to be had!

Herrick District Library

Are you looking for a quiet and relaxing activity for the family? Head over to the Herrick District Library to check out the latest novel, up-and-coming author for your book club, or just enjoy a quiet and relaxing space while the kids unwind during story time. With plenty of hands on activities in the interactive play area and teen hangout area, there is access to board games, a used bookstore, and even scheduled classes and events, for ALL ages. It’s more than just a library- it’s a fun and educational destination!