Amenities of a Big City With a Small Town Feel

Grand Rapids offers a remarkable combination of cosmopolitan atmosphere and small town warmth, known for its philanthropic and sustainability-driven community, and is ranked one of “America’s Top 100 Places to Live.” Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids offers all the big-city excitement you’d expect from a million-resident metropolis, featuring hundreds of restaurants and nightspots, theatres, museums, sports and concerts. The safe and clean downtown is surrounded by an eclectic mix of walkable neighborhoods.

With a medical and life sciences industry boom, strong entrepreneurial activity, dedication to green building and living, and innovative employers, Grand Rapids’ diverse economy continues to grow, offering endless career opportunities.

A full spectrum of housing options are available in the Grand Rapids area. High-rise condos, green living communities, historic homes, affordable housing, mature neighborhoods, and brand new developments are all places Grand Rapidians call home.
To find crime data on neighborhoods in the Grand Rapid area, visit the Community Research Institute website.
gaslight village

Grand Rapids’ surrounding communities offer a variety of living styles to suit the tastes of its diverse population. To learn about Grand Rapids’ suburbs, click on the following communities for more information.

A rural, residential area, Ada offers a range of lifestyle choices. Housing options include homes overlooking rivers or rolling meadows. Hello West Michigan member Amway is headquartered here.

Located west of Grand Rapids, the area best known as being home to the main campus of Grand Valley State University, a Hello West Michigan member.

A community with historic, small-town charm, Allegan is home to the pharmaceutical company Perrigo, a large employer in West Michigan.

Byron Center
Byron Township is a community diverse in land use. Here you will find farms, suburban neighborhoods, thriving commercial districts, and advanced industrial facilities. The community is located southeast of Grand Rapids.

Located southeast of Grand Rapids and situated in a hilly area on beautiful Emmons Lake, this is an ideal place to live, with a delightful balance between country and city.

Comstock Park
Known as the location for Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the West Michigan Whitecaps baseball team, this is a fast growing area with many new housing developments and small businesses.

East Grand Rapids

Located on the east edge of Grand Rapids, it is known for it idyllic main street called Gaslight Village and was home to President Gerald R. Ford. It is a lively area full of activities for families.

Forest Hills
Forest Hills community comprises parts of Ada Township, Cascade Township, Grand Rapids Township, and Kentwood. The area is most commonly associated with the Forest Hills Public School District, which ranks as one of the best public school districts in the state.

It has easy access to Grand Rapids and is the location for the excellent shopping centers. The area’s largest mall, Rivertown Crossings, is located here.

Located west of Grand Rapids, Hudsonville is a small community known for its housing, fine churches, and excellent public and private schools.

This community is located southwest of Grand Rapids in Ottawa County. Although technically not a municipality, it is associated with the Jenison Public School District.

This area is a progressive urban area with a growing residential population, offering ideal living in the suburbs and pleasant shopping areas.

Known for its excellent school system, Lowell has an eclectic shopping district and is located est of Grand Rapids.

Located north of Grand Rapids, Northview is surrounded on three sides by the Grand River. It is a suburban community, great for families with children.

Home to White Pine Trail and Rogue River, popular for various recreational activities, Rockford is a suburban area with beautiful surroundings.

Located between Grand Rapids and Allendale, this suburban area is home to many housing developments, apartment complexes, and commercial centers.

Surrounding Grand Rapids on the northwest corner, Walker is a suburb featuring key shopping areas. Two Hello West Michigan members, Meijer and Bissel, are headquartered here.

A growing urban community that is a perfect location for independent retailers to thrive.

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There is never a dull moment in Grand Rapids! A bustling downtown features a world-class opera, symphony, professional ballet, plus museums, sports and entertainment venues. Throughout the community you will find a unique array of restaurants, art galleries and shopping.

DeVos Performance Hall is the 2,404-seat performing arts theater that is home to The Grand Rapids Symphony, The Grand Rapids Ballet Company, Broadway Grand Rapids and Opera Grand Rapids.

Experience GR offers a comprehensive list of arts offerings by date, type, and more. Check out their complete listing of area eateries too.

Always held the first full weekend in June in downtown Grand Rapids, Festival of the Arts is a community celebration featuring arts, entertainment, food and fun activities for the entire family.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is a 132-acre botanical garden and outdoor sculpture park. Commonly referred to as Meijer Gardens, it has quickly become one of the most significant sculpture experiences in the midwest and is an emerging worldwide cultural destination.

The permanent exhibits related to his presidency are the core of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum’s program. In addition to the permanent exhibits, a succession of temporary exhibits draw upon the rich holdings of the entire Presidential Libraries System, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, and others.

The Grand Rapids Art Museum holds collections dating from 1400 to the present and are primarily European and American paintings and sculpture with 20th century works of international scope.

Grand Rapids Art Prize is a radically open annual art competition, giving away the world’s largest art prize. Part arts festival, part social experiment – this international art contest is decided solely on a public vote.

The Grand Rapids Ballet Company is Michigan’s only professional ballet company and has a rich history marked by steady growth, a commitment to excellence, and strong community support.

The Grand Rapids Children’s Museum celebrates childhood and the joy of learning by providing an interactive, hands-on environment that inspires learning and encourages self-directed exploration.

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is one of the oldest community theatres in Michigan and in the United States.  Also housed in the Civic Theatre complex is the School of Theatre Arts, which offers a full range of acting, dance and technical theatre classes for pre-school through senior adult students.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is among the oldest history museums in the United States. The museum includes a cafe, a gift shop, and a 1928 Spillman Carousel, which is situated in a pavilion over the Grand River. The Museum building also houses the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium.

The Grand Rapids Symphony is recognized as one of America’s leading regional orchestras. The Symphony presents more than 400 performances each year, touching the lives of some 170,000 people. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs.

Grand Valley State University offers many performances, lectures, and concerts that are open to the public in Allendale and Grand Rapids.

The John Ball Zoo has over 1,100 animals representing the wilds of Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, and the United States.

The Grand Vally State University Civic Studio takes the practices of the studio and applies them to the consideration of civic life and space. The project is predicated on the assessment that civic spaces are complex sites of vitalities, problems, and opportunities that are in some way evident and connected to the visual and experiential qualities of actual space.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meyer May House was built in 1908. Meyer May was a local clothing store owner; he built this house for his wife and two adopted children. In 1987 the house was completely restored by Steelcase — this included removing a later addition at the rear of the house. The house is open to the public for tours.

Opera Grand Rapids produces three shows a year, and is one of two opera companies in Michigan.

Founded in 1977, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts  is Michigan’s largest contemporary arts center and a dynamic, multidisciplinary laboratory for the advancement of the art of our time.

Home of the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, Van Andel Arena offers the perfect combination of cosmopolitan flair and midwestern hospitality to make any event a success. Since marking its Grand Entrance on October 8, 1996, Van Andel Arena has attracted the biggest names in family shows, concerts and sporting events.

Wealthy Theatre is one of the most technologically advanced historic theatres in North America. Highly skilled staff, industry-best equipment, vital neighborhood, free parking, and diverse programming attract faithful patrons throughout the year.

The West Michigan Whitecaps is a professional minor league baseball team. A member of the 16-team Midwest League and Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, the Whitecaps play 70 home and 70 road games each season.

St. Cecilia Music Center, the oldest arts organization in West Michigan, is home to world-class concert series in the Royce Auditorium. A  partnership with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center brings chamber music concerts to Grand Rapids straight from the Lincoln Center stage. Music classes, camps and Junior Music Clubs take place throughout the year.

The Avenue for the Arts is the neighborhood title for the South Division commercial corridor. Residential, commercial and nonprofit groups work together in a creative community to create a place for artists and several events throughout the year.

The Kent District Library provides library resources and programs that enhance our residents’ quality of life. From early literacy programs for children to digital support for adults, they offer lifelong learning opportunities for all ages as well as the state’s best library digital collection available 24/7.

The city’s newest museum is the Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives. Located in the heart of downtown on Monroe Center, the museum has feature artifacts, recordings and oral histories. It also includes a gift shop with products from African American artists.

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With so much good happening in West Michigan, it’s easy to make your mark. If you want to make a real impact in the community you live in, we are the place to be. As a region, we rank above the national average in hours spent volunteering, and rank second in the nation in philanthropic giving.

The Volunteer Center at Heart of West Michigan United Way is an online portal that helps connect individuals, students, families and employers with organizations and programs that match their talents and interests. If you’re looking to volunteer, but don’t know where to start, they can help.

ServeGR is a hyperlocal tool that connects people with ongoing volunteer opportunities that play to their strengths, use their passion, and fit their schedule—all within the greater Grand Rapids area.

Heart of West Michigan United Way exists to provide quality education that leads to a stable job, help all households achieve financial stability, and give people access to good health at every stage of life. They also link Grand Rapids residents to volunteer opportunities throughout the community.

Heart of West Michigan United Way Young Leaders connects young professionals to the mission of Heart of West Michigan United Way by providing opportunities to learn, grow, and participate as philanthropists to invest in solutions that reduce poverty in West Michigan.

GRJC- Grand Rapids Jaycees host PGA Champions Tour events, Santa Claus Parades, Special Olympics Basketball Tournaments, Holiday Shopping Tours, provide underprivileged children in Grand Rapids the opportunity and funds to purchase Christmas gifts for their families, and organize Easter Egg Scrambles for community children, among many other community involvement opportunities.

The Johnson Center for Philanthropy offers a non-profit directory.

The Boys and Girls Club of Grand Rapids has three locations in the city providing a place for young children to go after school, as well as Camp O’Malley in Alto, MI

The Boy Scouts builds character and strong communities.

The Salvation Army runs many programs in the area at their new, state-of-the-art Kroc Center in Grand Rapids. They also hold church serivces in the area.

Michigan Blood is an independent blood bank providing blood products to hospitals throughout Michigan. You can give back to your community by donating at their Grand Rapids location or one of the many blood drives going on in the community.

Criminal Justice Chaplaincy provides those whose lives have been affected by crime to experience justice, mercy and healing. They have many volunteer opportunities available including a mentoring program.

Feeding America West Michigan
exists to ensure good food is available to the hungry in the community. By saving good surplus food from going to landfills, they can distribute that reclaimed food to pantries, shelters, and other local anti-hunger organizations in West Michigan counties.

The Women’s Resource Center helps women prepare for and secure meaningful employment. Using a combination of professional staff and carefully trained volunteers, they mentor participants though customized programs to assist them in securing a sustainable job.

Goodwill Industries of West Michigan provides work opportunities, skill development, and family strengthening resources in several West Michigan communities.

Catholic Charities West Michigan‘s programs and services focus on four distinct areas: community outreach, behavioral health, foster care and adoption, and family support.

American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies. Local ARC volunteers provide critical (and often unseen) services in West Michigan every day. Volunteer applications are always welcome.

The Arthritis Foundation of West Michigan strives to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases. By volunteering, you’ll be making a difference in the lives of 50 million adults and the nearly 300,000 children living with arthritis.

Susan G. Komen West Michigan is the largest grassroots non-profit organization in the world. The mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Hundreds of volunteers help make our race for the cure happen as well as events throughout the year.

The Grand Rapids Junior Chamber helps young professionals develop their skills as leaders by tackling civic problems. All of their events are run by their members, who have full-time jobs, but who are dedicated to improving their city.

At the Creative Youth Center, kids become published authors, leading to a strong sense of identity and an enthusiasm for learning. Programs are free for all students attending Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Greater Grand Rapids 100 Women Who Care is a streamlined way to give back. All it takes is 1 hour of your time 4 times a years and a $100 donation to 1 of 3 charitable organizations chosen for support.

Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired serves adults and youth with low vision clinics, rehabilitation services, and support groups throughout 13 West Michigan counties.

Kid’s Food Basket is a nonprofit that is nourishing children to reach their full potential throughout West Michigan. Volunteers are always welcome to help pack sack suppers.

Fusion 2015

Grand Rapids offers a wealth of diversity resources.

The Asian Center’s mission is to achieve a diversified, caring, just, and democratic global community by assisting individuals, families, groups, and communities to improve the conditions and meet the needs through self and collective actualization.

BL²END serves as an outlet for young professionals of color to learn, network, grow and become engaged in the Grand Rapids community.

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi is a federally recognized tribal government.

Tribal Service Area Map

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is known for its leadership in the area of diversity initiatives and programming including the Institute for Healing Racism.

Black Women Connect GR is an affinity group run by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

Greater Grand Rapids Chapter of Jack and Jill of America  is a local organization for all African American children that provides enriching experiences through active participation in civic, social, educational, cultural, and personal development to support the successful attainment of their goals, ambitions, and aspirations.

Grand Rapids Sister Cities International is a non-profit organization interested in coordinating, promoting and expanding international relationships and activities in the areas of trade, culture, and education.

The Literacy Center of West Michigan works alongside adults, both native speakers of English and English language learners, who read below the 9th grade level and want to improve their literacy. The organization meets adult learners where they are, providing workplace-focused classes, family literacy programming, and one-on-one tutoring all at no cost to the learner.

Western Michigan Bengali Association is a non-profit organization formed by “Bengalis” (community from eastern India) who live in West Michigan. The organization aims to create awareness about the rich cultural heritage of India amongst the larger community, help integrate members of the South East Asian communities to the area by providing a local platform to celebrate Bengali festivals and events.

The Grand Rapids Urban League is dedicated to delivering services and creating systemic changes that eliminate racism and increase the availability of quality life chances.

Grand Valley State University’s Diversity Resource Offices serve faculty, staff, students, and the community through its Inclusion and Equity Office, Disability Support Services, LGBT Resource Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Padnos International Center, and Women’s Center.

The Hispanic Center of West Michigan serves as a resource for the Hispanic and broader community.

The Kent ISD Diversity Initiative focuses on healing racism to improve student achievement by supporting and initiating leadership/coordination for county-wide efforts, educational opportunities and communication.

The League of Women Voters – Grand Rapids works with and for the Grand Rapids community to discover the power of voting and the potential for change through civic participation.

The Michigan Black Expo, Inc. is a non-profit social change conglomerate of Africentric events, products and services.

The Grand Rapids’ branch of the NAACP may be reached at (616)243-1000.

The Network serves the LGBT communities of Western Michigan through networking, referrals, and resources.

Partners for a Racism-Free Community is a movement of committed citizens and organizations working to move Greater Grand Rapids from “that’s the way it is” to “racism-free” through personal commitments, institutional efforts, social advocacy, and persistent intolerance of racist attitudes, words and behaviors.

The Philippine-American Association of Southwest Michigan (PAASM) is dedicated to maintaining, preserving, and cultivating Filipino culture and heritage, and helping others to share the same goals.

The West Michigan Chamber Coalition publishes a guide to women and minority owned businesses in the area.

The West Michigan Hispanic Chamber is dedicated to working with all members of the community to increase the economic advancement of Hispanic owned businesses and to assist in the professional growth of Hispanic business leaders in West Michigan.

The West Michigan Minority Contractors Association is a non-profit organization of members that work toward the common good of promoting the professional interest of one another.

The Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College works to institutionalize diversity.

The Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids supports the Jewish community in Kent and Ottawa counties, its congregations, schools, and Jews in need.

Latina Network of West Michigan

Urban Core Collective

Sisters Who Lead

Whether you want to watch or play, Grand Rapids is a great place to be active.  Considered one the best walking cities, Grand Rapids is also great for biking and hiking, and was rated the sixth most popular fishing city in the U.S. by Field and Stream magazine.

Our semi-pro teams in West Michigan

The excitement of pro sports, without the prices of a major league stadium.

The Grand Rapids Griffins belong to the American Hockey Association and are the 2013 Calder Cup Champions.

The West Michigan Whitecaps is our minor-league baseball team. They play at Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park.

Grand Rapids Drive is the G League basketball team affiliated with the Detroit Pistons.

Other Sports & Recreation Options

Grand Rapids FC is West Michigan’s only soccer team affiliated with the National Premier Soccer League.

Cannonsburg Bike Trails offers six miles of mountain biking trails.

Egypt Valley Bike Trails offers seven miles of mountain biking trails and is also open to hikers.

Fifth Third River Bank Run features the largest 25K road race in the country, plus a 10K run, a 5K run, a 5K walk and junior events.

The Grand Rapids Fish Ladder is a series of stair-step concrete pools that allow fish to bypass a dam on their journey upstream toward Lansing. A specially designed viewing structure allows visitors to see fish as they pass by.

The Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club is perfect for the Grand Rapids 21 and up, professionals. We offer a unique opportunity to meet other physically and socially active individuals. From Dodgeball, Kickball, to Flag Football. All teams are coed.

The Grand Rapids YMCA offers a variety of programs, sports, and club opportunities for the whole family.

The Grand Valley State Lakers compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports, having won numerous national championship titles and Directors Cups since 2002.

The John Ball Zoo has over 1,100 animals representing the wilds of Africa, Asia, South America, Australia, and the United States.

Kent County Parks Foundation, founded in 1999, as a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding and improving land, protecting the environment and preserving open space in Kent County. We support the mission of the Kent County Parks Department, which is currently responsible for 38 parks totaling 6,712 acres as well as four regional trails.

Millennium Park offers 1,500 acres of urban green space.

MVP Sports Spot offers the Grand Rapids community quality indoor youth soccer instruction, indoor youth and adult soccer league play, and other indoor field sports and events.

Patterson Ice Center is a premier skating facility for recreation, figure skating, hockey, and speed skating.

Robinette’s Bike Trails offers daily and year-round passes.

Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink is open throughout the winter for outdoor ice skating.

West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition is a non-profit grassroots group, dedicated to developing non-motorized trails and greenways throughout West Michigan.

The Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA provides a community members a place to help them attain a healthy life.

The West Michigan Sports Commission promotes Michigan’s West Coast as the premier destination for youth and amateur sporting events. They host the popular Meijer State Games.

Golf Courses

Grand Rapids has a variety of golf courses for every skill level:

Boulder Creek Golf Club

Broadmoor Country Club

Cascade Hills Country Club

Centennial Country Club

Egypt Valley Country Club (Hello West Michigan Member)

Indian Trails Golf Course

Kent Country Club

Quail Ridge Golf Club

Saskatoon Golf Club

The Meadows Golf Club (GVSU)

Thornapple Pointe

Thousand Oaks Golf Club

Watermark Country Club

Restaurant Search

Our partners at the Convention and Visitors Bureaus have a complete listing of area restaurants and a handy search tool.

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Founders Brewing Company
Brewery Vivant
Grand Rapids Brewing Company
The Mitten Brewing Company
B.O.B.’s Brewery
Harmony Brewing Company
Perrin Brewing Company
57 Brew Pub and Bistro


For a complete brewery listing curtesy of Experience GR, click here.

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From preschool to PhD, the Grand Rapids area offers educational opportunities for all.

With public, private, parochial, technical and charter schools in the mix, parents have many choices on how their children are educated.

Public Schools

Grand Rapids Public Schools
Our mission is to ensure that all students are educated, self-directed and productive members of society!

East Grand Rapids Public Schools
East Grand Rapids Public Schools is located in the heart of a small neighborhood community in western Michigan. Three elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school provide approximately 2800 students with rigorous academic programs, excellent opportunities in the arts, co-curricular activities that meet the needs of our students, and well over 100 athletic state championships. The community of EGR is also home to Spectrum Hospital’s Blodgett campus, the quaint Gaslight Village shopping district, and beautiful Reeds Lake.

Forest Hills Public Schools
The staff at Forest Hills Public Schools is committed to knowing every student’s interests and gifts, and to providing the educational opportunities that will maximize each one’s preparation for the future. In Forest Hills, our Board of Education leads the way in making every decision based on “what’s best for kids.”

Godwin Heights Public Schools

Godwin Heights Public Schools delivers quality education enabling each student to work cooperatively and to participate in our diverse, democratic society.

Grandville Public Schools
Improving lives by producing successful, life-long learners.

Kelloggsville Public Schools
The Kelloggsville Community will provide all
students with a solid foundation for lifelong success.

Kenowa Hills Public Schools
Kenowa Hills Public Schools will insure that all students acquire the skills, knowledge and commitment to succeed in a global society through shared responsibility with parents, staff, and the community.

Kentwood Public Schools
The Kentwood School District has approximately 8,500 students in sixteen buildings within 24.25 square miles. This is a wonderful family-oriented community that truly supports education.

Northview Public Schools
Northview Public Schools provide a safe, positive learning environment designed to focus our students on developing themselves both socially and academically.  We prepare students for future academic, career and personal challenges in a supportive and adaptive environment.  Students develop into life-long learners that are contributing, successful members of society.

Rockford Public Schools
The mission of the Rockford Public Schools is to provide a safe teaching and learning environment which will ensure, with the support of the students, parents and community, that all students, upon graduation, will have the academic and social skills to be successful, lifelong learners in a global society.

Private Schools

Calvin Christian Schools
Calvin Christian Schools enable students to know themselves as unique image-bearers of God with unique gifts and abilities.  Through a well-rounded educational program and capable staff, we lead students to unwrap their God-given gifts.  We help every child and young person develop his/her spiritual, intellectual, moral, emotional, and social abilities to their fullest extent possible.

Catholic Central High School

Catholic Central High School provides a Catholic culture for instruction and faith formation that challenges students to know and love God, seek knowledge and truth, respect the dignity of each person, and contribute to society through leadership and service.

Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids
Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 30 vibrant learning communities serving more than 6,600 elementary and high school students throughout West Michigan. Their 25 elementary and five high schools inspire young people to grow in faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. They partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.

Grand Rapids Christian Schools

Our well-rounded curriculum will foster your child’s lifelong love of learning, and his or her lifelong relationship with Christ. Help your child experience a more fulfilling education that combines high academic standards with a wide range of educational and extracurricular activities, all taught from a Christian perspective.

Jenison Christian School
The mission of Jenison Christian School is to provide a Christ-centered, quality education, rooted in the truth of God’s word. Jenison Christian School will, in a loving environment and in partnership with parents and the covenant community, empower each child to develop his or her God-given abilities for a life of service for the glory of God.

NorthPointe Christian Schools
NorthPointe Christian Schools is dedicated to the spiritual formation of our students, faculty, staff, and even our parents. Our mission is to “prepare students to impact their world for Jesus Christ.”

The Potter’s House provides a Christ-centered education to children of all ethnic heritages and income levels, equipping them to serve God and society to their fullest potential.

Unity Christian High School
Unity serves a wide range of students from National Merit Scholars to special needs students. A comprehensive curriculum, which includes a full range of courses based on Biblical truths and taught by dynamic Christian teachers, prepares students for college and the workplace. Courses range from Advanced Placement to basic, from science labs to shop classes, from audition music groups to beginner music groups.

West Catholic High School
West Catholic High School provides a Catholic culture for instruction and faith formation that challenges students to know and love God, seek knowledge and truth, respect the dignity of each person, and contribute to society through leadership and service.

West Michigan Lutheran High School
We are committed to Christian learning processes that will equip our students to integrate their faith with all aspects of their life as they mature in their personal relationships and encounter important decisions and responsibilities.

CLC Network
This organization partners with many of the Grand Rapids area non-public schools to support the inclusion of students at all levels of ability and disability.

Charter Academies

Child Discovery Center
The mission of the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center and the Aquinas Child Development Center is to continuously expand the potential of children, the experiences of educators and the involvement of parents within a diverse community of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Cross Creek Charter Academy
The “Award Winning” Cross Creek Charter Academy is a tuition-free, publicly-funded charter school, located on the southern end of Kent County, between the Caledonia, Kentwood and Byron Center school districts. It operates on a basic theory: Expect more from kids and they will deliver.

Excel Charter Academy
Founded in 1995, Grand Rapids’ Excel Charter Academy is the school that started the revolution! The first of the National Heritage Academies, Excel’s staff members and parents built the curriculum standards and moral focus program that all of NHA’s schools have modeled since.

Grand River Prep
Employing a powerful combination of exceptional leadership, rigorous college-prep curriculum, and an emphasis on moral character, Grand River Prep will foster the high achievement and healthy development of every student. Our core values will be Rigor, Responsibility and Moral Focus, Relevance and Relationships.

Knapp Charter Academy
Our program not only supports state academic standards, but also provides a unique, college-bound approach that delivers the specific knowledge and skills students are expected to master in each subject area at each grade level.

New Branches Public School Academy
At New Branches School our mission is to cultivate healthy, productive, and responsible students who are excited to learn and able to lead.

Ridge Park Charter Academy
Ridge Park Charter Academy, managed by National Heritage Academies, a charter school management company with a network of over 60 charter schools in eight states, was founded on the four pillars of academic excellence, moral focus, parental partnership and student responsibility.

Vista Charter Academy
With a vision to better educate more children, Vista Charter Academy is dedicated to challenging each child to achieve.

Vanguard Academy
Our program not only supports state standards, but provides a unique college-bound approach that delivers the specific knowledge and skills students are expected to master in each subject area at each grade level.

Walker Charter Academy
Challenge each child to achieve through academic excellence, parental partnerships, moral focus, and student responsibility.

Wellspring Preparatory High School
Wellspring Prep is a college preparatory charter high school on Grand Rapid’s northeast side currently serving 180 9th & 10th grade students. We have limited opening in grades 9-11 for the 2012-2013 school year. This is a tuition free school.

West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science
Welcome to West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science. Children who are drawn to science thrive at West Michigan Academy. From preschool through 12th-grade, we offer a complete, fully accredited education grounded in the disciplines and rewards of science.

Programs for Kids

Camp Fire provides children the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are through after school, summer, and service learning programs.

The Career and College Readiness team at Kent Intermediate School District offers a vast array of career exploration questions so that students in our community have a head start on the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  The team offers job shadows, internships, industry tours, competitions and more.

Grand Rapids offers parents very good quality child care alternatives. Take a look at some of these alternatives below.

Tutor Time:
Tutor Time is dedicated to fostering educational development, building self-esteem and sparking imagination in a safe and loving environment.

Whether enrolled full- or part-time, your child will benefit from our proprietary Tutor Time LifeSmart™ curriculum, based around the idea that every child is smart in his or her own way. Our experienced teachers focus on meeting your child’s developmental and educational needs by helping him or her advance through each program at his or her own pace.

Great Start Connect:

We are proud to serve our community by supporting and educating people who need and people who provide child care and education services. We help:

  • parents learn about quality child care and education
  • child care and educations providers become the best at what they do
  • communities know the importance of a child’s early years
  • children can be ready for success in school and life

Childcare and Preschool at the YMCA:
Quality care programs provide enriching experiences which facilitate a child’s cognitive, social, physical, and emotional growth. We strive to meet the developmental needs and temperament of each individual child by working in partnership with families. There are four different types of child care available:

  • Full Day Child Care
  • Before and After School Child Care
  • Out of School Days – we will watch your children on those random days off of school!
  • Kidzone – we will watch  your children while you work out!

AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool:
Locations all over West Michigan provide a fun, engaging learning environment to promote each child’s individual development and nurture their natural curiosity. Our curriculum is designed to inspire your child to learn and grow academically, socially, and emotionally.

West Michigan is home to a diverse population and vibrant faith communities, including Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Hispanic, Islamic, Jewish, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Protestant, Russian, Sudanese and Vietnamese institutions.

The Interfaith Dialogue Association reaches across all religious beliefs and promotes dialogue and understanding.

Grand Valley State University’s Padnos Center offers a list of local places to worship.

The Center for Inquiry provides current news about the secular community in Grand Rapids.

Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids

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Grand Rapids offers an array of healthcare options, ranging from large health systems to small hospitals and clinics that are sure to fit your needs.


Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is a nationally recognized hospital devoted exclusively to providing comprehensive rehabilitation services to adults and children. Mary Free Bed continues to be on the cutting edge in the areas of social services, technology, clinical research and facility improvements.

Metro Health Hospital offers general acute care and is part of an integrated group of health care organizations known collectively as Metro Health. Metro Health’s internal medicine physicians are well-equipped to handle a wide variety of acute illnesses and are on duty around the clock.

Mercy Health is a progressive leader in cancer care, neuroscience, orthopedics, diabetes and endocrine care, kidney transplants and integrative health care. Mercy Health blends these specialty services with primary care to offer its patients award-winning service.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system in West Michigan offering a full continuum of care through its nine hospitals, the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart, and Priority Health. Its Grand Rapids hospitals include Blodgett Hospital, Butterworth Hospital and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Spectrum Health Continuing Care is West Michigan’s largest provider of post-acute services, including rehabilitative, long-term acute care, and home and residential care.

Behavioral/Mental Health

Arbor Circle provides services that address mental illness, substance use disorders, violence, neglect or abuse. Arbor Circle provides counseling services, prevention and educational programs to help build new skills and patterns of behavior.

The Behavioral Resources and Institute for Neuropsychological Services (BRAINS) has highly qualified and experienced psychologists and therapists that provide expertise in a variety of areas.

Claystone Clinical Associates is a group of mental health professionals with extensive clinical experience in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work and counseling. They are committed to formulating the most effective plan of action possible to help you live a full, happy and meaningful life.

The Forest View Hospital is a leader in the delivery of Behavioral Health Care. Individuals throughout the United States have sought treatment at Forest View due to its expertise in the treatment of psychological trauma and eating disorders.

Network 180 is an organization determined to inspire. improve and support people struggling with a mental illness, substance use disorder or developmental disability.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services is one of the largest free-standing behavioral health providers in the U.S., offering a full continuum of services including inpatient and partial hospitalization, a perinatal mood disorders day program for mothers and babies, residential and outpatient services, addiction treament and recovery, extensive child and adolescent programs, senior care services, as well as specialized assessment and treatment clinics. Pine Rest also has several outpatient locations throughout Michigan and has provided services to the community since 1910.

Children’s Health

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is the largest children’s hospital in West Michigan. The new state-of-the-art hospital and teaching facility, which opened in January 2011, marks a new era of children’s health care in West Michigan – improving pediatric care and bringing pediatric specialists to the region.

Cancer Centers

The Cancer & Hematology Centers of Western Michigan is the largest private oncology/hematology medical practice in Michigan, providing its patients with advanced treatments, innovative research and compassionate care.

The Saint Mary’s Lacks Cancer Center offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services with state-of-the-art progressive diagnostic tools, clinical research and treatment technologies.

Spectrum Health’s Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion delivers a full range of cancer services that include screening, prevention, education, the latest treatment protocols and therapies, surgery, access to clinical trials, ongoing patient and family support, referrals to community resources and follow-up care.

The Van Andel Institute is committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations through disease research and science education with cancer research as its primary focus.

Heart Care

Spectrum Health’s Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center is equipped with state-of-the-art medical and information technology, as well as great clinical teams in cardiothoracic, electrophysiology and vascular services. The Spectrum Health Frederik Meijer Heart & Vascular Institute brings together cardiovascular expertise in clinical care, research and education. The Richard DeVos Heart & Lung Transplant Program is the only program of its kind in West Michigan and one of just three in the state.

The Heart + Wellness Institute provides patients with world class care, expert medical management and a full range of therapeutic services. Its areas of expertise combine research, education and clinical practice to provide treatments for cardiovascular disease.

West Michigan Heart is a leader in cardiac care whose mission is to provide high quality cardiovascular care and leadership in education and clinical research.

Neurology Centers

The Hauenstein Center at Saint Mary’s brings together all outpatient and inpatient neuroscience services under one roof for patient convenience and physician collaboration. It houses a new critical care unit, newly expanded emergency department and Level II trauma facility.

Spectrum Health provides highly specialized adult and pediatric care for the brain, spine and nerves, as well as complex cerebrovascular interventions and comprehensive neuro rehabilitation. Blodgett Hospital and Butterworth Hospital are advanced-certified Primary Stroke Centers.

Extended Care and Nursing

Spectrum Health Rehab and Nursing Center‘s mission is to provide high quality healthcare to the community and ones in need.

If you are in West Michigan because your child is receiving medical care, Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan provides a “home away from home” for families so they can be close to their loved ones.

Hello West Michigan Member: First & Main
First & Main seeks to culturally redefine what it means to age – for its residents, for their families, and for future generations. They deliver a brand with authority and confidence that embodies sophistication and refinement along with inspiring a purposeful life for those they serve. Assisted Living and Memory Care where seniors can find the care they need to live active, vibrant, and healthy lives in an upscale, modern atmosphere.

For over 20 years, Sentinel Pointe has welcomed seniors into our family and provided a worry-free lifestyle. Let us take care of the cooking and housekeeping while you make new friendships and enjoy a rich social calendar. In addition, we offer health care services if and when you need it. Located in southeast Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sentinel Pointe full-service retirement community overlooks a wonderfully wooded landscape complete with a creek and plenty of wildlife.

Porter Hills
At a Porter Hills retirement community, you can find the location and living environment that’s just right for you. For over 34 years, Porter Hills has been dedicated to making retirement living as satisfying and rewarding as possible. As a resident of a Porter Hills retirement community, you can enjoy retirement as it was meant to be – free from worries about your house, your health, and your future. At Porter Hills, our mission is to provide our residents and clients with a continuum of high quality living environments and services in a caring, Christian atmosphere. Our purpose is to maintain gracious and secure communities and provide an array of services to our residents. Since 1970, we have established an excellent reputation in providing quality living environments and services for older adults while fostering compassion and encouraging independence and choice.

Clark Retirement Community
Clark is a not-for-profit, continuing care retirement community, offering a full complement of services and residential options from independent living and assisted living to skilled nursing. If you should ever need additional care, you can remain at Clark. Most people come to Clark seeking ways to remain active and engaged, wanting to be a vital part of a genuine community. They aren’t disappointed. Opportunities for fun and friendship are outlined in Life at Clark.

Villa Maria
Villa Maria Retirement Community celebrates the individual senior adult through a personalized combination of affordable residential housing and supportive services designed to meet the specific needs of Grand Rapids seniors. The Villa Maria philosophy is one of choice – with residents encouraged to continue the activities of a lifetime in an environment of support and comfort.

Pilgrim Manor
Pilgrim Manor is a retirement community that’s warm, friendly and inviting… the home you’ve been looking for! Situated on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids, MI, Pilgrim Manor seeks to provide a consistent Christian commitment to compassionate care for our elders. Because your journey matters, take some time to discover the freestyle living options we offer.

Sunset Communities
We are a local, Christian nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality care for seniors. Our tradition of excellence began in 1973 with Sunset Manor. Blessed with continued growth, we now have the whole continum of care with three communities: Brookcrest offering rehabilitation services as well skilled nursing, Sunset Manor & Villages offering independent to assisted living and Waterford Place offering independent living for active seniors. Additionally, we have two services; Meals at Home that delivers delicious meals 365 days a year and Sunset Home Services that provides in-home care and offers variety of therapies by qualified and licensed professionals.

Yorkshire and Stonebridge Manor
Yorkshire and Stonebridge Manor provide assisstance with day to day living as people age. Located in Walker.

Beacon Hill at Eastgate
Designed to connect people and promote a life of health and wellness. Not only do they provide residences that are comfortable and desireable, but also provide a sense of family.

Covenent Village of the Great Lakes
Here you’ll find a 40-acre woodland just minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, It offers country home ambiance and big-city advantages that transcend traditional retirement communities.Their community center is a plaza of opportunity—fitness center, creative opportunities, formal and informal dining, a heated indoor pool, and much more.

Did you know?

Our website has over 1,000 linked resources. We know a lot of things about West Michigan, but can’t be experts on everything. If you notice something that is out of date or we’re missing something that’s really special about your community, please let us know via our contact page.