Hopefully, it’s safe to say we’re free from frigid, snowy weather for the next several months. Some people are great at remaining active during those chilly months. Some may cut back on physical activities, opting to spend more sedentary time indoors.
Whichever end of the spectrum you fall on, check out the outdoor opportunities that our for-impact partners provide for the community this time of year. There are numerous low-cost, engaging activities for bodies and minds of all ages to enjoy outside.
1. Ottawa County Parks & Recreation
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation offers activities and programs for all ages. Our county is home to beaches, parks, a nature center, and camps that allow us to learn about and experience the great outdoors.
2. Girls on the Run West Michigan
Girls on the Run West Michigan serves Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa Counties, offering annual programs to elementary and middle school girls. The confidence-building curriculum combines physical activity with skill development, providing useful tools. Their financial assistance program offers the opportunity for all girls to participate, regardless of financial situation.
3. Girls Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore
This girl-led organization serves its community and provides activities that focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), outdoors, life skills, and entrepreneurship.
The new Girl Scout “Little House”, located on Franklin Avenue in Grand Haven, is under construction and will provide a space for troop meetings, gatherings, and activities.
4. Tri-Cities Family YMCA
The Tri-Cities Family YMCA provides outdoor experiences for all ages including a licensed and accredited day camp, community races, leagues, and youth skateboarding. Their community pricing program ensures that membership and programs are available to everyone in their service area regardless of financial situation.
5. The City of Grand Haven
The City of Grand Haven offers marinas, boat launches, a beach, waterfront, splash pad, musical fountain, parks, playing fields, bike trails, and various outdoor events.
6. The Village of Spring Lake
The Village of Spring Lake offers marinas, boat launches, a beach, waterfront, parks, bike trails, and various outdoor events. The new Tanglefoot Park is under construction and will provide a waterfront venue with native gardens and a splash pad.
7. Grand Haven and Spring Lake Farmers Markets
The Grand Haven and Spring Lake Farmers Markets, managed by the Chamber of Commerce, feature fresh, local food from farmers and small business owners. The markets encourage healthy living through several educational programs. A variety of payments are accepted, including Bridge Card/Snap, Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB), Senior Market FRESH, and WIC Project FRESH.
8. Outdoor Discovery Center (ODC) Network
The Outdoor Discovery Center (ODC) Network focuses on connecting people, land, and nature. They provide community and school programs including day camp, archery, kayaking, bird watching and park passports. This summer they are providing a free, outdoor science camp that includes transportation.
9. Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority (NORA)
Northwest Ottawa Recreation Authority (NORA) offers a large variety of youth programs, events, and adult leagues. They provide youth scholarships to make programs available for all.
This list is by no means comprehensive. Hopefully, it inspires you, your family, and your friends to explore the many options available right in your neighborhood!