Nestled on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, Holland, Michigan, is a picturesque and vibrant city that offers an abundance of attractions and activities for both locals and visitors alike.
With its Dutch heritage, stunning landscapes, and thriving arts scene, Holland presents a delightful blend of history and modernity. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or an art lover, this charming Midwestern gem has something to cater to every interest.
In this article, we’ll take you through 30 must-visit places and experiences in Holland, Michigan, ensuring you make the most of your visit to this captivating destination. While planning your trip, you also need to understand the best time to visit Holland to make the most of your vacation.
30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Holland, MI in 2023
1. Windmill Island Gardens
Begin your Holland vacation by visiting the iconic Windmill Island Gardens. Situated on a 63-acre island in the Macatawa River and home to De Zwaan, an authentic Dutch windmill, this picturesque park offers enchanting tulip fields, delightful gardens, and a glimpse into the city’s Dutch heritage.
As part of the fun things to do in Holland, learn about the fascinating art of wooden shoe carving, witness costumed guides, and embark on a relaxing stroll around the meticulously landscaped grounds.
Address: 1 Lincoln Ave, Holland, MI 49423
2. Holland State Park
One of the best family-friendly outdoor activities to do in Holland, MI, is to visit Holland State Park. The park is one of Michigan’s most visited state parks.
The park has two beautiful beaches, and you can choose to dip your toes in the cool waters of Lake Michigan or chill out on the beach on the edge of Lake Macatawa.
This beachfront park offers miles of sandy shores, stunning sunsets, and a range of recreational activities, including swimming, hiking, and picnicking. Bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views from the pier, where you can spot sailboats and even the iconic “Big Red” Lighthouse in the distance.
Address: 2215 Ottawa Beach Rd, Holland, MI 49424
3. Holland Museum
Looking for fun things to do in Holland, MI? Then step back in time at the Holland Museum, which houses the city’s history and Dutch heritage.
At the museum, you’ll learn about the arrival of the Dutch in 1847, their struggle for access to Lake Michigan, the devastating fire of 1871, and the rise of the city from the ashes. The museum also has an extensive collection of Dutch fine and decorative arts and artifacts dating back over 400 years of Dutch history.
Address: 31 W 10th St, Holland, MI 49423
4. Nelis’ Dutch Village
Step back into the Netherlands of over 100 years ago with a visit to Nelis’ Dutch Village, where Dutch architecture, wooden shoe carving, and traditional crafts come to life.
The family-owned theme park features a replica of a Dutch streetscape, tons of rides and activities, and a variety of shops and food options.
Visitors can explore the village’s replica windmill, visit the Dutch cheese house, and let their kids enjoy the Dutch-themed playground. The petting zoo is also a must-visit for kids and toddlers.
Address: 12350 James St, Holland, MI 49424
5. Big Red Lighthouse
For a panoramic view of the lakeshore and Lake Michigan, climb to the top of the iconic Big Red Lighthouse, one of Holland’s most famous landmarks.
Built in 1870 at Holland State Park, you can view Big Red from Mt. Pisgah, where the dune staircase takes you 175 feet above sea level. You can also learn about the history of this striking structure and enjoy unparalleled vistas of the surrounding landscape, including the Holland State Park and Lake Macatawa
Address: 12350 James St, Holland, MI 49424
6. Holland Community Aquatic Center
One of the family fun things to do in Holland, MI, is to escape the heat and explore the Holland Community Aquatic Center.
The aquatic center is a beehive of fun outdoor activities featuring water slides, yellow streaks, water spouts, pools, spinning vortex, splash zones, cannons, and a spa. Perfect for all ages, the center offers aquatic activities and a leisure pool for relaxation.
Address:550 Maple Ave, Holland, MI 49423
7. Saugatuck Dunes State Park
Looking for the best things to do in Holland today is to venture a short drive south to Saugatuck Dunes State Park and experience a pristine natural environment with sandy dunes, woodlands, and miles of hiking trails.
The park is home to 2.5 miles of sandy Lake Michigan shoreline, coastal dunes, forested areas, 13 miles of trails and the 300-acre Patty Birkholz Natural Area. The park’s 300-acre Patty Natural Area contains a coastal dune system and three endangered plant species.
The park’s secluded beaches and breathtaking views of Lake Michigan make it a popular spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Address:6575 138th Ave, Holland, MI 49423
8. Holland Area Arts Council
Located in the heart of downtown Holland, the Holland Area Arts Council is a vibrant arts center that plays a leadership role in enriching the cultural life of the area.
Arts enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Arts Council, where local artists show their talents through exhibitions and workshops. The Arts Council also coordinates special community activities such as family festivals, outdoor concerts, and various events.
The council also offers classes in visual and performing arts each year to people of all ages. As part of the unique things to do in Holland, you can enrol yourself and your kids on these classes.
Address:150 E 8th St Suite 200, Holland, MI 49423
9. Mount Pisgah Dune Boardwalk
Towering 157 feet above Lake Michigan, the Mount Pisgah Dune Broadwalk culminates with breathtaking views of Lakes Macatawa and Michigan, Big Red, and marinas.
The towering dunes are located near Holland Park, and you can follow the boardwalk or climb up the stairs to reach the top of the dune. As part of the fun things to do in Holland this weekend, climb up about 200 to 300 steps of this towering staircase and be rewarded with panoramic views of Lake Michigan and Big Red Lighthouse.
Address: 2238 3rd Ave, Holland, MI 49424
10. Tulip Time Festival
One of the best things to do in Holland, MI, in Spring is to attend the Tulip Time Festival, an annual festival held in Holland, Michigan. The festival, which is held in May, celebrates Holland’s Dutch heritage and features several fun activities.
Activities at the celebration include parades, fireworks, a Dutch market, shows and concerts, a craft fair, klompen dancing, and street scrubbing.
At the festival, you get to see people dressed in Dutch attire, watch concerts by big names, and make beautiful memories of one of the best small-town festivals in the United States.
Address: 42 West 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423
11. Holland Farmers Market
One of the unique things to do in Holland this weekend is to explore the Holland Farmers Market. Located at the Eight Street Market in Downtown Holland, the Farmers Market is home to about 100 vendors.
Operating twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday from mid-May to early December, the market is filled with local farmers who offer freshly-picked fruits and vegetables of every variety, beautiful bouquets of flowers and plants for home and garden.
At the market, you could also get a wide variety of baked goods, all-natural honey and maple syrup and farm-fresh cheese, eggs, and meats are also available. On your visit, explore the market and taste local baked food.
Address:150 W 8th St, Holland, MI 49423
12. Tunnel Park
Located along North Lakeshore Avenue in Holland, MI, this 22-acre Tunnel Park, with its extensive Lake Michigan beachfront, is one of the great places for family fun in Holland.
The park offers a unique tunnel through a dune and offers several features such as a children’s playground complete with a dune climb and a dune stairway with a scenic view of Lake Michigan, picnic areas, a beach, san volleyball courts, modern restrooms, and seasonal concession with vending machines.
So if you’re looking for an ideal place for family fun and relaxation in Holland, then head to Tunnel Park with your family and spend your day relaxing and sunbathing on this awesome beachfront park.
Address:66 N, Lakeshore Ave, Holland, MI 49424
13. Holland Princess Dinner Cruise
One of the fun things to do in Holland at night is to enjoy a two-hour dinner cruise aboard the Holland Princess. The Holland Princess is an old-fashioned Victorian-style paddlewheel boat that offers both public and private tours through Lakes Macatawa and Michigan.
As you voyage, listen to relaxing music and enjoy a scenic cruise with lunch or dinner. Complete with the “Captain’s Feast”, relaxing music, and a cash bar, the Holland Princess is available for banquets and special events.
The Holland Princess is also well equipped with a full Karaoke system, a fun boat ride for the whole family, allowing anyone to come up and sing a song. Kids can pick a treasure from the Captain’s treasure chest or blow the loud whistle.
Address:260 Howard Ave, Holland, MI 49424
14. Critter Barn
One of the family fun things to do near Holland, MI, is to take a trip to Critter Barn. This educational farm gives kids hands-on experiences with animals.
The farm is a delightful place to meet and learn about animals such as bunnies, ducklings, chicks, calves, hogs, goats, donkeys, cats and sheep.
Activities that you can engage in on the farm include milking a goat or bottle feeding a kid, collecting eggs in the chicken coop, visiting the kitty corral, planting seeds in the garden, cuddling and petting pet baby animals, learning about wools, and feeding critters.
Address:2950 80th Ave, Zeeland, MI 49464
15. BAM! Entertainment Center
One of the best things to do in Holland is to visit the family’s fun indoor entertainment center, BAM! This entertainment center is famous for its tagline: Eat. Drink. Play. Repeat… and for good reason!
This one-stop family fun indoor entertainment center offers several indoor activities, including multi-level laser tag, bowling, mini and monster bowling, karaoke, high ropes courses, and a huge arcade.
You can visit with your kids and allow them to have fun while you enjoy a brew from the on-site brewery or enjoy a meal from the full-service restaurant.
Address:478 E 16th St, Holland, MI 49423
16. Holland Symphony Orchestra
One of the best things to do in Holland at night is to savor classical music performances by the talented musicians of the Holland Symphony Orchestra.
Led by Music Director Johannes Muller-Stosch, the 85+ professional orchestra presents a variety of concerts each season, offering both classical and pop repertoires. Check their schedule and plan to attend one of their captivating concerts for a memorable musical experience.
Address: 96 W 15th St #201, Holland, MI 49423
17. Kollen Park & Heinz Waterfront Walkway
One of the pet-friendly things to do in Holland is to visit the Kollen Park & Heinz Waterfront Walkway. Located on the shores of Lake Macatawa, Kollen Park is a great place to take a stroll with your pet dog, go for a run, or enjoy a picnic.
The park, which is one of Holland’s most beautiful recreational sites, features a boat launch and fishing off the boardwalk, along with a playground and picnic shelter.
The Heinz Waterfront Walkway is also a beautiful path that winds along the waterfront in the park and is perfect for a romantic walk or bike ride. There are also plenty of picnic shelters and tables where you can sit with your partner and admire the view.
Address: 240 Kollen Park Dr, Holland, MI 49423
18. Saugatuck Center for the Arts
Located just a short drive away from Holland, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts hosts is one of the best places to visit near Holland for art enthusiasts.
The art center hosts visual and performing arts events throughout the year. The center also showcases a mix of local and national talent, making it a cultural hub for the region. With year-round events and activities, the center is always full of excitement for everyone.
Address:400 Culver St, Saugatuck, MI 49453
19. Outdoor Discovery Center
Outdoor Discovery Center is a non-profit outdoor education area, and it is a great place to take a visit in Holland. This nature-based education and conservation center offers five miles of beautiful trails at the nature reserve.
The center features live animal exhibits and several miles of trails that weave through various Michigan habitats, providing close encounters with the region’s diverse wildlife.
They also offer special programs, including snowshoeing, fishing, handicap-accessible trails, sensory nature walks, bird watching, ecosystem studies, pond studies, summer camps, natural history and wildlife studies. As you’re planning your trip, add this center to your list of things to do in Holland, Michigan.
Address:4214 56th St, Holland, MI 49423
20. Bowerman Blueberries Farm Market
One of the best things to do in Holland in the summer is to visit the Bowerman Blueberries Farm Market. The family-run farm is the perfect place to get your farm-fresh produce.
The Farm also offer you a delightful experience of picking your own blueberries. They also offer a large variety of locally grown produce in season, including fresh-picked strawberries, sweet cherries, peaches, plums, sugar peas, green and yellow beans, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, sweet corn, potatoes, and more.
Also, don’t miss their famous blueberry doughnuts, a sweet treat loved by locals and tourists alike.
Address:15793 James St, Holland, MI 49424
21. Downtown Holland
Named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns”, Downtown Holland offers a diverse range of shopping and dining experiences.
With over 100 unique and locally owned shops, galleries, eateries, and brew pubs lining the sidewalk line of the street, Downtown Holland is a destination like no other. Downtown Holland stays active year-round thanks to the snowmelt system in place, which keeps the sidewalks and streets snow and ice-free, allowing locals and visitors to stay active during the winter.
Address:15793 James St, Holland, MI 49424
22. Van Raalte Farm Park
One of the fun outdoor activities to do in Holland is to visit the Van Raalte Farm Park. This 160-acre park offers a tranquil escape with its wooded trails, open fields, and historic farm.
With a 19th-century farmhouse and outbuildings set on a hilltop overlooking pasture and woodlands, this park provides access to nature trails, picnic shelter, play structures, as well as winter sledding and cross-country skiing.
You can visit the park with your pet dog and take a walk around the beautiful pasture and woodlands.
Address:1076 E 16th St, Holland, MI 49423
23. Centennial Park
Located in the heart of downtown Holland, Centennial Park is one of the top attraction sites in Holland. Originally Holland’s marketplace, this Victorian-era park has many facilities that are open to the public.
Some of the amenities at this park include a gazebo, flowerbeds, a fish pond, a war memorial, a statue of Holland’s founder – Albertus VanRaalte, and a traditional Dutch fountain.
You can spend time exploring Centennial Park with your family and your pets.
Address:250 Central Ave, Holland, MI 49423
24. Holland Bowl Mill
One of the unique things to do in Holland today is to witness the art of wooden bowl-making at the largest commercial wooden bowl mill in the United States.
The Holland Bowl Mill makes solid hardwood bowls and various wooden products of the highest quality. Each piece begins with beech, maple, cherry, walnut, or red oak logs harvested from sustainable forests throughout Michigan and the Midwest.
As part of your Holland itinerary, take a guided tour into the intricate process of turning a log into a beautiful, functional piece of art.
Address:120 James St, Holland, MI 49424
25. Coppercraft Distillery
One of the exciting things to do in Holland is to sample some of Michigan’s finest spirits at this celebrated distillery. The spirits producer utilizes local ingredients and blended tradition with innovation to produce its finest liquor.
As part of the things to do in Holland, take a guided tour where you can learn about the distillation process and enjoy tastings of their award-winning whiskies, rum, gin, and more.
Addresss: 184 120th Ave, Holland, MI 49424
26. Knickerbocker Theater
Looking for fun things to do in Holland this evening? Then catch a live performance at the Knickerbocker Theater. Built in 1911 and operated by Hope College, the theater caters to a wide variety of shows, from vaudeville acts to rock concerts, for the locals and tourists.
Located on Eighth St., in the heart of Holland’s downtown, the 536-theater offers a wide of cultural offerings like lectures, art films, concerts, and musical and stage performances. Spend your evening at this theater and watch some of their best productions.
Address:86 E 8th St #3504, Holland, MI 49423
27. Crazy Horse Steakhouse & Saloon
Your visit to Holland would be incomplete without eating from one of the best steakhouses in Holland. Established in 1995, the restaurant has been serving locals and tourists alike.
Crazy Horse Steakhouse prides itself on its friendly staff, casual, comfortable atmosphere, and outstanding food. On your visit, savor some of the best steaks in town and don’t miss the steak and lobster special on Thursday nights. They also offer a wide range of wines and cocktails to accompany your meal.
Address:2027 N Park Dr, Holland, MI 49424
28. Scrapyard Climbing Collective
One of the fun things to do in Holland this weekend is to visit the Scrapyard Climbing Collective, a rock climbing gym in Holland. The climbing gym provides an opportunity for people to come together to climb, test limits, learn and be active in a supportive and welcoming environment.
The Scrapyard Climbing Collective climbing facility is beginners-friendly and challenging enough for experienced climbers. Their facilities include 3200 square feet of climbing walls, bouldering, roped climbing, auto-delays, child and beginner-friendly walls, padded flooring, training equipment, and table and lounge space for working or spectating.
As part of the exciting things to do in the city, challenge yourself by visiting this facility to test your climbing skills on the climbing walls.
Address: 76 S River Ave, Holland, MI 49423
29. Paw Paw Park
One of the fun outdoor activities to do in Holland, MI, with family and pets is to explore Paw Paw Park. The 122-acre park is made up of the Macatawa River and the Noorderloos Creek. The park is also home to many waterfowl, including Great Blue Herons.
Paw Paw Park has many facilities, including an 18-hole golf course, rustic toilets, picnic tables, a half-mile paved trail, natural surface hiking or cross-country skiing trails, scenic overlook, bridges and boardwalks.
Entrance to the park is free, making it one of the free things to do in Holland. You can also visit this park with your pet dogs.
Address: 1099 Paw Paw Dr, Holland, MI 49423
30. Day Trip to Saugatuck
One of the most exciting things to do in Holland is to embark on a day trip to Saugatuck, Michigan. Located just a few minutes away from Holland, the city is known for its sandy beaches, harbor towns, outdoor recreation, culture, history, and so much more.
The city is full of fun, with plenty of boutique shops, breweries, and wineries for wine tasting. Plan a trip here and enjoy the many fun things to do in Saugatuck.
Thoughts on Things To Do in Holland, MI
From embracing the Dutch heritage, appreciating art, savoring delicious cuisines to exploring the natural beauty, there is a multitude of unique experiences waiting for you in Holland, Michigan. Start planning your itinerary to this charming city, and immerse yourself in the diversity of memorable experiences it offers.