Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. partnered with Grand Rapids Running Tours to offer visitors free walking tours around Downtown Grand Rapids throughout this spring season.
These tours explore topics ranging from public art, history and iconic Downtown landmarks.
All tours meet at Rosa Parks Circle and no registration is necessary. First come, first serve. Please bring your masks.
See the full schedule below.
Rad Women Walking Tours
March 30, 9:00 - 11:30 AM
This #WomensHistoryMonth, celebrate the #RadAmericanWomen throughout history via public art and FREE walking tours around #DowntownGR! The artwork and tours are based on the New York Times bestselling book "Rad American Women A-Z" by Kate Schatz. With a total of 27 works of public art on electrical boxes featuring portraits of #RadWomen from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston, the tour will give you a background on each public figure and the Rad Local Artist behind each artwork.
Miles of Murals Walking Tours
April 7, 6:00 PM., Miles of Murals Part One Walking Tour
April 14, 10:00 AM, Miles of Murals Part One Walking Tour
April 21, 6:00 PM, Miles of Murals Part Two Walking Tour
April 28, 10:00 AM, Miles of Murals Part Two Walking Tour
Who says art museums must be inside, enclosed with 4 walls, a ceiling and a floor? Swirling all about us in Grand Rapids are intriguing artworks on sides of buildings, underneath highway overpasses, on retaining walls, street surfaces and utility boxes. These are murals - street and wall artworks - painted by artists that celebrate beauty, calls to action or tributes to heroes. The murals transform otherwise unnoticeable - or worse - blighted spaces into must-see, energizing attractions. Viewing these murals is a study in local history, community activism and sheer expressions of creativity… art all the time! So many murals, so little time - so the walk is divided into two parts… we pick up where we left off when we meet for Part Two.
Art Dart Walking Tours
May 5, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
May 12, 10:00 - 11:00 AM
See why Grand Rapids is hailed as one of America’s most creative cities. We’ll move through the city center in a hunt of significant artworks - including the 42-ton Alexander Calder sculpture that symbolizes the city’s innovative spirit. Also on the tour: more sculptures, LOVE, statues, landscape art, an art museum, a tire swing, a split ring, a clock tower, an art & design school, an astronaut, an entire park, an Avenue of the Arts, plus more. You’ll find the activity physically and artistically stimulating.
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Legacies & Legends in Bronze Walking Tour
May 19, 6:00 - 7:00 PM
May 26, 10:00 - 11:00 AM
Join your tour guide for a free walking tour about the many bronze statues of GR's most notable contributors! The Grand Rapids Community Legends Project was established by local philanthropist and businessman, Peter Secchia and his family, in 2008 with the intent of keeping local history alive. They made a pledge to provide #DowntownGR with a selection of no less than 25 bronze tributes of Grand Rapids’ most notable contributors. 13 years later, there are 12 bronze sculptures placed throughout the urban core that has been gifted by the Project. In the words of Peter Secchia, “How will you know who you can be if you do not know who you have been?” Discover who, what, and where on this blended tour of statue art and local history.
Self-Guided Walking Tours
Can't make it to any of our professionally-guided tours? No problem! Download the GR Walks app on your smartphone and you can enjoy your own self-guided walking tour at your own pace and schedule.
The GR Walks app has a Black History Walking Tour exploring Grand Rapids' African American History and the Rad Women A-Z Walking Tour.