Travelers to Big Rapids, Michigan are in store for an enjoyable time with fantastic things to do for the entire family. Whether it’s discovering the natural beauty, learning about local history, shopping and having dinner with friends, this destination does not disappoint when it comes to activities to add to any itinerary.

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1.Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia

Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia
© Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia

Located at Ferris State University, the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia has a mission of “Using objects of intolerance to teach tolerance and promote social justice.” The cultural organization brings harsh truths to light with its thought-provoking exhibitions and objects that depict racist portrayals of African-Americans in American culture. Along with six exhibit areas, the African-American experience is told with different timelines including Africa Before Slavery, Slavery in America, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, and Post Civil Rights. Admission to the museum is free.

1010 Campus Drive, Big Rapids, Michigan, 49307, Phone: 231-591-5873

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2.Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park

Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park
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Spanning 92 miles long, the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park is open to visitors from Cadillac to Comstock Park. Part asphalt and part gravel, the linear state park travels through Michigan, was a former rail bed that ceased operations in the mid-eighties. Today, the state park is maintained by volunteers. Along with walking and running the trail, visitors may also bring their snowmobiles during the winter months. No other vehicles are permitted.

White Pine Trail, Big Rapids Michigan, 49307, Phone: 231-775-7911

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3.Kilwins Chocolate

Kilwins Chocolate
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Satisfying the sweet tooth since 1947, Kilwins Chocolate is known for its scrumptious chocolates, ice cream, and confections. Everything is hand-made in their kitchen and only features original recipes and premium ingredients. A visit here is a sensory experience stimulating sight, taste, touch, smell as well as sound. As for the setting, visitors can expect an old-fashioned ice cream parlor feel along with vintage apothecary shelves and old soda fountain, marble counter; MLive named it as the Best Place in Mecosta County for Sweets and Treats. Options include Mackinac Island Fudge, “The Perfect Caramel Apple” and chocolate-covered pretzels, to name a few.

118 N. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids, MI 49307, Phone: 231-796-2502

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4.The Card Wildlife Education Center

The Card Wildlife Education Center
© The Card Wildlife Education Center


Located on the ground floor of the Arts and Sciences Commons at Ferris State University, The Card Wildlife Education Center appeals to animal lovers with 5,000 square feet showcase of nearly 200 wildlife specimens from around the world. The site was originally donated by Roger Card and his late wife Debra and serves as a unique educational experience. Highlights include the Gallery of Animal Displays, Michigan Wetlands Exhibit, African Exhibit, among others.

ASC 011, 820 Campus Drive, Big Rapids, Michigan, 49307, Phone: 231-591-5387

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5.Serendipity

Serendipity
© Serendipity


Inspired by the Danish word hygge, which is all about coziness, Serendipity is a clothing, gift and accessory store for women. The shop is stocked with items that females will love from fragrances to fun outfits, thoughtful cards, lovely candles as well as home accents. The inventory is always changing so there is always something new to discover including Made In Michigan products. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 pm and closed on Sunday closed.

102 S. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids, MI 49307, Phone: 231-629-8564

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6.Gypsy Nickel Lounge

Gypsy Nickel Lounge
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Travelers searching for a tasty bite in Big Rapids may want to consider the Gypsy Nickel Lounge. Guests will enjoy the welcoming environment, along with 15 craft beers on tap and a creative cocktail menu with 250 choices. As for the food, the menu features traditional staples such as Mac and Cheese, Fish Tacos and more. Along with the specials, the restaurant offers specials and hosts karaoke night every Wednesday.

228 Baldwin Street, Big Rapids, MI 49307, Phone: 231-527-0085

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6 Best Things to Do in Big Rapids, MI