I’ve decided to run a “Summer In The City” series for my local readers. There will be a page at the top of Big Binder with all of the links, for your convenience. I just don’t think summer needs to be expensive. Sometimes out of desperation, we spend too much money trying to keep our kids entertained and out of our hair. And occasionally, that is OK. We just don’t need to spend three months in that mindset.
So how do we do it? My first suggestion is Vacation Bible School. It’s like day camp, for free. Now, this is Grand Rapids. We are the Bible Belt of the North, and sometimes I forget that. This post might seem strange to you if you live somewhere less religious, but trust me, there are mommas jumping up and down all over Grand Rapids with excitement about this information. Not kidding – it’s very popular here and I know of kids who attend two or three (or four) every summer. Our personal history with VBS has been spotty.
- Last year, the church decided that Maybelle’s application should not have been accepted after all, because she was too young. This was after a full day of Crocodile Rockin’, and she was crushed. That ended that for both of them, I couldn’t very well drop A.P. off while she pined away for spiritual enrichment (and snacks).
- The year prior, at a completely different church, A.P. dropped out after two days. I was impressed and confused at the same time. He liked the crafts just fine, but it was “not in his heart to go” back. He didn’t like what they were saying about baptism, which was different than what is taught in our church. So that was weird for a four year old, but whatever.
- The year before that, when A.P. was all of three, he enjoyed himself completely and didn’t have any serious theological objections to the teachings. Here is what he learned:
“First, Jesus died on the cross (check). Then, he got down off the cross (well...) and took his sword out (what??) and started slashing people like this (extremely animated sword slashing action here). Then a ‘crazy wind’ came and blew him away. To Florida.”
I am undeterred. It will work this year.
These are the churches I found that currently have VBS information on their websites. It looks like High Seas Expedition and SonQuest Rainforest are the Crocodile Rock of 2010. If your church has a Vacation Bible School that is 1) free (did I mention that this is Grand Rapids?) and 2) open to the public, send me an email at bigbinderblog (at) gmail (dot) com with the details, and I would be glad to add the information. And spread the word! Tell your friends – you know they’ll appreciate it!
June 13-17 6:00 PM-8:45 PM, Alaska Baptist Church, 7240-68th St. SE, Caledonia, 698-8104. Pre-registration is available online.
June 14-17 1:00-4:00 PM, High Seas Expedition, Forest Hills Presbyterian, 7495 Cascade Rd. SE Grand Rapids, 49546, 942-2751. Pre-registration is available on a very fancy online form.
June 14-17 6:30-8:30PM, Friendship Christian Reformed Church, 190 100th Street SE, Byron Center, 49315, 877-4144.
June 14-18 8:15 AM-11:30 AM, High Seas Expedition Brookside Christian Reformed Church, 3600 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, 452-3191. Pre-register online.
June 14-18 6:30 PM-8:30 PM, SonQuest Rainforest, Grandville-Jenison Congregational Church, 3900 Henry St. SW, Grandville, 534-5552 • For ages 5-12 years. More information available online.
June 14-18 6:30-8:30PM, Son Harvest Country Fair: Growing the Fruit of the Spirit, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 1555 Arboretum Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, for students entering Kindergarten – 5th grade. 956-9000 or email email@example.com. The registration form can be found at here under the “Ministries” tab.
June 15-17 9:30AM-12:00PM Creative Science Investigators, Calvary Church, 707 East Beltline Ave, NE, Grand Rapids, 956-9377. For children 5 years old through fourth grade. Pre-register online.
June 20-24 6:ooPM-8:30 PM Planet Zoom, Grace Lutheran Church, 150 50th St, Wyoming, 534-0805. More information online.
June 21-24 6:00 PM-8:30 PM Mega Kids Camp, Cornerstone Church, 2045-68th St. SE, Caledonia, 698-3170, For 3 year olds through grade five. Pre-registration available online.
June 21-25 6:00-8:00PM God’s Big Backyard, South Grandville Christian Reformed Church, 4130 Wilson Ave., Grandville, 532-5413. More information online. For ages 3 years through 6th grade.
June 21-25 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM High Seas Expedition, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 3215 4 Mile NE, Grand Rapids, 9525, 363-2381. Registration available online.
June 21-25 6:30 PM-8:30 PM, Galactic Blast, Grandville United Methodist Church, 3140 S. Wilson Ave. SW, Grandville. 538-3070 ext. 102. For all ages. An adult Bible study will meet during the children’s activities. • Pre-registration online.
June 21-25 6:00 PM-8:30 PM, Galactic Blast, Woodhaven Reformed Church, 3959-68th St., Byron Center, 532-0532, .For ages 4 years through (entering) 6th grade. Call for more details.
June 21-25 8:45 AM-11:45 AM, SonQuest Rainforest, Corinth Reformed Church, 129-100th St. SE, Byron Center, 877-4652, Pre-registration is available online.
June 26-30 High Seas Expedition, Thornapple Covenant Church, 6595 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, 957-0580.
June 28-July 9:30AM-11:50AM The Egypt File: Decoding the Mystery of Life, Bethany United Reformed Church, 5401 Byron Center SW, Wyoming, 534-0006. Call for more information. For ages 4 years through 5th grade.
July 12-16, 9:00-11:30AM, High Seas Expedition, Fifth Reformed Church, Fifth Reformed Church, 2012 Griggs SE, Grand Rapids, 245.9247.
July 12-16 9:30 AM -12:15 PM, Messiah Lutheran Church, 2727 Five Mile Rd. NE, Grand Rapids, 49525, forms available online.
July 19-22 9:15-11:45 AM, Galactic Blast, Second Congregational UCC, 525 Cheshire Dr, NE, Grand Rapids, registration form and information available here.
July 19-24 9:00 AM-12:00 PM Trinity Lutheran Church, 2700 East Fulton, Grand Rapids, 949-2510. Register online.
July 19-22 6:00-8:30PM Rough Waves, Jesus Saves! Westview Christian Reformed Church, 2929 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids, 453-3105. For grades (entering) kindergarten through 5th grade.
July 26-29 6:30-8:00PM High Seas Expedition, Standale Church, 202 Cummings NW, Grand Rapids, 453-0005 • For ages 3 years through 5th grade. Call for more information.
July 26-30 5:00-8:00PM Key to the Kingdom, Grand Valley Baptist Church, 0-3186 River Hill Dr. NW, Grand Rapids,667-3618. For grades kindergarten through 6th grade. Call for more information. July 26-30 9:00-11:30AM Cascade Christian Church, 2829 Thornapple River Dr., Grand Rapids, 49546, 949-1360.
July 26-30 Thornapple Covenant Church, (Registration form not available yet), 6595 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, 957-0580.
August 1-5 6:30-8:30PM SonQuest Rainforest, Olivet Reformed Church, 3085 Wallace SW, Grandville, 534-0436. For ages 5 to 12 years. Call for more information.
August 2-4 6:30-8:30 PM, Rogers Heights Christian Reformed Church, 3025 Michael Ave. SW, Wyoming. 532-3174. For grades 1st through 5th grade. Call for more information.
August 2-5, 6:30-8:30PM, Wellspring Community Church 4466 Bauer Road, Hudsonville.
August 8-12 6:00-8:30PM SonQuest Rainforest, Christ Lutheran Church, 2350-44th St., Wyoming, 532-2774. For ages 3 years through 6th grade. Register online.
August 9-13 6:00-8:30PM High Seas Expedition Hanley Church, 372 Jackson, Grandville, 534-4844. For grades pre-school through 6th grade. Call for more information.