Summer activities with the family, surely, make everlasting memories. Of course, toting the entire family along for every adventure can get expensive. That's why I love opportunities for families to get out and explore nature without having to pay a cent.

Yes, you can visit the many parks, nature trails and preserves we have here in SW Michigan. But, if you'd like to get out on the water, Allegan County Parks is offering a free program in August that will get you and your family into some kayaks, out on the water, free of charge.

As announced on their Facebook page, Allegan County Parks has partnered with Outdoor Discovery Center to offer this free event taking place on August 7th from 9am - 11am. Included are:

  • Kayaks
  • Paddles
  • Life Vests

The launch location will be at New Richmond Bridge Park at the north entrance. The plotted course is suitable for those who inexperienced with kayaking or those who are just looking for a relaxing day on the water.

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Registration is Required

Because kayaks are provided, an exact number of participants will be needed. That's why registration is required.

A couple of things to know:

  • To participate in the event you will need to fill out a health screening form
  • Even if you need a double seated kayak you only need to register one boat. The other participant's information is not needed.

You can find the registration page here. Registration is open until 8/6, the day before the event. However, they do say that boats are limited so if you'd like to enjoy the free family kayak day I would register sooner rather than later.

You can find more information on the Allegan County Parks Facebook page. As well, if you'd like to know more about the Outdoor Discovery Center, or ODC, you can find their website here.

Dogs on Kayaks in Michigan

Speaking of boats, did you see this pirate ship that was for sale for $10k? If I had that pocket change I would be sporting an eye patch and parrot on my shoulder immediately. You'll see why in the photos. Check it out:

FOR SALE: Feast Yer Eyes on This Pirate Ship

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.