Get Your Holiday Spirit On, Grand Rapids!

Named the jolliest city in America last year by Shari’s Berries, Grand Rapidians know how to be merry.

If you’re trying to get into the holiday spirit, we’ve found the perfect ways to celebrate the season around town.

  1. Watch the Art Van Santa ParadeKick off the season on Saturday, Nov. 19 as Santa himself rides into town along with local marching bands, floats and carolers. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are sponsors of the parade.
  2. Shop for Unique Gifts. Support local shops and artists by rounding up your gifts at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts’ 28th annual Holiday Artists’ Market, the Uptown neighborhood’s annual Holiday Shop Hop, or the Downtown Market’s Holiday Artisan Market.
  3. Take in a Show or Exhibit. What types of performances do you enjoy? Grand Rapids has you covered! The Grand Rapids Symphony is putting on The Snowman, the always popular Holiday Pops and the high-flying Cirque de Noel, while the Grand Rapids Ballet will bring back The Nutcracker, delighting future ballerinas. If a play is more your style, you’ll enjoy A Christmas Story The Musical, put on by Broadway Grand Rapids. The Trans Siberian Orchestra brings glitz, flash and rock ‘n’ roll to the holiday, while the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown! display provides a quieter walk down nostalgia lane.
  4. See the Lights. Make a point to see the gorgeous Christmas trees on display at Frederik Meijer Gardens’ Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. Or, take a drive through the Christmas Lite Show at Fifth Third Ballpark.
  5. Make a Gift. DIY some gifts or make your cards stand out with your own fancy calligraphy touch with classes at 6.25 Paper Studio. Sign up fast as these tend to sell out! 
  6. Take a Ride. Enjoy a festive horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown or a sleigh ride in Kent County’s Fruit Ridge area.

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Photo credit: Eric Lanning 

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