During the holiday season we often have free time from work and family to spend it with. If you have family visiting, or if you’re a native looking for festive things to do in Grand Rapids, you can check out some of these traditional holiday events around the area.

Grand Rapids Symphony Holiday Pops Concert

grand rapids symphony

This GR Pops tradition features beloved seasonal favorites, the Symphony chorus, a holiday sing-along, a visit from Santa and Handel's Hallelujah Chorus finale. After the concert, kids (and adults) are allowed to attend an instrument petting zoo where they get to try out different instruments that interest them.

Rosa Parks Ice Skating

rosa parks ice skating

There’s nothing more enchanting than ice-skating in the center of downtown Grand Rapids with holiday lights, cheer and company surrounding it. Whether you are an experienced skater or a beginner, this is a fun and festive activity that everyone can enjoy. Listen to Christmas music while you glide around the ice and enjoy free hot chocolate night. One of the best parts is that you don’t need your own skates. They are available to rent for free when you show your ID. Admission is $2 for adults (18 and up) and $1 for kids.

The Nutcracker

the nutcracker grand rapids

This play is a West Michigan holiday tradition that talks place annually in the DeVos Performance Hall and is a great event to take the whole family to. This classic production features choreography by Val Caniparoli and the imaginative set design of Eugene Lee. Sugar plum fairies, fighting mice, and toy soldiers make this enchanting story the perfect festivity and a great family outing. The Nutcracker will be performed in concert with the Grand Rapids Symphony from December 11th through December 20th.

Civic Theatre

The Civic Theatre always has great shows going on and this holiday season they’re performing the classic “A Christmas Story” by Jean Shepherd. In this musical rendition of the play, the civic theatre group will recreate the leg-lamp, pole-licking, Santa filled holiday classic that will be perfect to take the kids to. The show starts November 20th and continues to December 20th and tickets can be bought at the door from $18-$25/person. Frederik Meijer Garden’s Holiday Exhibits

Frederik Meijer Garden's Holiday Exhibits

Frederik Meijer Garden's Christmas and Holiday Traditions exhibit opens on Tuesday, Nov. 24 with plenty to offer families looking to catch the holiday spirit. Extended holiday hours give patrons plenty of chances to take in the over 40 trees and 300,000 lights used in the displays representing international holiday customs and traditions. Other events that are happening include: Santa Meetings where kids will get to meet Santa at various exhibits, Railway gardens that takes you through four different greenhouses to see Grand Rapid’s sister cities landmarks and monuments, and even live reindeer will come to visit. You can check out their website to see a full list of events.

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