It’s hard to believe, but 2014 is just around the corner…and it’s time to start making plans for New Year’s Eve. Whether you’re looking forward to an evening with kids (and possibly even an early bedtime!) or plan to party the night away, Grand Rapids offers plenty of ways for you to celebrate. Here are a few options:
Bring The Kids
Spending time with small people on New Year’s Eve? Bring them to the New Year’s Early Eve from 6-8 PM at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum! Kids can make party hats, sip sparkling juice, and watch the “ball drop” at 7:30. They’ll get the full New Year’s Eve experience – and you can still put them to bed in time to enjoy an adult celebration later. Tickets cost $10/person for PALS members, $12 for non-members. Babies under a year old are free.
Reservations are required and tickets are on sale now, so don’t wait! Call (616) 235-4726 ext. 204 to reserve your spot.
Or, if your kids are older or you’re a hockey-loving family, check out the Grand Rapids Griffins 17th annual New Year’s Eve celebration. Watch an indoor fireworks display and hit the ice with the family for a post-game skate. The game starts at 6 PM and tickets range from $14 to $32 in advance. [read more…]
One of the highlights of my holiday experience last year was taking my daughter Clara to see the Grand Rapids Ballet performance of The Nutcracker. This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the lush and lavish performance, featuring live music from the Grand Rapids Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s original score, the art of professional dancers and choreography, a large cast of talented students, and even cameo roles from notable community members in one of Grand Rapids’ most treasured holiday traditions.
This year I had the opportunity to ask Artistic Director Patricia Barker and Marketing and Design Manager Amber Stout to share some of the behind-the-scenes magic that makes the GRBC production of The Nutcracker so special, and learned some fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about the production. [read more…]
I bought a Christmas gift last week, my first of the season. Although I prefer to pick gifts up throughout the year, whenever I see that “just right” something for a friend or family member, it hasn’t happened this year. Whether you’re in the same boat or just need to find a few more distinctive pieces, you’re in luck. Grand Rapids’ shops are brimming with unique specialty items that make it easy for you (and me!) to find that “just right” gift for everyone on your list.
The Local Epicurean
To find the perfect gift for your foodie friends, stop by The Local Epicurean, which recently relocated to 111 S. Division. You’ll be wowed by their impressive array of seasonal, fluted, 12-inch handmade pasta. Pair that with their black truffle finishing salt or “Cask 8” aged balsamic vinegar, and you’ve found a gift anyone would be thrilled to receive. (If you’re lucky, their new Chocolate Bar will be open by the time you visit.) You might be able to check several gifts off your list with this one stop. [read more…]
When the red and yellow leaves are on the ground instead of the trees, and the air has turned cool for good, Grand Rapids is a wonderful place. You’ll find it easy to get into the holiday spirit at any of the oodles of family-friendly holiday events. So grab your gloves and some hot cider–it’s time to get ready for wintery fun.
Kick off the season by burning a few calories at the 4th annual Yule Run, I’ll Walk event. Kids and grown-ups alike can don their walking (or running) shoes for this untimed, family-friendly, 5K. Dogs are welcome to run or walk along, too—just bring a $1 donation for Paws for a Cause. The course takes you through the Christmas Lite Show at Fifth Third Ballpark—twice!—so you can see the million sparkly lights and animated displays. (Nov. 22, 7pm) [read more…]
Photo Courtesy of ShowSpan, Inc.
As much as Grand Rapids loves being known for our Beer City USA accolades, it is always refreshing to be reminded of the rich wine and foodie culture we’ve adopted just as enthusiastically. The International Wine, Beer and Food Festival is one of the largest celebrations of this dedication and is happening this year November 21st through the 23rd at the DeVos Place in Downtown Grand Rapids!
As the 6th annual Festival quickly approaches, I spoke with Show Manager Dawn Baker and the owner of Cascade Winery, Bob Bonga, to get some informational nuggets about this year’s Festival.
When I asked Dawn why they chose Grand Rapids for such a large event (attended by over 17,000 people), she said “We bring together a great tasting event in a city that offers the finest in culinary options, in the middle of the state which has grown from 30 wineries 10 years ago to now over 130 Michigan wineries with varietals winning awards all over the country.”
As Grand Rapids has also seen a boom in craft beer enthusiasts, this year the 3rd floor will be dedicated to the Brewer’s Loft, showcasing MI, domestic and international beers paired with local food and entertainment. Cideries are also exciting more and more palettes, and will be featured at DeVos Place in The Cider House. [read more…]