We don’t have to tell you that 2020 hasn’t been a normal year – so it should come as no surprise that 2020 year-end celebrations are different, too. Big parties are out due to COVID restrictions so the focus is on events and activities that can be enjoyed together with the people in your own “bubble.” Here are some best bets for ringing in 2021!

Festive Food & Drink

Browse our list of takeout/delivery restaurants for NYE specials you can enjoy at home or in your hotel room. For example:

Cedar Springs Brewing Company is offering a New Year’s Eve “Surf & Turf Special” ­– prime rib + shrimp cocktail and all the fixings’ including dessert). Order before Dec. 29 at 4pm and pick up Dec. 31.

Osteria Rossa has assembled an Italian Holiday Meal Kit along with easy reheating instructions for pickup Dec. 31 from 1-5pm. Quantities are limited, and meals must be ordered 48 hours in advance, so hurry!

The New Year’s Eve menu at Leo’s Seafood Restaurant & Bar includes such popular menu items as twin lobster tails, lobster bisque, tiramisu and a surf & turf dinner for two. Pick up Dec. 31 between 4pm and 8pm.

Rockford Brewing is open until 10 pm New Year’s Eve for pickup and delivery, with specials including half off growler fills.

Amore Trattoria Italiana has created a “Good Riddance to 2020” menu full of Italian delights especially for New Year’s Eve.

We’re detecting a theme here: New Holland Brewing – The Knickerbocker is offering Good Riddance 2020 Party Packs for pickup or delivery.

Prefer to eat out? Many restaurants offer heated outdoor structures and spaces to accommodate you. Check our Winter Spaces for Outdoor Dining page and reserve your NYE space before they all fill up.

The New Year’s Day Brunch at SpeakEZ Lounge will help you recover from the night before with delectable food and cocktail favorites. Available for takeout and curbside pickup from 10am-2pm Jan. 1.

Eye-Popping Exhibitions

The last day of the year is a perfect time to check out some of the museum exhibitions that won’t be around much longer. Keep in mind that capacity restrictions and you may have to purchase tickets in advance.

Sean Kenney’s Wild Connections Made with LEGO® Bricks and Under the Arctic: Digging into the Permafrost are the big traveling exhibitions at Grand Rapids Public Museum right now. Kent County children ages 3-7 receive free general admission with online checkout (KC adults enjoy reduced admission.) Open Dec. 31, closed Jan. 1.

The Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium at GRPM offers several dazzling presentations on Dec. 31. Usher out the new year with a look at the universe around us.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is breathtaking beautiful all winter long– but you only have until Jan. 3 to catch the mega-popular Metro Health Christmas & Holiday Traditions exhibit … and the facility is closed Jan. 1. See it NYE!

Grand Rapids Art Museum is open Dec. 31 (closed Jan. 1) so you can view the Mathias J. Alten: An Enduring Legacy and Hand and Machine in Harmony: Regional Arts & Crafts exhibitions.

Not comfortable inside a museum? You can “visit” them virtually instead – including the currently closed Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

The Christmas Lite Show at Fifth Third Ballpark has broken all attendance records this year. It’s open New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, so you still have a chance to see what everyone’s talking about!

Shopping, Like a Local

How To Shop Local In Grand Rapids

Retail shops are now open at no more than 30% capacity throughout Michigan, and while many of us are itching to visit our favorite…

by Experience GR Team / photo by Experience Grand Rapids

The Joy of Shopping

Don’t know about you, but hunting for year-end bargains is one of our favorite New Year traditions. Here are some tips for how to shop local in GR, where to shop to look good and stay warm, and which local shops are great for warm and stylish winter wear.

Want to hit a bunch of stores in one convenient trip? Shop after-Christmas sales at Breton Village Shopping Center, Rivertown Crossings Mall, Tanger Outlets Mall, and Woodland Mall.

If you’re more of a stroll-and-savor-the-atmosphere shopper, try the shopping villages of Ada, East Grand Rapids, Lowell, Uptown and Rockford. They’re still decked out in their holiday finery.

Movies & More

Our movie theaters are back open! See a big movie on the big screen at Celebration Cinema North & IMAX theatre, Celebration Cinema Rivertown, Celebration Cinema Studio Park and AMC Star Grand Rapids 18. Restrictions apply and concessions are close.

Want a bit more activity in your holiday? Try bowling, laser tag, go-karts, glow golf or an escape room. Don’t mind a little cold and snow? Read on for outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Grand Outdoors

We’ve had uncharacteristically warm weather so far this season – but Cannonsburg Ski Area, Bittersweet Ski Resort and Mulligan’s Hollow have made their own snow and are open for skiing and snowboarding!

Whether or not there’s snow on the ground, a hike or snowshoe through woods and meadows gives you quiet time to reflect on the year gone by and come up with resolutions for 2021. We’ve got hundreds of miles of trails to choose from.

New Year's Eve Hotel Packages