Christmas may be over, but that doesn't mean we're ready to stop celebrating yet! From downtown concerts to dancing at Wealthy Theater, Grand Rapids is a fantastic place to ring in the New Year. Here are just a few of the many ways to welcome 2013 in style:
Join the crowd: Hot New Years Eve Party
Back again for a fifth year, 103.5 Hot FM is hosting a New Years Eve party downtown that will keep you moving. Grand Rapids resident Share Hatfield says her family likes to celebrate downtown with several families they met when they moved to the area a decade ago. "We have a blast downtown," says Hatfield. "There's something for everyone: concerts, food, swimming and hanging out in the hotel. The atmosphere downtown is so family friendly, and my kids love seeing the ball drop at midnight."
Get Your Art On: Watch the ball drop from the GR Art Museum If your New Years Resolution always includes something about getting to the Grand Rapids Art Museum, head downtown and check this one off your list. For just $5 per person, you can explore the museum and tour the Real/Surreal and Salvador Dal exhibits from 6:00 p.m. 12:30 a.m. on New Years Eve. They'll have a cash bar and all levels will be open. Its a great (and warm) spot to watch the ball drop.
Kid-Central: New Years Early Eve at the Grand Rapids Childrens Museum It's the younger set's answer to the midnight ball drop dilemma: let kids join the fun by celebrating early this year! Its the only kid centered New Year's Eve party downtown," says Adrienne Brown, Public Relations and Event Manager for the GRCM. "We have a DJ, fun party activities, and even a countdown with a 1000-balloon ball drop so kids can ring in the New Year without staying up until midnight. The fun lasts from 6:00 p.m. 8:00p.m. Reservations required. Call (616) 235-4726 ext. 204.
Stay Cool: Griffins Game (6:00 p.m.)
Add a little sports action to your NYE by watching the Grand Rapids Griffins take on the Rockford IceHogs. Make it a date night or bring the family: you're sure to have fun either way. You can up the excitement by staying late for the fireworks and open skate (bring your own skates).
Get Into The Groove: It's Starlight Six at the Wealthy Theatre (9:00 p.m.) If its live music you're after, boogie the night away to soul and rock and roll tunes at the Wealthy Theatre with Michigan's own Starlight Six. The band's high-energy vibe is the perfect backdrop for ringing in a fun-filled new year.
Discover What's on Tap: Live bands at Founders Brewing Co.
One of my favorite local places to grab a drink, Founders Brewing Co., is also a happening place to be on New Years Eve. It's hard to miss with a line up of live entertainment that includes The Ragbirds, The Crane Wives and Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys. The show starts at 8:00 p.m. but it's first come, first served: no reservations. $10 cover. (This ones not for the kids 21 and up only.)
That'll Be The Day: GR Symphonys 50s Dance Party (7:30 p.m.) Step back in time and ring in the New Year with the great songs of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. This two hour re-creation of the Winter Dance party tour show will keep you moving to tunes like Peggy Sue and Chantilly Lace.
The Whole Package: Celebrate in style at the JW Marriott
The JW has a New Years Eve package perfect for the couple who wants to dance the night away at the Jammin' at the JDUB reggae beach shack party (in the transformed International Ballroom). Thanks to their late checkout special, you can even enjoy sleeping in on the first day of 2013. Reservations required.