Horse drawn carriage at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids

I know your holiday calendar is filling up quickly, but there are a few yearly events around town that just make the holidays complete. So whether you are in Grand Rapids for a visit or a life long resident, add these four events to your holiday bucket list.

  • The Nutcracker: Performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet every holiday season, The Nutcracker never gets old. The Grand Rapids Symphony provides the music and DeVos Performance Hall provides the stage. This year there will be 8 performances, December 14th-23rd with ticket prices ranging from $20-$54. You can purchase your tickets through Ticketmaster or at the ballet box office.
  • A Christmas Carol: It's hardly Christmas without the heartwarming story of Tiny Tim. This year The Grand Rapids Civic Theater is bringing the story of A Christmas Carol to life in musical fashion. The play only runs through the 16th so make sure you hurry and get your tickets at the box office or through Extreme Tickets.
  • Meijer Gardens: We sing the praises of Meijer Gardens quite often around here, and for good reason. It is a must visit any time of year. But Christmas is an especially beautiful time to pay a visit. The grounds are lit with Christmas lights, with horse drawn carriages taking you around to enjoy the views. Check out the miniature railway with over 30 Grand Rapids landmarks. And of course you can stroll through the Christmas Trees decorated for countries around the world. Check out the holiday schedule on their website.
  • Nite Lights: Stay in the warmth of the car and enjoy over a mile long ride through thousands of animated lights displays at Fifth Third Ball Park. Running nightly through December 31st from 6-10pm, you will be charged per car load at $14 a car. So now is a good time to put that minivan or giant SUV to good use.
  • The Broadway Bar and Grille: For most of the year this is a small unassuming bar on the northwest side. But at Christmastime, the owners go all out and decorate for the holidays. Actually decorate doesn't seem to fit because this place is decked out floor to ceiling with every possible dancing Santa, singing reindeer and leg lamp. It is definitely a holiday tradition to bring the whole family for a burger and fries.

What is your must see during the holidays?