Grand Rapids invites you to experience the cold-weather season in new and creative ways during its annual World of Winter Festival.
See art and performances. Play games and make new friends. Embark on a fun-filled family adventure or romantic Valentine’s Day stroll. Dine, drink and even dance al fresco.
It all happens downtown. It all takes place outdoors. It’s very, very Instagrammable. And it’s completely FREE!
World of Winter 2022 plans are still being firmed up, so check back as January draws closer. But here’s just a hint of what’s to come art-wise. (Click the links for examples of past installations in other cities.)
Five super-sized, selfie-friendly inflatable rabbits will take up residence downtown. They light up at night! Preliminary dates: Jan. 7 - Feb. 2.
Colorful abstract sculptures of polar bears made with layered wood are very interactive for kids. Preliminary dates: Jan. 7 - March 6.
Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, this installation features 27 six-foot to 19-foot tall trumpet flowers that come alive with lights and musical sounds when visitors push the large trumpet keys. Preliminary dates: Jan. 7 - March 6.
Touch the sensors on the tentacles of this mammoth sculpture to light it up and get (hopefully useful) advice and guidance from a hot-tempered jellyfish. Preliminary dates: Jan. 7 - March 6.
This immersive walkthrough experience features a wave-like formation of 500 suspended orbs that respond to visitor movements with lights and sounds. Jan. 7 - March 6.
This musical installation invites visitors to sit inside an illuminated 6-foot wide cylinder and pump a bar to play flipbook-style movies. Preliminary dates: Feb. 3 - March 6.
Also expected: The Singing Tree lighting experience, Seasonal Wonders projection show and a Silent Disco outdoor dance party. Stay tuned for even more winter delights!
Need to warm up a bit before or after attending the festival? Browse the fascinating exhibits at the Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts. See a movie at Celebration Cinema Studio Park. Bring the kids to Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for even more playtime. All are just steps away from World of Winter action.
Downtown is home to 130+ restaurants, so you’ll find plenty of choices in what and where to dine while exploring World of Winter. Many downtown restaurants, bars and breweries have created special outdoor spaces for winter dining. Sit in a transparent dome or enclosure, or at an outdoor table surrounded by heaters, and watch the World of Winter unfold around you.
You can even enjoy food and beverages (including the adult kind) as you stroll around downtown. Much of the center city is included in a Refreshment Area that allows you to purchase specially marked containers from participating restaurants, breweries, coffee shops and retail shops for mobile consumption.
We won’t judge if you make a shopping detour from your World of Winter walk – with 60+ downtown stores offering everything from art and gifts to clothing and sporting goods, you’re sure to find something that catches your fancy. If you love food (and who doesn’t?), be sure to stop by the Downtown Market and sample the wares of its 20+ artisan food vendors.
Plan your World of Winter visit(s) to coincide with other big downtown events – including:
There are also multiple Grand Rapids Griffins hockey games, Grand Rapids Symphony concerts and Grand Rapids Civic Theatre performances during World of Winter. Check out our Events Calendar below for a full list of things to see and do.
There are many more ways to celebrate winter in Grand Rapids. Snowshoe, ice fish, fat-tire bike, cross-country ski or hit the downhill slopes amongst the majesty of nature – or stay warm and cozy with a wide range of inside activities. See another side of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Enjoy a steaming cup of coffee, tea or cocoa as the snow swirls. Do winter your way in Grand Rapids!
Learn our tips for visiting one of Grand Rapids' top attractions, Frederik Meijer…
Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $20.00 Culture Pass.