Downtown Grand Rapids transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland every January and February, giving you plenty of reasons to get outside and enjoy the season. Our World of Winter Festival is the largest winter festival in the Midwest – and one of the 10 Most Epic U.S. Winter Festivals Worth Braving the Cold For, according to TheTravel website.
The two-month festival includes more than 100 art installations, events and activities for all ages – making it perfect for a family outing, friend meetup or romantic getaway. Plan your Grand Rapids trip today!
More than 20 large-scale, interactive and Instagram-worthy art installations will be on display around downtown throughout the event. You can easily walk from one to the other – but you might want to plan for several days of sightseeing just to take it all in.
Consists of massive 128 light boxes in the form of playing cards, each designed by an artist from around the world or around town – include local artists Edwin Anderson, Jasmine Bruce, Maddie Chaffer, Alan Compo, Kyle DeGroff, Michi Farias, Alynn Guerra, Nick Nortier, Reb Roberts and Arturo Romero.
A giant pair of color-changing wings and a huge halo provide a one-of-a-kind selfie opportunity.
Eight giant inflatable gnomes – each different and all illuminated – tower above the Grand River.
An immersive light experience inspired by the memory capabilities of the human brain features 62 different color combinations and 112 points of interaction.
Van Gogh’s famous painting comes alive with 1,400 glowing tubes duplicating the master’s brushstrokes on an enormous LED screen.
Two colossal heads each contain more than 4,000 LED lights to create different facial expressions as they engage in “conversation.”
One of last year’s favorite installations returns – this colorful display of abstract animals is kid- and selfie-friendly.
This lighting experience transforms sound into interactive experiences and only operates after dark.
A large heart filled with giant disco balls installed at the gateway to Monroe Center.
Two separate LED art installations displayed in two different parks along the riverwalk.
A color-changing sculpture crafted to honor symbols and traditions of the Native Americans who originally inhabited this region.
The 14-foot-long tentacles of this purple monster can be seen bursting out of the balcony above DeVos Place.
Created to inspire hope and imagination, this sculpture immerses visitors into a glowing circle of dancing stars.
This immersive projection experience will make you feel like you’re walking through a tropical jungle.
A recycled shopping container that presents interactive events, performances, artists showings and cool lighting.
Five large-scale wooden cutouts of children of various ethnicities and personalities enjoy the snow and “pose” for selfies.
This freestanding neon sculpture stimulates the moment of impact between particles in an accelerator – referred to as a “rainbow of isotopes.”
This intensely lit, kaleidoscope forest of cacti is “dressed” in the colorful patterns of ugly sweaters.
Artist Kendra Sollars illuminates GRAM’s exterior every evening with a video projection documenting her experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.
An interactive exhibit of found objects gathered from GR residents throughout the city – visitors can become part of the story of the city by posing for photos.
Brightly colored arches function as a social space and arcade, with the light meant to encourage guests to pause on their passage and experience the wonder of their journey.
Four cube structures representing snow drifts or sheets of ice conceal lights and speakers that produce unique lighting effects and nature sounds.
Giant candy hearts are adorned with “love your city” sayings.
Several downtown businesses have decorated their storefronts for the World of Winter Festival, including Monsoon Vietnamese Cuisine, Oh, Hello Co. Paper & Gifts, Decaydence Vintage, House of Wine, Social House and Courage & Soar.
Dozens of professionally carved ice sculptures are displayed throughout downtown from Feb. 10 until they melt.
There will also be 50+ dazzling ice sculptures and themed window displays spread out over downtown.
Visitors can also enjoy a wide variety of performances, games and learning opportunities:
Food and drink are an integral part of World of Winter – and this year’s festival includes everything from a food truck rally to a noodle fest competition to a beerfest. (Food and drink are available for purchase.) Much of the festival grounds overlap with our Downtown Refreshment Area, which allows you to stroll around outdoors with an alcoholic (or otherwise) beverage from a participating business. There are nearly 150 restaurants, breweries and cocktail bars downtown, so you can easily refuel with a quick bite, leisurely meal or luscious libation during your WoW experience.
Receive admission into many cultural attractions around Grand Rapids as well as additional exclusive discounts with our $20.00 Culture Pass.
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