Downtown Grand Rapids transforms into a dazzling winter wonderland every January and February. This year’s World of Winter Festival is bigger and better than ever, as the city offers more things to see and do outdoors, where visitors can better socially distance.
See 15 unique interactive art installations, including a 20-minute light show projected onto the exterior façade of the Civic Auditorium at DeVos Place. Look for 80+ ice sculptures – Batman, Wonder Woman, Yoda and more –spread out across downtown. Take a walking tour highlighting local Black History or the Heartside neighborhood.
All programming and activities are FREE and geared for both families and adults. Check the event listings below for exact dates and times, grab your mask and join in the fun!
Rosa Parks Circle is open for outdoor ice skating, weather permitting. Coronavirus restrictions mean you’ll have to reserve a time in advance.
Need to warm up a bit before or after attending the Festival? The Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Roger B. Chafee Planetarium and Celebration Cinema Studio Park are all open for business. Capacity restrictions apply, so check websites for ticketing.
You’ll need to walk about three miles to see all the art in one round-trip experience – see map – and you’re liable to get hungry and thirsty. No indoor dining is allowed at the moment, but many downtown restaurants, bars and breweries have created special winter spaces for outdoor dining. Restaurants may also offer takeout service, which you can enjoy in a downtown Social Zone.
Social Zones are equipped with socially distanced tables and chairs where you can eat takeout meals and drink alcohol in sealed containers purchased from participating restaurants. “Refreshment Areas” in select Social Zones allow you to carry your alcoholic beverage with you as you stroll about.
Many downtown local shops are open – including the newest addition to the list, Pack Elephant at Studio Park, which showcases artisan goods created by women and people of color. The Downtown Market Grand Rapids, home to 20+ artisan food vendors, is another great place for unique goodies.
There are many more ways to celebrate winter in Grand Rapids, from skiing and snowboarding to watching a virtual theater production. It’s a most wonderful time of the year!