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Winter Activities in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is a haven for those who embrace the cold and snow of winter – and for those who want to escape it. From ice skating and skiing to stage shows and festivals, Grand Rapids has you covered … indoors and out!

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Tis the Season for fun events! Check out all there is to do in Grand Rapids!

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Beer Month | Cool Brews. Hot Eats. | Feb 15- Mar 15

Celebrate beer with great beer and food promotions, special beer events and festivals!

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Winter Sports

Grand Rapids offers multiple ways to get your ice skate on. Outdoor lovers flock to Rosa Parks Circle in the heart of downtown, day and night. For indoor fun, check out Griff’s IceHouse, the official practice facility of our Grand Rapids Griffins hockey team – it offers open skate hours throughout the week.

Speaking of the Griffins – join the team for Great Skate Winterfest, which includes  winter-inspired evens, sports demos, family activities and a 24-hour skateathon at Rosa Parks Circle. January 19-20.

If ice makes you think fishing rather than skating, grab your auger and head to one of our many inland lakes and river bayous. Ice fishing is a major hobby here!

Skiing more your style? You can tackle 21 downhill runs at Cannonsburg Ski Area, just 20 minutes from downtown. Bittersweet Ski Resort (20 runs) and Mulligan’s Hollow (six runs) are a half hour or so away. All three offer excellent cross-country trails, as do numerous close-by parks and nature areas.

Cannonsburg is also a favorite with snowboarders, thanks to a terrain park filled with 80+ jibs and jumps. Bittersweet and Mulligan’s Hollow are popular snowboarding spots, too.

Want to take the kids sledding? Our favorite fun (and free) sledding locations include Richmond Park, Belknap Park, Johnson Park and Cascade Township Park.  

If you love fat tire biking, you’ll love the groomed trails at Indian Trails Golf Course, Cannonsburg Ski Area and the Merrell Trail in Rockford.

You can watch athletes in action at the Meijer State Games of Michigan-Winter (February 15-17), and at Grand Rapids Griffins hockey and Grand Rapids Drive basketball games.

Fun with Kids

From parades to tree lightings to Santa meet-and-greets, the holiday season in Grand Rapids is made for kids. Unwrap the season for family fun!

Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Children’s Museum and Grand Rapids Public Museum offer exhibitions, classes and special events that will keep kids fascinated all winter long.

Blandford Nature Center and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park deliver all sorts of opportunities for kids to explore the grand outdoors.

Family-friendly entertainment includes Sesame Street Live! Make Your Magic (December 29), Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live: King for a Day! (January 14), Grand Rapids Symphony presents Hansel & Gretel (January 19), the Kids & Family Expo (January 26) and The Harlem Globetrotters (January 27), Grand Rapids Symphony’s Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (February 1-2) and Disney on Ice: Frozen (February 28-March 3).

Red-Hot Entertainment

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre presents the Agatha Christie classic And Then There Were None (January 11-27) and Abba musical Mamma Mia! (Feb 22-28 & March 1-17).

Burnt Part Boys at Actors’ Theatre of Grand Rapids is a musical look back at rural West Virginia in 1962, emphasizing the power of family bonds and the friendships that unite us. January 31-Feburary 9.

Broadway Grand Rapids brings two huge New York hits to town: School of Rock (January 8-13) and On Your Feet! (February 19-24).

Grand Rapids Ballet stages traditional favorite The Nutcracker (December 14-16 & 21-23) and contemporary dance program MOVEMEDIA: Handmade (February 8-10).

Grand Rapids Symphony presents 20+ shows from December through February, including Latino-flavored Rhythm of the Dance (January 18-19), the Tchaikovsky Festival (February 8-9) and Symphony with Soul (February 16).

Ice-Cold Beer

Beer Month GR is our annual celebration of the city’s renowned beer scene – named America’s best by USA Today. It’s a full month of “Cool Brews. Hot Eats” dining specials, tap takeovers, new beer releases and more. Come savor the craft February 15-March 15.

The Winter Beer Festival is another annual crowd-pleaser – featuring 140+ Michigan breweries offering samples of 1,000+ different craft beers, all outdoors in Fifth Third Ballpark. Tickets sell out fast, so get yours ASAP. February 22 & 23.

You don’t need a special event to dip into the Grand Rapids beer scene – just consult the Beer City Ale Trail map to plot your course among 60+ area breweries. Or let somebody else do the driving – take a Beer Tour and get behind-the-scenes glimpses of brewery operations. Be sure to pick up a Beer City Brewsader® passport or download the app to so you can earn a free official t-shirt on your journey.

The Best of the Rest

Shop pre- and post-holiday sales. Enjoy a warm and cozy restaurant meal. Heat up the dance floors and concert aisles on the local nightlife scene.

And check out our Tours & Experiences for more uniquely Grand Rapids ways to celebrate winter!

Experience the Winter Season

Grand Rapids Griffins

Minor-league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings.


Two 100-store malls, an outlet mall, and unique neighborhood shops.

Food and Dining

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