GR’s World of Winter 2022 – Includes Ice Sculptures, Interactive Glow Wheels, Light Maze & More

Loop - World of Winter 2022 Grand Rapids

Interactive Art & Ice Sculptures in Grand Rapids, MI – World of Winter 2022

Every year in January and February, Grand Rapids celebrates winter with the WORLD OF WINTER FESTIVAL with the goal of getting people outside and enjoying the Michigan winter.

Large-scale interactive art exhibits (many of which light up or play music) are a big part of the draw.

That, plus the 50+ Valent-ICE ice sculptures taking Downtown Grand Rapids are enough to lure even winter crabs out of their shells.

Check out the maps below and plan on bringing your family downtown this winter to join in on fresh air, outdoor fun!

World of Winter is organized by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., The City of Grand Rapids and numerous community partners
The festival begins January 7, 2022, and runs until March 6, 2022. #WorldOfWinterGR

Check the World of Winter website for the most up-to-date scheduling for events & exhibits. Weather and other factors may influence this event.

World of Winter Map

Here’s a quick glance at the locations of the exhibits & events that are a part of World of Winter 2022.

World of Winter FAQs

How long of a walk is it between art displays?

If you were to start at the southern end of the map and walk to all art displays, it would be about 1 mile one-way and take approximately 20 minutes to walk without stopping.

If you would like to see all of the “big art” in one round-trip experience, you’d end up walking about 2 miles and you’d need at least 2 hours if you want to stop and experience the art at each stop.

(Grand Rapids has been doing a good job keeping most main sidewalks cleared when it comes to snow but the riverwalk and other less-traveled areas are covered with packed, bumpy snow that would be hard for a stroller or wheelchair.)

When Should I Visit World of Winter?

Many of the World of Winter attractions have features that glow. For that reason, a visit after dusk will give the best visual experience.

The ice sculptures are out day and night, so if you do visit during the day you’ll have plenty to see. Sculptures are left out until they melt – plan accordingly.

Where Should I Park for World of Winter?

Park in the city center near Rosa Parks Circle if you’re interested in the ice sculptures.

Park in the DeVos Hall underground lot if you want to have a central spot as far as World of Winter exhibits are concerned. ($15.00 daily max, $1.50 every half hour.)

To play with the big, glowing art, you’ll want to head to the Public Museum and Ah-Nab-Awen park on the south end of town. Park in the Scribner Lot (typically $4) for easy access to those pieces.

The Light Maze and Ride-on Glow Loops are located further north, just past the post office at 555 Monroe. You can try to get street parking up there to visit those installations or just walk from the city center – if it’s not too cold or windy, it’s a pleasant walk.

Parking in Downtown Grand Rapids for the World of Winter is free on the street in most places on weekends or after 6:00 PM during the week.

Read on for more details about each specific exhibit.

Ice Sculptures for Valent-ICE 2021

Valent-ICE

Downtown Grand Rapids
February 11 – 17, 2022

The annual ice sculpture display, Valent-ICE, is a part of World of Winter and returns in mid-February for 2022 with over 50 ice sculptures spread throughout downtown Grand Rapids, MI.

https://grkids.com/outdoor-art-world-of-winter-grand-rapids/#5-ice-sculptures-for-valent-ice-2021

Dozens of professionally-carved ice sculptures include:

Ice ScultpureLocation
Baby Yoda Homewood Suites
GargoyleStella’s
Abominable SnowmanThe Dog Pit
Carousel Horse Grand Rapids Public Museum
5000 lb Carving Demo (Sat 2/12)Rosa Parks Circle
Frozen’s Olaf Courtyard Marriott
Interactive Butterfly Wings146 Monroe Center St NW
Olympic RingsOutside of Kilwins
Vintage Truck77 Monroe Center St NW
Ice Igloo DomeJW Marriott
Picture FrameFirst National Bank
Banksy Art Girl with BalloonSocial Misfits
2022 with FlowersSocial House
LOVE SculptureDouglas J. Aveda

ice sculpture carving World of Winter Grand Rapids

Here’s a look at all of the ice sculptures planned for 2022:

ICE-Breaker
Saturday, Feb 12, 2022 from 10am-4pm

Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink, 135 Monroe St SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503

Witness the live carving of the publicly voted 5,000-pound ice sculpture by the Ice Brigade‘s Randy Finch!

This year’s winner is The Kracken Scene. See the voted image here.

Ice Sculpture Walking Tours
Friday, Feb 11 at 6 pm / Saturday, Feb 12 at 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm / Sunday, Feb 13 at noon, 2 pm

Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink, 135 Monroe St SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503

Bundle up and join these FREE walking tours about the 80+ ice sculptures scattered around #DowntownGR!

The Valent-ICE exhibition features the largest ice sculpture gallery in Michigan, created by local ice carver Randy Finch of Ice Brigade.

Some are life-size, some are interactive but all of them have their own backstories.

Join Grand Rapids Running Tours to learn about all the sub-zero.

All tours start at Rosa Parks Circle. First come, first served. 25 persons maximum.

North End – World of Winter Things to See & Do

Light Maze at 555 Monroe

555 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Friday, January 7, 2022 – March 6, 2022

Walk through this large light-up art installation any time of day, but especially after dark for a glowing experience.

World of Winter Light Maze
Light Maze Photo: Downtown Grand Rapids
Light Maze World of Winter Grand Rapids 2022
Light Maze Photo: Downtown Grand Rapids

Brought to you in partnership with Ximenez Group based in Spain. Designed by the German architect Ben Busche, from Brut Deluxe studio.

Loop at 555 Monroe

555 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Friday, January 7, 2022 – March 6, 2022

Climb into one of the Loops with a friend and use the railway handcar lever to operate the attraction.

World of Winter Loop 2022
Loop Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

Glowing at night, this musical installation uses giant people-sized cylinders to play one of 6 short flipbook-style movies (movies inspired by Quebec literature.) 

Loop is a hybrid of the music box, zoetrope (a toy) and railway handcar.

The Loop in daylight - World of Winter 2022 Grand Rapids
Loop Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

Loop is a creation of Jonathan Villeneuve, Olivier Girouard and Ottoblix and was co-produced by Ekumen and Quartier des Spectacles Partnership in Montreal.

Brought to you in partnership with Parer Studio based in Australia.

South of Michigan Ave – World of Winter Things to See & Do

Walk Through Light Experience at Gillett Bride

The Gillett Bridge connects Ah-Nab-Awen Park to Lyon Square (near DeVos Hall) in Downtown Grand Rapids
Friday, January 7, 2022 – March 6, 2022

Walk through the hanging light strands in this immersive art piece “Submergence” situated on the Gillett Bridge in downtown.

Submergence World of Winter 2022
Submergence: Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

It’s even fun to walk through during the daytime.

Submergence World of Winter Grand Rapids 2022

Submergence has been shown in over 70 spaces and events on six continents. Created by SquidSoup based in the United Kingdom.

Trumpet Flowers at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in Grand Rapids

Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Friday, January 14, 2022 – March 6, 2022

Press the buttons to activate song from these super-sized trumpet flowers.

Weave your way through the exhibit to experience it from different angles, with different songs, sounds and lights from each trumpet flower.

Trumpet Flowers World of Winter 2022
Trumpet of Flowers Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

Make your own spectacular floral symphony of sound and light or catch one of the scheduled animated musical scores throughout the evening.

Every tuba, trumpet, trombone and drum sound in Trumpet Flowers’ repertoire is an individual live recorded and energetic moment at your fingertips to experiment with.

Trumpet Flowers - World of Winter 2022 Grand Rapids
Trumpet of Flowers Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

Brought to you in partnership with Amigo & Amigo based in Australia.

Giant Bunnies at Ah-Nab-Awen Park

Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
January 7 – 31, 2022

Get up close to and snap selfies by the giant “Bunnies of Intrude” in Ah-Nab-Awen Park.

This large outdoor art installation is weather-dependent; it is taken down in high winds or inclement weather and is only on display through the end of January.

Bunnies of Intrude World of Winter 2022
“Bunnies of Intrude” Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

Light & Sounds Jellyfish at the Grand Rapids Public Museum

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Friday, January 14, 2022 – March 6, 2022

Activated at dusk, this interactive light & sound jellyfish at the Grand Rapids Public Museum responds to your touch via sensors at the ends of the tentacles.

Crank Zappa Jellyfish World of Winter 2022
Crank Zappa Jellyfish Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

The sculpture is also accompanied by music and voice combining to bring the character of Crank Zappa to life, as well as educate the public on plastic waste in an accessible and engaging way.

Crank Zappa Jellyfish  - World of Winter 2022 Grand Rapids

Crank Zappa is completely constructed from single-use plastic items including 1,000 plastic bags, straws and 800 plastic bottles that were salvaged from Scotts Creek and 1,200 meters of recycled twine that was weaved together by 40 volunteers.

Crank Zappa Jellyfish is an interactive sculpture created from plastic waste.

Brought to you in partnership with Amigo & Amigo based in Australia.

The Singing Tree at Grand Rapids Public Museum

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Friday, January 7, 2022 – March 6, 2022

A favorite from World of Winter 2021, the Singing Tree is back for 2022.

Visitors interact in real-time by singing, clapping, or yelling to create an unforgettable and magical experience.

Singing Tree  - World of Winter 2021 Grand Rapids

The Singing Tree has visited a number of cities across North America and Europe and is now stopping in Grand Rapids!

Here’s a video of the tree in action.

World of Winter Events

See the full World of Winter Calendar here.

The Chilly Challenge (Downtown Walking Tours)
Thursdays, Jan 6, 13, 20, 27 / February 3, 10 ,17 from noon – 1 pm

JW Marriot, 235 Louis Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503

Join us for this FREE seven-part weekly walking series through Downtown Grand Rapids!

We’ll be outside in whatever weather Mother Nature throws at us.

Participants will enjoy a unique tour each week, traversing the sidewalks while focusing on the theme of art and architecture, narrated by Caroline Cook, owner of Grand Rapids Running and Walking Tours.

Participants who complete all seven walks will be rewarded with a $25 gift card to a downtown business.

Can’t make all seven? Come for as many as you can!

Pop-Up Performer Nights
Fridays, Jan 6 – Mar 4, 6pm

Downtown Grand Rapids MI 49503

Enjoy musical performances and other forms of live entertainment all around Downtown Grand Rapids!

Explore the neighborhood, find these performers, maybe grab a drink or a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant or bar and enjoy the show.

Visit refreshments.downtowngr.org to find the local establishments that offer to-go adult beverages.

Ice Park
Saturday, Jan 8 – Jan 16

555 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Come to our ice park and enjoy frozen fun games like icy shuffleboard, Plinko, foosball, chess, checkers, cornhole, and putt-putt holes!

There will also be a throne made of ice for unique photo opportunities.

Ice games will be left out until they melt.

Art Installation Walking Tours
Saturday, Jan 15 & Feb 5 10am and noon / Sunday, January 23 & Feb 20 1pm and 3pm

Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink, 135 Monroe Center Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503

A one-hour walking tour led by Caroline Cook of Grand Rapids Running Tours.

This FREE tour shows the community all of the art installations – from local to international – that are brought in as part of the World of Winter Festival.

Learn more about the history and story behind each outdoor artwork during this in-depth tour.

Tours meet at Rosa Parks Circle and no registration is required

Black History Walking Tour
Sat Jan 15 2pm / Mon Jan 17 6pm [MLK Day] / Sun Jan 30 noon / Fri Feb 4 [Rosa Parks’ birthday] 5pm / Sat Feb 5 2pm / Wed Feb 23 6pm

Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink, 135 Monroe St SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503

Join your tour guide for a FREE walk through Grand Rapids’ Black history.

This tour specifically examines the African American population from 1826 until the present: The remarkable people, places, events, issues… The legends and facts about being Black in Grand Rapids.

Caroline Cook of Grand Rapids Running Tours will guide you through a maze of touchstones in Downtown that prompt intriguing narrative.

First come first serve, 25 person cap. No registration is necessary.

Can’t make it? Take a self-guided tour using the GR Walks app.

More to Explore

1 thought on “GR’s World of Winter 2022 – Includes Ice Sculptures, Interactive Glow Wheels, Light Maze & More”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.