FREE World of Winter Fest Returns to GR for Jan, Feb 2022 – Includes Light Maze, Glowing Jellyfish & More

Crank Zappa Jellyfish World of Winter 2022

Interactive Art Returns to Grand Rapids, MI for World of Winter 2022

Every year in January and February, Grand Rapids celebrates winter with the WORLD OF WINTER FESTIVAL in an attempt to get people outside and enjoying the Michigan winter.

Numerous family-friendly large-scale, interactive art exhibits are en route to Grand Rapids right now, including a light maze.

Additionally, this year, the event will feature over 80 ice sculptures during Valent-ICE – scattered around Downtown.

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

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

Map of Art Installations

Here’s a quick glance at the locations of the large-scale exhibits coming to Grand Rapids in January and February 2022 for World of Winter.

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 everything 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.

Read on for more details about each specific exhibit.

Light Maze

Light Maze at 555 Monroe
Friday, January 7, 2022 – March 6, 2022

555 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

A large light-based art installation brought to you in partnership with Ximenez Group based in Spain.

Designed by the German architect Ben Busche, from Brut Deluxe studio, the light maze was born with the aim of offering an innovative and immersive experience.

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

Giant Bunnies at Ah-Nab-Awen Park

Bunnies of Intrude at Ah-Nab-Awen Park
January 7 – 31, 2022

Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 220 Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

“Bunnies of Intrude” is a large outdoor art installation brought to you in partnership with Parer Studio based in Australia.

In Australia, rabbits are a feral species. They leave a trail of ecological destruction wherever they go and defy attempts at eradication.

First introduced by white settlers in 1788, they have caused a great imbalance in the country’s endemic species.

Yet, the rabbit is also an animal of contradiction.

They represent the fairy-tale animals of our childhood, of furry innocence, frolicking through idyllic fields.

Intrude deliberately evokes this cutesy image, and strong visual humor to lure you into the artwork only to reveal the more serious environmental messages in the work.

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

Walk-Through Light Experience at Gillett Bride

Submergence at Gillett Bride
Friday, January 7, 2022 – March 6, 2022

The Gillett Bridge connects Ah-Nab-Awen Park to Lyon Square in Downtown Grand Rapids

Submergence is a large, immersive, walk-through experience created by SquidSoup based in the United Kingdom.

It uses many thousands of individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space.

The installation transforms space into a hybrid environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide.

As you enter the piece, you are walking into a space occupied by both real and virtual components, and you can affect both.

Submergence has been shown in over 70 spaces and events on six continents

Submergence World of Winter 2022
Submergence Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

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


Trumpet Flowers at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in Grand Rapids
Friday, January 14, 2022 – March 6, 2022

Ah-Nab-Awen Park, 299 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503

A large outdoor installation brought to you in partnership with Amigo & Amigo based in Australia.

You can’t help but feel you are shrinking as you approach these super-sized trumpet flowers.

Tentatively stepping inside some unseen Giant’s musical garden, you become surrounded by an explosive and immersive jungle of light, color and sound. Moving in and around the flower forest uncovers a deeper connection with their individual trumpet key controllers, interactive keys that allow you to play each flower as a 2-6m towering musical and light instrument.

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

Inspired by vintage gramophones, Trumpet Flowers will shock and surprise as the entire world periodically bursts to life and plays its own commissioned musical score: a piece composed and played by Otis Studio and some of Sydney’s finest Jazz musicians.

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
Trumpet of Flowers Photo from Downtown Grand Rapids

Interactive Light & Sound Jellyfish at the Grand Rapids Public Museum

Crank Zappa Jellyfish at the Grand Rapids Public Museum
Friday, January 14, 2022 – March 6, 2022

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

A large outdoor installation brought to you in partnership with Amigo & Amigo based in Australia.

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

Lights animate and respond to touch sensors at the ends of the tentacles.

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 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.

As visitors gather under Crank, he electrifies and animates in response to human touch

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

The Singing Tree

The Singing Tree at Grand Rapids Public Museum
Friday, January 7, 2022 – March 6, 2022

272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

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

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.

Ice Sculptures for Valent-ICE 2021

The annual ice sculpture display, Valent-ICE, is a part of World of Winter and returns in mid-February for 2022 with over 80 ice sculptures spread throughout downtown Grand Rapids, MI.

Sculptures include a Baby Yoda at Homewood Suites, Gargoyle at Stella’s, Abominable Snowman from Rudolph at the old The Dog Pit , and a Carousel Horse at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

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.

More 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

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