39 Fun Things to Do Thanksgiving Weekend in West MI – 2022

Thanksgiving Weekend things to do (1)

Fun Things to Do Thanksgiving Weekend in West MI

If you’re looking for something fun to do (besides eating, of course) for the 2022 Thanksgiving weekend around greater Grand Rapids, it’s a great time to kick off your family’s Christmas activities.
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Things to Do Thanksgiving Weekend 2022

Slide these fun activities into your weekend plans where they fit best – the venues are open all weekend long and ready to serve you. (Reservations may be required.)

Get Your Christmas Tree
Many Real Christmas Tree Farms open for the season this weekend and offer special experiences for your family.
church's christmas tree farm in Grant, MI
Church’s Tree Farm182 W 136th Street, Grant, MI 49327opens Friday, Nov 25, 2022

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Kick off the Christmas Season with a Community Celebration

Thanksgiving weekend is full of festive fun, marking the start of the holiday season for many with Christmas activities like tree lightings & more.

Gaslight Village Holiday Tree Lighting
Fri Nov 25th 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Regatta Plaza, 2181 Wealthy St SE, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Community members of all ages are invited to kick off the holiday season in Gaslight Village with the annual tree-lighting ceremony Friday, Nov. 25.

The tree lighting will be the centerpiece of festivities 5-8 p.m. in Regatta Plaza, 2181 Wealthy St. SE – the heart of the Gaslight Village business district.

In addition to the lighting of the 30-foot tree, visitors can enjoy a variety of all-ages entertainment, including s’mores, carriage rides, reindeer petting, and a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus. East Grand Rapids Mayor Katie Favale will lead the crowd in several holiday carols to begin the lighting ceremony.

Sparkle Kickoff! in Spring Lake
Sat Nov 26th 6:30pm
Epicurean Village, 110 W Savidge St, Spring Lake, MI 49456
Gather in the Epicurean Village Courtyard for a “Clark Griswold” style plugging in of the lights. Watch the Village sparkle, dazzle, & shine as we ring in the Holiday with caroling, hot cocoa, music, and a special appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Bring the kids — Meet Santa at the Tanglefoot Park Fireplace between 5:30 and 6:15. Then proceed to the EV Courtyard downtown for the unveiling of new Sparkle surprises and to see Santa will switch on the lights.

Epicurean Village will is ground zero for the duration of Sparkle – There you will find a community Christmas tree, Santa’s house, fireplace, and seating. This is part of the social district – grab your favorite cocktail or cocoa and cozy up!

South Haven’s Holiday in the Park
Fri Nov 25th 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Dyckman Park, South Haven, MI 49090
Join in and watch as South Haven comes alive with the holiday spirit. Light up this holiday season during the official lighting of our community holiday tree. Ice skating, karaoke, Santa Paws Pet Parade, hosted by Decadent Dogs, luminaries, holiday treats, and more will jumpstart your holiday and make memories you can reminisce on for years to come. Luminaries will line the streets of South Haven from city hall towards the beach.

See Santa

Thanksgiving weekend is also a popular time to pick a place from this list and go to one of the many places to see Santa and get some pictures with Santa.

Psst – If you see Santa at Rivertown Mall (3700 RiverTown Parkway, Grandville, MI 49418), your child will get a bonus – a free phone call from Santa (online reservations only.)

Cabela’s Winter Wonderland & Santa
Cabela’s is a Santa photo hotspot because they have a great display and will send you a free Santa picture. Just be sure to make a reservation.
cabela's santa photos
Santa Pictures at Cabela’s3000 44th Street SW, Grandville, Michigan, 49418

Bosch’s Tree Farm (Bosch’s Tree Farm10785 84th Ave, Allendale, MI  49401) welcomes you to its Santa Cabin on Thanksgiving weekend.

For $10/person, you can ride a horse/tractor-drawn wagon out into the woods, warmed by hot chocolate, to their log Santa cabin.

At the cabin, visit Santa and toast s’mores over the cabin campfire.
bosch's christmas tree farm in Allendale, MI

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Enjoy Christmas Lights

Go to the Christmas Lite Show
4500 West River Dr NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321
Open daily from Wednesday, November 23 through Saturday, December 31, 2022, the Christmas Lite Show is the largest, animated drive-through light show in West Michigan. From the comfort of your car, experience nearly two miles of Christmas magic including animated displays, lighted tunnels, and over 1 million lights.
Drive through christmas lights christmas light show

See Even More Christmas Lights
Many Grand Rapids area houses will turn their Christmas lights on over Thanksgiving weekend. Here’s where to see the Christmas lights displays.

Drive Through Christmas Lights
Take a road trip to one of the many Michigan Drive Through Christmas Light Shows
Drive Through Christmas Lights nite-lites at Michigan Internation Speedway Brooklyn 2020

or the Walk Through Christmas Light Shows

like the one in Kalamazoo at Gull Meadow Farms
Gull Meadow Farms, 8544 Gull Rd, Richland, MI 49083, USA 
Gull-Meadow-walk through christmas lights

Go to a Show

Mary Poppins
Grand Rapids Civic Theater, 30 Division Ave N, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Nov 18 – Dec 18, 2022: Wed-Sat at 7:30pm, Sun at 2:00pm. Sat at 2:00pm beginning November 26 – Thanksgiving Weekend.
One of the most popular Disney movies of all time is capturing hearts in a whole new way: as a practically perfect musical! Using a combination of magic and common sense, Mary Poppins must teach the family members how to value each other again. Even grown-ups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “Anything can happen if you let it.”

A Christmas Carol
Master Arts Theatre, 75 77th St SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49548

Come see the Charles Dickens classic as only Master Arts can tell it! The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is on his way to a doomed end, and only an experience with four ghosts on Christmas Eve can offer him redemption. Will he accept the gift of salvation that Christmas offers?

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center, 2211 Lake Dr SE, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Friday, November 25, 2022 @ 7 PM
Saturday, November 26, 2022 @ 11 AM & 3 PM
Sunday, November 27, 2022 @ 3 PM

This original ballet, based on Clement C. Moore’s familiar poem and set to traditional holiday music, has become a Thanksgiving Weekend tradition in Grand Rapids. Mischievous mice, dancing stockings, magical toys and Santa with his prancing reindeer combine to create a wonderful hour of family entertainment. Even the youngest members of your family will enjoy this show! The audience is welcome to join Santa and the cast on stage after the performance so don’t forget your camera!

Hip Hop Nutcracker
Sun Nov 27th 7:00pm
DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Everything old is new again. Tchaikovsky’s 130-year-old ballet is reimagined as a holiday dance spectacle in The Hip Hop Nutcracker. 

In The Hip Hop Nutcracker, Maria-Clara and the Nutcracker prince go on a dream adventure battling a gang of mice, visiting the land of sweets, and learning the lessons of the holiday season. Innovative digital graffiti and visuals transform the landscape of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s beloved story from traditional 19th Century Germany to the vibrant, diverse sights and sounds of a colorful and contemporary New York City.

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For Adults

*See the HEY GRAND RAPIDS newsletter for more grown-up fun.

FIFA World Cup Block Party
Fri. Nov. 25 from 11 am – 7 pm 
Garage Bar & Grill, 819 Ottawa Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI
What to Expect: Eighteen screens of inside viewing, plus
Outdoors: a giant LED screen for a party on the pavement, plus ancillary soccer games outdoors during the halftime intermission.

Plus Tent City, the outdoor area with a live DJ & MC color commentary, kid’s n’ dogs welcome, prize giveaways, soccer trivia, pet contests, and indoor and outdoor drink specials. The watch party is free to attend and open to the public.

Rock On
Fri. Nov. 25 at 9 pm. 
Dance those Thanksgiving calories away!
West Michigan’s own Project 90 performs all your favorite 90s rock hits at The Iron Well.

Beer for Breakfast
Sat. Nov. 26 from 9 am – 12 pm
Founders Brewing Co.

Celebrate Founders’ beloved Breakfast Stout at their most exclusive party of the year. Tickets are $40 and include a breakfast buffet and one Breakfast Stout to get you started.

Cheer for Your Team

Griffins Hockey
Fri. Nov. 25 & Sat. Nov. 26 at 7 pm.
There’s nothing cooler than watching our hometown hockey team take the ice. The Grand Rapids Griffins take on the Manitoba Moose at home this weekend. Get tickets for $17. (PS – Good to know)

Get Crafty

Pottery Painting, Potter’s Wheel & Wood Signs at The Mud Room
The Mud Room, 1971 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Today is a great day to unleash your creativity and paint a gift at The Mud Room. All supplies are included but bring your imagination.
painting at the mud room

Pick-a-Project Drop-in Class (ages 12+) at Spruced Studio
10:00am – 1:00pm
Spruced Studio, 5120 Plainfield Avenue Northeast, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Stop in and make as many projects as you like! 

Artisan Markets

Christmas at Countryside 2022 Farmgirl Flea Market
Countryside Greenhouse, 9050 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale, MI 49401
Friday, November 25 and Saturday, November 26
You will find amazing vintage & handmade goods at this amazing Holiday 2-day event. Shop from 200+ vendors from all across the USA! All vendors are carefully juried to bring you the best shopping experience. Christmas will surround you at this fantastic venue! Parking is free and tickets are $5 cash at the door. Kids 12 and under are free.

Holland’s Kerstmarkt 2022 will be in full swing on Friday and Saturday (Nov 25&26), giving you the perfect opportunity to experience an outdoor European-style market. It’s stocked with holiday items, delicious food, and artisan demonstrations.
Holland Kerstmarkt8th Street Market Place, 150 W. 8th Street, Holland, MI 49423
Kertsmarkt Holland

All Aboard!

Ride a Christmas Train
Coopersville & Marne Railway, 306 Main St, Coopersville, MI 49404
On the Coopersville Santa Train, Elves escort the children to sit with Santa on this 90-minute Christmas Train ride. Every child passenger gets a present, even the shy ones!

And, as the train chugs down the tracks, the story-telling Princess reads Christmas-themed books to the children. AND!! The Pullman Coach has been renovated for those with mobility challenges! Wheelchair tie-downs must be reserved.

Visit the Railway Garden at Meijer Gardens
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
 42 unique displays depicting fact and folklore, past and present, plus model trains running through a village of Grand Rapids buildings made of natural materials.
Frederik Meijer Gardens Railway Garden

See the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Express in Action (the old “Breton Village” Train)
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum – 303 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Watch the beloved model trains chug along the tracks inside of the Gerald R Ford Museum. New in 2022 is a replica of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Museum admission includes the train.

Breton Village Christmas Train Show is now at Gerald R Ford MuseumTrain show

Get Moving

Go Ice Skating
135 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids MI 49503
Rosa Parks Circle Ice Rink will is back in action after a long construction-related hiatus. Reserve your skating session online or just show up. Ice skate rentals are included with admission and are $4 for adults and $2 for kids. Ice skating starts for the season on Friday, November 25, 2022.
rosa parks circle ice skating
Ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle

Go Skiing
Many Michigan downhill ski hills will be open for Thanksgiving weekend!

Black Friday Family Wristband Day at BattleGR
284 Dodge NE, Comstock Park, MI 49321
Includes: All you can play Laser Tag, PC Gaming, Archery Tag, Open Gym.
2.5 hours of unlimited fun. Does not include axe throwing. *Must be 14 and older to axe throw.
Wristband – $26 (Axe Throwing for 14 years old+ can be added on for an additional $15.)

Mega Thanksgiving Splash at Holland Aquatic Center
Holland Aquatic Center, 550 Maple Ave, Holland, MI 49423
11:00am – 3:00pm
Five swimming pools will be available during this time for lots of sliding, swinging, soaking, and splashing fun.

West MI Holiday Guides

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Where to see Christmas Lights in West Michigan
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