2018 Grand Rapids Holiday Family Fun Guide
There is something magical about the holiday season in West Michigan, for kids and parents alike. The twinkling lights, fresh snow, and the excitement in the air all make this a memorable time of year. If you are like me, you want to soak in as many of these holiday moments as you can.
Our gigantic Holiday Family Fun Guide is your #1 resource for all things HOLIDAY this season. We’ll give you loads of ideas on places to go and things to do with the whole family.
Pin it, post it, save it, or print it. And have loads of FUN!
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HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT AROUND GRAND RAPIDS
Although the holidays can be amazing, they can also be exhausting. Sometimes just sitting and relaxing is one of the best ways to enjoy the season. And if you can be entertained all the while, I call that a win-win. Check out Huge List of Holiday Shows to find one that is right for your family.
One of my favorites is the Grand Rapids Ballet’s Nutcracker, complete with set design by Chris VanAllburg. This year the Civic Theatre is bringing us The Little Mermaid, which is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Kids will love cheering on Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen when C.A.R.E. ballet presents Twas the Night Before Christmas. A regional favorite is the Singing Christmas Tree in Muskegon, where the Mona Shores high school choir and orchestra form a human tree that belts out our favorite Christmas songs.
If you like to share a truly memorable experience with your family and have a few in your house that enjoy the outdoors, explore the 250 acres of snowy outdoors at Blandford Nature Center, or check out our list of Living Nativities in the area.
HOLIDAY TRADITIONS FOR GRAND RAPIDS FAMILIES
Santa. Trains. Twinkling Lights. Parades. These five words inspire extreme excitement in all kids (and adults!). You’ll find all of these in our lists for Holiday Traditions this year.
Check out the Santa Sightings list for all the places you’ll find Santa around town.
With all of the excitement of the season, sometimes a low key family night is in order. Load your car up with blankets and hot cocoa and visit some of the reader-recommended homes decked out in lights for the holiday season in our Holiday Lights Tour (updating soon!).
Have a little one who loves trains? Then come aboard, and check out list of Holiday Trains to see some amazing holiday train displays. While you’re out and about, don’t forget to pick out your Christmas tree at at local Christmas Tree Farm.
HOLIDAY GIFT EXPERIENCES
Giving kids an experience for Christmas instead of piles of toys is an idea that’s been taking off with parents. Honing your gift-buying down to just a couple of really meaningful gifts means that you have to be very intentional about which gifts you choose. Our list of over 50 holiday gift experience ideas for Grand Rapids families lays it all out for you so you can see what’s available and choose the perfect gift for each person in your family.
Get friends and relatives involved in this gifting approach, too! You can sign kids up for swim classes or dance lessons, bring the whole family to some of the fun attractions in the area, or take in a movie or play.
Something Fun to Do With Kids All Season Long
If you are trying to make each day count this holiday season, this section is for you.
Anticipation is a hallmark of the holiday season. We’ve put together a CUTE and free printable Holiday Countdown Calendar (start whenever you want to) that gives you lots of “things to do” ideas.
You’ll also want to check out our 31 Days of December (updating soon!) to see a different activity each day that your family will enjoy. This list of Free Things to do in December in Grand Rapids (updating soon!) has ideas for affordable family fun.
If you are looking for something free and right in your neighborhood, check out your local library! Many branches hold different (and usually free) events to help you fully enjoy the holiday season. For more frugal fun, look at our big list of FREE holiday fun!
Home with the kids this winter break and trying to get together a game plan of how you’ll spend your time? Check out our Winter Break Activity Guide, full of activities for everyone in your family. One that our founder Melody loves is the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex – it has an ice skating trail through the woods!
No matter how you choose to celebrate the season, we hope it is full of joy and light.