What to Do in Grand Rapids This Winter

By Simone Dekryger on December 13, 2019

The winter months are full of snow and cold weather, but one of the perks of attending Cornerstone University is our location. Grand Rapids offers tons of exciting activities to keep you entertained during the winter season.

Outdoor Activities

Since winter really only lasts a few months, I suggest taking advantage of what is unique to the season!

Rosa Parks Circle is a hub for activities year round, but they have some exclusive events for winter. A favorite for many is the ice rink. People are able to ice skate, play various games on the rink and see the Christmas lights surrounding it.

My personal favorite outdoor winter experience is the Christmas light show at Fifth Third Ball Park. The park sets up a plethora of Christmas lights. Some decorate trees and archways while others portray snowman, reindeer or Santa Claus. This may count as cheating for an 'outdoor activity' since visitors get to stay warm in their cars and drive through to see the displays. Still, it is a wonderful way to spend some quality time with family. Turn the heat up, turn on some Christmas tunes and enjoy!

Indoor Activities

If you're looking for something to do in Grand Rapids this winter that doesn't require as many layers of scarves and coats, there are also many indoor events and activities hosted around the city all season long.

One of my favorite winter activities of all time is going to hockey games. I was only introduced to the sport a few years ago, but it has easily become one of my favorite things to watch. It is an intense game that is wildly different from other sports you see. The elegance of ice skating meets the physicality of football.

The local team in Grand Rapids is the Griffins. They have a large number of home games throughout the winter. Look at their schedule and see when you can go!

One of my favorite childhood memories was visiting Frederik Meijer Gardens on winter field trips with my school. It was such a treat as a kid to go see the beautiful decorations and experience different cultures through their winter events.

Every year, Frederik Meijer Gardens hosts a variety of activities and parties, but the one I remember is their collection of Christmas trees. This year they are going to have 42 trees all decorated to represent different cultures around the world. They often incorporate traditions such as finding the pickle ornament on the German Christmas tree.

The decorations are absolutely beautiful, and you get to experience a little bit of cultures from holidays around the world.

Grand Rapids is also privileged to host many art events throughout the year, and winter is no exception. The Grand Rapids Ballet Company celebrates the holidays with its annual showing of the Nutcracker Ballet.

As a former ballerina, I may be a bit biased, but I love to watch ballets. The elegance and strength of dancers, creative intelligence of composers, talent of musicians and extensive details that go into these performances leave me in awe every time. Also, this classic Christmas story is perfect for getting you into the holiday spirit!

If you are a lover of the arts, I would also recommend attending one of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's concerts. They will be at the Van Andel Arena in early December. Seeing one of their Christmas performances live has been a dream of mine since I was little. This year my dream is coming true!

Needless to say, winter in Grand Rapids is far from uneventful and dull! So if you are ready to make it your home away from home, grab a cup of hot cocoa and fill out a Cornerstone application! See what this beautiful city has to offer all year round!

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Category: Student Perspectives